How To Find The Right Digital Marketing Company

In today’s world, many corporate leaders and small business owners are realizing that they can optimize their company’s bottom line by developing a strong online presence. Yet in many cases, these individuals are unfamiliar with the ecommerce sector and don’t know which steps to take in order to cultivate a strong internet image. If this is your dilemma, know that the solution is finding a top notch digital marketing company to manage your online presence. To ensure that you can find the right team of advertising experts, make sure that you pick a company that possesses all of the following attributes:

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  1. Comprehensive Service Offerings.

One of the first things you should look for in a digital marketing company is comprehensive service offerings. Being able to attain all of the online advertising services you need from one company will preclude you from the time-consuming practice of going through multiple marketing firms to get things done. Some of the basic services that almost every high quality digital advertising firm will offer include:

  • email marketing
  • content marketing
  • responsive web design
  • online reputation management
  • search engine optimization
  • social media optimization

Another online marketing service that digital marketing companies will frequently offer is web design and development. This service ensures that the client has a pleasant, positive experience when they visit the business website. Companies such as 1shoppingcart offer products such as shopping cart ecommerce software to make the client’s purchasing process short and simple.

  1. Fantastic Online Reviews.

In addition to locating a digital firm whose professionals can offer comprehensive services, be sure to seek out a team of experts who regularly receive fantastic online reviews. This step is important because the online reviews tell you what former and/or current clients think about the quality and efficacy of the ecommerce services they receive. If the majority of a digital firm’s online reviews are positive, this is typically a good indication that the marketing company in question will offer you the stellar services you need and deserve.

  1. Exceptional Customer Service.

Another thing you should look for when you’re in search of the ideal digital marketing firm is exceptional customer service. Customer service is important because it ensures that you’re treated fairly and with courtesy. Also note that a big part of customer service involves company representatives being very knowledgeable about the products and services they offer. As such, working with a company that regularly offers excellent customer service can increase the likelihood that you’ll be able to have your questions answered quickly and correctly.

  1. Reasonable Rates.

While many business owners are willing to invest in digital marketing services, it’s important to note that most of them don’t want to pay a penny more than they have to. With this reality in mind, make sure that you look for an online advertising firm that offers reasonable rates. Taking this step will preclude you from paying the sky-high rates that compromise your company budget!

Don’t Delay: Find The Right Digital Marketing Company Today!

If you’re ready to grow your brand in the online domain, now is the time to find the right digital marketing company. The techies of these companies will be able to offer you the cutting edge, customized services necessary to push your organization forward in the internet realm. Start using the search strategies outlined above to ensure that you locate the right team!

Europe Has Approved ‘Net Neutrality,’ but Not the Kind Advocates Wanted

The European Parliament has voted to approve new rules for Internet providers in major legislation that is nevertheless being slammed by net neutrality advocates who say the regulation is filled with loopholes.

The bill was passed with none of the amendments that consumer advocates and tech firms were pushing for in a last-ditch effort this week. Critics said the bill did not do enough to prevent Internet providers from classifying favored types of Web traffic as “specialized services” that are more lightly regulated. They also said it gives carriers too much freedom to exempt favored partners from customer data caps, a practice known as “zero rating.”

The vote will lead to a less competitive Internet as broadband providers seek to create paid “fast lanes,” opponents of the bill warned. Internet providers argued that it was in the “main interest of European consumers” to be able to choose among providers based on quality of service and support for various features such as connected cars or telemedicine. Stronger rules might restrict their ability to differentiate themselves and try different business models, they had previously argued.

Roaming provisions of the legislation ensure that users of a communications service traveling to another EU member state will no longer be slapped with high fees for going abroad. The measure pushes Europe toward greater integration, at least as far as mobile services.

But many net neutrality advocates are portraying the bill’s passage as a defeat for the policy.

Indian Road Safety Platform Raksha SafeDrive Goes Up on Kickstarter

Raksha Safedrive, an Internet of Things (IoT) road safety gadget made by Trivandrum-based Elysis Intelligent Devices, has gone live on Friday on US-based crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, with a modest $15,000 goal (roughly Rs. 9.7 lakhs).

The device is claimed to be India’s first smart road safety platform. Once fitted above the dashboard of the car, it’s capable of GPS tracking, automatic crash detection, and offering one-touch voice connectivity in the event of a vehicle breakdown, SafeDrive’s creators claimed.

Raksha SafeDrive’s integrated crash sensors can detect and connect 24×7 to a network of emergency services (medical, police, fire, breakdown) at the touch of button; all delivered through direct human assistance, the founders added. Family and or friends can also be notified via phone call and SMS in case of emergency using the device.

The firm’s modest Kickstarter goal would be met by just 150 early bird orders, priced at $99. At $149, users will get their SafeDrive unit in the colour of their choice.

Speaking to Gadgets 360, Prasad Pillai, Co-Founder and CEO of Elysis Intelligent Devices, said that he chose to put his product on an international crowdfunding platform as he wanted to appeal to the Indian diaspora who wanted to do something about the lack of road safety in India. He cited 2014 data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) which says that Indian roads witness 16 deaths every hour.

The founders are confident that the device can provide roadside assistance to any user, as long as the area has cellular connectivity, but didn’t disclose details of their systems and back-end operations. The call centre will be capable of multilingual support, they assured.

Germany’s Bild Daily Bars Ad-blocker Users From Website

German biggest newspaper Bild shuttered its online service Tuesday to users who have installed so-called ad-blocker software.

Readers of the website of Europe’s top-selling newspaper will be asked to switch off the function or purchase a monthly subscription to Bild.de that is nearly free of advertising, its owners media giant Axel Springer said.

“Due to the increased use of the ad-blocker service, the revenue stream via the advertising market for all online journalists is in jeopardy,” Bild’s publishers said in a statement.

The company said it finds the business model of ad-blocker services – which act like a firewall between web browsers and advertising servers – to be unlawful.

It said it had filed a lawsuit against the ad-blocker service “Eyeo” and lodged an appeal against the first judgement in the case of the Cologne district court.

Axel Springer describes itself as Europe’s leading digital publisher and says it makes more than half of group revenues and nearly three quarters of profit from its digital activities.

Its Bild website is run with a “freemium” model, with some content free but some stories, pictures and exclusive interviews subject to a charge.

“From now on, BILD is testing an anti-ad-blocker model,” it said, the first such initiative by a major German publisher.

It now offers a “BILDsmart” subscription for EUR 2.99 per month, with a service that is almost ad-free and promising loading times up to 50 percent faster.

“Those who do not turn off their ad-blocker, or those who do not pay the subscription fee no longer have access to any content from BILD.de,” the company said.

Donata Hopfen, chairwoman of the BILD Group management board, said: “Bild is responding to the increasing ad-blocker usage by testing a new service.

“Even on the Internet, journalistic services need to be financed via the two well-known income streams – advertising and revenues stream – in order to continue to offer independent journalism.”

No, Changing Your Facebook Profile Pic Doesn’t Mean You Support Internet.org

Doing the rounds on social media yesterday was a controversial story that changing one’s profile photo to the Indian tri-color to support the Digital India initiative covertly counted as a vote for Facebook’s Internet.org campaign.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg showed his support for PM Modi’s Digital India initiative, with a profile picture change emblazoned with the Indian tri-colour, ahead of his townhall meeting with the Indian Prime Minister on Sunday. Many others followed suit, include Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself. Facebook even released a tool where anyone can show they are “helping transform India into a digitally empowered society” by simply changing their Facebook profile pic. It wasn’t long before all hell broke lose on the Internet and self-proclaimed activists were claiming anyone changing their profile pic using the tool was covertly support Facebook’s Internet.org – now called Free Basics – initiative, which violates Net Neutrality principles.

(Also see: Facebook’s Internet.org: New Name, Same Problems)

The key ‘evidence’ in this assertion was the underlying code captured in a screenshot by Nikhil Vishnu, co-founder and CEO of Mobapper in a public post on Facebook.

internetdotorg_source.jpg“But just before clicking submit I checked the source code of the page. Wow! there I can see the style class named as “internetOrgProfilePicture_prideAvatar”. I don’t think this is accidental. So what I am promoting here? Internet.org or digital india campaign,” he wrote.

This story went viral on a number of media outlets, which arrived at the same erroneous conclusion. Facebook basically said as much, saying it was a mistake by the engineer who used the wrong shorthand name in the Web code. The company’s statement reads:

“There is absolutely no connection between updating your profile picture for digital India and Internet.org. An engineer mistakenly used the words “Internet.org profile picture” as a shorthand name he chose for part of the code. But this product in no way connects to or registers support for Internet.org. We are changing the code today to eliminate any confusion.”

Facebook_internetorg_poll.jpgWhile much of this confusion lies with a single errant descriptor in the code, Facebook has in the past been criticised online for opaque polls aimed at driving support for Internet.org that don’t have a clear Yes/ No option (screenshot above), and don’t even tell people they are voting for/ against Internet.org. Facebook claimed to have received support from 17 million people for its Internet.org services in August, though the vast majority who supported probably had no idea they were voting in support of Internet.org.

PM Modi Winds Up Silicon Valley Tour With Google, SAP Center Visits

Lights flashed and chants of “Modi, Modi” filled the 18,000-seat sports arena in San Jose, California, on Sunday as the Indian premier took the stage for the final event of the Indian Prime Minister’s Silicon Valley tour.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was winding up a whirlwind two-day US West Coast trip and Sunday’s event followed visits to some of the world’s biggest technology companies, hoping to convince them to bring more investment and jobs to India.

PM Modi, 65, was the first Indian leader to visit the West Coast in more than 30 years. His trip followed a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping, who met several tech leaders in Seattle last week.

Narendra Modi aimed to deepen ties with the US technology sector and boost India’s digital infrastructure by promoting his “Digital India” campaign, which seeks to connect thousands more villages to the Internet.

“(India) has moved on from scriptures to satellites,” PM Modi said. “The world has started to believe that the twenty-first century belongs to India.”

Technology executives, eager to expand into India with its 1.3-billion population, embraced PM Modi’s initiative, with CEOs from Facebook, Google, and Tesla Motors all hosting him at their headquarters.Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook met with Modi at his hotel.

The second day of his visit began with a town hall at Facebook headquarters with Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, where PM Modi spent 50 minutes on stage and discussed the importance of social media, Digital India and technological expansion in the country. PM Modi is an avid user of social media and the second-most followed world leader after US President Barack Obama.

He became emotional at one point when Zuckerberg asked him to speak about his mother. “I came from a very poor family. … We went to our neighbours’ houses nearby (to) clean dishes, fill water, do hard chores. So you can imagine what a mother had to do to raise her children.”

PM Modi later visited Google headquarters and met with Indian-born Chief Executive Sundar Pichai, who announced that Google would bring wireless Internet to 500 Indian railway stations, news that Modi revealed at a dinner Saturday night with more than 350 business leaders.

Though Narendra Modi remains wildly popular in India with an 87 percent approval rating, some of his stops were met with protests of his human rights record. Mostly Sikh protesters calling on PM Modi to answer for his rights record temporarily blocked one of Facebook’s entrances.

Several hundred people gathered outside San Jose’s SAP Center ahead of PM Modi’s speech that lasted several hours. Half were protesters shouting over metal barricades and holding signs that said “Modi believes in violence, not development,” and “#ModiFail” that resulted in several scuffles.

Much of PM Modi’s US visit, on which he received rock-star welcomes, also focused on connecting with the Indian diaspora in Silicon Valley, the IT professionals who migrated in their droves over the past two decades to seize job opportunities that weren’t available back home.

Facebook, Eyeing TV Dollars, Rolls Out New Ad Products

Facebook Inc introduced a slate of new advertising products on Sunday, most of which are aimed at luring television advertisers onto the 1.5-billion user social network.

The advertising options, most of which will also be available on Facebook-owned Instagram, are designed to take advantage of the social network’s strengths on mobile devices.

It has the world’s most popular smartphone app and generates more than three-quarters of its $10 billion (roughly Rs. 66,056 crores)-plus in annual ad revenue on phones.

Facebook is trying to convince advertisers, especially those who use video, that their dollars will be better spent on mobile platforms rather than on TV as users, especially millennials, spend more time on their phones than watching television.

The rollout of the new products come ahead of New York City’s 12th Advertising Week, which runs from Monday to Friday and gathers the world’s largest advertisers and companies. Facebook also announced on Sunday that it has 2.5 million active advertisers in total, up from 2 million in February.

Digital video advertising spending is growing rapidly, projected to increase 13 percent to nearly $15 billion (roughly Rs. 99,084 crores) by 2019, according to eMarketer. Television ad spending, by comparison, is expected to grow 2 percent in the same time period to $78 billion (roughly Rs. 5,15,270 crores).

“Facebook is listening to the ad community and giving them what they are looking for,” said Debra Aho Williamson, social media marketing analyst with eMarketer. “Does Facebook want video ad dollars? Yes.”

On television, advertisers can buy ads based on how many people they will reach, an approach Facebook has adopted to ease the transition between television spending and digital spending.

In addition, it can target highly specific audiences, such as women aged 18 to 35 years old who have shopped on a specific website, which TV cannot do.

Among the new products are “brand awareness” ads, which aim to reach a large number of people to promote a company’s name and brand, such as Coca Cola.

Advertisers will also be able to poll users on mobile phones about whether they saw an ad – a feature that used to be available only on desktop computers and they can use a format that allows them to display multiple videos at once that users can scroll through.

“We want to be the single-most important platform for all businesses,” said Carolyn Everson, Facebook vice president for global marketing solutions.

Snapdeal Launches SD Advisor Programme to Assist Sellers

Online marketplace major Snapdeal has launched its SD Advisor Programme, under which its two lakh sellers will get a personal advisor to assist them in business management on the platform.

The programme, part of Snapdeal’s USD 200 million investment for building the digital ecosystem for small and medium businesses (SMBs) in India, will provide free customised and multimodal training to sellers.

“The programme has been launched to build personalised partnerships with our existing and potential sellers, understand their business and offer customised advice depending on the various stages of their business life-cycle,” Snapdeal Senior Vice President (Market Development) Vishal Chadha told PTI.

A single point of contact to provide market insights and offer options from various initiatives that Snapdeal runs for sellers will help SMBs tackle awareness-led, technological, financial and other business challenges, he added.

He, however, did not disclose the number of advisors the company would have on board for the programme. “Sellers who were a part of the six-month pilot programme witnessed a 50 per cent faster rate of growth in business volumes vis-a-vis sellers who were not a part of this pilot,” he said.

Chadha added that the trained SD Advisors will provide evolved sellers (Ace sellers) with support and personalised advice to enable them to establish and grow their e-commerce business on Snapdeal.

The SD Advisor will also help strengthen the processes for seller on-boarding, training, guidance in range and assortment planning, provide promotion advice and prepare joint business plans.

They would guide businesses by providing market-related advice and insights gathered through data analytics, equip with consumer-engagement ideas and financial assistance for scaling up operations on the platform.

SD Advisors will comprise of selected employees who have undergone specialised training to help them hone their skill-sets and business acumen enabling them to develop their portfolio of assigned businesses, Chadha said.

Microsoft to Bring Low-Cost Broadband to Half a Million Villages in India

Intending to become a partner in the ambitious Digital India programme, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadellaon Saturday said his company will take low-cost broadband technology to some 500,000 villages across the country.

Speaking at a dinner hosted in San Jose in the honour of visiting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Nadella said that Microsoft wants to make things and make things happen.

(Also see:  PM Modi in US: Beyond the Hype of Those Big Silicon Valley Announcements)

In his remarks, Nadella said Microsoft’s plan is to partner with the Indian Government to bring in low-cost broadband connectivity to 500,000 villages in India.

“We believe that low-cost broadband connectivity coupled with the scale of cloud computing intelligence that can be harnessed from data can help drive creativity, efficiency and productivity across governments and businesses of all sizes,” the first Indian-American Microsoft CEO said.

This in turn, he argued, would drive more affordable products and services and access to opportunity to all of India.

To that end, next week Microsoft would announce availability of its cloud services operating out of India’s data centres. “This is a big milestone,” he said.

“A key part of both Make in India and Digital India, bringing world class infrastructure into India, respecting India s digital security, sovereignty and privacy is a key milestone for us,” Nadella said.

Meanwhile speaking to a news channel, Nadella said that India is in a great spot with “world class entrepreneurs and human capital”.

India can “leapfrog” in the technology infrastructure space to drive the next level of productivity, efficiency and creativity for Indian government, businesses and consumers, he said.

“Narendra Modi’s vision is absolutely right and I think he is pushing the right agenda,” he added.

Citing an example, Nadella said Microsoft is working with the Andhra Pradesh government to take the enrolment data of schools and using machine learning to understand which students and schools have higher drop out rates.

Asked if he was worried about the regulatory hassles that often trouble multinational firms, Nadella said the the company has been present in India for over 20 years.

“We are committed to the long term. We understand the legitimate rights of each country, when its come to digital security and that is one of the fundamental reason why we invested in cloud in India,” he said.

Facebook Notes Revamped With Cleaner, Medium-Like UI

Facebook has finally rolled out the redesigned Notes tool it started testing last month. The update now makes the social media giant’s Notes tool more customisable and easier-to-operate than before. The redesigned interface resembles popular blogging platform Medium with its clean UI that’s ideal for longer-form stories.

The revamped Notes feature includes large cover photos, wider pages, user tagging, and a clear headline. Users can also share their Notes with select audiences on Facebook, as they can currently do with their statuses. “Notes are now an even better way to write a longer post and share with anyone – whether it’s a small group of friends or everyone on Facebook,” says the company post.

The Notes redesign also includes captioning and resizing of images and formatting of texts in to headers, quotes or bullets. These new notes can be created on the Web and is fully viewable on mobile devices as well.

By bringing a new blog-like interface to its Notes feature, Facebook can be said to be hoping more users will write blog posts or long notes on the social network, simultaneously catering to the platform’s large audience and also offering the incentive for fast loading on its mobile apps.

The social media giant this month has rolled out quite a number of updates and new features for its platform. Earlier this week it rolled out 360-degree viewing to its news feed. The firm also unveiled its new tool called Signal. The tool is to help journalists track breaking news and other trends from the social media website. Furthermore, the company introduced a new Shop section to Facebook Pages from where users can directly buy products without leaving the website.