Archive for January, 2016

“Small Data:” The Tiny Clues That Uncover Huge Trends

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

small data book reviewBusinesses want to know what’s in their customer’s brain. They want to know why customers choose this product and not that product.Big Data has gone a long way in answering these questions, but it doesn’t provide context.

Providing that context is the goal of “Small Data: The Tiny Clues That Uncover Huge Trends.” In the book, Martin Lindstrom carries readers around the world to show how the tiniest clues from a consumer can lead to big insights for your business.

What is “Small Data” About

As author Martin Lindstrom points out, there isn’t a shortage of Big Data out there. From Facebook statistics to Google analytics, businesses have a wide range of tools to measure and categorize customer behavior. The problem, though, lies in the bigger picture. We all know that customers are more than data points, but lack the tools to act on this fact.

Lindstrom’s goal in his book “Small Data” is to help businesses bridge that gap between data and story. He demonstrates how understanding potential customers on a personal level helped him globally in his brand consulting work. In Russia, for example, observations about kitchen magnets helped him to successfully partner with Russian mothers to develop the first e-commerce business tailored to that audience. In India, he used cultural insight, interviews, and observation about the relationship between mother-in-laws and daughter-in-laws to create cereal packaging that appealed to old and young alike.

The perspective in “Small Data” is the key to Lindstrom’s success. Lindstrom approaches marketing as a puzzle to solve. In his quest for answers, the author visited potential customer’s homes, interviewed them, and even went through their pocketbooks (with permission). The level of insight he gained, coupled with his knowledge of customer buying behavior, helped him to create and test lines of thinking that led him to deep insights that he wouldn’t have learned any other way.

The goal is to help readers understand the personal stories behind Big Data. Each click means something, but what it means differs from person. Despite the perception,shopping behavior is influenced by more than the online world. Shopping behavior is influenced by a complex array of factors. Understanding this complex environment with both big and small data is the key to understanding the complete story.

About the Author

Martin Lindstrom (@MartinLindstrom) is a branding consultant, speaker, author, and founder of Buyology, Inc. Over his 25-year work history, he has worked with national brands, governments, and celebrities. He was listed as honoree for the Influential 100 in Time magazine.

What’s Best About “Small Data”

The best part of “Small Data” is the unique perspective Lindstrom brings to the field of market research and branding. This perspective takes readers away from their computer screens and into the real world. Lindstrom takes a global approach that demonstrates that applicability of small data to various cultures and industries. In a world focused on Big Data, this book offers a unique and necessary alternative.

What Could Have Been Done Differently

“Small Data” does an incredible job of demonstrating the applicability of small data in a variety of unique and interesting situations that are designed to challenge reader’s perceptions. Lindstrom appears to be a “Sherlock Holmes”, able to dazzle the reader with insights out of thin air.

Lindstrom’s to translate that ability to his readers needs more work. The book provides a methodology but lacks the necessary guidance to help a beginner transition from novice to expert.

Why Read “Small Data”

This book is best suited for businesses who already use (or are thinking about using) Big Data. “Small Data” offers an alternative perspective to complement the data-gathering perspective. While more information is needed on how to successfully implement a small data campaign, this book provides excellent thinking points for getting the process started.

This article, ““Small Data:” The Tiny Clues That Uncover Huge Trends” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Bulgaria’s Koprivshtitsa Ranks Among 30 Most Beautiful Towns in Europe

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

According to the Japanese Association of Travel Agents (JATA), the Bulgarian town of Koprvishtitsa ranks among the thirty most beautiful towns in Europe.

The list of the Japanese association aims to promote tourism to attractive little places in Europe.

Koprvishtitsa is located near the Sredna Gora mountains, with the river Topolnitsa flowing through the town.

The town has an important place in Bulgarian history as it was the site of the outbreak of the 1876 April Uprising against the Ottoman Empire.

Although the revolt was unsuccessful and was suppressed by Ottoman authorities, it was succeeded by the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-1878 that led to the liberation of Bulgaria.

Nowadays Koprivshtitsa is known for its folklore music festivals and the fine examples of typical Bulgarian architecture featuring half-timbered buildings.

 

 

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Validity of 2015 Vignette Stickers Expires on Sunday

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

The Bulgarian Road Infrastructure Agency reminds that the validity of the 2015 vignette stickers expires on Sunday.

New stickers can be purchased from more than 3300 points across the country including petrol stations, post offices, large retail chains, regional road authorities, border checkpoints.

Despite several protests across the country, the prices of vignette stickers increased in the new year.

The price of annual stickers for cars is BGN 97, monthly stickers cost BGN 30, while weekly vignettes can be purchased for BGN 15.

As of January 29, a total of 678 871 vignette stickers have been sold, with revenues exceeding BGN 66.6 M.

In 2015, more than 6.5 million vignette stickers were sold, with revenues being around BGN 232 M.

This year, the Road Infrastructure Agency has provided 177 525 free vignette stickers to people with disabilities.

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Turkey Claims Russian Fighter Jet Violated Its Airspace

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

Turkish Foreign Ministry claimed on Saturday that a Russian Su-34 fighter bomber had violated Turkish airspace on Friday.

According to Turkey, the Russian aircraft was repeatedly warned in Russian and English.

The Russian ambassador to Ankara was summoned to the Turkish foreign ministry and a protest was lodged to him in connection with the incident.

Turkey did not specify the exact location of the alleged violation.

Turkish President Recep Erdogan stated that the violation was a “result of Russian attempts to escalate existing tension in the region”.

The Russian defence ministry dismissed the claim on Saturday.

Russian Defence Ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov identified the Turkish claims as “unsubstantiated propaganda”, TASS news agency quotes him as saying.

NATO confirmed the violation, with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg calling on Russia to act responsibly and respect the airspace of the Alliance.

Turkish foreign ministry contacted Russia to arrange a meeting between Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in order to discuss the incident.

Moscow has not yet responded.

The relations between Russia and Turkey have deteriorated after the downing of Russian Su-24 bomber by Turkish F-16 fighter jets near the Turkish-Syrian border in November last year

Ankara claims that the Russian aircraft violated Turkish airspace, while Moscow maintains that the jet had exclusively stayed within Syrian airspace.

Following the incident, Russia imposed a set of economic sanctions against Turkey including a ban on certain food imports.

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Bulgaria’s Education Minister Expected to Resign on Monday

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

Bulgaria’s Education Minister Todor Tanev is expected to submit his resignation on Monday. 

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov demanded the resignation of Tanev on Thursday due to the systematic problems in the education sector and the proposed controversial changes to the school curriculum which have not been subject to broad public discussion.

Tanev has not yet submitted his resignation, saying that he will not step down before he has had a meeting with Borisov.

After their meeting on Saturday, it emerged that Tanev will be appointed as an adviser to Borisov.

Meanwhile, the parties from the junior coalition partner – the Reformist Bloc (RB) announced their candidate for education minister.

After two extraordinary meetings of representatives of RB, Deputy Prime Minister Meglena Kuneva was nominated as successor of Tanev.

Following a meeting with RB on Friday, Borisov said that he will leave it to the coalition partners to determine the new education minister.

Protests in several Bulgarian towns took place on Saturday against the proposed changes to the school curriculum.

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Fly, Drive, Walk or Just Log On for Your Next Business Event

Saturday, January 30th, 2016

icon 16 (1)

Business events abound this week from Atlanta to New York City, Houston to Miami and even online. Learn more on topics ranging from CRM to creating a better digital workplace to getting better at online search.

Whether you need to jump into the car, take a flight, walk a few blocks or just boot up your lap top, there are plenty of opportunities out there. Take a few minutes to browse the events below for those catering to your small business needs.

To see a full list or to submit your own event, contest or award listing, visit the Small Business Events Calendar.



Featured Events, Contests and Awards

HackerX - Chicago 11/19HackerX – Chicago 11/19
Feb. 19, 2016, Chicago, Illinois

Hiring developers is hard. HackerX is an invite-only recruiting event for developers in 35+ cities globally and has a community of over 50,000+ members. We’ve hand picked and recruited some of the top developers in your city so you don’t have to. Meet face-to-face with qualified and screened developers and make your next great hire.


ICON16ICON16
March 2, 2016, Phoenix, Arizona

ICON16, held by Infusionsoft, is where the most successful entrepreneurs in the small business community come together to roll up their sleeves and shape the future of their businesses. Work with experts to develop your strategy, set goals, and implement the campaigns that will blow them away. Get into the biggest annual event in small business, and invest in your most transformative year yet.


2016 Affiliate Management Days Conference2016 Affiliate Management Days Conference
April 3, 2016, San Francisco, California

Affiliate Management Days San Francisco 2016 is the “must attend” event for marketing managers and everyone responsible for their company’s affiliate marketing strategy, management and operations. Whether you have an existing affiliate program or you are creating a new initiative, AM Days offers you the most valuable insight into how other online retailers are successfully implementing and managing their affiliate programs.


Small Business Market ExpoSmall Business Market Expo
May 21, 2016, Atlanta, Georgia

Don’t miss the opportunity to connect with small businesses, market your organization and tap into a network of entrepreneurs, service providers, financial organizations, business coaches, and franchises.
#SBMExpo
Discount Code
VIP (25% off)


DREAM BIG Small Business of the Year AwardDREAM BIG Small Business of the Year Award
June 14, 2016, Washington, D.C.

The DREAM BIG Small Business of the Year Award, sponsored by Sam’s Club®, celebrates the success of small business and honors its contributions to America’s economic growth. The Small Business of the Year, 7 regional finalists, and 100 Blue Ribbon winners will be honored on June 14 during America’s Small Business Summit in Washington, D.C. There are two ways to participate: 1. Nominate a local small business that’s making a big impact in its community. 2. Apply directly if you are a small business that’s committed to your community, employees, and customers.


More Events

More Contests

This weekly listing of small business events, contests and awards is provided as a community service by Small Business Trends and SmallBizTechnology.

Image: Infusionsoft

This article, “Fly, Drive, Walk or Just Log On for Your Next Business Event” was first published on Small Business Trends

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10 Ideas for Improving Your Business Website

Saturday, January 30th, 2016

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Your business website isn’t just a place for potential customers to learn about your business and potentially make purchases. It’s the face of your business, an arm of your online marketing plan, and so much more.

For some tips on making your business website as great a tool as it can be, check out these tips from members of our small business community.

Work to Gain Return Visitors

Getting people to visit your website is a great first step. But if you want your business to succeed, you need return visitors. In this article on Target Marketing, Gabriel Shaoolian shares three simple methods for gaining return visitors.

Add eCommerce Stores to Your Website

Ecommerce platforms have gotten much more sophisticated in recent years. The amount of options that you have for different store types and features can be overwhelming. This post on Inc by Anita Campbell shares five eCommerce stores that are easy to add to your website.

Sharpen Your Headline Writing Skills

The headlines that you use for blog posts and other parts of your website are incredibly important, since they can convince visitors to read or see what you have to say. This post by Ileane Smith includes some tips for writing great headlines. And the BizSugar community shared their input here.

Increase Customer Satisfaction with Exit Overlays

You can use an exit overlay on your website for a variety of reasons – to get customer feedback, to encourage interaction, and to help solve problems with your website. In this post on the Exit Bee blog, Victoria Stamati discusses the various types of exit overlays and the benefits they can have for business websites.

Protect Your Data from Insider Threats

You’re likely already taken some steps to secure your business data from outside hacks or similar threats. But people who have insider access to your data can also pose a threat. This post by Vadim Vladimirskiy on the ADAR PersonalCloud blog explains more about insider threats and how you can protect your onine data.

Consider .Co and Other Domain Extensions

For years, .com was the king of domain extensions. But now some other extensions like .co and .io are making an impact on business websites. This article from Olivia Scala on Trellis discusses the growing trend of .co and similar domain extensions. You can also see discussion about the post over on BizSugar.

Include Educational Content in Your Marketing

Including educational content in your website and other online marketing materials can help make customers see you as an authority in your industry, and have a variety of other benefits. Renee Teller discusses the benefits of including educational content in your marketing on the Carben Creative blog.

Boost Your Brand on Social Media

As a prominent arm of your online marketing efforts, your social media channels are sort of an extension of your website. So your social media marketing efforts should reflect your brand and the hard work that you put into your website. Gosia Letki shares some tips for boosting your brand on social media on the Brand24 blog here.

Learn to Fail Better

Failure is an inevitable part of running a business. But whether that failure relates to your website or other parts of your business, there are ways you can fail that will prevent your business from completely falling apart. In this Noobpreneur post, Chad Stewart explains how you can fail better. And BizSugar members discussed the post further here.

Master the Art of Trial and Error

Whether you’re working on building your website, your marketing, or any number of other parts of your business, you’re going to need to try out some things that might not exactly work out. In this post from The Experiment, Danien Ndukwu shares some thoughts on using trial and error as an entrepreneur.

If you’d like to suggest your favorite small business content to be considered for an upcoming community roundup, please send your news tips to:  sbtips@gmail.com.

Web Design Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “10 Ideas for Improving Your Business Website” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Hundreds Protest in Bulgaria over Proposed Drafts of School Education

Saturday, January 30th, 2016

Demonstrations have taken place in several towns and cities across Bulgaria after reports emerged that the Education Ministry is planning to revise key sections of the school curriculum referring to the years of Ottoman rule.

Karlovo, the hometown of national hero Vasil Levski who dedicated his life to liberate Bulgaria, drew hundreds of people from neighboring Sopot, Kalofer and elsewhere, other towns that took a prominent role during the National Revival years in the 19th century. They voiced their indignation with what they believe will be a substitution of history, according to the Bulgarian National Radio.

Citizens are protesting against a draft version of a curriculum for 2nd-6th grade school students which contains as a bullet the notion of “coexistence” between Bulgarians and other ehtnic and religious groups during the years of Ottoman rule.

The draft, which was published on the website of the Education Ministry, sparked controversy, with some media outlets any certain groups of citizens maintaining the goal is to replace the term “servitude” with “coexistence” to describe the relations between Bulgarians and Ottomans between the end of the 14th and the 19th century.

The scandal, alongside several other affairs, raised social anger and pushed Prime Minister Boyko Borisov to ask Education Minister Todor Tanev to step down, despite the latter’s assurances the term “coexistence” was just a proposal to describe a situation in which people from different groups live together sharing traditions and customs and bears no relation whatsoever to the deprivation of rightrs most Christians faced within the boundaries of the Ottoman Empire.

On Saturday, however, a protester accused the government of trying to “remove” some part of history from schoolbooks.

Demonstrations also took place in the Black Sea city of Varna and in the Rhodope town of Smolyan.

Bulgaria was liberated from the Ottoman Empire in 1878, with the world “servitude” having been designed back then to help create bonds among Bulgaria and being considered part of the national identity.

Some historians, on the other hand, maintain the right term is “Ottoman rule”, which in their words is less emotional than “servitude” and corresponds better to historical reality.

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Tag Photos #ThisIsRetail, Get Your Business Featured on Instagram

Saturday, January 30th, 2016

this is retail

Trying to promote a retail store on social media? The process can be tricky. But luckily, there are some promotions and contests that can make it a bit easier to get the word out about your retail business.

The National Retail Federation hosts one such contest. The organization hosted its 2016 “This is Retail” promotion at its Retail’s BIG Show 2016 in New York City earlier this month. During that time, attendees of the event had the opportunity to win a variety of prizes, along with an Instagram mention, just by posting photos to the photo sharing app.

this is retail

To enter, participants just needed to be 18 years or older, attend the event, follow the NRF’s @this_is_retail Instagram account and post a photo from the event on Instagram between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST during the event dates using the hashtag #thisisretail.

Then each day, the NRF selected a winner and announced it on Instagram. Winners also received a variety of different prizes, including American Express gift cards, a Bluetooth speaker, tote bag, backpack and more.

this is retail

The NRF launched its “This is Retail” campaign back in 2013 as a way to promote the retail industry. The NRF said of the promotion on its website:

“NRF’s This is Retail campaign brings together industry advocates from established and emerging retail brands to share their career, community or innovation stories in the public arena, challenging many of the misperceptions that exist about the retail industry and its employees. This national effort and its tagline have become a platform for retail employees across the nation and the cornerstone of NRF’s advocacy efforts. These personal stories reach a wide audience and are consistently covered by national, state and local media across the country.”

Aside from the official event contest on Instagram, retail business owners and team members can also use the hashtag on both Instagram and Twitter throughout the rest of the year as a way of connecting with others in the retail industry.

this is retail

In addition, the @this_is_retail Instagram account regularly posts images of retail stores and workers to highlight the professionals who make the retail industry great. If you’re trying to promote a retail business on social media, you can create posts using the hashtag and check out others who have posted with the tag as well.

You can also keep an eye on the NRF’s event schedule for news about 2017’s BIG Show, where you may be able to enter the official Instagram contest again next year.

Images: National Retail Federation/Instagram

This article, “Tag Photos #ThisIsRetail, Get Your Business Featured on Instagram” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Bulgaria Energy Min Denies ‘Plans to Circumvent Ukraine Gas Routes’

Saturday, January 30th, 2016

The Balkan gas hub project put forward by Bulgaria is not aimed at going around Ukraine’s gas transportation network, Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova said on Saturday.

“I dare say [our concept of Balkan[ is really suffessful and feasible, considering the advantage which Bulgaria has to realize such a project,” Petkova told Darik Radio in an interview, citing the country’s “geographic location” and “the well-developed gas transportation infrastructure”.

Petkova confirmed that Russia is viewed as “one of the potential sources of gas for the hub,” but made clear the project will be designed to fully comply with the EU’s Third Energy Package.

“We want all countries to be on equal footing, no countries to be circumvented in any way,” she warned, in relation to reports in some media outlets that the hub was designed to go around Ukraine.

Her comments come days after the Bulgarian-Russian intergovernmental committee’s meeting, the first one in five years, at which energy and cooperation was discussed alongside options to boost bilateral trade.

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