SAP announces a 3-year partnership with Microsoft: Why you should care


SAP and Microsoft recently announced they had signed a three-year partnership to help simplify the process for SAP customers to bring their data to the cloud. The industry is abuzz about it, but what does it really mean for you?

What does this new partnership between SAP and Microsoft mean for me? Why should I care?”

The Struggle of Migrating to the Cloud

In this day and age, where cloud computing is the gold standard for many businesses, an all-too-common complaint from SAP customers has been that it can be challenging to move from SAP’s on-premise model to remotely hosted services.  This partnership aims to change that.

Embrace: Making Migration to the Cloud Easier

The new partnership between SAP and Microsoft will bundle SAP cloud services with what they’re calling the Embrace. This will help clients run operations hosted at remote servers, supported by SAP’s flagship S/4HANA database. The goal is to allow SAP customers to more easily migrate from their existing on-premises models into the cloud by simplifying the migration to SAP S/4HANA and SAP Cloud Platform on Microsoft Azure.

So, what this means for SAP customers is that moving to the cloud is about to get a lot easier, faster, and less expensive.  It will also provide new and exciting opportunities to both SAP service providers and partners, Microsoft partners, and cloud service providers.

As part of the agreement, Microsoft will resell components of SAP Cloud Platform alongside Azure. It will reduce the complexity and minimize costs for customers as they move to SAP S/4HANA in the cloud. While the partnership strengthens SAP’s relationship with Microsoft and its Azure cloud division and positions Microsoft as SAP’s preferred partner for cloud solutions, Embrace will also work with Google and Amazon Web Services to provide customers with flexibility for their business solutions.

The Benefits of the Partnership Between SAP and Microsoft

Here are a few key takeaways about the new partnership between SAP and Microsoft and the benefits that Embrace offers:

The Cloud is the Future

This partnership between SAP and Microsoft is a powerful indicator that the entire cloud business is maturing and reaching new levels of power and sophistication.  With cloud computing becoming more important than ever before, this new partnership provides a unique opportunity for you to take advantage of the power of these solutions and move your data and services to the cloud to poise your business to improve your existing offerings and poise yourself to take advantage of future opportunities.

Fake News Filters: Spotting misinformation

How do we filter out fake news and misleading information in the vast ocean of the internet?

The advent of the internet brought with it incredible advancements in technology, communication, and the global economy, but with it also ushered in a long list of challenges that were previously unknown to us as a society. Identity theft, email scams, phishing, and other cybercrimes arose as the internet became larger and more widely used.

One challenge that has taken prevalence in recent years is fake news. With the widespread use of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, instant mass-communication became a permanent feature in our lives, with people spending anywhere from 2 to 3 hours on their social media channels. As the internet quickly became our main source of information and news, the concept of the "official story" was somewhat muddled in the process.

We used to rely on large broadcasting companies and newspapers to get our world and local news. These companies are traditionally bound to strict codes of practice and legal compliance before they can agree on what the truth about any given story was. Because of the costs behind printing newspapers or broadcasting to television, communicating news and content required a broadscale effort and a lot of coordination. Nowadays, the internet and social media have made it possible for every independent citizen to have an outlet where they can publish content with very large potential outreach. While this has amplified our global communication and made our world smaller, this has also been taken advantage of by those who have found it profitable to peddle in deliberate misinformation and fake news. This has become significantly damaging in recent years as misinformation has been weaponized for political purposes.

It can often be difficult to distinguish fake news from real, credible information, especially given how social media algorithms function to show you content. Critical thinking and discerning are vital to surviving in the fake news era. As a digital marketing company, we feel it's important to start honing these skills as surfers in the ocean of information that is the internet. Before getting into a few tips to get better at filtering fake news, let's take a look at the types of misinformation you may run into online:

How do we get better at spotting fake news?

It's all about improving our critical thinking and applying it as an active exercise when consuming information online. Here are are a few tips to improve your fake news filters:

1) Vetting credibility

Vetting the credibility of a publisher is a simpler task than one would imagine. The reader must ask themselves several questions: does this publication meet academic citation standards? Is the domain name of the site suspicious? Is the author known?

A lot of fake news gets passed around by direct sharing. Remember: just because a link came from a friend you trust does not mean it has accurate content. Do your own vetting, even if the article was shared by someone you trust.

2) Quality and timeliness

Quality is a very important factor when it comes to spotting fake news. If you notice a lot of spelling errors, overly-dramatic tone, or general sloppiness in redaction, it's likely your dealing with a piece of fake news. Another easy way to vet a story is simply by looking at the date. Stories often get recycled for clicks and can be taken out of context.

3) Sources

This goes beyond stories on social media; you should check sources and citations for nearly all the information that comes your way. How did you arrive at this article? Who was it shared by? Is the information on this article available elsewhere? What is or isn't quoted?

Check cited sources and perform reverse searches for sources and images on the content you see. This will help you confirm the legitimacy of any given piece of information.

4) Fact-checkers

Fact-checking websites exist to make it easier for readers to quickly check the veracity of a news article. They use technology and expertise to provide accurate vetting and filtering. Fake stories can show up on more than one website and spread quickly, giving the impression that it is real information. You can check any of these fact-checking websites to help you vet news and stories:

We hope these tips are useful to our readers and help them become better at filtering fake news. Stick to the facts!

Yes, Email Marketing is Still Relevant

With so much going on with social media and PPC campaigns, is marketing via email still an effective tool?

Email marketing is as old as email itself. This thought can often lead us to think that it's a dated, if not obsolete tactic. But just as TV and newspaper ads are still running today, this approach is still quite relevant and highly-effective if executed properly. Email is still widely used, especially in the workplace and in B2B scenarios, so there's a great potential for targeted marketing that your competitors may be ignoring.

Email Marketing has a high ROI

Even today, email marketing has one of the highest yields of ROI among digital tactics, in the range of $38-$44 returned per $1 invested. While there is much to unpack in those figures, they are still very high even in absolute terms. Small investments in email campaigns can make a single dollar go a long way, so they are an easy and cost-effective way to start taking advantage of digital marketing.

Email marketing can beat social media ads

Believe it or not, email campaigns can beat social media ads when it comes to grabbing audience attention. Humans have built up a tolerance to social media ads much like how we tend to ignore most of the physical advertising around us as we drive through a city. Checking your email is a more focused task than surfing through Facebook or Twitter, so your attention span is much more receptive to important information.

At CXGlobals, we work with many companies in the IT solutions industry. Our clients' customer profiles often include C-level execs and IT managers that usually explore their email inbox for work over leisure. This type of audience is way more open to opening an interesting looking email over clicking on social media ad, making this type of marketing an effective tool to communicate with them. Additionally, newsletter campaigns specifically target subscribers. This means that you will be sending information to people who have already been interested in your brand on a previous occasion, increasing your chances of earning a qualified lead.

Email Marketing lets you create an automated journey

One of the advantages of using newsletters and email marketing campaigns is that you can create an automated journey for your potential leads straight into your sales funnel. Sophisticated email design paired with interesting and informative content can easily get a potential lead to go to your website or a landing page within it. From there, a strong website can do the job it's supposed to do: sell your brand.

Email Marketing metrics can be easily tracked

Tracking metrics for email campaigns is both straightforward and very revealing of audience behavior. Nearly every email marketing tool measures open rate, bounce rate, CTR, clicks, and unsubscribes. These metrics can easily be studied and compared to show you what types of headlines are getting more attention, what topics are being most clicked on and how many users are following the automated journey into your website.

So, are you ready to try it out? Read more on our demand generation tactics here.

#MSInspire: How Digitally-Enabled is your business?

Marco, our CEO, was at Microsoft Inspire last July and delivered a session on brand awareness and driving online leads.

Microsoft Inspire 2018 was a massive event, bringing together thousands of partners from the whole Microsoft ecosystem to exchange ideas, discover innovation, and build new partnerships for future success. Among the highlights of this event were:

MSInspire Session Digital Marketing Plan

Marco goes into general overview on online brand enhancement, content marketing, lead capturing optimization, and social media marketing with our exclusive Microsoft-sponsored service, DigitalStride. You can find more about the DigitalStride solution here.

Additionally, CXGlobals will be present at Microsoft Inspire 2019 a little over a month from now. We'll be posting updates on our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts throughout the event. This event is Microsoft's biggest gathering of the year and brings together brilliant minds and experience from across the entire globe to build ideas for the future and work together towards beneficial partnerships.

The Most Common Website Problems That Affect Business

The Most Common Website Problems That Affect Businesses

Your company’s website is it’s most important online sales asset, period. If you expect to create any sort of value for your company through your website, you need to make sure it’s armed for the task.

Bounce Rate is the indicator that shows you how many people are leaving your website after seeing a single page. When your bounce rate is high, it means visitors aren’t liking what they are seeing or aren’t finding what they’re looking for in your website, even though your company might actually provide what they need. If your visitors are bouncing, your website may have problems related to one or more of these categories:

In this blog, we want to take an in-depth look into the most common website issues affecting businesses all around the globe:

Design

Clean, responsive, and visually-appealing design is indispensable for a corporate website. Your visitors need to like what they see first and foremost before you can start expecting them to provide you with their information. Design problems can range from unappealing or outdated visual design to issues with the website’s internal structure. Poor design can result in slow loading time, confusing navigation, and altogether failing to capture leads or even keep visitors interested in staying. Some of the most common website design problems out there are:

Content

A visually-appealing website will keep your visitors interested for only a short period of time if your content isn’t up to standards. We like to say that “Content is King” because content is the answer to your public’s questions. Content is your online sales pitch; you don’t have a face-to-face interaction with your visitors, so whatever they read on your website has to convince them to take the next step. Content also needs to fulfill certain standards so that search engines can find it. As important as content is, it’s probably the area where many business websites are weakest.  Some common content issues are:

Optimization

So, your website’s look and feel are modern and intuitive, and you regularly add relevant content, but you’re still not getting enough organic visits. You may have missed out on a critical step: SEO.

SEO used to be seen as an afterthought, but nowadays optimization is considered a minimum requirement for search engines to give your website any sort of attention. SEO needs to be taken into consideration from the very first steps of content design. Keywords need to be researched, strategized, and implemented with a tactical approach. Overall, SEO is not an overly complicated process, but you need to know what you're doing to get it right. Common SEO issues are:

Lead Capturing

Lead capturing is the science of funneling a lead through your website content a towards them giving you their information to start the sales process. There both front-end and back-end characteristics of lead capturing optimization. A well-designed information flow, strong Calls to Action (CTAs), and comprehensive contact forms are all part of the front-end aspect of lead-capturing. Behind the curtains, the lead funnel needs to be able to notify your sales team and get them to act quickly. Some of the most common website problems relating to the lead capturing process are:

If you are experiencing any of the most common website issues that affect business, you may need some expert advice. Contact our team to find out how your website can improve and become a powerful sales asset for your company.

¿Qué es el Diseño UX?

La Experiencia de Usuario o UX es un componente esencial dentro del proceso de diseño web. 

Actualmente el término UX se encuentra en esa extraña posición de ser excitantemente nuevo para muchos, sin embargo genera también aire de misterio. Esto porque es difícil definir exactamente qué es. Al ser entrevistados, los profesionales de la industria dicen que el término puede ser “subjetivo” y “difícil de describir”, ya que tiene varios significados asociados.

Dan Saffer, Director de Kicker Studios, describe UX como “lo que el cliente percibe al usar o probar un producto y una forma de ver estos productos de manera integral desde el punto de vista de un usuario que probablemente no le importa cómo se hacen, sólo el producto en sí mismo”.

UX Design (User Experience Design) o “Diseño de Experiencia de Usuario” es una filosofía de diseño que tiene por objetivo la creación de productos que resuelvan necesidades concretas de sus usuarios finales, consiguiendo la mayor satisfacción y mejor experiencia de uso posible con el mínimo esfuerzo. Toma forma como un proceso en el que se utilizan una serie de técnicas multidisciplinares y donde cada decisión tomada debe estar basada en las necesidades, objetivos, expectativas, motivaciones y capacidades de los usuarios. Todo esto sin excluir los objetivos empresariales. Los elementos del UX en web son:

El diseño basado en experiencias de usuario se da desde que el hombre crea cosas y estas cosas deben ser utilizadas  por él  mismo o por otros, por lo que es necesario de forma  consciente  o inconsciente definir los medios, procesos y  formas en la que la  persona interactuará con ese objeto que  puede ser un software,  una heladera, el control del TV, un  automóvil, un sitio web, etc.

¿Cómo fue surgiendo este nuevo campo en la  web?

 El campo del conocimiento sobre diseño web fue creciendo a medida que los sitios eran más complejos. En  primer lugar las funciones se dividieron en diseñador y   desarrollador. Entonces, los sitios empezaron a demandar  mucho más complejos back-ends y surgieron los arquitectos de base de datos, administradores de sistemas y una gran cantidad de papeles secundarios. Del mismo modo en la parte front-end, la gente se especializó en el diseño de la interfaz, el desarrollo de front-end, el diseño de movimiento y, más recientemente lo que describimos anteriormente, el diseño de la experiencia del usuario.

El diseño de experiencia de usuario es entonces una serie de actividades (investigación, arquitectura de información, diseño de interacción, etc.), así como un nuevo puesto de trabajo, o una empresa como tal. Una empresa o profesional UX tiene una comprensión profunda de la psicología cognitiva (encargada del estudio de los procesos mentales implicados en el conocimiento), y la interacción persona-computadora.

Para Sim D’Hertefelt, arquitecto independiente de medios interactivos en Bélgica, el término UX representa un cambio en el propio concepto de Usabilidad, donde el objetivo no se limita a mejorar el rendimiento del usuario en la interacción (eficacia, eficiencia y facilidad de aprendizaje), sino que se intenta resolver también el problema estratégico de la utilidad del producto y el problema psicológico del placer y diversión en su uso.

No existe un checklist con respecto al diseño UX en sí mismo, no existe un conjunto de procesos o serie de pasos a seguir. En su lugar, hay que dominar un conjunto de herramientas y técnicas y aprender cómo y cuándo usarlos mejor. El mejor comienzo es empezar con el cliente, educándolos acerca de la importancia de un enfoque centrado en el usuario. Cuando la gente habla sobre el diseño de UX para la web, se refieren a todo lo que la experiencia del usuario involucra: diseño de interfaz, arquitectura de información, usabilidad y diseño de productos que abarcan la presentación, la interacción y la organización de los servicios en línea.

El proceso para el diseño de UX está relacionado con comprender y diseñar la experiencia del usuario de principio a fin, y no sólo el aspecto estético y las funcionalidades de un sitio. Los clientes piden algo tangible inmediatamente, pero primero debemos entender los requerimientos del negocio y las necesidades de los usuarios. Los pensamientos de los clientes sobre un producto son mayormente influenciados por las experiencias y sensaciones mientras lo usan. Una buena experiencia de usuario produce clientes apasionados y felices, esto permite vender más por productos y servicios que la gente ama y considera del más alto valor. En cambio una pobre experiencia de usuario es aquella de la que nadie se preocupa conscientemente y,  en el mejor de los casos,  dará lugar la pérdida de ingresos.

WordPress Top 5: Power To Your Enterprise

From being just a simple blogging platform, WordPress has become a powerful CMS platform. Over the past few years, this platform has grown leaps and bound, becoming the #1 choice of everyone. In comparison to all other CMS platforms, WordPress can really power your business. Wondering how? Keep on reading:

1. Instantly Available And Easy To Setup

The best thing about WordPress is that it’s simple to use and extremely easy to configure. Unlike other CMS platforms, WordPress can be setup in just a few minutes.

2. Safe And Secure Platform

Since WordPress is a popular CMS platform, therefore, it’s on top of every hacker’s list. However, WordPress takes the security of its users very seriously. In case you are still in doubt, you can practice some basic security measures like not downloading themes and plugins from untrusted websites. WordPress constantly updates its software to prevent hack attacks and keep its users safe.

3. Search Engine Friendly CMS

WordPress is one platform that offers search engine friendly components like permalinks, images, etc. This allows search engine bots to easily crawl through your website content and index it with a better ranking. This will not only help you drive traffic to your website, but you would also be able to reach a wider audience base and promote your business.

4. Highly Customizable

While designing your website, it’s important to keep your business goals in your mind. The good thing about WordPress is that it’s highly customizable, so you can easily bend and mould your website according to your whims.

WordPress comes packed with a plethora of cool themes and plugins. You can use a theme that perfectly compliments your business. You can customize it to suit your requirements. There are also a lot of useful plugins present in the WordPress repository. You can choose any plugin and integrate a desired functionality on your website.

5. Helps You Create Mobile-Friendly Websites

These days, it’s important for a website to be mobile-friendly, so that the users can access the website on the go. If you are using WordPress, you don’t have to worry anything. All WordPress websites are already mobile-friendly, thanks to the so-many responsive themes present in the WordPress repository.

Well, these are just a few of the compelling benefits that this platform has to offer, trust me there are more. If you ask me WordPress is the way to go! So what are you waiting for, install WordPress, find an affordable web hosting service, create an awesome website and take your business to great heights.

What do you think? Share your experience of using WordPress in the comment section below.

5 principais maneiras de aproveitar o conteúdo gerado por consumidores e ter ótimos resultados de SEO!

Por mais de 12 anos, eu tenho trabalhado com o conteúdo gerado pelo consumidor como um elemento central do meu trabalho estratégico de SEO. Cerca de metade desse tempo foi focado na otimização de busca de anúncios de emprego para uma agência de trabalhos bem conhecida. A outra, a metade mais recente do tempo, foi focada no conteúdo do consumidor sob a forma de comentários do usuário final.

Ao longo do último período, eu era responsável pela organização e otimização de conteúdo escrito por milhões de pessoas, cerca de um número infinito de temas, cujos escritos eram para ser publicados, sem edições, em alguns dos sites mais populares do mundo.

No início, trabalhar com este grande fluxo de conteúdo, aparentemente descontrolado, fez eu me sentir sobrecarregado. Em seguida, percebi: As pessoas escrevendo este conteúdo foram os mesmos que executaram consultas de pesquisa. Assim, as frases, parágrafos e idéias escritas pelas massas tinha o potencial para se tornar a otimização de busca, de origem no público.

Quando você considera a sua estratégia de trabalhar com conteúdo gerado pelo consumidor, é importante manter os seguintes pontos em mente.

  1. Os consumidores e os comerciantes usam linguagem muito diferente

É uma simples realidade de que os profissionais de marketing são limitados. O conteúdo de marketing, muitas vezes, escrito profissionalmente é eloqüente, fala da marca, e é poderoso, mas também erra completamente muitas vezes por perder valiosas palavras-chave de busca.

Por exemplo, ao fazer algum trabalho de otimização com uma agência de viagens on-line, descobri que as regras de branding bloquearam o uso da palavra "motel". No entanto, em certos mercados em todo os Estados Unidos, esta é a palavra-chave de que as pessoas mais utilizavam nas pesquisas. Ao excluir a palavra de seus materiais de marketing, o site pode ter sido perdendo 20% do combinado hotel / motel nas oportunidades de pesquisa por estas palavras-chave.

Oportunidade: Use o conteúdo do consumidor para ajudar a revelar as palavras que as orientações da marca restringem os profissionais de marketing de usar.

  1. As opiniões não estão isoladas

Os consumidores agora esperam que o conteúdo do comentário esteja disponível e legível, sem necessitar cliques, na página de detalhes de um produto ou serviço (e, na maioria dos casos, os usuários irão parar de ler depois de cerca de 7-8 comentários). Os motores de busca compreendem que o desejo do consumidor mostra suas preferências às páginas da Web que fornecem conteúdo dos comentários por padrão, sem cliques.

Oportunidade: Faça testes A/B para ver onde a receita por visitante e o tráfego de buscas melhoram quando o conteúdo dos comentários aderem a este princípio.


  1. Conteúdo do Consumidor pode ser reaproveitado

Contanto que você tenha direitos legais sobre o conteúdo, é completamente aceitável redirecionar comentários, perguntas, respostas, opiniões, fotos, vídeos e outros tipos de conteúdo do consumidor em vários lugares onde ele pode fornecer ao usuário uma experiência desejável ou ajudar a orientar o processo de decisão do consumidor.

Por exemplo, em um site de melhorias para casa, um vídeo mostrando a técnica adequada para a utilização de uma serra circular pode ser tão relevante quanto construir uma página de categoria e uma página de produto para a própria serra. Da mesma forma, o produto ou serviço do conteúdo do comentário pode ser relevante tanto à nível de páginas de categoria- e à nível de produto de websites.

Oportunidade: Procure por páginas de valor que não têm conteúdo do consumidor, tais como páginas de nível categoria. Prossiga para a implantação de módulos que fornecem uma experiência de usuário relevante ao também adicionar uma quantidade significativa de conteúdo de valor.

  1. O conteúdo escrito pelos consumidores tem uma vida útil de 30-90 dias

Muitas vezes me perguntam: "Como muito do conteúdo do comentário é o suficiente?" A resposta é simples: "Basta que os usuários finais fiquem satisfeitos." Para os produtos de bens de consumo, a maioria dos consumidores vão confiar em comentários com cerca de 90 dias; para a hospitalidade, 30 dias é o ponto onde a confiança das pessoas começa a declinar. Use esses prazos para orientar suas estratégias de coleta de conteúdo.

Além disso, note que a partir de uma perspectiva SEO, quanto mais fresco o conteúdo, melhor. Portanto, permita que os usuários e motores de busca sigam oportunidades de links de paginação para encontrar conteúdos mais antigos que contém potenciais caudas longas para SEO.

Oportunidade: Certifique-se de que você tem uma estratégia de geração de conteúdo em um local que forneça um fluxo constante de conteúdo de qualidade gerado pelo consumidor.

  1. Procure bots precisar de ajuda identificação de conteúdo social

Se duas frases estão lado a lado em uma página da Web e não há rótulos para indicar quem escreveu as frases, é razoável esperar que um algoritmo será capaz de identificar o tipo ou a função do autor? Não. É por isso que grandes motores de busca do mundo colaboraram em 2011 para definir as estruturas encontradas em schema.org.

Sem dados estruturados adequadamente, como os microdados de schema.org, os motores de busca não podem identificar a diferença entre profissionalmente escrito e conteúdo gerado pelo consumidor. E, se os dados estruturados são formatados de modo inadequado, os motores de busca não irão recompensar suas páginas da Web com os mimos especiais, como Rich Snippets do Google.

 

Oportunidade: Trabalhar com uma técnica profissional de SEO e implantar o sistema de rotulagem (itemprops) recomendado em schema.org; na maioria dos casos, tornará os microdados mais confiáveis e fáceis de serem trabalhados.

Estamos ansiosos para ler o seu feedback nos comentários abaixo. 🙂

Buscando maior visibilidade nos motores de busca? 
Consulte as soluções da SEMDrive, multinacional especialista em Marketing Digital: www.semdrive.com
André Vernareccia - Gerente de Desenvolvimento de Novos Negócios.
E-mail: andre@semdrive.com

Improve Your Website’s Search Engine Rank

It has been some time now, since Google rolled out its mobile search friendly algorithm update on 21st April, 2015. If you are wondering how far does the algorithm update actually leave an impact on the Internet, then here is an extracted data that you might want to look into to understand the latest geographic changes on the Search Engine Results Page.

The average percentage visibility of mobile friendly websites have increased by 12% compared to the non-friendly ones, which witnessed a somewhat slow but steady drop in their percentage visibility.

Mobile friendliness is what matters now! Almost every website today comes with a responsive web design template, leaving out one or two exceptional cases. If you are one without a mobile responsive template, then chances are that you might have started to witness a drop on the search engine results page. But it’s never too late. You can prevent your site from losing traffic by getting a responsive design template now.

However, a responsive web design is not enough when you want to improve your search engine page rank. The first thing that should come to your notice, is whether your website is user friendly when accessed through mobile devices. That means, make sure that each and every element is placed at the right place so that a user can browse through a website easily. Here are some key principles that every web designer can follow to make their site mobile user friendly.

 

1

Proper Placement Of The CTA Buttons

The CTA button is an important element for an e-commerce site and hence must be placed where it can be easily identified by a viewer. When designing a responsive website layout, keep the CTA button on the upper fold of the page. Having the CTA button above the fold makes it convenient for customers to finish off their transaction fast, instead of having to scroll further down or waiting for a landing page to load.

 

2

Well Optimized Navigation Menu

Users must be able to navigate smoothly throughout your website even when they access from a mobile device and hence, a well optimized navigation menu is a must.

 

3

Mobile Typography

In this Smartphones & Tablets age, it is perfectly clear that there is no way to ignore mobile typography. Design, development, navigation all these are important factors of responsive websites but above all of these is content structure with good readability, the 4 pillars of the most effective mobile typography are Space, Measure, The Rag, The Contrast.

 

4

Ability To Return To The Home Page With One Click

No matter how long your web page might turn out to be, make sure your viewers get to the home page instantly. This can be done by placing the logo or the header on top of the web page, which will remain fixed even when you scroll down the page. The viewer can scroll down to read more and can always return back to the home page with just a click on the logo or the header.

 

5

Proper Placement Of Ads

Ads are a good way to promote your service, but your website must not be cluttered with them. If visitors are not able to view the information for which they have come to your site in the first place, chances are that they would prefer to leave your website without proceeding to search further. You may place the ads but do ensure that viewers can easily dismiss them, if they are not interested.

 

6

The Visible Search Bar

One of the things that you would expect visitors to do the least from a mobile device, is navigate throughout the entire web page. Instead, they would prefer to use the search box for finding something quicker. Therefore, your search bar must be placed where it is easily identifiable. Place your search bar above the fold of your home page, where it can be easily visible.

 

7

Keyword Relevant Search Bar

It is not enough to simply place a search bar. Customers would be able to quickly look for products and services if the search bar comes integrated with keyword relevant filter options. In this way, customers can conveniently sort out their search, which ultimately enhances their user engagement.

 

8

Early Pop Up Of Registration Forms Is Bad

It is not a good idea to pop up your registration form just when the client enters your website to take a look. This could make them want to leave and not come back again in future. On the other hand, not everyone would prefer to subscribe to your site. So, keep that in mind if you are thinking of including a registration form. First impression always makes the lasting impression.

 

 

While these are some of the basic tips recommended by Google, there are other advanced design strategies that can improve the way your website functions, when viewed from a mobile device. If you are not specialized to build yourself a mobile responsive layout, you can contact a specialized web development firm where there are professional experts to help you out.

How Channel Partners Should Invest MDF To Accelerate Profitable Growth

John DeSarbo and Darren Yetzer

In this second article of a two part series, ZS Associates Principal John DeSarbo and Semdrive Executive Vice President of Sales Darren Yetzer discuss how channel partners can better manage their MDF spend and its impact. "How Channel Partners Should Invest MDF To Accelerate Profitable Growth” was originally published by Channel Marketer Report on December 2, 2014.

Not so long ago, “lunch-and-learns,” sporting events and trade shows were the keys to a channel partner’s marketing success. Marketing was about getting “butts in the seats” — i.e., assembling as many IT buyers in a room as possible in the hope that the sales team could meet and create opportunities with prospects and customers in person.

Today, that type of marketing approach just won’t cut it. IT buyers increasingly prefer to engage with solution providers online as new social media networks, technological innovations and digital marketing platforms change the game.

With 62% of technology consumers going online for at least some part of their shopping experience, according to a 2013 Ernst & Young survey, IT vendors and channel partners must revisit, revise and digitize their marketing techniques.

In our last article, we addressed ways IT manufacturers can make the move to digital marketing through better allocation of market development funds (MDF) to their channel partners. Now, we’d like to articulate strategies channel partners should follow once they have these funds to reach customers and drive profit in the year ahead.

In that regard, we stress one fundamental question for all IT channel partners: Are you ready to commit to digital engagement and invest in industry-standard marketing tactics?
Wine And Dine Vs. “Click” And “Data Mine”

When used properly, MDF can generate growth for both the channel and vendors. In fact, channel partners can witness as much as a 15% to 20% growth increase when they spend MDF properly. Plus, with the use of new tools, partners can achieve more than a 500% ROI on MDF-funded digital marketing activities.

However, numerous partners struggle to invest these funds wisely and continue to apply MDF to tactics that are familiar, though not always the most impactful.

Many partners have historically prioritized investments in sales and engineering resources over marketing. As a result, some struggle with lean marketing teams and insufficient access to modern marketing tools and advanced digital technologies. It’s no wonder, then, that they typically spend less than 20% of their marketing budget on digital marketing. Consequently, they risk wasting a significant portion of their manufacturer’s marketing funds on activities that are out of sync with IT customers’ buying preferences. The result is often underperforming marketing campaigns and an inability to grow beyond the current customer base.

In fact, 90% of IT buyers begin their research online via search engines, according to marketing agency Modern Marketing Partners, and often end up on a partner’s web site. Unfortunately, many partner sites are outdated and difficult to navigate. Prospective customers have a hard time finding relevant information for solutions that address their business challenges. It is also often difficult to determine which vendors are affiliated with the partner. In turn, customers who have been driven to a partner’s web site by vendor marketing activity frequently do not find the information they are looking for — and the vendor’s marketing investment is wasted.

In that same vein, channel partners typically have a limited social presence and lack an understanding of how to use and connect their social channels, such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs. Some channel partners are quick to get excited when their content gets a “like” on Facebook or “re-tweet” on Twitter, and consider this a reliable indication of customer interest, which is not always the case.

True, attending solution partner seminars and industry conferences are often essential steps in a customer’s purchase process — but channel partners cannot just wine and dine today’s customers. New customer acquisition and account penetration is dependent upon expanded digital marketing capabilities that enable partners to engage customers in their preferred forum at the right time in the buying process.
Efficiency Through Digital Transformation

A wholesale distributor of high-technology products recently realized the vast majority of its resellers were not “digitally enabled.”

Prospective customers frequently searched for solutions built on the vendor’s technology, which ultimately needed to be purchased from a distributor. Unfortunately, these customers were often not directed to the actual resellers selling the solutions. Therefore, the distributor needed to help resellers improve their digital marketing capabilities in order to benefit from the vendor’s investment in search marketing to build pipeline and increase sales.

To improve the digital presence of each partner in its network, the distributor invested in centralized business intelligence and partner-level digital marketing investments — and saw a 600% increase in revenue generated from online leads, which also experienced an equivalent increase.

In this instance, effective digital marketing connected the channel components in a more streamlined and efficient manner, increasing revenue for each channel stakeholder — the vendor, distributor and channel partner.
Movin’ On Up To The Digital Side

To evolve in today’s world, partners should start by objectively evaluating their online presence and ensure it is aligned to the vendors they support. To thrive in a world with fundamental shifts in how technology is researched and purchased, channel partners should take the following steps:

Step 1. Assess Digital Marketing Capabilities

We note in our prior article that vendors should assess their partners’ digital marketing capabilities. It’s important for channel partners to take a step back and complete their own personal evaluation as well. In doing so, they’ll better assess their digital savvy, identify areas for growth and utilize vendor support and guidance appropriately.

The assessment should include two questions:

  1. What is the effectiveness of each digital marketing component (search engine optimization, pay-per-click, syndicated content, responsive sites, micro sites, etc.)?
  2. Are all of these components integrated and connected to maximize lead generation and revenue impact?

Step 2. Invest To Address Gaps And Build New Digital Marketing Capabilities

Partners should invest available marketing budget to build foundational capabilities that will enable a greater focus on digital marketing. Investment in critical enablers such as a robust marketing automation tools will enable partners to execute more sophisticated digital marketing campaigns. Similarly, an easy-to-navigate, solutions-focused web site and expanded social presence are core requirements for any partner who plans to focus more on digital versus traditional marketing tactics.

Step 3. Leverage Analytics To Identify Opportunities To Improve ROI

Digital marketing campaigns are much more measurable than traditional tactics. For example, partners can measure their customers’ response rates to online tactics more quickly and accurately compared to offline tactics such as trade shows. Increasing investment in digital marketing provides partners with more information that can be analyzed to quickly identify opportunities to improve marketing mix and boost ROI on marketing activities.

With 2015 just around the corner, the time is now for channel partners and vendors to work together and modernize their marketing approach. Digital marketing focus will help channel partners better manage their MDF spend and its impact. In doing so, they will truly provide value, capture prospective customers, increase their current customer base and drive profit.