Blog Tag: target audience


  • How Your Business Should Be Giving Back This Holiday Season

    holiday donation

    Successful entrepreneurs and businesses give back to the local community and, thus, earn the support and respect of community members and nonprofits. By teaming up and showing you care, your business can amplify its presence in the area and compete with larger entities.

    Success is intrinsically tied to how well the community is thriving on economic, social and cultural levels, so small businesses must remain active participants in their community. Give back with the support of your staff and by networking with area businesses. Try these seven outreach methods to boost how your company gives back this holiday season.

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  • Is Your Company Guilty of Inconsistent Branding Strategies?

    brand attributes

    A consistent brand image makes your business instantly recognizable to the public. Consider some of the larger companies out there and how their branding works. For example, when you think about Subway, does freshness come to mind? When you think about Nike, you likely think about fitness or sports. These brands have consistently advertised their companies in a way that creates a powerful image that stays with consumers.

    In a survey of 3,000 consumers, researchers found more people are looking for an omnichannel shopping experience, where they interact with brands across physical and digital platforms. As the way consumers shop changes, look for ways to present a consistent image across every channel where your company does business. Inconsistency may make you seem untrustworthy, and at best, will confuse your customers.

    Minor differences in marketing are sometimes tricky to spot, however. Recognizing where you're not consistent is one of the first steps to fixing your branding issues. Here are nine questions to determine if your branding is spot on or needs some work.

    1. Do You Have a Mission Statement?

    Does your brand have a mission statement? Your mission isn't what you sell, but why you run your company. For example, perhaps you saw a need for working families who want to put quick, but nutritious, meals on the table, so you started a meal kit delivery service. Your mission is to help families enjoy healthy meals that are easy to put together. You may need to brainstorm a bit to figure out what your mission is and what value you add to the world, but with a little work and collaboration with employees and leaders in the company, you should be able to come up with a solid mission statement.

    2. What Is Your Brand Personality?

    Some brands make a mistake because they have one personality on social media and another on their website or in person. You need to figure out what your brand personality is and use it in all interactions with your customers. Think about your typical customer — if you serve generation Z, your brand's personality is probably young and fun. If you serve baby boomers, you might be respectful and serious. Whatever your personality, define it and use the same tone across all content. That helps consumers develop a sense of trust that your brand is authentic and not playing games.

    3. How Do You Involve Current Customers?

    One of your best brand ambassadors is a customer who already loves your product or service. Reward your customers when they refer someone to you. A consumer who comes to you from someone they know is about 18% more loyalthan one who stumbles across your brand accidentally. Companies are sometimes uncertain about how to implement a referral program, so they avoid it. However, all you need to do is figure out the value of a new customer and share some of that profit with the referrer. Get your accountant involved if necessary, but figure out a way to reward your word-of-mouth marketers.

    As for consistency, when you have fans promoting your brand, you must develop a strategy that allows them to share the word about your company, but provides them with the materials that match your image. So, you might post memes on social media and ask followers to share, or you might send out an extra promotional item for them to give away to family and friends. Doing so helps you control the message.

    4. Does Your Team Have Access to Templates?

    If you want a consistent look across ads, social media posts and other elements your team designs, you must create templates different team members can use. Platforms such as Canva and Adobe Cloud allow you to develop a template any member of your design team can download and adapt for a new campaign. So, if you want all your hero images on your website to be a certain size, the template ensures that. However, you can go further and add a frame to all Facebook posts or add a specific font and size for text.

    5. Have You Created Document Guidelines?

    Write down your expectations for how your brand appears. Since your sales team may send out something different than your marketing team or leadership team, it's essential to develop some brand standards everyone in the organization adheres to. Place your guidelines in a readily accessible document and include details such as the tone of voice with examples, commonly used phrases, color palette, typography details and what fonts and sizes get used when and where. Add details to the document as you wade into new marketing outlets. Creating a document also makes onboarding of new employees much smoother, as you'll have references in writing of what represents your brand best.

    6. Do You Know Where Your Audience Hangs Out?

    Small businesses sometimes throw a bunch of marketing out there and hope something sticks, but this isn't the most effective use of your marketing dollars. You must first know who your target audience is, then you can look at factors such as that 55% of 18- to 29-year-olds use Instagram. You must study where your people hang out online, as well as where they hang out in real life, and come up with branding that reaches the right demographic.

    7. How Is Your Internal Branding?

    Did you know your employees are some of your best — or worst — brand ambassadors? They share details about where they work and what they do with family and friends. If you create excitement and consistent internal messages, that will translate when your employees go out into the world. Treat your employees like they're part of a family, and develop a company culture that reflects your mission and brand values. Going back to the example of starting a company to help working moms, how does your business help the working moms on your payroll?

    8. Who Are Your Brand Police?

    Have you ever seen a post go up on social media, only to have the brand remove it shortly after? This situation is a result of inconsistent messaging and not having the safeguards in place to protect your brand from hiccups. Ensure your company has consistent messaging by appointing a few people to police social media posts, advertising, communications with others and anything that goes out with your brand name on it. Ideally, your "police squad" should involve people who've been with the company for a long time and fully understand the values and message behind the name.

    9. Do You Look for Positive Associations?

    Be careful who you align your brand name with. You might have complete control over your image, but if you partner with a brand that suddenly has an image crisis, it can reflect poorly on you. Make sure you fully understand the purpose of any cause you put your name behind. Choose charities in keeping with your goals as an organization. For example, if your mission is to help those working moms, you might team up with an organization that provides free resources to single moms.

    Create a Stable Image

    Uniform branding requires attention to detail and making sure you monitor what people are saying about your brand and how you are communicating to the public. You'll spend years ensuring your branding is consistent — it's an ongoing job. However, the result is a brand consumers recognize and trust, so the effort pays off in the end.

    Lexie 1

    Guest Blog Author: Lexie Lu

    Lexie Lu is a freelance UX designer and blogger. She keeps up with the latest web design trends and always has some coffee nearby.

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  • Marketing Your Website - Through Social Media

    social media marketing

    Once you develop your website, you need to point traffic to the new website. In order to receive visitors and potential leads, you will have to market or advertise your website. One of the best ways to do that is through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Linkedin.

    If you’re just starting to look at using social media to market your website, here are the benefits of doing so:

    Your Website Will Receive Exposure

    Social media is highly effective in generating mass exposure for a website and the associated business’s products or services. This is because billions of people use social media on a daily basis. For example, you can create a business page on Facebook and promote it through paid advertising.

    You Can Acquire International Visitors

    If your website is intended for an international audience, social media will definitely help. Since people across the globe use social media platforms, your website will become visible to them as well.

    It’s Cost-Effective

    Using social media marketing is much cheaper as compared to traditional forms of marketing like radio, print ads, and television. It can be a better fit for a new business' marketing budget. At its most basic, social media marketing can even be done at no cost by simply using the free tools available that allow you to post and engage with customers on your business’s behalf. All you need to do is create an account for your business, and you can begin using these features on most social media platforms for free!

    Boost Your Revenue

    Even if your website is acquiring visitors from other sources, using social media marketing will raise the number of visitors. Therefore, you will be able to obtain more leads and more customers.

    While social media is one of the most effective tools in marketing and promoting your website, there are things you need to do to use social media in an effective manner.

    Determine The Correct Platform

    There are many social media platforms out there such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. In order to establish a brand, think strategically and decide which platform would be appropriate for your business. This depends on your target audience and the type of product or service your website is offering. Different social media platforms have different user demographics, so it's important to know your target audience.

    You may also want to consider developing different types of content for the various social media platforms that suit your business. After all, each social media site has its own unique purpose, layout, and functionality. What works well on Facebook may flop on YouTube, TikTok, or Linkedin.

    Build Better Content

    Social media platforms rely heavily on content like articles, blogs, videos, podcasts, webinars, etc. You need to create content that is highly engaging and attention-capturing. One great way to do this is by providing free information to your visitors in the form of how-to and DIY articles. This will also build trust and reputation for your website.

    Listen To The Needs Of Your Audience

    When building social media marketing, you have to be patient. Success doesn’t happen overnight. What you need to do is listen to the needs and problems of your intended audience and offer them solutions through your products or services. Once that is achieved, your social media campaign will start producing exponential results.

    Optimizing Your Website For Social Media

    Before you start sending social media traffic to your website, make sure that your site is set up and optimized to allow users to easily share your content.

    In order to get the most from Facebook, be sure to implement Open Graph tags on your website. If you are using a content management system (CMS) like WordPress or Joomla, there are a number of plugins that you can use to easily add these Facebook tags. For Twitter, you'll want to make sure that your website can use Twitter Cards effectively. See the developer documentation at, and look for an appropriate plugin if using a CMS.

    These are just two examples, but other social media platforms may have their own ways to link with your website and optimize it for the traffic generated on their site. Make sure to check for these tools with each platform you decide to use. 

    If your website does not use a CMS, you might need your website developer to help with setting it up to allow social sharing. Let us know if you need any help.



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  • Marketing Your Website – Different Options For Analytics

    sample google analytics

    Business analytics technology has opened a host of opportunities and benefits for small and medium-sized businesses to level the playing field with their larger well-established rivals. Through the use of analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, businesses can have up-to-date information about customer preferences and use it to fine-tune their marketing strategies to ensure high sales revenue and growth.

    Google Analytics has been the first choice of many businesses for taking advantage of analytics because it is free and very comprehensive. However, there is a much more comprehensive premium version called Google Analytics 360 that is out of reach for most small business entities, with an annual cost of $150,000.00. That may make it worthwhile to look for cheaper but still more comprehensive paid alternatives.

    This can be crucial for cross-checking data from various points of information to utilize a more robust and comprehensive decision-making process. In this post, we will explore various other analytics alternatives that you may use for your business.


    This is a web analytics tool that provides excellent analytics features for your business. The tool lays out all essential details of customer visits and other analytics-related information in a clear and user-friendly report format, allowing you to have access to all crucial information under one format, unlike in the case of its Google rival.

    Furthermore, Clicky provides updates about customer information in real-time that allows you to be up-to-date with the latest developments and improve your decision-making. Another plus side to this feature is that you can easily use it from the comfort of your phones or tablets and monitor analytics insights on the go.

    Open Web Analytics

    As an open-source analytics tool, Open Web Analytics gives you the advantage of obtaining key insights for multiple websites. The tool provides you both detailed and individual snippets pertaining to each customer visiting your website in terms of referral source, pages viewed, browser type, and location.


    Kissmetrics offers unlimited report samples for analytics information, which means that you can view insights across a wider range of data. Unlike other analytical tools, Kissmetrics is unparalleled in segmenting customers based on the information obtained. This can be helpful for building different marketing communications to appeal to specific customer groups to achieve higher profitability and market penetration.


    FoxMetrics provides you with the benefit of helping you monitor metrics that are unique to your business. Through its API settings, you can configure analytics to respond to specific details that can provide considerable insights about what your customers are doing and gauge how they respond to your marketing campaigns and messages.



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  • Marketing Your Website – Review Sites Like Yelp

    How Yelp Can Improve Your Restaurant’s BusinessYelp Zomato


    The success of a business depends upon its clients and customers; as long as they are satisfied, the business will boom. But if they are not, the business will likely fail. This is true especially for small and medium-sized businesses like restaurants. Since a restaurant provides an important service, it is at the forefront of consumers, and they can expect many reviews on review sites, including map listings.

    Reviews can essentially make or break a restaurant’s business; they can either be negative or positive, and that depends on the level and quality of service you are able to provide as a restaurateur. Online review sites have changed the way businesses are conducted. One of the most popular review sites is Yelp.

    Yelp was founded in October 2004 by Jeremy Stoppelman and Russel Simmons. It is an online review website that publishes crowd-sourced reviews about different types of local businesses. 

    A study carried out by two economists at the University of California showed that there was a link between how people made buying decisions at restaurants and the online ratings of the particular restaurant. For example, Yelp uses a 5-star rating system for businesses, including restaurants; those whose ratings were improved by half a star were the ones that were booked fully during dining hours.

    They concluded that restaurants with good reviews had more customers, while those with poorer reviews didn’t do well. Whether it is Yelp or another site, reviews play a vital role in driving customer growth and sales for a restaurant. Here’s how positive reviews on sites like Yelp can help restaurants attract more consumers.

    • According to a survey conducted in 2012, nearly 72 percent of customers trust and hold online reviews in high regard as much as they do personal referrals and recommendations. Hence, restaurants can acquire more customers by asking their existing ones to write honest reviews about their food.
    • Social media is the best tool for promoting your restaurant and its food. When positive reviews are generated on Yelp, they eventually find their way on social media and, thus, are shared by people belonging to different demographics. Food lovers will definitely flock to your restaurant after they read amazing reviews about a specific dish offered at your restaurant.
    • Before people head out to eat, they usually check out the menu of the restaurant online and decide whether it’s worth it or not. Having reviews placed on the menu is an excellent way to increase your reputation and credibility. A restaurant with high credibility will automatically see an increase in customers.

    Your business will automatically be added to most online directories and review sites over time, but you can also manually add your business listing. If your listing is already present, you should claim it so that you have better control over the accuracy of information. You will also receive notifications when users post a review if you are the listing owner.

    Here are the URLs used to create or claim your listing at some popular directories:


    Google My Business- 

    Bing Places-

    When you add your business listing, be sure that the name, address, and phone number (NAP) match exactly on all sites. This is important to improving your position in local search results.



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  • Marketing Your Website- Hiring An SEO Company

    SEO Company

    Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a comprehensive and complex task. It can be difficult for those that do not work in the field to follow and keep track of all the requirements and algorithms of Search Engines to improve their website's rating. 

    For one, this process requires knowledge about both the technical and creative aspects of website ranking. Secondly, it can take a lot of time. And thirdly, it is an ongoing process. This means that you constantly need to update your website to ensure that it maintains its position in search results. If you do not do this, your website may lose its position, no matter how high it ranks.

    Due to these reasons and many others, Search Engine Optimization is not a job that everyone can perform well. Just like we leave web development, graphic design and other such tasks to specialists, it is better to leave Search Engine Optimization to the professionals. 

    There are many people and companies who can do effective Search Engine Optimization for your website. In addition to knowing all the techniques and tips of the process, they are also aware of the most recent changes any Search Engine has made to its algorithm, and make sure your website always ranks high in search results pages.

    What To Look For When Hiring An SEO Company

    So, you have decided to get help from an SEO company to boost your business. Keep reading in order to avoid wasting money and getting no return on investment:

    • Discuss The Methods That The Company Will Use

    Whenever you consult an SEO company, ask about the methods and strategies they will use to improve your website's ranking. A company that does not discuss its process and methods in detail or does not give you a timeframe for getting the work done should be avoided. A professional and reliable SEO company not only identifies the problems and glitches in your website but also discusses them with you in detail, along with the measures needed to be taken to get rid of them.

    • Stay Away From Companies Promising Fast Results

    Achieving a high ranking on search result pages is a long and continuous process. If a company is making huge claims of bringing your website among the top ranks within a short span of time, consider it as a warning sign and stay away from their false promises. SEO companies that make too-good-to-be-true promises usually make use of ‘Black Hat’ techniques, such as buying links, cloaking, hidden links and text, and keyword stuffing. While this may provide quick results, you are most likely to end up facing a penalty by Google. Search Engines have strict rules and policies against those who do not follow their guidelines and are involved in illegal processes to improve their website ranking.

    • Inquire About Their Strategy For Link Building

    Many SEO companies buy links to improve your Search Engine ranking. However, this is not the right way to go about it. Search Engines have become smart. Spam links no longer provide results. A reliable and professional SEO company is one that takes measures for earning links rather than buying them, such as developing relationships with authoritative websites. 

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  • Marketing Your Website- Paid Online Advertising: A Beginner’s Guide

    online advertising

    Advertising your products or services is the key to business growth and development. Until people know what you are offering and how that can help them, your business will not grow. This is the purpose an advertisement serves.

    Previously, businesses relied on traditional media sources to market their products. But the advent of the internet has changed the face of advertising. The internet is not just a source of information; people widely use it for shopping too. Shopping is not only consumer-driven but also business-to-business (B2B) as well. This has resulted in the evolution and spread of online advertising.

    Companies invest huge amounts of money in advertising their products and/or services online as part of an effort to get more traffic to their websites that will ultimately result in the growth of their businesses. Online advertising has become a multi-billion dollar industry that accounts for over half of the total media spending.

    Different Kinds Of Paid Online Advertisements

    You can increase your online visibility and get more visitors to your website in many different ways. One of the most effective methods is paid online advertising. But if it is not done properly, you may end up wasting a huge amount of money. Selecting the right way to advertise your business online is important. Having a clear idea of what your goals are, and who your target audience is, will help assure that you make good decisions.

    Here, we are highlighting some major methods of paid online advertising to help you select the right kind of advertising according to your needs:

    Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising

    Pay Per Click advertisements (PPC) are those in which you pay money to the publisher only when a person clicks on your ads. These ads can be triggered by doing a search at Google or other search engines.

    Paying for performance is contrary to traditional advertising methods in which you pay for exposure with no guarantee that anyone will take action based on seeing your ads. This creates a big advantage because you can target specific users that take specific actions. For example, you can target users in a specific area searching for products or services similar to those you offer. This makes your advertising more effective and allows you to get the best return on investment.

    Display Advertising

    Banner advertisements are one of the oldest and most common forms of paid online advertisements. They are image-based and appear in different sections (top, bottom, sides) of a website. These kinds of advertisements take users directly to the advertiser’s website whenever a user clicks on them. 

    Banner ads can be purchased as pay-per-click, or like traditional advertising, can be purchased based on expected or actual impressions. An impression is the number of times that a user sees your banner ad.

    One important type of display advertising is called retargeting. These ads are triggered to users that have visited your website and keep your brand in front of visitors for several weeks after their visit. 

    Influencer Marketing

    Social media has created new opportunities to get your product in front of many people. An influencer is a prominent social media user that has many fans that follow their updates. Like a celebrity, having a social media influencer use or endorse your products can cause other people to buy from you.

    As you can see, there are many ways to get the word out about your services. You should consider getting some help from an experienced digital marketer before you get started with online advertising in order to assure the best results.

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  • Marketing Your Website- SEO - What Is It?


    SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimization.’ It is the process of using different techniques to get more traffic to your website by making it rank high in search results. Search Engine Optimization is an essential component of business marketing that consists of both creative and technical elements and is needed for improving your website’s ranking and getting more visitors.

    The world today is connected through complex information technology, and people have been using the internet in every discipline in order to perform all their tasks. This has also increased the reach of businesses as they can now connect with millions of people to sell their products or services. But, they need to take certain measures to ensure people can easily find them, visit their websites and buy their products or services. 

    Since most people use search engines to find goods and services, search engines control the majority of web traffic. Therefore, businesses need to make sure that their websites appear high in search results on all major search engines. This process of attracting a large number of people to your website is called ‘Search Engine Optimization.’

    Search Engine Optimization has become one of the major priorities of businesses today as it aids in growth by directing the right people to your website.

    How To Rank Your Page High In Search Engine Results

    Two major factors that contribute to improving your website’s search engine ranking are:

    • Updated, Quality Content

    Search Engines show only those pages that they consider relevant and authoritative in search results. This means that your website should contain useful, updated and quality content that contains words and phrases people generally use to search for the products and services you offer. These are also known as ‘keywords.’

    • Links From Other Web Pages

    Another important factor that contributes to better SEO ranking is the number of links a website has from other pages. However, the quality of those links also matter a lot. So, focusing only on getting more and more links is not the key to rank high in search results; rather, the quality of those links is what matters. Building high-quality links can be achieved by making your website user-friendly and updating it regularly to include information that users find relevant and useful. 

    Types Of SEO

    There are two major types of Search Engine Optimization:

    • White Hat SEO

    White Hat SEO is the one that makes use of methods and techniques in accordance with Search Engine guidelines such as developing high-quality and useful content, quality links and HTML optimization of websites. Businesses that use this type of SEO are the ones who achieve long-term and sustainable digital marketing goals.

    • Black Hat SEO

    Black Hat SEO is exactly the opposite of White Hat SEO. This type of search engine optimization finds weaknesses in algorithms of search engines and then exploits those weaknesses to get a high ranking for websites. This type of SEO does not follow, and even conflicts with, the guidelines of search engines. Black Hat SEO includes keyword stuffing, spam links, hidden links and text cloaking. This type of SEO might have produced short-term gains at one point, but in the modern world, Search Engine algorithms are too smart to be fooled like this.

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  • Marketing Your Website- SEO Basics

    Search Engines

    In today’s world of information technology, people primarily rely on Search Engines for getting information and for finding solutions to their various problems. Search Engines provide quick results and also give you multiple answers to your questions. Whenever you enter a question in a Search Engine, you get a list of websites that contain information relevant to your query, and these results only take merely a few seconds to execute. 

    Have you ever wondered how this happens and why some websites rank higher than others? There is a whole process behind this phenomenon.

    Fundamentals Of SEO

    Although understanding how Search Engines work is important, this is only half of the equation. In order to improve the ranking of your web page, you need to know more about the functioning of Search Engines. Search Engine Optimization is an umbrella term that entails multiple processes and techniques to make your web page visible to as many users as possible. Some basic steps that can be taken to ensure this are:

    1. Find Your Website’s Current Standing With Google Analytics

    Before taking measures to improve your website’s ranking, it is essential to know where it currently stands in Google search results. Many tools are available for this purpose. Google Analytics is one of those tools. When you link this app to your website, it gives you information about your site’s pages. The information includes whether a page is working or not, the number and location of people visiting each page, links that they click on and the time visitors spend on any page.

    2. Know About The Factors Search Engines Look For When Ranking A Page

    While there are multiple Search Engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo, Google is the most commonly-used Search Engine. Due to this, web developers and companies mainly work according to Google’s rules regarding Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Therefore, learning about the factors that Google looks for in a web page in order to rank it higher in the search results is really important. Some of the important factors are good content, number of links that point to your website, the words that are used in links, titles of content, the words that are used in your content and the reputation of your website. Make sure the words people normally use to search for you are included in your content and those keywords are also used in the links. Also, realize that Google can increasingly evaluate your site’s user experience, and optimizing your website content for users is the most important step of all.

    3. Additional Tips

    In addition to developing high-quality content, using the right keywords and taking measures to earn as many quality links as possible, it is important that you stay updated with any changes in the algorithms of Search Engines. Use ‘Alternate Tags’ to describe videos and pictures on your website. This is important because Search Engine crawlers may not understand images and videos. If your website delivers important information through images and videos, there is a chance that they may get ignored by crawlers if there are no ‘Alternate Tags’.

    These are the basics, but you should realize that SEO is a complex undertaking. In many cases, you may need to consult a professional in order to get significant SEO results for your website. We'll talk about hiring an SEO company in our next post.

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  • Multiple Locations Does Not Mean Multiple Websites

    Whether you run a huge corporation with locations all over the world, or you started a small business that has expanded into neighboring towns, centralizing all your operations into one website simply makes sense. Not only will you reduce costs in design and web hosting fees, but customers of one location might be interested in other locations.

    Creating a separate website for each location is a bit old school, and designers did use that model once upon a time. But, with modern location tools and the ability to segment websites, it is less troublesome to serve up unique pages for each location while keeping everything on one website. Google is also shifting the way that it looks at keywords, domains and websites so that it is not as necessary as it once was to ensure you use a keyword specific to that location.

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  • Seven Tech Leaders Who Changed the Industry (for the Better)

    Tech changes at a lightning pace, bringing us new capabilities with each year. You could argue man has invented items to make his life more comfortable since the beginning of time. In 2400 BC, someone invented the abacus, and in 1657, the Christiaan Huygens created the pendulum clock. But, the explosion of technological advances in the last 100 years is mind-boggling.

    Today, technology geniuses continue to change the world as we know it, improving our everyday lives and taking our tech capabilities farther than we ever thought possible. Here are seven leaders in the industry you may or may not have heard of.

    man adjusting tehnology wiring

    1. Bill Gates

    No list of tech giants would be complete without Bill Gates. He is best known for co-founding Microsoft and changing the interface of computer operating systems, so they were easy for anyone to use. The world likely wouldn't be the same today without the prevalence of user-friendly computers. Microsoft also introduced the world to the Xbox, creating a generation of gamers and changing the way we look at the world of computer software.

    Gates offers inspiration to future tech leaders because of his inventor's spirit. When something is new, the task of inventing a new method or ability from nothing seems daunting. However, if Gates hadn't left school and put everything on the line to see his vision come to life, the world would have missed out on modern software and many other inventions from this brilliant man.

    2. Ginni Rometty

    Ginni Rometty is the chair, CEO and president of IBM. One of her most significant contributions to technology is the way she's integrated artificial intelligence (AI) into other industries. In addition to focusing on new technologies are deployed for AI, she also is at the forefront of emerging technologies such as blockchain and quantum.

    On the personal side, Rometty has a passion for creating a better workplace for women. Under her leadership, the company implemented extended parental leave and a "returnship" program that allows women to return to the workforce with hands-on training. Rometty shows that women in tech can be tough, smart and caring all at the same time.

    young man using laptop

    3. Wai-Loong Lim

    Wai-Loong Lim, the founder of Y Studios, is known for coming up with unique interface and product design solutions, especially in consumer electronics and telecommunication. He has lived and worked in both Singapore and Canada, so he can communicate between the two cultures and accomplish tasks that someone without that background can't.

    Y Studios is also one of the few design companies with a focus on human/robot interaction and user experience with virtual reality (VR), AI and the Internet of Things (IoT). Lim points to cultural context as the basis of his designs matched with innovation in each industry.

    He'd like to be the one to start a movement where people value experiences over things. His goal is designing quality products that last so people don't have to replace them regularly but can spend that money traveling, helping others or seeing the world. Lim proves you can design high-tech products and still live a life of adventure.

    4. Reed Hastings

    In the 1990s, the way people viewed videos began to change. First, VHS tapes became obsolete. As DVDs took their place on video rental store shelves, Reed Hastings had a vision for a service that mailed your movies to you, so he co-founded Netflix. His bigger vision was a service where consumers could stream movies with no wait time whatsoever.

    Hastings still serves as the chairman and CEO of Netflix — he changed the way we view and rent movies. Gone are the big video rental stores of yesterday, replaced with streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Hastings' vision changed the way we experience movies and TV shows.

    laptop being used for technology monitoring

    5. Peter Thiel

    Peter Thiel is the co-founder and chairman of Palantir, a company creating software with the aim of connecting data and human environment. He is the co-founder of PayPal and runs a venture-capital firm called Founders Fund, where he's invested in famous technology companies such as Facebook, Airbnb and Spotify.

    Most people barely remember a time when you couldn't transfer money instantly online. Thiel is one of the first pioneers in digital currency. Imagine a world where you couldn't Venmo cash to your friends for pizza — it wasn't too long ago, actually. Young designers and entrepreneurs should take note that Thiel found success because he saw a need and filled it for consumers.

    6. Mark Zuckerberg

    Mark Zuckerberg is a Harvard dropout, but it's unlikely he regrets that decision as one of the richest men in the world and co-founder of social media giant Facebook. Even though social media wasn't new when Zuckerberg arrived on the scene, he revolutionized the industry by providing a user-friendly platform meant to create opportunities for interaction.

    He also monetized social media in a way that drives business and website traffic in the current online marketing environment. Love or hate the platform, it is still the biggest social media site with more than 2.32 billion monthly active users. Zuckerberg proves you can make a path in an already established industry if you bring fresh ideas and ih3nnovation to the equation.

    7. Elon Musk

    Elon Musk, who founded companies such as Tesla and SpaceX, creates a buzz in the tech industry for his visionary ideas. Tesla produces energy-efficient vehicles, and SpaceX has successfully tested reusable rockets. His goal is to make space travel commercial in the near future. Musk has an impressive background with citizenship in South Africa, Canada and the United States.

    Musk has a passion for revolutionizing transportation in any way possible and has accomplished successful testing others said was impossible. He is an excellent example of going after your passions no matter what anyone else says.

    Find Inspiration From Everyday People

    Although the seven tech names above have accomplished great strides toward technology and made an impact on our society, don't overlook the little guy who knows a lot about technology. You can learn new methods and fresh ideas from anyone with an interest in tech. The seven influencers above are certainly influential, but dozens upon dozens of tech moguls are out there with something to teach.

    Lexie 1

    Guest Blog Author: Lexie Lu

    Lexie Lu is a freelance UX designer and blogger. She keeps up with the latest web design trends and always has some coffee nearby.

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  • Should My Company Invest in Making a Mobile App?

    More and more companies seem to have apps these days. It's a fun thing to tell customers they can download your app, but if you don't think through the pros and cons, an app may wind up costing a lot of money and producing little return. Some industries benefit more strongly from an app than others. However, as a rule of thumb, nearly every company benefits in some way.

    The use of mobile apps is on the rise. Mobile app downloads should reach 284 billion by 2020. Here are some of the reasons you should consider adding a mobile app and a few examples of companies doing mobile right.

    Read more

  • The Best Offline Marketing Strategies for Your Next Campaign

    speaking at event

    Online marketing is a good choice for businesses, since the results are easily measurable and the digital format is less expensive than traditional marketing. Nonetheless, offline marketing is more effective when reaching targeted demographics and delivering specific messages. As a result, businesses are prudent to acknowledge both online and offline advertising as part of their campaigns.

    Seven effective offline marketing strategies that are relevant to most business niches are:

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  • What the Apple Keynote Presentation Taught All of Us

    On Sept. 12, people from all over the world eagerly waited to see what Apple would unveil at its latest keynote address. Missed all the action and felt left out as your tech-savvy friends shared the buzz on the big announcements? No worries. Keep reading to get a recap, plus a rundown of what we can all learn about how and why the tech giant made headlines with this event.

     keynote presentation

    Using a Keynote to Promote Multiple Products Can Be Effective

    Tech analysts had long suspected this Apple event would give insights about the availability of a new iPhone. They were partially correct, because the keynote revealed not one, but three, new models.

    People learned about the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, along with the verifiable star of the show, the iPhone X. Though the X in the name is meant to be read as the Roman numeral for “10,” some people say it may as well signify the letter X — for a shortened version of the word “exclusivity.”

    The gadget has a brand-new, bezel-free design, and the appearance of the phone itself is a strong indicator of Apple’s desired future direction. The iPhone X is also compatible with wireless charging devices and uses facial recognition to grant access to the phone’s interface.

    The iPhone X was the most impressive of the three phones discussed at the keynote, but the others generated interest, too. If you think focusing on only one product at a time during a promotional event is the way to go, Apple did something that might make you re-evaluate that stance.

    Enforcing Exclusivity Does Not Always Draw Criticism

    Navigating to the livestream of the Apple keynote presentation with a Safari browser allowed users to click a button to join the presentation automatically. However, viewers couldn’t watch the keynote on a different web browser, such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. Accessing the content through an option other than Safari was not possible.

    News outlets announced the specification in a matter-of-fact way, rather than bringing up how making the streaming content inaccessible to people on other browsers excludes a significant portion of the audience. It just goes to show brands as big as Apple can do things that force people to use certain platforms without being massively criticized.

    Granted, the majority of individuals who tuned in were significantly interested in Apple’s products. If they didn’t already have access to the Safari browser, they could find a way to download it or borrow a gadget with Apple’s browser installed before the keynote event.

    The Right Event Space Matters

    Normally, Apple’s keynote events are focused on new products. However, this most recent event was slightly different because it featured a new space, too. The 1,000-seat Steve Jobs Theater is a feat of design, with many people saying it’s exactly as its namesake would have wanted it.

    Interestingly, the underground theater is and not as sizeable as the other venues Apple has used for previous events. The latter reality has caused many tech people in the know to speculate the reduced capacity will make attendees feel more honored than ever to be in the building for highly anticipated happenings.

    Though the Steve Jobs Theater is comparatively smaller, any spacious event venue warrants consideration about how to dampen and enhance sounds. Acoustic designers often use special panels to ensure people can hear clearly, no matter where they are in the room. These components minimize echoing, too. Because events in this Apple-centric space occur live while millions watch, the engineers involved undoubtedly made acoustical quality a priority.

    Technical Glitches Don’t Always Signal Doom

    During all the positive buzz about the iPhone X, some people pointed out a minor, but still embarrassing, mishap with the phone’s facial recognition technology. Craig Federighi, one of Apple’s top team members, had all eyes on him while trying to demonstrate the facial recognition technology on the iPhone X. However, the feature failed to work twice, making him have to resort to using a backup gadget.

    The problem caused a momentary drop in Apple’s stock prices. However, it didn’t last long. Later, analysts reviewed the launch event and said it put the brand in an “extraordinarily strong” position. That’s probably because even though the feature failed to perform when in the spotlight, people know Apple characteristically puts significant investment into making high-tech capabilities as good as — or even better than — what competitors offer.

    For example, many Android phones have long had facial recognition abilities, but they can be hacked into if someone merely produces a photo of the phone’s owner. To combat that spoofing problem, Apple reportedly worked with Hollywood mask makers and makeup artists while tweaking the phone’s technology so it would only recognize rightful owners. It even works when people change their hairstyles or wear glasses or hats.

    Premature News Leaks Don’t Spoil Things Too Much, Either

    Much to the dismay of Apple’s executives, the keynote event wasn’t as surprising as it could have been. Major leaks occurred beforehand, reducing the desired “wow” factor. However, tech experts gave their opinions after the event’s conclusion, and most agreed that despite the leaks, Apple still reasserted itself as a brand leader in numerous product categories.

    Apple’s latest keynote reminded us that well-respected mega-brands can easily defy norms and emerge unscathed. That’s even true when things don’t go as planned and the stock market briefly reflects the blunder.

    Lexie Lu

    Guest Blog Author: Lexie Lu

    Lexie Lu is a freelance UX designer and blogger. She keeps up with the latest web design trends and always has a cup in close proximity.

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