6 Lessons from Inbound Marketing in 2016 & What they Mean for 2017 [Part 1]

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Inbound marketing tactics change year-in-year-out. What are some lessons from inbound marketing to take into next year?

  1. In 2016, local search was big contributor to traffic to business websites. This will lead to a huge emphasis on improving local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in 2017.  This is evident in the statistics below:
    • 72% of consumers who did a local search visited a store within five miles. (WordStream, 2016)
    • 30% of mobile searches are related to finding a location. (Google, 2016)
    • 28% of searches for something nearby result in a purchase. (Google, 2016)

In 2016, we saw a trend of consumers wanting local, searching local, and buying local. There seems to be a lot of factors contributing to this – one is a result of the new mobile landscape; 48% of consumers start mobile research with a search engine (Smart Insights, 2016). This is likely because people are searching for things on the go and, of course, going to a business that is close by.

What does this mean for 2017? An emphasis on local SEO. Making sure your business is easy to find locally can drive a lot of targeted traffic, just like the case in 2016. This type of local SEO will become a crucial part of setting up an effective online presence. This includes setting your business up on Google Maps, investing in local SEO, and local citations. Most notably, “Google My Business”. This suite includes Google Pages, Maps, and Search. For more information, click here to read more on what Google My Business is and click here to read more about how it can benefit financial advisors.

  1. Inbound marketing, specifically blogging, has gained a lot more traction in 2016 and will likely continue to be a very important part of the marketing mix.
    • 60% of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority. (HubSpot, 2016)
    • 1 in 10 blog posts are compounding, meaning organic search increases their traffic over time. (HubSpot, 2016)
    • Compounding blog posts make up 10% of all blog posts and generate 38% of overall traffic. (HubSpot, 2016)
    • Over its lifetime, one compounding blog post creates as much traffic as six decaying posts. (HubSpot, 2016)

2016 saw the majority of marketers placing a high importance on blog creation, rightfully so. Blogging created a lot more opportunities and traffic in conjunction with SEO techniques.

This trend will remain in 2017; I would even go as far to say that the impact on website traffic as a result of blogs will increase. The increase is partly due to the trend of local SEO and search engines becoming more accurate and refined; a focus on providing visitors with the highest quality and most relevant search results. In addition, content marketers and sales will be much more interconnected in the future since creating content, or blogging, will directly assist the salesperson in acquiring new business.

  • 47% of buyers viewed 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep. (Demand Gen Report, 2016)
  • 96% of B2B buyers want content with more input from industry thought leaders. (Demand Gen Report, 2016)

The link between content and buyers is as strong as ever so it seems only natural for the progression of content to be more in line to assist sales in moving prospects through the buyer journey. Adapting content strategies to the shifting buyer journey can fill gaps in knowledge. During the awareness stage, content can attract relevant visitors and coverts them to leads. Afterwards, during the consideration phase, content builds trust. Finally, during the decision stage, the buyers will have all of the knowledge they need to compare products/services, and ultimately pick the winner. Having content specific for these phases of the journey lifts some responsibilities from the sales department allowing them to focus on converting the leads.

  1. Social media proved to not just be a fad, but a lifestyle.
    • Facebook has 1.13 billion daily active users. (Statista, 2016)
    • Twitter has 313 million monthly active users. (HubSpot, 2016)
    • LinkedIn has 450 million members, but only 25% actively visit the professional social network each month. (VentureBeat, 2016)
    • Nearly one-third of the world uses social networks regularly. (eMarketer, 2016)

Social media is also a large part of the professional networks and businesses as Facebook and LinkedIn increasingly add features for that demographic.

  • 73% of people say they use Facebook for professional purposes. (HubSpot, 2016)
  • In the past two years, content consumption on Facebook has increased 57%. (HubSpot, 2016)
  • In the past two years, content consumption on LinkedIn has increased 21%. (HubSpot, 2016)

2017 will see social media continuing to remain a consistent potion of an effective marketing mix. There are no signs that social media will fade, although, the platforms could become outdated – like Myspace. Social media is such a big part of the new generation that there will always be some sort of social media that will take the place of any dwindling service. As for content consumption of these platforms, the trend shows another increase from 2016 to 2017. Overall, it will keep rising year over year for the next few years and will eventually stabilize at a natural maximum.


Stay tuned for Part 2 of the series where we will cover off 3 more Inbound Marketing lessons from 2016.

How do I select effective images for my website? [Quick Tip Videos]

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This is the first in a series of video tips that will explore frequently asked questions from our customers. Today, we asked Tyson Kingsbury, Creative Director of Veriday, how to select effective images and photos for a website. He offers his advice in the video below.

 

What did you think of our video? Did you learn anything about how to select effective images and photos for your website? Do you have any questions for Tyson or anyone else at Veriday? Let us know on Twitter @VeridayHQ and use the hashtag #AskVeriday.

3 ways RIAs can attract new clients for long-term success

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This post was authored by Jen Micklow and originally appeared here on FinancialServicesMarketing.com

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“The times they are a-changin’.” Bob Dylan first crooned these lyrics in his 1964 title track to acknowledge a mass cry for social reform. Listen closely now, and you’ll hear echoes of the song’s core message underscoring some of today’s most newsworthy issues: the polarizing presidential race, an unraveling of corporate scandals and the ongoing fight for gender parity. Similarly, looking at the lyrics through a financial services lens elicits visions of policy reform, industry skeptics and the generational shift in wealth that have awoken a renewed need for change from Wall Street to Main Street.

If you want your RIA to succeed, you need to maintain or grow your client base. To do that, you must welcome the changes being demanded by the public. So how can RIAs see these demands as opportunities to position themselves for long-term success?

By now, you know that the fastest-growing RIAs must understand millennials – we’ve shared several observations of this new target audience on this blog. You also know how to employ effective marketing strategies that will help promote your brand. But the real key to attracting new clients and building long-term success lies in how your RIA is positioned to take advantage of evolving demographics and trends within the financial planning marketplace. Here are some considerations to get you started.

  1. Look beyond current income. Big-league RIAs aside, gone are the days of requiring potential clients to have millions of investable dollars before signing on to your client roster. Today, it’s all about potential earnings – meaning that professionals with high earning potential are equally as valuable to the sustainability of an RIA as their high-net-worth counterparts. Ditch the income requirements and consider how attracting millennial and Gen-X clients today will contribute to your firm’s AUM over time.
  1. Make it a family affair. Earning potential aside, younger individuals are set to inherit a massive amount of investible dollars. Over the next 30 years, approximately $30 trillion will change hands from baby boomers to Generation X and millennials. The generational shift in wealth has made younger investors a desirable demographic for not only growing a firm’s AUM, but also maintaining it as wealth leaves existing clients’ hands and is left to this new group of investors. If your RIA is not already looking at ways to capitalize on this future asset base, now is the time to start. Begin the process by building relationships with your current clients’ children or heirs.
  1. Recruit new talent. The industry is experiencing a talent shortage, and the need to attract new advisers has never been greater. The number of financial advisers over age 70 exceeds the number who are under 30, according to a recent piece by Financial Planning. A new wave of talent will help your business attract new clientele, producing a snowball effect of opportunity for your RIA to grow AUM as these young professionals pick up steam in their careers and, simultaneously, their investable wealth. Also, don’t underestimate the importance of diversity. Women control more than half of American personal wealth, and 70 percent of women would prefer to work with a female adviser. Not sure where to start? Revisit our post on tips to attract and retain millennial female advisers.

Adapting to society’s evolving demands will help your firm traverse the great generational shift in wealth and carry your business to new heights long after your own retirement. But only the RIAs who know how to position their business to attract new clients will survive these changing times.

RIAs, take heed, “for he that gets hurt will be he who has stalled. There’s a battle outside and it’s ragin’…for the times they are a-changin’.”

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Authored by: Financialservicesmarketing.com

Twitter: @joeanthony

How Technology Can Help the Customer Journey for High Net Worth Individuals

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The customer journey, like much of the 21st century, has changed to include more technological aspects. Digital advertising and “Googling” are a couple examples of technology that have changed the customer journey for the masses.  They have made it easier to entice a potential customer to you through the awareness and decision phase through advertising and easily accessible information. Narrowing the customer journey down to High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI), you start to get a sense of how technology has impacted their consumer journey – which may or may not differ from the mass consumer market.

In a recent study conducted by LinkedIn and Greenwich Associates, it broke down the customer journey into 5 phases: awareness, consideration and selection, onboarding and action planning, network development, and keeping the relationship alive. In this article, we’ll take a look at technology’s impact on each step and interpret the data.

AWARENESS

In this phase, the client has to be aware of the wealth manager. Even though technology has added many different channels where you can reach out to potential clients, recommendations from family or friends remains one of the top ways that a HNWI would choose an advisor.

Once HNW clients are made aware, it can be difficult to acquire them since nearly 2/3 have had their wealth manager for over 5 years and have built up trust with them. Although, 2 out of 5 Millennials and over ¼ of Generation X plan to switch their wealth manager in the next 12 months. The change in wealth manager may not necessarily be because of higher returns, but could be due to service, engagement, and readiness to try something new. A chart with the exact percentages of whether or not each demographic plans to change their wealth manager is given below.

 

plantochangewealthmanagers

The awareness phase is still fairly traditional since technology has not beaten word of mouth recommendations from trusted individuals. It has, however, opened up the opportunity to acquire clients that were not fully satisfied with their past manager – mainly within the millennial demographic.

 

CONSIDERATION & SELECTION

The consideration and selection is the phase where the client would engage in research to determine which investor best suits them. A personal touch (mainly word-of-mouth) still exists in this phase as 1/2 of HNWIs look to family and friends for evaluations, and over 2/3 base their evaluations on face-to-face interactions.

Even though personal metrics, such as a face-to-face meetings or recommendations, play a part, the manager has to use all the tools available to stand out in this market. This includes developing their digital presence. This is because 1/3 of HNW Millennials use social media profiles of potential wealth advisors as their evaluation process. Half of HNW Millennials look at an advisor’s posts on social media. The need for social media drops significantly with older generations, but it is offset since clients with a net worth of over $10 million determine it as being important.

importance_useofsocialmedia

 

In terms of robo-investing, only 3% of HNWIs interviewed say robo-investing factor into their decision. The use of robo-investors has been limited to more routine, typical strategies while wealth managers are used for more unique and complex strategies.

In the consideration phase, HNWI’s preference for technology increased slightly. This is mainly to assist the individuals that want to research on their own. Although, the importance of a social media presence increases with the younger generation and with individuals with more investable assets. This importance, with the younger generation, is most likely due to their familiarity and the importance they place on social media in their personal lives. For the individuals with the highest investable assets, it is most likely due to their due diligence as they have much more on the line.

 

ONBOARDING AND ACTION PLANNING

Once a wealth manager is selected, the path and action plan moving forward has to be decided. To determine this action plan, an in-person meeting is still the preference for most demographics. However, a shift occurred in the Millennial demographic as only 40% met with their advisor in person to make an investment plan. One-third took a self-directed approach by using their manager’s website to research options. This change suggests that Millennials are more open to engaging differently or are more prone to use self-service options.

Another part of this phase is the transaction. Based on the respondents, 85% of HNWI believe that wealth managers should use technology. This would mean anything from making the transaction online or easier due to technology.

A key trend we can see, as we move along the phases, is that the importance of technology grows as the journey progresses. There’s a noticeable increase in the want for technology in the onboarding and action-planning phase. More specifically, technologies that make researching, communicating, and the transaction simpler and more convenient were more preferred in this stage. Unsurprisingly, Millennials see technology as an important part of the later parts of the journey.

 

NETWORK DEVELOPMENT

Millennials, Generation X, and individuals with the highest amount of assets find it really important to compare investment strategies with like-minded peers – as seen in the figure below. These conversations are extending to online platforms, such as social media. These are less of a threat and more of a community-fostering tool. This allows a community to come together and offer advice and foster goodwill for the advisor as well. Since personal recommendations are still very important in the beginning of the customer journey, this type of goodwill is very important.

importance_comparing_investments

 

For the network development phase, building a social presence, or an online community, is one of the key creators of goodwill to assist the wealth manager in acquiring more HNWIs. In this phase, technology becomes quite important to promote a conversation that will extend past physical meetings.

 

KEEPING THE RELATIONSHIP ALIVE

6% of all HNWIs expressed the desire for daily contact, while 60% wanted contact on monthly basis, at most. Although, 15% of Millennials want daily contact with their advisor when the markets get rocky. This could be a result of the vast amount of information that Millennials are exposed to leading to them wanting more filtered information from the advisor. Email remains the preferred method of contact; but Millennials showed their interest for different communication methods, such as apps. In terms of social media, LinkedIn and Facebook were the most used platform for financial planning.

Looking broadly, most HNWI prefer periodic contact through technology. It is best to group different demographics into their contact preferences and send market updates accordingly. In general, the younger demographic prefer more updates (through email or social media) in down times, but few updates otherwise. The older demographic of HNWI, however, is content with few updates through any market condition.

 


 

Overall, the customer journey for HNWI hasn’t changed much in the beginning phases. Word of mouth recommendations and evaluations trump many other aspects in the awareness and selection phase. However, the prevalence and importance of technology is growing in the later stages. Most notably, technology is used in parts of the journey to make things more convenient; such as, improving the transaction portion of the action plan phase, networking, and offering a more convenient platform to communicate periodically.

The best possible way to adjust to this shift in preferences is to deploy a high tech and high touch strategy. This means a blend of personal human interaction and technology to cover the different wants and needs of each demographic. A good base strategy includes offering real time communications during volatile times and limiting contact other times, creating groups or an online community, and using your client’s social media, by seeding content, to gain valuable referrals.

15 Inspirational Customer Experience Quotes that Relate to Business

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In today’s digital landscape, a great customer experience is crucial. Customers have the power to choose between competing companies with a simple Google search. As Doug Warmer, former chairman of the board of J.P. Morgan & Co said, “it’s important to remember that your competitor is only one mouse click away.”

Given that it costs 6 or 7 times more to attract a new customer than to retain a new one, customer experience is more important than ever. On top of that, consumers are 2 times more likely to share their bad customer service experiences than they are to talk about positive experiences. Research also suggests that it takes 12 positive customer experiences to make up for one negative one.

Providing a great customer experience has always been important – and always will be. However, the Internet has made an effective customer experience a major competitive advantage for any business. The connected, happy, and loyal customer has more power in today’s market than ever before.

There are many statistics out there speaking to the effects of poor customer experience on a business. Although statistics are part of the story, sometimes, greater insights come from quotes. There is certainly no shortage of inspirational quotes out there, but I’ve compiled some of my favourite quotes relating to customer experience. Here are 15 inspiring quotes that any business can relate to:

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” ~Bill Gates

“Trust: The reputation of a thousand years may be undermined by the conduct of one hour.” ~Japenese Proverb

“As you’ve noticed, people don’t want to be sold. What people do want is news and information about the things they care about.” ~Larry Weber

 “It is not your customer’s job to remember you, it is your obligation and responsibility to make sure they don’t have the chance to forget you. ~Patricia Fripp

“If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6000 friends.” ~Jeff Bezos

 “Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.” ~Steve Jobs

 “Innovation needs to be part of your culture. Customers are transforming faster than we are, and if we don’t catch up, we’re in trouble.” ~Ian Schafer

“Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than trying to solve them. ” ~Henry Ford

 “Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.” ~Seth Godin

 Customers may forget what you said but they’ll never forget how you made them feel.” ~Unknown

“Loyal customers, they don’t just come back, they don’t simply recommend you, they insist that their friends do business with you.” ~Chip Bell

“Here is a simple but powerful rule: always give people more than what they expect to get.” ~Nelson Boswell

“There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.” ~Roger Staubach

“You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology, not the other way around.” ~Steve Jobs

I thought it was fitting to finish off with the following quote by Jerry Gregoire, “The customer experience is the next competitive battleground.” By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. Customers have more power and choice than ever before, and if they don’t like the experience they have with you, they will leave, with little chance of returning.

What are some of your favourite customer experience and engagement quotes? We’d love to hear them. 

Do Financial Advisors Need LinkedIn Premium?

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This post was authored by Claire Akin and originally appeared here on GuideVine.

We know that LinkedIn is a powerful networking platform for advisors, given that one in three professionals worldwide have profiles. The Pew Research Center surveys show that the average user is 44 years old, the average income is $109,000, and the average investable asset value is over $250,000.

If your new client account minimum is above $250,000, consider that 26% of ultra-high-net-worth investors also use LinkedIn. As the Great Transfer of Wealth begins, LinkedIn is becoming more important for your legacy plan, with the fastest growing segment being Millennials.

LinkedIn offers four main uses for advisors:

  1. It’s your online resume
  2. It’s an online Rolodex of your network
  3. It’s a powerful search tool to find and connect with qualified prospects
  4. It’s a publishing platform that allows you to share your expertise

The Problem that LinkedIn Solves

Remember the old days when you would exchange business cards with a contact at a networking event or on the golf course so that you could refer business to one another in the future? The problem with that practice is that once your contact changed companies, the business card was rendered useless. Because workers change jobs more often today than they did years ago, this problem has been magnified.

LinkedIn offers a solution to this problem, allowing you to virtually exchange business cards and stay in touch no matter the career transitions that you or your connection make. In fact, LinkedIn will let you know each time one of your connections changes companies so you can reach out and congratulate them, keep in touch, and perhaps ask if they have rolled over their old 401(k).

By connecting with your network on LinkedIn, you can stay in touch, grow your influence, share your expertise, and ask for introductions. But if you’ve spent any time on LinkedIn, you’ve probably been solicited with offers to upgrade to LinkedIn Premium.

What is LinkedIn Premium?

LinkedIn Premium is a paid LinkedIn membership that offers benefits above the free version. There are four versions of LinkedIn Premium, depending on if you’re a job seeker, a sales rep, a recruiter, or an advertiser. Fees associated with LinkedIn Premium accounts range from $30 per month for job seekers to $150 per month for recruiters.

LinkedIn Premium is a subscription-based service that “unlocks” special features on LinkedIn including:

  • An enhanced profile with a larger photo and headline
  • The ability to see who has viewed your profile
  • Advanced search criteria
  • Between 3 and 30 InMail Credits
  • Up to 10 saved searches

Should You Upgrade?

The drawback to LinkedIn Premium for financial advisors is that the features focus on connecting with those you don’t already know. For most advisors, cold messaging on LinkedIn is not as effective as relying on referrals from their network or asking for an introduction from someone they know.

Advanced search capabilities are helpful for identifying qualified prospects, but the free version of LinkedIn allows you to search by criteria including current company, industry, and job title. LinkedIn Premium search criteria such as function and seniority level can be accessed for free by using keywords like “executive” or “manager” to target those segments.

InMail Messages are undoubtedly valuable and can be used to contact prospects or centers of influence that you’re not connected with. However, InMail Messages are easily ignored and LinkedIn no longer credits back InMail Messages that are not answered. At a price of $10 per message, advisors may have a higher ROI with other marketing efforts.

Some experts point to the LinkedIn Premium profile badge as a vanity cost and data on the renewal rates for premium subscriptions has not been published. However, because the LinkedIn platform was built primarily for job seekers and recruiters, it makes sense that they would benefit the most from LinkedIn Premium memberships.

For financial advisors looking to expand their network, a better use of time and resources may be to use the generous Basic LinkedIn features and to send thoughtful connection requests to members with a mutual acquaintance, which continues to be free.

 

optimize-linkedin-profile

3rd Annual Digital Marketing For Financial Services Summit

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Everything Digital for Financial Services Marketers

Veriday is a proud to be sponsoring, speaking and exhibiting at the 3rd Annual Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit (November 15-16, New York), one of the largest Digital Marketing gatherings specifically for Financial Services Marketers. Learn game changing strategies to increase omni-channel ROI, get ahead of disruptive technologies and use Big Data to increase ROI. This year, gain insights from 8 in-depth case studies, 22+ financial digital experts, including 4 CMO’s and 7 Power Panels. Capitalize on the perfect opportunity to network and grow your professional network; socialize, meet & interact with Financial Marketing Executives to grow your professional reach

Look forward to learning from these interactive discussions, case studies and networking opportunities. Marc Lamoureux, CEO of Veriday, will be part of the event as a speaker- here are the details of his session.

This exclusive summit is the only event designed specifically to give FIs the tools to evolve your marketing strategy for the digital age. Digital has raised the bar for brands, but complexity, compliance, and competition present major barriers to FIs today. Overcome the unique challenges marketers face in financial services and take away tactics from the best in the industry at the 30 dynamic sessions at DMFS NY.

Gain practical strategies, guidance and tactics to:

  • Ensure consistency across touchpoints to win and retain clients
  • Differentiate your brand through effective messaging
  • Adopt creative strategies from disruptors and innovators in finance
  • Reach new customers while respecting regulations and privacy
  • Break through the noise with expert analytics and attribution strategies

Click to download the brochure for details on all the speakers and sessions. Register now, with an exclusive discount, by using this VIP Code:  <VERIDAY20>

Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and what it means for Advertising

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Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are arguably some of the next big technological advancements that will lead to a whole field of innovations never thought possible. What I’m trying to say is that with Virtual Reality, you’re essentially in a virtual world – something that has been pre-recorded (or programmed). You look around in real life using the VR headset and the virtual world’s view will change according to where you look; there are even added aspects of immersion in some VR such as body tracking and sounds. On the other hand, AR puts the technology or animation right in your field of vision. It takes inputs or visual queues from the real world, usually through a camera, and overlays some sort of graphic in that spot when you see it through a screen.

One of the biggest AR phenomena occurred just earlier this year – Pokémon Go. It took geo-data from your device and overlaid it on the Google Maps technologies to determine your location. The AR part occurs when the user “finds” a Pokémon on the map. This allowed the application to take the input from the camera, select a part of the visual input, and then it overlaid a 3D model of the Pokémon on it. Though, the next step isn’t just seeing a 3D model of a monster through a phone screen, but something being overlaid directly in your field of vision through some type of lens. Just imagine wearing glasses that convert your table, like the one that Tony Stark, Iron Man, uses, with other hardware. It could even take in your physical input and change the graphics around. This type of technology is being developed as we speak; Microsoft’s HoloLens would like to develop AR with a human input.

ar2 ar3

As for Virtual Reality, there have been quite a few companies tackling the hardware aspect for VR.  VR hardware requires more power and hardware to achieve more than just a “looking around” feature. A few of the biggest are Facebook’s Oculus, HTC’s Vive, and Sony’s PlayStation VR. Each of these are fairly expensive and also require additional hardware to run which limits the reach for this technology. Though, with the rising curiosity from consumers in VR from consumers, there will be definite improvement in price and availability. In a recent study of 8000 people, 24% said they will likely use or purchase VR in the next year. Another 20% said they don’t plan to try it, but expressed increased interest after learning more about the basics.

 These gadgets are technological innovations, but what will they do for advertising?

Well, they make advertising a lot more engaging and interactive; it can be an experience instead of just a standard advertisement. Below are some of the current ways AR and VR are changing advertising, as well as some predictions as to how they will affect advertising:

Augmented Reality is quite prevalent now with the recent surge of the Pokémon Go app. Although, advertising using the AR technology is still in its infancy. The Pokémon Go application is a great AR game, but it does not have advertising directly in the AR portion of the game. With that in mind, for the next few paragraphs, I’ll be focusing primarily on advertising that uses the core of Augmented Reality technology.

The technology that exists today for AR overlays an animation over the camera input. The spots where the animation appears is selected if there is a certain picture or pattern. For example, if there is an application on The Nintendo 3DS console where it can recognize certain cards on camera and overlay a 3D model on it.

ar4

The animation automatically appears on and moves with that picture or pattern; moving the camera to point away from that picture and pattern causes the animation to disappear as well.

As for how it could change advertising, Snapchat recently patented a technology that can determine what you’re taking a picture of – or more generally, what the camera is pointed at. This could be a huge advancement and can lead to many opportunities to make an interactive advertisement through Snapchat itself. This could lead to Snapchat overlaying a graphic on or around something as an advertisement. For example, if you happen to have a logo it recognizes, there can be some type of overlay that targets that specific consumer. This would open up a whole range of hyper-targeted interactive advertisements.

Another example of Snapchat’s object recognition technology creating advertisements is if the application recognizes that there is a coffee cup and overlays a logo right over it – as long as this technology also recognizes that there is no other logo in that cup. Below is a picture that gives you a better idea of what I am talking about.

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This will be a test to technology and application developers as more and more of the population gets smartphones with better and better cameras. The hardware limitation for the population is slowly closing in, allowing more of the population to be capable of simple augmentations. Now, the innovations must occur in the software.

Virtual reality is gaining traction as many hardware developers are racing to gain market share as this technology keeps developing. Many low end VR headsets require a phone (Samsung and Google have recently released a headset that pairs with their latest phones), while many of the high end headsets require some sort of computer to run those programs.

As this innovation diffuses through the market, advertisers have some time to develop interactive marketing campaigns.  VR advertisers should be taking a lesson from a long forgotten video game called Battlefield 2142 (I have not forgotten). The game allowed real products or movies to advertise on in-game billboards on their giant 64-player maps. Below is an example of one of these advertisements.

ar6

I was an avid player of this game when it was released and to this day I remember seeing posters of “Taking of Pelham 123” all around these giant immersive maps. But, how does this transfer to VR? That’s just it, VR can be used in giant expansive worlds that allow advertisers to purchase their own little corner of it.

Another way to use VR technology to expand the horizon of advertising is using it to make the popular 360 videos more immersive. Facebook and YouTube both implemented the ability to view videos while moving the frame of view with either your mouse or by physically looking around with your phone. Extend this to high quality VR, then you get what Circa, a news publisher, plans on doing. They plan on making fully immersive VR newscasts twice a week which allows the viewers to go to places they’d seldom get to go to. That could include allowing the viewer to virtually be backstage at debates, concerts, or places across the country.

Diffusion of innovation is a problem in regards to the above strategy, but it can be a great opportunity in another aspect.

VR is interactive; it requires space (for body tracking), additional equipment, and a quite a bit of investment. This problem lead to arcades popping back up again, but this time with an emphasis on VR. Taco Bell recently partnered with Sony to create a pop-up VR arcade. It not only solved the problem of equipment, it solved the problem of a niche target market. The above VR strategy (advertising within a VR world) only advertises to players who have the VR equipment and are playing the said game – which is a very small market. The arcade let many people experience VR while promoting Sony PlayStation VR as well as Taco Bell.

 

Both technologies are getting better and more advanced through the years. With the success of Pokémon Go, FB videos, and the greater accessibility of VR technologies, there are an outstanding number of ways to show advertisements to your audience while being much more engaging and interactive. It will keep expanding the horizons and platforms that advertisements can be shown on. The future will just increase the accessibility of these technologies to make AR and VR a viable platform for advertisements.

Chris Lamoureux, COO of Veriday, elaborates on the recent Network of Giving Partnership

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In late September, we were excited to announce our partnership with the Network of Giving. Network of Giving specializes in delivering technology solutions to support important causes and communities around the world. NOG is a value added software and IP tool that empowers billions of caring consumers purchasing goods and services digitally which can benefit local organizations and causes seamlessly.

Recently, Chris Lamoureux, COO of Veriday Inc., elaborated more on this partnership and what it means in terms of future projects, innovation, and what this means to all the charities involved.

What is the extent of the relationship between Veriday and the Network of Giving?  What will you be doing together as partners?

Chris:  Changing the world is not easy, sometimes it takes a lot of time; days, weeks, months, years, sometimes decades. Although, with clear focus, a goal and vision in mind, changes can happen and make a positive influence on the world. We’ve been working with Network of Giving for several years now to help them change the world through one transaction at a time. The Network of Giving harnesses the power of everyday digital transactions, supports important causes, and helps communities around the world become more prosperous and resilient, particularly local communities.

What solution will we be creating together?  What problem does it solve for the customers?

Chris:  Through pioneering innovations, technology, existing financial structures, and business processes, the Network of Giving has found ways to link consumers, local merchants, charitable and community organizations, banks, payment networks, and other financial organizations into a dynamic ecosystem to create an entirely new way of supporting digital charitable giving. We at Veriday believe that this is an enormous untapped potential to change the world, and we are committed and focused on supporting the Network of Giving in their activities.

What are the benefits that the customers will see from the partnership?

We’ve been supporting the Network of Giving in the ground-breaking technology innovation area using leading-edge approaches and modernized thinking. It allows us to create a technology solution that can plug and play into the most complex financial services systems in the world. Taking the complexity of the service systems and delivering it simply into a marketplace in which any consumer can use the solution; to take a simple banking transaction, or a simple purchase, and direct that at a merchant while part of the proceeds go to support a charity of their choice.

From your perspective, what is special or innovative about the partnership?

What’s innovative and interesting about this partnership and what we’re trying to do is that we are taking something simple and something that is done every day, and using it as a catalyst for change to fuel and accomplish something bigger. Innovative, yet complex. Simple and elegant.

8 Reasons why Investing in an Extranet could be Beneficial for your Business

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8 Reasons to Invest in an Extranet

An extranet can help give your company an edge over the competition.  Extranets help streamline processes, workflows, and business functions, while cutting your overhead costs. Below is an infographic with 8 reasons to invest in an extranet to benefit your business.

Benefits of Extranet

Extranet Infographics