Martech

4 Key Areas that Affect Engagement in Marketing Videos

It is important that your marketing videos are able to engage viewers and keep them watching while encouraging them to respond to it in some way or other.

While videos are naturally more engaging than most other types of content, there are still a few areas that can make a huge difference in their engagement – just check out these awesome examples!

Assuming you’d like to create more engaging marketing videos, there are 4 key areas that you should focus on:

Video duration

People tend to have short attention spans nowadays, and the longer a video is the more likely viewers are to stop watching. As such if you want to retain and engage viewers, it is important that you optimize the video duration.

The ‘best’ duration for engagement will vary depending on your platform and target market. Generally it is best to keep it under a minute, and sometimes even under 30 seconds for some social media platforms.

First few seconds

During the first few seconds of a video, viewers will decide whether to keep watching – which makes them extremely important. Typically that decision takes place in the first 8 to 10 seconds, though it can sometimes be a bit more than that.

At the end of the day, however, that means you have a very short timeframe during which you should do your utmost to interest viewers by outlining what your video is about and highlighting its benefits.

Emotions

Have you noticed that funny, inspirational, or even controversial videos tend to have high levels of engagement? That is because people are more likely to watch and respond to videos that trigger emotions, and you should attempt to do the same.

Provoking an emotional response to a video can be tricky, but it is one of the reasons why storytelling can help to frame the video, make viewers feel connected with the subject, and emotionally invested.

Call to action

The call to action in marketing videos is particularly important in terms of engagement because it is what you’ll use to encourage viewers to perform certain actions. Try to make sure your call to action is strong, and gives viewers a good reason why they should perform the action by letting them know how it will benefit them.

Be sure to take into account these 4 areas during the planning stage, and also make sure that you record high-quality footage that looks good. If you want a way to create impressive marketing videos, you should try using Movavi Screen Capture Studio. It will let you capture video from your screen as well as other sources, and you can edit it using it too.

With the built-in editor in Movavi Screen Capture Studio, you can compile marketing videos, enhance their quality, apply special effects, add captions, include background music, and much more. In short by the time you’re done you should end up with an impressive-looking marketing video that is more likely to attract attention and engage viewers – especially if you focused on the areas listed above.

Martech

Is Marketing Automation Right For You? 3 Questions You Need To Ask

If you’re in marketing, there’s a good chance you’ve heard some buzz about ‘marketing automation’. For the past five-plus years it seems like most marketers (and sales reps for that matter) have been dazzled by the concept. And for good reason — it’s intended to make marketing and sales efforts easier and more impactful.

For almost everyone else, the term is probably somewhat familiar but also quite vague.

If that sounds like you, here’s the (very condensed) scoop:

Marketing automation is the use of software to automate repetitive marketing actions (like social media scheduling and campaign emails) with the goal of making those actions easier.

Should You Do It?

While marketing automation continues to gain even greater traction — pushed along by smarter and smarter technology — it’s important to note that it isn’t for everyone.

On the plus side, marketing automation can provide enormous gains in scalability and ROI. But it can also minimize your impact elsewhere by consuming too much of your efforts, or worse yet, damage your customer relations if executed poorly.

So, before you start setting up your marketing automation system, take a run-through this decision checklist:

Marketing Automation Decision Checklist

#1 “You Have the (Automation) Dream, but Do You Have the Team?”

Do you have the people and cash? Sure, automation is meant to make your life easier, but you still need actual humans to put into action.

Be reasonable in what you and your team can put into action. Perhaps automating every single marketing task isn’t reasonable, but a few are. Look at your big time-consumers (perhaps a webinar or event email list) and look for tools that can help you automate that one task.

Also remember that many automation tools require a subscription fee. Shop around and find the tools that are best suited to your needs and budget.

#2 “Show Me the… Lists!”

Do you have enough leads for segmentation? A small lead list will make it impossible to create segmentation for your automation programs. As a result, the same small group of leads will be the recipient of every single marketing automation you send out.

(Spoiler alert: bombarding your leads with email after automated email will quickly earn you a spot on their spam list).

So, rather than investing in automation just yet, spend your time building up that lead base. Once you reach a base that’s large enough to segment by customer persona you’ll be ready to put those automation efforts into action.

#3 “You Say You Know Me and but Do You Really Know Me?”

Do you understand your customer base? According to Microsoft, customers are exposed to as many as 600 messages every day (in the form of emails, ads, text messaging and so on). For brands, having the right messaging is therefore critical to getting noticed within this sea of noise.

But getting that messaging right means you need to know a bit about your customers in the first place. Remember, customers expect personalized experiences these days, and customized messaging is a huge part of that experience. One thing that could help you with that is a customer service software.

Tailored messaging that speaks to your customer’s needs and journey will get noticed. Boilerplate, one-size-fits-all content — well, you can guess how that’ll do.

If you don’t know enough about your customers in order to create authentic messaging in your automation efforts, your best bet is to hold off until you do.

Last Thoughts

Marketing automation can be a powerful ROI tool, but it isn’t right for everyone. Before diving in, be sure to fully evaluate where you’re at in terms of resources and lead base. And don’t be afraid to start small. Not every marketing task has to be automated straight out of the gate. Have fun and good luck!

About the Author: Dean Ara
Dean is the Principal and co-founder of Total Product Marketing — a B2B marketing agency specializing in channel marketing, positioning, and branding for technology clients.

Martech

Understanding The Voice Search and Its SEO Value

In the past, voice search was that one feature that everyone knew about but no one actually used. Well, recently Google decided that it was a time for its remodel, which made them invest some serious work in its improvement. As a result, nowadays over 55 percent of the teen populace and 41 percent of adults use this feature on a daily basis. It is expected that by the year 2020 about half of all searches will be conducted in this way. Because of this, it is more than clear that voice search and its SEO value are no longer to be underestimated and here are a couple of things you need to learn about them.

1.    Voice search is mobile friendly

It isn’t by accident that 2015 was the year of the major turnover when it comes to the voice search. You see, this was the year on which Google officially announced that the number of mobile inquiries officially surpassed the number of searches made from PCs. Needless to say, voice search is much more mobile friendly than the traditional search box typing, seeing as how it gives you a hand free option and reduces the chance of making a typo on the tiny smartphone screen. Google executives probably knew just how important this feature is and what they would risk if one of their competitors was to surpass them in this field.

2.    Long-tail keywords

One of the reasons why voice search was so inefficient in the past was due to the fact that it tried to interpret the phonology of words without taking broader context into consideration. Because of this, the value of long-tail keywords becomes more than apparent, seeing as how long-tail keywords always have broader context attached to it. Just by adding a single proposition next to the keyword in question, you are giving the search engine something to use in their interpretation of the phrase.

Now, according to experts behind a reputable SEO company, the major difference between the use of a long-tail keyword is in the traditional search and a voice search. For instance, when people type, they commonly omit proper suffixes and even propositions. The reason why they do this is to save time. However, with voice search, such practice would seem quite unnatural, which makes voice-search-oriented keywords much more grammatical. In other words, these keywords are usually in the form in which they would be in a real conversation.

3.    Location-based inquiries

When it comes to voice searches, a lot of people use them when they need something answered as quickly as possible, preferably on the run. In other words, they usually want to know where they can eat, buy or rent a room. Because of this, it might be wise to focus a bit more on local listings. Similarly, to the situation with long-tail keywords, the location of the person asking the question might also be able to give a broader context. One more thing, listing your phone number and address is also something used in Google’s ranking efforts of your page.

Apart from this, the geographical location of your business matters as well, especially if you are doing SEO in a non-English speaking country. You see, the region you are in might give away the language that is used. Interestingly enough, this could even help out the tourists around any mispronunciation they might make. Therefore, such practice usually works out in everyone’s interest.

4.    Scannable pages

Another important thing you need to take into consideration is the fact that successful voice-search isn’t where your story ends, quite the opposite. Imagine a person who can’t be bothered to type in a simple three-words-long question in the search box. Now ask yourself the following question – would this person be willing to go through the wall of text in order to find the answer they are looking for? The answer to this question isn’t one that is hard to reach.

Therefore, you need to make sure your content is skim- or scan-friendly. What this means is that it needs to be such that a person accessing it has an easy way of discerning all the valuable information in a matter of seconds. You see, the time one spends on your website isn’t such an important metric here and, although 3000 words long blog posts are all the rage at the moment, this is not a practice you should adhere to in a voice search SEO.

Another thing you should do is make sure that your content is touch friendly. You see, most people will simply try to scroll through the page in order to find the information they need and it is your job to make this as simple for them as possible. This means leaving enough whitespace to make the layout scroll-friendly and making clickable elements transparent enough that they can be easily avoided.

In conclusion

At the end of the day, new SEO trends appear and reemerge every day, however, this upset represents something that deserves your full and undivided attention since it is a game-changer. Getting the grip on voice search SEO requires that some of the most experienced digital marketers abruptly change the way they look at the algorithm, which is always a difficult thing to do. Just try to remember the example with long-tail keywords and you will get the full picture. On the other hand, with the ever-growing popularity of the voice search option, they might soon not have a say in the matter.

Martech

The Future of Marketing: Machine Learning & Ultra-Personalization

A few years ago, everyone was raving about robots and their ability to perform extraordinary tasks with ease; back then, it did seem very futuristic.

Artificial intelligence, nowadays, however, is no longer a novelty. In fact, the use of AI — a system that allows machines to perform the same tasks a human would — is now very common.

How is Machine Learning the Future of Marketing?

One aspect of AI, machine learning, has the capacity to learn and adapt to enhance its performance. A number of companies have already adopted machine learning in their processes to improve their profits and increase customer interaction. Some companies use it to drive sales, others use it for customer support, while still others use it in their marketing campaigns.

Machine learning can also help you analyze brands and get a deeper understanding of what your customers need.

Demandbase, for example, conducted a study recently that saw 80% of all marketing executives believe that AI will revolutionize the way we approach marketing by 2020. Seems a bit soonish, given that only 10% of marketers are using AI today.

If majority of the companies surveyed agree that artificial intelligence will only continue to advance in the coming years, why aren’t more of them investing in it now? Indeed, why wait until everybody is doing it when you can take advantage of the value AI provides to companies?

The integration of artificial intelligence in the marketing industry will provide marketers with a wide range of benefits from improved decision-making to seamless campaign optimization.

AI will also help marketers run more efficient campaigns using machine learning tools. The most exciting feature regarding machine learning, however, is how it allows for personalization in marketing.

Why Do We Care about Personalization?

Conversion is crucial for any online business. The more visitors are turned into buyers, the more your profits will increase. The Content Marketing Institute reports that highly personalized website experiences deliver better conversion rate optimization.

Machine learning is indeed reinventing all existing products ranging from YouTube to Google Maps and providing users with new experiences. Google Assistant is the best example of personalization regarding machine learning. This innovation not only suggests websites that are similar to your preferences but also uses speech recognition to help you get a better handle on the real world.

Personalization is key to standing out in an industry that keeps getting more and more competitive by the day. With it, companies can keep up with the billions of platforms and search engines that are used by millions of users on a daily basis.  

The Benefits of Ultra-Personalization with Machine Learning

AirBnB provides a great example of how you can ultra-personalize with machine learning to not only better your service but also increase your profits. It has grown exponentially over the past few years thanks to its ability to personalize booking services using machine learning.

Machine learning helps AirBnB manage over 3 million listings and more than 200 million guests by processing data at a faster rate. It also aids company directors in making better decisions for their guests.

For example, AirBnB notes guest preferences regarding price, location, and amenities, among others, to aid in providing the company with an idea of what a particular guest wants. As such, guests get the best packages, and the company saves time while gaining a deeper insight of the locations they should include in their App.

Embracing this innovation in its early stages allowed AirBnB to branch out to ventures such as concierge services, tours, and restaurant bookings, just to mention a few.

Eliminate Marketing’s Imprecise Nature

With machine learning, marketers no longer have to throw campaign seeds on vast acres of fertile soil and wait for them to take root. Machine learning has enabled them to analyze customer behaviors and suggest the products that will most likely capture their attention. The trial and error methods of the past are not only time consuming but also bear less fruit when it comes to conversion rates compared to machine learning.

An owner of a boutique yoga studio, for example, can now view ads speaking directly to and about their business as opposed to general announcements regarding fitness website builders.  AI empowers companies to precisely target the right customers with the right products with unsurmounted efficiency.   

Say the Right Thing to the Right Audience

Just as explained above with personalized campaigns, machine learning also enables marketers to craft taglines, slogans, and marketing messages precisely as opposed to using feelings or hunches. It not only helps marketers craft what to say to the audience but also shows the expected reaction. Platforms such as Twitter have been used by marketers to monitor chatter and gather responses regarding a particular service or product.

As such, copywriters and brand specialists can tweak ads in real time to respond to trending replies or comments, enabling them to surface the right message.

Give Customers What They Want Before They Need It

Trends and consistent purchase patterns have helped thousands of companies forecast demand for a long time. However, machine learning does one better by giving customers what they want before they even know they want the product or service.

While they will still be suggestions, the information presented will be concrete. Take for example the Family Hub™ Refrigerator by Samsung. It not only keeps track of your food levels using three cameras and AI, but it also recommends recipes based on the ingredients on-hand.

This refrigerator can even organize your family eating schedule and notify you when you need to visit the grocery store. Amazon and Alibaba, as well as thousands of other industry leaders, are employing the same technique with wonderful results.

Conclusion

Machine learning tools will not only add ultra-personalization to your marketing experience but will also better your interaction with your clientele. A general message for everyone is no longer an option for marketers; in this age of artificial intelligence, an ultra-personalized experience is vital in making your customers feel valued and understood.

Guest Author: David Kosmayer is CEO and Founder of Bookmark, an AI-powered website builder disrupting the web design industry. David created his first company at 22 just coming out of college. Marketing Extensions Inc., an online affiliate and marketing agency, was born from the basement of his parent’s home. This company grew under his leadership into a 55-person team, topping $60M in revenue in less than a decade. David is highly focused, dedicated and passionate about building successful companies.

Insights

5 Reasons Today’s Students Need Technology in the Classroom

The ways how students can learn are varied but one point for certain is that technology can be valuable for all people. It is essential for students to utilize technology in the overall learning process. There are several good reasons out there as to why students need to use technology to their advantage and make it worthwhile in the educational experience in general.

Interactivity

A vital part of technology is that it can entail many interactive functions and activities in mind. Technology allows students to be a little more active with regards to how they are learning new ideas.

For instance, a classroom application that links to one’s smartphone or tablet could allow a student to partake in various activities that link to whatever is being taught. The student can have full control over one’s experience as that student engages in more interactive and unique learning functions that might be more valuable and appropriate for many learning desires.

Organization

It can be tough for students to stay organized in the classroom. Technology helps with making it easier for those students to do more with their organizational efforts and to have more control over how well they can manage the learning process.

The technology works for organizational needs with a simple setup. It gives students the ability to secure their notes and assignments in a digital environment and can also help them with tracking some of the different things that they are studying at a certain time. This gives students a better sense of control over the many things they want to learn at a given time.

Responsibility

Technology helps students learn how to be more responsible. It helps students to see what they can do and how to be comfortable with what they are aiming to learn about. Students can use technology items to learn more about how certain concepts work while also exploring how to handle devices properly and to be more careful with what they are using. This point for learning is critical in that responsibility can go a long way towards helping people feel confident and comfortable in what they might be doing in particular.

Access

Technology makes it easier for students to access different bits of data. Today’s modern technology includes support for all sorts of demands that students might hold. These include support points for researching journals and textbooks online and with getting access to class notes through a special site. This is a necessity for students to see as it becomes easier for them to thrive and get more out of a course.

A Fun Activity

Technology is especially fun for people to enjoy using. People who learn with technology are more likely to enjoy the overall experience. When students learn, they want to learn by doing things with technology. They love the idea of having fun online and doing all sorts of interesting things with computers and other tech items.

Communication

Technology lets students get in touch with instructors even when class is out of session. It also gives students the opportunity to talk with other classmates and share notes and points about the coursework and so forth. The communication aspect of technology is important for letting kids enjoy class and getting a little something extra out of it. This is also for letting them know a little more about what they are studying and how it is important for their needs.

The exciting world of technology is always evolving and changing. It is great to see what makes it so valuable for the classroom as technology makes it easier for people to do more and get the most out of their learning activities.

 

This post has been brought by Sohail – a content marketer and a blogger, currently is associated with Smiletutor.sg a tuition agency in Singapore. His hobbies include writing, reading books, traveling and gardening.

Insights

15 Highest Paying Programming Languages in 2017

Technology always takes a dominant position in economy and society. Millions of people, therefore, found their careers, and many others have even dived into a completely different field just for entering this industry.

Even so, enterprises are still trying hard to seek for skilled programmers; when the right one shows, companies would even raise HR budgets.

Technology is continuing to infiltrate into new platforms and industries, hence, to maximize one’s profit potentials, also for ensuring one’s place in the future of tech fields, choosing the right programming language is very important for a person.

Now, let’s take a look at the 15 highest paying programming languages in 2017. 

1. Go:

Go programmers get paid at an average of 110 thousand dollars per year, and it has been on the top for the recent years. Go is an open source programming language that makes it easy to build simple, reliable, and efficient software. Created at Google in 2009, after that it has been used in Uber, SoundCloud, Netflix, and Dropbox.


2. Scala:

Scala is a general-purpose programming language providing support for functional programming and a strong static type system. Designed to be concise,many of Scala’s design decisions aimed to address criticisms of Java. Programmers equipped with Scala earn up to 110 thousand dollars a year.


3.Objective-C:

Objective-C is one of the longest existence programming languages, and it’s also one of the programming languages that programmers know best. It was the main programming language used by Apple for the OS X and iOS operating systems. It is one of the most profitable programming languages. Estimated salary is between 100k to 110k dollars per year.


4. CoffeScript:

CoffeeScript is a programming language that transcompiles to JavaScript. Specific additional features include list comprehension and pattern matching. CoffeeScript programmers earn averagely 105 thousand dollars a year. 

5. R:

R is an open source programming language and software environment for statistical computing and graphics that is supported by the R Foundation for Statistical Computing. The R language is widely used among statisticians and data miners for developing statistical software and data analysis. R programmers’ average salary is 100k dollars.

6. TypeScript:

TypeScript is a free and open-source programming language developed and maintained by Microsoft. It is a strict syntactical superset of JavaScript, and adds optional static typing to the language. If you can master TypeScript, you can earn 100k dollars a year. 

7. SQL:

SQL is a domain-specific language used in programming and designed for managing data held in a relational database management system (RDBMS), or for stream processing in a relational data stream management system (RDSMS). Companies like Google, Helix, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and Amazon are continuing in using SQL, and offer 70k-90k dollars a year to SQL programmers. 

8. JAVA:

Java is one of the most popular and profitable programming languages. Particularly for client-server web applications, with a reported 9 million developers. The most qualified candidate can be offered a wage up to 117k dollars a year.

9. Python:

Python is a widely used high-level programming language for general-purpose programming. An interpreted language, Python has a design philosophy that emphasizes code readability, and a syntax that allows programmers to express concepts in fewer lines of code than might be used in languages such as C++ or Java. Python experts are likely to have 99k dollars a year. 

10. JavaScript:

Alongside HTML and CSS, JavaScript is one of the three core technologies of World Wide Web content production. It is used to make webpages interactive and provide online programs, including video games. JavaScript programmers’ salaries can be reached up to 110k dollars a year.

11. C++:

C++ is a general-purpose programming language. It has imperative, object-oriented and generic programming features, while also providing facilities for low-level memory manipulation. C++ professionals can find jobs that offer 90k-100k a year. 

12. C#:

C# was developed by Microsoft within its .NET initiative and later approved as a standard by Ecma (ECMA-334) and ISO (ISO/IEC 23270:2006). C# is one of the programming languages designed for the Common Language Infrastructure. C# programmers can earn 107k dollars a year.

13. Perl:

Perl is a family of high-level, general-purpose, interpreted, dynamic programming languages. Because its power and reliability, it is aka Swiss Army Knife in programming languages. Perl programmers can earn about 110k dollars a year.

14. PHP:

PHP is a server-side scripting language designed primarily for web development but also used as a general-purpose programming language relied on C and C++ programming languages. Programmers that are expert in these three languages can easily find a high waged job, possibly can be reached up to 120k dollars a year. Check the awesome comparison of Php vs Node.Js on plesk.com’s blog.

15. IOS/Swift: 

Swift is likely to be the most important language that has been released recent years. Swift is a general-purpose, multi-paradigm and compiled programming language developed by Apple Inc. for iOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS, and Linux. Generally, programmers work with Swift R&D can earn 80k a year, but some high-end position’s salary can reach to 120k dollars a year.

Since the market is lack of such elite programmers nowadays, and corporations wish to fill up the blanks in R&D projects, so as long as you master one of the above languages, you’ll get more advantages when talking about your salaries.

 

Author: The Octoparse Team

 

More resources:

Big Data: 70 Amazing Free Data Sources You Should Know for 2017

Top 30 Big Data Tools for Data Analysis

Top 30 Free Web Scraping Software

Insights

[Infographic] What Affects Your Internet Speed?

Have you ever been in a position where you’re streaming your favorite show, only for it to pause to buffer just when it reaches the exciting part? That’s happened to me before and I can absolutely relate to just how frustrating it can be.

We live in a world of fast speed internet and being stuck with slow internet speeds is not acceptable. But fortunately, before you take drastic steps like moving away to another location where there is fiber, there’s hope.

Check out this infographic created by BlueGadgetTooth that lists out all the possible factors that could slow down your internet speed. Sometimes, the reasons are far simpler than we could ever imagine.

It could be as simple as needing a router upgrade. We get used to the router we use at home and forget about getting a new one because as long as we’re connected, it’s doing its job. Right?

Wrong. Technology evolves so quickly, that you could be potentially losing out on the speeds you actually pay for by continuing to use an older router. Or the problem could be that you’re using an older computer that takes time to process the information and you need to upgrade that.

Read also: How Technology Impacts Real Estate?

Or it could your subscription plan with your ISP. Many times, a simple upgrade will fix your problem. Things always get a little clearer when you know what could be the potential problem causing the slow speeds. And once you know that, it will be easier in finding a solution.

Even if you have to call a tech buddy who knows their way around things, giving them an idea of what is wrong will help get your problem fixed faster – and we all know how important it is to be connected to the online world!

Startups

How Technology is Changing The Construction Industry

It’s no secret that the construction industry is at the moment battling against serious efficiency and budget problems. One of the main reasons behind this problem has to do with the fact that construction is considered to be a traditional industry with a noticeable degree of resistance toward change.

Nonetheless, the advent of new technologies has started turning things around. More and more automated processes are introduced in the course of a construction project. On top of that, decision-makers within the industry appear to get more open toward digitization and ready to rely on cutting-edge technology for completing their building projects.

‘Modernise or Die’

Less than a year ago, the British construction consultant Mark Farmer released an extremely interesting report regarding the need of construction to become more digitized. The title of the report is ‘Modernise or Die’ and it describes the current problems that the construction industry is facing in terms of efficiency and poor decision-making. According to Farmer, it is indispensable for the construction industry to change its core practices and embrace the use of digital tools in the construction management procedure. Otherwise, its very own existence is under serious threat.

5 ways technology is disrupting construction

Thankfully, it appears that the industry has started to listen on the above mentioned points. That’s why, we observed lately an increased presence of technology on site. Without further ado, here are five of the most essential ways in which technology is transforming construction:

 

  • Construction software

 

First and foremost, construction software is revolutionizing the project management process. From its initial design to its completion, construction software can help you keep good track of what’s going on. Furthermore, it empowers communication between the construction site and the office. All the different project agents are in a position to send and receive updates in real-time. This results in fewer mistakes and increased productivity. If we also take into account the perplexity of many construction projects today, it becomes apparent that the implementation of real-time project management software is the way forward. Lastly, a construction software can help you feel control the vast amounts of collected data and improve your decision-making based on it.

 

  • BIM

 

BIM stands for Building Information Modeling and it’s already changing construction. Of course, there are still many steps that need to be taken before we can claim that BIM has reached its full potential. In a few words, BIM is encouraging fully integrated collaboration and unhindered information flow during a construction project. In that way, the various parties involved can communicate faster and act on last-minute changes in no time. The ability to access the project’s data with no geographical or time restrictions increases accuracy both in terms of budget and deadlines. It contributes also to the significant reduction of waste which is at the time being one of the biggest concerns of the industry.  

 

  • Big data

 

Big data is the new bacon and construction is no exception to that. To put it simply, data is the basis on which every new endeavor and every decision is made. And that’s for a plethora of reasons. Firstly, it provides an insight to the main challenges that the industry – or a project in that case – is battling against. By knowing how to read the data, you can be confident that you have made the right decision for your project and that you monitor closely every single task. What is more, big data can offer you a trustworthy picture concerning the upcoming trends in the industry. In that manner, you can put together a functional long-term strategy not only for your current but your upcoming projects, too. Increase of transparency and accountability is another indispensable benefit that big data can offer to construction. Everything is recorded and everyone is accountable for their (either positive or negative) actions.

 

  • Robotics

 

Robotics have already made their first vital steps in construction. Their contribution to the building process is expected to become more and more fundamental in the next years. Self-driving tracks, 3D printed bridges and bricklaying robots are only a few examples of how robotics impact on construction. The biggest advantages that robotics are providing to construction are undoubtedly related to increased efficiency and safety for the people who work on site. Thank to such machinery, the involvement of workers in dangerous or timeful tasks can be significantly reduced. Additionally, this shift on the way job in construction is done will eventually lead to the attraction of a new workforce type. The construction industry will be gradually in position to attract young skillful workers who are after a long-term career.  

 

  • Drones

 

Last but certainly not least, the drones. Drone technology is getting more and more popular everyday and it already has a great contribution to many construction sites around the world. Drones could increase the accuracy of the building process. We are still in an early stage, but ideally, in a few years, it will be considered as a given the use of drones for the generation of a ‘digital tween’ for every construction process. In that sense, project agents will be constantly able to monitor the progress of a project and define easily its exact needs. This functionality could pave the way for the arrival of smart contracts in construction. This would signify simpler and more direct transactions while getting rid of the ‘middleman’ (eg. lawyers).

Conclusion

All in all, technology and digital tools have already a remarkable impact on the way the construction industry is moving forward. Their involvement in the project process is only expected to get more and more increased in the near future. The investment on the digitization of the industry will unlock tremendous possibilities and will provide great solutions to the chronic problem of efficiency.

__________________________________________________________
About the author:
This post was written by Anastasios Koutsogiannis, the Content Marketing Manager in GenieBelt.
Startups

A Results-Driven Business In A Fast-Changing World

Everybody’s talking about running a results-driven business. What does this mean?

A results-driven business is one that focuses its operations on what its customers want and not what it wants to provide.

If you’re putting up an online clothing boutique, you should determine the types of apparel your target customers look for, their preferred payment method and other add-on services that suit them. By focusing on customer-centric results, you’ll have less abandoned carts and achieve greater success.

What if your customers don’t know the results they look for in a business?

This is where you venture into a process of discovery. Discovery should not be a one-way journey. It doesn’t need to end upon reaching a predetermined destination because there may be external factors that can change one’s goal.

A decade ago, businesses would set a team planning to map out their 5- and 10-year plans. Their milestones would predict future results based on current performance and economic factors.

However, technology changed this mindset. What is trending today is old news next week. Customers’ demand change more rapidly today, thus you should always be on a discovery venture.

As you discover your customers’ changing definition of the results they want from your business, there’s one concept you should embrace: innovation.

Innovation can mean differences among businesses. It can be a simple progression such as introducing mobile payments or a major improvement like migrating to full automation. “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results has never been a blueprint for success in any walk of life, which is why business leaders the world over are increasingly viewing innovation as the true key to competing effectively,” Jyoti lalchandani, regional managing director at International Data Corporation (IDC) shared in Gulf News.

The innovation game is a results-driven business.

Samsung transformed from a modest trading company to the world’s second-largest IT company because it progressed with the changing times, delivering the results their customers want.

The Japanese clothing company Uniqlo did not become one the world’s largest apparel makers overnight. It reinvented over the years depending on the changing fashion and clothing needs of its customers. From being a local operator of men’s clothing shops, Uniqlo now boasts of more than 1,900 stores worldwide.

What do Samsung, Uniqlo and other global brands have in common? They won, and are continuously winning the innovation game.

Keeping your edge with digital marketing

Running a business in the digital age has its positive and negative points. A small retailer can reach out to its target customers using the same digital platforms as global brands use.

Brands can maintain a presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram without spending a fortune. Technology has somehow helped democratize marketing.

However, this has made the competition more grueling among market players. With countless businesses vying for customers’ attention, how do you stand out from the rest? How do you make your target market listen to your message and try out your offerings? This is where an effective digital marketing strategy comes into play.

Digital marketing is not only about maintaining social media presence. The Financial Times defines digital marketing as “the marketing of products or services using digital channels to reach consumers.”

These channels include websites, social media, online advertising, search engines, and mobile phones. With 50 percent of the global population using the Internet and more than 66 percent own a mobile phone, the importance of digital marketing is undeniable.

Identifying your best prospects with marketing campaign optimization

Digital marketing, if wielded correctly, can be the single most powerful marketing tool for your business. It can help you in your conquest to understand what your customers want and deliver these accordingly.

A bookstore can offer a satisfying online shopping experience via a mobile app that provides title suggestions based on the shopper’s recent searches or purchases.

A beauty salon can use e-mail updates to send out discount cards and other promos to its patrons.

Many companies use online surveys to gather customer feedback and social media campaigns to “get a feel” of the market before launching a new product or service. These tactics can be done with marketing campaign optimization.

Marketing campaign optimization involves the matching of the right offers to a certain set of customers over a specific channel at a given time. Each offer uses a predictive model that produces a score when a customer record is entered into the model. The score depends on the goal of the offer. It can be the probability that the customer will respond favorably to the offer or the expected sale from the customer.

A campaign optimization will allow you to identify the best prospects for your products and services.

The power of data in marketing

How does marketing campaign optimization work?

Start with collating data and analyzing your customer information. By knowing what a certain set of customers want, or the results they want from you, you can match them with a certain offer and optimize the same.

You can then use digital marketing tactics to reach out to a specific market segment using the most effective platform at the right time.

Let’s say you’re a financial company offering two types of investment products:
(1) a fund invested in listed stocks of large tech companies and
(2) a fund comprising of sovereign bonds in emerging markets.

What type of data do you need?

First, the profile of your customers (age, sex, status, etc.) Then, find out their risk appetite based on their holdings. Finally, determine, if you can, their investment horizon. Generally, Fund No. 1 will likely appeal to young and cash-rich investors who can tolerate risk, while Fund No. 2 will suit investors with a shorter investment horizon and low-risk aversion.

With this information, you can create a digital marketing strategy on how to deliver your message to these two sets of customers. What digital assets appeal to them and how do they consume these? When are they in the market for an investment product, etc.?

Running a results-driven business is focusing your operations on what your customers want. If they don’t know what they’re looking for, embark on a journey of discovery with them.

You can do this using tools and platforms you both understand. You can run online surveys, social media polls or present offers that match a customer’s recent searches. Innovate along the way.

You may discover that certain group of customers would prefer dealing with cryptocurrency instead of more traditional currencies. Use the information you gather to develop innovations, create quality digital marketing assets and optimize your marketing initiatives.

What is your e-commerce brand
Startups

How Technology Impacts Real Estate

The Times Are Definitely Changing

Oxford thinks the internet is going to replace traditional real estate agents with AI solutions in the near future. If you work in this industry, watch out. If you’re looking to get the best deals on property, well, then you may actually be in luck. Still, faceless tech can’t give you the “buddy deal” of your real estate broker friend; but he’s likely scraping a little off the top for himself, if you’re being honest—so maybe this is a good thing!

All kidding aside, from inside and outside the real estate agency, it makes sense to get an understanding of that which defines modern real estate. In a word: it’s the internet. Organizations like Rentec Direct offer: “The highest rated and easiest to learn property management software [and it] includes free US-based support.” Inherent in the software is internet utility.

Solutions like this are especially tenable for those who are managing multiple properties. The internet and technology, in general, are acting as a middle-man eliminating agent. Ignoring this reality is a great way to lose money and face a bevy of otherwise avoidable struggles.

Yet there is this interesting facet of life: when one door closes, another door opens. Even though certain industries are being replaced by the technology of one kind or another, new ones are coming in to counterbalance this shift. Look at smartphones, as a for instance. Everybody’s got one, but so many users require requisite coverage.

Identifying A Need And Capitalizing From It

Requisite coverage requires infrastructure. It turns out that cellphone towers need to be installed in multiple areas, and in increasing numbers, for big-time communications companies to properly serve their target markets. It also turns out that, strategically, not all areas where a tower needs to go are on public or otherwise easily-accessible land.

With this in mind, many savvy property owners are looking into cell tower rates; according to the link: “New Verizon cell tower lease agreements typically come in two flavors: construction of a new tower or by adding small cell equipment or antennas to your building. If you are a property owner, they want to see if you are interested in leasing your property for the construction of a cell tower.”

You may get contacted by individuals working with cellular agencies like Verizon who are looking to establish better area coverage for their networks. You may also use the internet to search out and identify strategic areas of necessary coverage. All you really need to do is look up a coverage map and see if you have any properties in areas that will need expansion.

It also makes sense to know community trends. Sometimes one area of the community is set to expand one direction, sometimes another area will remain as static as it has been for a few decades to come. You need to know where your community leaders are taking your municipality in order to have the greatest leverage when dealing with cellular providers. This can help you achieve a leasing arrangement which is appropriate to the value you bring.

Rental Considerations

Another way technology is changing property is in terms of rental. If you own a home or building, you can set up an Airbnb account so that travelers can rent the space out under a “micro” lease, or what’s known as subletting. Sometimes they’ll come in for a day, sometimes for a month. If you own an apartment, you can rent it out.

As a property owner, you’re going to have renters in your building who sublet. That means you’re charging them rent, and they’re charging somebody else rent. You’ve vetted the lessee, but you haven’t vetted those they’re bringing in on the sly. While if you own property this can be a great way to maximize it through technology, if you’re renting to lessees, you may also see them put your property at risk through their exploits.

Thankfully, when one door closes, another door opens. There are now agencies which monitor certain sublet websites which potentially undermine property owners. One organization, Sublet Alert, points out: “As a landlord or property manager, your first priority is to provide a safe and comfortable environment for your tenants. At SubletAlert.com, we monitor Airbnb daily. If we find a tenant illegally subletting one of your properties, we’ll quickly notify you…”

Land Considerations

There are millennial property owners today who only actually own land. It may or may not even have a building on it—the land is a place to park a motorhome. Now, many communities have put certain legal arrangements into play which ban this kind of living; but it is on the increase, and there are places where it flourishes.

If you’re in property management now, you may want to look into branching out into its purest form: land itself. With the internet, people can live comfortably wherever they can park legally. Online jobs and motorhomes make it possible to comfortably travel as a lucrative nomad. In fact, this can be done cheaper than apartment living in most places.

 

People have grown wise to the trend, and are following through on it. But the question becomes: what is there to do when the road turns blue? Eventually, roots have to be put down if only for a few months.

Sustainable technologies and off-grid living are also encouraging this land acquisition trend. If you’re an owner of property on what was a ranch or farm, but for whatever reason no longer functions in this capacity, you might divvy it up and sell it to people, or even lease it out to cell companies.

Knowing The Times

If you’re renting to people on your property, you can keep them from subleasing through online alert solutions. You can add cell tower equipment as well, and maybe even install a cellular tower. If you’ve got multiple properties, you can manage them online as well.

That’s quite a suite of real estate management solutions, and anyone in real estate should become familiar with these as even more applications are out there and will develop as time goes by.