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Hackers hijack Tesla’s cloud system to mine cryptocurrency

Hackers hijack Tesla’s cloud system to mine cryptocurrency

  • Tesla's Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud account was compromised by hackers and used for cryptocurrency mining, RedLock said.
  • Other major firms, including Aviva and Gemalto, were affected by similar problems.
  • This incident marks another case of what is known in the cryptocurrency world as "cryptojacking."
  • Tesla said that it did not see any initial impact on customer data protection or the safety and security of its vehicles.
Juicing up the P100D on a trip to Detroit

Tesla's cloud system was hijacked by hackers

who used it to mine cryptocurrency, according to researchers. Hackers were able to infiltrate the automaker's Kubernetes administration console because it was not password protected, cybersecurity firm RedLock said Tuesday. Kubernetes is a Google-designed system aimed at optimizing cloud applications.

This left access credentials for Tesla's Amazon Web Services (AWS) account exposed, and hackers deployed cryptocurrency mining software called Stratum to mine cryptocurrency using the cloud's computing power. Cryptocurrency mining is a process whereby so-called miners solve complex mathematical problems to validate a transaction and add it to the underlying network. RedLock did not specify which cryptocurrency was mined in the cyber breach.

Other major firms, including British insurer Aviva and Dutch SIM-maker Gemalto, were affected by similar problems, RedLock said. But the incident affecting Tesla's cloud system was more sophisticated, and used a number of different strategies to hide the hackers from being detected. RedLock said that it notified Tesla of the cyber exposure and that it was swiftly rectified. Tesla said that it did not see any initial impact on customer data protection or the safety and security of its vehicles.

"We maintain a bug bounty program to encourage this type of research, and we addressed this vulnerability within hours of learning about it," a spokesperson for Tesla said in an emailed statement. "The impact seems to be limited to internally-used engineering test cars only, and our initial investigation found no indication that customer privacy or vehicle safety or security was compromised in any way." RedLock CTO Gaurav Kumar said businesses should monitor suspicious cyber activities to avoid being compromised. "The message from this research is loud and clear — the unmistakable potential of cloud environments is seriously compromised by sophisticated hackers identifying easy-to-exploit vulnerabilities," Kumar said in a statement Tuesday.

"In our analysis, cloud service providers such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google are trying to do their part, and none of the major breaches in 2017 was caused by their negligence." He added: "However, security is a shared responsibility. Organizations of every stripe are fundamentally obliged to monitor their infrastructures for risky configurations, anomalous user activities, suspicious network traffic, and host vulnerabilities. Without that, anything the providers do will never be enough."

What is 'cryptojacking'?

This incident marks another case of what is known in the cryptocurrency world as "cryptojacking." Cryptojacking is a process whereby hackers deploy software that exploits a computer's CPU (central processing unit) to mine cryptocurrency. Earlier this month, it was revealed that hackers had deployed an altered version of the popular plugin Browsealoud to a number of government websites in the U.K., the U.S. and Australia. This version of Browsealoud infected the government websites with Coinhive code, which is used to generate units of privacy-focused cryptocurrency monero. U.S. online news outlet Salon is even asking visitors to its site who use ad blocking plugins if it can use their computing power to mine monero instead.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

Convincing Executives To Buy Into Content Marketing Is All About Demonstrating Value

Convincing Executives To Buy Into Content Marketing Is All About Demonstrating Value


Julia McCoy earned her place as a top-30 worldwide content marketer
two years ago. She's the author of two bestsellers on the topic, the creator of an online course and the founder of a content agency – Express Writers.Today, her agency is about to hit $1M in yearly income for the first time. McCoy’s position in the industry means she talks to hundreds of clients, peers, and content marketers on a regular basis online. One problem she sees over and over: the issue of executive buy-in for content marketing. Executives will drop $7,000 in a week on Facebook ads but still fail to see why they should pay $1,000 for content marketing. Why is that?

McCoy recently sat down to take a look at industry benchmarks, comparing them with her own success with content marketing. Her goal was to create a formula that any agency or in-house member can take to their boss to predict the return on investment for content marketing. McCoy has seen firsthand the success of using organic content marketing. Her agency is 99% fueled by this strategy (comprising new client leads and 99% of sales to date) and she's hit over $4 million in total sales, across seven years. Here's the formula and underlying benchmarks McCoy outlined, ready to take to any boss to convince them of the ROI of content marketing.

The Content Marketing Trifecta 

McCoy calls the formula for figuring out the ROI of content the “content marketing trifecta.”This is because, at its core, content marketing is about driving targeted traffic to a website, converting that traffic into high-quality leads (targeted, “ideal” clients ready to buy) and converting those leads into sales.

In short, this trio of conversions boils down to:

  • Earned traffic = high quality leads = sales

To figure out the ROI from these conversions, McCoy determined a few benchmark numbers to use.

Conversion benchmarks

There are two basic questions when approaching a content marketing ROI formula based on conversions.

  1. What’s the average rate that traffic converts to high-quality leads?
  2. What’s the average rate that those leads convert to sales?

McCoy looked at solid data to get the answers.

First, she looked at Marketing Sherpa’s research about conversion rates on organic traffic. This study found the average conversion rate for traffic-to-leads across industries is 16%. Next, for the leads-to-sales conversion, McCoy honed in on the fact that SEO-generated leads close at an average rate of 14%, while outbound leads have a 2% close rate. These benchmarks (16% for the average traffic-to-leads conversion rate; 14% for the average leads-to-sales conversion rate) provide the base of the content marketing trifecta formula.

The Content Marketing Trifecta formula

Using the benchmark numbers and an individual businesses monthly website traffic data, McCoy’s formula can estimate the ROI of content marketing in earned leads and sales:

  • Monthly Visitors x 16% Organic Traffic to Lead Conversion Rate = X Leads/Month
  • X Leads/Month x 14% Lead to Sale Conversion Rate = X Sales/Month

The formula in action

Here’s how to use the formula via a hypothetical scenario. For example, say your business gets 1,000 monthly visitors on average:

  • 1,000 Monthly Visitors x 16% Organic Traffic to Lead Conversion Rate = 160 leads/month
  • 160 Leads/Month x 14% Lead to Sale Conversion Rate = 22.4 sales in revenue/month

A business with a monthly traffic average of 1,000 could expect an ROI of 160 leads per month and 22.4 sales per month if they start using content marketing.

Does the formula hold up in real life?

Next, to see how the formula held up for an actual business, McCoy tested it out using data from her own agency, Express Writers (EW). In January 2018, EW’s monthly website traffic hovered around 15,470. Plugging that number into the formula brings these results:

  • 15,470 monthly traffic x 16% traffic-to-leads conversion rate = 2,475 Leads
  • 2,475 leads x 14% leads-to-sales conversion rate = 346 Sales

Finally, McCoy compared the estimated number of sales to the actual sales in January for EW.

  • Estimated sales: 346
  • Actual sales: 289

The actual sales were 57 short of the estimated number. McCoy was able to account for the discrepancy due to her agency’s shifted focus to only serving clients who are a good fit for EW’s services. As a result, the average order value went up to $416, a record high for the agency. With this factor taken into account along with the estimates, the formula holds up well.

Use concrete numbers to get executive buy-in for content marketing

The ROI of content marketing is easier to quantify with concrete figures. When executives can see the financial gain that is possible, they’ll be far more likely to get on board. McCoy’s content marketing trifecta formula is an easy tool that will help inspire the buy-in that most marketers need to get the go-ahead.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Marketing.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

Bitcoin hits 3-week high, trading above $11,000

Bitcoin hits 3-week high, trading
above $11,000

Bitcoin continues march higher

Cryptocurrency prices were mixed Tuesday, with the No. 1 digital currency

in the green, reaching its highest level since Jan. 28.The torrid start to the year for crypto investors is slowly abating, with bitcoin BTCUSD, +3.20%  rising to an intraday high of $11,645.12, according to news and research site CoinDesk. The recovery has bitcoin on track to record its sixth daily gain in the last seven sessions.Elsewhere, it’s a mixed bag for other major cryptocurrencies.

Litecoin rose sharply, trading to $244.22, up 9.5% on the day, ether, is up 0.4% at $947.02, bitcoin cash is down 0.7% at $1525.69 and Ripple is off 0.3% at $1.14. Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin grabbed headlines over the weekend when he warned investors that cryptocurrencies shouldn’t be viewed as a ticket to early retirement and that they “could drop to zero.” In the tweet, the Russian-born programmer added that, “If you’re trying to figure out where to store your life savings, traditional assets are still your safest bet.” On the futures front, the March Cboe Global Markets XBTH8, +13.42% contract is up 14.7% at $11,580, while on the CME Group Inc. BTCG8, +14.32%  the February contract is higher by 15.5% at $11,575.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Stellar, Litecoin, Cardano, NEO, EOS: Price Analysis, Feb. 19

After failing to stem the rising popularity of cryptocurrencies

through their warnings, the central banks have stooped down to funding anti-crypto campaigns. This move will only reduce the confidence in the central banks and encourage new investors to enter the crypto world.

At the same time, the Venezuelan government is planning to launch a new cryptocurrency called the petro. Each new coin will supposedly be backed by one barrel of oil. However, there is a big question on the central bank’s credibility that is issuing the petro. Analysts believe that the petro is most likely to end up not bringing the expected results. On the other hand, Bitcoin continues to attract big-ticket investments. After the recent fall, there are reports of a trader buying about $400 million worth of Bitcoin between Feb. 09 to Feb. 12. People are gradually turning positive on Bitcoin once again. Shark Tank’s Robert Herjavec believes that Bitcoin will top its 2017 mid-December high of about $20,000 in the short-term.

Let’s see what does the chart pattern forecast?

BTC/USD

Traders who follow us are carrying long positions that triggered on Feb. 15. We had recommended booking 50 percent profits at the 50-day SMA, and most traders should have sold when Bitcoin rallied to an intraday high of $11,348.99, yesterday, Feb.18. We had also recommended trailing the remaining positions with a suitable stop loss. As every trader has a different trading strategy, we did not provide any specific trailing stop loss.

The BTC/USD pair is trading inside an ascending channel. As long as it trades above the support line of the channel, it can reach $12,000 levels. In case of a fall, the support line of the ascending channel and the 20-day EMA will be acting as strong support. If these two levels break, the price might fall to $8,400. Therefore, traders who are still left with 50 percent positions should keep the stop loss at $9,800. We did not recommend closing the complete position because Bitcoin will become positive once it sustains above the descending channel.    

ETH/USD

Ethereum rallied close to the 50-day SMA yesterday, Feb. 18, reaching an intraday high of $979, close to our target objective of $1,000. Hope traders would have book profits on 50% positions. For the past four days, the ETH/USD pair has been taking support at $900 levels. Therefore, we recommend raising the stop loss on the remaining position from $775 to $900. The target objective is a move to the resistance line of the descending channel. If the bulls succeed in breaking out of the channel, a move to $1,200 is likely. On the other hand, if the bears break down below $900, there might be a fall to $780 levels.

BCH/USD

Our target objective on Bitcoin Cash was a rally to the 50-day SMA, close to $1,800 levels, however, yesterday, Feb.18, it turned down from $1,639.251 levels. Our initial stop loss was placed at $1,100. We want to raise this stop loss to $1,400 because if most cryptocurrencies turn down from their resistances, the BCH/USD pair might follow suit. So let’s not lose money on it. On the upside, please book partial profits above $1,750 and hold the rest with a trailing stop loss for a target objective of $2,000.  

XRP/USD

Contrary to our expectation, Ripple continues to trade in a tight range. It has not participated in the pullback like the other top cryptocurrencies. The only consolation is that it is sustaining above the 20-day EMA for the past four days. We had suggested an initial stop loss of $0.86, but we should raise this stop higher because if the top currencies turn down, the XRP/USD pair will also fall sharply. Please raise the stops on the complete position to $0.95. If the tight range resolves on the upside, please book profits on 50 percent position at $1.45. Trail the remaining position for a second target objective of $1.74.         

XLM/USD

Stellar also has been stuck in a tight range for the past four days. It is trading close to our suggested buy levels of $0.45. We anticipate a move to the upper end of the range at $0.63. But for that, the XLM/USD pair will have to break out of the 50-day SMA. On the downside, supports lie at the 20-day EMA, the horizontal line at $0.41, and the channel line at $0.38. For now, please maintain the stop loss at $0.30 on a daily closing basis (as per UTC). We need to consider raising it in a couple of days.

LTC/USD

In our previous analysis, we had recommended to book profits on 50 percent positions at $240, and Litecoin reached an intraday high of $239.5 on Feb. 16. We hope that the traders would have sold half of their positions established at $180. For the past four days, the LTC/USD pair has been trading in a range of about $208 to $240. A breakout of this range will be a positive move, and we anticipate a rally to $270 and then to $307. Our stop loss is currently at breakeven. We want to reduce our risk and pocket some of the paper profits. That’s why we should raise the stops on the remaining 50 percent long positions to $200.

ADA/BTC

We have been bearish on Cardano for the past few days because it has broken down of the bearish descending triangle pattern. Though a pullback to the breakdown levels of 0.00004070 is possible, the cryptocurrency remains negative as long as it trades below the downtrend line of the descending triangle. The ADA/BTC pair is likely to slide to the next support level of 0.0000246. Our bearish view will be invalidated if the digital currency breaks out of the downtrend line, because a failure of a bearish pattern is a bullish sign.

NEO/USD

As NEO is trading inside a descending triangle pattern, we had recommended a quick trade with a long at $121 and a target objective of a rally to the downtrend line of the descending triangle pattern. The NEO/USD pair reached our target objective on Feb. 17, reaching a high of $138.35, where the traders must have closed their positions. An attempt by the bears to sink the cryptocurrency failed Feb. 18. It is currently trying to break out of the downtrend line of the descending triangle, which will invalidate the bearish pattern. If the bulls sustain the breakout, we might see a rally to $169. On the downside, the moving averages and the horizontal line at $120.33 might act as strong support.

EOS/USD

As expected, EOS turned down from the downtrend line yesterday, Feb. 18. The 20-day EMA is at $9.76, and the 50-day SMA is at $10.8. We believe that the bulls will face stiff resistance in the zone of $9.76 to $10.8. Therefore, traders can initiate long positions above $11, if the EOS/USD pair sustains the level for four hours. The target objective on the upside is a rally to $15 levels. The stop loss can be placed at $8.8.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Stellar, Litecoin, Cardano, NEO, EOS: Price Analysis, Feb. 16

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Stellar, Litecoin, Cardano, NEO, EOS: Price Analysis, Feb. 16

After a massive sell-off earlier this year,

the cryptocurrencies are trying to pull back. Among the top coins, Litecoin has garnered all the attention with favorable news and an upcoming fork on Feb. 18. At the same time, Western Union, one of the oldest money transfer companies, has confirmed it is testing Ripple’s Blockchain-based settlement system. George Soros, who had earlier referred to cryptocurrencies as a “typical bubble” has invested in Overstock, through his investment fund. Overstock is one of the most pro-cryptocurrencies businesses, and its stock price has appreciated immensely as the cryptocurrencies skyrocketed.

This shows that the mainstream businesses are slowly recognizing the value of blockchain technology. However, a few old-timers are still skeptical of cryptocurrencies and the latest to voice his opinion is Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman Charlie Munger, who called Bitcoin “totally asinine.” Nevertheless, as traders, if an asset class offers us an opportunity, we take it. Let’s see if we find some interesting plays today.  

BTC/USD

Our recommendation of a long position in Bitcoin triggered on Feb. 15. Traders, who follow us, would have entered their positions between $9,500 and $9,700. We had anticipated that once the cryptocurrency broke out of the overhead resistance, it would rally towards the 50-day SMA. But the price action above $9,500 has not been encouraging.  We prefer breakouts that quickly gain momentum once they clear a resistance area. In this case, the BTC/USD pair is facing selling pressure at the resistance line, as shown in the chart.

If the cryptocurrency holds the $9,500 levels and breaks out of the resistance line, it is likely to continue trading inside the ascending channel and reach the 50-day SMA, where traders can book profits on 50 percent of their positions and hold the rest with a trailing stop loss for a target of about $12,500. Bitcoin is at risk of a bear attack as long as it trades inside the descending channel. Therefore, we want to reduce our risk. We recommend raising the stop loss on 50 percent positions to $8,600 and keeping the rest at the previously mentioned level of $7,800.    

ETH/USD

Ethereum triggered our buy levels on Feb.14. But, it also has failed to extend its pullback. It entered a small range day yesterday, Feb. 15, and is following it up with another short range day today, Feb.16.  While the ETH/USD pair has not given up any ground, it has struggled to move up. Our first target objective was a move to the 50-day SMA, currently close to the $1,000 mark followed by a rally to $1,050 levels. The stop loss remains at $775, because we don’t find any higher logical stop loss level.

BCH/USD

Bitcoin Cash has broken out of the resistance zone and has triggered our buy levels of $1,400 today. We now expect a rally to the 50-day SMA at $1,818, followed by a move to $2,000. Breaking out of the long-term downtrend line and the 20-day EMA is a bullish sign. But if the other cryptocurrencies turn down, the BCH/USD pair may also find it difficult to rally. Therefore, we retain the stop loss at $1,100, below which a fall to $854 is likely.  

XRP/USD

Ripple rose above our suggested buy level on Feb. 14. Despite our opinion, it has again entered into a tight range since Feb.15. As the XRP/USD pair continues to trade above the 20-day EMA, we expect it to gain momentum and quickly rally to $1.5 levels, where traders can book profits on 50 percent positions. The remaining stops can be trailed for a higher target objective of $1.74. Our bullish view will be invalidated if the cryptocurrency falls below the stop loss of $0.86.         

XLM/USD

Stellar broke out of the descending channel and triggered our buy level at $0.45. As the markets have rejected the break below $0.41, we expect a move to the overhead resistance level of $0.63. As long as the XLM/USD pair sustains above the 20-day EMA and the $0.41 levels, a rally towards $0.63 is likely. Hence, we recommend holding the position with the suggested stop loss of $0.30 on a daily closing basis (as per UTC).

LTC/USD

Yesterday, Feb. 15, Litecoin continued its up move, breaking out of the small overhead resistance at $214.483. Our readers are long from the $180 levels. We had forecast a rally to $242, and yesterday, the cryptocurrency reached $239.705 levels, very close to our target objective. We believe that as long as the LTC/USD pair stays above $214.483 levels, it is on target to reach $242. Once above this, a move to $270 and, after that, to $307 is likely. So, traders should book 50 percent profits at $240 and keep a trailing stop loss on the remaining position. For now, we suggest raising the stop loss to break even. Let’s not lose any money on the trade.

ADA/BTC

Cardano has completed a breakdown from the bearish descending triangle pattern. It has one final support at 0.00003700, below which, a fall to 0.0000246 is likely.  The ADA/BTC pair remains negative as long as it trades below the overhead resistance of 0.00004070. We should turn positive on the cryptocurrency if it breaks out of the downtrend line of the descending triangle.   

NEO/USD

Our long position on NEO at $121, suggested in the previous analysis was triggered on Feb. 14. Yesterday, Feb. 15, efforts by the bears to push the NEO/USD pair back below the support of $120.33 failed. This shows that the bulls are providing support at lower levels. Our target objective is a move to the downtrend line of the descending triangle. We recommend raising the stop loss from $100 to $107. We don’t want to hang on to the trade if it falls below $120.33 levels.

EOS/USD

EOS is currently facing resistance from the 20-day EMA. Above this, it is again likely to face resistance from the downtrend line. Just above the downtrend line lies the 50-day SMA. ere is a confluence of resistance in the $9.8 to $10.7 zone, we are not suggesting any trade. We should buy once the EOS/USD pair breaks out of this resistance zone.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

Netflix Shows Are Entertaining But Its Digital Marketing Is Masterful

Netflix Shows Are Entertaining But Its Digital Marketing Is Masterful

Effective digital marketing has more to do with creative strategies focused on the individual customer than it does with big budgets and advanced technology.

In five years, the share of households with a Netflix

subscription has increased 92 percent. Today the majority of households in the United States subscribe to Netflix, and that number is slated to rise this year. Why is this happening? The product is designed so well that you and I have been sucked into shows, only to emerge from our homes days later. The creative team is skilled at creating programs that receive both popular and critical praise. But Netflix doesn’t just produce good shows, it also knows how to use advanced digital marketing techniques to acquire new customers and retain existing ones. Let’s talk about a few of the digital marketing principles that make Netflix so successful. Follow them and you may just see similar results.

Personalized content is the best kind.

What sets Netflix apart from other streaming services? Amazon, HBO and Vudu all have access to thousands of television shows and movies. They offer intuitive user interfaces, and they are available across devices. Yet Netflix is uniquely situated to dominate the streaming video revolution thanks to the company’s obsessive approach to content personalization.

My Netflix homepage looks entirely different from yours. This is thanks to the power of proprietary algorithms that predict what kind of content you’ll enjoy, and hide the rest. On Amazon Prime Video, I can't even find the last thing I viewed there easily. Netflix has them beat here. You might be thinking that content personalization is only available to companies like Netflix that have the capital to employ hundreds of the world’s smartest engineers. But entrepreneurs can also tap into content personalization in a few different ways.

Tools like Optimizely and Adobe Experience Cloud let you to personalize content based on a variety of data points like the country associated with an IP address, or whether or not a visitor is already a lead in a CRM. Based on this information, marketers can choose to display different website experiences in order to better serve the interests of a particular visitor. As an alternative to third-party software platforms, marketers can always “fake” personalization with a little elbow grease. By building behavior based email workflows, marketers can ask email recipients to click various links depending on their interest. Once their interest is registered, the rest of the email workflow can be based on the interests articulated by recipients.

Takeaway:

Remember, personalization isn’t about relying on advanced algorithms. Instead, it’s about identifying and providing the kind of experience the prospect, customer or visitor is most interested in having.

Multi-channel campaigns are key to getting your message out.

Netflix is available on seemingly every device. From computers to smart televisions, users can access Netflix wherever and whenever they want. Marketers at Netflix take a similar approach to promotion. To hype season two of the company’s hit show Stranger Things, Netflix teamed up with Snapchat to release an augmented reality experience. At the same time, Netflix used Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and email marketing to promote the upcoming season.

Takeaway:

Multi-channel marketing isn’t about spending big bucks on advertising stunts. It’s about creating marketing campaigns that meet members of the target audience wherever they "live." In the case of Stranger Things viewers, Netflix knew that their target audience would spend hours on social platforms, so they developed a strategy accordingly.

Simple is powerful in a complex world.

We live in complicated and noisy times. As a result, the average person has an attention span of just eight seconds, according to the New York Times. Netflix chooses to keep things simple when creating a mission statement or designing a user interface. The company’s investor relations page says, “We are a relief from the complexity and frustration that embody most MVPD relationships with their customers. We strive to be extremely straightforward.” It’s no surprise then that for non-customers, the Netflix homepage is so simple it’s sparse. It takes just two scrolls to reach the bottom of the page, and features two messages: “watch anywhere” and “cancel anytime.”

Takeaway:

Use simplicity as a differentiating factor, and make it easy for members of the target audience to understand what you do and how you can help them. Ensure that this approach translates to marketing material, product experience and customer service.

Email marketing is still a key component to customer onboarding.

Despite claims to the contrary, email marketing is not dead. In fact, it’s used by Netflix as a key component of customer onboarding and nurturing. New Netflix customers receive a series of emails that make content recommendations and encourage new users to explore the platform. This is a way of driving platform adoption, which improves customer retention in the long run. Long time customers also receive periodic emails from Netflix. To promote the release of a new show called The Punisher, Netflix sent customers a marketing email that appeared to be spam at first glance. But once opened, the email played a GIF that slowly redacted information until a button at the bottom appeared, encouraging subscribers to watch the new show.

Takeaway:

Email marketing is not dead; unimaginative email marketing is. Netflix marketers invest hours in building creative email marketing campaigns designed to engage and delight recipients. You don't need sophisticated tech to engage people in your database. You just need to understand the target audience, and apply some imagination to email marketing. Netflix is successful thanks to a focus on understanding target audiences. Once that happens, marketers launch creative cross-platform campaigns that deliver simple and clear value propositions. Remember that success in digital marketing isn’t a result of big budgets and advanced technology. It comes from creative and customer-centric strategies.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Marketing.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

Shark Tank’s Herjavec Thinks Bitcoin And Blockchain Are ‘Here To Stay’

Shark Tank’s Herjavec Thinks Bitcoin And Blockchain Are ‘Here To Stay’

According to Shark Tank’s Robert Herjavec,

Bitcoin is “here to stay” in the long term, cryptocurrency will definitely be regulated, and investors should both get in and get out now, according to an interview with financial news outlet TheStreet. While Herjavec says that he himself is not an investor in crypto, he predicts that Bitcoin’s price will continue to rise in the short term, even above

the January high of 20,000:

“It’ll take out that high, I’m saying it right now.”

He believes that cryptocurrencies should and will be regulated, and that as firm regulation becomes closer to reality, the price of Bitcoin will continue to speculate but then drop way down. Based on this idea, while maintaining that Bitcoin is around for the long term, Herjavec tells TheStreet that “I don’t know if you want to own Bitcoin right now. I think you want to get in, and you want to get out,” a mentality that is opposed to the traditional crypto geek’s desire to “hodl,” that is hold onto your coins.

Besides Shark Tank, Herjavec is the CEO of the cybersecurity firm the Herjavec Group. When asked about the security of cryptocurrencies, Herjavic doesn’t think that crypto exchanges themselves are “prone to great security,” referencing the hack of over $500 mln in NEM from the Japanese-based crypto exchange Coincheck last month, but that cryptocurrency transactions are secure. In answer to a question about the future of Blockchain, Herjavic thinks that Blockchain shows a lot of promise because of its “inherent security of a transaction.” He predicts that 10 years down the line, due to

the power of Blockchain:

“I will walk somewhere and a sensor will automatically know it’s me, the sensor will be linked to my bank, it’ll know how much money I have, I’ll pick up something like at the Amazon store, it’ll automatically be scanned, and as I leave, it will automatically be verified and paid for.”

Chuck Reynolds

 


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

US: Republican, Democrat Officials Calling For Crypto Regulation In Rare Show Of Unity

US: Republican, Democrat Officials Calling For Crypto Regulation In Rare Show Of Unity

A bipartisan movement of US lawmakers

are considering forming new legislation to regulate cryptocurrencies, prompted by the increasing interest – and therefore risk – in cryptocurrency worldwide, according to Reuters. There is currently no singular body in charge of overseeing cryptocurrencies in the US– the responsibility is instead divided between individual states, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Treasury Department, and the Federal Reserve.

The SEC and the CFTC did hold a joint hearing on Feb. 6 on their roles in cryptocurrencies, Blockchain technologies, and Initial Coin Offerings (ICO). The general conclusion was that the two bodies would work together to create a regulatory framework, with the strictest regulations for ICOs and the most loose for Blockchain and digital ledger technology. The hearing also concluded that cryptocurrencies will need protective regulation against market manipulation and fraud. Republican Senator Mike Rounds, a Senate Banking Committee member, was prompted to insert himself into the crypto regulation debate due to the growing popularity of

cryptocurrencies:

“Six months ago, we didn’t see this explosion. The marketplace has changed.”

Rounds told Reuters, that while there is, “no question about the fact that there is a need for a regulatory framework,” he sees a chance for crypto to be regulated as both a commodity and a security. The global debate over whether cryptocurrencies and ICOs should be regulated as securities has already led to some concrete legislation. On Feb. 17, the Swiss Financial Authority released a set of guidelines to help determine if an ICO and its tokens should be regulated under securities legislation. The US has yet to release a similar document.

Mixed signals

Two days ago, on Feb. 16, special assistant to the president and White House cybersecurity coordinator Rob Joyce told CNBC that general regulation of cryptocurrencies is something not yet “close,” as they were still in the “studying and understanding” stage of regulation. However, Reuters reports that US lawmakers are beginning to ask for legislation that would put digital currencies under SEC’s investor protection rules for securities, this new desire prompted by the steady growth of the crypto markets.

Republican Representative Bill Huizenga, chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets – which will soon hold hearings on this topic – told Reuters that the “SEC is properly the lead on the issue.” Democrat Carolyn Maloney, a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, agrees with Huizenga’s perspective that the SEC should be the regulatory crypto body, telling Reuters that, “a lot of people don’t realize there’s nothing backing these virtual currencies.” Even “free-marketer” Republicans like Dave Brat, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, are prepared to back regulatory

legislation:

“If it’s a currency that could destabilize the whole economy, you’re going to have that conversation.”

In spite of this beginning of calls for regulation, lawmakers will still protect revolutionary technological innovations like Blockchain, Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen, a member of the Senate Banking Committee,

told Reuters:

“The goal here is to have rules of the road that protect consumers without trying to squash innovation.”

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

Technologies Your Company Needs to Survive

Technologies Your Company Needs to Survive

The tech space is ever-changing. Unsplash

By the year 2020, half of all online searches will be carried out by voice, and 30 percent of them will be made using no screen at all. AI assistants will manage our day-to-day schedules, and chatbots will drive sales and manage the customer experience. These tech trends will create a sea of change in the marketplace. How do businesses keep from falling behind?

Companies that are heavily investing in their digital accessibility and innovation will be the winners going forward. Harvard Business Review conducted research on First Mover Advantage and found that companies that are forefront in adopting new technologies are more likely to lead in growth and marketing position than competitors that lag in embracing new technologies. Companies that are already incorporating artificial intelligence into their marketing approaches are positioning themselves for success in the future. Companies that invest in AI marketing software that integrates native consumer behaviors will have the highest ROIs. The incorporation of the marketing event into the natural experiences of the consumer authenticates the marketing experience and produces higher consumer conversion and retention rates.

Here are some AI technologies companies should be investing in now:

Chat Marketing

Digital marketing as a discipline is undergoing a revolution in terms of effectiveness and intelligence. This revolution is characterized by the rise of chat marketing, meaning direct marketing to customers on a one-to-one basis through their chat apps, namely SMS and Facebook Messenger. The messages are populated with a company’s products and content, have strategic funnels for sales conversions, and enable robust follow-up marketing to cohorts of users. AI algorithms do things like determine the time at which each individual consumer receives the message, which messages are best for conversion rates, and which messages consumers will respond best to through A/B testing.

The potency of this marketing channel is immediately apparent in the data on conversion and click through rates as compared to other marketing channels. In contrast to the industry averages for email marketing, which typically has open rates of 20 percent and click-through rates of 3 percent, chat marketing campaigns are achieving opening rates as high as 88 percent and click-through rates of 56 percent. This higher conversion and click-through stems first from the extraordinary reach of chat apps. As of January 2018, Facebook has 2.13 billion monthly users, and the top four messaging apps (Facebook, WhatsApp, WeChat and Viber) together have surpassed the amount of monthly active users of the top four social networking apps. Facebook Messenger alone has over 1.2 billion monthly active users who rely on it as a primary form of communication with friends, family, and, increasingly, with retailers and brands.

Chatbots

Chatbots are AI-powered programs that can respond to user plain-text queries with human-like responses. Consumers can interact with chatbots via SMS, text or messaging apps, and companies are increasingly implementing them as part of their marketing and customer service operations. Companies have been rolling out cross-platform bots, but many have turned to Facebook Messenger as a primary channel for deploying bots ever since that platform opened up its Bot API to developers in April 2016.

For example, one popular implementation of chatbot technology is Pizza Express’ chatbot, which allows customers to book tables at restaurants through a Facebook Messenger bot. Single-purpose tasks, such as booking a table at a restaurant, are the optimal use cases for chatbots. They reduce inefficiencies on both the agent and client side; routine tasks of human agents are replaced with AI technology, and customers receive information more promptly.

Voice Search

Voice search is a voice controlled system containing AI “personal assistant” software; a person voices a query or a command and the AI assistant produces results or executes the task. Popular renditions today are Siri, Amazon Alexa and Google Home. In today’s marketplace, adopting voice search technology can leverage big gains for a company in organic traffic with purchase intent from voice search traffic. Take National Public Radio: its news, radio and storytelling app, NPR One, made a deal with Amazon Alexa in February 2017 to stream its content through Alexa. Within six months, the phrase, “Alexa, play NPR One” has been heard regularly in 400,000 homes.

In the ever-changing tech space, introducing AI software technologies that integrate native consumer behaviors to a company’s marketing approach is key to staying relevant and ahead of the trends. The returns will be felt across all operations and processes: in labor efficiencies, company reach, cost reduction and customer conversion.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Marketing.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

SEC Suspends Trading In 3 Companies Due To ‘Questions’ Around Cryptocurrency Ties

SEC Suspends Trading In 3 Companies Due To ‘Questions’ Around Cryptocurrency Ties

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published a report Thursday,

Feb. 15 explaining the temporary suspension of trading in three companies that had made statements about acquiring cryptocurrency and “Blockchain technology-related assets”. All three companies, Cherubim Interests (CHIT), PDX Partners (PDXP), and Victura Construction Group (VICT) have been suspended starting Feb. 16 for two weeks for investor protection purposes. The SEC trading suspension orders state that all three companies issued press releases

that claim that:

“[T]he companies acquired AAA-rated assets from a subsidiary of a private equity investor in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, among other things. According to the SEC order regarding CHIT, it also announced the execution of a financing commitment to launch an initial coin offering [ICO],”

The SEC orders also state “there are questions regarding the nature of the companies’ business operations and the value of their assets”. In late August, 2017, the SEC issued a warning to investors regarding ICOs and the potential for scams, including reasons it might suspend trading of a company “to protect investors and the public interest”. On Jan. 22, 2018 SEC Chairman Jay Clayton warned that companies that shift their business models “on the promise” of Blockchain technology will face closer scrutiny from regulators.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

 

Types Of Content Real Estate Marketers Need To Be Using

 Types Of Content Real Estate Marketers Need To Be Using

Real estate marketers and agents alike should be including these

types of content in their overall marketing approach.

The real estate world has changed drastically over the last few decades. While the industry has evolved more slowly than many other sectors, this makes it the perfect industry for innovative thinkers. With the growth of digital media and technology, real estate agents and investors have a plethora of ways to innovate their business model.

Zamir Kazi, a real estate investor, is well aware of the need for content marketing in this particular space. "Far too many in the real estate space simply still don't get it when it comes to content marketing," he says. "I see so many still relying on old school methods vs. things such as social media, blogging and so on — the opportunities are there if done correctly."

There are some great examples of how to do content marketing for real estate including the Century 21 blog and Keller Williams on Instagram. Below are four types of content marketing that real estate marketers, realtors, etc. — and all marketers should be utilizing in their strategy.

Educational Content

Content that educates sure sounds easy right? A few years ago Hub Spot ran a great piece entitled Six Tips to Creating Better Educational Content that, as the title suggests, covers the content that "attracts interested prospects to your site and helps convert them into leads." However, when it comes to real estate, it takes on a different meaning. For example if you're a realtor who specializes in finding investment opportunities for your clients.

When Kazi first got involved with real estate he admits that he got a bit lucky since it was right after the recession and everything was cheap. As he says, “When I first started investing, it was pretty much at the end of the recession, so it was a good time to buy, terrible time to sell. And since then, the markets have been going up. So in return, it’s been better for us to sell, but since the market has been going up, it’s so hot right now, it’s harder to find deals.”

Branded Content

One of the important things to realize as a real estate professional is that there are thousands of other people out there just like you. This may sound overly obvious but if you want to convince others to work with you instead of compete against you, the easiest first step is to launch a personal website and blog where you can begin to share your industry knowledge. From here you need to make sure everything you touch has your personal brand seamlessly woven into it. 

While this is a simple concept as I said, few people execute it correctly. You need to avoid being too promotional and one of those spammy real estate-types, but at the same time need ensure people are consistently seeing your name, style, and thoughts. Try to be distinct and approach your brand from an authentic value creation standpoint. Investors will be more likely to respect what you have to say as a result. James Becker, CEO and founder of Fusion Growth Partners, a business growth accelerator which invests in small real estate business entities and manages all of the marketing systems, believes the “story” should be the foundation for all content and marketing.  “An agent’s story, if expressed well, conveys in an immensely impactful way, insight into that individual’s character, passion and commitment to their clients," he says. "The story can create an almost tangible expectation for the reader to the level of service and authentic connection they will receive as a client”.

Email Content

Email marketing is another form of content marketing many people are aware of but no one ever quite nails. One of the first steps when doing email marketing is to gather email addresses to market to. When you think about your email marketing strategy, your first thought should be: “What content or experience can I create that will make someone give me their email?”

You might end up organizing real estate networking events and collect emails at the door. Or you could offer discounted commissions for people who refer clients. Whatever strategy you end up choosing, executing it properly will allow you to create a base of activated emails with which you can establish an email marketing campaign. Once you have a list to work off of, you can A/B test different email copy and try to eventually cluster your list into different buyer types. This will help you optimize successful conversion of emails sent.

 Entrepreneurial Content

In every major booming real estate market, the increase in prices is a significant factor, often due to the rise in income from tech jobs. For real estate blockchain entrepreneurs, this means explaining how and why blockchain can help optimize the process. SMARTRealty is doing just this with various forms of content focused on their team and emerging technology. “We understand real estate might be confusing, so our goal is to educate people on the benefits using unique content,” says CMO Ernie Wong.

Real estate is similar to entrepreneurship in that it requires sourcing projects and adding value through the process. According to Joe Pierson, CEO of BigKeyRealestate, “Agents should try to tap into the huge income potential of people who work in tech by framing real estate as an entrepreneurial endeavor suitable for their backgrounds. This is definitely difficult for the average real estate agent to do, but could open up a wealth of new buyers to work with.” Content marketing should always be viewed as a way to generate value for consumers. Whether you stay traditional or experiment with potential trends, content marketing should be given adequate thought and resources to achieve results. Give your marketing plans time to work, but constantly be thinking of innovative options to change things up.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Marketing.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

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