AI, Marketing and the Skilled Workforce Needed to Drive Its Progression

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning have become common components of emerging modern technologies, from the algorithms that recommend new products for purchase to the chatbots that provide customer service assistance on many commerce websites.

Some digital marketing now incorporates AI to great effect, and these approaches can be beneficial, particularly in highly competitive spaces.

  • The use of AI in digital marketing can help optimize a user’s website experience by predicting consumer behavior, personas, cycles, and customer service needs.
  • As mentioned above, AI helps to optimize processes, which can benefit return on investment (ROI). AI can make a payment process more secure and frictionless, and machine learning can help collect better data from customers.
  • Search sessions on a site will be improved by AI assistance, since AI will be able to better predict user behavior and search terms.
  • Reaching the right audience for your brand will be an easier and more efficient process with the help of AI, which can allow for better targeting based on behavior, demographics, etc.
  • AI will improve sales models and other predictive elements, as machine learning and other AI-related tools can process data more fully and more quickly than humans.

However, many wonder about what sort of skills or talents are needed in the workforce to fully take advantage of all the benefits of AI-aided marketing. How can AI be implemented in marketing approaches if there is a lack of professionals who know how to develop and manage machine learning and AI-based tools?

While there is currently a talent gap between the needs of these emerging AI-related jobs and the skills present in much of the existing marketing workforce, many marketing professionals are taking the talents they possess — creativity, resilience, and risk tolerance — and working to build up their analytical skills. Many successful marketing professionals are learning skills related to AI, machine learning, and data proficiency through online courses or short-term workshops, or going back to school to learn more about data analytics, programming, and mathematics.

In addition, since AI is a quickly evolving field, agility is one of the qualities most prized by companies seeking individuals who can innovate and develop the technology for new applications. Many companies are finding that, when it comes to working with AI, it is useful to hire professionals who are creative thinkers, who have a high degree of resilience, and who are not afraid to take risks — and then encourage those employees to acquire and refine their skills through training programs or experience on the job.

AI and machine learning are already present in much of the digital space, and the influence of these technologies will only increase in the next few years. AI-aided marketing and AI-skilled employees will be less of a luxury and more of a requirement for companies and brands in the future.

Modern Age SEO Practices that Guarantee Success

Shockingly, in a recent news feature published by CNBC, Overstock.com reported a sharp 13% drop in the 4th quarter revenues for 2017. The company went on to explain that the decline was due to dwindling number of search results. This happened due to changes in Google’s algorithms, because of which SEO strategies failed to have a positive impact. This is why SEO companies in Dubai like Nenen, which specialize in providing services for search engine optimization in Dubai, always keep tabs on changing algorithms of prominent search engines to ensure the most effective optimization strategies.

We take a look at some of the proven SEO strategies that the best SEO agencies in Dubai follow for assured success.

Dependable SEO Strategies for the Modern Age

  1. Creating interactive, mobile-friendly sites: Prominent search engines like Google have added “mobile friendliness” as one of the factors determining the ranking of websites. Considering the huge impact the presence of mobile devices has had, this comes as no surprise. This is why websites need to be mobile friendly and interactive, in order to make a mark. The resolution and layout needs to be different to adapt to mobile screens. The same layout and design might not suit a smaller screen as it does a desktop.
  2. Concentrating on local SEO: Local searches have increased manifold in recent times. Companies specializing in online marketing in Dubai or any other major commercial hub will always advise strategies that can ensure visibility in local searches. Prospective customers need to be able to find your contact details, directions to your location, your opening and closing hours and other such relevant information online easily. Catering to searches that have the name of the location in them is extremely important.
  3. Structured data is the way to go: Search engines need to handle truckloads of information in varied formats. They need to inspect every website and literally “understand” them for making their job easier. This is why, systems like “schemas” that allow the data to be represented in a much more structured way proves to be of help to search engines. The digital marketing agency you engage will help you in engaging these schemas for best results.
  4. Being equipped with the right set of tools always matters: Search engine optimization strategies cannot be mastered alone. Of course, you will need assistance from expert SEO strategists. You will also need help from a set of tools that can be used for checking traffic levels, your ranking, results on social media, incoming links and so on. If you have a large website with plenty of traffic to manage, monitoring the results of your SEO strategies can never be easy unless you select the right tools.

Your website is like your brick and mortar store in the online marketplace. Making it visible and attractive will require meticulous planning and timely execution of online marketing and SEO strategies. Make sure you plan well.

Boost Traffic On Your Business Website With These Design Tips

Building a business website is not as daunting of a task as it may seem, but there are a few specific aspects of site design that work better than others.  To run a successful business website, you first need people.

Focus your efforts on boosting traffic to your website through design.  The more visitors you draw, the more likely it is for you to see your conversions rise.  Here are a few design tips that will help you boost traffic on your business website.

Build an awesome business blog

If your business blog is good enough, it will act as a powerful tool to draw visitors to your website.  Your business blog is the key to spreading your site’s message across the tangled web of the internet.

When people read and share your business blog posts with friends and family, word spreads quickly.  Your blog is also a great place to build your website’s keyword saturation and rank higher in the SERPs.

Ranking higher in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) means that more people will have more of a chance to “stumble” across your business website.  Check out how this business set up their blog presence.   

Learn all you can about SEO

Search engine optimization is just as it sounds.  SEO is a set of concepts which (if correctly implemented) will optimize your website’s position in the SERPs, so web users can more easily find your business site.  

Learn everything you can about SEO, and redesign your website to fall in line with the concepts.  You will see boosted web traffic within the first few days of the change.  Learning how the internet works will enlighten you in many ways.

Optimize for mobile access

As you rework your business design, optimize the website for mobile access.  People are no longer accessing web pages from their PCs or laptops as often as they are using their mobile devices.  

For your website to remain relevant to the technology of the times, you need to optimize for mobile access.  People should never have to pinch or swipe their screen to accurately view your business website.

Take your Google My Business slot

Every business, for the sake of visibility, should take their free Google My Business listing.  Google offers the opportunity to literally make your mark on their maps.

After taking your Google My Business listing, local searches will produce a listing and map marker for your organization.  Brick and mortar locations see a marked increase in traffic after signing up with Google My Business.  

Use high quality media on your site

High quality media looks more enticing to the Google search bots.  Sites with high quality media rank higher in the SERPs. People don’t want to look at pixelated images and wait a whole minute for a page to load.  High quality media will solve these issues and boost web traffic.

The Connected Supply Chain: Get Positioned Now to Play

Game changing.

That’s the impact the Internet of Things (IoT) technology may have on Supply Chain Management generally, and inventory management and demand forecasting specifically. And it’s happening now.

Through 2025, according to projections by DHL and Cisco Consulting Services, the IoT can be expected to generate some $1.9 trillion in value driven by supply chain and logistics applications. By 2020, the firms also estimate that the number of devices connected to the Internet will explode to 50 billion from 2015’s 15 billion.

Supply Chain Management at its simplest involves managing the flow of goods and services from the point of origin to the point of consumption and all the stops in between. A supply chain that’s “connected” stands to yield any number of operational efficiencies. But, at the same time, there will be challenges – not the least of which is bringing businesses current with IoT technology, given the number of outdated legacy systems being used alongside new technologies and assets that are both connected and unconnected.

Among the efficiencies a connected supply chain can create:

· Far better tracking of assets and at incredibly granular levels. The IoT poses substantive advantages by expanding the existing application of RFID and GPS sensors that will track products from floor to store or more. In addition, deeper data dives will be possible on things like storage temperature or length of time on retailers’ shelves. All of this improved data will combine to improve quality control, delivery performance and forecasting.

· Having better data on assets can lead to improved production schedules and also give companies a better perspective on vendor performance. That’s important when up to 65 percent of the value of an organization’s products or services stems from its suppliers. Having a better understanding of how they’re handling supplies and product is a bonus.

· IoT monitoring programs for forecasting and inventory planning purposes are a lot more accurate than what humans can do. Still, data collection can be haphazard, not necessarily providing a good baseline for analyzing product performance and predicting failures. MIT’s Center for Transportation and Logistics, though, has developed an algorithm that builds IoT failure data directly into the equation. It not only helps predict future inventory needs, but has been shown to help reduce stock by 6 percent to 10, a considerable bottom-line impact

The drive to create a connected supply chain is not going to be easy, however. And it’s not just the question of investing in the technology and in the skills that people will need to develop to make it work.

The IoT-connected supply chain is going to result in exponentially larger amounts of data. Simply collecting it won’t be enough. It’s knowing what to do with all the disparate data that will be produced, when much of it will be incomplete, insufficient and inaccurate. This data will need to be accounted for and properly managed in order to lead to the sophisticated analytics that provide insights for smarter decisions. Sound analytics processes, along with the right people and technology need to be put in place.

Without question the IoT is changing the supply chain game. But as this game is a work in progress, your best bet is to start positioning yourself now to be a player.

Understanding the Differences Between Financial Advisors and Brokers

Advice Channel
Advisors Channel

As a fee-only financial advisor, I am surely biased to this type of advisor. I do think everyday investors are much better off if they have someone in their corner who is recommending a particular investment product because it actually is the best product for them, given their circumstances and life stage. Not because there’s a commission on the sale at the end of the day.

That doesn’t mean, though, that you shouldn’t be mindful of possible issues – and that’s for any financial advisor, whether fee-based or full-service brokers. For that matter, you also should be mindful of potential drawbacks to other options that may seem (superficially, at least) appealing.

Let’s look at the options.

Fee-only financial advisors are considered advantageous because there’s no inherent conflict of interest as there can be with full-service or commission-based brokers. Brokers often recommend investments owned by their company, which is an inherent conflict.  You simply have to consider whether the products recommended are going to be best for your personal financial goals.

What you pay for is financial guidance, planning and assistance. This may be a flat fee. Some advisors charge a percentage of your account’s assets. You may be able to negotiate the amount. But, the fees you pay do not fluctuate according to the type of investments that are being recommended. What you get with this approach is objectivity and investment advice that’s unbiased. Your interests and your advisor’s are aligned.

The commission-based approach to financial advisory services is less the norm today than in the past. You open an account or buy a stock or bond and your advisor gets a percentage. Recurrent trading may also be encouraged – which may not be good for investors with a longer-term perspective. This all can pose a conflict with your best interests and goals.

And on the do-it-yourself front? Well, as attractive as this might sound on the surface, consider the relevance of the saying about the attorney who represents himself. For investment purposes, you might find good information online, but it’s just as likely you’ll find speculative information, if not real fake news. Investing is a risky business; if you don’t have the time or the expertise to do an adequate job of qualifying research, get a professional to help. Your future – financial and otherwise – depends on it.

Speaking of your financial future, it’s never too early to start planning for it. That means Millennials – and even the oldest Generation Zs who are just entering the workforce – should be putting money aside as they think about their long-term financial goals. It’s a challenge, of course, especially for those who are still trying to pay off college. Retirement is maybe too much to think about, right?

With that said, I’ve developed a service package to make it less painless. My new Robo-Advisor Professional service package is specifically targeted to the needs of Millennials and utilizes an in-depth financial data collection sheet, as well as a plan discussion with myself, to collect essential information about your financial background and goals.  This provides a strong base of understanding for clients to invest in ETFs through WealthSimple with a superior portfolio manager with a track record of beating the index.

ETFs are ideal for those with more limited resources, as a “wrapper” around a group of securities. They have a cost advantage over individual stocks and can be traded commission free. They’re similar to mutual funds, but with more flexibility as they can be traded throughout the day, not just once.

MONEY News

MONEY News: Mergers and Acquisitions- AT&T and Time Warner Inc.

AT&T’s Stock Could Be a Great Bargain for Investors

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) reached a new 52-week low on Tuesday as the company released its third-quarter earnings which failed to impress investors. AT&T’s revenue of $39.67 billion fell short of the $40.10 billion that was expected. Year-over-year, sales were down 3% as the company saw a decline in its legacy wireline services as well as its consumer mobility segment. Earnings per share of $0.74 also fell short of estimates, just narrowly missing the $0.75 that was expected by analysts.

AT&T also add less wireless customers than was expected, although their postpaid churn rate of 0.84% was well below the 1.08% estimated by analysts.

Despite a soft quarter, AT&T did not adjust down its guidance for 2017.

The stock was only down 1% on the disappointing results, but this is because earlier in the month AT&T’s stock declined 6% when the company sent out a warning stating that it was going to show a net loss of 90,000 video subscribers in the coming quarter.

Had the company not sent out that warning, we likely would have seen more of a decline in the share price. However, there is reason for optimism with the company still working on closing its acquisition of Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX), which will further expand its offerings and solidify a stronger grip on the market.

With a dividend of 5.6% and a price to earnings multiple of just 16, AT&T might be a great buy coming off a poorer than expected earnings result. Over the long term the future should present plenty of opportunities for growth that will more than offset any short-term struggles.

Top 3 Cyrptocurrency Wallet Options for 2017

The interest in cryptocurrency is still growing and it is no longer just a game for geeks or an easier way for the (much) shadier businessmen of the world to conduct their financial transactions. Trading and accumulating cryptocurrency is now being viewed as a legitimate investment opportunity by some more forward thinking people from all walks of life – from a lawyer like www.atlantacaraccidentlawyer.com to Reading real estate brokers, and many more.

There are a number of basics the cryptocurrency newbie needs as they build their new skills – and potentially their new wealth as well. One of the most important of all is a good wallet

What is a Wallet for Cryptocurrency? 

As cryptocurrency of any kind is not actually a physical commodity you obviously do not need a traditional physical wallet to keep it in, but you do still need a wallet. Most of those currently on the market look more like a USB storage card than anything else – if they have a physical component at all, some are just software – but within their tiny ‘brains’ investors store their currency, make their trades and keep up with their records, all within a secure, portable environment.

As cryptocurrency gains popularity so does the number of these wallets available. So which should you choose? Here’s a look at our top three wallet choices

Trezor – Hardware Wallet

As far as hardware wallets go, it is Trezor’s reputation for maintaining the best possible security measures to prevent both physical and virtual theft that is usually considered to set it ahead of the rest of the crowd.

From a looks standpoint it is not as stylish and sleek as some of its peers, but it boasts excellent functionality and versatility, able to store multiple currencies and, even if you make use of a PC that then falls victim to a malware attack your private currency keys are guaranteed to be safe. And that kind of security is probably well worth the style trade off any day of the week.

Ledger Nano S – Hardware Wallet

This is, in the mind of many, the very best choice when it comes to a hardware-based cryptocurrency wallet that is reasonably priced (around $65). Thanks to a series of proprietary apps, it can accommodate multiple currencies at one time – it currently supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Altcoins and Ripple – and it can be used in conjunction with almost any PC, laptop or tablet via a simple USB connection. Once connected it embeds a secure OLED screen to double check and confirm transactions. Its security features are considered to be second to none but as it is a larger investment in terms of price than many of its peers it may be a purchase to delay until you are sure you’re serious about the whole endeavor in the first place.

Jaxx – Software Wallet

Some people just don’t want to be bothered with a traditional cryptocurrency wallet any longer but they find that restricting themselves to a PC based software is inconvenient as well. Until recently though it was a choice of one or the other but the launch of Jaxx has changed that.

You see, Jaxx is an app, an app available for both iOS and Android devices. Once installed – and it can be installed to a PC as well – you can receive funds, view transactions, scan codes and more, even if you are miles from the nearest USB port. There is one downside though. Making use of Jaxx calls for a fairly high level of technical know-how and it does boast a pretty steep learning curve versus a hardware wallet. However, if you have the time and patience to learn, then this free app (yes, free) might very well be worth a try.

Saving Money Using The Internet

The internet can do a lot to save you money, whether you’re trying to spend less for yourself or for your work. Businesses save money online just as easy as individuals do. In fact, businesses can save even more money by doing more things on the internet. Here’s how.

Make Calls Online

Instead of spending a bunch of money on a landline phone system for your business you can invest in VoIP, which not only saves you money but also allows you to communicate through your work number from anywhere you have internet access (you can’t do that with a landline).

The internet has also made video calling, something that was once just imagined in the scripts of science fiction shows, actually possible. You can talk to friends and family members, or business associates and clients, using video calling. If you’re using it for work, you may want to find a good company to go through. For individuals, Skype is a fine, free, option for staying in touch.

Email Your Items

Skip a trip to the post office if you can. Instead of mailing papers via the old school snail mail way, send them in an email. You’ll still need the post office to mail packages, but why waste money on stamps when someone else can pay for the ink to print the papers and files you need to get to them?

Not only are you saving money on stamps by emailing people, you’re also saving money on gas. You can also pay for mailing labels and schedule pick-ups for boxed and bigger items, so you still don’t need to leave the house!

Sell Through Your Own Website

Instead of paying fees to someone else to sell your stuff (like Etsy and eBay) pay one extra fee to turn your own website into an eCommerce site and just sell from there. This allows you more freedom and fewer fees. You can also try to sell through social media, for free.

By setting up your own online shop you can be the boss of how your pages look. You get to pick the photo sizes and details. You get to say whatever you want about your products or services as well.

Use Social Media For Advertising

Social media is a good place to sell sometimes, but it is also a great place to advertise. Unless you want to pay for boosts from Facebook or Twitter, you can basically advertise for free.

Share links to your products, tell people about sales you are havin, and use social media to launch your new products and services too. Social media allows you to reach people across the world, from all demographics. And it just takes a little bit of time commitment from you.

Marketing Methods That Make Money

Not all marketing techniques are created equal.  There are good and bad marketing practices.  To create a successful enterprise, there must be a solid foundation supporting the company’s marketing department.  A foundation of knowledge and competence will support a winning marketing campaign.

More specifically, small business marketing may add a bit of a challenge to overcome.  Many small, start-up businesses do not have much money to put forth towards marketing efforts, but marketing is imperative.  Here are a few affordable and efficient marketing methods that will make money.

Social Media

Link social media sites to the company website.  Check out the way this web designer chose to incorporate these media giants.  Most web designs incorporate social media into only one piece of their site, but it is far more efficient to build a site that has consistent and instant access to the biggest social media platforms available.

Blogging

Building an engaging and enriching blog presence will build rapport with the online community.  A company’s blog allows prospective clients the ability to get to know with whom they are working.

It also allows for a company to spread its wings of knowledge and clearly display it for the online world to see.  Linking the business’s blog to their social media site will offer an enriching cross-marketing experience that will cost little to nothing.

Email marketing

Email marketing is one of the most affordable and most effective methods of marketing for small businesses.  Most people do not mind offering up their personal email address for the chance to have a little inside information about their favorite businesses.  Take advantage of their interests and send out a weekly newsletter.

Be available to the public

It should never be difficult for customers to contact the company with whom they are conducting business.  Do no be a stranger to the community.  At every avenue, provide a valid method of communication.  Create a “Contact Us” link on the company website, or try offering a remote question and comment box.

Things will inevitably go wrong at some point, and the customer has the right to ease of contact.  Many people will return to a business even if something goes wrong, as long as their customer service handles the situation with respect and class.

Run contests and discounts  

People love contests.  People love saving money even more!  Running company contests and intermittent discounts is an age-old marketing method that works.  Just make it easy for people to enter, and their attention is caught.

All it takes is one moment for a person to become interested in what a company has to offer.  An effective marketing effort is built to seize that moment at every available point of contact.

ISO standards and our place in the global development community

If there’s one thing I’m particularly proud of in looking at the success of Mizrahi Developments, it is the high standards with which we hold all aspects of our operation. We are a private development company and ultimately there are business goals we set for ourselves and we take those very seriously.

Beyond the corporate imperative of running a profitable enterprise, I have always stressed the need to bring value to communities in which we are privileged to work. That’s one reason why we place such a high premium in our commitment to our ISO 9001 certification.

For those who don’t know, ISO stands for International Organization for Standardization, a worldwide federation of National Standards. We are among the small but growing number of companies in Canada to align with like-minded enterprises all over the world in demanding more from ourselves. Founded in Geneva, Switzerland in 1946, ISO 9001 is an International Quality Management System (QMS) Standard. Its aim is to help a wide range of organizations ensure that they meet the needs of customers and other stakeholders, while also meeting statutory and regulatory requirements.

ISO 9001 is based on internationally recognized quality management principles set out by the International Standards Organization (ISO). It first became popular in Europe and has since grown to become a global standard.

As I’ve described in the media in the past, ISO is a self-imposed fitness test that Mizrahi Developments has adopted in order to ensure we are not just meeting, but surpassing the expectations of our customers. My point is, it’s not enough to simply do what is required — achieving true excellence means we as a company must strive to be the absolute best we can be in terms of running at superior levels of competence and developing real estate projects of superior quality and construction.

I would encourage other entrepreneurs and business leaders, regardless of the product or service they provide, to look seriously at this quality management system because ISO 9001 certification is recognized and respected throughout the world. Beyond that, it sends a message to clients and colleagues that you are serious about going above and beyond what’s merely expected of you.

Importantly, over the years, our adoption of ISO standards has allowed Mizrahi Developments to streamline our custom construction process by codifying all potential design changes. That creates a roadmap for us to follow and allows us to develop projects as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. It also allows us to meet timelines and budgets and, finally, provides reassurance to future residents of our buildings that there’s a third party auditing our process and ensuring we are always exceeding standards.

All to say, we are here for a relatively brief period of time. When that time draws to a close, we should consider the commitment and contribution we’ve made to our communities. In many ways, ISO is part of our commitment. I strongly believe in adding value and enriching neighbourhoods and our communities. If there’s a greater, more noble goal to strive for, I don’t
know what it could be.