Do You Really Know What Business Marketing Is?

There are countless books and courses on marketing and how to do it properly. You’ve probably read or attended some yourself. But, do you feel like you have a good grasp of marketing?Do you fully understand all the processes involved and how to best apply them to your company? When all the cards are on the table, most small-to-medium businesses don’t. Or at the very least, they understand these concepts.What Is Business Marketing?
Everything a business does, everything you do to sell products and services – is marketing. Every decision you make, if it’s about how to put your products or services in the hands of consumers, is business marketing.The foundations of marketing are relatively easy to explain and understand. But mastering these essential concepts can mean the difference between success and failure.You don’t have to micromanage all marketing that your business does. In fact, it’s probably a good idea to hire a professional. However, that doesn’t replace the need to have a solid knowledge of marketing strategy. Business owners should always have a proactive role in their company’s marketing tactics.Essential Components of a Good Marketing Strategy
Not all marketing concepts will apply to every business. Some will be more relevant than others, but as an entrepreneur you should be familiar with all of them.Inbound Marketing
Think of inbound marketing as your workhorse.It’s a set of marketing tactics designed to maintain a steady influx of customers into your sales process. This isn’t about pushing your brand to generate leads or direct conversion.Inbound marketing uses various channels in creative ways to reach as many people as possible. Tools such as SEO optimization and social media channels are ideal for this type of marketing. The goal is to drive high volumes of quality traffic that can convert through brand engagement in the long run.Direct Marketing
If inbound marketing is your workhorse, think of direct marketing as your racehorse.Direct marketing includes sales tactics designed to produce an instant response. Things like calls to action in online or broadcast media fall into this category.Regardless of what else you do, direct marketing is an important part of any marketing strategy. It allows you to instantly measure success or failure based on response rates.Knowing how people are responding to one offering versus another is crucial.Outbound Marketing
This is where the rubber really meets the road.In outbound marketing, you’re reaching out to prospects and basically saying “buy from me.” This is typically what people think of when they hear the word marketing.Outbound marketing includes sales calls, print ads, broadcast ads, door-to-door sales and much more. Any activity in which you’re reaching out to potential customers with an offering figures into this definition.Though a staple in countless marketing strategies, it’s not very effective. It’s hard to figure out if it’s really working and people are getting savvier and blocking the majority of this type of marketing.Content Marketing
This is the new-old way to market.Most smart businesses realize that people are OK with marketing, as long as they get something in return. For example, if you create great content, consumers will be happy to hear from you.Therefore, every channel you have should start by giving value in return for your customers’ attention.Social Media Marketing
It is inescapable, omnipresent, and pervasive.Marketing is about getting attention. If you can’t get people’s attention, you have no one to market to.The biggest attention vacuums nowadays are social media platforms. It goes without saying that any marketing strategy that doesn’t include social media, is off to a bad start.Start with Solid Foundations
Each of these components has its own place in the puzzle. Some may be more important to your business than others. But only by understanding them all can you find your way out of the marketing madness.Don’t be a passive business owner. Take charge of your marketing strategies and stop wasting resources on marketing that doesn’t deliver.

Big City Travel Tips – Safety First

Big city travel has never been more alarming for individuals not used to city travel and unfamiliar with the city in question. It can be daunting traveling to a new destination, but apprehension is more likely to rise to the surface when you look at just how many crimes take place these days. Couple that with the alarming big city travel stories that have been publicized on the Internet and it is little wonder that individuals debate as to whether they really want to experience certain cities for themselves!However, big city travel tips can easily help to put the minds of potential travelers at rest. There are several things that anyone can do to keep themselves safe in the big cities and thus can visit them, see the sights and enjoy some well-earned time away from the stresses and strains of modern life with little hassle. Simply follow the big city travel tips below and you cannot go far wrong!1. Luggage – Only take what you need when you travel and make sure that you have a list of the belongings in your bag. This big city travel tip can save you time if your luggage does get stolen, but will also enable you to find what you need in an emergency. You should never leave your luggage unattended for even a second while traveling in a city. It will most likely either be stolen or tampered with if left unattended for a few seconds so ensure that it remains within your sight and possession at all times.2. Money – Only take one or two credit cards with you on your big city travel trip and ensure that the PIN numbers, if you have them, are not in your possession. Also, when taking money with you, split it up. Divide the cash between pockets in your luggage and areas on your person. For example, keep some of it in your socks, some in a pocket, some in a money belt under your clothing and so on. That way, if anything does happen to you, you will at least have enough money to get back to your hotel. If you are going to a city abroad then take travelers checks with you because they are insured. If you lose them then you can cancel the originals and receive replacements usually within 24 hours.3. Schedule – Vary your schedule from day to day when undertaking big city travel. This may not seem like a big deal to couples and families that are set in their ways, but individuals looking to make a quick buck one way or another undoubtedly target some tourists. If you vary your schedule then it will be almost impossible to predict where you are going to be at any given time and this can keep you safe.4. Clothing – Never wear anything that projects wealth or affluence when undertaking big city travel. This includes jewelry, clothing and any accessories that may point to the fact that you would be a great target for a mugging or robbery. Most tourists wear normal and relatively cheap clothes that blend into the background, and anybody flaunting that guideline is putting him or herself at risk.5. Family – If you and your family split up during big city travel time, make sure that you have a way to get in touch with each other, have arranged a set meeting place and time, and are completely clear on all of these points so that you will be alerted to the fact that anything is wrong straight away. Wherever possible in big city travel, individuals traveling together should stay together. However, the need does sometimes arise. If it does, make sure that you all have the address of the hotel and a map of the city with you at all times.6. Scams – There are always individuals looking to scam people that are strangers to an area, and during the course of big city travels there are many of them about. Only ask trusted sources for directions and advice, never follow the guidance of strangers unless they are affiliated with official bodies and only buy merchandise from official stores. These guidelines may sound like common sense, but many people flaunt them and this can get them into difficulties!

Should I Use a VGA Splitter or DVI Splitter for Video Signal Input and Output?

Technology enhancements in video signal transmission has ensured analogue and digital signals are transmitted using different devices, for instance there are several types of video splitters on the market to select from for video duplication.

The decision must be canvassed thoroughly before buying a VGA or DVI video splitter. Therefore let’s outline what VGA and DVI are, as well as the timeline they were both released.

Video Graphics Adaptor (VGA) technology has been available since 1987 thanks to IBM for development of this analogue video display technology that went onto become a standard used when referring to analogue video display standards.

VGA hardware and the software enable the data processed to become graphical data that can be displayed on a display monitor. The actual resolution for VGA is set at 640 x 480 pixels in display resolution for width and height respectively. However VGA display resolution has been enhanced with higher video resolutions such as SVGA, XGA and UXGA et al. In addition, the majority of manufacturers and resellers still refer to a VGA splitter as ‘VGA Splitter’, even though VGA has higher analogue video resolutions available, such as mentioned early like SVGA, XGA and UXGA.

VGA can carry only analogue video signals thus if you require audio as well, a separate audio connection is required. There are numerous VGA splitters that have audio capabilities built-in to the VGA splitter, for instance several Smart View devices have models available with an audio stereo 3.5mm socket for each video connection.

Digital Visual Interface (DVI) is a newer technology that was released in 1999 by Digital Design Working Group. DVI superseded VGA, and as the name implies, DVI is uncompressed digital video data that is displayed on monitors and projector screens via DVI connectors. There are three main DVI connector types available on the market each with a specific pin arrangement interface, for example DVI-I, DVI-D and DVI-A. Moreover the three DVI connectors support certain video formats, for example:

• DVI-I is integrated video both analogue and digital signal support

• DVI-A is analogue video signal support

• DVI-D is digital video signal support

The key feature about DVI is its compatible with VGA. The two video interfaces work well with one another when an adaptor is utilised.

DVI has two methods available to stream the video signal between devices, which is known as Single link and Dual link. DVI single link maximum resolution is up to 1920 x 1200 (WUXGA) @ 60 Hz, while DVI dual link can produce much higher resolution, but depends on several factors, such as cable copper bandwidth limitations, DVI source limitations, and DVI sync limitations. Additionally DVI supports hot plugging meaning it can be connected and disconnected without powering down the system. However VGA isn’t suitable for hot plugging hence requires the system be shut down first before connection of VGA cables.

In the early days of DVI it was envisaged that DVI would become the recognised standard for digital format. However, DVI was mainly used with computer display monitors and not so much with household TV scenarios.

DVI can stream digital video very well however it can’t transfer audio signals. To enable audio on a DVI splitter you’ll require digital audio capability built-in to the devices with separate audio connections. Furthermore, the release of High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) technology that can transmit uncompressed digital video and digital audio signals together has ensured HDMI quickly became the popular choice for digital video output to display panels.

The new computer desktops don’t have VGA connections available on most systems. Usually there are DVI or DisplayPort connections instead. The DisplayPort digital interface superseded DVI in 2006 however you still see DVI utilised. Occasionally Information Communication Technology (ICT) hardware staff may be required to mix-and-match connections with adapters, for instance, if a machine has a VGA socket but the display monitor has a DVI connector, an adapter can be utilised since DVI is backward compatible. Note: the signal will still be VGA quality that is transmitted unless a dedicated electrical VGA to DVI converter is used.

When selecting a DVI or VGA splitter ensure you check the specifications for the product, for example resolution supported, frequency rate, the display video type supported, connection types for interface input/output, power adaptor required, switching off/on functions, built-in amplifier booster and whether incorporated with audio socket or not.

The most common video splitter is the type ‘one input video source to two outputs video’ destination. However there are numerous configurations to select from for video input and output setups. Another type of splitter is called a ‘video matrix’ that can have two or more video inputs and two or more video outputs. This can be handy for multiple sources that can be switched on/off to achieve the desired video output display. Each video splitter will suit a particular scenario for video presentation so choose wisely. In addition, several brand video splitters can be cascaded, such as Smart View.

To maintain the integrity of the video signal high quality VGA cables with ferrite filters should be interconnected with the devices. If the installer decides to skimp on the cost of VGA cables for the installation signal degradation can lead to problems such as ghosting and pixelation.

There are DVI splitters and DVI boosters with High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) incorporated into the devices. Authorised digital video content is only allowed to be transmitted and received between HDCP devices while VGA analogue signals aren’t restricted with this security protocol. Some users have reported interconnection issues when using HDCP enabled devices, such as handshaking connection problems and continuity in live video streaming.

If you have the newest high-definition display monitors you should consider HDMI splitters as well. VGA can be problematic when outputting video signals to large panel screens like Plasma TV, LED widescreen TV and OLED TVs. Especially video quality degradation issues and pixelation problems may occur when VGA is the source to high-definition products.

VGA splitters have generally been more popular with computer display monitors over the years than DVI. The cost for a VGA splitter is usually less than its equivalent DVI product. Furthermore with the popularity of the superior HDMI technology integrated into high-definition TVs and notebooks has ensured DVI splitters are less common. With most people selecting a HDMI splitter for their digital video and audio solutions over the less-features of DVI.

Finally, you should consider several pivotal factors for your decision, such as the quality of the video resolution broadcasted you require, and whether it’s digital, or analogue equipment utilised in your setup. Furthermore check the product specifications before purchase, and consider if you require audio as well for the video broadcast? Moreover if you implement a VGA splitter or DVI splitter choose one with a booster built-in to the device. The costs should be secondary to ensure you’re satisfied with your ultimate decision.