Struggling to understand why your domain can’t be transferred? Frustrated that you’re being told that because of a new European Union law, your domain transfer has stalled?
You’re not alone. There are three pieces of the puzzle to understand before we proceed:
ICANN is the entity responsible for managing the WHOIS database. ICANN helps deliver ‘One Internet’ for the world by coordinating and administering the DNS system which is comprised of: Domain names, Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, and Protocol parameters. The DNS system is vital - the internet simply cannot function without it. DNS enables your computer to reliably find and connect to other devices, things, or information sources on the Internet no matter where you are physically located in the world so that you can seamlessly find what you want, when you want it.
GDPR went into effect despite the fact that there were known and unresolved compliance issues. ICANN is working towards GDPR compliance. Because of the global scope and impact, a committee of 130 different entities is working to resolve these issues. The committee has created a temporary, next generation directory known as RDAP to replace WHOIS.
Registrars are currently struggling to provide services to clients because ICANN has implemented significant changes that are not GDPR compliant and without providing guidance to registrars as to how they can use RDAP. Registrars must be extremely cautious as GDPR imposes significant fines for companies that fail to comply. Non-compliance penalties and fines can be 2-to-4% of a company’s global revenue.
ICANN has been aware of these issues since before GDPR was adopted. Unfortunately, multi-stakeholder models have a history of advancing only by taking two steps backward for every one forward. This is painfully apparent to registrars and domain owners worldwide who appear to have been abandoned without a solution in sight.
Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been compared to Y2K, the millennium software bug that caused unnecessary panic about computers crashing—not to mention planes falling out of the sky—before midnight struck on New Year’s Eve in the year 2000. But it’s not much like Y2K at all; conversely, it deserves all the buzz it’s garnering.
When the legislation takes effect on May 25, it will enable European consumers to control how businesses collect and process their personal information. GDPR will impact any organization that markets goods or services in the EU or tracks Europeans’ digital behavior, regardless of where such businesses’ offices or software firms are located.
Additionally, there are a host of unknowns that will impact domain registrants, domain owners and hosting companies as to how the law will be applied. Experts expect significant issues with any processes related to DNS records such as domain transfers as there is no concensus as to how GDPR will
Understand that if you do business online, the GDPR may apply to you. This new data-protection law applies to any size business - even if you have no direct E.U. operations or staff.
Similar personal data protection legislation is being developed here in the United States.
Responsible data management is about protecting your brand and your business. Every day we see new headlines about a data-breach or personal data sharing due to incompetence or unethical behavior – think Facebook & Cambridge Analytica. Enforceable data-protection laws with significant penalties for violators are necessary and should be embraced by businesses.
So, what is the GDPR? The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is a new law designed to protect the “personal data” of E.U. citizens – including how the data is collected, stored, processed and destroyed. This E.U. law goes into effect on May 25th, 2018. The definition of ‘personal data’ under the GDPR far exceeds that of the U.S. and encompasses ‘information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person’. This includes data such as name, ID number, location data, online identifier or other factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that person. It even includes IP addresses, cookie strings, social media posts, online contacts and mobile device IDs.
Obviously GDPR impacts U.S.-based multi-national companies. If you are a US-based company with no direct operations in the EU it likely applies to your business too.
US-based businesses with no employees or offices within the boundaries of the EU are subject to GDPR. And, under Article 3 of the GDPR, your business can be liable even if no financial transaction occurs. If your U.S. based organization communicates with and/or solicits members online with some of them residing in the E.U., you are likely subject to the GDPR. However, if your organization operates online or uses Google Adwords and an E.U. resident stumbles upon your webpage, it is unlikely that the GDPR applies. Simply put, if your organization actively fosters relationships with E.U. residents, GDPR applies.
Consequences of Non-Compliance
The GDPR imposes significant fines for companies that fail to comply. Non-compliance penalties and fines can be 2-to-4% of a company’s global revenue. The forth-coming U.S. legislation promises to be just as potent.
Protect your organization from becoming a headline. If you market online, it is vital that you initiate risk assessment and initiate an action plan now.
Prepared by Chris Lowers, May 10th 2018
Without realizing it, you're fluent in the language of pictures. Illustrator Christoph Niemann takes you on a hilarious visual tour that shows how artists tap into our emotions and minds to speak volumes without saying a word.
Niemann believes all people are bilingual, “fluent in the language of reading images,” and most of our fluency comes organically. Enjoy his talk recorded at TED2018 on April 13, 2018, in Vancouver.
Why You Should Listen
Christoph Niemann is the master of the deceptively simple. His work - which often combines line drawing or brushwork with physical objects, or eschews drawing altogether in favor of LEGO - has appeared on the covers of the New Yorker, WIRED and the New York Times Magazine and has won many awards. He has drawn live from the Venice Art Biennale and the Olympic Games in London, and he has sketched the New York City Marathon - while running it. He created the New Yorker's first augmented reality cover as well as a hand-drawn 360-degree VR animation for the magazine's US Open issue.
It seems like everywhere we look there’s some new social media or marketing tactics being touted as the next big thing.
As marketers and businesses, we’re constantly looking for ways to reach our audience in creative ways and so we often jump around from strategy to strategy – often leaving what used to work in the past.
But what about those marketing tactics that once worked like a charm?
Learn all about it in this insightful video conversation between Hailley Griffis and Brian Peters as they host this episode of the Science of Social Media podcast - your weekly sandbox for social media stories, insights, experimentation and inspiration.
When trying to come up with a new idea, we all have times when we get stuck. So how to you keep fresh ideas flowing? In this fun, fast talk, behavioral and learning scientist Marily Oppezzo explains how to help you get the most out of your next brainstorming session.
Behavioral and learning scientist Marily Oppezzo studies how the movement of the body can affect the movement of the mind.
Consumers expect instant gratification online. They want what they want now. If your website fails to load in 3 seconds you're literally driving people to your competitors.
What you need to know is that a slow mobile experience robs you of potential sales. You’ve lost users enthusiasm of the moment when your site fails to load and become usable within 3 seconds. When your mobile site is slow, people will leave and find your competitors. It’s called abandonment. Here’s how it works: someone finds your site then leaves in frustration (or anger) because your site won’t load fast enough. Because they are unable to get what they want through your site, they ‘go back’ on their browser, finding what they want through your competitor.
According to Google, ‘it’s a challenge most businesses struggle with. In fact, 53% of visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes more than three seconds to load’.
We humans simply don’t have the attention span we once did. It’s time to stop making excuses for your website and embrace our mobile ecosystem. Did you know that over 40% of shoppers report that they prefer to complete their entire shopping experience on mobile – from research to purchase.
To help marketers improve page load speed, Google has developed two tools that give marketers better ways to illustrate the importance of mobile site speed.
Speed Scorecard – shows how your site ranks against the competition on mobile
Impact Calculator – shows the potential revenue impact of speed on your bottom line
Google announced these two new benchmarking tools at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday, February 26th 2018.
We hope you put these fantastic new tools to work improving your users mobile experience soon.
To survive a public brand scandal, minimize fallout and recover customer trust communication has to be prompt and compassionate.
It was a chicken joke of epic proportions, but it took a while for the punch line to land.
For nearly two weeks last month, nearly 900 KFC franchises in the U.K. were unable to obtain fresh chicken parts thanks to a cock-up with the company’s new delivery firm.
KFC U.K. needed to acknowledge the problem, and it knew that the usual bland corporate apology would not satisfy its hangry customers. So the U.K. subsidiary’s agency of record, Mother London, decided to go extra crispy. It took out full-page ads in two major dailies succinctly expressing what company executives, franchise owners and its finger-lickin’ fans must have been feeling.
KFC U.K.’s cheeky response to a chicken shortage turned an embarrassing screwup into a public relations win. As a result, its reputation is recovering relatively quickly, notes Stephan Shakespeare, co-founder and CEO of YouGov.
By turning its familiar three-letter logo into a playful vulgarity (FCK), KFC both “acknowledged the completeness of its crisis and used subtle appropriate humor to show us it got where customers’ heads were at,” says Will McInnes, CMO for Brandwatch, a social media listening platform.
But KFC U.K.’s response didn’t end there. It used its Twitter feed adroitly, apologizing to customers, answering questions and offering cheeky updates. It set up a website where chicken lovers could find out when their favorite restaurants would reopen. Most important, the restaurant chain did not fall into the trap of offering excuses, pointing fingers or cowering until the crisis had passed.
“The natural instinct is to be defensive and go into some long-winded explanation about what went wrong in the supply chain,” says Mike Hatcliffe, a reputation and risk consultant for RockDove Solutions, makers of a mobile crisis management platform. “Instead, they took ownership of it and got there quickly before social media chatter defined the story for them.”
To survive a public brand scandal, minimize fallout and recover customer trust communication has to be prompt and compassionate.
Egg on Their Faces
KFC U.K.’s tongue-in-cheek crisis management strategy was intelligent, timely and human. But that makes it a rare bird.
Over the last few years, brands like United Airlines, Equifax, Volkswagen, Wells Fargo and Uber, among others, have endured major public scandals that were made worse by the companies’ tone-deaf, ham-fisted responses.
When passengers have been captured on video being dragged from one of your planes, when you’ve leaked the financial records of 150 million people, or systematically faked automobile emission tests, or created millions of phantom bank accounts, or fostered an environment of rampant sexual harassment, the worst things you can do are deny, blame the victims or hide behind bland policy statements. And yet, that’s exactly what these brands did, at least at first.
“I can count on one hand crises that have been well handled over the last three or four years,” says Paul Holmes, founder of The Holmes Report, which tracks the public relations industry and publishes an annual list of the worst PR crises. “But that may be because when they’re handled well they never become a crisis. The brand’s response is a bigger contributor to the overall result than the initial problem.”
Why Are So Many Major Organizations Still So Bad At This?
“Very senior executives are often insulated from what’s going on around them,” says Irv Schenkler, professor of management communication at NYU’s Stern School of Business. “Instead of acting on data, they sometimes react instinctively, trying to create a wall about their brand to protect it.”
But crisis communications is not rocket science. There are five basic rules each organization needs to follow, says Jonathan Bernstein, president of Bernstein Crisis Management.
Communication has to be prompt and compassionate, he says. It needs to be honest and informative. And in the age of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, it needs to be interactive—organizations need to quickly and efficiently answer questions stakeholders will have.
Yet for many, the first instinct is to run and hide.
“Playing ostrich is a favorite among a lot of organizations,” he says. “And you need to remember when you’re playing ostrich what part of you is still exposed.”
Equifax’s massive data breach last summer was a tragedy of errors, from withholding information to creating a buggy and insecure website for consumers to check if their data was affected, resulting in a rare 50-state class-action lawsuit.
The Need for Speed
Technology has rewritten the rules of crisis management. Every smartphone and social media account can be used to capture scandals as they occur, spread the news and scold the transgressors. Many large organizations are simply not keeping pace, says McInnes.
“Social has accelerated and amplified how any brand has to respond to a crisis,” he says. “The stakes are higher, the pace is faster, the drama is greater. It’s like everything an old-school communicator used to expect when managing a brand crisis, but with all the worst bits turned up to 11.”
The speed at which scandals travel, in turn, influences how quickly consumers expect organizations to respond.
“Consumers expect big lumbering organizations to dance elegantly and in time,” McInnes adds. “They expect fast responses, transparent answers and a really subtle reading of the room. Those are a tough ask for major brands.”
Some brands do better than others. Speedy apologies helped contain the damage for Pepsi and Unilever after both stumbled last year with ads that badly missed their marks.
Last April, Pepsi released a Kendall Jenner ad in which the she interrupts a photo shoot to join a protest full of ethnically diverse people, then quells a potential riot by handing a cop a can of soda.
Loosely based on the Black Lives Matter movement, the two-and-a-half minute video provoked a scathing social media backlash, a skit on Saturday Night Live and even a few minutes of tearful drama on Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
Pepsi pulled the ad less than 24 hours after it debuted and issued a mea culpa (including an apology to Jenner), which still failed to smooth the ruffled feathers of many activists.
Similarly, Unilever’s Dove was forced to fend off allegations of “racial insensitivity” after it debuted a Facebook ad last October showing a dark-skinned woman removing her shirt to reveal a very pale woman beneath—as if using Dove Body Wash would scrub away all that troublesome pigment.
Social media users were quick to point out similarities to more overtly racist ad campaigns from a less enlightened time. Dove quickly pulled the ad and posted a brief apology on Facebook.
But these self-inflicted wounds still needed time to heal. It took nearly six months for Pepsi to recover its pre-Jenner Buzz score, according to the YouGov BrandIndex, which polls 4,500 consumers each day on their positive or negative perceptions of brands. Dove recovered in roughly two months.
And many brands aren’t nearly as media savvy as Pepsi and Unilever, says Hatcliffe, a former senior executive at Ketchum and Ogilvy Public Relations.
“You’d be astonished at how many companies have a crisis management plan that pre-dates social and digital media and is sitting in a three-ring binder on a shelf created by a guy who left the company five years ago,” he says. “You’d think major organizations would have a crisis plan, put their teams through drills and update it every year, but that’s more rare than you’d think.”
Values are Key
The best way for brands to protect against a crisis is to have a clear set of values and encourage employees to act on them, says Holmes.
“There are three questions you need to ask your employees,” he adds. “Do you understand our values? Do you believe management lives up to our values? Do you feel personally empowered to make decisions based on those values? If employees answer yes to all three, you’re pretty well insulated.”
By Dan Tynan | March 11, 2018
This story first appeared in the March 12, 2018, issue of Adweek magazine.
The best way to survive a brand crisis is to start planning before the crisis hits.
Get Your Plans in Order
Each crisis may come as a surprise, but your response should not be. Smart organizations have a crisis management plan in place that involves every aspect of the organization—including HR, legal and technical.
“Ninety-five percent of the crises I’ve seen in my 30-plus year career could have been completely preventable with advance planning,” says Jonathan Bernstein, president of Bernstein Crisis Management.
That plan should also include media training for executives, pre-approved responses for public relations and social media, and regular tabletop exercises.
“You need to look at systems that might preclude you from responding correctly,” he adds. “For example, can your website handle 500 times its normal volume of traffic? The answer is almost always no. So if you can’t add bandwidth on the fly very quickly you’ll have an extra level of crisis.”
Triage the Problem
Everything that blows up on social media doesn’t necessarily constitute a crisis. Organizations need to consider three factors before they react, says Irv Schenkler, professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business.
Does it severely affect the organization’s normal workflow or distract senior management? Will it seriously impact the bottom line? Can it tarnish the organization’s image or reputation in the eyes of key stakeholders?
“You can have one or two of them and be fine,” he says. “If it satisfies all three components, a company needs to think strategically about how to respond and what tactics to use.”
Respond Quickly on Social
Once you’ve determined you need to respond, time is of the essence. Here social media can be your ally, allowing you to quickly disseminate information while appearing to be in control of the situation.
“An immediate social media response is key,” says Chris Britton, chief operating officer for RockDove Solutions, makers of the In Case of Crisis software platform. “In most cases your goal should be to respond within an hour. If you let too much time pass, a lot of negativity can fill that void.”
This also means organizations need to dedicate resources to monitoring social media 24/7, as well as a rapid response team empowered and trained to handle crises without waiting for approval from on high.
Be Honest, Transparent and Direct
Denying a negative report, minimizing the details or blaming others just makes a crisis worse when the real story comes out later. The best strategy is to own your mistakes, apologize to the affected parties, take steps to demonstrate how you’ll do better in the future and move on.
A well-executed crisis response can actually boost your brand image over the long haul, says Brandwatch CMO Will McInnes.
“It’s not if a crisis will happen, it’s when,” he says. “Brands need to accept that they are in a constant dialogue with their market. Campaigns will go wrong. Focus group-tested messages will fall flat. Employees will misbehave. But consumers will accept mistakes when the response feels appropriate.”
By Dan Tynan | March 11, 2018
This story first appeared in the March 12, 2018, issue of Adweek magazine.
Congratulations! CJ-RE.com is live.
CJ Auctions announced that they are selling real estate through both traditional sale and auction method at the first of the year. Their new website helps them better communicate what CJ Real Estate a better choice.
Learn more at https://cj-re.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/CJ-Auctions-173667772837903/
No matter what type of real estate you need to sell, you’ll work with experts with the know-how to help sell your property, walking you through the process every step of the way. Collectively, the CJ Real Estate team has over a century of expertise selling 1,000’s of diverse real estate properties.
If you’re a business owner and find yourself a little bewildered by all the ‘mobile’ buzzwords out there, you’re not alone. The vocabulary of tech evolves at break-neck speed causing lots of our clients wondering how to filter what’s important to know and what’s not.
First, it’s vital that you understand how important mobile is to the life your business – any business. When people shop for goods or research services, their smartphone or tablet is now their go-to advisor and personal assistant.
Most people now search and research products via their mobile device first. Google reports that people find their smartphone is indispensable.
Major search engines constantly adjust their search results to favor websites that provide the most gratifying mobile-user experiences. What you need to know is that your business must provide a website looks great, loads fast and functions as well on a smartphone or tablet as is does on a desktop in order to rank competitively in search results.
Understanding a few key terms related to ‘mobile’ will help you better grasp our brave new world and achieve mobile success.
A mobile device is a generic term for any type of handheld computer. Smartphones or tablets are the most common examples. PDA’s (Personal digital assistant), e-readers, audio players and hand-held games are other examples.
If you’re talking with your marketing team about mobile search or website design, they are most likely referring to the smartphones or tablets that people use to interact with your brand online.
Any person that uses a mobile device is a mobile user. You’ll hear this term used most often when talking about search analytics, user experience (UX) and app or website design.
Responsive Website Design
Responsive design simply means that your website is designed to look great and function properly on any type of computing device: desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone. The website design automatically ‘responds’ to different screen sizes to provide a smooth user experience on any device.
Your smartphone screen is 1/10th the size of a desktop screen. Responsive design is how website designers make a single website look great and function across thousands of different devices and multiple operating software platforms.
Why this is important: without responsive design, your website won’t work properly across mobile devices and it will be harder to find your website online because your (SEO) search results will suffer.
We hope this helps you navigate our ever-evolving online world.
Determining your SEO success means more than just tracking Google page rankings.
Marketers and their customers have one thing in common: their eyes are on the first page of Google search results.
With various estimates putting the click-through rate of a number one Google ranking around 20.5%, it’s no wonder that more than half of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority.
But they might be surprised to learn that making it to the number one spot isn’t enough to ensure valuable clicks -- or any clicks at all, for that matter. And focusing solely on improving page rankings ignores the pages that don’t rank in the first place. For ecommerce sites in particular, which spend up to a quarter of their budgets on SEO, technical SEO issues often prevent pages from appearing in search results and therefore, from earning ROI.
Does that mean that keyword rankings are not important? Absolutely not! It means that focusing only on keyword rankings is a terrible mistake. So in addition to measuring SEO success based on page rankings, here are some other metrics that companies might not be tracking, but should be.
Drivers: Revenue and Traffic
Everyone knows revenue is important. What they might not know, however, is that they can track the revenue that corresponds to their SEO efforts. By connecting Google Search Console with Google Analytics, companies can access data about the revenue listed for the organic search channel, up to the page level. Tracking this data is a great place to start, as it gives companies a better idea of how much revenue their SEO efforts are actually generating.
In addition to traffic and revenue, companies can use Google Search Console inside Google Analytics to track behavioral metrics like number of pages visited, bounce rate and time onsite. Coupled with the data provided about conversion rates, these metrics can help companies understand which pages are performing the best and why, and use that insight to optimize existing content -- or create new content.
Comparing this data over time is a great way to measure the evolution of a company’s SEO success. Rather than simply monitoring Google page rankings, measuring changes in a company’s page revenue and traffic can provide more meaningful insights that rankings don’t capture. Sometimes pages are ranked high, but receive very few clicks. Other times, pages receive many clicks, but have low conversion rates. Fundamental drivers such as revenue and traffic, therefore, are stronger metrics to study.
Obstacles: Indexing Errors
Still, these driver metrics don’t paint the full picture. It’s equally important to know where an SEO strategy isn’t working. And there is no better place to start than by looking at crawl errors. These errors are often what prevent companies’ pages from being indexed by Google in the first place -- meaning that unless they are fixed, the pages will generate zero organic traffic, and zero revenue from organic search too. For this reason, we always recommend starting with a foundational SEO approach that focuses on correctly indexing existing content before pouring resources into new content.
Companies can find pages with indexing and crawl errors by using the Google Search Console. Typically, the number of crawl errors is far different between the web version and mobile version of a company’s web pages. Considering that for some industries up to nearly three-quarters of searches come from a mobile device, companies should pay particular attention to their mobile crawl errors and take steps to fix them immediately.
Once the necessary changes are made, companies should also view the total number of pages crawled per day and the Index Status from Google Search Console to ensure that all of their pages will eventually be searchable.
Levers: Optimized Pages and Visitors Per Page
Driver metrics help companies measure progress against goals, and obstacles provide them with specific actions to take. However, they still need to keep an eye on metrics that affect them directly.
In order to properly gauge whether the implemented changes have had a positive effect, companies can monitor two primary “levers” that would point to inevitable traffic and revenue increases: the number of optimized pages (landing pages that rank and drive traffic), and the average number of visitors per page. When these two metrics are multiplied together, companies can see the total SEO traffic to their sites.
To find the number of optimized pages, under organic search traffic, switch from keywords to pages and count the number listed at the bottom paginator. Companies with sites under 50k pages should aim for about 50% to 75% of the total site pages to be receiving traffic; however, this level can (and should) increase with additional SEO improvements, as they are ultimately those which drive the most revenue and return on a company’s SEO investments. How can a company get more pages optimized? An example would be by getting more pages effectively indexed.
To determine whether or not a company is meeting its goals, the second key metric to monitor is the average number of visitors per page, which can be calculated by dividing the total traffic figure by the number of optimized pages. Rather than the blindsided approach of relying only on page rankings to determine SEO success, this approach can help companies more accurately gauge their SEO improvements. After all, high-ranking pages don’t always lead to valuable results.
While these two final metrics are by far the most important, they still work in tandem with the driver and obstacle metrics. By tracking each of these metrics together, companies can ultimately save time and money by leveraging their existing content. And by not shelling out for more mediocre keyword content, they can clean up the internet too.
By Hamlet Batista, 2/17/18
Two years after Facebook dropped its branded content restrictions and rolled out a branded content tagging system, the number of organic posts that marketers pay publishers and creators to publish to their own Pages to promote the marketers’ brands has swelled. The number of publishers and creators posting branded content to Facebook each month grew fourfold last year, according to the company. Now, Facebook will bar publishers and creators from using its branded content tagging tool to promote content that they were not involved in creating.
But “branded content” can be a slippery term. In theory, it refers to an article or video that a brand paid a publisher or creator to produce or star in and to distribute to their audience. However, in practice, it can simply be an article or video that a brand paid a publisher or creator to distribute to their audience; it may not even be content but instead a link to a product page on a brand’s e-commerce site, making something that was already closely related to an ad now all too identical to one.
To bar publishers, creators and brands from abusing the loose definition of branded content, Facebook will more clearly define what qualifies as such on its social network, as well as on Instagram.
Facebook is updating its branded content policy to prohibit publishers and creators from being paid to post content that they were not involved in creating, the company announced on Thursday. Specifically, Facebook will add the following parameter to its policy: “Don’t accept anything of value to post content that you did not create or were not involved in the creation of, or that does not feature you.”
When the change takes effect in March, Facebook will curtail the reach of branded content on Facebook and Instagram that violates the policy and, if publishers or creators continue to violate it, may eventually limit or eliminate their access to Facebook’s monetization tools, such as the labeling tool used to tag a piece of branded content and enable a brand to track its performance and run it as an ad.
To identify when a piece of branded content violates its updated policy, Facebook will rely on a system it has developed that uses various signals to recognize a business relationship between two Pages, according to a Facebook spokesperson. That system is designed to be able to distinguish between when, as an example, a creator posts a link to an article from an unaffiliated publisher that features a brand but not the creator (which would violate Facebook’s policy) versus a link to an article from an unaffiliated publisher that features both the brand and the creator (which would not violate Facebook’s policy, provided the creator is quoted in the article, as opposed to simply mentioned). Pages that are found violating Facebook’s policy will be notified and able to appeal the decision.
AUTHOR: TIM PETERSON
Check out the original article published January 25th 2018 on MarketingLand.com
You know that you need to protect your brand and your marketing materials, you’re just not sure how.
Understanding proper copyright or trademark use protects your brand and your business.
Which to Use: Copyright or Trademark?
Your brand and all the marketing materials that build your brand are intellectual property.
Copyright and trademark provide legal protection of different types of intellectual property.
Why Should I Use a Trademark or Copyright?
Simply put, to protect your intellectual property. Use of copyright and trademark symbols may discourage others from either inadvertent or intentional use of your property potentially saving you frustration, time and money.
If you have a registered trademark, use of the mark aids your case when pursuing your rights because courts have traditionally ruled that if a trademark owner properly uses the registration symbol, others may not claim ignorance of the trademark therefore protecting your rights.
How Should a Copyright Be Used?
The copyright symbol may be placed on any original piece of work and that work does not have to be registered in order to use the copyright symbol.
Best practice is to include the year of first publication and the name of the copyright holder beside the copyright symbol and place prominently in either the front or back of the publication however, there are no specific legal requirements regarding this.
For websites and other digital property that is continually updated, it is best practice to include the year of most recent publication and name of copyright holder beside the copyright symbol and place prominently in the footer of the home page or contact page.
How Should a Trademark Symbol be Used?
Ensure that the proper mark is prominently displayed once on your website, advertisement, brochure, press release, article or other published materials.
Best practice is to use the proper symbol once with either the first instance of the mark appearing or, the most prominent mark placement.
Do not make the mistake of jamming a trademark symbol every time a mark is used. Overuse makes for poor design and visual clutter that undermines your marketing efforts.
Interestingly, symbol placement is not stipulated by law however, the proper symbol is traditionally placed in the upper right-hand or lower right-hand corner of a mark.
Three are commonly used and recognized in the United States. Which one should be used depends on your situation. If you are trying to safeguard something that is not registered through the U.S Patent and Trademark Office, you should use either the TM or SM symbol: TM for trademarks that represent goods, SM for service marks that represent services. TM is typically recommended for marks covering products and services.
The circle R (®) is a federal registration symbol used for goods and/or services registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. State registrations do not qualify.
We hope this helps you make smarter decisions about your marketing. Note that this article is not legal advice and provided only to arm you with a general understanding of copyright and trademark use.
Prepared by Chris Lowers, January 17th, 2018
It’s no secret that personal referrals are the lifeblood of service businesses. Whether you are an accountant or plumber, chiropractor or mechanic, most of your business is built by word of mouth.
So, what are the 5 psychological drivers that strong brands employ to generate more referrals?
Businesses that stand apart from the competition have invested the time to identify specific customer pain points and then promote their remedy. By specializing in narrowly-focused service areas these businesses are more referable:
People love to share something they feel they have just discovered. Give them that reason by promoting specialty services.
We are all social by nature – even the curmudgeons. We share, compare, discuss, complain and complement each other. We ask for trusted friends’ opinions before we buy. In other words, consumers place trust in social circles to shape and reinforce buying habits.
If what you do isn’t so loveable, find something about your company that is. Promote personal achievements. You might publicly acknowledge client growth or project success. Perhaps celebrate a staff-member finishing a marathon. Whatever you chose, make it personal and stand out.
Offering products or services which are available in a limited quantity create buzz that fuels referrals. It plays right into the psychology of persuasion. Scarcity is one of the key persuasive ingredients which compels shoppers to act, as people will desire something more if it is seen as less available.
If your brand doesn’t produce limited edition goods or services, you can still tap into the influence of scarcity. Simply develop a referral reward program which must be redeemed in a short timeframe, thus driving the need for urgency. Be sure to reward both the person referring, and the person referred.
Be Tech Savvy
Early adopters love to be ahead of the curve and strive to be among the first to experience the “latest” service or product, particularly when new technology.
Offering new, tech savvy, goods or services, you’ll tap into the power of ego. How? Why? Because the only thing early adopters are love more than something new is sharing that they were first to try it.
It sounds obvious; friends want to share fun experiences with each other. Mundane activities tend to be ignored.
Not surprisingly, people are much more likely to share a product or service that is seen as entertaining. Indeed, research shows that experiences such as travel, entertainment and leisure are some of the most likely categories to be referred.
That doesn’t mean that referral isn’t successful in other categories. The key is to make the messaging surrounding the offer fun or entertaining.
Even if your brand doesn’t exhibit one of these 5 elements, the key to referral marketing success is to tap into the underlying psychology that drives consumers to become your advocate and take action. Develop referral strategies built on engagement, fun, uniqueness, savvy or exclusivity.
Most of all, create buzz that’s worth talking about.