Digital Marketing Adoption Trends of Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs

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Bitcoin: The Rise of Digital Currency

 

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If one is to take a snapshot of the emerging digital innovations of recent years BitCoin would definitely make that list. The digital currency is booming and setting records in exchanges across the world. Most recently BitCoin spiked to $10K a coin and is setting records across markets. “The Dow Jones industrial average, in its biggest year, 1915, went up 82 percent, or one-tenth as much as Bitcoin has gone up this year. Amazon’s red-hot stock is up only one-fifteenth as much as Bitcoin this year.” (New York Times 2017) If you’re not familiar with what BitCoin or a Digital currency is it’s a new currency that was created in 2009 by an unknown person using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. Transactions are made with no middle men – meaning, no banks! There are no transaction fees and no need to give your real name. More merchants are beginning to accept them across all markets.

These digital currencies are shaking up the market. More and more consumers, merchants and investors are falling suit and it is only fueling the BitCoin mania. There are definitely some interesting up sides to the digital money, the coins are not tied to any country which makes international transactions a lot less of a hassle. There are no credit card or transaction fees so small merchants are fast becoming fans and then there is the convenience of transferring the currency electronically. We all know how people love when things become easier.

As with anything though there are the dreaded cons, currently Bitcoin and other digital currencies are unregulated with leaves the question who is keeping the coins in line from crashing. Many governmental agencies have visited the idea of regulating the digital currencies and with that comes talks of taxation and controlling transactions. It still remains to be seen what will come of the booming new currency, will it continue to flourish and become a new mainstream currency, will it be regulated and lose it mystique or will it just fade off into the sunset like a lot of other hyped technologies. Seeing that there is currently over $5 billion traded on Bitcoin exchanges daily I think it may stick around for a bit.

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The Future Is Here: The Expansion of The Intenet and Digital Communication

The future of the web and digital communication is one of instant connectivity, user interaction and big data. The boom of social media and user oriented platforms allows for consumers, followers and viewers to not only access information or purchase products from any area for the globe they can directly interact with the company by liking it Instagram, commenting on it’s Facebook or writing a review on its Yelp. This increased user oriented digital environment is not only changing the way people interact with technology it is fostering a new social aspect to society. According to a report by the PEW Research Center 79% of internet users (68% of all U.S. adults) use Facebook and 32% of internet users (28% of all U.S. adults) use Instagram. As the chart below states 75% of all Facebook users interact with the site daily and that is just one user oriented platform, albeit it’s the biggest one in history, it’s still just one platform.  

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Members of society are interacting with digital communication and social media more and more as the platforms continue to grow. This increased connectivity is not only having an effect on social behaviors it is also significantly impacting business models and the job market. As a student of both business and communication it is remarkable to see the manner in which the market is evolving right before our eyes in order to keep up with the growing digital community and multiplying user oriented platforms. As we’ve discussed in this course industries like media are having to create hybrid roles merging journalism with programming in order to keep up with the competitive marketplace and the demand for more digital material.

If you take a look at it from a 500 foot view as a consumer you can see that  industries across the board have evolved to survive in the increasingly digital landscape, we as consumers Google or Yelp where to go, what to eat and what to buy, we look at companies websites or social media, we read other customer’s reviews, and we interact with companies directly on these platforms if we have an issue. There are so many ways in which the trends of internet, web and digital communication are affecting society and each of them are significant. As a society all we can do in embrace and hold on for the ride. It’s going to be key that we adapt like industries and companies are, we need to teach digital skill sets more frequently in the academic community and make them a requirement so that our labour force is more prepared for the markets that await them. As consumers we need to make sure that we are more cognizant of big data and targeted media and advertisements. Being aware of these approaches will help us better digest the material being presented and will allow for us to interpret it more effectively, and maybe just maybe we can learn from our mistakes.

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I for one have pulled away a ton of insight from this course. A lot of the material that was covered helped me develop that awareness that I was speaking of. As a user of these digital platforms you can sometimes get caught up and not be aware of the material that you’re consuming or how you can better prepare yourself to be more marketable in this changing marketplace.  Developing a keen understanding how the internet and digital communication have evolved and the impact that it is having across the board is eye-opening. If all goes well I hope to open up a business consulting firm in the upcoming years. I want to help veterans who lack the education or experience open up their own businesses. Understanding the impact that digital marketing and program has with large and small companies I fully understand that developing a solid grasp on effective tools and strategies in these traits will serve as a viable tool to be successful my venture. I guess all we can do us follow in the immortal words fo Dr. Emmitt Lathrop Brown…. 

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Mashup: The New Era of Copyright

After watching the documentary on D.J. Girl Talk I definitely do applaud his creativity and talent, I just can’t on board with the idea of what he is doing right. I’m all for building off of the past and creating from the innovations of those that came before us. But Gregg Gillis of girl talk is literally just taking other artist’s material, reformatting it and calling it his own music. It’s difficult for me to find where the confusion is, I can’t take information from a previous study and without acknowledging its source. I think that’s where I am having a hard time justify what he is doing as art. For me it would be different if he received permission from the artist that he is sampling and they approved of what he is doing, in that case he would be appropriately using someone else’s creativity and hard work. The manner in which he is just using other artist’s material and “slightly” changing it is just stealing in my eyes.

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“In legal terms a musician who uses parts of other compositions creates what copyright law calls a derivative work, so the permission of the original song’s writer or current copyright holder is needed.” In an interview conducted by Forbes Magazine Gillis explained that he doesn’t believe he is doing anything wrong and that he is protected by the Fair Use portion of Copyright laws, “”I basically believe in that idea [of Fair Use], that if you create something out of pre-existing media, that’s transformative, that’s not negatively impacting the potential sales of the artist you’re sampling, if it’s not hurting them in some way, then you should be allowed to make your art and put it out there. I think, even in the years of doing this, the conversation has shifted a good bit.” Honestly I can see his point but if you have to find a loophole in the system, what you’re doing can be all on the up and up. I think if DJ Girl Talk truly appreciated his earlier musical counterparts and respected his craft as much as he says he does he would he would go through the necessary steps to get permission to use the material that he does.

By no means am I discrediting the abilities of DJ Girl Talk, in all honesty I’m pretty impressed at what he has created, he is a talented individual. However I feel as though Girl Talk has been given quite a bit of a pass from litigation due to the slight possibility that a lawsuit with him might result in precedent that the record and music industry might not want. As technology continues to grow and copyrighted material becomes more readily available this is going to be a more common accuracy, it’s only a matter of time before the legislation protecting the use of this material must adapt. Just as many other industries are having to find their way in a more user driven market, the industries that generate copyrighted material are going to have to find more creative way to protect it or more user friendly ways to share their material without it being taken. Who know maybe sooner rather than alter we will all be mashing music together. 

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Business 4.0: The New Face of Doing Business

This week’s material was extremely interesting as it hit on the evolution of business regarding the web and how creativity and design will continue to user in this growth. The sheer volume of data and the scope of influence that the web has reached is unprecedented. Due to this exponential growth business models and industry trends have been forced to evolve in order to remain viable and competitive. As Chris Anderson of Wired Magazine illustrates in his article the Long Tail phenomenon has transformed multiple markets not by introducing a new product, but by simply taking advantage of one that was underutilized. Markets such as film and music have traditionally been misrepresented with popular culture. These industries generally market products that pull the biggest draw or the most revenue, they tend to cast aside those films or records that have a niche following and might not be the blockbuster hits. Historically this was the business models of these industries, they had to determine the cost of investment and weigh if a movie was worth showing or if an album would sell enough and warrant being carried on their shelves. The material cost of traditional business models dictated what products were presented and which ones weren’t. As the web has evolved and developed a platform capable of host large libraries of digital files to include movies and music it has introduced a market that is capitalizing on these niche products. With the Long Tail model it isn’t only about the popular movies or records, this model is capitalizing on the one hit tracks that have minimal listeners or the award winning movie that missed theaters because it wasn’t a box office hit.

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The web is providing a platform that can host all of these movies and records at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods and it is transforming what consumerswhat. “Unlimited selection is revealing truths about what consumers want and how they want to get it in service after service, from DVDs at Netflix to music videos on Yahoo! Launch to songs in the iTunes Music Store and Rhapsody. People are going deep into the catalog, down the long, long list of available titles, far past what’s available at Blockbuster Video, Tower Records, and Barnes & Noble. “

The other notable topic in this week’s material the, “Free”,  model has altered how companies do business and offer their products or services. As Chris Anderson presents the concept of free products is not a new one to business owners. Traditionally the practice of free products was to draw customers and subsidize the cost of the free product into purchase of another product or service, today companies are shifting to a model of offering products for free and learning how to make a profit in other ways.Screen Shot 2017-11-07 at 10.14.32 PM.png

One example of the growing model is how traditional print publications are having presenting their articles for free and are making money off of online marketing or subscription based content. Top companies such as Google, YouTube and Facebook are leading the way by providing user content for free and capitalizing on user interactions and information to strengthen marking approaches for potential customers to utilize. These two growing business models are just a couple of the distinct ways that technology and the web are altering industry and business trends, and it is impressive to see how companies alter approaches in order to keep up. Companies are having to take into account new ways to reach potential customers while providing content that is capable of competing in today’s market. In order for largeor small business to succeed in such a highly competitive marketplace they must learn to use the advantages that technology and the web present. User oriented platforms such as social media is growing as one of the most effective platform that customers like to engage the companies that the buy from or the products that they like. Using this free platform to build and brand and develop a strong customer experience is essential the the success of any company. It’s by my experience in the software industry that a lot of vendors or developing their own content now, content on the best practices for the industries that they work in or the best methods to purchasing software in a declining market. This internally generated content is provided to customers for free, utilizing the free method, and it is an attempt to strengthen their brand while expanding their scope on the market. I feel as this this model is going to be an essential tool not only for large businesses but small entrepreneurs that are working their way into markets.

The Changing of The Guard: Project Managers in Media

With the evolution of digital media the paradigm of the journalistic landscape has been forced to evolve as well. During this transition the media industry has had found more effective ways of presenting their content to consumers. Traditional media are having to navigate the murky waters of evolution and they are being forced to reevaluate traditional journalistic roles in order to remain competitive in a crowded market full of user oriented platforms. One significant additions to media roles is the emergence of project managers as a key role. The project management role is being utilized by media companies allowing them the opportunity to create content and platforms that appeal to readers more effectively. Project managers are proving to be a valuable asset for media companies, these industry experts are able to manage material and content and provide it to users in a format that will positively received.

“…In the era of the “personal news cycle”—where abundant information and constant connectivity gives each individual control of her news consumption—our news products must be good and targeted to succeed. They must know who their users are, what they need, how they need it, and deliver a satisfying experience. That is what a product manager does.” (Sonderman, 2016, para. 4)

Project managers are providing a breath of fresh air in media tracking trends and data and using that information to target their approach at consumers. In order for traditional media to remain competitive and to survive they needed to reevaluate their organizational structure and with the addition of project manages they are making the needed changes. I feel as though this hybrid version of a journalist and a technology professional is the wave of the future for traditional media. As Sonderman stated in Cindy Royals, Managing Digital Products in a Newsroom Context,  we are currently in an era of abundant information and constant connectivity by users, it’s the responsibility of these “hybrid journalist” or project manages to bridge the gap for traditional media outlets and the new personal news cycle. developing these key project management roles in media is met with mixed responses. Traditionally there has been a divide between journalist and the business side of operations, “the old divide between ‘church’ and ‘state’ in newsrooms, necessary to keep (some) independence in what is reported on”  (Fontoura 2016) In his article Fontoura elaborates that this traditional model of separations is long gone and any decision on digital journalism should take into account business approaches. 

Working for a software consulting firm that is heavily driven by SEO and paid traffic it is essential that not only does the company content remain appealing but the platforms in which we disseminate that material be competitive. Our team of project managers are continually accessing research trends and software purchasing habits of consumers in order to design the most effective marketing approach to reach targeted consumers. Most recently our team of project managers has assessed that our approach at engaging consumers could be more effective if we transition approach from marketing software demonstrations to marketing our software consultations. The role of project manages within our company is pivotal as they make sure that we are continuously presenting our content in the most effective way possible.

 

 

 

The New Age of Journalism

Every industry is being impacted by the advancements of technology. Manufacturing plants have automated assembly lines, marketing has has been able to amplify its approach with more comprehensive data and research provided form direct users activity, and now journalism is experiencing the advancements of artificial intelligence, data technologies and mobile devices. As a consumer of journalism I feel as though these advancements introduce a doubled edged sword on one end the new technological resources will provide a window into a never before seen aspect of data, “Natural Language Generation (NLG) technology, being pioneered by start-ups such as Narrative Science, turns data into readable reports.” on the other end of the sword these new technologies can potentially take away from the personal side of journalism limiting how journalist research and write periodicals. Granted these advancements will aid in a much needed facelift of most periodicals eliminating cluttered articles on topics that readers don’t really care to read.

There are significant positive impacts that these technological advancements are introducing into journalism. As DW Insider stated in its article on innovations reshaping journalism, companies like New Stream are providing valuable services transforming big data into usable information as well as combining multimedia resources into one platform allowing for journalist to research across a broader scope of information more efficiently. As data technology continues to increase there are going to be significant impacts on the journalism, there will be more effective tools to aid journalist in telling stories that were previously too resource impractical or technically out of reach. With the increases in technology Journalist with have their hands full generating competitive content that competes effectively with the AI generated material. In order for journalist to maintain this edge journalism schools must provide them with the needed resources to learn how to effectively utilize data technologies and multimedia resources in order to create desired periodicals. The journalism industry is undergoing the same transformation that many other industries have undergone before, in order for industry professionals and new organization to remain competitive they not only need to embrace these trends but learn how to utilize them to build on their craft.

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