4 advantages of Bitcoin in the real-estate industry

4 advantages of Bitcoin in the real-estate industry

We are experiencing a significant shift in the real estate industry. More and more people are engaging in property transactions using digital money. In cities like Los Angeles, Miami, and London, people purchase expensive properties with Bitcoin. Stories abound of developers accepting Bitcoins for new projects in Dubai and New York. Many industry experts are excited about the potential for digital money and blockchain when it comes to real estate. But although digital currency transaction is the future, insiders say that we are not quite there as yet. However, when it comes to real estate market, the many benefits of buying and selling in Bitcoin can hardly be overlooked.

  1. A Bitcoin transaction is cheaper as it cuts costs by eliminating third parties. The fee to process the transaction is only 1%, which is a requirement for Bitcoin transfers.
  2. Also, digital sales are compelling in international property markets because they are quick, and in some cases even instantaneous. They remove the need for transfers between foreign banks and currency conversions, which can slow down the process by taking weeks or even months.
  3. Moreover, it is more transparent than the method for tracking fiat money as the firm just checks the legitimacy of the prospective Bitcoin buyers. Moreover, it is easier and more efficient than traditional currency from a technical perspective.
  4. Buying property in Bitcoin essentially involves fixing the price in fiat money and then converting it to Bitcoin. But the property seller absorbs none of the volatility as long as they exchange it back to fiat money as soon as the transaction is complete.

Mass adoption obstacles

Some Bitcoin analysts are less convinced that the property market would more widely adopt the cryptocurrency. First, the mechanics to convert their cryptocurrency into fiat money is very limited. But the biggest problem is the fact that Bitcoin and property appeal to different types of investors. 

How to Use the 5 P’s to Create a Powerful LinkedIn Presence that Drives Sales

How to Use the 5 P’s to Create a Powerful LinkedIn Presence that Drives Sales

LinkedIn is the largest professional social network, yet many business professionals are only scratching the surface in using it as an integrated part of the sales process. LinkedIn provides the opportunity to create meaningful connections throughout the sales funnel when used strategically, and many active sales professionals say that LinkedIn is their most powerful online tool for finding prospects and building relationships.

If you are ready to take advantage of LinkedIn, the 5 P’s method will help you to focus your efforts strategically to get the results you want.

  • Profile
    Your profile is your online resume – it needs to stand out and be compelling. This is your opportunity to position yourself as a powerful business professional. Think of your profile as your first impression with a potential lead or prospect. The most important elements of your profile are your picture (60% of your picture should be your face), your headline, and your summary. These are all at the top of your profile and follow you around LinkedIn. Complete the rest of your profile as much as possible and consider adding sections like certifications or projects to make it more robust.

TIP: Think about searchers when writing your headline, summary, and job descriptions on LinkedIn and use keywords to be found.

  • People
    You don’t want to be talking to an empty room, so growing your network is important. Consider your objectives for being on LinkedIn and begin to target new connections who would be helpful to you in achieving your goals. This could be prospects, leads, people in your industry, thought leaders, or other business professionals. Building your network on LinkedIn is about both the quality and quantity of your connections, so don’t focus too much on numbers, but make sure that you are connecting with people that are relevant to you. You can also use LinkedIn search to find people and map out organizations to determine who the decision-makers are.TIP: When connecting with people who may not know you include a personal note as it increases the probability that people will accept your request.
  • Posting
    Stay top-of-mind by posting regularly. This keeps you in front of your target audience and establishes you as an expert. Aim to post a few times a week, or as much as once a day. In addition to posting on your newsfeed you can also post to groups or longer format articles.TIP: Video posts are top performing right now. Consider adding short videos to break-through the noise and be seen.

     

  • Participating
    Being active and participating is a great way to grow your visibility. Comment on and interact with the posts of others. Search hashtags and participate in conversations that are meaningful to your industry.

Consider participating in three places: 1) With people in your network on your own posts, 2) With people in your network on their posts, and 3) With people in your target audience.

TIP: You can also send private message to LinkedIn contacts once you have established a relationship and want to create a deeper discussion. Aim to take the conversation off of LinkedIn.

  • Optimizing
    Finally, look at what is (or isn’t) working and optimize your approach. People not responding to your posts? Try asking questions or including a few popular topics (like travel tips or productivity) to generate interest. Evaluate your efforts and try different things to see what resonates. There isn’t a “magic formula” for LinkedIn – different things work for different people in different industries.TIP: Take some time each month to evaluate and improve.

LinkedIn can be a powerful tool – but only if you take the time to use it properly. Make a commitment to get more active on LinkedIn to boost your visibility, stay top-of-mind, establish yourself as a thought leader, and connect with prospects and clients.

TIP: Use the LinkedIn mobile app on your phone to stay active in downtimes throughout the day.

To learn how to use LinkedIn effectively, join us for a webinar: Mastering LinkedIn for Sales on October 10, 2019.

Photo by LinkedIn Sales Navigator on Unsplash

Is your Digital Marketing Strategy Still Working in 2019?

Is your Digital Marketing Strategy Still Working in 2019?

Digital marketing is constantly evolving, and, in 2019, it is projected that over half of advertising budgets will be spent in digital (and this will only continue to grow). This means that digital should be at the heart of your sales or marketing strategy. While most businesses have embraced digital marketing, the question remains – am I having the biggest impact possible? Is my strategy and execution focused on the right areas?

The reality of digital marketing is that the “shiny new objects” rarely get consistent results until they’ve hit mass adoption. A solid strategy focuses on what actually works in digital marketing and finding creative and focused ways to take advantage of these. This is why I wrote the book Digital Marketing that Actually Works  to help businesses make smart choices in digital marketing based on what works now.So what actually works in 2019? Where should you focus your sales or marketing dollars to maximize return on investment?digital strategy

Social Media: Social media is still a big part of most digital marketing strategies. Facebook and Instagram continue to dominate (Facebook mostly as paid, Instagram still offers both opportunities) and LinkedIn is emerging as a more powerful player worth your time and attention.

Digital Advertising: Digital ads represent over 50% of most ad budgets and are able to address full-funnel marketing or sales concerns. Funnel or Inbound marketing approaches are taking advantage of digital targeting while measurement is making digital advertising even more effective.

SEO: Search Engine Optimization is a tried and true strategy that gets business results. Don’t forget the importance of search, as for many businesses it represents over 50% their website traffic – and that traffic is very valuable. With the growth of mobile and voice, a solid search strategy should aim for a top three search result to break through.

Website: Your website is still incredibly important and likely the center of your strategy. Focus on making sure that your website is fast (Google recommends under three seconds) and optimized for mobile.

Conversational Marketing: Influencer marketing is growing in importance – for both B2B and B2C. Word-of-mouth and digital PR continue to provide opportunities for business growth. These areas tend to be under-invested in by businesses and present unique opportunities.

E-Mail: With mobile and chatbots, email doesn’t get a lot of attention but it is still one of the top tools to drive conversions and purchases. Don’t just focus on sending emails, but look at your ROI thoughtfully and be sure to link every email to a single and clear marketing objective.

CRM: CRM data is becoming more and more connected to other digital marketing channels, which is what powers the opportunities for personalization and customization. There are effective CRM solutions for businesses of all sizes, but effectively connecting internal sales, marketing, and customer service teams is still a big challenge.

Mobile: We know that mobile overtakes desktop in almost every digital marketing channel, so mobile optimization should be second nature. Emerging opportunities exist within mobile such as AR and VR.

As you build your digital marketing strategy digital marketing strategy for 2020 your focus should be on choosing a few digital marketing channels that really matter and focusing on mastering them. Do a few things well vs. many things poorly.

To facilitate this, we created the Investment/Impact graph to help businesses plot potential investments and make smarter choices. There is almost no end to what you could do in digital marketing, the question is what you should do. The investment impact chart allows you to plot your ideas or marketing investments based on the investment (total cost) and the impact that they are expected to have (sales).

digital strategyA healthy marketing plan will have investments in low hanging fruit, the ROI center and big bets. As digital maturity increases so will the choices in investment/impact. There will be less low hanging fruit freeing up more investment for big bets.

Using the investment/impact chart to prioritize digital spending will help you prioritize digital investments. The challenge is to have the knowledge and experience to graph opportunities appropriately.

In 2019 and beyond digital will only continue to grow in importance. The challenge is to fully take advantage of it and focus on the most impactful areas for your business.

To learn more about Digital Marketing That Works Right Now, check out our webinar being held on September 26, 2019.

4 industry sectors that use blockchain

4 industry sectors that use blockchain

” Blockchain is making waves and is the new change on the horizon. This novel technology is not only affecting the financial world but also many other sectors. The four industry sectors that currently blockchain are supply chain, corporate responsibility, fashion designing and digital advertising. “


1) Supply chain sector

The problem that large food companies face is trust issue because their customers are skeptical of many things such as where their food comes from and the factory conditions. It is the job of the marketer to build trust to be able to sell the product successfully. Above all, transparency about the product is the quickest and the surest way to gain that trust. For example, Walmart used a strategy to bring a certain level of transparency in their logistics and supply chain. They enabled their customers to track digitally from where the products came. By doing so, the goal was to boost the trust of Walmart consumers in their products. This strategy of storing products through blockchain makes room for transparency and prevents tampering. Some services such as Metamask and Keybase already offer the user control of their transaction history and identity.

2) Corporate responsibility sector

Sustainable practice is something that customers used to take on the organisation’s word. Rather, when it comes to initiatives as corporate social responsibility, there used to be no accountability. Blockchain can generate digitized agreements, wherein the company is then held accountable by making these promises public.

3) Fashion designing sector

Innovative ideas are coming through in the fashion industry using blockchain. Shanghai-based Vechain is authenticating fashion products and providing a background of the items using blockchain technology. At Shanghai Fashion Week, Babyghost provided a link between the fashion and digital worlds. The customers can verify if a particular fashion item is genuine or not by scanning the tag using blockchain, and even see where it came from as well as who had previously modeled it. Verification of the authenticity of the products can be traceable from the point of origin. This feel to each product allows the customer to create a unique connection with the item. Thus, blockchain can tap into authentic advertising without being seen as marketing. The possibilities are endless for those marketers innovative enough to jump on the bandwagon.

4) Digital advertising sector

The advertising industry is not only dynamic but also susceptible to change. Intrinsically, it fluidly adapts to the shifting focus of consumers and new technologies. The blockchain comes into this arena by creating more value for ad campaigns. For advertisers, the future could be different on many fronts and applications. They include permanent contracts with consumers, verification of ad delivery and handling consumer data transparently. This surge shows how much commotion is happening right now in the digital marketing industry. And it all results in an increase in the profit margin and a decrease in extra costs.

4 untold benefits of Bitcoin payments

4 untold benefits of Bitcoin payments

There are 4 distinct benefits for accepting Bitcoin payments. For marketing agencies struggling to increase cash flow and reduce risks, Bitcoin is the solution. There is no risk in accepting Bitcoins but an advantage regarding improving the cash flow. Since the emergence of Bitcoin in 2009, it has grown to become the most extensively used cryptocurrency in the world. Vendors including Amazon, Overstock.com, Dish Network, Target, Dell Computers, PayPal, eBay, Expedia, the Sacramento Kings, Home Depot, Kmart and Sears now accept it. Bitcoin payment solution also has some financial benefits and less tangible advantages.

  • Great financial benefits

Marketing agencies that get paid via Bitcoin can either accept actual Bitcoins or merely turn them into cash using a third-party payment processor, much like credit cards do. From a risk standpoint, the former approach is much safer because there is virtually no exchange risk when using a third-party processor. There are no processing fees unless the transactions exceed a high amount. There are no chargebacks either because Bitcoins are push transactions, meaning the buyer initiates them.

  • Less tangible benefits

Marketing agencies should consider accepting Bitcoins because there are non-financial benefits. Agencies get paid faster because payments are processed immediately without any delay. Also, the agencies do not need to safeguard or hold sensitive customer payment information such as bank account or credit card numbers because of the push nature of the business. Therefore, the marketing agencies are not at risk of confidential information being leaked, stolen or hacked if it experiences a data breach. And converting them into cash eliminates the risk of fraudsters taking the Bitcoins through a cyber-attack.

  • Easy payment form

Chief amongst the reasons to accept Bitcoin, as one of the accepted forms of payment, is customer satisfaction. Marketing agencies can allow their clients to pay for the services in the way that is most convenient and easiest for them thereby offering them more options.

  • Capture lucrative customers

While people have not widely adopted Bitcoin the way they have done with credit cards it is prevalent amongst high-tech and dot-com firms, which can be very profitable customers for the agencies. There is a growing but small cadre of advertising and marketing agencies that are accepting Bitcoin such as Quintain Marketing, 5ivecanons in Jacksonville, Florida, and DiMassimo Goldstein in New York. Because there are so few of marketing agencies that are taking Bitcoin, those that do are enjoying a significant amount of press coverage.

To learn more about emerging technologies visit our online learning center.

Photo by André François McKenzie on Unsplash

5 Overlooked Observations that’ll Improve Your Product

5 Overlooked Observations that’ll Improve Your Product

Don’t overlook these 5 observations that’ll improve your product. Cars were being rented – 230,000 users! Many companies would celebrate the success. Orix, a Japanese car-sharing service, however, discovered some oddities in the mileage reports. They found that a high-percentage of vehicles were being returned as having traveled zero distance.

Costing less than $4 to borrow a car for 30 minutes, Orix discovered customers weren’t actually using the cars for driving. Renters were using them as a quiet place to watch TV, eat lunch, get dressed up for Halloween, or even practice their rap verses.

The way we think people use our products compared to how they are actually used in the real world can be shocking. It’s important for everyone in your company from sales to marketing to engineering to get out from behind their desk and get in the trenches to understand how customers use your product. It’s these valuable insights that develop, evolve and improve your product offering.

Things you might discover in the trenches:

In 2005, Apple launched the MacMini. While it started as an easy way to port PC data for new Mac users, people started connecting a MacMini to their televisions to watch movies or listen to music in the living room, or to have the real estate of a larger monitor.

Apple observed these trends, and in 2006, they added an HDMI port to the MacMini to make it easier to connect televisions. These early adopters created their own rudimentary device that would later become known as Apple TV.

While there are lots of Analytics and digital tools you can use to monitor customer behavior, it’s important to pop out from the cubicle or data stream. Talk to customers and get a hands-on feel for how your product truly performs in the real world. As this article points out, “changing the checkout button in an e-commerce website to appear white on a white background will not be caught by any automated test. But it still will drive revenue to zero.”

5 Ways to Discover How Your Product is Really Used

Aggregate customer service calls.

Don’t answer the phone, briskly answer questions and forget about them. Even with limited resources, you should keep an Excel spreadsheet of common customer problems or FAQs. 96% of customers don’t complain, so simply going by memory, that 2-4% could be an easily forgettable radar blip. Implement a way to observe trends, because there could be a flood of disappointed customers that simply decided to no longer do business with you.

Get outside.

Where are the people that are using your product? Have an idea for a stroller accessory? Keep an eye on how people rig up strollers when walking the park. If your product benefits runners, go spectate your city’s marathon or 10K. Seeing how people subconsciously interact with your product can yield powerful intel.

Polls or Surveys.

Unless you have a very specific question in mind, improperly administered polls can yield skewed results. In the example of the Japanese rental cars, asking “on a scale of 1-10,  did you enjoy using this service?” might not provide actionable information. If I had a nice nap in the car, I’d give the experience a “10” and move on without giving any hint that I never actually drove it. Without knowing more about what you are looking for, surveys can mislead actions.

Pay attention to social media.

With so many photos and videos curated to perfection, the experience portrayed on social media might not be a truly realistic representation. With so many examples of people not even doing what they were pictured doing, it’s easy to get an unrealistic portrayal. Another mistake made when mining customer-use data from social media, is that companies are prone to paying closer attention to accounts with big followings or videos with the most views. While these can be helpful, find videos with 50, 5…even 1 view, to get a full picture.

Keep using your product!

I’ve met with many top executives that haven’t ever used any of the company’s key offerings. Constantly try it for yourself, under different conditions, over-time, etc. If feasible, make sure your entire team does the same.

As a small business, it’s not necessary to hire a pricey firm or commission an expensive focus group, but getting as close to you can to physically observing your product in-use can be the key to long-term success. The best way to lose sight of success is to think you know everything – so position yourself as a lifelong learner of your product experience.

To keep learning, visit SMEI’s online learning center.

Photo credit: MarekPhotoDesign.com for Adobe Stock

Larissa Lewis is the founder of Jargon Gist, working with engineers and other tech-laden businesses to shorten and sharpen their marketing messaging to better attract and connect with customers. Her ability to marry technical content with customer-attracting strategy combats the oft-held belief that marketing is “the stuff of fluff,” and propels a refreshed interest in jargon-laden products and services by explaining them in powerful ways that people understand and love.