Here is my regular round-up of marketing and business promotion issues plus other interesting things over the past week. It provides access to tools you can use right now to promote your firm plus software that will help those endeavours. The really good thing is that most of them are FREE – yes, that’s right, they won’t cost you or your firm a penny (or a dime, if you are reading this in Canada or the USA).

Marketing ideas from Marketing Profs

More marketing ideas and tips have been published by Marketing Profs:

Say ‘hi’ to your new colleague: the needy robot

Emma Jacobs blogged on FT.com: The next Machine Age will not just augur job losses and the transformation of some professions. The future could be a lot worse. It may also let loose an army of needy robots.

The MIT Technology Review described a new generation of Cobots – collaborative robots – made by a team under Manuela Veloso, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. These are autonomous intelligent mobile robots capable of performing service tasks and interacting with humans.

The robot is as polite as Star Wars’ C-3PO but there the similarities end. It has no arms and no legs. In fact, the article describes it as “a laptop and a cluster of sensors sitting atop a wheeled bar-stool”.
Read more here.

Big Data: the mega-trend that will impact all our lives

Found in Soft Expert: There are some things big enough to cause implications for everyone’s life, whether we want it or not. And Big Data is one of those mega trends that will impact everyone in one way or another.

Basically, Big Data refers to our ability to collect and analyze the vast amounts of data we are generating in the world. So what is new? Haven’t companies and organizations captured and analyzed data for a long time? The answer is yes, but there are two factors that are changing at the moment and are making the phenomenon of ‘Big Data’ real: the rate at which we are generating new data is frightening; and our ability to analyze large and complex forms of data has been transformed in recent years.

With this article, “The Big Data Guru” Bernard Marr wants to explain what is behind this mega buzzword and outlines why it will impact everyone.

Bernard Marr is a best-selling business author, keynote speaker and consultant in strategy management, performance management, analytics, KPIs and big data
Download from: www.softexpert.com/whitepaper.php?wp=706&pg=83#706

Top Five Questions Marketers Should Always Be Asking Themselves

On Marketing Profs, Preeti Upadhyaya posted: Marketers are juggling more projects and deadlines than ever. There’s never been more pressure to create and maintain a brand that “sticks” with increasingly distracted audiences.

With so many different channels and metrics to consider, it can be easy to forget about the basics of marketing.

For marketers to keep their eye on the prize—their audience—marketers should always be asking themselves the five questions covered in the article. Briefly, they are
1. What are our target audiences’ personas?
2. What is our audience doing all day?
3. What is keeping them up at night?
4. What will make your message stand out from the noise?
5. What action do you want your audience to take?
[Preeti Upadhyaya is the content specialist at WebDAM, a leading cloud-based digital asset management platform]

Nine TED talks every entrepreneur should watch

Adam Anticaglia wrote in Smart Company to ask: Who needs to pay big bucks to attend expensive business seminars when there’s so much free inspiration on the internet? TED talks have become a global phenomenon and Smart Company has rounded up the nine best TED talks for entrepreneurs. Set aside some time to watch these and really turbo charge your business.

It’s a list that includes an Australian author, a former United States federal prisoner, a CEO of a multinational consumer goods company, a Harvard business school professor, a millionaire entrepreneur and more.

These nine TED talks are sure to inspire, stimulate and generate thought about how to successfully run a business. They’re a must watch for SMEs and entrepreneurs.

By the way, in case you didn’t know: TED is a global set of conferences owned by the private non-profit Sapling Foundation, under the slogan: “Ideas Worth Spreading”.

Top 10 Online Marketing Trends for 2015

From ActiveDEMAND: It’s that time again to budget for the coming marketing year. Have you made all the right choices? Download the new eBook “Top 10 Online Marketing Trends for 2015” and compare your plan against what the rest of the industry is doing.

What you’ll find inside…

  • Direction of content marketing
  • How search and social media relate
  • Next steps for mobile marketing
  • Evolution of e-Mail marketing
  • The next position HR needs to fill
  • and lots more!

Free for a limited time only, download from here.

7 Tips for Crafting the Perfect Facebook Post

From Simply Measured, By Lucy Hitz: As your social media audience grows, a microscope is placed on the value you’re driving with your efforts. You can’t afford to be careless with the content you publish.

To get a better understanding of the specific aspects that make a Facebook post successful, the author culled the most pertinent data from the Simply Measured Facebook study and other industry research.

The article has seven traits of successful Facebook posts from The Interbrand top 100 global brands, and other industry leading Facebook pages.
Discover more, here.

Download “The Essentials of IT Security – Free Kit”

The Essentials of IT Security brings together the latest in information, coverage of important developments, and expert commentary to help with your IT Security related decisions.

The following kit contents will help you get the most out of your IT Security research:

  • Citrix NetScaler: A Powerful Defense against Denial of Service Attacks
  • The Future of Backup as a Data Protection Strategy
  • 10 Network Security Tools and Tests Everyone Should Use
  • Website Security Threat Report 2014

Offered Free by: TradePub
Click here to downloadwww.howtogeek.com/elk/670/211639/12359

5 Steps for Social Enterprise Success

Think about how much information you have access to at any given moment, thanks to email, websites, instant messages, blogs, and social networks. Now imagine using these types of social technologies to drive meaningful change within your enterprise.

Download this comprehensive ebook to learn the value of social networking tools in business, whether you are looking to implement social tools or an enterprise business solution.

You’ll discover:

  • How to justify the investment
  • Tips for evaluating vendors
  • How to deploy the social network
  • Ways to drive internal adoption
  • How to maintain growth and engagement

Download today, from here.

Health & Safety Policy – have you got one?

From Bizezia.com: Every employer must have a comprehensive Health & Safety Policy by law where you employ five or more people.

Your Health and Safety Policy must:

  • Be signed by the Principal or Managing Director of the company
  • Be updated annually

In addition, amongst other requirements, you must:

  • Have formal risk assessments for all routine tasks and operations with effective safe systems of work;
  • Ensure that all employees and sub-contractors have been trained in safety procedures which apply to their jobs and the equipment they operate (including due consideration to ensure that such training has been understood by individuals 
whose first language is not English).

With the Bizezia Work Manual, you can create your own office policies and procedures manual on a fully-editable online system. Additionally, you can use Work Manual to create office policies and procedures manuals as an additional fee-generating service to your clients.

Work Manual now comes with templates for Contracts of Employment, Written Employment Particulars and a comprehensive editable Job Description Library (with over 500 templated job description) as well as optional additional work policies.
Read more here

100 Ways to Motivate Yourself

From best-selling author, Steve Chandler: 100 proven methods to positively change the way you think and act—methods based on feedback from the hundreds of thousands of corporate and public seminar attendees Chandler speaks to each year.  Create an action plan for living your vision, in business and in life.

This eBook is usually $15.99 but is FREE for a limited time!

The third refreshed edition of 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself features 100 proven methods to positively change the way you think and act—methods based on feedback from the hundreds of thousands of corporate and public seminar attendees Chandler speaks to each year. The book now also includes techniques and breakthroughs he has created for individual coaching clients.

100 Ways to Motivate Yourself will help you break through the negative barriers and banish the pessimistic thoughts that are preventing you from fulfilling your lifelong goals and dreams. This edition also contains new mental and spiritual techniques that give readers more immediate access to action and results in their lives. If you’re ready to finally make a change and reach your goals, Steve Chandler challenges you to turn your defeatist attitude into energetic, optimistic, enthusiastic accomplishments.

Steve Chandler is one of America’s best-selling authors whose dozens of books—including the best-sellers 100 Ways to Motivate Others, 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself, The Hands-Off Manager, and Reinventing Yourself—have been translated into more than 25 languages, with best-sellers in China and Japan.

Offered Free by: Career Press. Other Resources from: Career Press
Download from here

7 Key Social Media Mistakes to Avoid

From socialmediopolis.com, written by Sofie De Beule: Used the wrong way, social media can have a negative impact on your business. One little error can set your brand’s reputation back for a long time. Making mistakes is human. But how can you stay alert and make sure your brand avoids the most common slip-ups?

This article looks at 7 key social media mistakes to avoid.

  • Not Having an Engagement Strategy
  • Inconsistency
  • Using Too Many Channels
  • Being Nonresponsive
  • Sending Out the Wrong Links
  • Not Using Social Media Management Tools or Multiple Tools at Once.
  • Forgetting About the Purpose of Each Network.

To wrap it all up, it’s important to question whether you’re hitting the right marks. Your social media efforts should be continuously updated. Remain attentive to certain pitfalls and be cautious to avoid them.
[This article originally appeared on the Engagor blog]

EU VAT: Excerpt from training manual – Management and advice

Accountancy Age Insights provide a free resource is taken from the Tolley Exam Training EU VAT Advanced Diploma in International Taxation (ADIT) training manual.

It covers ‘Management and advice’ and the difficult distinction in the area of financial exemptions between a ‘transaction’ (carrying our instructions) and ‘advice’ (suggesting what instructions to give) where ‘transaction’ is exempt, but the provision of advice is taxable. Relevant cases in this area are also provided.
Get it from here.

Free Business Resources: Business Growth Resource Centre

From down under:  Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD): In such volatile economic times, mid-size business owners are searching for essential strategies for encouraging sustainability and growth. AICD’s ‘Directing Growth Program’ offers up a framework for long-term success.

As a business owner and director of a mid-sized organisation, there is no doubt you will face a particular set of challenges as you look to move your business forward. With tighter resources than ever before in a competitive environment you need to find smarter ways to initiate growth and refresh your business agenda. The new ‘Directing Growth Program’ from the Australian Institute of Company Directors examines strategies for building a strong governance structure for improved business performance. Find out more about the program here.
Download your FREE business resource from here:

UK: FRS – Is it really a big deal?

[17 November 2014, Accountancy AGE Insight] With less than 30 working days to go to new FRS and UK GAAP compliance, Steve Cox – IRIS Product Director, takes a candid look at the implications of change. How many hours will compliance take for a typical set of accounts? What are the benefits of early compliance?

Download this article from Accountancy AGE Insight to find out more.
Topics covered:

  • Planning ahead to manage increased workload.
  • Ensuring compliance.
Martin Pollins

Martin Pollins

Managing Director at Bizezia
Martin Pollins is a Chartered Accountant with wide experience in corporate finance and business management. He holds a number of directorships and has served on the boards of several companies, including those listed on the London Stock Exchange, AIM and OFEX.

He was a Council member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales from 1988 to 1996.

Martin Pollins ran his own firm based in Sussex and was the first Accountancy firm in the UK to advertise on television and Martin went on to create and launch the CharterGroup Partnership (the UK's first Accountancy network) and then LawGroup UK (one of the largest networks of lawyers in the country).

Martin started work on the Bizezia concept in 1996, developing the broad range of information resources and products over the past 18 years.
Martin Pollins
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