Shopping Product Reviews

The application that is selling you

I just spent a week in beautiful Costa Rica. My family and I swim, sail, snorkel, communicate with wildlife, and parachute above the Pacific Ocean.

We didn’t see any Pokémon. That’s because, unlike much of the rest of humanity, we weren’t looking for anyone to use the app that has taken the world by storm: Pokémon Go.

Surprisingly, my pre-teen daughter didn’t object to our Pokémon-free existence. To my great satisfaction, he seems to enjoy more cerebral activities … mainly.

But even if he had begged me, I would have refused to give in. There is no Pokémon Go for us. That’s because I don’t feel like turning my family into negotiable data points … and neither should you.

Unfortunately, Pokémon Go is the least of our concerns in this regard …

Pokémon Go: the product is YOU

Veterans like me remember paying for software. Do you remember updating to a new version of Windows or Microsoft Office every year? In those days, getting complex apps for free, like those available for today’s smartphones, was unthinkable.

This is because, until about five years ago, the software itself was the product from which developers made a profit. It was no different from selling cars, refrigerators, or any other complexly manufactured product.

No more. I still pay a nominal fee each year to “subscribe” to updates for some software products, but many of the ones I use every day are completely free.

It is not that they are cheap to develop, quite the contrary. Today’s software is much more complex and powerful than the stuff we used to pay hundreds of dollars for.

This is because current software is not the revenue-generating part of the business model. It is not the main thing that is sold for profit.

You are.

Beware of gift-bearing geeks

In recent years, I have repeatedly warned that piracy is only part of the threat of the digital age. Less obvious, and more insidious, is the process by which you become a commodity that is marketed for profit by the companies whose products they use.

The best known examples are the large online groups such as Google and social networks such as Facebook. Both provide their services to the user for free. Both of you, however, spend most of their efforts not on improving those services, but on gathering information about you that can be sold to the highest bidder.

My favorite example is the poor guy who Googled “pancreatic cancer” and started seeing online advertisements for funeral homes. Another is the parent who received an email from some business with the words “DAUGHTER DEAD IN CAR ACCIDENT” printed on the envelope. Some idiot had misconfigured the marketing algorithm and the targeting criteria were being printed on thousands of emails.

Google and Facebook (and many others) started making money selling micro-targeted online ads to third parties like those funeral homes. But they quickly learned that they could make even more money selling the data that advertisers use to microtargeting. Precise figures are hard to come by, but with marketers reporting a 200% to 300% increase in revenue using such data, it’s safe to say that big data collectors are coining it by selling to them.

Pokémon Go takes this one step further. It does not have any ads. For the user, it seems completely ad-free. But advertisers will continue to pay to reach those users … in a much more dangerous way.

Go boldly where no app has gone before

Pokémon Go has been downloaded 20 million times in the US It just launched in Asia and Europe. Nintendo’s share price has soared more than 50% in two weeks. Pokémon Go has already surpassed Twitter in daily active users and is even closing in on Facebook.

While the app is free, users can make in-app purchases as lures to attract Pokémon to their location or “cages” to keep them. However, the game is about to unleash one of the most powerful ad campaigns in digital history … all selling frighteningly detailed information about its users.

For example, the app will soon offer “sponsored placements” to paid partners. Geolocation and geofence technology will allow advertisers to target specific buildings and match that with signals from mobile devices. Advertisers will know exactly where you are and will serve ads based on your precise location, much like the infamous scene from a shopping mall in Minority Report.

By paying Pokémon Go developers a large fee, a brand like McDonald’s (whose logo has already been seen in the Pokémon Go code) will be able to turn their stores into desirable locations in the virtual Pokémon universe. That will draw gamers to those places, where they will be tempted to buy “IRL” stuff, in real life. Advertisers will be charged based on “cost per visit,” similar to the “cost per click” that Google charges advertisers.

Get all

Initial reports that Pokémon Go collects detailed information from the Google account, such as the content of emails, appear to have been incorrect.

But the app owners don’t need those things. They’re going for something bigger. They want to know your location at all times so they can sell that information to the highest bidder.

Judge Louis Brandeis once defined privacy as “the right to be left alone.” If that’s what you want, it’s up to you to make sure it happens.


Yahoo Fantasy Hockey Strategy Project 2010-11

As a continuation of my previous article on CBS Fantasy Hockey Draft Strategy, I wanted to come back with a breakdown of how I should approach writing in a standard Yahoo head-to-head league. Many of the directors are the same as CBS (and any league for that matter). For now, I’ll focus on the specific things you need to know about Yahoo Fantasy Hockey leagues in order to select a winning team.

List limits

The first thing to note about Yahoo’s standard setup is that they choose to split the forwards by specific position (C, LW, RW), rather than group the wingers or all of the forwards together. This has a great impact on your strategy. In most other formats, I tend to focus on goal and defense early on; however, in this league, left wingers are a rare commodity. Talent in this position drops dramatically after a small handful of elite options. Based on Yahoo rankings and position rankings, the top 10 options deserve consideration in a very early draft. After that, you stick with Alex Burrows, Patrick Elias, and Dustin Penner as your starting LW. And you need to place two players in that position. Contrast that with the RW position. Post the top 10, you still have solid options: Kessel, Hossa, Horton, Eriksson. It is even more dramatic when you look at the Center. Sure, it’s great to have Crosby, Stamkos, or Malkin at the helm, but will you really be struggling to settle for people like: Zetterberg, Getzlaf, Carter, Mike Richards, or Kopitar? You can go 20 deep and still have standout options like Stastny or Brad Richards.

So while I still highly recommend attacking a goalie and maybe one of the top 5 defenders early on, you should make sure you pick a left winger for round 3. After your first LW is taken, unless you’re Willing to stack the position at the expense of other positions, he can wait in his second LW until the end of the draft. The options you will get in round 6 are not much better than what you will find in round 12.

Flexible players

It only applies to a handful of players, but it’s worth noting that multiple players each season earn the special designation of running for more than one position. These guys have added value on your list, as you can use them wherever needed. Most noteworthy: Dany Heatley (LW / RW), Rick Nash (LW / RW) and Patrick Marleau (LW / C). Heatley is the most valuable as he could easily qualify as your best LW or best RW. Drafting Heatley gives you an advantage in terms of flexibility later in the draft and throughout the season.

I / R point

Yahoo has a unique option that allows you to take a player on the IR that will not count against your other places on the list. Take advantage of this throughout the season, and even during the draft. I recommend selecting a player who you know will start the season injured (Markov, Burrows). At the beginning of the season, you can place it in the place of GO and you will have a free choice to complete it. Always look to collect damaged stars and keep the place full.

System of points

Unlike CBS, which awards stat-based fantasy points, Yahoo’s standard head-to-head leagues are scored old-school steakhouse style. (Note: this is one of the main reasons I no longer play on Yahoo). These settings affect your strategy in several important ways.

1. Pay attention to all categories.

In a point-based system, +/- can be largely ignored. In a Yahoo league, having the best +/- is just as important as goals. This doesn’t make logical sense, but it is, so plan your draft accordingly. If a guy is notoriously bad at +/- or refuses to take a penalty to save his life, demote that player.

2. Bullies are welcome.

Since penalty minutes are valued the same as goals, why not recruit a bully to round to your extremes? A player could win that category on your own, so even if Zenon Konopka only scores you 2 goals again next season, his 15 Pims a week may be worth it.

3. Bring in the substitute goalkeepers.

Total goals allowed and saves do not matter here. These are averages (GAA /% savings). What that means is that a workhorse like Vokoun, who can lead the league in saves, won’t necessarily be as valuable as a guy who plays every other game and has a low GAA in the process. Therefore, do not necessarily avoid substitutes or goalkeepers in a split split scenario. You have to meet a minimum number of games played each week, so the best strategy here is to grab a top-notch number one goalie early in the draft and then wait for your second goalkeeper to arrive. There will be a lot of solid endorsements in the 10th round and beyond. Guys like Gustavson and Giguere become viable as they will both see one game a week and should post decent numbers behind that Toronto defense. In a points-based league, these two would not be drafted. This approach may hold you back in wins and shutouts, but it will benefit the other categories.

4. Unfortunately, defense is irrelevant.

It breaks my heart to say this, but in this format, you can and should treat defense as an afterthought. If you can catch one of the top 5 defenders early, do so, because the talent level drops significantly after that. Mike Green will score as a forward and is therefore worthy of an early pick. However, since defense and offense are bundled together in Yahoo’s leagues to score, they have relatively little value. The best plan is to take 1 elite defense if you can early, get your second D around the 8-10 round, then fill in your other starting spots before rounding up this position.

Draft room rules

Unlike CBS, Yahoo leaves you the keys and lets you drive your car however you want. There are no restrictions on the number of players you can select at any position. If you want to fill your bench with 4 goalkeepers, you can. I’m just pointing this out, as it’s a dramatic difference from the focus on CBS. Here, you can choose the best player available at all times.

Player Ranking

Finally, take a close look at the Yahoo player rankings and play with them accordingly. The average general manager will tend to follow Yahoo’s picks blindly. Stay informed and watch out for these situations.


Here are some underrated players you can expect and get as a steal later than you would in other draft rooms:

Goalkeepers: Anti Niemi, Marty Turco

Defender: Shea Weber, PK Subban, Lubomir Visnovsky

Centers: Anze Kopitar, Jordan Staal

Left winger: Dany Heatley, Wojtek Wolski, James Neal

Right winger: Alexander Semin, Marian Hossa


Here are some names that will fly off the board early, based on Yahoo’s overpricing:

Goalkeepers: Craig Anderson

Defender: Andrei Markov (wounded), Niklas Kronwall (wounded), Sheldon Souray

Centers: Jonathan Toews, Tomas Plekanec

Left winger: Alex Burrows (wounded), Patrik Elias

Right winger: Daniel Alfredsson, Nikolai Zherdev

Tours Travel

Low Carb and Ketogenic Diet Fast Food Menu Options: How to Eat Successfully at Restaurants

For those who eat low carb or keto diets, there is almost always something they can eat at all fast food restaurants or places. Plan ahead. Before entering a restaurant, check its menu and nutritional information online at home or using your smartphone. It’s always good to know the safe options before you are tempted by menu items that you shouldn’t have on a low-carb diet.

To make it easier to find a quick keto-friendly option, I’ve compiled a list of various restaurants and fast food places and those items I’ve found to be the lowest carb (and most emotionally satisfying) options. These aren’t all perfect options, but when you don’t have any other options due to time or location constraints, they’ll do it in a pinch.

It helps that fast food places are necessary to post nutritional content. It’s easier to stick to the keto plan every day. The carb count I am listing is approximate and is NET grams.

In general, there is usually some salad option anywhere you are. At burger joints, just remove the bun, and many places offer lettuce wraps instead. The chicken should not be breaded.

As a side note, it helps to have a knife and fork handy in your car or purse. Big, juicy burgers on small pieces of lettuce end up on the table or on your lap. Small and flimsy fast food plastic containers also make feeding difficult. Get out your own sturdy utensils and enjoy!

Now for the food options … here are some pretty obvious rules of thumb to follow:

  • Skip the bun or wrap
  • Skip pasta, potato, or rice.
  • Salads, without croutons. Stick with the low-sugar dressing options: Caesar, blue cheese, ranch, chipotle. Look at the name that can give you a clue, things like “honey” in the honey dijon or “sweet” in the name of the dressing; these are generally not a good option. Check the ingredient for items that are higher in carbohydrates.
  • Chicken – Choose grilled or sautéed. Stay away from any breaded chicken.

McDonald’s – opt for any burger (zero g) or grilled chicken (2 g) without the bun and topped with cheese, mayonnaise, mustard, onion, etc. No tomato sauce. Add a salad (3 g). Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad or Grilled Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad are 9g.

Burger King – the same hamburger information as McDonald’s: hamburger (zero g) without the bun and topped with cheese, mayonnaise, mustard, onions, etc. No tomato sauce. The tender grilled chicken sandwich without bun is 3g. BEWARE: You might think the veggie burger is low, but it has 19g of carbs, making it about a full keto carb day. Add a salad (3 g). Grilled Tender Chicken Salad is 8g without dressing or croutons. Tender chicken salad is not an option. Do not you dare.

BONUS – dessert!?! – Fresh Apple Fries are not fried and have 5g net carbs WITHOUT caramel sauce.

Underground – You should probably skip the subway if you can. Buns and wraps are high in carbohydrates. I suppose you could have them dump the ingredients in a wrap without bread, but that doesn’t sound appealing. I don’t have information on what the carb count would be for each sub without muffin, but you can probably figure it out – chicken or pepperoni is fine, but is “sweet onion” chicken okay? No idea. Stick to salads, but keep in mind that you will only get iceberg lettuce (4g).

Carl’s Junior and Hardees – This chain offers “lettuce wrappers” – your burger wrapped in a large chunk of lettuce for easy low carb eating. (Like I said, I tried it and I don’t love it. Instead, I like to bring my own fork.) Breadless options: Six Dollar Burger (7g), 1/2 Thick Burger (5g), Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich (7g / 10g at Hardees). Grilled chicken salad without croutons is 10 g. The salad is 3 g.

Jimmy John’s – The unwich, a sandwich wrapped in lettuce, fits perfectly here. Meats are fine, just make sure the ingredients are not high in carbohydrates.

Wendy’s – Again, you can get your burger in a lettuce wrap or box. Any hamburger with toppings. Mayo has corn syrup and is 1g. The grilled chicken fillet is 1 g. It can be ordered in the Chicken Club Sandwich or the Best Grilled Chicken Sandwich. Best salads: chicken caesar (7g), blt chicken salad with grilled chicken. Side salads aer 6g or 2g for Caesar.

Pizza Hut and other pizzerias – It is possible to get used to eating pizza without a crust. You need to eat twice as much, but if there’s a party or dinner you can’t avoid at a pizza place, just peel off the cheesy toppings and eat the big messy pile of cheese and toppings. A salad is a nice addition. Otherwise, opt to make pizza at home on a low carb base.

Mongolian barbecue – YES! Load up your bowl with chicken, shrimp, onion slices, and mushrooms, then top with the Asian Black Bean Dip. I know beans have carbs, but this sauce label says 1 gram of carbs per ounce (each sauce is clearly labeled). Add some garlic and wait for the rotisserie to do its job. Needless to say, you skip the appetizers, the tortillas, and the rice. Ask the waiters not to bring them to the table.

Italian restaurants – These require a bit of cunning, but can be conquered! Ideas: How about Chicken Marsala in an Italian place? Make sure it doesn’t come with pasta. Substitute for broccoli or some other keto garnish, or a large salad. The chicken piccata is also a possibility.

Mexican and Chinese restaurants are the hardest, because any low carb option is not the reason to go to the restaurant in the first place. At a Mexican restaurant, I tend to get a large beanless burrito and spread the tortilla smooth like a plate. Eat the internal ingredients and stir the tortilla.

If you MUST go to a Chinese buffet (I attended a funeral dinner at one), you can find options, but they probably won’t be your favorite General Tso. What about the salad bar options? eggs? the inside of the egg rolls, and I even ate the inside of just crab Rangoons. Unfortunately, these ideas leave a lot of discarded shells and fried outer pieces on your plate and make it look like you’re really wasting food.

Wings anywhere – Standard buffalo sauce is usually fine, as well as garlic and Parmesan.

Convenience stores It can also be a good option! 7-11 has packets of hard-boiled eggs, cheese slices, slim jims, almonds, and pork rinds. The pork rinds have a barbecue flavor and are ZERO carbs.

Remember, whatever you choose, hold the bread, potatoes, rice, noodles, French fries, and tortillas. And watch out for the possibility of cornstarch, breadcrumbs, and other fillings. With proper planning and a good attitude, you can find healthy low-carb and ketogenic options when dining out and follow your successful ketogenic diet plan.

Arts Entertainments

Female bodybuilding has a long tradition

Bodybuilding was essentially a male-dominated sport for quite some time. But once women started paying attention to art, they mastered its demands fairly quickly, as they have been doing in almost every profession.

The first female star in the bodybuilding firmament was Lisa Lyon, who was born in California, United States, in 1953. Her alma mater was UCLA and she was quite interested in the Japanese martial art of Kendo.

Although she was very interested in bodybuilding, one of the main reasons for her participation in the women’s bodybuilding competition was the active encouragement she received from bodybuilding champion Arnold Schwarzenegger. Her judgment turned out to be correct when she managed to win first prize in the female bodybuilding competition.

Another prominent star in the world of bodybuilding is Rachel McLish, the first holder of the Ms. Olympia title in the international bodybuilding competition organized by the IFBB or the International Federation of Bodybuilders. The Texas-born woman became an icon of female body perfection and was inducted into the IFBB Hall of Fame in 1999.

Another name in the world of female bodybuilding is that of the Australian Bev Francis, who began her athletic activity as a shot putter. She and Ms. McLish acted together in the female bodybuilding documentary, Pumping Iron II: The Women. She was considered too muscular by generally accepted standards of femininity and her entry into the sport led to much controversy over the standards to apply to female bodybuilding athletes.

Bev Francis, although she caused quite a stir in the bodybuilding world, did not win the Ms. Olympia title and came in second behind Lenda Murray, who took the title in 1991. Murray continued her winning streak for eight more. weather. His popularity peaked in 2003, the year in which he last won the title.

Other well-known names in the field of female bodybuilding are Juliette Bergman and Mandy Blank. The first won the title in the 2001 Ms. Olympia competition and the second was an IFBB professional fitness competitor. Ms. Blank’s body was not very muscular and she followed a style that is in keeping with the most commonly accepted standards of feminine aesthetics.

There’s also Monica Brant, a professional fitness competitor who was Ms. Jan Tana Pro Fitness Champion, as well as Ms. Fitness Olympia Champion from 1998. And Sharon Leigh Bruneau is a Canadian model-turned-bodybuilder who became famous in the field. and is currently pursuing an acting carrier.


The 5 best arcade games of the 80s

I remember as a kid I wanted to go to the local store to play the latest arcade games from the 1980s. My friends and I dug up as many coins as we could find and spent countless hours playing these innovative games. The late 70s and early 80s were known as the “golden age” of the arcade game industry. These games became very popular during this time, in part due to new types of gameplay involving hand-eye coordination, skill, timing, and shooting things as fast as possible. The arcade games industry peaked in 1982 generating $ 8 billion in quarters, equivalent to $ 18.5 billion in 2011! These are our top 5.

5. Defender

I remember this was an extremely difficult game, yet very challenging and entertaining to play. The objective of the game is to fight off waves of invading aliens while protecting the astronauts on an alien planet. Astronauts captured by aliens return as mutants to attack you. If you didn’t protect the astronauts, the planet would explode and fill with mutants. Defender garnered high praise for its audio and video and was listed as the sixth arcade game for technical, creative and cultural impact by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2008. It is considered one of the most difficult games in the industry. , using a joystick and five other buttons to play. Defender sold 60,000 units of hardware and generated gross revenue of $ 1 billion through 2002.

4. Ms. Pac-Man

At number 4 is the girlfriend of the original Pac-Man with 125,000 units of hardware sold. Although she never got her man, she managed to entertain millions of people around the world. She was also a television star, appearing on the animated television series Pac-Man where she played Pepper, Pac-Man’s wife. The objective of the game was to eat all the balls and prevent the ghosts from scoring as many points as possible. Eating certain power granules allowed him to eat the ghosts and there were also fruit bonuses that, when consumed, increased the value in points. As you reach higher levels, the ghosts move faster and the energy balls change to the ghosts for less time. Ms. Pac-Man wears a small red bow and scenes from her relationship with Pac-Man are shown during intermissions between levels. Another notable feature that differs from the original Pac-Man game is that the orange ghost is named Sue, rather than Clyde. The game is said to have 256 levels, but I’ve obviously never gotten this far!

3. Donkey Kong

This was one of my favorites to play with as a kid. The game was groundbreaking for its time and featured an ape, a damsel in distress, and an Italian plumber performing a crazy story. Mario, a carpenter, climbs platforms and climbs stairs at a construction site while the ape named Donkey Kong throws barrels at him. Mario must also dodge fire and other obstacles to reach the top of the platforms and rescue the damsel who is holding the grumpy Donkey Kong. Mario became Nintendo’s flagship character and spawned several different game sequels. Nintendo originally wanted to make a Popeye comic book game, but was unable to obtain a license for it. They decided to develop their own characters and created a love triangle between an ape, a carpenter, and a girlfriend, which was similar to the love triangle between Popeye, Bluto, and Olive Oyl. Donkey Kong was created in 1981 and sold 132,000 units of hardware and generated 280 million dollars until 1982.

2. Space Invaders

This is probably one of the most addictive games I have ever played. When it finally came out on the Atari 2600, my friends and I played it for hours on end. The game consists of a laser cannon at the bottom of the screen that moves from side to side as you shoot the waves of approaching alien invaders. After shooting the first wave of aliens, the remaining ones begin to approach much faster. Soon the aliens start shooting and there are bunkers under which you can move to avoid their fire. Eventually the bunkers are destroyed by the aliens shooting at them, making the game even more challenging. The sound effects are hauntingly exciting as you play. Although this game was released in 1978, we decided to include it on this list due to its impact on the video game industry. It was so advanced for its time and was almost solely responsible for expanding the video game industry from a novelty to a global industry. It sold 360,000 units of hardware and generated $ 2.7 billion in gross revenue.

1. Pac-Man

This was everyone’s grandfather! What made Pac-Man so popular was its appeal to both genders. While many of the early games involved space and aliens, Pac-Man was a game that almost anyone could enjoy regardless of their interests. It was basically the same concept as Ms. Pac-Man, except it was released before her. The goal was to eat all the marbles and prevent the ghosts from scoring as many points as possible. The ghost’s movements are preset and given its own personality to help keep the game interesting. The red ghost chases Pac-Man and the pink and blue ghosts try to get in front of Pac-Man. The orange ghost, Clyde, chases after Pac-Man but moves to the lower left corner of the screen when he gets too close to him. The game has 255 levels, but a bug in the programming prevents you from going beyond that. Pac-Man is one of the highest grossing games of all time. It has 400,000 units of hardware sold with gross revenue of $ 3.5 billion!


Marketing and Marketing Communications for Small and Medium Businesses: Important Forecasts for 2017

2016 ended with Americans exhausted by emotionally harrowing politics, stories of foreign entanglements and violence at home. Companies have also struggled with modest economic growth and a turbulent stock market. As we begin 2017, everyone – consumers and organizations alike – faces uncertainty in a variety of areas.

Against this backdrop, companies have yet to develop, plan and execute strategies for profitable growth. After speaking with various colleagues and clients, and reading feedback from various experts and forecasters, here is my take on what awaits small and medium-sized B2B and B2C businesses in the coming year:

one. A significant number of marketers, both large and small, will conduct agency reviews in 2017. The current Advertiser Insights report (based on 420 marketers representing about 90 percent of the top 100 US advertisers) reveals a staggering number of planned reviews:

· 66% Creative Agency Review Plan;

65% plan to check search agencies;

64% plan to review media agencies;

61% plan to review digital agencies.

Why? Beyond the lack of trust in the authorities of society as a whole, trust has also been lost, rightly or wrongly, between marketers and their agencies. So if you are feeling concerned about your agency relationship, acknowledge that you are not alone.

two. There will be significant increases in the number of companies hiring “temporary workers”, that is, freelance contract workers and freelance specialists. Faced with minimum wage increases, increases in health care costs, and rising payroll taxes, companies are obviously doing everything they can to reduce their fixed labor costs. But the ability to hire top-tier talent in the short or long term is also a practice that’s gaining a lot of momentum. In fact, a recent Deloitte University Press survey showed a “significant 7 percent increase” plus a “44 percent increase” in planning to hire casual workers in the next few years.

Keep in mind that these “outsiders” bring fresh energy and ideas to any type of organization and, at the same time, can provide some savings to your bottom line.

3. Media fraud and ad blocking will increase in 2017. Much was uncovered by the National Advertisers Association’s eight-month investigation into undisclosed refunds flowing from digital media companies to agencies. However, there is an incentive for scammers to keep doing what they are doing due to the ability to bypass fraud detection systems. This widespread practice can influence agencies’ media recommendations (and bottom line), although it obviously does not serve the best interests of clients.

Perhaps most importantly, the staggering growth of ad blocking in the markets poses a huge threat to digital media. At least 419 million people around the world are blocking ads on their smartphones, almost double the number blocked on desktop computers. That’s 22 percent of the world’s 1.9 billion smartphone users (PageFair – Ad Blocking Goes Mobile).

Digital and mobile media won’t go away, but using them effectively is challenging. Find professionals you trust to make sure you get what you expected.

Four. Since customers and followers are the lifeblood of any business or nonprofit organization, organizations will need to significantly increase their efforts to better understand their real-world wants and needs. A recent McKinsey & Co. study of about 700 top executives found that: 1) only 6 percent of companies felt they understood their customers’ needs very well; and 2) seventy-two percent considered the knowledge-of-the-client budgets inadequate.

There has been an explosion in the amount of customer data available, with new software programs mining all kinds of purchase and opinion information, including social media. To be competitive, organizations will need to continue expanding their knowledge using this new information. It just doesn’t seem smart to even consider developing a specific strategy or plan without knowing your customers, so make sure you have the skills to obtain and interpret the correct information.

5. Developing and maintaining a positive customer experience will become the new king of marketing. Distrust of institutions appears to be rampant: products are withdrawn from the market, passwords are stolen, online tweets have as much credibility as government agencies. Starting with employees, make sure they have the knowledge and tools to provide better customer service, create a positive experience, and promote repeat buying and customer referrals.

Confidence is the new black. All aspects of a brand’s life must convey reliability, delivered consistently and credibly, at every point of contact.

6. The acceptance and use of direct mail by millennials will continue to explode. Yes, millennials. And yes, traditional mail. This demographic is the one most likely to open and read direct mail. In fact, 63% reported that they made a purchase based on a direct mail article that they opened in the last 3 months (Direct Marketing Information Trends Study in the US).

Perhaps their flood of spam, disrupted advertising, and meaningless content will leave you tired of staring at screens and searching for a “new” medium. After all, it’s not about technology; it’s about efficiency.

7. While internet media spending will be tied to television for the biggest spending in 2017, more marketers will acknowledge that the majority of top media spending is still accounted for by traditional media (65%). Spending on television will increase by 1 percent, away from home by 4 percent, as radio will remain unchanged and only magazines and newspapers will show decreases (by 5 and 9 percent, respectively). Additionally, the Marketing Services category will increase by 2.8 percent to $ 237 billion, led by sales promotion, telemarketing, direct mail, and event sponsorships. (Age of advertising)

It goes without saying that determining where to spend your money on marketing communications is becoming increasingly complex. The key to doing this successfully is understanding the difference between selecting the newest “efficient” tactical tool and selecting the most “effective” one. This becomes increasingly important for small businesses, which cannot afford costly mistakes.

8. Much more time and smart thinking will be spent developing marketing strategy, positioning, and planning for marketing and marketing communications. A study of “Significant Brands” conducted by Havas in 2015 reported that most people wouldn’t mind if three-quarters of all brands disappeared forever. Also, most brands haven’t updated their strategies to satisfy today’s internet shoppers. These buyers have access to a wealth of information and have a wealth of purchasing options at their fingertips. It is more vital than ever that, to survive, you must continue to keep your brand meaningful to its constituents.

Both for-profit and non-profit brands must make absolutely clear how they differ from the competition and make their value proposition completely credible at every opportunity. Once your plan is implemented, you also need to know what is working and measure everything.

Marketing Communications and Value Marketing Consultants

2017 brings a considerable number of unknowns and concerns facing your customers, prospects, and even your employees. Clearly, they are more cautious about what to believe and who to trust for the next year. All organizations are faced with these problems and the dilemma of how to run a successful business in this climate.

Many small and medium-sized organizations are partnering with established and independent senior consultants to assist them with marketing communications and marketing plans and budgets, evaluating, developing, refining and, if applicable, implementing. If this is something you might consider, look for people with extensive experience in B2B, B2C, and nonprofits across all industries and brands. Look for consultants who are media neutral and don’t sell a particular discipline. And make sure they are passionate about analyzing the results and willing to “tell it like us” so that candor can flourish.

Improving the ROI of profitable sales and marketing communications is a daunting task. Finding the right consultant to partner with can take a bit of searching, but as Yogi Berra said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

Home Kitchen

Old style, new style: Richmond Stoves 900DFT and Stoves Sterling 900DFT Cooktop

Stoves knows what it does when it comes to electric range design. Point for point, the sterling 900DFT range range cooktops and the Richmond 900DFT range range range range are nearly identical. They share the programming functionality, have the same general internal capacity and the same number of boards. But they seem to come from two different worlds.

Stoves almost seems to be asking you a question, styled with its two flagship range 3-foot-wide kitchens. Both are designed for what Stoves calls the “compact kitchen.” Both have been designed to offer a versatile range of cooking functions, extras and options. And they both ask you this question: city or country?

When you get down to business, that’s the basic difference between these two models. Stoves Sterling 900DFT range kitchen is the whole city – Stoves Richmond 900DFT range kitchen is the whole country. The Sterling and Richmond give you dual-fuel capabilities in a 3-foot-wide casing; both offer a real capacity of 91 liters; and both allow you to convert to GLP. They both have cast iron skillet holders and wok burners. Both have telescopic shelves and enameled interiors for easy use and cleaning. The Stoves Sterling, however, is dressed in a very sleek and minimalist steel suit; while Stoves Richmond appears to have just passed the property and is home in time for a hearty dinner.

The Richmond 900DFT Stoves is encased in an enameled casing, with nice, thick oven and grill doors (they close with that satisfying “bang” that only well-made parts can produce). The knobs are carefully designed with responsive icons that let you know what you can do with each one. And a smart digital watch face reminds you that for all the country style, this is a modern gadget.

The Stoves Sterling 900DFT has the exact same knob and dial setup, but is clad in professional-looking flat steel. The same watch face now has a sleek circular edging with sleek control buttons underneath.

Stoves has clearly decided that the basic package, that is, the working parts, of your range kitchen should remain the same no matter what the exterior looks like. It’s a smart idea and it works very well for the client. If you know that the Stoves Richmond 900DFT is going to work exactly the same, and also the Stoves Sterling 900DFT, then you don’t need to waste time agonizing over the fact that you like the look of one, but the other has better compartments or functions For your needs.

Stoves have separated the way the kitchen works, from the way it looks – allowing homeowners with homes of all styles to get the look they want with the functionality they need. So whether you’re more of a country squire or an urban socialite, Stoves has the range kitchen to suit you.


CSR Classics – Fun, Addictive, and (Mostly) Free

NaturalMotion’s CSR Classics (iOS and Android) is a surprisingly addictive drag racing game brought to you by the same people who made great achievements with CSR Racing years before. I tried the original CSR Racing game many moons ago, but never stuck with it, mainly because, I think, collecting and racing the cars offered to the user did not interest me.

This problem is well solved in CSR Classics, where drag racing is put on a fictitious “strip” (think Las Vegas). Players buy, upgrade, and race cars from a vast catalog of classic cars, from traditional muscle (Ford Mustang, Chevy’s Corvair, and Nova, and the incredible Dodge Challenger, to name a few) to high-end classics like Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin. , and BMW, with a ton in between. Cars can be purchased in “loved” or “unloved” condition. Beloved cars look and perform much better than their unloved counterparts. As for me (and many people who have been involved with CSR Classics), I prefer to buy rusty, sweaty, hit and run relics to earn money to upgrade them, which makes CSR Classics much more than just a racing game, but rather one for collecting and building too.

The racing dynamics at CSR Classics are deceptively simple. To start a race, the driver (that’s you!) Hits the gas pedal to bring the needle into the “green zone” of the tachometer, trying to hold it there while the timer runs out and the race begins. Starting a career in the green zone provides a “perfect start”, which makes life that much easier. If the needle is too low in RPM, your car struggles to get up to speed, while overrunning the engine before start-up causes the wheels to spin, wasting valuable time until the wheels find their grip on the pavement.

Once the race starts, everything is time-based, as you must try to achieve a “perfect shift” through the gears. A fraction of a second sooner or later can cost a race, especially when competing with tougher opponents. The difficulty of the race varies between Easy (you can make a lot of mistakes and still come out on top), Challenging (a mistake here or there is surmountable, but don’t make it a habit), Hard (be on top of your game or you’ll go home a loser) and Extreme (I’ve never beaten one of these and don’t even bother trying anymore.

As I said, timing is everything in CSR Classics while on the brake, as there is no need to worry about steering, braking, or acceleration (except when starting). However, the variety of career difficulties helps keep your interest, as do the different types of careers available.

In “career” mode, you try to rank up in better and stronger cars, spending your cash to upgrade what you have and buy new vehicles. Within each level are a variety of races, including ladder races, restriction races, crew races, and manufacturer or car specific events. CSR Racing also offers an “online” mode in which the developers say that you can compete against real life opponents. This is somewhat untrue, as you actually compete against other real-life players in ladder events for money, reputation, and prizes. However, what you can’t do is participate in a real-time endurance race against real-life opponents, which is a bit tricky (pun intended).

Like all games, CSR Classics has some problems. The two most obvious are the replay factor, which I’ve run into every now and then if I’ve played a lot recently, but I keep coming back. Let’s face it, there is only one time limit and tapping a guy can do before things get a little boring. But, for me, a little free time and the appeal of new cars (which NaturalMotion regularly adds), it brings me back.

The other big drawback is a common one in all the “free” games I have played, namely that at some point the developers make it very frustrating NOT to invest money in the game. CSR Racing does this by using “gold”, which CAN be earned in races or by completing free offers, but it is an extremely time consuming and tedious process, especially since there are some really amazing cars that can only be purchased with large amounts of gold.

Overall though, CSR Classics gets a big “thumbs up” from this gaming gourmand as it has provided me with, and I believe will continue, hours of good gameplay.

Digital Marketing

5 reasons why content marketing is important to building your brand

The expression “Content is king” is an absolute truth. It seems like there’s a shiny new object every week to drift off, but content marketing is still the most powerful technique for building an audience and generating leads. In this short article, I will give you 5 of the top reasons why you need to do content marketing as a great component of your advertising and marketing method.

Reason n. Content Marketing # 1: Establish Trust and Build Reputation

There are dozens of effective methods of content advertising. Blogs, podcasts, videos, or interviews are powerful ways to demonstrate your expertise in your market and help your prospects at the same time. Content marketing will not only show your trustworthiness as an expert, but it will certainly help you create a report with your target market, which is crucial for brand awareness.

Identify the most common pitfalls or pain points your target market faces and also develop material to help them find options. And don’t make your content a great sales pitch! The goal of content marketing is to develop goodwill by offering solutions that will also develop your brand. Ultimately this will lead to even more organic sales without being a constant release festival.

Reason n. Content Marketing # 2: Build Brand Awareness

If you routinely refrain from doing content marketing, then the opportunities are undetectable. You may even have the most effective services or products in deep space, but unless people learn about you, you don’t exist either. Web content advertising can help you transform that. When people come to your content to get the answer or find solutions, you increase brand recognition organically. Use your content to demonstrate your competition, as we said above, and also to increase web traffic to your website.

Reason n. Content Marketing # 3: More Leads = Additional Customers

Having a steady increase in leads and customers is vital, right? And also advertising and content marketing allow you to reach an unlimited flow of customers who otherwise would not have understood about you. When you offer relevant, fast and useful material, you attract potential customers like a magnet. Simpler simpler.

Plus, the quality material keeps customers coming back for more. People are more likely to return to a resource that has helped them in the past. Once they start to depend on you to provide professionally appropriate web content in your field, your customers will automatically go to your content whenever they have a request related to your market.

Reason n. Content Marketing # 4: Online Search Engine Rankings

Its material allows you to integrate search phrases that will certainly help you to rank better on the Google search results page. The more you post relevant web content, the greater your authority, and that means more traffic to your website. A small portion of people strive beyond the initial web page of the search results page, so the higher and longer you rank, the better your results will be.

Also, if you upload high-quality material, other organizations will want to connect to your site, further expanding your target market. And also, these “backlinks” are great for your site SEO. Do you intend to rate better? Backlinks are an important part of getting there.

Reason n. Content Marketing # 5: Engage Your Target Customer

Yes, the role of content marketing and marketing in general is to attract leads, however you don’t want unqualified leads or tire kickers who never employ you. Rather, you want to attract your target customer, your perfect customer, so that you don’t waste time or power on the wrong people. So exactly how do advertising and marketing materials attract the optimal customer? In other words, only those who are interested in your industry are sure to search for your material. And also only those looking for your material will click on your Call to Action and end up going to your touchdown web page and seeing your service or products. This indicates that quality leads will surely be thinking of buying from you.

Produce even more content!

There is no better time like the present to start creating and providing high-quality content as a component of your marketing approach. Add content marketing to your technique, and invite those organic leads!

Lifestyle Fashion

How to find the best summer camp for your child

Is there really a “best” summer camp among all the others? There are certainly many good ones. But being the best means different things to different people. So the best summer camp is really the one that meets your child’s needs in a way that others don’t.

And yet there are certain attributes common to all fields that make them elite. It doesn’t matter if it’s a day camp, night camp, traditional camp, sports camp, or any other type of camp, they all must meet certain standards of quality, if not excellence, to be included in the mix.

The best summer camps are those that:

– Emphasize camper safety as your number one priority.

– Use modern equipment for each activity.

– Have a high rate of return for directors.

– Have a high rate of return of campers.

– Have highly organized personnel recruitment and training programs.

– Have camping facilities in good condition.

– Have well-planned and executed activity programs.

– Cultivate atmospheres in which your child feels safe, comfortable and accepted by his fellow campers.

– Have counselors who go out of their way to make personal connections with your child.

– Promote environments in which your child can increase his self-confidence and esteem, and grow as a person through the experience of the camp.

– Have obtained the accreditation of the American Camp Association. Accreditation ensures that the camp meets or exceeds up to 300 industry standards for best practices related to camper health and safety, supervision, activity planning and scheduling, food service, transportation, and more.

Where do you find the best summer camp for your child? You can contact the American Camping Association (ACA) for a free referral. Its Indiana headquarters is available at 765-342-8456. Let them know that you are looking for a summer camp and let them know any important details about the type of camp you are looking for. They will give you various names and numbers of potential camps that might be suitable for your child.

Best of luck finding the summer camp that works best for your child!

Copyright Eric D. Naftulin. All rights reserved.