Cashing in on Mobile Marketing

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No matter what business you find yourself in; you may want to consider mobile marketing if you are not already using it.

From real estate to stores to finance, more and more companies are discovering that mobile marketing can and should play a key role in one’s efforts to market their respective brand.

Just look at how mobile marketing is popping up more and more in the news these days. What once may have been a shaky prediction to say how it might do down the road is turning into almost a guaranteed conclusion. If you’re a business and you want to reach consumers, you need to have your hands in the mobile marketing arena.

How Business Can Deploy a Winning Plan

In order to best capitalize on mobile marketing, business owners must have some idea (hire someone for your business or outsource it) of how mobile promotions work.

Whether you’re a company such as TitleBucks, Walmart, Olive Garden or any other know business, using mobile marketing can best be accomplish when you:

1. Research – The first thing of utmost importance is researching your target audience. You can’t just flood consumers with mobile marketing messages and hope some of them stick. Get an idea of your demographics for starters. If you’re offering car loans, you’re not going to want to target the very old or young teens for that matter. For those in the restaurant business, going after couples or those with one or more kids is always a good idea. The time invested in research will ultimately pay off for you in higher revenue streams;

2. Respect – Face it, you’d be a little annoyed too if you were being bombarded with texts and other outreach efforts by companies that you truly had no interest in spending money with. Make sure your mobile marketing efforts are aimed towards those who are truly interested in your products and services. If you go after folks not of interest, they are likely to send out negative comments about your company, something no business owner wants. The opt-in focus is critical, thereby essential giving the shopper control of the message he or she receives, allowing them to zero in on the products and/or services they truly need. This again goes back to research and knowing who exactly you want to target in order to get the most bang for your buck;

3. Perfection – Make sure you know what your message looks and sounds like before you send it out. Stop and think for a moment, will your email content display properly when it arrives at the consumer’s mobile device? If the answer is no or not likely, you in essence have essentially wasted their time and your time;

4. Socialize – Finally, it is important that social media interaction with connected consumers be accurate and consistent. This means engaging with consumers on multiple platforms, among which include Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+. How you deal with consumers’ inquiries and issues goes a long way in determining if your business’s customer service is seen as excellent, average or downright poor.

With all that mobile marketing can offer your business, is 2015 the year you take this form of reach out to consumers by the horns?

About the Author: Dave Thomas writes for a variety of websites on topics such as small business and marketing.

Is Your Business Intelligence Well-Rounded?

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Business intelligence is becoming an increasingly valuable asset to businesses.

It enables them to gain a better understanding of various aspects of their operations and improve their decision-making processes.

If you want to stay ahead of your competitors, it is necessary that you implement a well-rounded business intelligence strategy that includes the use of several different data analysis tools, such as big data, mobile technology and social media.

Here is a look at how you can use these business intelligence tools to achieve your business goals….

What is Business Intelligence?

Business intelligence is a term that is commonly heard in the business world, and it has been rapidly gaining importance in recent years.

According to an article entitled “Is Business Intelligence a Force to be Reckoned With?” business intelligence refers to the technologies and techniques that are used to collect, store and analyze business data to enable people to make better business decisions.

A vast amount of data passes through your internal network, and you need to have good business intelligence to organize and present it in a relevant and contextualized manner, so that it can be useful in your decision-making processes.

Using a Variety of Business Intelligence Tools

There are many different types of business intelligence tools that you can use to manage and analyze your company’s data.

While some of these tools can help you collect and process data that can be used for improving many aspects of your business, others can only facilitate better decision-making in a specific area.

If you want to get a more comprehensive picture of your business activities, it is advisable that you use as many business intelligence tools as possible.

Big Data Analytics

Big data analytics has been seeing rapid adoption in recent years, because it has been proven to be an invaluable tool for businesses.

By implementing a big data system, you will be able to analyze a large quantity and variety of data at an unprecedented speed, and gain important insights that were previously unknowable and unattainable.

This technology can be used to address problems and enhance decision-making in almost every aspect of your business.

Mobile Technology

As consumers are increasingly using mobile devices to communicate with businesses, it makes sense to invest more in mobile business intelligence.

Mobile business intelligence enables you to gather a wide range of information about mobile consumers, including their shopping habits, product preferences, customer service expectations and others.

You can use such information to develop marketing campaigns, customer experience strategies and new products that can help you attract and retain more customers.

Social Media

In order to promote your business effectively on social media, you need to capitalize on your social media data.

Social media analytics is a powerful tool for gaining consumer insights. It enables you to understand consumer attitudes, opinions and trends; predict customer behavior; create customized marketing campaigns; and identify social media influencers.

Good social media business intelligence can lead to better visibility, social media reputation, conversion rates and customer satisfaction.

Effective business intelligence is essential to the success and growth of your business because it can help you understand your company’s history, current standing and future growth.

About the Author: John McMalcolm is a freelance writer who writes on a wide range of subjects, from social media marketing to Cloud computing.

Seeking Out New Employees via Mobile Marketing

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Finding good employees for your business is sometimes difficult, but mobile marketing is becoming a huge help in the recruitment process.

From targeting job seekers on the go to sending job post updates to mobile devices, mobile marketing is changing the way businesses find workers.

Here are just a few ways businesses like yours are going mobile when it comes to hunting for employees:

Texting for More Job Info

As with any other form of marketing, you need to have a call to action when recruiting new employees.

Your call to action will include what the job pays, the hours, and the various job responsibilities. You can use mobile marketing to spread your call to action via text.

Just like you’d text a special phrase or number to receive more information or a discount on merchandise, setting up a text call to action for your business works the same way.

You can advertise your job opening on bulletin boards or in your store by featuring a text phrase job seekers can use to find out more information. It’s that simple.

Mobile Job Alerts

The timing behind recruiting isn’t always ideal.

It seems like when you don’t need new recruits the applications come pouring in, yet when you do need new hires, nobody is applying. That’s where job alerts come into play.

With mobile job alerts, you can send texts to applicants when a job opening that meets their criteria is available.

This is great for those times when someone applies a few weeks before your business is ready to hire.

Job-Seeking Advice

Sometimes providing job seekers with helpful employment advice is the best way to hire new recruits.

As the following article shows, whether it’s texts with subjects that read, “Lost your job? Make sure you keep your health plan intact” or “How to nail your next interview,” mobile job-seeking advice is an effective form of marketing.

In other words, you don’t have to promote your business’s job offerings all the time.

Handing out equal parts job updates with friendly employment advice will grab more attention than mobile job postings alone.

Links Through Text

When your company sends a job alert or posting to mobile users, the text is only the beginning of recruitment process. The great thing about mobile marketing is you can include links to your business’s job posting’s landing page.

Texts with links to your business’s landing page will further inform job seekers about your business as a whole, not just the positions you offer.

With on-the-go information like this, job seekers will be more likely to apply.

Tips for Recruiters

There are a few pointers you need to remember before using a mobile marketing approach to your business’s hiring process.

For starters, if you’re going the mobile route to find recruits, you need to make sure your business’s website has a mobile component.

A website that isn’t optimized for mobile use simply isn’t worthwhile to mobile job seekers.

In addition, you need to keep your job alerts, postings, and business-related texts to a minimum. Alert recruits only when necessary or you might have more unsubscribers than potential hires.

When it comes to recruiting, mobile marketing is quickly becoming the hiring manager of the future.

About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including marketing and technology.

Marketing Can Be Fun After All

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If your business is struggling to find the right marketing strategy, then it’s time to learn a thing or two from toy manufacturers.

That’s right, major toy manufacturers have their audiences figured out and know exactly how to pitch to them, especially during the holidays.

When you’re ready to start playing with your marketing, here are just a few tips you can borrow from toy manufacturers:

Putting the Product Front and Center

Whether your business provides a product or service, putting what your business has to offer in the spotlight is the key to marketing success.

Toy manufacturers know this best and therefore combine the creativity and design behind their products to reach their ideal audience: kids.

Your business doesn’t have to manufacture toys in order to reach its audience.

No matter what you sell, putting your products and services front and center will result in sales as long as you target the right audience.

Lego does this time and time again by putting their brand on kid-friendly websites and in between children’s television programs.

In a bold move, Lego took a step in the film direction with The Lego Movie in early 2014. Part marketing, part entertainment, putting the Lego brand in the Hollywood spotlight drove sales through the roof.

Major Campaign Changes

Another great way to make your business’s marketing both fun and more successful is taking a completely different direction from the norm.

Whether your current campaign is successful or not, making a change in the marketing department will grab all new attention for your business.

Toy manufacturer Mattel did just that a few years back when Barbie packed up her dollhouse, left Ken behind, and moved into her own Malibu Dreamhouse.

By going against the standard approach, Mattel won new audiences over and changed up their brand, which is something every business can learn from.

Letting Customers Play a Role

When your customers feel like they’re a part of the products your business provides, it leads to more sales.

That’s why you should try to involve your audience in the marketing process, or at least give them an opportunity to visualize exactly what they want.

For example, toy manufacturer Hasbro created a campaign behind their new Transformers Construct-bots, which allowed kids to design their own Transformer online. Not only did the design-your-own-toy campaign create Internet buzz, it attracted more kids to the Transformers brand than ever before – the movies didn’t hurt either.

On the Go Marketing During the Holidays

With the holidays right around the corner, there’s no better time to take a mobile marketing approach to your campaigning.

With holiday shoppers taking care of last minute shopping sprees, making your business’s products and marketing efforts smartphone-friendly will result in more sales.

Major retailers like Walmart are creating virtual toy stores that are geared toward busy parents shopping during the holiday season. These virtual toy stores allow shoppers to browse for the exact toys they’re looking for from the comfort of their own phones.

In addition, virtual toy stores also allow kids to make wish lists for their parents to follow.

It is toy marketing genius and also a great lesson for your business: if you put your products front, center, and in a mobile environment, audiences will respond.

When you’re ready to take your business’s marketing to all new heights, keep in mind the unique toy campaigns above.

About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including marketing strategies and small business.

Not-So-Social Media: Benefits of Genuine Human Interaction

John Foley, Jr.
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When social media first made its way onto the scene, it was used primarily as a way for people to connect socially with one another. Don’t have time to connect with friends in person? No problem. Keep in touch through Facebook. Don’t want to hear an earful from your opinionated Aunt Betsy every time you call to update her on your life? That’s OK. Have her follow you on Instagram. But as social media picked up steam, businesses began to incorporate it into their strategies. The goal was to capitalize on these new channels through which companies could better connect with their customers.

Although this approach sounds ideal in theory, real customer service is best handled through real human interactions. Social media can be a perfect avenue for announcing customer contests, soliciting feedback and engaging with your brand in fun and playful ways. But if customers have a problem with your product or service, they don’t want to be tweeted a reply. Here’s a look at the two main reasons that person-to-person interactions equate to optimal customer service and life-long fans of your brand.

Prompt is No Substitute for Immediate

Even the most prompt responses to customer service complaints through email or social media fail to be as swift as another human being. Forrester Research states that 41 percent of consumers expect an email response within six hours, but only 36 percent of retailers answer them that quickly. What does that reveal? That consumers are consistently disappointed by unmet expectations with customer service online. Rather than looking to social channels to solve customers’ dilemmas, consider entrusting a multi-purpose call center for speedy and effective responses. Cloud-based customer service software enables efficient person-to-person communication.

Lost in Translation

You might think that the written word holds the most promise for clear communication, but in reality, a lot can be muddled when conversing via email or social media. Internet Retailer found that 94 percent of online retailers provide online customer service, but that at least 27 percent of these inquiries are answered incorrectly. Accuracy matters to customers, especially when they’re already in an unhappy state. When you rely on conveying an answer in 140 characters on Twitter, or through a convoluted comment thread on Facebook, you risk losing an opportunity to provide the right remedy for your customers.

Instead, provide a readily available phone number where customers can contact you, or offer a location where they can be helped in person. You’ll pave the way for problems — and solutions — to be transmitted clearly. Customers won’t suffer from increased frustration caused by being misunderstood, and your business will get the chance to get to the core of the issue.

If you’re already actively using social media or other online channels to respond to customer dissatisfaction, don’t fret. You can read about some basic ways how to tailor customer service to social media here. Also, work to shift the routing of customers’ issues to real, live individuals who can reassure them and take action immediately. Your social media presence can remain intact, just transition it from a place to share problems and solutions. Instead treat it as an engaging, fun platform. The real mission of any savvy business is to make customers happy, and the good news is this is easily achieved by offering genuine, human-to-human interaction. If your customers love how you treat them when they have an issue, they’ll love you even more in the good times and they’ll be more likely to remain loyal. Be truly social, and let people talk to people.

Online Colleges Studying Mobile Marketing

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Mobile marketing is an effective marketing tool that puts a company’s promotional efforts front and center no matter where the consumer is.

Because of its massive outreach capabilities, everyone is jumping on the mobile marketing bandwagon, including online colleges.

Here are just a few ways online colleges are using mobile marketing to reach potential students:

Showcasing Benefits

The challenge online colleges have to overcome is convincing potential students that their school is better than other online colleges – and traditional colleges too.

That’s where showcasing the benefits of the online college lifestyle comes into play.

Online colleges are using mobile marketing to promote their schools by concentrating on benefits like schedule freedom and low tuition costs.

By putting the advantages of online learning in the palm of potential students’ hands, online colleges are increasing attendance like never before.

Cost Comparisons

Working adults and remote learners are exactly who online colleges are trying to target. That said, the number of online colleges is growing every day, so marketers have to find new ways to set their schools a part from the rest.

By advertising cost comparisons on potential students’ mobile devices, online colleges are answering the first question that comes to everyone’s mind with college: how much will it cost?

On the go cost comparisons give potential students a frame of reference when on the hunt for an online versus traditional education.

Enrollment Procedures

There are a number of questions potential students have when it comes to the actual enrollment procedure for an online college or university. Marketers can answer this question by sending helpful enrollment tools to mobile users.

As the following article shows, whether it’s a brief tutorial on the enrollment process or an advertisement with an informative title like, “3 things you need to enroll in online college,” marketers are helping potential students understand exactly how the online college process works.

And, when students are better informed, they are more likely to take the next step, which is actual enrollment.

Course Options

Next to tuition costs, potential college students want know what their course options are.

Because there are so many online colleges out there, it’s important for college marketers to put courses front and center on their audience’s mobile device.

By promoting courses with informative descriptions and program highlights, potential students can read up on their school of choice from the comfort of their mobile device.

This kind of accessibility helps in the decision making process, especially for adult students who are too busy to sit down in front of a computer and research schools and courses.

Marketing Diplomas

Potential students want to know what kind of degree they are going to walk away with after graduating from an online college. Marketers know this and are therefore heavily promoting their available degrees and diplomas through mobile marketing.

Whether it’s a fully-accredited online college that offers bachelor’s and master’s degree programs or a school that simply offers certificates, marketers are putting the degrees they offer in the mobile spotlight in order to attract more students.

When it comes to an online education, colleges are taking a mobile approach to get the word out about their programs.

About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including marketing and education.

Mobile Apps Putting Premium on Health Insurance Coverage

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According to an infographic created by Super Monitoring, 56 percent of people in the world have a smartphone and mobile users spend about 80 percent of their time on mobile using apps.

As the use of mobile devices becomes more prevalent, many health insurance companies have begun to develop mobile apps to better meet the needs of their customers.

These apps are a welcome addition to the health insurance shopping experience as they allow consumers to gain easy access to useful health insurance information and services.

Here is a look at how mobile apps are benefiting health insurance providers and consumers….

Educate Consumers about Health Insurance

Today, consumers are smarter than ever before, and they will try to obtain information about the products they wish to buy before they make purchasing decisions.

In order to stay competitive, health insurance providers need to satisfy the inquisitive nature of modern-day consumers by making health insurance information as easily accessible as possible.

Offering mobile apps is one of the best ways for them to provide a more informed shopping experience for their customers. Consumers can use the apps to find out a wide range of information about health insurance, including coverage options, policy terms, premiums, deductibles, co-pays and others.

According to an article entitled “5 Questions to Ask before Getting an Individual Health Insurance Plan“, doing some research about health insurance can help insurance buyers choose the right policies and save money.

Encourage Customers to Improve Their Health

Health insurance companies can significantly reduce their costs if they can help their customers stay healthy. As such, many of them have created mobile apps to provide useful health information for their customers.

One example of insurance providers that have done this is Aetna, which released a smartphone app called CarePass in 2013. CarePass enables Aetna’s customers to monitor their progress in achieving their health and fitness goals.

It is able to integrate data from certain wearable devices and apps, such as FitBit, MapMyRun and UP, and take into account factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, doctor visits and prescriptions to provide accurate measurements of its users’ health progress.

Consumers can use health apps that are offered by health insurance companies to get healthier and reduce their insurance premiums, while insurers can use them to calculate premiums more accurately.

Provide a Better Customer Experience

Mobile apps are proving to be very useful in today’s fast-paced world, because they can help people save a lot of time and effort.

Health insurance companies are also using mobile apps to enable their customers to perform certain insurance-related tasks more easily and quickly.

For instance, GEICO has created a mobile app that allows its customers to manage their policies, make payments and view their digital ID cards.

Mobile apps have radically transformed the health insurance industry.

As mobile technology continues to advance, health insurance providers will be able to create increasingly better apps for their customers.

About the Author: John McMalcolm is a freelance writer who writes on a wide range of subjects, from social media marketing to Cloud computing.

Business Owners Saving Money with Mobile Options

Donna Vieira
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Many individuals are using mobile devices to stay on top of their budgets and manage their finances.

With numerous apps and many mobile-optimized websites for banks, credit card companies and other businesses, it is easy to manage your finances on the go. The same can be true for small businesses.

Monitoring Your Budget

A business often has a complicated budget.

It may require time spent sitting crunching numbers to determine where to put all of your money and how much to designate to different areas. Once you have a budget in place, you can monitor and manage it from anywhere.

Today’s business is not always conducted sitting behind a desk in an office.

People are busy, going to meet customers instead of waiting for them to come to the company. They have meetings and appointments that take them out of the office.

It is essential that you can monitor your budget at all times instead of waiting until you get back to the office.

As the article “6 Reasons Why Mobile Devices are Turning into Budgeting Tools” states, business owners and managers can do so many things with their budget on mobile devices:

- Check bank account balances
- Transfer money from one account to another
- Set up payments to vendors
- Send out payment reminders to customers
- Record transactions
- Scan receipts

In addition, they can review where they are in their budget versus where they are supposed to be.

Small business owners are often wearing many hats. They don’t have a lot of time so they must make every second count.

At the same time, managing the financial aspect of the business is essential. It is a task that often gets overlooked or delayed with the other urgent and important matters a manager must handle.

With mobile budgeting, a business owner can stay on top of things even though they are busy.

Save Money and Increase Profits

The two goals every business has in regards to finances are to save money by reducing costs and to increase profits. Budgeting with your mobile device can help in both areas.

If you are visiting with a vendor and he or she offers you a discount if you buy in bulk, you can quickly check your budget to see if enough money has been budgeted in. You won’t miss out on a great deal by waiting until you get back to the office.

In another instance, meet with a client who is behind on payments and set up a payment plan. Create a reminder in your accounts receivable on the spot to check back in 30 days. Immediately record a business luncheon with a prospective client so that it doesn’t get forgotten. Lastly, scan in the receipt for accounting purposes and set up a new entry in your accounting program.

These are just a few basic instances of how you can use quick and easy access to your budget to help improve your business’ bottom line.

With the improvements in how budgeting and finance apps work with mobile technology, it is easier to stay on top of your company’s finances no matter where you are.

About the Author: Joyce Morse is an author who writes on a variety of topics, including business and technology.

Budget Your Mobile Marketing Needs

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According to a Pew Internet survey, 91 percent of adults in the United States have some form of cell phone, and 56 percent are smartphone owners.

The good news for businesses is that many mobile users use their devices to search for product information and make purchases. This means that you can reach out to more consumers and boost your sales and profits if you use mobile technology to promote your business.

Mobile marketing can be costly or inexpensive, depending on how you plan and execute your marketing activities.

If you are working with a tight budget, the following tips may be helpful to you….

Optimize Your Website for Mobile

Optimizing your website for mobile does not have to be an expensive overhaul.

There are a number of ways that you can make your website more mobile-friendly at a minimal cost.

First of all, you have to make sure that it is easy for mobile users to navigate your website. Your site navigation should be laid out in a neat and mobile-friendly format, and it should allow your mobile visitors to browse with just one thumb.

Additionally, the content in your website should be clear and concise. There is not enough room on a mobile device for displaying a large amount of text, so you should only use content that is truly essential.

It is also important that you show your phone number and location details in text form, instead of using an image. By doing so, you will make click-to-call functionality available to most mobile users.

If you wish to redesign your website extensively to make it even more mobile-friendly, you should try your best to stay within your budget. One way to do this is to use budget software.

According to an article entitled “Do Not Make These Online Budget Mistakes“, budget software can help you save substantial time and money, improve your financial management and set short-term and long-term goals.

Promote Your Business on Social Media

Social media is a great marketing tool that enables you to reach out to potentially millions of people and engage with consumers on a personal level.

In order to get the most out of your social media marketing efforts, you have to share content and interact with your followers on a regular basis.

The content can come in the form of blog posts, articles, news, images or videos. Social media marketing can also help you get valuable feedback from your customers, which can be used to improve your products and customer service.

Send Text Messages

Text messaging is another inexpensive and effective form of mobile marketing. It is the ideal way to send short messages to your customers, such as announcements of new products, discounts and incentives, promotions and events.

According to a Juniper Research study, about 90 percent of text messages are read within four to six minutes after delivery. This explains why many major brands are using text messaging as part of their marketing strategies.

Mobile marketing is one of the most powerful tools available to marketers and businesses, and it is worthwhile to spend more time and effort to build a strong mobile presence.

About the Author: John McMalcolm is a freelance writer who writes on a wide range of subjects, from social media marketing to Cloud computing.

Teaming the Cloud and Mobile Marketing

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According to a report released by Pew Internet, about 58 percent of adults in the United States have a smartphone as of January, 2014.

With so many people using smartphones, it makes sense that more and more businesses are using mobile marketing to reach out to their target audiences.

However, mobile devices have limited computational power and battery life, and they may not be able to run heavy applications. The solution to this problem is to combine mobile marketing and Cloud computing.

Here is a look at how Cloud-based mobile marketing can help your business achieve better results….

What is Mobile Marketing?

Mobile marketing is a form of marketing that involves communicating with consumers via mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets and others.

It can be performed in a number of ways, including SMS, MMS, mobile Internet ads, mobile apps, social media marketing, Bluetooth marketing, check-in services and others.

This type of marketing is relatively cost-effective, and it allows businesses to promote their brands and products to a large number of people. It has been proven to be an effective marketing method, helping many businesses achieve high response and sales conversion rates.

What is Cloud Computing?

According to an article entitled “What is the Real Impact of the Cloud?” the term “Cloud computing” can be traced back to 1996. Although it is not a new technology, it only began to see widespread adoption in recent years.

Basically, Cloud computing refers to the act of accessing and storing data and programs on the Internet. It offers virtually unlimited storage, and it enables users to perform a wide range of computing tasks anytime, anywhere.

Using a Cloud service can help businesses reduce IT costs, because it does not require the purchase of costly equipment, and it is sold on demand, usually by the minute or hour.

Benefits of Teaming Mobile Marketing and the Cloud

When mobile marketing is combined with Cloud computing, data processing and storage will be moved from mobile devices to the powerful centralized computing platforms that are located on the Internet.

This will give your target consumers better access to your marketing materials and apps, allowing you to get your marketing messages across to them more effectively. They can get information about your products or services, interact with your company, download mobile apps and make purchases with minimal interruption.

By providing a more pleasant mobile experience, you will be able to attract more new customers and retain existing ones.

Additionally, cloud-based mobile marketing enables you to track your customers’ responses instantaneously, so that you will have a better understanding of their preferences and behaviors, as well as the effectiveness of your marketing strategies.

Such information can help you make the appropriate changes to get better marketing results and achieve greater customer satisfaction.

As people around the world are becoming more reliant on mobile technology, it is a good idea to start combining the Cloud and mobile marketing now.
Cloud-based mobile marketing is the way of the future.

About the Author: John McMalcolm is a freelance writer who writes on a wide range of subjects, from social media marketing to Cloud computing.