The Dangers of Too Much Caffeine

When people think of caffeine they think of coffee and soda, but caffeine is also in medicine, tea, energy drinks and more. Many people rely on caffeine to give them a boost of energy through the day, but consuming too much caffeine can have negative health consequences. Caffeine can even be dangerous to your health and sometimes death.

Once the body relies on caffeine to get going, it becomes an addictive substance. There are millions of people who can’t get through the day without a cup of coffee, soda or an energy drink. The boosting of energy happens in about 30 minutes, but decreases quickly. This is known as an energy crash.

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Art by Valnor

This crash includes symptoms of fatigue and headache. They are eased when the person has another dose of caffeine. Consuming too much caffeine can make a person dependent on it in order to function on a daily basis.

Moderate consumption of caffeine is generally considered safe. This is a very small amount at 250 milligrams, which is equal to three cups of coffee per day. Even this, however, can be misleading. Many people are sensitive to caffeine without realizing it, and this small amount can produce negative effects, and lead to withdrawal symptoms when consumption is stopped.

Children should not consume caffeine. It is taxing on their body as it expends energy for growth, brain development and bone development. Caffeine disrupts this process, and produces side-effects mentioned below. These side-effects are often worse in children than in adults.

Side Effects of Too Much Caffeine

The very reason many people consume caffeine is for the energy boost, but this boost is caused by the causing a chemical reaction in the adrenal gland that controls the fight or flight response of the body. Too much caffeine can cause adrenal fatigue because it keeps the body in fight or flight mode indefinitely.

This can lead to severe fatigue that even caffeine can not help.

Anxiety is another side effect of drinking more caffeine than you should. Those sensitive to caffeine will experience anxiety with minimal doses.

The risk of osteoporosis increases with high doses of caffeine. The body’s ability to absorb calcium is reduced leading to a decrease in bone mass density.

The over consumption of caffeine can cause difficulty sleeping. This is because caffeine is a stimulant, and using too much does not allow the body to get the signals that it should rest.

While a small amount of caffeine may help a headache, too much can cause one. It’s true that caffeine is the active ingredient in many pain medicines, but the dosage in those medicines is low. Taking a medication with caffeine on top of drinking or eating foods with caffeine can produce the opposite effect.

The pain from fibrocystic breast disease is increased with the use of caffeine.

Caffeine is passed through the placenta to the baby of a pregnant mother. When the mother’s heart rate and metabolism increase, the baby is negatively impacted.

Caffeine causes more frequent urination, and when used in excess can cause dehydration.

Understanding Caffeine Withdrawal

When someone decides they want to cut caffeine from their diet after habitually over consuming, they are immediately hit with withdrawal symptoms such as headache, fatigue, irritability and depression. This is because the chemical response that the body has relied on is no longer provided.

Withdrawal can last anywhere from two to nine days, and begin anywhere from 12 to 24 hours after cutting caffeine from the diet.

The best method to take caffeine from the diet is to go slowly by reducing intake over a period of time.

Withdrawal symptoms are still likely, but the severity will be reduced if this method is used.

Carving A Pumpkin Into A Jack-O-Lantern with Stencil

With Halloween approaching it is time, once again, to think about pumpkin carving. Carving a pumpkin into a Jack-o-lantern has been a tradition ever since the first Halloweens way back when. In this day and age carving a pumpkin into a Jack-o-lantern is done for decorative purposes. But that wasn’t always the case. It used to be that carved pumpkins with a candles inside, known as a Jack-o-lanterns, were set out on porches and in house windows on Halloween as a sign of welcome to the deceased souls of loved ones. But what is the best way to carve a pumpkin? Continue reading “Carving A Pumpkin Into A Jack-O-Lantern with Stencil”

What is Growth Hacking & Why Should Your Company Care

The name of the game in today’s business scene is growth. Marketers are struggling to find ways to compete in an overcrowded marketplace. Business leaders want big results in the way of increased traffic, more engagement and improved lead generation.

The pressure is on for marketers. How can we deliver to such high expectations?

Many marketers are turning to growth hacking. The business world has been buzzing about it since Sean Ellis coined the term in 2010. As he put it, “A Growth Hacker is someone whose true North is Growth.” He presented the concept of getting scrappy and scouring the internet and social platforms for opportunities to get noticed, reach more people, generate more leads and grow our businesses – fast.

Ever since Ellis presented the idea of growth hacking, companies around the world have been clamoring to understand the concept and trying to figure out how to apply it to their own businesses. But what IS growth hacking? What defines a great growth hacker? And, perhaps most importantly, how can you get started with growth hacking?

Growth Hacker vs. Marketer: What’s the Difference?

“A growth hacker is not a replacement for a marketer. A growth hacker is not better than marketer. A growth hacker is just different than a marketer.” – Sean Ellis

A Growth hacker’s goal is to get his product in front of as many people as possible and do it in a way that entices them to convert to leads or subscribers. Sounds like a marketer, right? The difference is that a marketer looks at the big picture as a whole. She considers product, price, place and promotion. She uses all elements of the marketing mix. She works to create valuable content and deliver it to prospective leads in order to create new customers.

In contrast, a growth hacker has a much narrower focus. He/She is programmed, if you will, to take all of the resources produced by the marketer and use them to simply reach, engage and convert audiences en masse. At which point, the marketer can jump back in and nurture the growth hacker’s new leads.

The Anatomy of a Growth Hacker

Growth hackers are comprised of a unique mix of characteristics. They are creative but pragmatic. They’re analytical, but extremely fast-paced. As one Forbes article about growth hacking put it, “Growth hackers are principled hackers who study how people use a product and continually test and optimize every digital touchpoint in order to get prospective customers to take action.”

Creative Problem Solvers

Growth hackers are constantly thinking of new ways to solve problems. They ask themselves questions and actively seek out creative answers. They are curious by nature, which leads them to continuously search for new channels, media, platforms and methods to distribute content.

Nimble & Quick

To be a successful growth hacker, you must think and act very, very quickly. There’s no time for a lot of strategic planning, action mapping or documentation. Yes, these are all important elements of any marketing strategy, but growth hackers must use them as an umbrella. They must be aware of the bigger picture of the goals and objectives of the overall marketing plan, but live and act in the here and now; making quick decisions in the moment that will capitalize growth opportunities.

Optimistic & Competitive

There’s no room for pessimism here. Successful growth hackers are eternal optimists, always believing that the next big win is right around the corner. Their competitive nature drives them to continuously seek out new opportunities to outperform the competition. They are ambitious, confident and believe that their big, hairy, audacious goals for growth are possible.

Tech Savvy

It’s not enough to exhibit all of the traits mentioned above. True growth hackers are all of these things AND they’re tech savvy, too. They are on top of new technologies, services, products and communities and are among the first to try them out. They have a solid understanding of SEO, social media, mobile content consumption, conversion rate optimization and general digital marketing. They’re always eager to try something new and see what it can do for the growth of their brands.

Why You Should Care

Many of the world’s most popular brands have achieved incredible results with growth hacking.

First to the scene was Hotmail. By adding, “P.S I love you. Get your free email at Hotmail” in 1996, the then-startup founders secured 3,000 new users one day and within 6 months they had 1 million. 18 months following its launch, Hotmail was purchased by Microsoft with 8.5 million users.

Next in the line of big-name growth hacking companies came Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest and Instagram. Surely they couldn’t repeat the same success as Hotmail, right? Wrong. Using growth hacking tactics, they achieved the following jaw-dropping results, as well as many more, I’m sure.

Twitter

Twitter added 60,000 users in one day by obsessively looking for ways to grow and optimize every possible touch point. For example, Twitter realized that the odds of a new user returning to the platform increased dramatically if they followed at least 10 people immediately upon signing up. So, it included suggestions of some of the top people to follow as part of the Twitter signup process. The result? User retention rates went up significantly.

Twitter’s success is also proof that growth hacking doesn’t have to be complicated; it just has to be smart. Case and point, one of the company’s highest performing growth hacks was as elementary as simplifying its homepage. The once complex page was streamlined to focus on getting visitors to either sign up or log in. With that simple change, Twitter’s conversion rates increased dramatically.

Facebook

Facebook gained 200 million users in 12 months. How? Through a combination of three primary growth hacking tactics:

Providing users with embeddable Facebook badges or profile widgets to post on their websites and blogs. These widgets leveraged Facebook’s existing user base to deliver billions of impressions per month for Facebook, leading to hundreds of millions of clicks and ultimately millions of signups.
Buying service providers in third world countries. While not an option available to many companies today, it’s an interesting strategy. At the time, media and Facebook followers were dumbfounded. But Facebook had a growth hacking plan to purchase these companies to gain access to their technology, which would help procure more email addresses.
Strategically gaining highly desireable new Facebook users. The company reached this coveted target market through creative, yet inexpensive advertising. Reportedly, the campaign was so successful that the advertising network Facebook used asked Facebook to change its method.
These are just two examples of countless companies that have realized exceptional results with growth hacking. LinkedIn experiences 37% annual revenue increases, Pinterest generated 70 million users in 3 years, Instagram attracted 110,000 followers in 5 months… The success stories go on and on.

In addition to producing such mind-boggling statistics, many companies like growth hacking because it’s scrappy. Relatively speaking, it requires very little resources; especially considering the results it can achieve. Many free or low-cost online tools are available to support growth hackers. Additionally, a lot can be achieved with just a couple of talented growth hackers.

Whatever path you take, remember that growth hacking is a process, not a set of tools. Finding the right formula for your company takes time and there’s no magical silver bullet. Success rarely looks like a perfect curve; in reality it looks more like a heartbeat with lots of ups and downs. Focus on maximizing the “ups” and you’ll see great results over time.

Did you want to ask me how I can help your company?

How a Business Can Improve Its Search Rankings

Learning how to improve your search ranking numbers in Google is much easier when you are using the steps here. You have to remember that there are several factors, and you need cover every one if you want your website to rise in the search engine rankings. You can create a website that is going to be amazing and read often if you are using this kind of information to get your website higher up the results people see online.

Content

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You still have to have the best content, and your content has to have the right keywords. You have to work very hard at making sure that the content is perfect, and you should remember that the content is not going to get any better without any editing. This is going to require some work on your part so that you will be able to edit the things you have already done. You can improve your site without writing new material, but you have to commit to making a change just as soon as you can.

Social Media

You have to use your social media very carefully. All the work you did to make your content good should be put into your social media pages. The pages are going to be much easier to write and use if you do not treat them any differently than the other pages you have online. You need to reach as far as you can with all your different accounts, and you should remember that the social media sites are going to show up on search engines just as much as other pages on your website.

Spread out your content to more than one social media website, and you will notice that you can get the best results for your site. The people that are searching for you are going to find you in more than one place, and you will be able to make the most of the moves that you have made on social media. Even individual posts are going to show up on the radar, and this is going to make your business more popular.

Links

Backlinking is a major part of social media because you want the search engine to give you results that show the link from your site on the pages where you are backlinked. The people that are searching for your site are going to find you more easily, but they are not going to find you if your site is not promoted in other places. You need to keep people in the realm of the things you write, and backlinkss will keep people on the same website for a very long time as they read different articles. Articles that have links in search engine results are going to get even more play than normal, and you will learn quickly that all the links you have make a difference.

Titles And Subtitles

The titles and subtitles you use need to be optimized just like everything else. You have to make sure that you are using the right kinds of titles, and you need to include your keywords in the titles. The titles will get picked up just as much as anything else on the site, and you want to have a chance of making the title something people would search. Obscure titles may seem cool, but they are not going to do a single thing for you once you have gotten the page up. People will skip over the titles, and no search engine will find them.

Keywords and Search Signals

You need to know how users are finding you. They are finding you using relevant keywords, and they are going to help you learn how people are finding you. You want to relate keywords to your own business, or you want to use relevant keywords so that people have a better chance of finding you. You need to know the customer you are looking for, and you need to make sure that you are using as many other keywords as you can to pick up the pace on your SEO.

This article is only the beginning of what you can do when you are optimizing your website. You need to make sure that all your content is going to use these factors to improve your SEO. You can create new content the right way, or you can use these factors to help fix your website to make it easier to find. There are many people who do not use these items when they are writing for their sites, and it is hard for people to find their sites. You have to make sure you are doing everything you can to make your website as easy to find as possible. The people that are ready to find you will only if you have taken these steps to improve search ranking numbers.

How Voice Biometrics Reduce the Risk of a Security Breach

In a world still heavily reliant on passwords and security questions, fraudsters are now breaching phone, mobile and IVR security measures by using social engineering to hijack customer credentials. In fact, Infinity Research revealed that the annual cost of fraud is going to reach $6.3 billion dollars in 2015 for the banking and financial sector. Learn how voice biometrics can be a better alternative to risky and frustrating pins and passwords. For instance, one major financial institution has used voice biometrics to decrease account takeovers by 59 percent and saved over $1 million in prevented fraud loss.
voice biometrics

Recent Security Breaches

In a recent report by Infinity Research, the findings revealed that the annual cost of fraud is going to reach $6.3 billion dollars in 2015 for the banking and financial sector, and that number is only expected to grow. That’s a staggering statistic that should have organizations thinking twice about measures to improve their security and fraud prevention.

We’ve heard a lot in the news about recent security breaches and the massive ripple effect they have for businesses – not only in direct financial loss, but also in lost business due to unhappy customers that were put at risk. In today’s digital economy, the risks of security breaches and the threat of hackers should be top-of-mind for IT and security executives alike. As fraudsters and viruses become more sophisticated, so must our approach to ensuring the safety of customer data.

Unfortunately, in a world still heavily reliant on passwords and security questions, fraudsters are now breaching phone, mobile and IVR security systems by using social engineering to hijack customer credentials.

This multi-billion dollar liability is affecting companies of all shapes and sizes worldwide – and these new tactics mean that password-based authentication is now a major vulnerability for enterprises and their customers. The good news is that voice biometrics is now a viable option for companies seeking to put an end to risky and frustrating pins and passwords, allowing customers to authenticate easily, safely and seamlessly. In fact, Infinity Research goes on to estimate that voice biometrics can prevent 90 percent of fraud cases over the phone channel – quite an impressive prediction.

Money Saved with Voice Biometrics

Voice biometrics has already been used effectively by some of the world’s largest financial institutions to stop fraud attempts, and just as importantly, to prevent future fraud by providing law enforcement with voice biometric evidence. Case in point: at one major financial institution, voice biometrics is being used to analyze calls coming into the organization’s contact center, comparing those caller’s voices to known fraudsters’ voices collected from previous calls. As a result, the organization was able to identify a fraudster who had been responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars of fraud – and they were able to stop a large fraud transaction in its tracks, providing information about the fraudster to law enforcement. The use of voice biometrics has also helped to stop new fraud. In fact, the organization has seen a 59 percent decrease in account takeovers and over $1 million in prevented fraud loss.

And, voice biometrics doesn’t just boost your security — firms can also use it to improve contact center interactions and wait times, streamline business processes via automation, and create differentiated customer experiences to enhance brand perception and marketing programs. For example, industry-leading companies like Banco Santander and others have seen dramatic decreases in average handle time (AHT) thanks to voice biometrics authentication. Our own research also shows that 90 percent of customers are comfortable with voice biometrics if it means tighter security.

These are just some of the reasons why voice biometrics is gaining such traction and is seen as an exciting alternative to risky pins and passwords. To learn more about this and why PINs and passwords are vulnerable to fraudsters with Forrester Research during our webinar on “Voice Biometrics: The Future of Authentication and Fraud Prevention.” Please be sure to register and join us!

How to Use Terapeak to Reach Your Goals Faster

There are a lot of people out there who want to succeed but they just aren’t prepared to spend any money on education or tools that will help them get to where they want to be, I know because I went down this path for a while until I saw the light. Clichés are clichés for a reason, generally because they are true. You may have heard people say “you’ve got to spend money to make money” it doesn’t have to be a lot of money but sooner or later you are going to have to fork out some dollars.

I recommend you get over your fear of spending money on education and tools that increase your productivity right now.
You will be ahead of the curve and you will reach your goal faster. I never went to uni but I have spent about $37,000 on my personal education over the past 10 years and currently about $600/month on software and tools that save me time, as we know “time is money”

One tool that should be in every online business owners arsenal is http://www.terapeak.com it is eBay focused but eBay is a massive market and holds some great insight into what people want and what they are prepared to buy. Using this tool you have full access to sellers sales numbers for up to 90 days, you can literally go through the top sellers in your chosen category and skim their best selling products and have a very good idea as to how much money you can make in a very short period of time.

This tool should be illegal, the market is so transparent and there is nowhere else you will find the amount of quality data that you will find in Terapeak.

This is how I use it:

1. Go to Terapeak.com

2. Sign up to the international plan – believe me it is worth it, you get a bunch more data and a load more great ideas for product that people in your country may not have even thought of yet.

3. Pay for the year in advance, you will be more likely to utilise the tool if you pay more for it that is just the way the human brain works. And at the time of writing it was cheaper to do it this way.

4. We will search by category in this example, there are heaps of other ways to use Terapeak but I might save them for another book.

5. Select your country, sort by total sales and select your category

6. Sticking with our theme we will drill down further to Dog supplies

7. Now choose top sellers from the top right nav

8. Click on one of the categories that you can relate to or that your market research tells you should be a winner.

9. I have opted to go for Training and Obedience, let’s have a look at the data of the top sellers sorted by total sales over the past 30 days:

10. Ok, so we know these guys are top of the category, now we need to know what they sell. We could click on top titles but this would limit our data to this particular category, a lot of top sellers dominate multiple categories so let’s go see what their top 5 products are.
1. Copy the top buyers username

2. Click “Sellers” in the top nav and paste the username into the search bar and hit search

3. This can be hit and miss, you may have chosen a seller who sells one product only or you may find a huge power seller dominating multiple categories, as it turns out we have found a pretty large seller who has turned over $1.1m in the past 90 days

4. Lets now drill down to the category we are interested in

5. Now click on “Top Titles” This is where the magic is

There you have it, you have found one seller doing about $300k turnover per year from his top 4 products in the dog supplies category, find 3 more sellers like this which will take you less than an hour and you have a solid profitable business model. Don’t wait around, click here to get your copy of Terapeak and source some quality products, you won’t find more definitive information anywhere else www.terapeak.com

 

Microsoft Office 365 is Now on the iPad – Here’s My Full Review

Microsoft has just released Office for iPad, the first time you can download an official Office Suite of software from Microsoft just for you iPad via the iTunes app store.

Office for iPad contains fully functional versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Now while anyone can download the apps and read documents or presentation PowerPoint presentations for free, if you want to create or edit Office documents with these apps, you first have to be an Office 365 subscriber. Continue reading “Microsoft Office 365 is Now on the iPad – Here’s My Full Review”

How to Avoid Twitter Mistakes That All Small Businesses Make

Twitter is a great way to increase your followers and build up your name and brand. But it can be a disaster if you aren’t doing it right. Twitter is a viable tool and you can get a lot out of it, but you need to keep a few things in mind. I’m giving out these helpful tips so that you can avoid the same twitter mistakes that so many have made before you.
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  1. The first thing you should never do is begin a twitter following with someone else’s username. This is one of the common twitter mistakes that so many make. Say someone tweets your blog and you want to give them praise for doing so. Don’t start a tweet with @username. This is going to prevent others from seeing the kindness and praise that the person gave you. They may have tweeted something about your blog, but others will never be able to see it. If you want to make the twitter name more viable and visible to others, use a period prior to the @username. If you don’t only the person who blogged your stuff and your other followers are going to be the only ones seeing it.
  2. Don’t just follow someone because they are following you. This is another common mistake that some make. Read this classic post from Matt McGee about Popularity vs Trust on twitter. I mean it’s nice to follow someone, but do it only if you liked what the person writes or blogs about. Following someone just for the sake of it is one way to send the wrong message. By following someone, you agree with pretty much everything the person is doing. So be careful when making the choice to follow someone on twitter. Someone may like what you are saying, but it doesn’t mean that you will like what they are saying. And following someone just because they are a celebrity and you like them, is not a good enough reason either. So be selective when following someone on your own timeline. Because if you are following the wrong person, strictly based on the fact that they follow you, is going to also send the wrong message to your followers. And you don’t want that.
  3. Another misconception about twitter is that you need to make the tweets long. Some people get in the habit of either writing a few hundred words or they write an entire book on twitter. This is not what twitter is about. If you want to talk for a long period of time, twitter is not the place to do so. Just stick with the short tweets. They are going to give you the higher engagement rates. They are going to give you the most followers.

    If your tweet is between 100 and 120 characters, this is perfect. The ones with 100-120 word length are the ones who get responded to the most. So keep the tweets short and sweet and to the point. If you do, you will leave space for others to leave their comments. People don’t generally leave a comment on a blog that doesn’t leave room for one. It’s bad business.

    Looking at the charts, you can see that around 30-35% will respond more to those which are between 100-120 characters. Once you start going over that line, you will lose your audience.

  4. Some have gotten in the habit of tweeting the full url. It can be an easy and convenient way of doing things. But please avoid this at all costs. it may be simple, but it will be ineffective in the long run. How you may ask might it be ineffective? Every time you do this, you are missing out on the metrics of your click rate. This may not be a big deal for some of you, but for others it will be. it just depends on what you are using twitter for. So take that into account as well when you make the choice to leave the full url.

    Instead, you might want to try something else. Go into your tools menu and consider shortening your url link. That way you can still send the link, but also keep updated on who is clicking on your tweets. You can find out more by using Google and going in and making the link shorter. You can also log onto bit.ly and find out if this link has already been put out there and who has clicked on it. This is going to save you time and trouble later on.

  5. A final mistake that many make is setting the analytics up too late. If you are on twitter, you need to be looking into your tweets and followers on a regular basis. You also need to be looking into the growth of these numbers. Some don’t care about the numbers and their followers and that is what causes them to not succeed on twitter. So you need to check the number and be familiar with what is going on.

twitter-followers-growth
You also need to look into what your followers and audience wants and needs. You need to pay attention to this, it’s very crucial that you do. If something is not working for your audience, you need to be aware of this. To this end, you need to set up analytics that matter. Choosing settings that don’t function for you or your audience is not going to be a time saver.

Having analytics that work for you and your audience means that you spend that time tweeting and keeping up with your audience’s needs. Another good reason to keep an eye on the stats is that it will help to increase your followers in a big way. It will also help you by knowing what tweets are working for you and which aren’t. Certain tweets don’t work with certain demographics and you need to be aware of this. By knowing what tweets work and which don’t, you will find out the tweets that will drive your brand even more.

The B2B Online Marketing Process: Keywords For the Conversion Funnel

Online marketing and transactions have brought a new opportunity to marketing departments and planners, the ability to micromanage metrics. One of the difficulties that marketing managers have faced since the beginning of marketing time is answering the question “is what I’m investing in really making a difference?”

That obfuscation of cause (or rather ad) and effect was and still is a problem for offline marketers and their quest for more budget. Online marketing can solve that problem because everything online can be tracked and measured. But does this new ability to micromanage the process help? Can you truly rely on math instead of your gut to help guide your marketing spend?

In most cases the answer is yes.

In the online world marketers must manage their budgets with their eyes focused on conversions and metrics.

Executive management has come to rely on the fact that their online expenditures can be tracked almost in real time. And so the online marketer must keep track of their overall Pay Per Click (PPC) budget when building their SEM plan and their aggregate Cost Per Click (CPC) which incorporates their SEO numbers. These numbers and costs can be watched on a daily and hourly basis and used as a marker for a campaign’s return on investment (ROI). With all of these metrics and measurements available to the online marketer it is easy and common for them to become a cost silo all by themselves and it is important that they maintain a connection with the overall marketing objective.

Basically both offline and online marketing plans combine to make up the company’s ultimate marketing plan. So the key to establishing good metrics and goals for the online marketing plan utilizes the same process as that for the offline plan, start by planning backwards. By developing the online plan from the company’s overall marketing plan you can make sure that there are thoughtful and logical intersections between both offline and online messaging and communications with the customer.

In the late 1990s marketers were challenged with coming up with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) processes and many CRM software companies were born. The idea behind CRM was, and still is, to manage the customer touch point process and measure the conversions along the way. I call these mini, micro or intermediate conversions as they are steps in the overall conversion process. Usually these conversion metrics can be used to track single node to node flow such as with an online click action or the overall aggregate percentage to close that the potential customer is at in the process.

B2B Online Marketing Conversion Process

B2B online marketing conversion funnelAn online conversion process might look like:

  1. SSD-R-Us outbids their competitors for the search term ‘solid state hard drive comparison‘.
  2. CTO John wants to begin upgrading his server farm so he googles ‘solid state hard drive comparison’ and sees an SSD-R-Us ad and clicks on it.
  3. On the SSD-R-Us website CTO John sees a whitepaper on a comparison and reviews of solid state hard drives and a form he can download the report. He fills in his name, address and email to get it.
  4. Later that week CTO John gets an email invite from SSD-R-Us to attend a “Why Solid State Drives are the Way to Go” webinar, he clicks on the embedded link and provides his phone number and opts in to be contacted by a SSD-R-Us.
  5. An SSD-R-Us employee contacts CTO John to pitch a SSD of the Month club subscription.

That entire process would be captured in some format and hopefully tied back to CTO John’s prospect ID number and the campaign’s aggregate metrics would be used to measure efficiency and outcome of the campaign. The online marketer could begin to set up split or A/B tests to measure the whitepaper call to action or placement on the website, different types of communications such as email versus phone call or even incentives such as “buy 10 months and get 2 months free if you act today.”

With all of these online testing options available with real time data you can make decisions within days or weeks that can take an offline marketer months or years to decide. The online marketer needs to remember though that they are a step in the overall process and ultimate objective which is usually more sales.

The real objective of B2B Online Marketing metrics management isn’t to give you the look at the here and now (although it does do that) but really to focus on the future. This type of inward and intense look at conversions can also lead to other departmental efficiencies. For example you may uncover that the outbound telemarketing department for SSD-R-Us isn’t closing at a high enough percentage with the leads they are given and could use some additional sales training.

It is really all about providing the marketer and management with “what if” analysis tools to build budgets and expectations.

Later I’ll like to talk about how much that conversion was worth and how to track your online marketing spend. To get notified when I post that article, subscribe to this blog using the form below. 🙂

My Success With PR, Online Marketing and Starting a Business

I’m often asked what I do for work and why am I out bike riding during the day or at the park with my son during his summer vacation. Many times I tell people I’m just unemployed and that satisfies them but really I have a few projects in place that make me decent money with very little to no “work” at all. So this is a post I’ve had in my head for about a year and I’m finally getting to writing.

Summer of 2010 I was laid off from a job where I was the online marketing manager for a great company called Metalogix. I was hired 2 years early at the start of the company. 2 of the founders of the company brought me in to improve the companies online presence and getting them selling more software. Great job and great people.

But after 2 years the industry changed a bit and so did the economy. Board of directors wanted to do things cheaper and cut expenses and go into different marketing channels. So I was laid off with a few other key people as well. I kept in contact with a few coworkers but oh well life moves on.

Time to look for the next project.

I decided to try the local marketing/web developer consulting gig lifestyle. Little did I know it was waaaaay more work and less pay. So much for the easy comfortable corporate days of salary and benefits. I now had to work even harder on my own to find clients and then report and give them what they expected on a timely basis. I got in a little over my head at the start and quickly started to fall behind on deadlines. Sorry Chris, Ivan and Chuck.

After fulfilling my obligations I once again decided I had to make a change where I’m not dependent on someone else or another company to make a living but truly go out on my own and make my own path in life. I was going to be an entrepreneur.

I kind of knew what the word meant but really had no idea what it was to be an entrepreneur.

I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished and I want to have a little list or story about what I’ve done in this last year. I want to share real ideas, stories and numbers of what I did and a little on how I did it. Take it as bragging or take it as a big lie. Whateva!!! It’s my blog and you’re reading it so far so there’s got to be some interest so far.

3+ years ago I was at a point in my marriage where my wife cheated on me and told me she no longer loved me and I didn’t know what to do. I found a few resources online where people told their stories of failed or failing marriages but they were more like whiney stories that were just a place for them to vent and leave. After talking to a shrink and some good friends I was still mad.

I wanted to start an online resource where I expose how people were using Facebook and social media website to cheat and engage in infidelity. I wanted to talk about how I used technology and gadgets to catch my wife and share it with other people who were going through a similar situation like me. It hurts and I had a lot of passion about it. After writing up a whole lot of posts and articles on the site I started getting people commenting and telling their stories and asking for advice.

A light went off in my head and I started to pitch other websites to mention me and my articles so it would help their audiences as well. Soon after that I started email newspapers and radio stations saying that Facebook is so popular and after a few studies came out in the mainstreeam media about Facebook being mentioned in lots of divorces lately it would be a great idea for their readership or listeners to interview me and have me talk about my story.

After a few radio live interviews and a newspaper quote I started getting small magazines and then larger magazine like US magazine and eventually Vanity Fair. Those turned into the front page article on CNN.com and that in turn got me on the Larry King Live TV show, The View and ABC News and even a social media documentary. Lots of viewers to the website and lots more subscribers and commenters. Time for the payoff. Now how do I monetize all that?

The first thing I did was mention the gadgets I used and linked to an affiliate program that sold them. Next I tested out selling someone’s ebook on marriage and relationship counseling but took that down as it wasn’t all that great. Finally I turned to Google Adsense and monetized each page of the site with contextual ads. The site was making between $50 and $400/day depending on the traffic and what direct ads were being placed on the site as it got mentioned on more and more media outlets.

So I decided to do less press about the site and focus more on my experiences and how I can reach a larger audience both online and offline. I’m talking to 2 agents and publishers about writing a book. Sharing my story and giving some advice and talk more about the age of social media and how it plays into privacy issues and the issues of infidelity and deception.

Stay tuned.