February 20, 2017

How To Use Visualizations to Boost Productivity

Exploding amounts of data and new technologies threaten to overwhelm companies with more information than they can possibly utilize. The use of visualizations, however, has helped many organizations unify and unleash the power of multiple data sources to make them more productive and competitive.

Large companies routinely demonstrate the impact Big Data can have on sales, employee development and collaboration, although businesses of every size can benefit. 

Research shows that almost two-thirds of all people learn visually. Knowing this, you can understand why the business world places so much emphasis on data visualizations. Still, many organizations rely on text documents, spreadsheets and notepads for critical processes.

Rather than allowing you and your firm to miss the benefits that come with visualization, apply the following strategies and boost your business productivity:

  1. Brainstorming With Mind Maps

Mind Map
You can begin utilizing visualizations right now using basic tactics such as mind mapping. If you start to organize your thoughts in a graphical way, you will quickly recognize what mind maps can do for everyday decision-making processes.

Unlike a list, a mind map can help you demonstrate the relationships between various tasks, ideas and options and use that information to increase your productivity. 

Begin a mind map by placing a topic in the center of a page and then draw lines to relevant ideas and subcategories. As part of the process, you can use various colors and shapes to highlight different types of information. At the end of your session, you will have a page that reveals the full context of your thoughts in a single glance.

Of course, many software products are available that help you create, share and publish mind maps so that your ideas are never stuck on paper.
Mind mapping work so well because it engages both sides of your brain resulting in better ideas and solutions for all your tasks. The creative aspect of mind mapping helps you stay focused and engaged during your planning and decision-making processes. 

  1. Turn Boring Into Appealing

Creating visualizations can help you stay engaged in boring activities and tedious decision-making processes.

Software tools for businesses such as Microsoft’s Power BI application provide you with interactive features that make analyzing large amounts of data easy and fun. Although developer tools for Power BI are available, you can easily utilize the drag-and-drop user interface to integrate data sources, define relationships and produce reports. 

The ability to transform mundane tasks into exciting challenges makes visualization a vital tool for businesses that hope to use Big Data to their advantage.

By representing information in the form of charts and graphs, you can detect and interpret trends based on numerous sources of data. In your career or business, you can create a sustainable competitive edge by using visual tactics to master the ever-increasing amount of information that is available to you.

  1. Visualizations in Employee Training and Teamwork

Business Plan
Not many companies use imagery as part of their training and development program. However, news of how visualization has impacted the programs operated by large companies is encouraging more small and midsize businesses to give new methods a try.

Simple tactics such as the provision of graphics that demonstrate the meaning and relevance of certain concepts can substantially increase the understanding and retention of important information. For example, graphical representations of processes can reduce the time employees spend in training. Showing employees photos of customers can dramatically improve the quality of service supplied by employees. 

Interactive visual systems can rapidly build employee proficiencies and thereby shorten the time required for new employees to become productive. Adding additional visual elements, such as mind mapping can help employees work better in team environments while boosting overall engagement.

Visualizations are now an essential part of any effort to increase productivity in business settings. Companies, business owners and managers who once felt overwhelmed by information can now embrace Big Data and analyze it in ways that help them adapt to internal and external trends.

Meanwhile, the collaboration benefits of visualization have made teams more productive than ever before. Training programs, enhanced by visualizations, reduce the cost of onboarding employees and help companies maintain cutting-edge, highly proficient labor forces.

You should explore ways to use visualizations to improve the results of your brainstorming and decision-making sessions. Leverage the natural human preference for visual learning and increase your business productivity as you and your team reach your business goals.



February 13, 2017

5 Sales Management Tips for Distributors

Finding it hard working your way as a sales manager for distributors? Worry not as you are not the only one. We give you tips below on how you can make it easier for you.

Hire The Right Salesman

This is the one of the if not the most important aspect. Hiring the right salesperson is key as he will be representing you, your team, and the whole company to the public. Some of the characteristic that might help you in finding the right guy is that he ought to be persuasive, charming, and people oriented. He ought to be open to training, plus he ought to know how to be smooth when answering questions about the company.

Finally the right salesman is someone you can see yourself. This is because the right salesman might be the next you. He should be someone you have established rapport with.

Build Long-Term Relationships

Even though you are a sales manager and you are an employee, that does not mean that you should not build relationships with the people around you. Harness camaraderie with your team ad fellow managers, maintain a good working relationships with your channel partners.  Remember that your distributors are proprietors and entrepreneurs. Therefore, they are worthy of your respect at all times.

Bear in mind that every one of us has our own way of maintaining our relationships. A great manager is one who can maintain relations with all the different types of people be it distributor, retailers, or colleagues.

Discuss What is Needed to Succeed

Set SMART goals. What are smart goals? They are specific, measureable, attainable, realistic, and time bound goals. Obviously an acronym, but these goals are also smart because of what they stand for.

Before aiming for anything, talk for with your team and set these smart goals.  A bad goal is something like “we willdistribute all required deliverables by month end.” A smart goal for ten people who has a quota of 15,000 for two weeks is “We will distribute 150,000 pieces of deliverables in two weeks time.” The second one is more specific as it gives how many pieces the team will need to distribute.  It is time-bound as it gives a deadline. It is more measurable, realistic and attainable as it compels the team to reach the quota that they have.

Build A Good Network

Sales teams are often divided based on geographical territory. Within a particular geographical territory there might be many dealers of same brands or different brands but of the same industry This is why creating a network and maintaining good relationships important for manager. This network, together with what you can consider as the the Ultimate Shopify Review Guide can come in handy at anytime. A player might anytime change over to the distribution of your brand. Likewise, you too might find a long list of retailers necessary to distribute your products. In this case your network will assist you as it will play a crucial role as the more people you get to know,the more new channel members you add to your network, the more likelihoods of success you have.

Provide Good Customer Service

Just like maintaining good relationships with your colleagues, partners, and dealers, the number one person that you should please is always the customer.  If the customer has any questions, make sure to address them. If you do not know the answers, tell them that you will get back, and make sure to do so. Remember that word of mouth is a great marketing tool, and this will always be from good customer service.

Author Bio:

Julian Hooks the brains behind the Advertising Commissions digital marketing agency. Helping businesses grow their presence on the web is one of his many passions. Check out his Ultimate Guide to Local SEO or the Ultimate Shopify Review Guide for eCommerce.

February 06, 2017

In the news ... Feb 6, 2017

Traditional media develop online strategy for survival in digital age

BUILDING online communities is a key survival strategy for the operators of traditional media in an age of digital transition along with creating original content, media experts suggest.

“Viewership via both TV and online platforms is growing together. Digital content distribution will never kill or replace the way we consume TV shows on normal screens,” said Chalakorn Panyashom, chief operating officer of Workpoint Entertainment, broadcaster of the Workpoint TV digital channel.

Read more

Report to offer 'ideas' for stemming crisis in Canada's media sector 

OTTAWA - Canada's news industry finds itself at a mission-critical crossroads, and needs a helping hand if it is to resume its role as a guardian of democracy, says the author of a major study coming Thursday that is expected to offer a road map of sorts.

The Public Policy Forum study, funded in part by the federal Heritage Department, explores the dramatic decline in the newspaper industry over the past two decades, and how massive layoffs and revenue declines in the professional news business are affecting democracy.

Read more

Forrester: Digital media spending to hit $118B by 2021

Forrester’s US Digital Marketing Forecast: 2016 to 2021, which the company shared with Marketing Dive, anticipates that digital media spending will reach $118 billion by 2021, but spending is expected to slow as marketers begin emphasizing quality over quantity in digital ad spending.

Read more

Facebook boosts longer videos in algorithm change

Facebook is changing the way it ranks videos in the news feed algorithm, per a company news post.

One of the signals Facebook uses to rank videos is percent completion and that signal previously unintentionally penalized longer videos. The revamped signal weights completion percentage more heavily the longer the video effectively removing the accidental penalty.

Read more


January 30, 2017

3 Tech Tools To Get More Attention In Your Trade Show Booth

Trade shows are considered by many to be a marketing medium that is rooted in old-school methods. It’s where people gather and talk, face-to-face, in a marketing backwater left behind by the tech revolution.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. Successful trade show marketers have embraced and integrated some of the newest major technologies. This tech-infusion has helped them attract more attendees to their booths, and improved their company image as being more modern and relevant.

Here are three of the most popular and growing technologies that exhibitors are using in their trade show booths:

  1. iPads

The iPad (and their less-well known cousins the Tablet Computers) have revolutionized trade shows. iPads allow a booth staffer to carry with them anywhere in their booth a completely self-contained presentation tool. With an iPad, a booth staffer can show visitors photos of products, pdfs of product brochures, client interview videos, presentations (from either a PowerPoint file or a custom-made app), or simply navigate their company website to the most relevant info that supports each individual conversation. All the while using the touchscreen rather than having to use a separate mouse and keyboard. It makes for a smoother, more personalized, and ultimately persuasive conversation.

  1. Touchscreen Flat Screen Monitor

The advantages of the iPad (except for the portability) also hold for its big brother, the Touchscreen Flat Screen Monitor. These have come down in price to the point that more exhibitors are embracing them to allow for a similarly smooth and versatile presentation, but with a larger screen that increases impact and better communication when booth staffers are talking to a group, rather than an individual. They may be sitting on a table, or even embedded in a table top, or they are mounted onto a backwall. As these are more expensive than an iPad, consider renting them for your first show as a trial. If they work well for you, then consider buying your own, depending on the number of shows you exhibit at each year.

  1. LED Backlit Graphics

Backlit graphics have long been a popular visual tool to attract more attendees to your exhibit, especially in the sometimes dimly lit show hall. In the past, backlit graphics required a lot of expensive lights, plus laminated graphics that were delicate and hard to install and transport when scaled up to sizes more likely to make an impact. That has changed for the better, in two important ways. One, LED lights have replaced other forms of lights used for backlighting, because they are now much less expensive, can have a bright white color, and require less electricity, and give off little heat. Also, fabric graphics have evolved in price and construction so that a large fabric graphic can be backlit without need for image breaks or a light diffuser. This double improvement has unleashed the power of backlighting to create much higher impact exhibits. There are entire backwall displays and even island exhibits that have been built completely with backlit graphics.

To bring the attendee stopping-power of technology into your trade show exhibit, consider adding iPads, touchscreen flat screen monitors, and LED backlit graphics. These three tech tools are used by more of your exhibiting peers, and for good reason: because they work! Give them a try, and see your booth traffic and lead counts increase.

About the Author
Brian Gordon is a founding partner of Skyline Toronto, helping companies communicate their message through trade shows, events, and related displays. Clients include a broad spectrum, from Fortune 500 companies to small home-based operations. Areas of expertise include message creation, graphic and architectural design, exhibit display design and build of all sizes, set up and dismantle services locally and throughout the world, repair services, and educational trade show related seminars. Brian can be reached via his website at http://www.skyline.com/toronto-exhibits.

January 23, 2017

What Work-At-Home Professionals Need to Know About Marketing

As business processes and technology advances, the number of work-from-home professionals are increasing each year and the trend isn’t slowing down any time soon. It’s clear why more people are choosing careers that allow them to work from the comfort of their home.

Working at home can be flexible, affordable and more time efficient for both the self-employed individual and the employer. While a good number of freelancers and employees choose to work from home part time, more are choosing to make the transition into a full time schedule.

While moving to a full time work-from-home schedule can be exciting, it comes with its own set of challenges. It’s vital to set up a home office that’s set up for maximum productivity. Freelancers must learn marketing and branding to get clients/customers and build a foundation for themselves.

Work-from-home professionals will also need to choose and learn to use the proper apps and online services to run their business. This article will cover these and other important points to help you establish a career that allows you to work from your home.

1. Build an Effective Landing Page

Landing PageEverybody knows how important it is to have their own website. However, not enough professionals focus on building an effective landing page after they get their website set up. A landing page is basically the page that your web visitors land on after they’ve clicked on your ad or a link on the web.

The most important thing that your landing page should have is a purpose. For example, if the purpose is to generate email leads, then you must use a design and copy that convinces the visitor to subscribe.

Trying to build a landing page for your main page is probably the most challenging as you’ll have to figure out what kind of approach will resonate most with your audience. In this case, you’ll need to do a lot of research to design a landing page for your core audience and make your brand shine.

Use the right visual presentation and copy to engage your core audience while communicating your brand identity and message. Again, the most important thing is purpose and you’ll want a clear navigation path for whatever goal you’ve set for your site.

2. Pick the Right Apps and Online Services

Pick Your Apps
Apps and online services can help you do everything from setting business tasks to run on autopilot, organizing your business processes, to accepting payments. While you have many choices available to you, you want to boil the apps down what will help you with marketing and running your business.

If you’re building a SEO campaign, look for web services that help you manage and build your campaigns. If you’re constantly on the go, look for an app that lets you work remotely on your home computer. As you get more serious, you’ll want to use apps that help you manage your time and manage projects.

3. Be Serious About Your Social Media Game

Having a social media presence is more important than ever. While there are many social media platforms, you want to focus on platforms that is suited for your business model. For example, LinkedIN is best for B2B while Facebook is more for B2C businesses.

To make social media work, you want to stay active on social media and engage your followers. You can do this by regularly pushing out content and promoting your social media pages on your websites. You also need to look at your social media pages regularly to see what your followers are saying and how they’re responding to your content.

4. Create a Productive Home Office

Simple Home Office SetupWhile working at home is convenient, it’s easy to get lost in distractions and regular interruptions. That’s why you have to take your home office seriously.

Start off by working in a space that has very little foot traffic and noise so that you can focus on your work. Then, set a strict work schedule and make sure the family knows that you’re not to be bothered during work hours unless it’s an emergency.

Finally, make sure your office space is equipped with everything you need and is clearly organized. Don't forget the basics – in order to keep your office functional, you need to take care of it regularly, and perform maintenance tasks, just like the rest of your home. You want to prevent yourself from getting sidetracked by not having the things you need or getting lost in a messy environment.

5. Put More of Yourself Out There

Social MediaIf you want to really establish yourself as a work-from-home professional, you have to put more of yourself out there. If you have a social media account, try
to engage your followers by setting up surveys, doing Q&As, running contests and replying to their posts. If you receive an emails from industry peers, take the time out to partake in a conversation or respond to their questions.

If there are industry events or stories that are happening, try to be a part of it to develop some presence. Small actions like these will help you generate leads, build your brand equity and help you develop important relationships.

Bonus Tip: Use Influencer Outreach

If you’re going to use social media, then it’s important that you reach out and develop a relationship with influencers.

Influencers are individuals in their respective fields that have a strong standing or following. By building relationships with influencers, it’ll be easier to get your content distributed, get your products/services reviewed or promoted, receive press coverage, secure business partnerships, and more.

You've got the info, now get to work.

To sum up, working from home has many benefits but it's not without its own challenges. You need to learn how to market and brand yourself, set up a productive work environment, learn how to use technology to your advantage, and constantly put yourself out there. All of this is far from an easy undertaking, but it will be more than worth it once you build a foundation for yourself.

About the author
Jeff E. Brown is a creative professional, a solotrepreneur balancing the career of a self-taught handyman and DIY expert with a knack for interior design and a writer. His two dogs keep him company when he's working on something or typing, while he spends his free time gardening or hosting barbeque parites in his backyard. You can reach Jeff via About.me/jeffebrownwriter.

January 16, 2017

Six web design tips that improve website conversion rates

Web-design-tips-that-improve-website-conversion-ratesYou can improve your sales even if your website traffic remains at the same level. This is due to a new online marketing tool called Conversion Rate Optimization. These are not radical changes, but minor adjustments to customize the content of the website to meet the needs and desires of customers that you want to convert into buyers. Let us explain what it is about. You will see how easy it is.

Opt for a responsive web design

First of all, your website must be mobile responsive. Today people are too busy and do not have much time to sit at the computer and look for what they need. Instead, they prefer to use the phone on every occasion, while waiting in the line, riding a bus, on a break at work. Therefore, your website must have a nice look and be functional on mobile devices, as well as on the desktop.

Navigation helps a ton to convert into a potential buyer

A navigation menu is a guideline for your customers. It must be in a prominent place, visible and at an optimal size. Keep it simple. This is always better and looks nicer. Have enough information and it will be easier for visitors to manage. A winning combination! If you lead your customers smartly through your website, they will soon become your buyers. And that is the goal.

SEO is a thumb rule

As you already know, SEO is vital for ranking your website. But you must use it in the right way. It's not enough to use it randomly or partially, you must keep continuity as well as quality. SEO, at the same time, reduces advertising costs and increases conversion rates as the percentage of customers who complete a call-to-action rises. A proper SEO will boost the traffic on your website, which will increase conversation rates and thus your revenue.

Choose a simple design over complex noise

Everything, that has previously been modern in website design, like animation or flash, you should avoid. What is relevant is a simple design, without unnecessary content. The simple, nice and flat layout is much better than an overcrowded one. If a customer’s experience is not good, they will probably leave the website. On the other hand, simplicity and symmetry are always a pleasure for eyes. Pay attention to this.

Publish great content

The content of the website is crucial. It boosts traffic and increases conversation with customers. Content can be in the form of articles, images or videos, depending on the purpose of your website. Whatever you put on the website must be interesting, intriguing and, if possible, unique. You can collect ideas from others, but you should have your own content, focused on what your website is about. On the Internet, you can find a lot of advice on how to start a blog.

Customize in placing the social media feeds

Social icons should be placed in a sidebar or footer. This will be enough. After all, social media should be used to attract customers to your website, and not to be dragged from your website, shouldn't it? Small icons on the side will not detract from the text that visitors should read. If they want to see your activity on social networks, they can easily push the linked buttons.

Author bio: 

Vincent Hill is an expert writer who writes on different categories like start blogging, content writing, blog design and much more. His writing is not only descriptive but also meaningful. He loves to share his ideas on different categories.





January 11, 2017

In the news ... January 11, 2017

It's time brands woke up to the incentives for understanding disabled people

Failing to meet the needs of disabled people is not just discriminatory, but risks missing out on a massive market opportunity, writes ThinkDesignable's founder.

Gone are the days when "disability" was a conversation reserved for charities and hospitals. As a society, we are starting to recognize that brands and agencies are accountable for representing all of us.

Read more

Marketers of the Year: BMO’s CMO Effect

With everything from fingerprint scanning to chatbots going mainstream, banking today is not what it was in your parents’ day (or maybe not even your older sibling’s, for that matter).

Yet focusing on the simple, physical act of saying “hello” to a customer is just one of the ways BMO Financial Group is making itself stand out, a strategy CMO Connie Stefankiewicz pushed North America-wide.

Read more

In a digital media world, all that matters is your time

In 2011, 20th Century Fox released the film “In Time,” starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried. According to Wikipedia, the movie “takes place in a society where people stop aging at 25 and each has a clock on their arm that counts down how long they have to live.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the above attempt at a plot summary, the film has garnered a 36 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes; even I, a sci-fi aficionado, found the movie confusing and boring.

Read more


January 02, 2017

5 Tricks to Improve Your SEO in 2017

5 Tricks to Improve Your SEO in 2017 that your competition never sleeps, begin a new 2017 year ready. The best way to improve your ranking is the proper and up-to-date search engine optimization (SEO). So, let’s see what you should do to be in the first place in the search engine.

Content Aggregation will get Bigger & Better

To attract visitors to your website and convert them into potential customers you have to provide them with everything they need, what they are looking for. In this sense, content aggregation is paramount for SEO. Through content on your website you attract an audience. It is very important to determine the right keyword or phrase that will lead a search just to you. Think like those to whom you are addressing. What is the word on which you would base the search for what you need?

Use Infographics As SEO Tactic

Since the infographics is a combination of info data and graphics, or better say it displays information in a visual way, be sure to find exactly the one that will best contribute to your ranking. Find a topic that is currently the most topical and publish an article on this topic with the appropriate Infographics. This will bring significant traffic to your website, make backlinks and increase your website’s credibility.

Craze of Mobile Apps Will Grow

Since we live the fast lives and often should be quickly and immediately informed, and the only device that is always available is our mobile phone, if your website is not mobile optimised then do not hope to achieve success. Furthermore, it is impossible to achieve a good ranking if your website does not have the appropriate links to mobile apps. This is imperative today. If you do not know how to do that, you may search Manchester SEO services and find help.

Video Content Will Prevail

It is known that the video leaves a much better impression on the website visitors, your potential customers or clients, but did you know that if you put a video on your website, you will get higher ranking in the search engines? It's enough to put the introduction video for example, and you'll be on the first page of Google search. This trend has already been accepted in 2016 but will be even more topical in the following 2017 year. Keep this in mind when you begin with yearly changes on your website. In doing so, make sure that the content of the video is consistent with the content on your site.

Responsive Design Is The Key To Success

What is responsive design? It is a design of your website that is optimised for the different sizes of the screens. This means that your website must be mobile-friendly. To do that, you must optimise it for a mobile view as well as for the desktop and tablet view. You have to adjust a proper size of the images and fonts, not to be either too big or too small, but just a perfect. Also, put links far enough from each other. Everything must be clearly visible and with easy access no matter whether the website is opened on the desktop, tablet or mobile device.

December 19, 2016

25+ Common SEO Mistakes That Are Killing Your Website (Infographic)

SEO is undoubtedly the key factor that can help your business grow in the online world. From assisting you in improving your site’s ranking on SERPs to generating qualified leads and increasing traffic, there is a whole lot of benefits that can be incurred with proper implementation of SEO strategies.

Additionally, search engine optimization can aid you in enhancing your brand’s image and help you in your task of increasing brand awareness and as such, finding the best SEO tactics that can help you achieve both – good ranking, as well as improved brand visibility, is of utmost important.

However, by nature SEO can be quite overwhelming. It involves various on-page & off-page techniques and can leave you confused, resulting in mistakes that can adversely affect your business. Also, while there are few tried & tested SEO methods that can work wonders for your website, sometimes you need to go in-depth and research these methods before you blindly implement them on your site.

Moreover, there is more to SEO than just keywords and link building and thus, if you want to ensure that your business keeps growing successfully in the long run then, here are some mistakes that you need to fix immediately before it hurts your website’s traffic and ranking.

What are the most common SEO mistakes that you need to look out for?

1. Non-Responsive Website

A responsive website is a key through which you can generate more traffic for your website. By not making your site mobile-friendly or responsive you are losing out on potential customers. Plus, Google can penalize your website if it is not mobile-friendly, which can affect your ranking. Thus, making your site responsive is important to boost your SEO.

2. Slow PageSpeed and Download Time

An optimal page speed and download time are essential for a better user experience. If your site takes ages to load, the user will move on to another site and hence, fixing your site’s page speed & download time is crucial for the growth of your business.

3. No Sitemap

Sitemap is important for both – users as well as search engines. By creating a sitemap you are helping search engine spiders find all your web pages easily, which makes their task of indexing your website smoother & faster. Plus, it makes navigating your website easier for users and thus, a Sitemap is a crucial SEO factor that you can’t ignore.

4. Keyword Stuffing

Like mentioned before, SEO is not only about keywords. While they play an important role, over-optimization of keywords or keyword stuffing can affect your ranking and lead to poor user experience, resulting in high bounce rate.

5. No Social Media Presence

An importation factor that can help boost your site’s ranking, social media can help improve your brand’s visibility and help you generate targeted traffic for your website. Hence, make sure that your business has a social presence on popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

6. Uninteresting Content

Quality and engaging content is the core of all SEO strategies. Your content should be crafted in such a way that it keeps your audience riveted till the end and it is the best way through which you can get more traffic and increase your ROI.

Now, these are just a few SEO mistakes that you need to look out for and fix. However, there are more such common SEO mistakes that can affect your website and if you want to know more… then here is a complete list of SEO mistakes in the form of an infographic that you can look into.

This infographic comprises of 25+ common SEO mistakes that you need to rectify to avoid hurting your site’s traffic and ranking. Give us a reply in the comment box below: which are the most common SEO mistakes you already heard about!



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