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Business

How to Keep Your Business Secure While Working Remotely

Working remotely has many advantages for workers and hirers, but it has also increased the chances of having a data or security breach. This is why as a business owner; it is important to keep your business Secure.

Remote working gives business owners the advantage of employing the best talent for jobs no matter the geographical location or boundaries, while also making it easier to save up on office space and other things.

However, information or data can easily be compromised with remote working because it gives access to a third party who the business owner has only met virtually.

This is why both the workers and business owners have a shared responsibility in ensuring that the business is secured, and this can be achievable when the business owner enlightens his or her remote workers on business security and how it can be protected.

So, how can business security be handled while workers work remotely?

 

Educate the workers

Most workers have no idea that making a business Secure involves protecting the data and information of the business from access to outsiders. This means that data security has to be a priority and it is the responsibility for also the workers..

Cybersecurity is highly important in a business and most workers may feel unbothered by it especially when they are remote workers, this is why educating employees is necessary.

Educating them on what and what not to do to ensure cybersecurity is the way to go. Advising them not to open spam folders or click on suspicious links will help curtail the risk or possibility of being hacked.

The easiest method business owners take as a means of educating their employees is by asking them to sign a policy document that will detail everything about cybersecurity, data protection, and how it is to be shared.

This method has been highly efficient in ensuring that workers even when they are remote workers have an interest in making the business secure because they may be in breach of the policy document they signed if they don’t follow the necessary steps to keep data secure.

Training remote workers may seem time-consuming or expensive, but it is necessary for the business in the long run.

 

Two factor authentication

Most social media platforms offer the use of two-factor authentication when a person wants to log into their account using a different browser or device.

With two-factor authentication, a code is usually sent as an SMS to a phone number or to an email to confirm identity before logging in after imputing a name and password. So, if you want to secure your activities better, consider using a phone validator to define whether the number is correct or not.

The same should be applied to a business to keep the business secure. It gives both the owner and worker peace of mind to know that there is additional security in place to prevent logging in and accessing the business data.

Businesses that have the resources use multi-factor authentication which not only asks for the code but biometric, retina, or voice recognition before access. 

 

Beware Before You Response:

Besides, remote workers should be aware of clicking unknown links and opening random site. A user can click on a padlock to check which SSL certificate is there. If a website runs on multiple subdomains then, there should be a wildcard SSL certificate like RapidSSL wildcard, Thawte Wildcard SSL or any other cert is used by most businesses to keep their web presence secured.

 

Security of internet connections

Remote or freelance workers choose remote working because of the flexibility it offers them. Working from anywhere be it at home, a coffee shop, a park, etc. is what most remote workers love.

However, using a Wi-Fi network that is unsecured can expose the businesses’ data to breach by third parties. This is why educating workers is necessary while also advising them to use a virtual private network (VPN) before using a public Wi-Fi network.

Using VPNs helps keep a business secure while putting a remote worker’s mind at ease because the internet traffic he or she is using will be encrypted which makes it difficult for the company’s data to be tampered with.

Additionally, having guidelines in place on how public WIFI should be used will help make workers follow the rules and prevent them from using an internet connection that may put the business at risk. 

If some documents are too important that even with VPNs it is a high risk to be accessed, then remote workers should be instructed not to open them while using a public Wi-Fi.

 

Use varied passwords

Most people use just one password to log into all the programs or sites they want which should not be encouraged if you want your business secure.

As business owners, remote workers must be enlightened on the benefit of using varied passwords for the company’s data to be protected.

When strong and varied passwords are used, it is difficult for third parties to have access to the company’s data. A strong password usually has an uppercase, a minimum of one special character, and must be up to 8 characters.

Some businesses use a password manager which randomly creates strong and varied Passwords for its users while also keeping those passwords secured and easily remembered.

Alternatively, frequently changing the passwords and ensuring that access is only given to specific information based on what a worker is handling should be done to keep information and business secure.

 

Use helpful software

To ensure that a business is secure, workers should have antivirus software, anti-malware, and firewalls installed on their devices to protect the business data.

Companies use services of UCaas vendors enable the communication between company and remote workers. And, it is the responsibility of business owners to advise and also ensure that this software is used and also provide help where needed to the remote workers to ensure they comply.

Remote workers may want to be uninterested in keeping their devices secured when they are aware that the business already has SSL like single domain, multi domain, wildcard like Thawte Wildcard SSL. But protecting the business is everyone’s duty and responsibility.

 

Final Thoughts

Having remote workers is highly advantageous because it saves money and also gives access to highly talented and skilled people no matter the geographical barrier.

But, ensuring that your business is secure even while working with a remote team is advisable if you want your business to stay for a long time. This is why implementing the steps that have been given will prove helpful.

Remote working shouldn’t feel like it is detrimental to the growth of a business and the protection of the business information or data. So, everyone must play a hand in ensuring that the business is secure.

 

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Business

Remote Employee Onboarding: Simple yet Effective Guide

Every company provides a unique experience for their employees, but since working from home became the norm, more and more people started to experience the same problems. In this easy guide, we’ll explain how to rethink your onboarding process and shape it to better suit remote employees

Firstly, let’s delve into the process of hiring a remote employee to see how you can shape your recruitment process to attract workers who will thrive in a home environment. 

 

How to recruit remote employees

We’ve experienced the biggest shift to remote working ever. In the past, remote work mostly appeared in the gig economy, but it has drastically changed recently due to technology’s rapid development and the global pandemic. While there are companies that got a head start, because they’ve been practising this type of work for years, don’t worry. Our simple guide will explain all the intricacies of remote working and the best ways to onboard new employees. 

Remote work provides a special kind of freedom to employees who want to organize their workday to better suit their schedule, instead of the corporate 9-5. Seeing how employees have to juggle their private lives, families, and other responsibilities alongside a job, it’s easy to see why they would choose to work from home. 

With more and more companies understanding the benefits of working remotely, it’s important to understand the differences in recruiting remote employees. 

Having an in-person meeting with a new hire already gives them a plethora of information on you and your company. They can see the offices, the other employees (the way you interact with them), and your meeting room. 

All of these things provide them with context clues, leading them to make educated guesses on company culture and employee satisfaction. When you recruit remote employees, all of that information is missing from the conversation. 

That’s why you need to be extra clear with all job candidates from the start. Write a job listing specifically oriented towards remote employees and make sure to include a description of your company’s values and goals

Link any blogs you might have that talk about these things in your listing in order to provide people with the full spectrum of information. Once you select candidates for interviews, make sure to bring up the subject of working from home and explain what that means for your company. 

It would be helpful for them to know what time their team members usually start to work and how company-wide communication works. Do they have to respond to all messages or phone calls as soon as they receive them, or do you practice asynchronous communication or using IVR system?

While you’re preparing the questions for your interview, remember that some workers are just now entering the work field, and they don’t have any office experience. That means that you have to educate them on corporate culture, even if they’ll be exclusively working from home. 

Now that we’ve covered your part of the equation, let’s delve into the type of employees that strive in a remote environment. 

Remote workers need to have the same set of skills your other employees have, but they also need to be self-motivated and great at organizing their workload by themselves. They have to be organized enough to meet tight deadlines without affecting their sleep schedules for a productive life at work. They also need to be able to communicate with their team members efficiently, through different tools. 

This may be hard for some people because they can’t read facial cues and tone through text messages, so some things may be lost in translation. That’s why it’s important to bring in potential team members for interviews and ask their opinion on prospective candidates. 

To ensure the security of the remote work provide them with a few tips on how to secure the device and protect their privacy online.

 

Give essential information and access

Once you hire new team members, welcome them to the company with a package. If you’re securing the work equipment, send it to them with a welcoming note in which you express your appreciation for them and hope for a great business relationship. 

In case you’re not sending them any equipment, write them a welcome email. Start with a short introduction to your team, a description of their first week, and a few tips on how to make their home office comfortable and free from any distractions. 

When they set up their equipment, share access to your communication channels, different tools they’ll need and all other information you deem necessary. Once they’ve settled in, invite them for their first onboarding call and introduce all team members and projects they’ll work on. 

 

Start with a 2-week plan

Getting your new employees settled is an important first step, but don’t forget that onboarding is a process and not a one-time thing. 

If you’ve exclusively hired employees that worked in the office before, reevaluate your existing onboarding process. Just because you’re not physically close to your new employees, doesn’t mean that you should scrap the old practices. After all, the end goal is the same – making sure the new hires are familiar with your company’s culture and values and feel comfortable within their team. 

Work out which steps of your onboarding process make no sense in the digital environment and try to replace them with remote-friendly but monitoring activities

Start by giving your new hires a simple task and make sure to check in on their progress. Make complex processes and workflows easier with explainer videos to let them understand how things work. Once they finish their task, don’t review it immediately, but let them listen to a few of your presentations introducing the clients and projects they’ll be working on. 

During this meeting, go over their roles and tasks for each project and make sure to give them clear instructions on how to take over responsibilities from current employees, as well as how to open up communication with clients. You can even make animated videos about the key workflow procedures in the company prior to assigning first tasks to the new hires. 

This is how you’ll avoid a high turnover rate since research shows that 44% of new hires that leave within 6 months do so because of unclear guidelines regarding their role.

After the meeting, give them a chance to rewrite their first task to be more in line with the expectations of your company and clients. 

Make sure to check in on them privately after these steps and give them feedback on their job. 

 

How to choose the first big project

The first big project should be something that involves cross-team collaboration and an agile approach to manage projects overall. A project like that ensures that your new hire will communicate and work with other team members which will help them learn other people’s responsibilities and create comradery in the digital space. 

A project that requires them to work with others doesn’t just show how good of a team player they are but also helps them discover the inner workings of your company. The end goal is for them to work together and bridge the gap between them brought on by geography, culture, and more. 

 

Introduce the team

We already mentioned that you need to introduce the team over a Zoom call (or any other tool of your choosing), but remember to make this a periodical thing. Organize a weekly meeting in which you’ll discuss the progress made on different projects, company news and get a chance to further familiarize yourself with the team. 

Meanwhile, connect your entire team on a remote team chat app, like Slack or its alternatives, to let them discuss things, ask questions from each other, and catch up when they need.

Knowing one’s work responsibilities and knowing them as a person are two different things. Since your remote workers don’t have a chance to catch up at the water cooler, you need to recreate these spontaneous moments for them. 

This is a longer process, but it will be worth it once you see them relying on each other and letting their team members know when they need help or an extension on the deadline. 

 

Check-in regularly 

Performing regular check-ins lets you know how your new hires are progressing as well as how the team feels about their new colleagues. Employee satisfaction is the best review of your onboarding process, so make sure to listen and make changes if necessary. 

Other than checking in with your employees privately, make sure to leave time in your weekly meetings for questions and suggestions. If you’re not getting any constructive criticism, send out anonymous questionnaires and let your employees write their grievances. 

No one likes to spend time with their coworkers outside of work, so don’t force any Zoom happy hours or make them eat lunch in front of the camera. Think smaller when it comes to working on employee gatherings, like celebrating birthdays, weddings, having children and more over Slack and company-wide emails

That leaves people room to reach out to other team members privately and forge real connections. 

 

Conclusion 

Onboarding is a long process that costs you time and energy so you want to make sure it gives you the results you want. Rework your strategy and make checklists for all steps you want to take, but don’t forget about the human factor. You can also look at AI-powered tools such as AI resume screening to ensure you have the best candidates in the first place. 

Your employees need to adjust to the “new normal” and you’ll definitely come across some hiccups and will need to be quick on your feet. You’ll see that there’s a lot of things that transfer nicely to the digital space and with our guide for the things that don’t, you’ll easily create a foolproof strategy for onboarding remote workers

 

Author bio:

Petra Odak is a Chief Marketing Officer at Better Proposals, a simple yet incredibly powerful proposal software tool that helps you send high-converting, web-based business proposals in minutes. She’s a solution-oriented marketing enthusiast with more than 5 years of experience in various fields of marketing and project management.

 

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Business Data Marketing & Advertising

Why Using A Customer Data Platform Will Take Your Customer Experience to the Next Level

Why Using A Customer Data Platform Will Take Your Customer Experience to the Next Level

There’s no shortage of marketing tools that capture and analyze customer data. The problem? When businesses analyze customer data, each data set is usually treated as a standalone. But siphoning through data set after data set can be costly and inefficient. 

So, how do marketers combine different data sets into a single customer view? 

They use customer data platforms (CDPs). 

What are CDPs?

CDPs are data platforms that capture data from various sources and display it in a single unified customer database. In other words, they consolidate and integrate customer data into one central platform. This way, businesses can pull insights on a specific customer or prospect during various points of the customer journey. 

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Like all marketing tools, businesses use CDPs to understand their customers’ unique preferences and behaviors. 

But what sets CDPs apart from other tools is their ability to help businesses create customer-centric experiences.

CDPs give businesses the data they need to create relevant messaging — all in one place, in real-time. This helps them create messages that are custom-tailored to their customers’ preferences. When customers feel like a company knows them, they’re more likely to stick around. 

Let’s take a closer look at how you can use CDPs to take your customer experience to the next level.

Building a sales process 

Using a customer data platform can be invaluable to building a sales process that entices your customers to say “yes” without resorting to slimy tactics. 

Below, we’ve listed a number of ways businesses can use CDPs. 

1. Map out the buyer’s journey

Buyer journeys aren’t simple straight lines that lead to a sale. They zig, zag, turnaround, and zig again. 

Today, a buyer’s journey could start on one channel and toggle between several steps. Knowing how that journey ebbs and flows gives your organization a chance to ensure no customer slips through the cracks.

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That’s why it’s essential to map out your company’s buyer’s journey. 

Every step and interaction a customer goes through during the buyer’s journey produces customer data. 

Businesses that study these interactions and look for patterns can predict future buying habits. Understanding this behavior shows you what customers align with and what turns them away. 

To sum up: Understanding what actions customers complete before or after purchasing helps you nurture leads and create more enjoyable customer experiences.

2. Craft customer-centric sales funnels

Mapping out the buyer’s journey and analyzing customer behavior gives you a competitive advantage. 

When you can predict customer behavior, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand buying habits
  • Share relevant offers
  • Personalize content 
  • Build long-term customer relationships 
  • Speak to customers in their preferred communication style 

You’ll also be able to craft customer-centric funnels. 

Customer-centric funnels use the data you mapped in your buyer’s journey to take customers through a personalized sales experience. 

Each stage of the funnel is personalized for your customers. Some people will need more nurturing before making a purchase, while others won’t need much coaxing at all.

For instance, some customers will need a whole series of offers while others will buy after just two. 

Funnels also take some of the pressure off your sales team and create passive business revenue. 

If done well, they also help you build long-term customer relationships and repeat sales. 

3. Analyze detailed customer profiles

The most valuable part of a CDP is the personalized customer profiles. These in-depth, single customer view profiles are what set CDPs apart from other systems. 

Profiles detail each person based on data pulled from an array of channels. This means wherever your customer is — you are. Whether they’re in person or online, you have a compilation of their behaviors and preferences. 

This helps you craft unique experiences you know a customer will love. 

In the end, customers want to be seen as individuals, not as lead prospects. It can get cloudy when you’re analyzing data. Sooner or later, prospects look like sales targets on a spreadsheet. But CDPs have the distinct ability to create comprehensive profiles that feel human.

Every data point serves a purpose, is cleaned, and deduplicated. Next, the datasets are grouped together by theme. Finally, the data generates a unified customer profile. 

In a CDP customer profile, you’ll see details such as:

  • Their behavior 
  • Their engagement 
  • How they feel about your business
  • If they’re a frequent user
  • If they’re likely to re-engage 
  • Their likes and dislikes

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Personalizing marketing content and promotions 

Understanding customer behavior and preferences is essential to personalizing the content that enhances the customer experience. 

CDPs help businesses such as SaaS content marketing agencies personalize content and marketing promotions in a number of ways. 

1. Relevant messaging 

Customers don’t engage with campaigns that aren’t personally relevant. The data you collect from a CDP helps create relevant messaging your customers will connect with. Relevant messaging through target campaigns increases customer experience and loyalty.

For instance, Millennials prefer different messaging than Baby Boomers. Baby Boomers prefer different messaging than Gen Zers.

2. Content optimization

Understanding your customers also helps you optimize content to match a customer’s search intent. This helps you produce the right content at the right time.

Picture this:

You own a simple skincare brand, and you’re looking to increase your product base. Before you start getting creative in a lab, you analyze customer data in your CDP.

After noticing a series of patterns, you realize that your customers are searching for:

  • Sun protection sets
  • Bath bombs
  • Jade rollers
  • Beard oil

Not only does this show you what products to create, but it also shows you which target phrases to optimize your content around.  

You use those target phrases to plan out content briefs, research secondary keywords, and prepare SEO plans. 

By the end of your preparation, you’ve planned out three months worth of:

  • Topics to target
  • Secondary keywords
  • Frequently asked questions to answer
  • Content scores to target
  • Sales copy
  • Blog article outlines
  • Social media content 

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Along the way, you continue to keep an eye on your customer data. If you see a change in pattern, simply adjust your content as needed. 

This commitment to custom tailoring content to customers’ preferences enhances their experience with your company.

Segmenting customers 

While every customer has their own preferences and behaviors, it’s common for many to exhibit common patterns. 

CDPs give you tools to define your audience by segments based on these shared attributes and behaviors. Segments are based on rules, or they’re built using machine learning and AI. With these tools, you can enrich customer profiles with data you wouldn’t be able to gather on your own.

With the segmenting features, you can:

  • Predict customer churn 
  • Deliver relevant recommendations based on buying history
  • Identify customer advocates and frequent buyers
  • Identify similar patterns
  • Identify upsell and cross-sell opportunities 
  • Segment your customers using common attributes 
  • Tailor messages to those segments

Businesses can use CDP segmentation tools to optimize the entire customer journey from discovery to advocacy. 

To analyze and segment profile data, look for a CDP that has:

  • Prebuilt code
  • Visualizations that feel intuitive 
  • Out of the box features
  • 24/7 customer support 

An example of audience segmentation 

Let’s imagine that your business sells digital courses on personal and career development. You just set up a CDP, and you’re looking forward to trying the audience segmentation features. 

After identifying customer patterns and behaviors, you notice you have three main types of customer patterns:

  1. Frequent buyers that mainly buy career development courses
  2. Infrequent buyers that mainly buy personal development courses 
  3. Moderate buyers that buy a mix of both

 

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This insight helps you segment your customers into the following customer avatars:

  1. Career development customers 
  2. Personal development customers
  3. Career and personal development customers 

Later, you improve your marketing strategy to cater to these three customer avatars. You have three different kinds of social media campaigns, email newsletters, landing pages, websites, and paid ads. 

You can also repurpose content over time by launching a podcast or producing videos, for example. After this: This helps you produce the right content at the right time.

For your career development customers, you:

Focus your content on career advancement, job skills, and networking tips.

For your personal development customers, you:

Focus your content on personal growth, coping skills, and building self-confidence.

For your career and personal development customers, you:

Focus your content on how personal growth contributes to career growth.  

At this point, your content strategy is laser-focused and serves your three most common types of customers. 

Over time you keep an eye on behaviors and make adjustments when needed. You also keep an eye out for new customer avatars and buying habits.

Isn’t a CDP just a CRM?

CDPs and CRMs both work with customer data, but the two are pretty different. 

You may have wondered, “Why do I need a CDP? Isn’t a customer relationship management tool (CRM) the same thing?”

It’s actually not. 

While CRMs contain data you already know (i.e., name, email, and zip code), CDPs collect data you wouldn’t know over a specific time. 

But there are more differences between the two tools. 

Here are some major differences between a CDP and a CRM.

1. Data capacity 

CRMs were intended to keep track of customer and prospect interactions to automate the process for sales teams. They’re great for sales and marketing teams that need to pull customer information quickly. 

CDPs are great at handling large amounts of data from various channels. 

2. Known data 

CRMs only contain known data — they won’t be able to pull anything on potential customers you’ve never met before. 

CDPs work with both known and unknown data making them more valuable than most martech tools. 

3. Storage information 

CRM data stores simple information into a few fields — almost like a flashcard. It includes basic customer information such as name and contact information. 

CDPs have detailed information about a customer’s buying patterns, online and offline activity, and behaviors.

4. Data format

CRMs can’t handle data in a free-flowing manner. The system can only recognize data if it’s formatted in a specific way (i.e., a CSV file). 

CDPs take information from several sources and act as a central hub for customer data. They can handle both simple and robust information while also making sense of complex data. This includes online and offline data and behaviors. 

5. Monitoring and engaging 

CRMs are helpful for monitoring and engaging with customers and prospects throughout all phases of the buyer’s journey. They work well at managing contact information and also have automated workflows and reports. Solopreneurs and small teams often use CRMs. 

CDPs are helpful for tracking all aspects of customer behavior on and offline. They pull information from various sources for customers you know and don’t know alike. They help you segment audiences and refine your messaging. Startups, mid-size, and large companies use CDPs.  

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Which tool is better for customer experience — a CRM or a CDP?

While CRMs are helpful for engaging with customers at various parts of the customer journey, they’re still limited on information. 

The more detailed information a company has about their customers, the more insight they have as to what those customers crave.

First, you have to know what their pain points are. Then, you have to craft messages that align with customer needs. But a CRM can’t help you with that. It can help you manually look up customers and engage with them directly, but it doesn’t use machine learning or artificial intelligence to scour customer behaviors.  

That’s why, in the end, CDPs are better tools for enhancing the customer experience. 

Ready to transform your customer experience to the next level? 

Customer experience affects every aspect of success, making CDPs invaluable to a business. 

With a CDP, you’ll understand how your customer thinks, what they’re looking for, and what they like. You won’t need three tools, and multiple data set extraction tools. Instead, your CDP will pull information from various channels for you. 

Not only does this save you time, but it also helps you understand how to reach your customers in a profound way.

From knowing how to craft messages to building long-term relationships, a CDP is every business’s trusted tool for up-leveling the customer experience. 

 

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Business

How to Optimize Productivity in the Workplace

Keeping employees engaged takes reflection on the strategies used to run your business. Business management is connected to workplace culture. Unfortunately, these close ties mean that if one area is lacking, the other will follow. To prevent slips in productivity, here are some ways to ensure that your employees remain satisfied and on-task at work. 

 

Improve Workplace Culture

People are creatures of habit. When we repeat an action, a thought, or a combination of the two, our minds begin to associate with these things to the extent that they become second nature. At work, we showcase our habitual natures by repeating a task or thinking the same things about the workplace. While these habits help produce outcomes, they can be destructive. If one’s thoughts are negative, the actions they take towards work will also be negative, albeit unintentionally. If employees regularly feel that they are not being acknowledged for their efforts at work, soon enough, their work ethic will suffer, and so will the company. Understanding that this is the effect of negative thinking and poor workplace culture, we can piece together ways to improve productivity. Employees are more likely to be motivated and increase their productivity if the workplace culture is improved upon. Consider presenting the culture and the value of your organization during the onboarding of the employees. It is worth showing your employees that you value them; this will increase their motivation and enthusiasm.

 

Set Goals Effectively

Depending on your business’s size and scope, the way you go about goals will vary. For larger organizations, integrating strategy developments such as objectives and key results (OKRS) can be an effective way to engage the company. For smaller businesses, relying on SMART goals is often a more practical approach to achieving business aims. Consider the specifics of your organization and adopt strategies that emulate your setup and dynamic the best. Don’t forget to take the feedback of customers that you collect using online surveys or tools such as Get Weave Communications into consideration – this way you’ll be able to tailor your services to meet the clients’ expectations. Look into HCM management as another way to harness business success for your company, especially with the rise in remote work culture. 

 

Integrate Employee Rewards 

The millennial workforce is exceptionally responsive to task-reward strategies for workplace productivity. With the help of performance management software such as factoHR, managers can now easily create objectives for employees and evaluate their performance. A job well done can be acknowledged in many ways. Business leaders might consider gift cards, employee of the month posts, acknowledgment during a meeting, or paid time off as a few ideas for work rewards or employee rewards. At the very least, incorporating consistent positive feedback will motivate employees to continue producing the ideal results needed. Without considering your employees regularly, they will start to feel like machines, and their work ethic will dwindle. Remember to see the person behind the employee and make efforts to engage positively for increased productivity. To boost productivity, you can consider implementing a time reporting system, so your company will have more organized and well-prepared reporting mechanisms.

Use Team Management Software

If you’re noticing signs that your business needs digital tools to enhance productivity, invest in business management software. Several businesses worldwide are relying on Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions to improve their productivity and streamline their remote management. Stay on track of goals using team software that allows everyone in the office to connect at all times. You can check off assignments and tasks using these systems, and everyone can see what is happening that day on the dashboard. Using online software to store data and communicate will also subsequently boost business security. Communicating through instant messaging is a common feature found on these software programs and makes work productivity flow faster and more efficiently. We like Asana for the business management of smaller teams—and don’t worry about learning a new system, you can get Asana consulting to help you adjust quickly. Larger companies may need to use regular video chatting to optimize productivity. Designate a specific amount of time each week where business meetings can take place online. Deliberately mapping out this time will allow employees to plan and get more work done in time for the chats later that week. Even better, you can use time management software to keep things organized.

Organized workflows with responsible behavior towards deadlines help complete tasks prior to the deadlines and keep a stress-free work environment. Organized tasks and team meetings let remote employees adjust their schedule accordingly to set off enough time for their personal care and quality sleep.

Improving workplace productivity requires that business leaders take a look at how well they are treating their employees. Efforts to improve workplace culture and instill a positive attitude in the company will be most effective at increasing the work productivity taking place as a whole.  

Categories
Business

How to Keep Track of All Your Business Expenses

When you run a business, whether large or small, one of the most important aspects of your success is the way you handle your finances. As a business, you’ll have expenses—there’s simply no way around it. However, the way that you manage them can have an impact on your profit. 

From paying your taxes to managing your payroll, there are a number of reasons why tracking business expenses is paramount to the smooth running of your company. Here are some of our top suggestions for tracking your business expenses.

Stay organized

While your individual home expenses may consist of tracking expenses through keeping all of your receipts, this won’t fly when it comes to your business expenses. Not only is it terribly hard to keep track of numerous receipts, but it can also be a nightmare to go through all of them when it’s time for tax season or staying aware of how much your business is spending. This is why automating how you track your expenses and using an online bill pay service is a game-changer. 

Use apps for tracking expenses

Along the same lines as the above-mentioned tip, using a receipt scanner and software helps you have all your business expenses in one place. Platforms like Spendesk even offer virtual employee debit cards to help keep track of your teams’ business expenses.  You can easily keep track of your money and where it’s going, which can go far in how you run your company and save for emergencies. From categorizing expenses to keeping track of the little things, being organized with your finances is key to the success of your business. Apps are a great way to achieve this. Learn more about your business’s debits and credits here.

Consider hiring a professional

If you simply don’t have time to take care of your business finances because you’re busy managing teams and networking with clients, hiring a professional can go far in helping you control business expenses. While it does mean making an investment, the benefits found in hiring someone to handle your finances can make a world of difference for you. Through their expertise, they can make sure the company is saving, only spending what’s necessary, and profiting as you should be. Hiring a professional accountant or best accounting firms investing in cloud-based bookkeeping software will provide you with an in-depth analysis of your expenses.

Have a business credit card

Most large businesses that have been around for a while already have a dedicated account for their expenses. If you’re a small business just starting out, chances are you’re still using your personal credit card. Maybe it’s been easier that way. However, this can become confusing and even detrimental to the success of your company as it grows because you’ll have all of your money and expenses lumped in one place. There are apps and websites that not only make it easy to open a business account, but to manage it all from one place. This way, keeping track of your business expenses is streamlined and you’ll know where your company money is and what you’re spending it on. 

Review expenses and accounting every so often

Whatever option you choose, it’s a good idea to go back to it and reevaluate how things are going. In some instances, what works for one company may not be the best for yours due to different kinds of products or services and ways of operating. With your financial health being one of the most important aspects of your business, it’s important to get it right. Even if you have hired a professional, it’s still a good idea to check in and make sure they’re helping you get your money’s worth.Learn more about efficient project accounting tactics and how it impacts your business.

The Bottom Line

Your financial health as a small business is important. Haphazardly keeping track of your expenses simply won’t cut it in this day and age. Fortunately, with the help of today’s technology and financial professionals in your area, you can easily track your expenses and make sure your small business is making a profit. 

How to Keep Track of All Your Business Expenses

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Business

3 Tips to Finding the Best Candidates When Hiring

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link and, when it comes to growing a successful business, you can’t afford to have a link that’s anything less than strong. The first step to building an unstoppable team for your company is to hire the right candidates from the get-go.  That’s why you need a Core HR solution.

With these three tips, you’ll be well on your way to a chain that’s truly unbreakable. 

#1 Get Creative with Recruiting

Don’t let your recruiting efforts fizzle on your website. While a posting on your careers page is a must, make sure you’re also expanding your recruitment horizons by placing job listings on online platforms like:

  • LinkedIn – LinkedIn connects millions of enthusiastic professionals, industry veterans, and recent grads in an easy-to-search digital networking space. Take advantage of its premium features and messaging capabilities to reach out directly to the professionals that catch your eye (like in dating, sometimes you have to make the first move). 
  • Social media – Platforms like YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and more are practically overflowing with young professionals showing off their talents, skills, and passions. For candidates that break the mold, reach out to smaller influencers, and see who bites. And who knows? They might be a great catch.  

#2 Cast a Wide Net

A person is far more than their college GPA and resume. Sometimes, a piece of paper doesn’t do a candidate justice. While straight-arrow, by-the-book candidates are highly valuable, try to diversify your team by sprinkling in some creative thinkers with unorthodox backgrounds. 

Consider out-of-the-box candidates like:

  • Older professionals with deep-rooted IT skills in another field—their years of experience in collaboration and unique know-how can do wonders for your team.  
  • People with non-traditional educational paths. Maybe they went to trade school and are brilliant welders with a penchant for writing. Perhaps they’re high school grads who taught themselves how to code. Whatever it may be, a lack of a standard college education doesn’t have to be a flaw—it can be what sets them apart. Here is an article by Lensa which talks about high paying jobs that do not necessarily need a qualification or a college degree. 

However, make sure you’re supplementing your interviews and resume checks with some good ol’ vetting. No matter how shiny your new hire’s CV or how strapping their suit, you can never go wrong with a background check and a quick look at their tradeline. Or take some inspiration and use skills testing during the hiring process.

 s

#3 Know How to Sell Yourself

If you want to hire the best talent in your industry, or you are looking at hiring inside sales representation you’ll need to foster a company culture that shines brighter than the rest, especially if you’re a smaller business. If you don’t have the capital to offer the pay and benefits that larger companies can, you must know how to sell yourself to highly coveted candidates, just like you would to potential investors. It’s also a great idea to have an employee onboarding process and employee onboarding software to start off as you mean to go on.

While some professionals may turn away from a growing company, you just need to focus on the ones that are attracted to your immense potential. To make them see the light, you must offer:

Don’t Settle for Anything Less Than Excellent

Hiring talent is a two-way street. If you want to hire impressive candidates, you’ll need to impress them too. No matter what, building your A-Team takes time. Be patient, don’t settle, and you’ll get there eventually. Happy hiring. 

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Business

How to Organize a Retail Team for Better Performance and Sales

Retail is not an easy job and includes many challenges, but the best results are achieved when you have a specially organized and dedicated team. That’s why we are here to help you build a solid team and improve its performance.

As a team leader, you have many responsibilities and play a key role in the success of your company. One of the most important tasks that impacts your business results is to lead a truly engaged team.

Did you know that companies with highly engaged teams are 21% more profitable?

Disengaged employees working at a minimal level could have a greater impact on sales if they feel part of something, part of a team, part of a business, and part of your success. 

Let us look at what you can do to improve the organization of your team and shoot those key indicators through the roof.

 

The 6 strategies to organize your retail team and boost their performance

Provide reliable retail sales scheduling software

In order to think about certain tactics, you need to have a system that builds a foundation. It’s very convenient to use retail staff scheduling software and one of the current-best on the market is Agendrix Retail Scheduling Software, which manages everything automatically. By eliminating the manual work, you can really save a lot of wasted hours.

They solve all the short-term scheduling problems and keep the team’s activities up to date. These systems are managed with messaging systems, real-time notifications and everything you need to stay connected at all times.

The main advantages for you are: 

  • Time savings
  • Open pop-up windows where employees can move their schedule as needed
  • Lower administrative costs
  • More efficient recording of working hours
  • Creation of schedules

It optimizes time so you can focus on what matters: improving their performance.

 

Hire a good attitude

Hiring the right people is the key to a good retail team.

Your task is to build a team that promotes a good working atmosphere. Each part is important to create synergies between all, with each member complementing and supporting the others. Your job is to pass on to them an attitude of learning and continuous improvement.

The key is to hire employees as they are and train them based on their aptitude. Screen and hire the best candidates carefully, making sure they not only have the necessary skills to sell and perform well, but also the right attitude and ability to adapt to the company culture and fit perfectly into your team.

It’s much easier to train a positive person, who is willing to learn and who shares your values, than to change the attitude and disposition of someone who does not have a natural inclination towards service. Engaged and positive employees are the ones who will keep customers coming back and spending their money in your store.

 

Drive employee engagement and customer loyalty together

If your staff genuinely thinks that your product has value and adds meaning to someone’s life, they will be able to communicate that to consumers. This includes providing good training instances for everyone and showing each of them what you offer.

The link between employee engagement and customer loyalty is becoming increasingly clear, and that’s true in retail, too. Now, 89% of customers say they’ll consider a purchase if a seller changes their way of thinking. Your customers will keep coming back if they are well taken care of and given a clear explanation and guidance. 

Your goal is to position the brand and communicate values, and the team responsible for promoting your product in stores must be clear about these values, its competence and added potential. 

If you aim for sales success, it’s essential that the workforce know everything they need to know in order to respond properly to each customer. To do this, you need to ask yourself:

  • Have you conducted internal marketing campaigns to announce a new product? 
  • Have you run campaigns to explain to your team who you are and what sets you apart from the competition?

If not, you have work to do. The idea is to convey the value of your product to them with passion, so they can pass it on in the same tone. Work actively on this.

 

Define optimal ground rules

The people who make up your team demand that you take concrete, directional action to facilitate their work and motivate them. Rely on:

  • Clearly define the tasks to be accomplished
  • Set achievable goals
  • Actively assess and monitor performance
  • Evaluate results
  • Establish good internal communication
  • Develop career plans
  • Pay accordingly and create an emotional salary
  • Establish a customer-centric culture
  • Build loyalty among your salespeople

To be a true leader, you must inspire with your attitude, encourage the personal and professional development of your teams, and be honest about your intentions. Leading intelligently requires good policy and an optimal business methodology. This is the key.

 

Delegate in a systematized way

Establish hierarchies and optimize productivity within the company by defining work structures appropriate to growing. Centralizing control to a single person is a barrier to agility and business growth. It’s not only important to delegate tasks, but also to trust and instill confidence in subordinates. 

Success lies in giving them autonomy and the ability to make their own decisions. Usually, managers of fast-growing companies are used to controlling all operations and being above everyone else. This is a mistake that costs a lot of time and money.

Be willing to delegate, take their advice, and rely on the solutions they provide to improve sales. This is critical to the success and future of the company.

 

Invest in improving your leadership skills

You may have decades of retail experience or just be starting out now, but there are always ways to improve your skills. One way or another, you will always need to actively drive sales, and that requires training in performance skills that you can pass on to your employees. Rely on:

  • Find opportunities for your personal continuing education and training
  • Ask your teammates to evaluate your work and be open to suggestions
  • Check what your competitors are doing to train and update their leaders

For example, if you want your employees to know your products extensively, make it easy for them. Use the products, study all the details, research your competition and keep them up to date on what’s new and prepare them to sell more and better. 

Proper people management will help you develop your own potential, keep your team motivated and engaged, help them act responsibly and independently, sell confidently, and grow personally while helping you grow your business.

 

Give plenty of incentives and rewards

A reward system is necessary to maintain motivation every day for the whole team. It’s also an opportunity for you to make the connection between good performance and fulfillment. Nothing increases an employee’s overall satisfaction more than the feeling that they can go as far as they want.

Start by setting performance goals and a system that staggers rewards. Don’t forget to include aspects that are related to management but equally important: 

  • Attendance
  • Good behavior
  • Teamwork
  • Focus on results

An employee must feel valued to maintain a solid performance, so it’s important you create incentive systems, both for meeting goals or metrics and for meeting basic requirements like schedule. If you reward your team constantly, they’ll be more motivated and results-oriented.

You can give things such as office supplies, personal items, or gift cards. They can also be less tangible, such as courses, scholarships or recognition systems. They all have a direct impact on the development of group and individual motivation.

 

Common aspects for optimal organization

Organizing a successful sales team requires open leadership. As a leader, you must be prepared to address all necessary aspects, such as:

  • Provide the software and programs that support the administrative work: In this way, focus on the human side and do not waste time on technical aspects. Try to invest enough to support the work of your company
  • Hire people who have the ability to adapt to change and have the best possible attitude: It is not the same to invest in training and improving skills than to constantly spend resources in endless selection processes
  • Communicate with your employees the same way you do with your customers: If you make an effort to retain employees, it will have a direct and sure impact on customer retention
  • Set clear, concise and realistic work rules: If you communicate directly what you want, your employees will be better organized to meet your needs
  • Learn to delegate and not overload yourself with work: Trust your team and trust that they have what it takes to take on any challenge
  • Invest in yourself and everything you need to improve your role as a leader: from formal training to simply asking for feedback from your teammates
  • Pay your team accordingly, reward them, and incentivize them: congratulations may better performance for a day, but good working conditions can improve performance and loyalty in the long run

You now know everything you need to know to optimize and organize your employees to perform better than expected. Start implementing these changes now and prepare to achieve real long-term results.

 

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Business

SEO Geo-Targeting to Increase Your Ranking Within a Specific Area

Website owners are often concerned about the possibility of ranking too low for local keywords and hence, the need for geo-targeting optimization strategies. But SEO geo-targeting surprisingly acts the opposite on your website’s ranking, effectively increasing it. 

As you know, Google works on constantly adjusted algorithms to provide the best user experience possible based on what the user is searching for and where. In Google’s mind, for example, if a person in Austin searches for “a restaurant”, then it makes sense that they’re probably looking for restaurants in Austin. For this reason, the person will be provided with a list of URLs pertaining to that location.

Geo-targeting in SEO is crucial: visitors will be more inclined to contact you (because they will see that their location is included in the site contents), and Google will show your SEO location pages over generic ones. Everyone working on targeted SEO understands the importance of optimizing their target customer’s Google experience by using geo-targeting because it will increase their business’ customer base and revenue.

 

What Is SEO Geo-Targeting? 

Optimizing your website and marketing initiatives to specific locations such as cities, states, or even countries can be one of the most effective ways to boost your online visibility.

SEO geo-targeting is a method used to rank higher for local business listings. It’s about targeting a specific area for more website traffic and conversion. This can enhance your marketing strategy by creating more relevant content and focusing on local keywords.

According to a survey conducted in the United States in November 2021, 21% of respondents searched for a local business on a daily basis, while 35% said they used the Internet for this purpose several times a week, and only 1% didn’t search at all for a local business online. This proves that there is a large tendency to localize search results, which we should take advantage of!

 

When did Geo-Targeting in SEO Become Important?

Not surprisingly, Google has always used geo-targeting in search results, but it became an important aspect to consider for websites in September 2016, when Google released an update named “Possum”. The main goal of “Possum” was to penalize local directories that used spammy tactics like fake locations or telephone numbers to rank on top of Google.

Possum caused Google to change its geo-targeting algorithm, increasing reliance on geographical location-related signals over IP identification. After this update, Google began inspecting every single website to judge whether it was a local business. The search engine stopped showing spammy local results and prioritized local ones. This led companies to rank higher. 

 

Tips for Successful SEO Geo-Targeting

Help Google understand your location

SEO geo-targeting is vital for helping Google to understand your location and categorize your site’s content according to it. For this reason, if you have a local-based business and target people living there, you should use the Google Search Console option to set your website’s location. 

Keep in mind that if your business is based in Toronto and you want to target Canadian traffic but haven’t chosen Canada as an option, chances are you will drive only Chinese traffic. Luckily, Google allows you to select the country where your website is hosted and displayed. In addition, this tool will enable you to verify the coding and internationalized domain name (IDN) settings on your website.

Registering a country code top-level domain (ccTLD) is another way of implementing geo-targeting, with all domains ending with a two-letter country code, e.g. ‘.us’ for the United States, or utilizing geographic-based subdirectories or pages. At the same time, using the Hreflang tag can assign a language and location to a web page, respectively. This is used to send the right content to users from different markets.

 

Location-specific keywords

SEO specialists know how challenging it is to rank high at the top of giant search engines. To increase your chances of success in such a competitive local environment, first and foremost, you should understand search intent, then find keywords with location, and focus on those with high search volume and low competition. With geo-targeted keywords, your business can be found in the local search results instead of getting lost in the endless lines of global searches. 

Since these keywords are more targeted and specific, you should choose them carefully. There are various keyword tools, such as Google Keyword Planner, SE Ranking, etc., which can help you determine how competitive your keywords are and how many search results each receives per month.

When searching relevant location-based keywords, make sure they mention the country or city, for example, ‘best tattoo shop in New York’, or ‘New York tattoo shops’, etc. Keywords and phrases that include the name of your town or area will provide search engines such as Google and Bing with valuable local data that they can use to determine how your site is ranked. Unlike a global keyword, a location-specific keyword helps with SEO targeting the specific geographic location and immediately grabs the viewer’s attention.

 

Off-page SEO

A lot of factors play into this complex procedure. You have to look at the local keyword density and seriously consider your local site structure, place citations and links properly, create your Google Business Profile, and even spend some time checking whether your business shows up in the Knowledge Panel. 

 

Build Local Links

Understanding the backlink profile of your competitors will allow you to know how they managed to achieve their rankings and give you an idea of how you should build your own data-driven link-building strategy. To get this data, just enter your competitor’s domain name in the Backlink Checker by SE Ranking and examine its profile from every angle in one click. 

Moreover, you need to focus on getting TLD links if you seek to push up your business ranking specifically for location-based searches. Focusing on relevant sites, getting quality backlinks, writing guest posts that people would like to read, and including geo-targeted keywords in those posts will give you many chances to win! In short, SEO geo-targeting should be an indispensable part of your SEO strategy concurrently as you build backlinks.

In addition, try to build a network of local business connections that will eventually lead back to your website and, ideally, all the way to the homepage. The larger your network grows, the larger you can make your SEO footprint locally. You can also do this by participating in local webinars, charities, and events within the area where your target audience lives. Contribution and presence at these events can boost your reputation and credibility and build a link to your website from these sources. 

Unfortunately, a handful of marketers don’t emphasize email marketing and social media marketing enough, even though it plays a crucial role in promoting a brand locally. Being active on social media and using emails is a great way to make local people aware of your presence and what you do. 

Furthermore, it would be helpful to add your company details to each major local directory website such as Yelp, Yahoo Local, etc. They give you the power to attract visitors in the local area who are searching for the product or service you provide.

 

Google Business Profile

Google implemented a feature that allows verified locations to display their business profiles in Google Maps, providing more information about their services and locations. The feature is called Google Business Profile. It allows you to verify your business as a local entity, upload photos, and respond publicly or privately to reviews, taking control of your review reputation. Moreover, Google’s business listing puts your phone number and other local information at the top of the search results so people can contact you in just one click.

 

Use Structured Data

Getting your business to show up in Google’s Knowledge Panel is about more than just having the name of your business appear in at least one of the Business listings on Google. It’s about using structured data that Google can understand and process for the Knowledge Panel. Google’s Knowledge Panel shows your business address, phone number, and website directly from the SERP, which boosts your SEO rankings for local search results and helps your business to get greater visibility.

 

On-page SEO

Many local businesses don’t take on-page location SEO seriously because they believe it’s not an optimal strategy. But in reality, it can help your business rank much higher on the search engine result page. So, this is a great way to increase the overall traffic of people searching for specific products or services within your location and boost revenue. Let’s look at how we can achieve this.

 

Focus your content on local news

Generally, you want to provide the best content related to your business, but people search for more specific and localized terms. Consumers will still want local information, even if the business is a national brand. For this reason, businesses that focus their domain on local or industry news are seen as more relevant by searches and search engines. 

When someone is searching for local information, you are more likely to rank higher if your blog is focused on local search queries. Moreover, promoting local industry gatherings, employees, and educational content can help you with a personal brand, as people will recognize that you are an expert in your field. Therefore, your opinions must be valuable and trustworthy. 

 

Optimize your URL, headers, meta description, and content

Geo-targeting involves optimizing your content with proper usage of keywords, including long tail ones. This also entails geo-tagging your website and optimizing site maps, title tags, headers, and meta descriptions of your website to rank well in the search engines for a particular location. You should start with the basics, like adding city or state names to your title tags and meta descriptions. Having targeted keywords in your header can also make the difference between your business being found or not by local people.

 

Keep your NAP consistent all over the Internet

Don’t forget about the importance of ensuring that NAP (Name, Address, and Phone number) appears 100% of the time in the same format. If you’re not using consistent NAP info, then your business can be at risk since it might be penalized by Google Maps. A consistent NAP across your website, Google+ page, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social profiles helps search engines understand what your local business is. It’s also important to comply with Google My Business guidelines. A missing detail in your NAP could result in the entire listing being deindexed. 

 

Pay attention to internal links

Finally, taking a site’s geo-targeting capabilities to the next level is impossible without touching on internal links. Internal links are not just regular links connecting pages of your website, but they also provide a way to connect different content in the same language. Page architecture and internal linking play a considerable role in attracting target users as well as getting search engines to index your website correctly. One of the most important steps is to have your internal links focused on the geographic location of your business.

 

Conclusion

As we have learned, people usually prefer products and services from their local areas. And that is where SEO geo-targeting can come in handy! You naturally find yourself trying to reach a specific audience when promoting a business. The more specific you get, the greater chance of generating conversions. 

When done correctly, SEO geo-targeting can be an effective way to reach your specific audience by creating more relevant content and focusing on local-specific keywords. So, why don’t you follow the tips mentioned above, e.g., building your local link strategy or optimizing your off-page and on-page SEO for geo-targeting, and take advantage of the opportunity to increase your conversion and, in turn, profit?

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Business

How College Students Can Improve Their Marketing Skills

Many students find marketing to be an exciting place to begin their professional lives. The goal of the field is to boost sales and revenue by integrating psychological principles with strategic planning, analytical pondering, and imaginative problem solving. For the appropriate person, combining such fields might make for an exciting career.

As a student in the field of marketing, you may be wondering what it takes to make it. While it’s true that marketing is a broad sector with many different types of specialized responsibilities, there are some core competencies and personality quirks that can serve as stepping stones to success.

College students may have trouble with their homework. They might be wondering about homework help, “How can I do my math homework effortlessly?” This can happen to anyone, whether you’re the type of student who always completes assignments on time or the type who usually puts them off until the last minute. The answer is simple: if not sure whether you can perform an assignment, employ the “do my math homework” assignment writing service. You might have trouble with the numbers, the analysis, the paper format, etc. while working on a homework assignment. Don’t panic if you’re facing a particularly challenging assignment; there’s still a decent possibility you can find someone to help online.

 

9 Tips to Improve Your Marketing Skills in 2022

Those who have been in marketing for decades still invest in furthering their education and professional development. Successful marketing initiatives of the past are obviously useless in the present. If you’re a student and want to get ahead in your field, here are nine ways to improve your marketing abilities:

 

Content Marketing

The use of content marketing has proven to be successful in the past, and it continues to do so now. Articles and weblogs are popular methods of disseminating knowledge. Writing an engaging article is a prerequisite to making sales. It’s true that many people today would rather watch a video or look at a picture, but there’s still a sizable percentage of the population that prefers to read. Your writing skills require work if you wish to get their attention (avoid copying what other writers are doing or rewriting articles that already exist).

 

Follow the Trends

You’ll learn that modern marketers employ a wide variety of effective strategies. You must recognize these movements and devise strategies to incorporate them into product advertising. For instance, films embedded in the background of a website’s design can help draw visitors in. Developing online connections is essential to the growth of many companies nowadays. You can find out what methods are effective and test if they will yield positive results for you.

 

Join a Training Session

You may learn from the best in the business by attending marketing seminars and workshops. If you need to attend a seminar but can’t afford to take time away from your business, consider participating in a webinar instead. When you return, you can put what you learned in the seminars to use. Make use of your time with the professionals by asking them questions.

 

Learn New Things

Since you have been in marketing for so long, you may think you know everything there is to know about it. You still have a lot to learn, as marketing is a very broad discipline. You could benefit from learning things like computer programming, statistical analysis, and consumer behavior.

 

Go Back to Traditional Advertising

It’s easy to get caught up in the pursuit of perfecting digital marketing strategies and overlook tried-and-true methods like putting up banners and distributing fliers. Because some people still prefer them, they remain important today.

They aren’t constantly connected to the internet, so you can’t expect to reach them with traditional advertising methods. The use of such techniques also brings an individual touch to advertising.

 

Develop an Eye for Analysis

You can’t just look at the numbers in marketing. In the “science” section, the ability to reason is essential. Good marketers don’t just attempt something new without analyzing the data, making inferences, and formulating hypotheses about what will work best moving forward.

According to PathSocial’s chief marketing officer, Kathryn Smithson, “digital marketers having access to so much data, they need to be more data-driven than before.” “They must be able to identify and analyze essential data in order to make key decisions,” such as “which campaigns to sponsor, which target audiences to target and retarget, and how to allocate budget across channels.”

 

Market Research

A solid foundation of data is essential to any successful marketing campaign. The ability to conduct thorough research is crucial for locating and making use of such crucial data, whether it be on the tracking of customer preferences, the understanding of purchase trends, or a study of the competition.

 

Adaptability

Luke Rothschild, StreetLeap’s head of marketing, adds, “Marketing is always changing.” There is no way around being exposed to cutting-edge methods, technologies, and practices.

The marketing industry, like real life, might surprise you at any moment. Amazingly successful strategies and methods from the past may abruptly fail. Keeping up with the times can be a daunting task in the face of constant innovation from new competitors, platforms, legislation, and algorithm adjustments. The most effective marketers can roll with the punches and make necessary adjustments as the marketing landscape evolves.

 

Creativity

There is a constant barrage of marketing initiatives and commercials vying for your attention. Trying to stand out in a “sea of similar,” marketers must get inventive to succeed.

The importance of creativity is a given, according to Rothschild. “What makes ideas stand out and be heard above the din of our busy digital ecology is the ability to express them in novel and engaging ways.”

 

Final Words

Class material is crucial to your development as a person, but it isn’t the sum total of your education. The additional practical knowledge and abilities you develop on your own are just as crucial. 

The key is to strike a good balance and to remain open to new information and ideas at all times. Jobs in marketing tend to be more people-oriented than others, so possessing soft skills and the others described above can be especially helpful.

Make sure to leave a comment if you have any suggestions for critical abilities that are crucial to a job but aren’t always taught in the classroom.

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Business

What is the Difference Between Consent and Preference Management?

With more and more customers doing online shopping and sharing personal data, whether through ecommerce stores, banking applications, games apps, Facebook, Instagram, or just browsing, consent and preference management are two highlighters that organizations worldwide cannot ignore. 

Today, content and preference management are at the heart of modern privacy compliance. As international privacy laws get stricter, consumers are taking control of their data. For this reason, organizations must take consumer consent and preference seriously.

With customers being wary about their digital and online footprints, it has become even more important to focus on consent and preference management. 

While customers might use these two terms interchangeably, these are a world apart and have different meanings and implications for data privacy.

In this article, we outline the difference between consent and preference management.

 

What is the Difference Between Consent and Preference Management?

Before understanding the difference between consent and preference management, knowing what these two terms mean is beneficial:

 

What is consent management?

Consent management asks customers or website visitors permission to collect, process, and store data for marketing-related activities. Customers provide consent when they agree to receive emails or notifications, newsletters, and offers. 

To ensure website owners and organizations take customers’ consent for everything, the European Union introduced GDPR consent management.  

Under this consent management, website owners must provide their users with personal data processing on their domain and seek customer consent for activating cookies that store and process personal data. The law directs websites to renew consent regularly. 

Websites must deploy easy and practical ways to withdraw opt-in for processing and storing personal data. 

Ensuring compliance with GDPR law is essential as the average cost of non-compliance is $14.82 million, while the cost of compliance is $5.47 million.

 

What is preference management?

Preference management is the process that empowers customers to choose how companies might communicate with them. This management keeps customers in control and determines the frequency of communication, which helps an organization remain compliant with rules and regulations. 

Often, consent management includes preferences about the type of content. Customers choose the content type and updates they want to receive about new products and services.

Preference management flips your brand’s communication and puts customers in control. Customers decide when and how an organization might send updates and not the other way around.

With 77% of customers choosing, recommending, and paying more for a brand that provides personalized service or experience, preference management is the key to winning customers’ trust. 

 

Consent Management vs. preference management

Here are a few differences between consent and preference management:

Purpose

Initially, consent management might seem like a big hustle and increase additional work if the company ignores the consent management process. With GDPR fines skyrocketing in the previous years and companies like Facebook and Google being fined for non-compliance, consent management is essential to reduce the financial burden on companies. 

The primary purpose of ensuring opt-in is to reduce fines and increase customer loyalty. 

Though companies might not feel the impact of these imposed fines, the cleanup process is likely to hurt organizations.

Apart from rectifying their mistake, an organization might find it challenging to earn back customers’ trust who see the brand in a negative light.

On the other hand, the primary purpose of preference management is to boost sales and increase customer trust. It’s a way organization manages and balances personalization and privacy and fosters communication between customers. With preference management, customers decide to receive communication in their preferred channel.

 

Impact on business

While consent and preference management keep companies compliant with data privacy laws and empower customers, they affect a business differently.

Consent management ensures the marketing team does not use unethical methods to collect and track the cookies of customers. This ensures that customers trust your organization with their data.  

Often, the marketing team cannot leverage the preferences given by customers. Preference management provides the marketing team with an additional layer of data that helps uncover new market segments and increases an organization’s overall growth.

Preference management allows users to control their settings and enables businesses to track where and when they provide consent.

It ensures that the user is content with communication received, allows previous customers to unsubscribe from email, provides opt-in options, and creates a route to subscribe to newsletters.

This helps in creating transparency, which is an essential feature of a winning brand.

 

Impact on customer relationship

Giving customers the power to grant consent determines the trust a customer has in an organization. The higher the level of trust, the higher is the customer loyalty. This results in repeat business, which eventually increases growth. 

Preference management empowers companies to send personalized messages and zeroes into what customers expect and want from a brand. When served with content that focuses on customers’ interests, it provides a more positive customer experience.

Typically, customers consider such organizations genuine and caring toward their needs and requirements.

When a brand respects consent and abides by customers’ preferences, it shows that organizations hear their voices. Personalization delivers a first-rate experience that builds connections between different brands and target audiences.

According to research, 44% of customers feel motivated to make repeat purchases when an organization offers personalized content.

 

What do privacy laws and regulations say about consent and preference management?

The GDPR and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) are the cornerstones of data privacy. Based on these two laws, companies denote and record where and when a customer gives consent.

It helps understand what type of content a company wishes to gain, identify who they are, and why they want that specific data. 

According to these laws, a company must grant withdrawal consent and provide various methods.

Apart from the principles set by GDPR, the CCPA law empowers a company to sell its data to a third-party vendor upon customer consent.

 

Explain some trends related to user experience about consent management and preference management.

According to a survey, close to 71% of customers want to manage their data, and the same percentage of people share their information if they maintain control over their data usage and tracking.

Customers expect organizations to provide the right to delete and allow them to unsubscribe or change their consent whenever they want.

The trend shows customers want to control their data and see how companies use it to create personalized marketing campaigns. 

Most customers think that it’s their data and they have every right to govern what happens to it.

That’s precisely where data privacy laws like GDPR and CCPA come into the picture.

 

What industries get affected by preference and consent management?

Any industry or website that wants to collect customer data employs consent and preference management strategies.

For instance, retail businesses use consent and preference management to provide customers with product updates. After receiving consent and preference, companies collect search and purchase histories that customers might be reluctant to disclose to outsiders. 

Another industry that widely uses consent and preference management is the SaaS industry, which discloses to customers how they plan to use their data while giving customers an option to opt in or opt-out.

 

How do companies focus on consent and preference management?

With data privacy laws, consent management, and preference management, organizations might find themselves in deep waters trying to manage everything independently. 

Complying with the data privacy of different countries while running a successful business can be challenging. That’s why organizations use consent management and preference management systems to get peace of mind. 

Apart from ensuring compliance with GDPR and CCPA, these platforms ensure that vendors and third-party businesses do not put an organization at risk of non-compliance. 

Tools like Osano provides a single source of truth for all consents and ensures an organization focuses on GDPR compliant consent management process.

 

Creating a thriving marketing strategy

The way organizations market to customers is changing rapidly. As new privacy laws get introduced every other month, organizations feel forced to work with customer consent and preference at the core of their strategies. 

Today, consent and preference management are no longer optional strategies. It has become an integral aspect of marketing strategies. 

Laws and regulations like CCPA and GDPR have made implementation mandatory, and more and more states and countries are implementing their privacy laws.

Six out of 14 most prominent GDPR fines issued between 2020 and 2021 were due to non-compliance with the consent management clause of GDPR. 

Companies focusing on consent and preference management are better at showing customers that the company respects their data and information.