Budweiser’s Super Bowl Ad Taps The Brand’s Best Marketing Tool

Budweiser's Super Bowl Ad Taps The Brand's Best Marketing Tool

Budweiser’s Super Bowl 2018 ad “Stand By You”

tugs at the heartstrings because actual employees are at its heart. Major brands don’t spend $5 million to air a 60-second spot during the Super Bowl without doing a lot of research. The ads represent months of research, hundreds of hours of planning by marketing teams, dozens of scripts, and 14-hour days of filming. Budweiser has done its research, discovering that real stories of actual employees create stronger brand loyalty and employee engagement. Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Budweiser ad for Super Bowl 2018 is an extension of a brand campaign that leverages the power of storytelling to make an emotional connection with its customers and its employees.

The ad “Stand By You” which has topped 12 million views on YouTube alone, features employees at a brewery in Cartersville, Georgia. The story is about their effort to convert the beer production process into producing emergency drinking water to cities effected by natural disasters. The plant has provided nearly 80 million cans of clean drinking water for disaster relief across the country. On the weekend of the Super Bowl, Budweiser dedicated its entire homepage to telling the story of its 30-year history of water donation.

“It’s a real story,” Ricardo Marques, Budweiser’s vice president of marketing, told USA TODAY sports. “It’s about our people. We don’t have actors in this spot.” By using real employees and not actors to showcase their brand, Budweiser recognizes that—with rare exceptions—people aren’t motivated to work for a company simply because of its products; they want to be inspired by what the brand stands for.

Let’s look at the Budweiser ad more closely in 15-second scenes.

First 15 seconds: In the backstory, a man receives a call in the middle of the night, splashes water on his face, kisses his sleeping wife, and heads to the plant. His name is Kevin Fahrenkrog, the General Manager of the Cartersville Brewery.

15 to 30 seconds: Employees are shown retrofitting the plant’s equipment and labeling system to fill cans with water.

30 to 45 seconds: Employees join relief efforts to deliver the water to communities impacted by natural disasters.

45 to 60 seconds: In the story’s conclusion, Kevin and his wife are having dinner that night. Music rolls and credits, like a movie, show the cities where Budweiser participated in relief efforts: Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, California. The story ends with the tagline, “Whenever you need us; We’ll stand by you.” Budweiser’s Super Bowl ad reminds leaders that employees feel good about working at brands that do good.

“People are more engaged with their work if they perceive it to be meaningful,” according to a large-scale study by the Canadian Conference Board. “Employees will consider their work meaningful if the results make a difference in some measurable way to something that is important to them.” Study after study finds that meaningful work and purpose-driven brands attract top performers, especially millennials who make up the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. Brands that leverage storytelling in all its forms and across platforms have an advantage in recruiting and retaining the best employees.

Over the last fifteen years, I’ve worked directly with CEOs and leaders at many of the world’s most admired brands. I’ve met with employees to understand why they feel especially connected to the company. Very few can recite the company’s entire mission statement from start to finish, but they all have a story to share. And more often than not, the stories aren’t about achieving a sales goal. The stories that motivate employees are real stories of real co-workers or leaders who make the world a better place.

“In the knowledge economy, the workplace relies heavily on trust, engagement, and goodwill,” writes Duke University behavioral economist, Dan Ariely, in his book Payoff. The importance of making everyone feel “deeply connected to the enterprise” is fundamental to building that relationship, he says. Ariely’s research has shown that leaders who infuse their companies with purpose and meaning see a remarkable boost in work quality, morale, and productivity and, yes, profits. Purpose and meaning are abstract concepts. Stories make those concepts tangible to customers and employees. Leaders in any industry can learn a valuable lesson from the Budweiser campaign: the people behind the product are often your best marketers.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

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Unconfirmed: Circle In Talks To Acquire Crypto Exchange Poloniex

Unconfirmed: Circle In Talks To Acquire Crypto Exchange Poloniex

According to an exclusive report on Blockchain technology

blog Modern Consensus, Circle, a multi-currency money-sending app, is reportedly in the works to acquire Poloniex, a major US-based cryptocurrency exchange. Modern Consensus cited two unnamed sources that had information about the potential deal. However, when asked about the reported acquisition of Poloniex, Raj Date, a board member of Circle, told Modern

Consensus:

“I can’t comment on anything like that. I’m actually in Europe right now. Thanks for the reach out.”

Ari Paul, the CIO at digital currency hedge fund BlockTower Capital, denied the legitimacy of any deal on Twitter, citing his own source at Circle and calling

the Modern Consensus article “fake news”:

I just posted a link to an article asserting that Circle was acquiring Poloniex. Someone helpfully replied that the article was fake news. I confirmed with Circle that the article is not correct. Circle is not acquiring Polo (according to my circle source.)

Modern Consensus is a blog founded by Ken Kurson, former editor-in-chief at the New York Observer, that covers technology news in the cryptocurrency and Blockchain spheres. Another twitter user responded to Paul casting doubt on his alleged Circle source, given that Kurson put his reputation at stake in

publishing the news:

Do you think there is any possibility that your source at Circle is wrong or intentionally denying? Asking because the post on modern consensus is by Ken Kurson, who appears to be someone who would care for their reputation.

Kurson cited one of the sources, who he referred to as “highly placed”, with apparent access to the acquisition discussions

as saying:

“Circle and Poloniex agreed to terms and Circle has already approached the regulators. The regulators came back with a list of KYC demands [Know Your Customer] and Circle has agreed to meet all the conditions.”

Both Circle and Poloniex did not respond to Cointelegraph’s requests for comments on the pending deal by press time. Circle, which received $50 mln from Goldman Sachs in a funding round in 2015, contains Circle Pay for fiat transfers, Circle Trade as a liquidity provider of cryptocurrencies, and soon will add Circle Invest, an app allowing retail customers to invest in crypto markets.

Poloniex is currently the 14th largest crypto exchange by 24-hour volume on CoinMarketCap, trading a total of almost $300 million on the day to press time. The exchange allows users to trade in 68 different coins, a huge number as compared to Coinbase's popular crypto exchange platform GDAX, which offers only four, but is in 7th place by trading volume. The Poloniex exchange faced problems this year with incorrect user balances and a very slow withdrawal waiting period.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614


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Crypto Has What it Takes to Break the Flawed Financial System

Crypto Has What it Takes to Break the Flawed Financial System

Bitcoin, when it first hit the presses in its own white paper,

was heralded as this peer-to-peer cashless system that could revolutionize the financial world and break the shackles of banking hegemony. However, as the cryptocurrency market has evolved, it has attracted a new crop of investors and speculators who have strayed somewhat from its original purpose, rather happy to cash in on the unprecedented gains which attracted them in the first place. Really, those entering the crypto economy should be doing so for the right reason, reveling in the potential it holds to be a disruptive technology, rather than a quick get rich scheme.

The flawed financial system

A look at the generations shows how today’s generation is sitting under the yoke of a financial service sector that was set up by the baby boomers, who still run the central banks. The end of the Second World War in 1945 sparked a new revolution of banking, but that system still remains nearly totally intact.

This system of banking and finance is dated and obsolete, and not even functioning properly, with a number of major crashes sending the globe into dire straits on a few occasions; the 1987 crash, the 2000 dotcom bubble burst and 2008 global financial crisis all down to a broken system. There is huge amounts of skepticism that has been born from being put under the financial quash that was built by generations before. Millenials are now starting to fight back and ask why things are the way they are, and what can they do to change it.

Blockchain revolution

The technology of the Blockchain is revolutionary, not only in name but in nature too. Those who understand the technology behind Bitcoin know what cryptocurrencies can become. But, those who only understand that Bitcoin has a chance of doubling its value every three months, are pushing it into bubble territory. The evidence is there though, the threat that Blockchain and cryptocurrencies pose can be seen in the way in which most central banks and regulators are reacting to it, knowing their monopoly is under threat.

But as it stands, even with the exponential expanding of the crypto community, which is also an intellectual expansion, there needs to be a balancing out of the financial speculators, and the technological innovators. When Bitcoin was chugging towards making fiat currency obsolete, it was doing so with a much lower number of users who were more focused on the technology. Now, as the network has swelled, the direction of Bitcoin, as the lead example, has changed, and the community is a different demographic.

Useless digital gold?

Bitcoin is in a precarious position. It is the most popular and well known, and thus the most likely to be disruptive in any sense of the word, but it has gone down a pretty useless path in terms of revolution. The fact that Bitcoin is an asset, a store of value – digital gold – because of its scaling issue and other reasons, makes it much less of a revolutionary, more of a bloated get rich quick scheme. This is not the fault of the coin, the technology or those driving its development, and it is the fault of those who use it for the wrong reasons.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Contributor

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The changing role of sales kickoffs amp why marketing should drive

The changing role of “sales” kickoffs & why marketing should drive

Contributor Scott Vaughan shares tips on how to make your annual revenue kick-off event as successful as possible.

It’s “Sales Kickoff” season.

The time of year company “keggers” are thrown for every sales org to celebrate (or drown their sorrows about) the past year, hand out self-congratulations, share plans for the new year and, of course, party like college coeds. I had the pleasure of hosting Integrate’s 2018 “Revenue Meet-Up” and just returned from participating in Marketo’s RKOM (“Revenue Kickoff Meeting”) as a partner. And while many kickoffs are simply company rallies, I’m convinced that, done well, these gatherings have a direct impact on business outcomes.

With the kind of time and money being invested, kickoffs can no longer simply be events to fire up sales reps or just a reason to get the team together. “Sales” no longer refers solely to the roles and responsibilities of bag-carrying sales pros. More people touch the customer, have revenue quotas and determine the fate of the business today than ever before. Customer experience and all forms of revenue are the focus of the business. The modern kickoff needs to better reflect this reality and new mission.

The sales org should no longer be the only driver of the kickoff and all that comes with it. A cross-functional, interdepartmental team is required to define goals and outcomes, develop the theme, set the agenda and lead the experience. And, marketing must move beyond simply coordinating events and handing out swag; it must take a proactive, leadership role that reflects marketing’s customer and revenue mission. Here are some thoughts on how marketing can drive and collaborate with their colleagues to create a more impactful kickoff that sets course for a successful year.

Co-create to build company momentum and confidence

In the modern, customer-driven world, the CMO needs to rally their executive peers and proactively lay out the kickoff goals, mission and agenda based on revenue and company go-to-market targets. This is an unprecedented time to get the best marketing assets you have – your employees – behind the go-to-market plan.

Kickoffs shouldn’t be internal and about your company, but what the market requires or the team needs to aspire to. For example, the Marketo team this year announced a new concept around how they’re committing to enabling their customers to be “fearless.” In my opinion, it’s the perfect tone to set for what will be required by both Marketo’s customers (B2B marketers) and their team to succeed in a dynamic market.

If your meeting is in January, you should start planning in August with the company strategy and budgeting process. Co-creating the sessions with sales leadership and the customer success team is an excellent way to start. It gets the core revenue-driving groups on the same page for planning and prep for the year ahead. This leadership group can then pull in ops, product and others as needed to assure an impactful kickoff.

Rollout new strategies, company and transformational moves

Revenue kickoffs are the ideal time to (re-)set the mission and introduce the charter for the year(s) ahead. If you’re going after a new market, new geos, pivoting or rolling out a new brand or expanded market position, do it here. You’ve got a unique opportunity to communicate on a big stage and several methods to communicate and involve people and teams in discussion from all different angles.

Don’t overload sessions with product features

Rarely, do we B2B teams get the opportunity to come together with such purpose and focus. Significant moves can be brought to life on stage, in breakouts and during 1:1 sessions. These aren’t the ideal venues to announce a bunch of new product features. With so much going on, the detail and importance will get lost. This can be handled by having sales, customer success and marketing pros sit down with product and development in smaller breakout sessions or save these announcements post-kickoff in another venue.

Bring customers and partners to keep it real

One of the best things you can do to make your kickoff real is to infuse customers, prospects and partners. Share their stories, bring their world to life and let their voice be heard by all. The sooner you make it about them and not just about the company, the better the points will be received and acted on by your team. At our company, we always have customers (often customer teams) on the main stage to share what they’re working on, their challenges and how they’re working with us and other providers.

Partners – channel, technology and alliances – are often your best market representatives and revenue drivers. Get them participating, learning and contributing. If your business is largely driven by partners and you have a separate partner gathering/conference, still showcase their work, how you’re working together and new strategies and tactics to make this stronger in the year ahead.

Sit down with sales, customer success & partners

For marketers, revenue kickoff is a gold mine. Your sales and customer success colleagues, partners and customers are all together over a few days. Capitalize on this by setting aside time with key sales leaders to get input, run your ideas by them and/or share what’s rolling out in the coming months to get buy-in. We use the opportunity at our kickoff to sit down with the customers who attend, first and foremost, to thank them for their business. We then use this an opportunity to get their feedback on our strategy, capture their story on video and/or to develop a case study.

Once a year is not enough

Revenue kickoff takes significant energy, time and resources. But done right – focused on customer themes, joint company revenue and go-to-market targets – the ROI is huge. And when the kickoff is wrapped, we’re reminded we need to do it all again, soon. Gathering once a year is not enough. Organizing regional sessions or taking advantage of quarterly business/revenue review gatherings is a must to keep the momentum you built at kickoff going all year until the new year dawns and we get to do it all again!

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Marketing.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

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Making a Crypto Utopia in Puerto Rico

Making a Crypto Utopia in Puerto Rico

Brock Pierce inside the former Children’s Museum

in Old San Juan, P.R., which he and his colleagues hope to make part of a crypto utopia where the money is virtual and the contracts are all public. Credit Erika P. Rodriguez for The New York TimesSAN JUAN, P.R. — They call what they are building Puertopia. But then someone told them, apparently in all seriousness, that it translates to “eternal boy playground” in Latin. So they are changing the name: They will call it Sol.

Dozens of entrepreneurs, made newly wealthy by blockchain and cryptocurrencies, are heading en masse to Puerto Rico this winter. They are selling their homes and cars in California and establishing residency on the Caribbean island in hopes of avoiding what they see as onerous state and federal taxes on their growing fortunes, some of which now reach into the billions of dollars. And these men — because they are almost exclusively men — have a plan for what to do with the wealth: They want to build a crypto utopia, a new city where the money is virtual and the contracts are all public, to show the rest of the world what a crypto future could look like. Blockchain, a digital ledger that forms the basis of virtual currencies, has the potential to reinvent society — and the Puertopians want to prove it.

For more than a year, the entrepreneurs had been searching for the best location. After Hurricane Maria decimated Puerto Rico’s infrastructure in September and the price of cryptocurrencies began to soar, they saw an opportunity and felt a sense of urgency.So this crypto community flocked here to create its paradise. Now the investors are spending their days hunting for property where they could have their own airports and docks. They are taking over hotels and a museum in the capital’s historic section, called Old San Juan. They say they are close to getting the local government to allow them to have the first cryptocurrency bank.

“What’s happened here is a perfect storm,” said Halsey Minor, the founder of the news site CNET, who is moving his new blockchain company — called Videocoin — from the Cayman Islands to Puerto Rico this winter. Referring to Hurricane Maria and the investment interest that has followed, he added, “While it was really bad for the people of Puerto Rico, in the long term it’s a godsend if people look past that.”

Puerto Rico offers an unparalleled tax incentive: no federal personal income taxes, no capital gains tax and favorable business taxes — all without having to renounce your American citizenship. For now, the local government seems receptive toward the crypto utopians; the governor will speak at their blockchain summit conference, called Puerto Crypto, in March. The territory’s go-to blockchain tax lawyer is Giovanni Mendez, 30. He expected the tax expatriates to disappear after Hurricane Maria, but the population has instead boomed. “It’s increased monumentally,” said Mr. Mendez, who has about two dozen crypto clients. “And they all came together.”

Cryptocurrency investors have flocked to San Juan in recent months, hunting for property where they could have their own airports and docks, and taking over hotels and a museum in the Puerto Rican capital’s historic district. Credit José Jiménez-Tirado for The New York TimesThe movement is alarming an earlier generation of Puerto Rico tax expats like the hedge fund manager Robb Rill, who runs a social group for those taking advantage of the tax incentives.

“They call me up saying they’re going to buy 250,000 acres so they can incorporate their own city, literally start a city in Puerto Rico to have their own crypto world,” said Mr. Rill, who moved to the island in 2013. “I can’t engage in that.” The newcomers are still debating the exact shape that Puertopia should take. Some think they need to make a city; others think it’s enough to move into Old San Juan. Puertopians said, however, that they hoped to move very fast. “You’ve never seen an industry catalyze a place like you’re going to see here,” Mr. Minor said.

The Monastery

Until the Puertopians find land, they have descended on the Monastery, a 20,000-square-foot hotel they rented as their base and that was largely unscathed by the hurricane. Matt Clemenson and Stephen Morris were drinking beer on the Monastery’s roof one recent evening. Mr. Clemenson had an easygoing affect and wore two-tone aviators; Mr. Morris, a loquacious British man, was in cargo shorts and lace-up steel-toed combat boots, with a smartphone on a necklace. They wanted to make two things clear: They chose Puerto Rico because of the hurricane, and they come in peace. “It’s only when everything’s been swept away that you can make a case for rebuilding from the ground up,” Mr. Morris, 53, said.

“We’re benevolent capitalists, building a benevolent economy,” said Mr. Clemenson, 34, a co-founder of Lottery.com, which is using the blockchain in lotteries. “Puerto Rico has been this hidden gem, this enchanted island that’s been consistently overlooked and mistreated. Maybe 500 years later we can make it right.” Other Puertopians arrived on the roof as a pack, just back from a full-day property-hunting bus tour. From the middle, Brock Pierce, 37, the leader of the Puertopia movement, emerged wearing drop crotch capri pants, a black vest that almost hit his knees and a large black felt hat. He and others had arrived on the island in early December.

Mr. Pierce, center, with Josh Boles, left, and Matt Clemenson on the roof of the Monastery, a San Juan hotel that has been rented out as the entrepreneurs’ temporary headquarters. Credit José Jiménez-Tirado for The New York Times“Compassion, respect, financial transparency,” Mr. Pierce said when asked what was guiding them here. Mr. Pierce, the director of the Bitcoin Foundation, is a major figure in the crypto boom. He co-founded a blockchain-for-business start-up, Block.One, which has sold around $200 million of a custom virtual currency, EOS, in a so-called initial coin offering. The value of all the outstanding EOS tokens is around $6.5 billion.

A former child actor, Mr. Pierce got into digital money early as a professional gamer, mining and trading gold in the video game World of Warcraft, an effort funded partly by Stephen K. Bannon, the former Trump adviser. Mr. Pierce is a controversial figure — he has previously been sued for fraud, among other matters. Downstairs, in the Monastery penthouse, a dozen or so other expats were hanging out. The water was out that night, so the toilets and faucets were dry. Mr. Minor lounged on an alcove chaise.

“The U.S. doesn’t want us. It’s trying to choke off this economy,” Mr. Minor said, referring to the difficulties that crypto investors have with American banks. “There needs to be a place where people are free to invent.” Mr. Pierce paced the room with his hands in fists. A few times a day, he played a video for the group on his phone and a portable speaker: Charlie Chaplin’s 1940 “The Great Dictator,” in which Chaplin parodies Hitler rallying his forces. He finds inspiration in lines like “More than machinery, we need humanity.”

The former Children’s Museum. For entrepreneurs, Puerto Rico offers an unparalleled tax incentive: no federal income taxes, no capital gains tax and favorable business taxes without having to renounce American citizenship. Credit Erika P. Rodriguez for The New York Times The force of Mr. Pierce’s personality and his spiritual presence are important to the group, whose members are otherwise largely agnostic. Mr. Pierce regularly performs rituals. Earlier that day while scoping out property, they had stopped at a historic Ceiba tree, known as the Tree of Life.

“Brock nestled into the bosom of it and was there for 10 minutes,” Mr. Nygard said. Mr. Pierce walked around the tree and said prayers for Puertopia, holding a rusted wrench he had picked up in the territory. He kissed an old man’s feet. He blessed a crystal in the water, as they all watched. He played the Chaplin speech to everyone and to the tree, Mr. Nygard said.

That wrench is now in the penthouse, heavy and greasy. Later on, at a dinner in a nearby restaurant, the group ordered platters of octopus arms, fried cheese, ceviche and rum cocktails. They began debating whether to buy Puerto Rico’s Roosevelt Roads Naval Station, which measures 9,000 acres and has two deepwater ports and an adjacent airport. The only hitch: It’s a Superfund cleanup site.

Mr. Pierce had fallen asleep by then, his hat tilted down and arms crossed. He gets two hours of sleep many nights, often on a firm grounding mat to stay in contact with the earth’s electric energy. Josh Boles, a tall, athletic man who is another crypto expat, picked him up, and the group headed back to the Monastery. They walked past a big pink building in an old town square, the start of their vision for Puertopia’s downtown. Once a children’s museum, they plan on making it a crypto clubhouse and outreach center that will have the mission “to bring together Puerto Ricans with Puertopians.”

The Vanderbilt

Workdays are casual in Puertopia. One morning, Bryan Larkin, 39, and Reeve Collins, 42, were working at another old hotel, the Condado Vanderbilt, where they had their laptops on a pool bar with frozen piña coladas on tap. “We’re going to make this crypto land,” Mr. Larkin said. Mr. Larkin has mined about $2 billion in Bitcoin and is the chief technology officer of Blockchain Industries, a publicly traded company based in Puerto Rico.

Mr. Collins, an internet veteran, had raised more than $20 million from an initial coin offering for BlockV, his app store for the blockchain, whose outstanding tokens are worth about $125 million. He had also co-founded Tether, which backs cryptocurrency tied to the value of a dollar and whose outstanding tokens are worth about $2.1 billion, though the company has generated enormous controversy in the virtual currency world. “So, no. No, I don’t want to pay taxes,” Mr. Collins said. “This is the first time in human history anyone other than kings or governments or gods can create their own money.”

Mr. Pierce and Mr. Boles sitting with Robert Anderson, right, at the Monastery, which was left largely unscathed by Hurricane Maria last year. Credit José Jiménez-Tirado for The New York Times  He had moved from Santa Monica, Calif., with just a few bags and was now starting a local cryptocurrency incubator called Vatom Factory. “When Brock said, ‘We’re moving to Puerto Rico for the taxes and to create this new town,’ I said, ‘I’m in,’” Mr. Collins said. “Sight unseen.” They soon went back to work, checking out Coinmarketcap.com, a site that shows the price of cryptocurrencies. “Our market cap’s gone up $100 million in a week,” Mr. Collins said. “Congrats, man,” Mr. Larkin said.

Welcome, Puertopians?

All across San Juan, many locals are trying to figure out what to do with the crypto arrivals. Some are open to the new wave as a welcome infusion of investment and ideas. “We’re open for crypto business,” said Erika Medina-Vecchini, the chief business development officer for the Department of Economic Development and Commerce, in an interview at her office. She said her office was starting an ad campaign aimed at the new crypto expat boom, with the tagline “Paradise Performs.” Others worry about the island’s being used for an experiment and talk about “crypto colonialism.” At a house party in San Juan, Richard Lopez, 32, who runs a pizza restaurant, Estella, in the town of Arecibo, said: “I think it’s great. Lure them in with taxes, and they’ll spend money.”

Andria Satz, 33, who grew up in Old San Juan and works for the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico, disagreed. “We’re the tax playground for the rich,” she said. “We’re the test case for anyone who wants to experiment. Outsiders get tax exemptions, and locals can’t get permits.” Mr. Lopez said the territory needed something to jump-start the economy. “We have to find a new way,” he said. “Sure then, Bitcoin, why not,” Ms. Satz said, throwing up her hands. Mr. Lopez said he and a childhood friend, Rafael Perez, 31, were trying to set up a Bitcoin mine in their hometown. But electricity has been inconsistent, and mining even a single Bitcoin takes a lot of power, he said.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

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Bitcoin tumbles as cryptocurrency sell-off intensifies

Bitcoin tumbles as cryptocurrency
sell-off intensifies

Cryptocurrencies plunged on Friday,

with bitcoin at one point sliding below $8,000 and headed for its biggest weekly loss since December 2013, as worries about a regulatory clampdown globally sent investors scrambling to sell.The currencies have come off their lows but analysts said the sell-off was probably not over.

This week’s slump brought the total market value of cryptocurrencies down to around $400 billion, half the high it reached in January, according to industry tracker Coinmarketcap.com. The market value of cryptocurrencies is calculated by multiplying the number of digital coins in existence by their price, although many question whether that is the right way to value them. Bitcoin, the biggest and best-known cryptocurrency, fell as much as 15 percent on Friday to a two-month low of $7,625 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange BTC=BSP. It clawed back some losses and was down around 4.1 percent at $8,623.50 in mid-morning New York trading. The virtual currency is down by close to 25 percent this week and almost 40 percent in 2018.

The second and third largest virtual currencies, Ethereum and Ripple, also plunged more than 20 percent at the session low, Coinmarketcap.com said. Ethereum was last down 18.2 percent, at $913.37, while Ripple last traded at 80 U.S. cents, down 16.7 percent. Retail investors have poured money into digital coins, enticed by the huge run-up in prices. Regulators say cryptocurrencies are highly speculative and dangerous investments. On Thursday, India vowed to eradicate the use of crypto-assets, joining China and South Korea in promising to ban parts of the nascent market where prices have boomed in recent years.

Social media website Facebook (FB.O) said this week it would ban cryptocurrency advertisements because many were associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices. U.S. regulators have sent a subpoena to two of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency players, Bitfinex and Tether “The growing confusion revolving around the Indian government’s view on cryptocurrencies sparked uncertainty, consequently exposing bitcoin to downside risks,” said Lukman Otunuga, research analyst at FXTM. “Price action suggests that bears are clearly in control, with further losses on the cards as jitters over regulation erode investor appetite further,” he added.

A massive $530 million hack of a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange last week renewed worries about the security of the industry. Critics of virtual currencies have called the run-up in prices a speculative bubble, but supporters of cryptocurrencies say short-term price volatility is to be expected, and the blockchain technology underpinning these assets maintains its power and value. Going back to 2011 and including the current selloff, bitcoin’s price has been halved nine times on the Bitstamp exchange before recovering. The last time was from November 2014 to January 2015.

TP

The secrets of successful legislative marketing

The secrets of successful legislative marketing

Many in Congress hope to reap the rewards of their legislative accomplishments

in this November’s election. For Republicans, passing tax reform, removing the mandate to purchase health insurance, and approving a broad swath of judicial nominations will top their hit parade. Democrats will focus on how they protected ObamaCare from repeal, held the line on spending cuts, and list the priorities they would tackle if voters returned them to the majority.  And who knows, maybe 2018 will even include some unexpected bipartisan wins for which both sides can take a bow with constituents. 

Whatever the substance, selling Congress’s work is a perennial challenge. The reasons for this communications riddle are numerous. For starters, voters are preoccupied with their personal lives and often distracted, bored, or confused by the details of congressional rhetoric, policy debates, and an arcane lawmaking process. Moreover, in a nation closely divided along partisan lines, legislative “wins” are often zero sum. For example, while Republicans will tout tax reform as the crowning achievement in the 115th Congress, some Democrats will continue to label it as “Armageddon” and “the end of the world.” No doubt, each party’s most faithful followers will believe them. In navigating these shoals, both parties would be wise to follow a few simple rules to maximize the impact of their political communications.

First, recognize that messaging success is more like a series of niche marketing campaigns, rather than a single national advertising effort. Not only do congressional parties and individual lawmakers lack the resources to execute such a large-scale communications strategy, that approach does not work for other reasons. “You can’t boil the ocean” is an often-repeated phrase among communicators, and nowhere does it apply more than talking to the public about legislative accomplishments. Moreover, we live in a diverse country with assorted political views, varied interests, and short attention spans. A one-size-fits-all approach is a formula for failure.

Author Chris Anderson, in his 2006 book The Long Tail, outlines a better approach. “Our culture and economy is increasingly shifting away from a focus on a relatively small number of ‘hits’ (mainstream products and markets) at the head of the demand curve and toward a huge number of niches in the tail,” Anderson says. 

The good news is technology allows politicians, like other marketers, to follow the Long Tail approach. Finding niche audiences on social media or through online advertising is easy. The beauty of this “narrowcasting” approach is it applies to major legislation, as well as seemingly minor legislative accomplishments. As an illustration, when Congress passed the 21st Century Cures bill a little over a year ago, it offered lawmakers a broad array of potential niche audiences to target and claim credit.

Those interested in boosting NIH funding, mental health reforms, or transformational changes to the drug development and approval process were among the diverse stakeholders members of Congress could appeal to. One lawmaker (and he was not alone) had an active and engaged group of constituents concerned about Lyme’s Disease. He told me the bill’s provision’s dealing with that complicated malady represented the number one benefit of the bill he would tout to that community. For a group of stakeholders, intensely interested in that disease, he was right.

Second, do not forget the rule of repetition. The virtue behind this simple principle is often lost. Here is the typical pattern. Lawmakers consider an issue, debate, vote, and then move on to the next subject. It happens all the time and it is a mistake. Voters don’t absorb information in one news cycle or through a single press release. It takes repetition. Success in this area requires going against the instincts of most congressional offices. Lawmakers and staff are always looking for the next new issue or hot topic. But they need to build on what they have done. Repetition is boring, but it’s successful.

Third, Congress needs to behold the beauty of brevity. Most lawmakers and staff believe three bullet points are persuasive; five, even better; and 10 will defeat even the most recalcitrant opponents.  Wrong. That is not how voters consume and digest information. They tune out lengthy and detailed justifications. Brevity works. “There is a reason why no one puts a laundry list on a bumper sticker,” says messaging expert Rich Thau, president of the research firm Engagious. He goes on to say, “One big idea packs more of a punch than five or 10 smaller ideas combined,” and he’s right. Unfortunately, a lot of legislative communications snowballs into an avalanche of information, which buries the audience, the message and the messenger.

Voters will assemble scorecards before the November election to evaluate the performance of lawmakers. Those representatives and senators who identify and appeal to the preferences of many niche constituencies, remember the rule of repetition, and the beauty of brevity, stand the best chance of joining the 116th Congress next January.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Marketing.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

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Fact Or FUD’? Pressure Drives Crypto Markets Down Almost 20

Fact Or ‘FUD’?
Pressure Drives Crypto Markets
Down Almost 20%

All of the top 50 cryptocurrencies fell by as much as 18.05 percent

in the 24 hours to press time, Thursday, Feb.1, as fresh volatility in Bitcoin undermines previous sideways growth. Cross-exchange data from CoinMarketCap shows the broad copycat effect of Bitcoin’s drop on altcoin markets. Only six altcoins in the top 50 had made 24-hour gains at press time, with these nonetheless trending downwards.

Bitcoin faces renewed pressure after India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley announced a crackdown on “illegitimate activities” involving cryptocurrency in his 2018 budget speech this morning. Jaitley also stated that the government does not recognize crypto as legal tender and would seek to freeze out crypto from the “payments network”.  However, industry participants claim his words do not mark any real change in India’s regulatory perspective.

Others, such as BitTorrent creator Bram Cohen, decried negative press attention on India as “FUD”, short for fear, uncertainty and doubt. Nonetheless, alternative viewpoints were enough to send Bitcoin below $10,000 again Thursday, with new lows centring just below $9600 on averaged readings. Bitcoin is trading at an average of $9,609 at press time, down almost 7 percent today.

Running parallel to the news from India is an ongoing narrative surrounding the impact of Tether’s token supply on Bitcoin prices. After a curious second market reaction to news that Tether and associate exchange Bitfinex had received subpoenas from regulators in December, analysts are casting doubt on previous assumptions that Tether’s issuance was artificially raising BTC/USD rates.

“Given $USDT stores $2.2B in value — currently 0.4% of aggregate crypto value & 1.3% of total bitcoin value — have a hard time believing it could be systematically propping up these markets,”  Placeholder VC partner Chris Burniske wrote earlier Thursday in a series of tweets on the subject.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

TP

India: Bitcoin Prices Drop As Media Misinterprets Govt’s Regulation Speech

India: Bitcoin Prices Drop As Media Misinterprets Govt’s Regulation Speech

Bitcoin markets are reacting to fresh regulatory comments

on crypto from India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley, made during his most recent budget speech in the Parliament today, Feb.1. After Jaitley noted in his speech that cryptocurrency is not legal tender in the country and promised a crackdown on “illegitimate activities” involving crypto, a flood of misinterpreted comments warning of an outright ban appeared across the mainstream press and social media.

Markets in turn fell in trading on Thursday, Bitcoin dipping below $9,512 after breaking $10,300 Wednesday, Jan. 31, data from Bitstamp shows. India has been sporadic in its attempts to formalize cryptocurrency regulation over the past two years. Since the country’s currency reforms, interest in Bitcoin especially has skyrocketed, with local exchanges reporting huge growth. At the same time, India’s central bank has issued repeated warnings on cryptocurrency investment, some of which appeared tantamount to calling it illegal.

During his budget speech today, Jaitley stated:

“The government does not recognise cryptocurrency as legal tender or coin and will take all measures to eliminate the use of these cryptoassets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payments system.”

While Jaitley’s speech noticeably avoided any mention of legality of crypto in and of itself, commentaries by third parties and mainstream media journalists controversially claimed that a ban was imminent. “Arun Jaitley has just killed India’s cryptocurrency party,” Quartz’s article on the subject proclaims, citing a lawyer who expects “a legislative mechanism or… suitable amendment in existing legislation to ensure that dealing and trading in cryptocurrency is made illegal and to penalise entities and individuals who are involved in their trade and circulation.”

On Twitter, the curious reading of Jaitley’s words continued, with declarations of Bitcoin being “illegal” and soon to be “eliminated.” From within the industry, however, sources told an altogether different story. Crypto exchange Unocoin summarized that there had been “no change” in government perspective since the budget speech. “It is business-as-usual,” it added in its most recent twitter activity. Cointelegraph correspondant Joseph Young also posted on his personal Twitter about the FUD in mainstream media surrounding the finance minister’s comments:

India on Blockchain

In line with previous government initiatives, Jaitley similarly produced no surprises with his commitment to expanding the use of Blockchain technology at the state level going forward. “The government will explore use of blockchain technology proactively for ushering in the digital economy,” he said in his speech.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

TP

Selling Marketing Software to Marketers: It’s More of a Science Than an Art

Selling Marketing Software to Marketers: It's More of a Science Than an Art

The number of marketing technology (martech) providers vying

for every marketer’s attention is staggering: In his latest report, Scott Brinker, vice president of the platform ecosystem at Hubspot, estimated that there were 5,000-plus providers in 2017 — representing a 40 percent increase over the previous year. Add to that the five or more options every martech tool typically offers for marketers to choose from. Medium, for example, has to compete against other CMS platforms like WordPress, Joomla, Hubspot Blogging Software and Kentico.

This mountain of rivals that marketing-software brands must contend with every day makes their effort to appeal to their target customers — marketers — a little like trying to run after your hat in a hurricane. On top of that, martech businesses are trying to beat their marketer-customers at their own game — after all, marketers are quite familiar with the marketing strategies martech brands use. It all becomes a bit like a psychologist working with a psychiatrist on his or her latest addiction. An observer might wonder, who’s asking the questions and who’s taking notes? Still, marketing a martech brand to marketers need not be so hard. How's that work? Let's start from the view that selling to marketers is more of a (simple) science than an art.

Recognize that selling to marketers is more science than art.

Selling to marketers, in my view, is almost entirely science. I'd personally estimate a breakdown of 20 percent creativity and 80 percent science — meaning research, numbers, measurements and tests. Marketers — the customers – look at numbers and validations (both of which are scientific elements) when making decisions at their jobs. Further, marketers can be attracted to martech companies' designs, graphics, art — even their jokes. But when it comes to getting those same marketers to pull out their wallets and take martech companies' products to their CMOs or clients, those marketers will need proof (science) that any particular product is worth spending their company's money on — or no deal.

Before spending $10,000 on social media marketing's ad costs, for instance, marketers might test out a concept with $100. In fact, they’re always testing; and there's science in that. So, if you're the martech rep, show the marketer proof, and chances are that he or she will buy in. Offer a trial of your marketing software and let the marketer test it out to get raw data. Display testimonials of happy customers. Share the numbers you’ve achieved. And pay attention to the language you use.

Use the lingua franca marketers use.

A lingua franca is a common language used by speakers who speak different native languages. This applies to marketers, too. Even though they have different native tongues, they speak a common language. So, if you're a marketing software brand and you're not speaking that common language, you'll have a hard time. In a recent Salesforce study, 65 percent of businesses surveyed said they were likely to abandon brands that didn't provide "customized communications." In other words, if your software brand speaks to marketers in a foreign language, they may ignore your campaign without thinking twice.

So, use marketspeak, words like:

  • MRR and ARR, not “income”

  • Optimize, not “make the most of”

  • ROI, not “efficiency of investment”

And so forth. As someone who does content marketing for martech and other marketing-focused brands, I can vouch for these words as terms I use for promoting content to martech clients. Using these terms doesn't guarantee your customers (marketers) will be falling head over heels for your campaigns. But it does mean they'll stop scrolling and at least give you five seconds to convince them. If you don't use that language, you may not even get that. My friend, Carlos Aguilar, of Conversion Surge, puts it this way: “To increase conversion, pay attention to the copy on your website . . . Does it use the same language of your ideal customer?”

Know where marketers hang out.

Know where marketers hang out online. This means places like:

LinkedIn:

Linkedin is almost a requirement for a marketer; virtually all marketers actively use LinkedIn to showcase their portfolios and interact with other experts in their connections and groups. So, any great, targeted campaign here has a chance to work wonders.

Twitter:

Marketers also use Twitter, to connect with other marketers and interact with reporters and editors of top publications. They use Twitter to follow trending news and hashtags on entertainment, politics and other interests.

Email:

Marketers daily use email for work. So, when doing a martech campaign, you need to grab their emails. Once you have those, you get access to advertise your marketing software in their inboxes.

Communities:

Platforms like Inbound.org and Growth Hackers allow marketers to interact about real issues they face in our day-to-day work.

Marketing blogs:

Marketers subscribe to sites like Digiday, Marketing Land and Kissmetrics, frequenting them to find new strategies to use to get better at marketing. Engage marketers on the platforms they already frequent. But be sure to use these platforms the right way, so you don’t get penalized by their owners or ignored by the marketers you’re trying to sell to.

Marketers love high-quality, helpful resource hubs; build one.

It’s true we’re experiencing an overflow of content. But it’s also true that people still give their attention and time to good resources. Need proof? Maybe it's the fact that you're reading this post. Marketers have to keep abreast of new trends and strategies all the time. And that gives you, as a martech company, an advantage when you sell to them. They need great resources, so if you provide them, they'll pay attention to your brand. I know, I know; it's not simple. But with a good strategy,

if you can:

 a) create high-quality resources that will help marketers become better marketers; and

b) promote the heck out of those resources, attract and convert customers and even generate accurate customer information for your database.

Final words

Marketing to marketer-customers can be easy if you employ these strategies. That's why you should approach these customers with what they themselves base their decisions on. Remember that they care most about numbers, tests and proof. Remember to speak the marketer's language: ("revenue," not profit; and "customer acquisition," not cost of getting customers). In the end, selling to marketers using the science involved (and not the art) improves your chances of selling to them and rising above the many other martech companies competing for the same prize. 

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Marketing.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

TP