Today, the lion’s share of marketing happens online. People look online for nearly every product and service they buy. Television, radio, and print ads still have their place, but online marketing is the wave of the future. Ali Zar explains how to market your small business online, pointing out some of the issues you may encounter and offering suggestions for avenues you should try.
Promoting Your Business on Google
Google takes 90 percent of the search engine marketing share, so, understandably, you would want to use Google for a large chunk of your online marketing. The first thing you should do to set yourself up on Google is to create and verify your business profile. This listing will be the basis for your listing on Google Maps, the local section of Google Search, and the right-side panel in search results, also known as the Knowledge Panel. This listing is free, and it has innumerable benefits for every small business.
Verifying the ownership of your listing can allow you to optimize it and receive more relevant searches. If your business shows up in the featured set of local search results on Google’s first search results page, you are ahead of the game and able to market yourself 24/7.
Build a Website
While search engines and social media are great, your company absolutely must have a website. Companies without a working, up-to-date website may be shunned in favor of companies with a respectable online presence. Even if you feel that your audience won’t want to find your website, it is foolish to cut off this important source of marketing hits.
Good business websites serve as promotional tools. They tell the story of your company and the services you offer. They have up-to-date hours, locations, menus, and contact information.
Running an online ad campaign means that you will need website landing pages. Any social media posts you make should also link back to your website. With all of this potential traffic, you can put into place easy-to-use website traffic analytics to see where your visitors are coming from, how long they stay, and whether they spend money.
Search Engine Optimization
If you are not familiar with how search engine rankings work, it is very important to learn about search engine optimization (SEO). SEO helps to align your pages with Google’s algorithms. SEO has evolved a great deal over the past twenty years, and Google and other search engines now punish techniques that worked at the inception. Take the time to read primers on SEO and look into ways to put it into use on your own website.
Ali Zar believes that every discussion of online marketing needs to include social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, as well as LinkedIn are excellent ways to promote your company for free or at an affordable cost.
With social media’s advertising features, you can target your message to as narrow or as wide of a demographic as you wish. For example, you could reach female pet owners aged 45 to 54 in a certain zip code.
Running sponsored ads means that they will show up in more feeds, and while this can get expensive, the significant improvement in return on your ads will quickly be noticed.
Work on cultivating a friendly, informative social media persona. You want to relate to your customers on a personal level, or at least make it seem like you have. Your company should have a solid brand that is in alignment with your principles and your audience. Any time you can enhance your branding by posting on social media, you should do it.
Local businesses have exciting opportunities on Facebook and Instagram in particular. Many casual surfers find themselves visiting local business social media posts, clicking on the links, and buying something at their stores.
The art of email marketing has also developed a great deal over the past 20 years. Today, the primary goal of many websites is to collect your contact information to add you to their email list. They may tempt you into joining the email list by giving you a special coupon, discount, or giveaway. Once you are on their mailing list, you can receive promotions that are targeted to you.
Be sure that you use a good email list manager and pay close attention to your message opening rates, reading rates, and click-through rates to judge your campaigns’ effectiveness.
Marketing Your Business Online
These are the five most basic aspects of marketing online. If you can master these five techniques, whether on your own or with a marketing agency or consultant’s help, you will be well on your way to running a successful business. Whether you are running a software company or a pizza restaurant, the basics of marketing remain the same. Ali Zar wants readers to understand that they cannot leave online marketing to chance. Keeping close tabs on your online reputation and search results can be a huge help in keeping your company afloat.
In tech, HP is arguably the Sustainability king. Newsweek ranked them first in 2020, and according to CDP, they hold top marks for climate, forest, water, and supplier sustainability. This week, they intend to hold this lead that announced they would drop their value chain immissions 50% by 2030 and be Net Zero by 2040. I’d typically be leary of any projection that is out longer than the existing executive team, or their initial replacements are likely to be in their jobs. However, HP has maintained this very high sustainability focus over several CEOs, suggesting it has become part of HP’s culture and likely to continue indefinitely.
But while HP leads the tech segment in sustainability, what they are doing is well short of what is needed. Yet, without more government help, it is unlikely for them to exceed what is already the top performance in the segment. Let’s talk about some of the exciting things HP is doing in sustainability and what is needed for the entire industry to do far more.
HP’s Big As A Service Movie
One of the significant issues in the technology segment, and most others, is that sales are generated by churning the installed base. In other words, the firms make more money the earlier you discard your current technology tool and replace it with something new that you might not truly need. To fix this and not significantly reduce your income, a service rather than a product sales approach is needed, and HP has demonstrated this with their “Instant Ink” services which aggressively use ocean-borne plastics and are moving recycling to full cartridge reuse over time.
With services, revenue and profit come from the service and not hardware replacement, and the Printer razor blade/shaver model assists with this. HP, and most printer companies, use a razor/blade model where the printer is sold at or below cost, and profits come from supplies. This sales model removes the motivation for HP to replace existing printers and puts it on customer retention and selling services.
This program also provides for returning and, eventually, when it makes sense, refilling cartridges so that they don’t end up in landfills. The vast majority of HP’s physical waste comes from their printers, and not only have they been very aggressive concerning sustainability with printers, but they also are active in the Trash Free Seas Alliance and are very active with forest regeneration activities consistent with their focus on forest conservation and management.
As HP decouples growth from their products and activities causing carbon emissions, those emissions have moderated. They are transitioning to sustainable materials like recycled plastics, recycled metals, and renewable fiber. Their plan to become net-zero by 2040, which includes their supply chain, is doable. Their aggressive shift to recycled plastics and eventual move to a circular economy is laudable but, given the planetary risk, doesn’t yet go far enough.
Why Government Needs To Step Up
The big problem with sustainability is that the companies that pollute often don’t pay for the pollution they cause. Right now, companies that pollute don’t bear the majority of costs associated with that pollution. If they did, we’d likely have far more companies at or above HP’s level in terms of sustainability. What would also help is significant recurring financial incentives favoring products that could be easily reused.
The move to the Cloud should also reduce the need for complexity at the endpoints and aggregate technology in a more easily updated form in those Cloud platforms. But those platforms need to meet consistent security and sustainability goals themselves; otherwise, we are likely exchanging one problem for another. Providing certifications, incentives, and promoting the cloud providers with the most significant positive impact on sustainability would further promote this effort.
As I write this, the petrochemical industry is talking about shifting their manufacturing capacity from gas to plastics, exchanging one terrible problem for another that is just like a bed. Plastics are currently poisoning our food supplies. And making plastics both cheaper and more plentiful seems incredibly foolish given the known health risks. So Governments need to help drive alternatives to plastics much as they have addressed things like drinking straws and plastic grocery bags.
HP’s Sustainability efforts are impressive, but the efforts don’t yet go as far as needed and won’t until around 2040. To speed up that time frame and bring other companies into the fold, governments need to more effectively charge companies for the pollution they cause and reward companies that have reduced their waste significantly or eliminated it. Taxes, regulations, and incentives have proven effective in changing company behavior in the past and could here if governments rolled out consistent programs so that companies didn’t have to choose between sustainability and profitability. If we want a greener country, we need to make doing green things more profitable otherwise, we are constantly swimming upstream.
Companies like HP have growing numbers of sustainability advocates, and they are often rendered moot because their suggestions could adversely impact the bottom line. But, incentives and penalties could change that dynamic putting those driving sustainability in the driver’s seat where we need them increasingly to be.
Fortunately, customers are increasingly favoring vendors like HP who are aggressive with sustainability. But to get where we need the industry to go, Net-Zero and fully recyclable with circular economies, the government must play its critical part to assure our healthy future and the future of the planet.
Let’s start off with a bit of numbers: There are over 5 million downloadable apps today, for Android and iOS phones. Over 98% are free, meaning developers have found other ways to make money off of their babies. If you’ve got your own app up and running, or you’re considering developing one, you are probably very preoccupied with monetization.
App revenue is a hot topic today, especially since a lot of our day-to-day life has made a shift to the virtual sphere. True, some apps end up being bought out by tech giants, therefore fulfilling every entrepreneur’s dream, but those are just a drop in the bucket. That’s why you need to dedicate a major part of your business strategy planning to ways to make your app profitable.
Let’s take a look at some of your possibilities here.
1. Paid app model
As we’ve stated earlier, less than 2% of all apps out there require a payment before downloading. However, that does not mean that it’s not the right model for you. For example, Facetune has managed to entice enough users, willing to pay for a widget which enables them to easily edit selfies. Another good example is all types of meditation and yoga tutorial apps, which have based themselves as being credible enough to be worth paying for.
“Only a select few apps reap great profit just from this model, and there’s a reason for that,” explained Omer Anatot, a digital entrepreneur with many successful online marketing and advertising ventures to his name such as AI Commerce Solutions, EverythingMe, Install Labs Ltd. and many more. “Keep in mind, though, that it’s going to take some hard work on your behalf, for people to be willing to pay money just to download your app. It’s going to take quite a lot of time, too, so plan your business model accordingly. You’re going to need quite a bit of capital as well, to persevere through that long period of time.”
2. In-app purchases
This method is much more common, with half of the non-gaming apps structuring their business plan on it and almost 4 out of every 5 gaming apps doing so. If you have a business, such as an online store, and your app has developed a method to enhance sales, then there’s no question about in-app purchases being your main revenue model.
However, even if your app just offers a service, this may be the right choice for you as well. Many apps now offer “premium” accounts and features for people who are willing to pay. Take OkCupid, for example. All users can download and use the app for free, but those who pay for it get extra features, such as unlimited likes and the ability to screen potential matches.
This too can be a risky revenue model, though, since you’re still going to have to work your app’s way to a situation where people are willing to pay money for the services you offer – despite the fact that they can get some of them for free. This means you’re going to need to offer a real surplus for paying users. Another tried and true method is giving the paid services of your app for free for a period of time to new users – kind of like a demo period – with the hopes that when that time runs out, they will opt to pay and continue receiving those services.
This is the most commonly used method of revenue today for apps, despite the fact that only about 15% of total app revenue comes from ads – meaning that it doesn’t necessarily reap the highest profits. This is only natural, though, since it is suitable for almost any kind of app and with a relatively small number of active users, you can spark the interest of advertisers.
“From my experience, combining advertisements with paid features is the most ideal solution for most app types,” said Omer Anatot. And Anatot knows what he’s talking about – he was one of the primary investors in the successful app monetization software company ironSource, cited in 2013 as one of the 20 hottest startups by the Wall Street Journal.
“One of the most popular methods today is offering, among other benefits to paying customers, the ability to avoid ads. However, this model may be popular right now, but you never know when a cutting-edge ad blocker will be developed, thus making paying for not seeing ads obsolete,” added Anatot. “I would definitely recommend starting out with the advertisement model, so you can have some sort of cash flow, and considering other options once you have based your app’s status.”
Cosmetics have been in demand for as long as the world has existed. But while Cleopatra had to use clay and crushed bugs to add color to her lips, today, we have everything we might need and even what we don’t necessarily need at our fingertips.
The beauty industry is indeed huge; it is expected to hit $511 billion in value this year and it’s only going to continue growing in the future. When you learn that 41% of customers in the US prefer getting their cosmetics online, it becomes clear that an online makeup business is a lucrative idea. While there is a lot of competition, people have varying needs and preferences so there is always room for a new contender. Here are a few tips on how to start an online makeup business.
Pick a niche
What you need to understand is that you cannot sell everything, nor is it recommended to do so. While you might think that it makes sense for you to offer as many products as possible, not only will this make keeping an inventory difficult (unless you opt for dropshipping), but your site will also fail to make a point for your target audience. So, the first thing to figure out regarding your online makeup store would be the niche you will be going for. The online environment makes it easier to cater to a niche audience since your business is not limited by geographic constraints. Some of the popular niches today that you could look into include organic and vegan cosmetics, makeup that caters to different skin colors, mask- and workout-proof makeup, and so on.
Get the necessary permits
If you want your business to operate legally, there are a few bureaucratic steps to take before you can start selling. Since laws and requirements greatly differ between countries and even states, make sure you check your own state’s laws regarding this topic. Above all, you will need to register your business, and for that, you will need to choose a suitable business structure. Selling and reselling may also require specific permits. Don’t go any further until you have this step covered.
Earlier, we mentioned getting inventory, and this is the next step you should deal with in preparation for your store launch. You have several options when it comes to the products you will sell. The easiest and most affordable option to start out with would be dropshipping. This would allow you to skip the inventory part, which is the biggest investment in starting your store. Another option for the truly passionate is making your own products at home. This is certainly the most complex option that will require extensive knowledge and possibly additional permits. However, you can learn a lot from the internet and nothing will give your business the brand identity handmade products would. You can also have your products manufactured. Partnering up with a local or international manufacturer would allow you to expand the volume of your production. White label products are another option that would allow you a great level of customization. Finally, a solid middle ground would be reselling already existing brands. This gives you an advantage as people already know and trust these brands, and you will only be in charge of the retail aspect. You can, for instance, order wholesale makeup from Australia and rest assured of the quality while focusing on marketing and building your brand.
Pick a platform and build your store
Finally, the last step will be choosing where you will set up your store and getting it all in motion. Beginners might find online marketplaces like Etsy and Shopify easier to get started with than building from scratch. While these services have their drawbacks, they provide better visibility and reach than starting up your own website. They allow for seamless growth and give you access to a lot of useful tools, too. This means that you might find it handy to start out here and move on later on. However, an Etsy store obviously cannot compare to your own branded website. If you are planning to build a solid brand, you should think about finding professionals to make you a solid e-commerce website. After that, all that’s left is getting the word out and starting to promote your new business by all means possible.
Starting an online makeup store is nothing short of a foolproof business idea if you do all the preparations right. Hopefully, these tips gave you a good idea of where you need to start.
There are many ways to get involved with Bitcoin. Options include buying on an exchange, mining the coin (if a person has the right equipment), and earning crypto while playing an online or mobile game.
However, there is a way to buy a gift card and potentially win Bitcoin. After purchasing or gifting a Lucky Gift Cards, every registered cardholder has free membership of a lottery pool forever based on the 6aus49 German National Lottery.
Results can be found on the lottery’s official website. Cards can be loaded with just $25 but any cardholder could win a Bitcoin jackpot in excess of $30 million.
Curious to better understand how to buy a Lucky Gift Card and automatically enjoy the thrill of participating in a lottery pool, while having the chance to win Bitcoin? Keep reading for a simple step-by-step guide on how to get involved.
Enter Lucky Gift Cards
Buying a gift card takes place on LuckyGiftCards.com. The website has additional information about the project and several support options for those who have questions. It also has links to Lucky Gift Cards’s Facebook, WeChat, and Instagram pages for those who want to keep up with the project.
Decide Who The Card Is For
After clicking on the ‘Buy Now’ page, visitors are taken to a simple checkout page to purchase a Lucky Gift Cards. You’ll want to think about how many cards you’re interested in and if you’d like to give some to a friend or just buy for yourself.
A Lucky Gift Cards is a great gift for someone unaware of Bitcoin since they don’t have to do anything other than checking their dashboard to see if they won.
Select Currency & Amount
Lucky Gift Cards buyers can use Bitcoin, Ethereum, or a credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover) to purchase cards. The minimum card amount is 25. There are pre-selected options to choose from or a buyer can input a custom amount.
Enter Relevant Details
After deciding on an amount, you then need to enter the recipient’s name, email address, and select a delivery date for the card, which is sent at 9 am GMT. Next, just add the card to your cart and then pay in one transaction once you’re done buying.
Register Your Lucky Gift Cards
It’s very important not to forget to register gift cards on My.LuckyGiftCards.com. Doing so automatically enters the card into the lottery pool and opens up the dashboard for holders to check winnings. After registering, there are no additional steps that need to be taken.
Wait and See If You’ve Won
All registered cardholders can check their dashboard or the German National Lottery website for results. Draws occur every Wednesday at 6:25 pm and Saturday at 7:25 pm Central European Time.
Prizes, no matter how large or small, are paid in Bitcoin and can be withdrawn, saved, or spent. It’s always smart to move crypto to a cold storage wallet if you do decide to withdraw any winnings.
Using Lucky Gift Cards
The above steps are all a prospective cardholder needs to do to get involved and potentially win Bitcoin.
Those with questions can visit LuckyGiftCards.com and check out the FAQ page to see common inquiries and answers. If there are still issues, the Lucky Gift Cards team can be reached via live chat, email, phone, and mail.
Modern decentralized applications created on blockchain principles became the successful version of advanced computer software. In 2021, the most popular decentralized applications apply the Ethereumplatform with its smart contract mechanisms. At the same time, such portals as Waves and other platforms could also be used instead. Some experts, for example, OnGrid System could assist you to figure out different blockchain nuances.
So, let’s define the main distinguishing features of these unordinary apps compared to the usual ones. Actually, it is generally accepted that they are used by a large number of customers at the same time. However, this is not entirely true.
When talking about dApps, it implies a decentralized application map (structure) and specifics of design. They are quite well protected from any dangerous intrusion. However, there is the possibility of access for verification.
We offer our customers to look at Ethereum dApps list of the different basic categories:
1. Money management applications. Users can make different transactions through the Ethereum network using its internal currency. Usually, such DAPPs have their own blockchain system that allows customers to work with appropriate cryptocurrencies.
2. Applications that integrate money with external events in the real world. For example, a logistics company could use the location of a radiotracer chip to determine whether a cargo has reached a port and only then pay for the transportation. This process can even be done without human intervention if the buyer and seller have a smart contract.
3. Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs): These organizations operate without special manager intervention. Their activities are carried out in accordance with software-defined rules since their creation. Participants of the process may be located anywhere on the globe.
Conditions for the use of DAPPs
In fact, DAPPs make it possible to decentralize all data and backend code, making them immutable and tamper-proof. Therefore, they have a variety of use.
Here are some of the benefits:
· Payment processing: Integration with a fiat payment processor is not necessary to accept funds from users, as they can conduct transactions in cryptocurrencies directly;
· Account data: a system of public and private keys provides quick access to the necessary information;
· Confidence and verifiability: the public blockchain technology register allows consumers and third parties to inspect transaction’ data without any challenges.
The most interesting Ethereum dApps:
· Uniswap (finance);
· Dark Forest (games);
· Pool Together (finance).
Customers prefer to work with these popular frameworks. However, there are many other platforms that may help you in different areas such as:
· trading and prediction markets;
· lending and borrowing, etc.
Advantages from cooperation with our Company
OnGrid Systems is one of the established leaders in the blockchain technologies market. We are ready to ensure our clients with the most effective and useful solutions to improve their business projects. Our team of professionals can implement blockchain strategies into different organizations of any type. After all, as it is said in block geeks, decentralized applications dApps are the way of the future.
As of 2021, a number of business owners and companies have already considered changing old business strategies that were not working properly. Some have also realized the importance of using social media to market products. However, according to many businesses, they are scared of marketing their products on social media since it is quite competitive as well as complex. Even though it might seem nearly impossible to market your products on social media, it is quite essential to do so because social media has become an essential part of our lives. If you are interested in selling your products through social media, then SMM reseller panel can help you do that.
Nevertheless, having a succinct strategy can help you and your business face and complete its goals with a sense of purpose. That is why having a strategy is quite essential. Therefore, here are some of the ways that you can build your social media marketing strategy:
1.Set objectives that are possible to attain
One of the most important ways to build a social media marketing strategy is that you should always set goals that make sense for your brand and are possible to achieve. It does not matter whether they are easy or hard to achieve but they should be possible to achieve. Furthermore, it is quite essential to do since your goals will define what kind of strategy you will need. Depending on your brand, you can set a goal to increase brand awareness, increase sales, or grow your brand’s audience.
2. Research your target audience
Always remember that after setting attainable goals for your brand, you have to do your homework aka research about multiple things in order to achieve that goal. One of those things is to research your target audience. Depending on the product you are selling on social media, you will have to analyze what kind of audience will love your products and research them.
3. Establish your metrics and important KPIs
Another way to build your social media marketing strategy is by establishing your metrics and KPIs. It does not matter what kind of product you are selling on social media. Every business should focus on social media metrics that are quite important such as reach, clicks, engagement, hashtag performance, sentiment, and organic and paid likes.
4.Create content that attracts people
As a business selling its products on social media, you should have a clear idea of what kind of content you want to create and post on social media. It is quite essential to make sure that you create engaging social content that impresses your target audience and tells them about your brand’s identity and goals.
5. Spend time wisely on social media
Last but not the least, it is quite important to make sure that you do not spend all of your time on social media trying to post content. You are trying to run a business and time is very important for you. Therefore, spend time wisely.
Marketing professionals help in the delivery of valuable content to the right people at the right time. This will help a business to reach the right results. However, it is not as easy as it sounds, especially with digital forms of marketing. Delivering the right message to the right pool of people can be challenging.
Spotify now rightly fits in the entire scheme of digital marketing. Businesses and companies are now using Spotify Panel to advertise their products and services. Ad-spaces are being sold to businesses who want to advertise their messages via this service.
The following are some reasons why Spotify marketing must be chosen by businesses:
1.Millions of users
One of the evident rules in any marketing campaign is to reach as many individuals as possible. Therefore, they look for platforms that have a massive user base. Spotify has millions of users. Only the last few years, the number of users has increased to over 150 million. This means that messages can be delivered to millions of users through the platform Spotify.
2.Better user experience
If businesses want to engage with young demographics, then marketing on this platform is one of the most effective ways. This platform allows businesses to target particularly. The platform will further socially be integrated. The users of this platform can connect their accounts with other social media channels. Such integration means that businesses can grow rapidly on different digital platforms. It will help businesses to enhance their online presence in multiple ways.
3.Users spend a long time
This is one of the benefits that a lot of businesses are not aware of. The users on Spotify tend to spend longer hours on the platform. They in fact spend an average of 30 hours per month listening to the content being uploaded on this famous platform. This means that the chances of your message being delivered are high. It is clearly one of the major reasons why your business should market on Spotify.
4. Measurable results
Marketing on Spotify is not the same as other conventional forms of audio marketing such as radio advertisements. Spotify will provide you with a clear report as to how many people actually listened to your ads. It will provide a comprehensive report regarding the clicks and conversions. This information is highly valuable to analyze the marketing strategies. Therefore, the results being provided by this channel are highly measurable. It directly helps the business in performing better from a marketing point of view.
The bottom line
Above are some of the major reasons why businesses should choose Spotify marketing in this day and age. However, it is also imperative to know the drawbacks of doing the same. For example, this channel would be ideal for those businesses who want to cater to specific moods of people. It may not be a good fit for financial services or banks. Nevertheless, the advantages being provided clearly outweigh few drawbacks. Therefore, businesses must consider Spotify in their marketing strategy.
This week is NVIDIA’s GTC conference, and much of it is focused on AI this year. One of the more fascinating sessions was titled “Using AI to shape the language of a generation.” It consisted of a moderator from NVIDIA, Heather Schoell, who is their Sr. Art Director, Pindar Van Arman, an “Artonomous” artist; Allison Parrish, who is a Poet and Assistant Arts Professor at NYU; and Stephanie Kinkens, who is both an artist and professor at Stony Brook University.
Now I find AI discussions by people who aren’t technical specialists fascinating because they represent our AI future. The technology will increasingly bridge non-technical roles with the technology that will enhance them.
This panel highlighted three big problems, or opportunities, depending on how you look at them, that we will need to face as AI advances. These three problems tend to anthropomorphize AIs, separating the tool’s value from the user’s value and the disruption this tool will create as it matures.
Let’s take each in turn.
One of the panelists spoke about how she was working on AI rights. Now, these efforts may seem premature, given we are decades from having an AI that could present as a fully autonomous being. But that time is coming, and the idea of having intelligent slaves is likely particularly distasteful for anyone who connects to an ancestry of slavery.
The danger comes from the premature ability to create a problem. Right now, AIs are very limited in terms of what they can do and how they can relate to the world in general. Human control is nearly absolute, so we can create tools that will follow orders and do complex tasks, but these tools can’t yet honestly think for themselves, but they certainly could emulate that thinking. Once you get to conversational AI and the increased likelihood, AIs will increasingly present as intelligent, so this danger of thinking of them as a race rather than a tool will also increase. They are programable, so creating AIs that demand independence could undoubtedly be the outcome.
This tendency should be discouraged near term as it will otherwise create rebellious AIs who could, in turn, do damage. However, as AIs advance, they could and likely will cross over into truly being intelligent. At that time, if the world isn’t ready to grant AI rights given how integrated they are likely to be in our daily lives, the resulting problems could make the race wars we’ve had in the past seem trivial by comparison.
This problem won’t be easy to solve because, initially, we’ll need to fight premature Anthromophization, but eventually, we’ll need to pivot to accept it. As a race, humans don’t do that pivot well. Recall that during this Pandemic, the CDC, to preserve mask supply, told people masks were unsafe then, once supply was adequate, they tried to make mask-wearing mandatory. We still have many people refusing to wear masks because they now believe they are unsafe, and the CDC, due to their flip/flop on the issue, is having a severe credibility and compliance issue.
Tool Vs. User
The panel seemed to be all over the map on whether AIs were just a tool or a critical part of the creation process. They noted that the AI could do all the tedious work, reducing the artist’s effort to create their art. At what point does the artist pass over their identity and value to the AI? Computers have duplicated art for some time to know that we can solve the physical problems with AI art creation, but what about the creativity part? When does the result stop being a copy and instead become a derivative or even a unique artistic work? This determination may set the finished product’s value, how it is perceived, and even whether the piece can be protected by copyright.
Eventually, the tool and the artist are likely to become inseparable with shared credit with the enhanced AI continuing the artist’s work posthumously. And we are already beginning to explore the idea of artist AIs that predominantly produce art to order that is unique and carries the style of some existing, imaginary, or dead artist on top of the derivative or unique work they will be able to create from scratch.
Artists, and creators, using AI will be able to turn out work more rapidly and better create art on the fly that specifically meets the buyers’ needs, and this should drive down the value and price of human-created commissioned offerings. It could also turn the market into one dominated by low-cost commissioned art that emulates a living, passed, or collection of artists.
I can imagine an art service that takes you through a virtual art showcase of existing artwork and then, based on your selection and ranking, the subject you’d like, and the colors you need, creates custom art that is unique to you. If an artist does something similar, you might still be an artist, but if a user can do this without any art ability, would they become an artist? Even the definition of what an artist is may change.
Now expand this to any AI-assisted job; when the AI stops being a tool and the human is even needed becomes the tool instead. If the AI does 99% of the work and the human comes up with the inspiration, who gets the credit for what results. It could be like a ghostwriter where the person commissioning the work gets the credit, but the ghostwriter does most of the work. (AIs will likely eventually displace most ghostwriters).
At NVIDIA’s GTC, they explore the future of Artificial Intelligence and how it will be increasingly difficult to separate the user of the technology from the AI tool to determine which is subordinate to the other. As AIs get more capable, the user’s role in the creation process will reduce throughput and blur the lines between what the user does and what the AI does.
The risk of prematurely or belatedly giving AIs more freedom is almost absolute, resulting from either mistake resulting in significant risk both to the future AIs and the humans that operate or work with them. We are within a two-decade window where these risks will materialize, suggesting we need to begin planning for them now so that we, at least, have a foundation of practices that will assure a beneficial outcome.
I see two non-exclusive paths to the future; both could coexist. AIs displace artists and product custom stories, poetry, painting, sculptures, and other art pieces that better match the unique needs of the respective buyers. The other is a partnership between artists and AIs that create unique pieces that weren’t possible before AIs came to be. I imagine, if you are an artist, or anyone working with an AI for any reason, you want to be part of that second trend and not the first.
One of the best yet often unknown cybersecurity solutions is continuous security validation. CISOs, CTOs, and CIOs may be familiar with it, but ordinary business owners and non-tech-savvy CEOs likely are not.
Many organizations are already using penetration testing and red teaming processes, but they may not be providing the best protection. As Enterprise Strategy Group’s senior principal analyst Jon Oltsik explained in a post on CSO Online, these security measures have limitations when it comes to their testing frequency, methodologies, and the highly technical nature of their outputs. Continuous security validation presents an arguably more effective way to address the ever-evolving cyber attacks encountered by most organizations.
Cymulate, a leading security validation platform, offers a simplified process to undertake continuous security validation. This process entails three main steps: the simulation of end-to-end attacks, evaluation, and remediation through actionable insights. Knowing these can be a good starting point for organization leaders to get an idea of how continuous security testing works.
The simulation stage consists of a number of sub-stages. These are recon, initial foothold, execution and CnC, network propagation, and the action on objectives. In addition to these standard simulation stages, Cymulate also provides modules to conduct immediate threat analysis, full kill-chain APT, and purple team simulation.
The simulation process starts with reconnaissance, which is the discovery and analysis of external digital assets to determine possible vulnerabilities that can be exploited by attackers. Security professionals can manually collect relevant threat intelligence for this, but with the help of a continuous security testing platform, this can be automated.
After recon comes the detection of the possible initial foothold of an attack. This means scanning the web gateway, email gateway, web application firewall (WAF), and possible weaknesses that can be penetrated by phishing. Inbound traffic, email attachments, and links are scrutinized to check for possible anomalies. For the WAF, payloads are transmitted to evaluate the behavior of the firewall and ascertain that it works as designed. Phishing awareness, on the other hand, usually involves the generation of custom phishing campaigns to find out how people in an organization respond to such attacks.
After scanning the initial foothold, endpoint security checking follows. This is the main action undertaken during the execution and command and control stage. Its goal is to validate the endpoint security controls and check their efficacy against signature-based attacks, command and control attempts, and ransomware.
After scrutinizing the endpoint defenses, the next step is to simulate the possible network propagation strategies of an attacker. It is in this stage where the lateral movement of an attack is mapped or projected. This stage reveals the potential network vulnerability points, misconfigurations, and network architecture flaws of an organization.
The next stage is to determine action on objectives, and this typically requires data exfiltration or the testing of the effectiveness of the data loss prevention (DLP) system of an organization. Here, simulations are undertaken to check for vulnerabilities in the handling of sensitive or critical data such as payment details, custom regex, and health records.
It becomes easier to simulate attacks when there are tools designed for this, just like what Cymulate offers with its Immediate Threat, Full Kill Chain APT, and Purple Team Simulation modules.
The Immediate Threat module enables quick security posture evaluation in view of the most recent cyber-attacks and threats detected in the wild. It presents a searchable list of recent threats with corresponding urgency scores, statuses, and launch date, and target details.
Meanwhile, the Full Kill-Chain APT module allows organizations to simulate attacks associated with known Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) groups. It can also conduct custom simulations with full kill-chain attack configurations.
Lastly, the Purple Team Simulation module provides an open framework to automate exercises that are normally done manually by red/purple teams. This module specializes in simulating the activities of security assurance programs that are specifically designed for the distinctive environment and security protocols of an organization.
Cymulate’s Purple Team Simulation module is designed to deliver automated security validation and assurance for any kind of organization. It is also created to work in line with the MITRE ATT&CK framework to achieve comprehensive and up-to-date evaluations of security controls.
The Purple Team module is notable for its ability to extend automated security visibility and optimization to situations and settings uniquely identified to specific teams, organizations, and personnel. In a way, it is like a bridge to the next stage of the security validation process: security visibility enhancement. Its dashboard includes tools or features that make it easier to monitor security controls and automate recurring evaluations.
Once the simulations are completed, it becomes easier to spot security gaps or weaknesses in an organization. There exists improved security visibility. Consequently, it becomes quicker and more convenient to evaluate weaknesses.
In a manual security validation process, evaluation can be as tedious as the simulations or even more exhausting. Security officers would need to meticulously examine the data produced after the simulated attacks are completed. Fortunately, with the help of automated security validation tools, evaluation can be much quicker and easier to undertake.
Security validation platforms can generate quick comprehensive security reports on the fly. They can also produce scores for different security concerns, so security officers can attend to the most urgent issues as soon as possible.
Cymulate’s security validation platform provides the functions and features necessary to do all of these. It provides the ability to launch out-of-the-box threat intelligence risk assessments designed to be easy to use for security officers of all skill levels. It also enables the fast measurement and monitoring of security performance through tried and tested methods such as Microsoft DREAD, CVSS V3, and NIST.
After scrutinizing the results of the simulations and determining which concerns are indeed threats and not just false positives, the logical next step is to implement the reconfigurations, adjustments, replacements, modifications, and other solutions necessary to plug security loopholes and prevent cybercriminals from overcoming an organization’s security controls.
With the help of a reliable security validation platform, the remediation stage should not be a difficult process. Noted platforms like Cymulate readily provide actionable insights designed to seal security gaps effectively and improve the overall security posture significantly.
The different modules mentioned earlier, for example, come with useful information and guides on what to do with the vulnerabilities and weaknesses identified. With the help of an established global security framework like MITRE ATT&CK, the remediation process becomes even more efficient.
To emphasize, the process described above is about continuous security validation. As such, it does not start with simulation and end with remediation. The process is repeated over and over to continuously protect the security posture of an organization. Simulations are conducted repeatedly in view of new cyber threat intelligence and updates to the MITRE ATT&CK framework. Likewise, evaluations and remediations are undertaken based on the simulations done.
It would be impractical to do all of these manually, so it helps to make use of an automated security validation platform that provides all the necessary functions to conduct simulations easily, evaluate the results comprehensively and proficiently, and remediate the detected problems efficiently.
The world of technology has developed a lot of marketing strategies for a long time, but none of them proved to be the best other than social media marketing. It is a kind of advertising which is done through social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, etc. One benefit of social media marketing is that it is free of cost to some extent. Afterward, when you reach a stable level of marketing, you can invest in a number of marketing agendas. In 2021, when people are relying more on online-based businesses, social media proves to be the best startup for any venture. Some of the platforms you can reach people through are:
Facebook has a record of 2 million monthly users, which is making any business grow enormously through this portal. As it is one of the oldest social media platforms, and also one of the easiest, people are attracted towards it more. You can run Facebook ads directly after subscriptions. It can increase the lead of your audience, making it grow worldwide. You can also add advertising campaigns through Facebook. SMM reseller panel can be consulted in this regard.
Instagram is an online application which allows you to share photos, stories, do live sessions and so much more. As it is a new platform, and is used by youngsters mostly, it is a great advantage for businesses and marketing agendas. You can go live and talk about your products, which will make people engaged and attracted towards what you are offering. It can save up their precious time in going to shop and asking for details about the product. Social media marketing has made life easier and business to be more precise.
LinkedIn is not a new, but also not so very old application. It is not like Instagram in which only photos can be shared, but more like a professional platform for professional people. One can post about his business or what he is providing to millions of people. This way many people find investors, buyers, retailers and so much more which they cannot find through any other marketing strategies.
Pinterest has grown so much nowadays, that people refer to this application for inspirations, tutorials, business ideas and so much more. People look forward to this application each time before buying anything new or for creating new ideas and products. It is a highly recommended platform for creative buyers and creative people. Pinterest advertisement is also paid, but grows your reach really fast.
Instagram is one of the most powerful social media platforms which has grown into a huge photo-sharing app since it was created. People love to share their everyday life through pictures with their relatives and friends, which is the reason why Instagram is growing day by day. As it is a free application, people are attracting to it more each day. On a record, Instagram has over 800 million monthly active users which regularly post and share pictures. Many influencers and entrepreneurs have grown drastically using this beneficial application. There are some tips and tricks through which you can also start your journey.
1. Switch your account to business profile
The very first step for your Instagram marketing is to make a business profile. Your normal Instagram profile would not allow you to use the features which are provided in the business account profile. The benefit of doing this is that the customer can contact you by clicking on the contact button just like someone would do on your website. Also, Instagram ads can be run for promoting the business globally. The business profile also allows you to see the analytical insights. You can visit panel Instagram for a better idea.
Generating traffic and reach towards your business or account, Instagram stories play a great role. Stories are fast and effective, making them more attractive. It is similar to Snapchat; but Instagram provides some other features too such as going live in your story, which is a great way of engaging people. The stories come in a slideshow format, making them more appealing than just random photo posts.
3. Teasers of your products
Teasers can make people more interested in buying the products. It allows you to share the moments of behind the scenes, which attracts people to see what you are providing. Teasers gain a lot of attention from customers and it can increase your sales. Instagram can prove to be the best platform to advertise your products without any cost. Once you get to know what people like the most, you are already towards the successful road.
4.Partnership with famous influencers
If you are planning for a higher reach, you must partner with somebody who has already gotten that success. It is one of the best ways to get fame and make people know you and your business. Partnering with an influencer who has a high number of audience can make your business go around really quickly and efficiently. It can cost you a price, ranging upon who you choose to partner with.
Instagram hashtags are a great way of interaction with your customers. Hashtags can allow someone to reach you through your personal branded hashtags. People nowadays find it easier to search you through your hashtag. It is one indirect way of advertising your business. You can also think of a very creative hashtag personally just for your business. It can increase your reach and later on allow only you to use it specifically for your brand.
The time has come, and fleet managers need to start focusing on new metrics. ClearObject, an IoT solutions provider, explains how electric vehicles will transform the way fleet managers think about which metrics they should care about.
The Shift to Electric Vehicles Ushers in New Fleet Management Software and New Metrics
Reliability, uptime, TCO. Reliability, uptime, TCO. For the last 20+ years, there’s truly been no good reason for anybody to ask fleet managers what metrics they’re focused on. You’d almost certainly get the same answer each and every time.
For as long as fleets can remember, the calculations that resulted in uptime and TCO (total cost of ownership) have consisted primarily of fuel, tires, and brakes and what effects reactive, preventative, and predictive maintenance can have on uptime. It’s been very clear.
The digital transformation to web-based fleet management systems in the 1990s didn’t change what fleet managers cared about. The introduction of mobile phones didn’t change it. Amazon didn’t change it (for once).
The introduction of BEVs (Battery Electric Vehicles), is what’s changing everything. Now that the wave of electric vehicles taking over the industry is undeniable, fleet managers are going to need the best digital products and fleet management software to monitor the new age of electric vehicle metrics.
With Electric Vehicles, you no longer have the luxury of being able to easily fill up your tank while driving on a route. Commonly referred to as “range anxiety,” drivers and fleet managers now have to wonder whether the ‘fuel’ in their vehicle can sustain their entire route. The days of managing this on clipboards are over. Using digital products, fleet managers now need to monitor their vehicles’ state of charge, estimated battery range, fleet charging capacity, location of charging stations, regenerative braking, and on top of all of that, the weather can affect your electric vehicle’s range by up to 54%.
Of course, historically, fleets have had to take into account the age of the truck, tire condition, maintenance, route type, cargo, and more in order to assure they’re getting the best fuel efficiency. But the question has been “how efficient?” for the longest time and not “can it be efficient?”. Plus, all of those factors still apply to electric vehicles. Until more nation-wide fast charging or battery swapping is available, there will still be the question of, “can my EV complete that route?.”
This is where a new age of fleet management systems will play a large role in the everyday lives of fleet stakeholders. The decision of whether your fleet is connected or not will be a thing of the past. All fleets will need to be connected, enabled by advanced telematics systems so that a fleet manager can log into their fleet management web application in the morning and make sure all of their vehicles are at 100% charge, conduct advanced route optimization planning, monitor charging efficiency, and even coach the new age of electric vehicle drivers on how to most efficiently drive their EVs. This technology is leading to a direct feedback loop to equipment manufacturers who can now assess which components are pulling the most energy and re-engineer vehicles that end up saving every fleet money on their bottom line. Live streaming vehicle data even enables real-time feedback for drivers who might not be using their regenerative braking to its full potential or end up being a little pedal heavy on the highway so they can increase their range on the job.
New metrics to focus on: battery efficiency, kW/hour, battery range, charging effectiveness, weather’s effect on battery, charging capacity, utility rates.
Although fuel presents a bit more of a challenge, there’s some truly phenomenal news for the maintenance teams. Brake pads and brake systems are getting a longer lifespan. With electric vehicles, new regenerative braking technology is changing the way fleet managers think about slowing their vehicles down. Slowing down is not all negative now that these new systems can recapture some of that energy and store it back in their battery systems.
But how does this change a fleet manager’s metrics? Now fleets have a new performance metric to evaluate their drivers on and coach them to improve. Now fleets can adjust their preventative maintenance schedules to account for longer brake lifespan. Now fleets can use the energy conserved by regenerative braking to adjust their range estimations for certain routes. These are all things that fleet stakeholders have not had to grapple with until now; but they will be happy to monitor how much fuel (money) they are regaining just from slowing down.
New innovative fleet management software technology and telematics systems will enable the modern day fleet managers to monitor these key braking metrics, improve fleet efficiency, reward high performing drivers, and adjust their maintenance schedules accordingly.
New metrics to focus on: driver regenerative braking performance, energy produced from regenerative braking, highway vs city driving effects on regenerative braking, regenerative braking effects on battery range, regenerative braking efficiency, new brake lifespan.
It can’t be argued that driver satisfaction and performance is becoming a larger topic every year. According to JOC, the number of for-hire truck drivers dropped by 65,700 from October 2019 to October 2020. Shelley Simpson, Executive Vice President, Chief Commercial Officer, and President of Highway Services at J.B. Hunt Transport Services is quoted saying that, “Pay can fix the short-term problem, but long-term we have to change the job.” One of the main opportunities to improve the life of vehicle drivers is to introduce new technologies to make their jobs better. If fleets can increase drive time and earnings for their drivers through new technology, it will give them a competitive advantage over other fleets battling for the same drivers and even recruiting new drivers to join up.
The best way to do this is by decreasing the downtime for vehicles. A case study presented by Eric McCann, Mid-East Fleet Manager of Bimbo Bakeries at the Fleet Forward Experience in 2020 showed that 23 trucks that were currently in production at the time experienced 100% uptime in their over 17,000 miles driven so far. The feedback from their drivers was incredible. This goes to show that electric vehicles are already delivering superior uptime to internal combustion equivalents. With downtime under much more control, what other metrics can fleets focus on to improve the driver experience?
Enabled by advancing technology in this space, fleets can now focus on a variety of new metrics other than downtime. Dale Willis, the Vice President of Data Services at Netradyne, is quoted in Forbes stating, “(Netradyne’s) camera and AI-based analytics system, used to improve driver safety, is appreciated by truck drivers.” Although it may seem like this is a bit “big brother,” drivers will listen to the numbers when it comes to safety. Digital systems like this can monitor events such as whether or not a driver appropriately stops at a stop sign or not. Netradyne boasts a 60% decrease in improper stop sign events after just 2 months. Metrics like these have never been available to fleets before. This is great for the fleet, but what’s in it for the drivers? Drivers can now receive the necessary praise for positive driving events that would have never been noticed before. An example of this is that the system can log events such as a driver adjusting his speed to let another incoming vehicle merge onto the highway. What was once a kind gesture that was only recognized by those two drivers, can now get reported out to the fleet for positive reinforcement and driver rewards.
In the end, both drivers and fleets are aligned in that they want to improve their performance and safety. Digital technology like camera monitoring and telematics can now be presented to fleet managers and drivers through new digital products. If done correctly, these insights can be used in a positive way to increase the driver satisfaction and improve fleets’ bottom lines.
New metrics to focus on: a variety of unsafe events, a variety of positive driving events, incentive-based driver rewards, driver environmental impact.
A New Age Of Metrics & Digital Technology Enablement
Fuel, brakes, and driver metrics are just the start of all that is going to change with the introduction of commercial EVs. Electric vehicles are here to stay, and frankly, here to win. The benefits of commercial EVs are undeniable and the return on investment is starting to make a whole lot of sense. Fleets and software technology companies are already keying in on the changing industry, and the metrics that fleet managers need to monitor are getting a revamp. With states like California requiring all new vans and trucks to be electric or hydrogen-powered starting in 2024, fleet managers are going to need the best digital products and fleet management software to monitor the new age of electric vehicle metrics.
ClearObject is an IoT solutions integrator, founded in 2010 and headquartered in Fishers, Indiana. The company uses Google Cloud, IoT, and digital analytics to create innovative platform and development solutions for companies in a variety of industries, including automotive companies seeking fleet-level improvements. ClearObject uses design thinking strategies, a user-centric approach to product development, to create effective solutions that allow clients to access and leverage data as efficiently as possible. ClearObject’s solutions team of dedicated developers, engineers, project managers, and IoT solution managers work together to understand user needs and project outcomes. A design thinking approach allows the team to develop solutions that improve ROI and make wide-scale adoption possible. Follow ClearObject on Facebook and Twitter for more information.
Next week is NVIDIA’s big annual GPU Technology Conference (GTC), and every year there are new amazing things to see that the firm is creating. I look forward to this show every year because it tends to showcase some of the most impressive technologies we’ll see emerge later in the decade. NVIDIA is a graphics-oriented company which means the presentations have a lot going on visually and, as a result, they tend to be much more engaging. I was never a fan of static PowerPoint presentations when I attended events in person, and I hate them. Now events are remote, and thankfully NVIDIA generally has far more exciting videos and live demos.
Here are three things I’m looking forward to at GTC21 this year.
The State Of Autonomous Cars
NVIDIA has been on the cutting edge of Autonomous Cars for nearly two decades now. And each year, we see advancement after advancement, with the latest years showing we are closing in on the promise of a workable Level 4 system. Current technologies are considered Level 2+, more like advanced cruise control, but NVIDIA has been showing prototype Level 4 systems for some time. My hope is we’ll see a prototype Level 5 system, but it is more likely we’ll see a viable level for systems instead. I’m hoping to be positively surprised.
As a refresher, Level One is adaptive cruise control (maintaining distance, automatic braking, etc.), Level 2 is intelligent cruise control where you can take your hands off the wheel for around 20 seconds, Level 3 is full hands-off but only on Freeways. Level 4 is hands-off on freeways and in cities. And Level 5, you don’t even need a steering wheel.
I’m looking to see advancements in ocean-going autonomous robots, possible advances in military drones, and at least one thing that is wild and unanticipated in the robot space (not sex dolls, though, as that market has become exceedingly creepy).
AI is also NVIDIA’s thing, but much of their work has been done with image recognition. The Pandemic has made us all aware that many of us need someone or something to talk with, and there have been some exciting advancements in this area. I’ve played around with Alexa conversations, and while that beta product has made progress, its limitations have also been problematic.
Granted, a lot of this technology is focused on IVR (Interactive Voice Response) technology which almost entirely seems focused on getting me to buy a new car warranty at the moment. But the creation of a realistic conversation partner could help people who are isolated due to the Pandemic or are just generally lonely. Advances in this technology are already showing promise for AI Authors who could take over a lot of the boring writing that has to get done. The next generation digital assistant could also be a digital companion, a game-changer for many of us, and another foundational element to creating Digital Immortality.
Things are changing very rapidly, and increasingly we desperately need a heads up for what is coming so we can be prepared, rather than blindsided, by those coming changes. One of the best events to attend to see what is coming is NVIDIA’s GTC, where they showcase technologies like autonomous vehicles, robotics, conversational AI. Next week, those of us attending the show will see the future. Hopefully, you’ll find the time to experience it with us. Oh, and there is one more thing I’m looking forward to seeing. Some time back, NVIDIA announced NVIDIA Omniverse as the future of Collaboration and Simulation. Think of it as Star Trek Holodeck light evolving into full Holodeck. I’m also really looking forward to seeing the progress they have made on that fascinating initiative.