Archives for February 2014

New Marketing Trends Impacting Businesses


Each year new marketing trends, like more businesses depending on marketing automation, surface. These are the changes that can cause storefront, website and/or social media traffic to suddenly, and without warning, increase or, unfortunately, decrease. When many business owners and marketers think about marketing shifts the first thing that may come to their minds is how major search engines will change their algorithms, demanding that they get busy updating their meta tags and website and blog content.

Yet, these aren’t the only marketing trends that can impact sales and profits substantially. The numbers of people accessing the Internet using mobile devices as well as the fact that a growing number of companies are relying on big data to make product development, marketing automation and customer relationship management decisions are other trends that are having a big impact on sales and profits. In fact, these three trends are expected to be among the leading shifts that will impact the marketing world during 2014.

New Marketing Trends Impacting Businesses

Social media marketing, expectations that consumers have for social care and yes – major search engine algorithm changes are other trends that are projected to influence business sales and profits in 2014. Regarding mobile device marketing automation and other marketing initiatives, Business 2 Community says that, “If you aren’t already optimizing your business website, local listings, and other online marketing for mobile devices, you need to start right away.”

Furthermore, “For beginners, it’s as simple as making sure your phone number, address, operating hours, and website are listed accurately and consistently on both Google+ Local and Yelp listings (which feed mobile results on Google Maps and Apple Maps, respectively) to help ensure that consumers can find you when searching for a business like yours from a mobile device.”

Big data gives businesses access to a variety of facts and trends, including the types of content social media followers prefer. Demographics of people who visit business social media pages are expected to continue to reveal how successful businesses are at reaching their target audience. Additionally, as social media networks continue to evolve and expand, it’s expected that more businesses may place an increasing focus on their social media pages.

To do this, businesses might use marketing automation tools provided by organizations like in order to create and publish more engaging content and enhance social customer services. Regarding content, one trend that’s not expected to change during 2014 is the need for businesses to provide their current customers and potential customers with unique content that offers the types of information that improves readers’ lives and/or gives them practical steps they can take to achieve their personal, personal or social goals.

Even more, marketing automation tools like website tracking, social media profile building and branding, event management and customer relationship management can streamline the online and offline marketing process. These tools can also cut down on the costs and human capital required to develop and keep a business’ primary marketing messages in front of the right prospects, including other business owners in the case of business to business (B2B) sales.

6 High-Profile Data Security Violations


Data security breaches are not uncommon, they are a daily occurrence. With such intelligent hackers, companies are becoming more open to such breaches, they need to out-think the hackers in order to be one step ahead and protect their most confidential data.

data security violations

Some data security breaches are bigger than others and it is those more high-profile ones that tend to get more recognition. We take a look at six of the most high-profile data security violations which involved some large organisations.

  1. Sony PlayStation

In 2011, 77 million PlayStation Network accounts were hacked, which caused the site to be down for a month. This is viewed as the Ocean’s Eleven of the gaming community, the worst data breach among this community of all time. Included in the 77 million stolen account were 12 million unencrypted credit card numbers, alongside names, passwords, addresses and email addresses. The finger of blame has still not been pointed as nobody knows the identity of the hacker.

  1. Heartland Payment Systems

Overshadowing the PlayStation scenario is the hacking of Heartland Payment System’s data systems in 2008. Almost double the credit card details of the PlayStation hack were stolen – 134 million. The people responsible were caught and sentenced to 20 years in prison just two years later.


In August 2007, 1.3 million job seekers had confidential information stolen and used in a phishing scam as recruitment giants had their website hacked. The hackers broke into the online recruitment site’s password-protected resume library and stole names, addresses phone numbers and email addresses. They then emailed the victims demanding a cash ransom, otherwise their computers would be riddled with a virus.

  1. Department of Veterans Affairs

Almost 27 million active US military personnel, veterans’ and their spouses had details heisted, including names, social security numbers, dates of birth and disability ratings from an unencrypted national database. The data was on a laptop and external hard drive, which were both stolen from an analyst’s home in Maryland. The stolen items were later returned by an unknown person.

  1. Google

Intellectual property was stolen from Google in 2009, when the Chinese government launched a huge attack. The Asian hackers exploited a weakness in the old Internet Explorer and gained access to Google’s internal network. It is not known what exact data was stolen, however Google simply confirmed that it was ‘intellectual property’.

  1. AOL

Data was posted on a website that included 20 million web inquiries from more than 650,000 AOL users. The stolen data included shopping and banking details. The data was intended for research, yet it was mistakenly posted in the public domain. TechCrunch announced that “the utter stupidity of this is staggering”.

If it is possible for global giants, like Google, AOL and, to get hacked into it is possible that it could happen to any company. Which is why companies should protect their data by employing the services of a data security and managed file transfer expert.

(Photo Source)

This article was written by Tom Wills, an IT and technology writer for HANDD, providing Data Security and Managed File Transfer solutions.

7 Effective Content Marketing Strategies for Small Business


Running a successful small business in any industry not only requires in-depth knowledge of the products or services you have to offer, but also an understanding of the audience you want to share your content with directly. Knowing how to effectively market content for a small business can help you to outshine competitors while adding to your success in terms of generating revenue and gaining loyal fans.

Content Marketing Strategies for Small Business


Create an Official Business Blog

One of the most important factors of operating a successful small business is launching an official business blog dedicated to your company. Once you have an official website up and running, you can then begin adding and updating content to your site at any time. Using a CMS such as WordPress or Joomla is highly recommended if you do not have any coding or programming skills but still have a professional business site in mind. Once you have an official business blog, you can begin to produce content for your visitors while also sharing any products or services you have to offer.

Search Engine Marketing

Search engine marketing is essential for all businesses looking for success online, regardless of the industry you are in or the type of content and products you want to share with your visitors. Knowing how to market within search engines can be done with the help of professionals who specialize in SEO, or search engine optimization. Search engine marketing helps to drastically increase the number of page views and visitors your site receives daily based on keywords and trending topics at the time.

Implementing search engine marketing is ideal whether you are a start up company or a well-established brand, as this helps to keep your website more memorable and easier to find for those who are not familiar with what you have to offer. Marketing within search engines properly can get your website on the first page of search results of trending keywords.

Submit Your Website to Link Directories

Submit your website’s URL to relevant local and industry directories and online listings to help get it placed within search engines such as Yahoo!, Bing and Google. You can find plenty of link directories by comparing message boards and digging deep into the industry you work in online.

Invite Guest Bloggers

Inviting guest bloggers to post content on your site is highly recommended when you want to network and build a reputation online. Find guest bloggers in your niche and industry who have credibility and may be willing to lend a voice to your website. You can find some of the top guest bloggers and entrepreneurs in the industry you are working in by joining online forums and message boards. Getting involved with others online is one of the quickest methods to network and get the visitors and traffic you desire.

Put Social Media to Use

Putting social media to use is one of the most important factors in building a successful business in today’s society. Create pages and accounts for your brand on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest and even Instagram to help build your company’s credibility, reputation and overall online following in less time. With the right applications, it is possible to update content to all of your social media accounts simultaneously, making it instantly possible to connect with hundreds of thousands of people around the world.

Update your social media accounts regularly, but without spamming your visitors and customers. It is important to update your followers on a consistent basis to ensure they do not forget about or lose interest in your brand and what you have to offer. Once you establish a positive relationship by communicating and interacting with your followers, you can even as them to help with “liking”, “sharing” and re-posting your content onto their own pages and websites.

Host Contests and Giveaways

Host contests and giveaways to attract new potential customers while also keeping your current fans loyal to your business. The more actively engaged you are with hosting giveaways and contests, the easier it is to build traction and to find other potential fans and loyal customers.

Find Affiliates

Seek out affiliates to trade links with in your industry. Swapping links and affiliating is a great way to build your site’s page rank while also helping to spread your company or brand’s name to new potential customers.

The more time and effort you put into growing your business and brand online, the easier it is to outperform potential competitors while also building a positive relationship with customers. Understanding the importance and benefits of search engine marketing and social media can ultimately help to take your company to the next level of success in terms of customers and overall revenue generated.

White Chalk Road is Perth’s leading search engine marketing agency and consists of a small team of dedicated SEO professionals and paid search advertising consultants.