Tag Archives: tips

Not Trying to Keep Scaring You About Online Security, But …

30 Nov

Yes, we at Evans on Marketing have made a number of posts about about online security, privacy, identity theft, and related issues. We’re not really trying to scare you, but we are trying to get you to be more alert and to protect yourself better online. That’s why we we’ve posted several tips, such as: 1, 2, 3 (a short video quiz),  and 4 (video tips).

So, here’s another alert for YOU!! đź™‚ 

Recently, AV-Test, a nonprofit organization that monitors online security, published its latest report. To grasp the highlights of this report more easily, TechRepublic has summarized what it considers to the top four points made by AV-Test:

  1. “Android is becoming more vulnerable to cybersecurity threats — While the majority of malware deployed in 2015 and 2016 targeted Windows, the most widely-used operating system in the world, Android is increasingly under fire as well. Malware attacks on Android platforms jumped from about 3% in 2015 to nearly 7.5% in 2016. Though it seems like a fairly small percentage jump, it represents an increase of millions of attacks, and marks ‘a significant trend away from Windows and towards Android,’ the report stated.”
  2. “Mac’s security fortress is just an illusion — Many Apple Mac users believe that the devices cannot be infected with a virus—even those using Macs in the enterprise, the report stated. And compared to Windows, the number of malware programs attacking Apple’s Mac platform is tiny: Just 819 malware threats targeted Macs in 2015. [Due to the small percentage of Macs in the marketplace — which remain at a 7.5 percent market share as of the date of this post.] However, that does not mean that these attacks were not serious. Plus, attackers would not need to program a large number of malware applications to obtain data from Mac users, as they rarely have antivirus solutions installed, the report said.” [Is this YOU?]
  3. “The rise of potentially unwanted applications (PUA) — A new cyber risk comes in the form of potentially unwanted applications (PUA), which are deployed by the advertising industry to track personal information on user and movement patterns, and to then display personalized advertising without the consent of the user. PUA represented nearly one-third of the online risks in 2015, the report stated, and are steadily increasing.”
  4. “The top 10 Windows malware of Q1/Q2 2016 — More than 85% of malware attacks occurred on Windows machines in 2015, with that number dropping to 67% in 2016. Some 12 million new Windows malware programs enter the market each month, the report found. Here are the top 10 malware for Windows to keep an eye out for.”


 
Click here to access the full AV-Test report. Click here to access the TechRepublic synopsis.
 

Does Avid Social Media Use Harm Your Career?

22 Nov

Over the years, we have posted a lot about self-branding, the importance of interpersonal communication (especially TALKING!), and similar topics. Last month, we discussedMonotasking Vs. Multitasking,” concluding that monotasking is a lot more effective than multitasking — urban legends aside.

Today’s post focuses on a recent provocative article by Cal Newport for the New York Times, “Quit Social Media. Your Career May Depend on It“:

“Many people should follow me and quit social media. There are many issues with social media, from its corrosion of civic life to its cultural shallowness, but the argument I want to make is more pragmatic: You should quit social media because it can hurt your career.”

“First, interesting opportunities and useful connections are not as scarce as social media proponents claim. In my own professional life, as I improved my standing, I began receiving more interesting opportunities than I could handle. I currently have filters on my Web site aimed at reducing, not increasing, the number of offers and introductions I receive.”

“My second objection concerns the idea that social media is harmless. The ability to concentrate without distraction on hard tasks is increasingly valuable in an complicated economy. Social media weaken this skill because they’re designed to be addictive. The more you use social media in the way it’s designed to be used — throughout your waking hours — the more your brain learns to crave a quick hit of stimulus at the hint of boredom.”

“Third, dedication to cultivating your social media brand is a fundamentally passive approach to professional advancement. It diverts your time and attention from producing work that matters and toward convincing the world that you matter. The latter activity is seductive, especially for those raised on this message, but it can be disastrously counterproductive.”

 
Click the image to read more.

Image by David Saracino

Image by David Saracino


 

PLEASE Be a Smart Customer This Holiday Shopping Season

21 Nov

Yes, Black Friday WEEK is finally here — after weeks of being bombarded by holiday shopping ads. This post has two goals: (1) To alert you to the possible deceptions this week and (2) to again present our THIRTY-FIVE holiday shopping tips.

Our first topic is this: Is Black Friday week really a good time to shop? Are there bargains that won’t be available after Friday? Let’s turn to Brian Chen, writing for the New York Times (1, 2), for an assessment of Black Friday deals:

“The overwhelming majority of Black Friday deals are duds. Retailers’ sales promotions begin weeks before Thanksgiving, with a smattering of modest deals that eventually build up to the shopping bonanza that is Black Friday. That is followed by Cyber Monday, a so-called online shopping extravaganza after Thanksgiving weekend.”

“It has become fashionable for online retailers to build up anticipation for Black Friday with so-called flash deals. These last only a few hours, putting pressure on consumers to buy with little or no research. Yet, however you shop, chances of snatching a great deal for a quality item are slim, because Black Friday is mainly for retailers to clear out unwanted goods and best-sellers rarely drop much in price.”

“Year round, The Wirecutter tracks prices across the Web to unearth true deals on high-quality items. Less than 1 percent of the tens of thousands of Black Friday deals online last year were good deals — that is, discounts on high-quality, well-reviewed, and durable products. This year, the situation is likely to be the same.

“A quick search on Camel Camel Camel, which looks up price histories on Amazon, [can be quite enlightening]. Some mediocre deals can be tricky to catch. Toward the end of October, Amazon listed a deal for its Kindle Paperwhite E-reader for $100. This may seem like a good deal because the retail price is $120. But at the beginning of October, the Paperwhite was discounted to $90 — a price drop that Camel Camel Camel could not detect because the discount was applied at the end of the checkout.”

 

Take a look at the following New York Times video for further insights.

 

 

Our second topic is this: How can you be a better shopper for the 2016 holiday season? Here are 35 tips (originally posted two weeks ago).

2016-shopping-tips
 

10 Tips on How Companies Can Be More Customer-Centric

17 Nov

A while back, Professor Joel Evans of Hofstra University’s Zarb School of Business wrote an article about “Customer Centricity” for Promo Magazine (now part of Chief Marketer.)

The essence of that still rings true today — even more so given the level of competition faced. Here is that article (with only slight edits).

We are now in an era where the marketplace is so cluttered that it is more difficult than ever for any one firm to stand out from the competition—or even be recognized. As a result, a customer-centric approach is imperative.

Most firms promote as fact that they are customer-centric. Many even believe they are. But, one of the most abused terms in business is customer-centric. Here are three true examples to illustrate the point: (1) A leading department store branch is busy. In the women’s apparel section, the checkout line is long. In the shoe department (which is not leased), no one is waiting on line. The sales clerk refuses to ring up any apparel sales. The department store prides itself on outstanding customer service. (2) A customer buys a $100 gift card from a leading consumer electronics chain. The gift recipient spends $90 at the chain and asks for the balance to be remitted in cash. The request is refused. The chain prides itself on outstanding customer service. (3) A local bookstore promotes a policy to “beat any prices.” The policy is good for only three days after a purchase. The bookstore prides itself on outstanding customer service.

There are several things that firms of any type or size can do to truly be customer-centric. Here are 10 ways to facilitate the process:

ONE — Be your own customer. Interact with salespeople. Visit all your facilities. “Think like a customer.”

TWO. Be proactive. Use mystery shoppers to engage your employees in various types of situations. Do customer surveys. Adjust practices as necessary.

THREE — Encourage employee empowerment. A number of firms have cut back on employee flexibility in “bending the rules” for fear of hurting profitability. Yet, research shows that customers are more loyal when they feel the company listens to them.

FOUR — Small gestures can be big. Take a look at “Simple Truths of Service” and see how.

FIVE — Be as honest and informative as humanly possible. Don’t run a full-page ad with the word “SALE” if not all the items in the ad are actually on sale.

SIX — Every firm should offer a meaningful loyalty program. There’s no better way to be customer-centric than to reward continued patronage.

SEVEN — Match your sales staff requirements to your positioning. It is okay for Walmart to have a limited number of sales workers on the floor because of its low-price, self-service approach. Likewise, it is proper for Best Buy to have a lot of staff on the floor since it promotes more personal service.

EIGHT — Use customer-friendly signage. I once addressed a group of supermarket executives and made what I thought was a rather non-provocative suggestion: Have a large sign at the entrance depicting the full layout of the items in the store. My reasoning: With more men starting to shop in supermarkets, better signage was needed. The intense negative reaction to this suggestion was stunning. The supermarket executives thought this would cut down on impulse shopping. My response: If shoppers feel more comfortable and knowledgeable, there will be more impulse shopping—not less, I lost that battle. Supermarkets (and many others), for the most part, still do not have enough customer-friendly signage,

NINE — Run special-themed promotions throughout the year that are NOT price-oriented. Too often, firms view promotions only as “sales,” and run them frequently. However, promotions do not have to just focus on price. (Such tactics typically encourage customers to wait for the inevitable sale and not buy on full price). Examples of good promotions: Contests don’t only have to coincide with special events, such as the Super Bowl. Similar activities can be done at other times. Be creative!

TEN — Encourage employees to be more customer-centric. All those who personally interact with customers should have name tags—from the sales staff to senior executives. Every person who answers the phone (or makes calls) should state his or her name. Employee photos should be prominently placed. Recognition of good employee performance should be posted. One nice thing that I always observe is when a company has a parking space designated “employee of the month.” This is a signal that the company cares about people.

 

Best Blogs for Small Business

15 Nov

There are many great online resources for small business, including the Web sites of Small Business Administration, Entrepreneur, and Inc. They deal with a variety of topics to assist startups and other small businesses. In addition, there are numerous blogs that focus on information and advice specifically geared to small businesses.

Recently, CreditMonkey published “Best Small Business Marketing Blogs 2016: Top Experts to Follow.”   Here  are some of CreditMonkey’s choices. Check them out:

 
Click on the image to see why these are considered top blogs — and to see more blogs cited by CreditMonkey.
 

 

GREAT Tools to Assist You in a Job Search

7 Nov

Two weeks ago, the following information was posted. If you are in a job search, these tools are VERY useful for you. In case you missed it, we are publishing the post again.

_______________________________________________________________________

When searching for a job, are you effective? There are many excellent digital tools that can assist you in undertaking a better job search.

As Maria Onzain writes for Tech.co:

“Do you feel your job hunt efforts are inefficient? Do you want to jump-start your career but not sure how to do it? Using the right technology will help you build up a winning resume faster. Each of these digital tools will help you in the different phases of your job hunt.”

  • With Uptowork, “choose one of 20 templates in 400 colors and let this resume generator guide you. Once you have filled out all the sections, you will be able to edit and personalize it before getting a URL to share. From the dashboard, you can to track your resume’s performance and check how many times it has been seen and downloaded by recruiters.”
  • Use Grammarly to “make make sure your resume and cover letter are error-free. Copy and paste your resume in this platform, and you will instantly see if you have made any grammar mistakes.”
  • Through Jobscan, you can “check if your resume is tailored to the job description. Jobscan optimizes your resume keywords against the job description. All you need to do is paste your resume and the job description, and it will scan it for you.”
  • With GlassDoor, you can “get to know companies inside out. You can search for hundreds of companies all over the world and find precious information including, but not limited to, first-hand employees reviews, salary expectations, and details about the enterprise’s specific recruiting process.”
  • JobHero can “help you manage the whole job searching process. With the smart browser extension, you can save job opportunities from across the Web and you can access a personal dashboard to track the application process.”

 
Click the image to read more.


 

Secretly (?) Using LinkedIn for a Job Search

26 Oct

If you are currently employed and looking for confidentiality in a search for another job, you may have a tough task ahead of you — especially if you use LinkedIn during the search.

With this dilemma in mind, LinkedIn has recently introduced Open Candidates. As LinkedIn’s Dan Shapero writes:

“The secret to career happiness is finding a job you love, however there is no way to tell the world that you’re open to new opportunities without worrying about your employer finding out. But imagine if you could signal to recruiters everywhere that you’d like to hear from them, and by doing so increase your chances of having one of those magic moments when a recruiter reaches out with an amazing opportunity.”

Introducing Open Candidates. Open Candidates is a new feature that makes it easier to connect with your dream job by privately signaling to recruiters that you’re open to new job opportunities. You can specify the types of companies and roles you are most interested in and be easily found by the hundreds of thousands of recruiters who use LinkedIn to find great professional talent. Open Candidates is accessible from the “Preferences” tab on the LinkedIn Jobs home page.”

Here’s a short video overview.

 

So, is this new service as good as it seems? Maybe! Consider these observations from

“When you opt in to the new feature, called Open Candidate, recruiters are able to see that you are interested in potential opportunities. At the same time, LinkedIn will do its best to block your information from appearing to recruiters at your company or its subsidiaries. When you opt in, you can select a few specifics about what type of job you would like, what city you want to work in, and write a short message to potential recruiters.”

“Though LinkedIn does its best to hide your information from recruiters at or affiliated with your company, Dan Shapero notes that they can’t guarantee that it won’t be seen. Still, he says that early testing of the feature has been successful on all sides: so-called ‘open candidates’ are more likely to be contacted by recruiters and recruiters are more likely to hear back from them.”

The bottom line: The likelihood of your new job search being confidential on LinkedIn depends on how active your current employer is on LinkedIn — and social networkers do communicate with one another. Working with recruiters OFF-line will still be more confidential.
 

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