Tag Archives: digitalmarketing

Could Blockchain Booking System See Hotel Prices Tumble?

Could Blockchain Booking System See Hotel Prices Tumble?

Could Blockchain Booking System See Hotel Prices Tumble?

An upcoming Blockchain-based travel bookings platform

is hoping to offer a win-win for holidaymakers and hoteliers. Concierge.io claims its NEO-based system would eradicate commission fees for vendors, while also allowing them to interact directly with customers.

Hotels versus hotel booking websites

The company’s goal of cutting out middlemen comes amid an intensifying battle between hotels and third-party booking websites. Reuters recently reported that accommodation providers are aggressively offering incentives to guests who don’t go through intermediaries. This fight has been rumbling on for years. In 2015, one disgruntled hotelier told the Daily Mail that a booking website had “taken over his business”- with commission rates for big players such as Booking.com and Late Rooms ranging between 15 and 25 percent. Others, such as Airbnb, charge fees to both vendors and guests. According to Concierge.io, these fees are being passed on to customers “more often than not” and eliminating them altogether would bring the cost of a hotel stay down considerably.

Earning customer trust

The new platform is planning to make Blockchain accessible to the public by accepting traditional payment methods such as debit and credit cards, as well as cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, NEO and Litecoin in the future. Despite fiat payments attracting transaction fees from merchants, the start-up’s executives have written in their white paper non-crypto users will “still see considerable benefits in comparison to using already established platforms.”

These benefits could extend beyond the bank balance. Concierge.io argues its system will offer safety through an AI-based dispute system, meaning any discrepancies in booking or issues with poor customer service can be resolved without leaving the marketplace. The company’s goal of transparency could also prove advantageous for vendors and customers alike – especially when it comes down to the perennial issue of reviews.

At present, hard-working businesses can see demand diminish because of malicious and untruthful reviews, while the public has a tough time distinguishing between fake and real testimonials. In December, a Vice journalist exposed flaws in TripAdvisor’s system by using fabricated reviews to transform a fictitious restaurant into London’s top-rated eatery on the booking website. Concierge.io’s thinking is that Blockchain brings “transparency and honesty to the review system,” meaning vendors cannot pay for manipulated feedback and only genuine customers can leave remarks.

Anticipating growth

The platform says its app will target millennials aged 18 to 35, while its complementary web offering is aiming to reach over 35s. Hotels and resorts are not the only vendors Concierge.io is trying to reach, as trip and tour operators are also accommodated on its system. System reliability is always a concern for vendors, with the platform opting to use the NEO Blockchain instead of Ethereum because of its scalability. The team behind Concierge.io says NEO has a proven track record of handling 1,000 transactions per second (TPS), with the prospect of 10,000 TPS in the future enabling it to “compete for a strong market position.”

The second and third quarters of 2018 will see Concierge.io’s beta application and web platform released, with promotions designed to develop partnerships with major hotels and resorts. An initial launch in Australia and southeast Asia is planned for the end of the year, with expansion into Europe and the Americas expected in 2019. As for the future, taxi bookings and car rentals could become available through the system if the market demands it. All eyes now are on the sale of CGE tokens. The platform says a whitelist sale of 10 mln tokens sold out within three hours, while a pre-sale offer for a further 10 mln was snapped up within four-and-a-half hours. The main sale for the remaining 45 mln is penciled in for March 31.

As Concierge.io gears up for launch, international consultancy firm Deloitte is predicting Blockchain could leave travel companies with no choice but to alter their business models. It said: “The tech behind cryptocurrency is becoming more than a buzzword in travel.”

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Contributor

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Blockchain Platform Makes its 3D Objects Creating Software Open to Everyone

Blockchain Platform Makes its 3D Objects Creating Software Open to Everyone

The Cappasity project,

founded by a team of 3D technology experts in 2013, is going to launch a Blockchain-based platform for creators and buyers of 3D content. The project has already raised $4.9 mln from its investors in total. Today Cappasity is cooperating with Intel and Nvidia and has launched their platform in China with the help of Alibaba to provide 3D product imaging solutions for around 750 mln users.

A brave new world of 3D model exchange

Although the idea of putting augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) startups on the Blockchain platform is not surprising for the crypto community, the question of monetization of AR and VR tools, apps and platforms is still the most intriguing one. The Cappasity team suggests a business model of a 3D objects marketplace that reveals some interesting findings. Firstly, a user may create a 3D model of a real object with Cappasity’s 3D scanning system, (which is already represented on the company’s website). Earlier, the project launched its free 3D digitizing software Easy 3D Scan, which allows users to create 3D models and works with any camera.

Secondly, users will be able to sell or lease the 3D object to other members of the platform, creating a virtual economy ecosystem. According to the project’s business model, a content creator will get up to 85-95 percent from every deal that he or she makes on the Cappasity platform. ​The​ ​rest​ ​will be​ ​held​ ​by​ ​the​ ​platform​ ​as​ ​a​ ​fee​.

“3D technologies enable businesses to tangibly increase sales. Considering the luxury segment, when retailers implement a 3D demonstration of goods on their websites, it raises revenues by 30 or even 40 percent,” said Kosta Popov, Founder and CEO of Cappasity, in an interview to Coinspeaker. According to Popov, this phenomenon happens because online customers receive more information about goods and therefore it becomes easier for them to make purchasing decisions. For example, 3D pictures can show additional information such as the quality of materials.

The future is coming!

According to a report by Goldman Sachs, the software AR/VR market will achieve $35 bln in revenue by 2025 with 60 percent of VR/AR software revenue driven by the consumer. However, it is not even necessary to wait for 2025 to realize that 3D solutions are impacting the world right now. In November 2017, Cappasity announced its collaboration with NVIDIA. The startup has started working on the special version of Easy 3D Scan(R) software that will rely on NVIDIA’s toolkit, leveraging its latest graphic cards.

Cappasity has successfully raised $2.4 mln from angel investors since 2014 and launched its platform and 3D digitizing software in 2017. In the first phase, the company sold 295 mln Cappasity Tokens (CAPP), raising over $2.5 mln in capital from the sale of the cryptocurrency. On Feb. 22, 2018, the project starts its second phase of crowdsale. The token sale hard cap is $20 mln: $10 mln allocated for private token sale and $10 mln for token sale. Cappasity is also planning to perform an airdrop.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Contributor

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How To Approach New AI-Based Marketing Technologies: Questions To Ask

How To Approach New AI-Based Marketing Technologies:
Questions To Ask

The new Amazon.com Inc. Echo Spot,

from left, Echo, Echo Plus, and Fire TV devices sit on display during the company's product reveal launch event in downtown Seattle, Washington, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017. Amazon unveiled a smaller, cheaper version of its popular Alexa-powered Echo speaker that the e-commerce giant said has better sound. Photographer: Daniel Berman/Bloomberg.Voice is the new OS! AI is going to transform everything in business, including marketing! Customer experiences will never be the same thanks to augmented reality! Data is the new oil!

I'm sure you've heard statements like these recently, and probably at an accelerating pace. The business world, including marketing, has become obsessed with all manner of new technologies, most of which have some basis in artificial intelligence. This obsession is, I believe, a healthy one–provided the marketer's intrigue is handled in an appropriate, systematic and value-focused manner. If not, Shiny New Toy Syndrome (SNTS) is going to play out and result in a high potential for wasted time and money. How do marketers, then, approach new AI-based marketing technologies and avoid succumbing to the so-called SNTS?

Over the last year I've been thinking about this a lot because it is a really important aspect of a company's approach to today's (and tomorrow's!) tech-focused marketing landscape. I've talked to CMOs and CDOs from leading companies as part of the Oxford Future of Marketing Initiative, listened to and worked with participants (all senior executives) on the Oxford Strategic Marketing Program, an immersive week-long focus on all things new in marketing, and studied companies' successes and failures with implementing new marketing-related technologies. I've come to the conclusion that a systematic, well-thought-through approach is absolutely essential. This is all the more important when senior marketing leaders are finding themselves being asked by their CEOs, and in some cases their customers, to put new tech before anything else by doing things like developing an AR or VR app, launching an Alexa skill, or even building voice assistants such as Alexa or Google Home directly into their products.

The systematic approach I now advise leaders to adopt has six lines of questioning.

Will this marketing technology project be relevant to one or more of our existing customer segments?

Simple as it might sound, this is often forgotten. If what you're thinking of doing has nothing to do with anyone in your existing customer base, then there's no point in going ahead with it (for now, at least). Consider relevance first and foremost. But also keep in mind that there might be a valuable signal from doing something "techie" as it could suggest to your customers (and competitors, investors, board, C-suite) that your organization is tech savvy.

What are the benefits to our customers? What are the associated costs and risks?

I've written before here on Forbes.com about remembering that our fundamental responsibility as marketers is to create value for customers. This is the pathway to sustainable, long-term business growth, in my opinion. So it makes sense to see any new tech project through the customer value lens. For example, does introducing an AR app for trying different hair styles and colors, as the world's largest beauty company, L'Oréal, recently did, deliver more value to their customers? If it changes the core customer experience for the better, then great. If it adds a new touchpoint or set of touchpoints that customers will deem relevant and appreciate, fantastic. But if it is just tech for the sake of it without any direct connection to improving things from the customer perspective, then think twice about it.

Would testing or experimenting with this new tech teach us anything that could be useful later on? Is this worth investing in now (vs. waiting)?

Imagine what you're going to get before you jump in. For example, what new data streams will created and how might they better inform people inside your organization about meaningful things? Will this teach your people new things, or give them the motivation and opportunity to learn new things that are going to be useful? Think through these aspects, as it is often the case that a new tech project is going to be valuable internally from largely a learning standpoint. And then it is also worth deciding if now is the right time. Maybe waiting a bit (e.g., while new tech platforms' bugs are ironed out) isn't necessarily a bad thing. And perhaps you can learn vicariously by watching other companies jump in first–as long as it doesn't give them a major new competitive advantage over you, of course.

Do we have the internal capability or sufficient external partner/supplier networks do pull this off?

Seems straightforward to ask, but it is worth thinking about at this stage instead of deciding to go ahead and then figuring out how to implement. Ideally there will be some internal capability in place, but invariably external partners will be needed for particularly new things. The external route can be smart, as they have transferable expertise and learnings, and they in some sense can take on some of the risk.

How do we determine success or failure?

Also straightforward but often an afterthought when the SNTS is driving new tech project investments in marketing. Figure out what success (and, conversely, failure) looks like and set some KPIs–just like for any other strategic investment. Despite the uncertainty of something new, you can figure out some reasonable and meaningful KPIs. They probably won't be related to sales conversions, though. They should be connected to things like development of internal capabilities, learning outcomes, customer usage and engagement.

What do we do after the initial test project phase?

Finally, you need to give some thought to what comes next. If this thing succeeded, do you scale it up and invest more? Or do you remain a bit more cautious? What if it failed? Do you cut your losses or do you try to learn quickly (i.e., fail fast and learn) and move forward? It makes sense to think ahead about such things, even if it is impossible at the strategic planning phase to imagine all possible outcome scenarios.

Marketing leaders must be in the driver's seat when it comes to considering new tech projects in their organizations. Putting humans–customers, predominantly–first and technology second can be hard when there's increasing pressures from inside and outside the organization to do new things with tech. And new tech is cool and exciting! But to avoid distractions and to ensure that some value is being created, a careful systematic approach is useful. These six lines of questioning should be helpful to the marketing leader who is embracing tech in a thoughtful manner.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

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Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

Venezuela’s oil-backed cryptocurrency raised $735 million in one day, president claims

Venezuela's oil-backed cryptocurrency raised $735 million in one day,
president claims

  • Nicolas Maduro said on Twitter that Venezuela's petro token raised more than 4.777 billion Chinese yuan, or $735 million.
  • Each unit of the petro is pegged to the price of one barrel of Venezuelan oil, according to Caracas.
  • A number of skeptics have raised concern about the country's cryptocurrency ambitions.

Venezuela's oil-backed "petro" cryptocurrency

raised $735 million in the first day of its pre-sale Wednesday, President Nicolas Maduro has claimed. The Venezuelan president said on Twitter that the petro token raised more than 4.777 billion Chinese yuan, or $735 million, and that the state-backed virtual currency "reaffirms our economic sovereignty."

Caracas said that each unit of the petro is pegged to the price of one barrel of Venezuelan oil. The country's cryptocurrency regulator has said it hopes the petro will draw investment from Qatar, Turkey and other Middle Eastern countries, as well as from European nations and the U.S. But a number of skeptics have raised concern about the country's cryptocurrency ambitions, with some citing Venezuela's debt problems and the possibility of asset manipulation as cause for doubt.

Venezuela is currently facing hyperinflation, the collapse of its currency, the bolivar, and shortages in food and other basic necessities due to price controls. Maduro has said that the petro will serve as a means for Venezuela to circumvent Western sanctions. Both the European Union and the United States have imposed economic sanctions on Caracas over their opposition to its autocratic government.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Contributor

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Hackers hijack Tesla’s cloud system to mine cryptocurrency

Hackers hijack Tesla’s cloud system to mine cryptocurrency

  • Tesla's Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud account was compromised by hackers and used for cryptocurrency mining, RedLock said.
  • Other major firms, including Aviva and Gemalto, were affected by similar problems.
  • This incident marks another case of what is known in the cryptocurrency world as "cryptojacking."
  • Tesla said that it did not see any initial impact on customer data protection or the safety and security of its vehicles.
Juicing up the P100D on a trip to Detroit

Tesla's cloud system was hijacked by hackers

who used it to mine cryptocurrency, according to researchers. Hackers were able to infiltrate the automaker's Kubernetes administration console because it was not password protected, cybersecurity firm RedLock said Tuesday. Kubernetes is a Google-designed system aimed at optimizing cloud applications.

This left access credentials for Tesla's Amazon Web Services (AWS) account exposed, and hackers deployed cryptocurrency mining software called Stratum to mine cryptocurrency using the cloud's computing power. Cryptocurrency mining is a process whereby so-called miners solve complex mathematical problems to validate a transaction and add it to the underlying network. RedLock did not specify which cryptocurrency was mined in the cyber breach.

Other major firms, including British insurer Aviva and Dutch SIM-maker Gemalto, were affected by similar problems, RedLock said. But the incident affecting Tesla's cloud system was more sophisticated, and used a number of different strategies to hide the hackers from being detected. RedLock said that it notified Tesla of the cyber exposure and that it was swiftly rectified. Tesla said that it did not see any initial impact on customer data protection or the safety and security of its vehicles.

"We maintain a bug bounty program to encourage this type of research, and we addressed this vulnerability within hours of learning about it," a spokesperson for Tesla said in an emailed statement. "The impact seems to be limited to internally-used engineering test cars only, and our initial investigation found no indication that customer privacy or vehicle safety or security was compromised in any way." RedLock CTO Gaurav Kumar said businesses should monitor suspicious cyber activities to avoid being compromised. "The message from this research is loud and clear — the unmistakable potential of cloud environments is seriously compromised by sophisticated hackers identifying easy-to-exploit vulnerabilities," Kumar said in a statement Tuesday.

"In our analysis, cloud service providers such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google are trying to do their part, and none of the major breaches in 2017 was caused by their negligence." He added: "However, security is a shared responsibility. Organizations of every stripe are fundamentally obliged to monitor their infrastructures for risky configurations, anomalous user activities, suspicious network traffic, and host vulnerabilities. Without that, anything the providers do will never be enough."

What is 'cryptojacking'?

This incident marks another case of what is known in the cryptocurrency world as "cryptojacking." Cryptojacking is a process whereby hackers deploy software that exploits a computer's CPU (central processing unit) to mine cryptocurrency. Earlier this month, it was revealed that hackers had deployed an altered version of the popular plugin Browsealoud to a number of government websites in the U.K., the U.S. and Australia. This version of Browsealoud infected the government websites with Coinhive code, which is used to generate units of privacy-focused cryptocurrency monero. U.S. online news outlet Salon is even asking visitors to its site who use ad blocking plugins if it can use their computing power to mine monero instead.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Contributor

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Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

Convincing Executives To Buy Into Content Marketing Is All About Demonstrating Value

Convincing Executives To Buy Into Content Marketing Is All About Demonstrating Value


Julia McCoy earned her place as a top-30 worldwide content marketer
two years ago. She's the author of two bestsellers on the topic, the creator of an online course and the founder of a content agency – Express Writers.Today, her agency is about to hit $1M in yearly income for the first time. McCoy’s position in the industry means she talks to hundreds of clients, peers, and content marketers on a regular basis online. One problem she sees over and over: the issue of executive buy-in for content marketing. Executives will drop $7,000 in a week on Facebook ads but still fail to see why they should pay $1,000 for content marketing. Why is that?

McCoy recently sat down to take a look at industry benchmarks, comparing them with her own success with content marketing. Her goal was to create a formula that any agency or in-house member can take to their boss to predict the return on investment for content marketing. McCoy has seen firsthand the success of using organic content marketing. Her agency is 99% fueled by this strategy (comprising new client leads and 99% of sales to date) and she's hit over $4 million in total sales, across seven years. Here's the formula and underlying benchmarks McCoy outlined, ready to take to any boss to convince them of the ROI of content marketing.

The Content Marketing Trifecta 

McCoy calls the formula for figuring out the ROI of content the “content marketing trifecta.”This is because, at its core, content marketing is about driving targeted traffic to a website, converting that traffic into high-quality leads (targeted, “ideal” clients ready to buy) and converting those leads into sales.

In short, this trio of conversions boils down to:

  • Earned traffic = high quality leads = sales

To figure out the ROI from these conversions, McCoy determined a few benchmark numbers to use.

Conversion benchmarks

There are two basic questions when approaching a content marketing ROI formula based on conversions.

  1. What’s the average rate that traffic converts to high-quality leads?
  2. What’s the average rate that those leads convert to sales?

McCoy looked at solid data to get the answers.

First, she looked at Marketing Sherpa’s research about conversion rates on organic traffic. This study found the average conversion rate for traffic-to-leads across industries is 16%. Next, for the leads-to-sales conversion, McCoy honed in on the fact that SEO-generated leads close at an average rate of 14%, while outbound leads have a 2% close rate. These benchmarks (16% for the average traffic-to-leads conversion rate; 14% for the average leads-to-sales conversion rate) provide the base of the content marketing trifecta formula.

The Content Marketing Trifecta formula

Using the benchmark numbers and an individual businesses monthly website traffic data, McCoy’s formula can estimate the ROI of content marketing in earned leads and sales:

  • Monthly Visitors x 16% Organic Traffic to Lead Conversion Rate = X Leads/Month
  • X Leads/Month x 14% Lead to Sale Conversion Rate = X Sales/Month

The formula in action

Here’s how to use the formula via a hypothetical scenario. For example, say your business gets 1,000 monthly visitors on average:

  • 1,000 Monthly Visitors x 16% Organic Traffic to Lead Conversion Rate = 160 leads/month
  • 160 Leads/Month x 14% Lead to Sale Conversion Rate = 22.4 sales in revenue/month

A business with a monthly traffic average of 1,000 could expect an ROI of 160 leads per month and 22.4 sales per month if they start using content marketing.

Does the formula hold up in real life?

Next, to see how the formula held up for an actual business, McCoy tested it out using data from her own agency, Express Writers (EW). In January 2018, EW’s monthly website traffic hovered around 15,470. Plugging that number into the formula brings these results:

  • 15,470 monthly traffic x 16% traffic-to-leads conversion rate = 2,475 Leads
  • 2,475 leads x 14% leads-to-sales conversion rate = 346 Sales

Finally, McCoy compared the estimated number of sales to the actual sales in January for EW.

  • Estimated sales: 346
  • Actual sales: 289

The actual sales were 57 short of the estimated number. McCoy was able to account for the discrepancy due to her agency’s shifted focus to only serving clients who are a good fit for EW’s services. As a result, the average order value went up to $416, a record high for the agency. With this factor taken into account along with the estimates, the formula holds up well.

Use concrete numbers to get executive buy-in for content marketing

The ROI of content marketing is easier to quantify with concrete figures. When executives can see the financial gain that is possible, they’ll be far more likely to get on board. McCoy’s content marketing trifecta formula is an easy tool that will help inspire the buy-in that most marketers need to get the go-ahead.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

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

Bitcoin hits 3-week high, trading above $11,000

Bitcoin hits 3-week high, trading
above $11,000

Bitcoin continues march higher

Cryptocurrency prices were mixed Tuesday, with the No. 1 digital currency

in the green, reaching its highest level since Jan. 28.The torrid start to the year for crypto investors is slowly abating, with bitcoin BTCUSD, +3.20%  rising to an intraday high of $11,645.12, according to news and research site CoinDesk. The recovery has bitcoin on track to record its sixth daily gain in the last seven sessions.Elsewhere, it’s a mixed bag for other major cryptocurrencies.

Litecoin rose sharply, trading to $244.22, up 9.5% on the day, ether, is up 0.4% at $947.02, bitcoin cash is down 0.7% at $1525.69 and Ripple is off 0.3% at $1.14. Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin grabbed headlines over the weekend when he warned investors that cryptocurrencies shouldn’t be viewed as a ticket to early retirement and that they “could drop to zero.” In the tweet, the Russian-born programmer added that, “If you’re trying to figure out where to store your life savings, traditional assets are still your safest bet.” On the futures front, the March Cboe Global Markets XBTH8, +13.42% contract is up 14.7% at $11,580, while on the CME Group Inc. BTCG8, +14.32%  the February contract is higher by 15.5% at $11,575.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Contributor

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Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Stellar, Litecoin, Cardano, NEO, EOS: Price Analysis, Feb. 19

After failing to stem the rising popularity of cryptocurrencies

through their warnings, the central banks have stooped down to funding anti-crypto campaigns. This move will only reduce the confidence in the central banks and encourage new investors to enter the crypto world.

At the same time, the Venezuelan government is planning to launch a new cryptocurrency called the petro. Each new coin will supposedly be backed by one barrel of oil. However, there is a big question on the central bank’s credibility that is issuing the petro. Analysts believe that the petro is most likely to end up not bringing the expected results. On the other hand, Bitcoin continues to attract big-ticket investments. After the recent fall, there are reports of a trader buying about $400 million worth of Bitcoin between Feb. 09 to Feb. 12. People are gradually turning positive on Bitcoin once again. Shark Tank’s Robert Herjavec believes that Bitcoin will top its 2017 mid-December high of about $20,000 in the short-term.

Let’s see what does the chart pattern forecast?

BTC/USD

Traders who follow us are carrying long positions that triggered on Feb. 15. We had recommended booking 50 percent profits at the 50-day SMA, and most traders should have sold when Bitcoin rallied to an intraday high of $11,348.99, yesterday, Feb.18. We had also recommended trailing the remaining positions with a suitable stop loss. As every trader has a different trading strategy, we did not provide any specific trailing stop loss.

The BTC/USD pair is trading inside an ascending channel. As long as it trades above the support line of the channel, it can reach $12,000 levels. In case of a fall, the support line of the ascending channel and the 20-day EMA will be acting as strong support. If these two levels break, the price might fall to $8,400. Therefore, traders who are still left with 50 percent positions should keep the stop loss at $9,800. We did not recommend closing the complete position because Bitcoin will become positive once it sustains above the descending channel.    

ETH/USD

Ethereum rallied close to the 50-day SMA yesterday, Feb. 18, reaching an intraday high of $979, close to our target objective of $1,000. Hope traders would have book profits on 50% positions. For the past four days, the ETH/USD pair has been taking support at $900 levels. Therefore, we recommend raising the stop loss on the remaining position from $775 to $900. The target objective is a move to the resistance line of the descending channel. If the bulls succeed in breaking out of the channel, a move to $1,200 is likely. On the other hand, if the bears break down below $900, there might be a fall to $780 levels.

BCH/USD

Our target objective on Bitcoin Cash was a rally to the 50-day SMA, close to $1,800 levels, however, yesterday, Feb.18, it turned down from $1,639.251 levels. Our initial stop loss was placed at $1,100. We want to raise this stop loss to $1,400 because if most cryptocurrencies turn down from their resistances, the BCH/USD pair might follow suit. So let’s not lose money on it. On the upside, please book partial profits above $1,750 and hold the rest with a trailing stop loss for a target objective of $2,000.  

XRP/USD

Contrary to our expectation, Ripple continues to trade in a tight range. It has not participated in the pullback like the other top cryptocurrencies. The only consolation is that it is sustaining above the 20-day EMA for the past four days. We had suggested an initial stop loss of $0.86, but we should raise this stop higher because if the top currencies turn down, the XRP/USD pair will also fall sharply. Please raise the stops on the complete position to $0.95. If the tight range resolves on the upside, please book profits on 50 percent position at $1.45. Trail the remaining position for a second target objective of $1.74.         

XLM/USD

Stellar also has been stuck in a tight range for the past four days. It is trading close to our suggested buy levels of $0.45. We anticipate a move to the upper end of the range at $0.63. But for that, the XLM/USD pair will have to break out of the 50-day SMA. On the downside, supports lie at the 20-day EMA, the horizontal line at $0.41, and the channel line at $0.38. For now, please maintain the stop loss at $0.30 on a daily closing basis (as per UTC). We need to consider raising it in a couple of days.

LTC/USD

In our previous analysis, we had recommended to book profits on 50 percent positions at $240, and Litecoin reached an intraday high of $239.5 on Feb. 16. We hope that the traders would have sold half of their positions established at $180. For the past four days, the LTC/USD pair has been trading in a range of about $208 to $240. A breakout of this range will be a positive move, and we anticipate a rally to $270 and then to $307. Our stop loss is currently at breakeven. We want to reduce our risk and pocket some of the paper profits. That’s why we should raise the stops on the remaining 50 percent long positions to $200.

ADA/BTC

We have been bearish on Cardano for the past few days because it has broken down of the bearish descending triangle pattern. Though a pullback to the breakdown levels of 0.00004070 is possible, the cryptocurrency remains negative as long as it trades below the downtrend line of the descending triangle. The ADA/BTC pair is likely to slide to the next support level of 0.0000246. Our bearish view will be invalidated if the digital currency breaks out of the downtrend line, because a failure of a bearish pattern is a bullish sign.

NEO/USD

As NEO is trading inside a descending triangle pattern, we had recommended a quick trade with a long at $121 and a target objective of a rally to the downtrend line of the descending triangle pattern. The NEO/USD pair reached our target objective on Feb. 17, reaching a high of $138.35, where the traders must have closed their positions. An attempt by the bears to sink the cryptocurrency failed Feb. 18. It is currently trying to break out of the downtrend line of the descending triangle, which will invalidate the bearish pattern. If the bulls sustain the breakout, we might see a rally to $169. On the downside, the moving averages and the horizontal line at $120.33 might act as strong support.

EOS/USD

As expected, EOS turned down from the downtrend line yesterday, Feb. 18. The 20-day EMA is at $9.76, and the 50-day SMA is at $10.8. We believe that the bulls will face stiff resistance in the zone of $9.76 to $10.8. Therefore, traders can initiate long positions above $11, if the EOS/USD pair sustains the level for four hours. The target objective on the upside is a rally to $15 levels. The stop loss can be placed at $8.8.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

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

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Stellar, Litecoin, Cardano, NEO, EOS: Price Analysis, Feb. 16

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Stellar, Litecoin, Cardano, NEO, EOS: Price Analysis, Feb. 16

After a massive sell-off earlier this year,

the cryptocurrencies are trying to pull back. Among the top coins, Litecoin has garnered all the attention with favorable news and an upcoming fork on Feb. 18. At the same time, Western Union, one of the oldest money transfer companies, has confirmed it is testing Ripple’s Blockchain-based settlement system. George Soros, who had earlier referred to cryptocurrencies as a “typical bubble” has invested in Overstock, through his investment fund. Overstock is one of the most pro-cryptocurrencies businesses, and its stock price has appreciated immensely as the cryptocurrencies skyrocketed.

This shows that the mainstream businesses are slowly recognizing the value of blockchain technology. However, a few old-timers are still skeptical of cryptocurrencies and the latest to voice his opinion is Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman Charlie Munger, who called Bitcoin “totally asinine.” Nevertheless, as traders, if an asset class offers us an opportunity, we take it. Let’s see if we find some interesting plays today.  

BTC/USD

Our recommendation of a long position in Bitcoin triggered on Feb. 15. Traders, who follow us, would have entered their positions between $9,500 and $9,700. We had anticipated that once the cryptocurrency broke out of the overhead resistance, it would rally towards the 50-day SMA. But the price action above $9,500 has not been encouraging.  We prefer breakouts that quickly gain momentum once they clear a resistance area. In this case, the BTC/USD pair is facing selling pressure at the resistance line, as shown in the chart.

If the cryptocurrency holds the $9,500 levels and breaks out of the resistance line, it is likely to continue trading inside the ascending channel and reach the 50-day SMA, where traders can book profits on 50 percent of their positions and hold the rest with a trailing stop loss for a target of about $12,500. Bitcoin is at risk of a bear attack as long as it trades inside the descending channel. Therefore, we want to reduce our risk. We recommend raising the stop loss on 50 percent positions to $8,600 and keeping the rest at the previously mentioned level of $7,800.    

ETH/USD

Ethereum triggered our buy levels on Feb.14. But, it also has failed to extend its pullback. It entered a small range day yesterday, Feb. 15, and is following it up with another short range day today, Feb.16.  While the ETH/USD pair has not given up any ground, it has struggled to move up. Our first target objective was a move to the 50-day SMA, currently close to the $1,000 mark followed by a rally to $1,050 levels. The stop loss remains at $775, because we don’t find any higher logical stop loss level.

BCH/USD

Bitcoin Cash has broken out of the resistance zone and has triggered our buy levels of $1,400 today. We now expect a rally to the 50-day SMA at $1,818, followed by a move to $2,000. Breaking out of the long-term downtrend line and the 20-day EMA is a bullish sign. But if the other cryptocurrencies turn down, the BCH/USD pair may also find it difficult to rally. Therefore, we retain the stop loss at $1,100, below which a fall to $854 is likely.  

XRP/USD

Ripple rose above our suggested buy level on Feb. 14. Despite our opinion, it has again entered into a tight range since Feb.15. As the XRP/USD pair continues to trade above the 20-day EMA, we expect it to gain momentum and quickly rally to $1.5 levels, where traders can book profits on 50 percent positions. The remaining stops can be trailed for a higher target objective of $1.74. Our bullish view will be invalidated if the cryptocurrency falls below the stop loss of $0.86.         

XLM/USD

Stellar broke out of the descending channel and triggered our buy level at $0.45. As the markets have rejected the break below $0.41, we expect a move to the overhead resistance level of $0.63. As long as the XLM/USD pair sustains above the 20-day EMA and the $0.41 levels, a rally towards $0.63 is likely. Hence, we recommend holding the position with the suggested stop loss of $0.30 on a daily closing basis (as per UTC).

LTC/USD

Yesterday, Feb. 15, Litecoin continued its up move, breaking out of the small overhead resistance at $214.483. Our readers are long from the $180 levels. We had forecast a rally to $242, and yesterday, the cryptocurrency reached $239.705 levels, very close to our target objective. We believe that as long as the LTC/USD pair stays above $214.483 levels, it is on target to reach $242. Once above this, a move to $270 and, after that, to $307 is likely. So, traders should book 50 percent profits at $240 and keep a trailing stop loss on the remaining position. For now, we suggest raising the stop loss to break even. Let’s not lose any money on the trade.

ADA/BTC

Cardano has completed a breakdown from the bearish descending triangle pattern. It has one final support at 0.00003700, below which, a fall to 0.0000246 is likely.  The ADA/BTC pair remains negative as long as it trades below the overhead resistance of 0.00004070. We should turn positive on the cryptocurrency if it breaks out of the downtrend line of the descending triangle.   

NEO/USD

Our long position on NEO at $121, suggested in the previous analysis was triggered on Feb. 14. Yesterday, Feb. 15, efforts by the bears to push the NEO/USD pair back below the support of $120.33 failed. This shows that the bulls are providing support at lower levels. Our target objective is a move to the downtrend line of the descending triangle. We recommend raising the stop loss from $100 to $107. We don’t want to hang on to the trade if it falls below $120.33 levels.

EOS/USD

EOS is currently facing resistance from the 20-day EMA. Above this, it is again likely to face resistance from the downtrend line. Just above the downtrend line lies the 50-day SMA. ere is a confluence of resistance in the $9.8 to $10.7 zone, we are not suggesting any trade. We should buy once the EOS/USD pair breaks out of this resistance zone.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Contributor

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

Netflix Shows Are Entertaining But Its Digital Marketing Is Masterful

Netflix Shows Are Entertaining But Its Digital Marketing Is Masterful

Effective digital marketing has more to do with creative strategies focused on the individual customer than it does with big budgets and advanced technology.

In five years, the share of households with a Netflix

subscription has increased 92 percent. Today the majority of households in the United States subscribe to Netflix, and that number is slated to rise this year. Why is this happening? The product is designed so well that you and I have been sucked into shows, only to emerge from our homes days later. The creative team is skilled at creating programs that receive both popular and critical praise. But Netflix doesn’t just produce good shows, it also knows how to use advanced digital marketing techniques to acquire new customers and retain existing ones. Let’s talk about a few of the digital marketing principles that make Netflix so successful. Follow them and you may just see similar results.

Personalized content is the best kind.

What sets Netflix apart from other streaming services? Amazon, HBO and Vudu all have access to thousands of television shows and movies. They offer intuitive user interfaces, and they are available across devices. Yet Netflix is uniquely situated to dominate the streaming video revolution thanks to the company’s obsessive approach to content personalization.

My Netflix homepage looks entirely different from yours. This is thanks to the power of proprietary algorithms that predict what kind of content you’ll enjoy, and hide the rest. On Amazon Prime Video, I can't even find the last thing I viewed there easily. Netflix has them beat here. You might be thinking that content personalization is only available to companies like Netflix that have the capital to employ hundreds of the world’s smartest engineers. But entrepreneurs can also tap into content personalization in a few different ways.

Tools like Optimizely and Adobe Experience Cloud let you to personalize content based on a variety of data points like the country associated with an IP address, or whether or not a visitor is already a lead in a CRM. Based on this information, marketers can choose to display different website experiences in order to better serve the interests of a particular visitor. As an alternative to third-party software platforms, marketers can always “fake” personalization with a little elbow grease. By building behavior based email workflows, marketers can ask email recipients to click various links depending on their interest. Once their interest is registered, the rest of the email workflow can be based on the interests articulated by recipients.

Takeaway:

Remember, personalization isn’t about relying on advanced algorithms. Instead, it’s about identifying and providing the kind of experience the prospect, customer or visitor is most interested in having.

Multi-channel campaigns are key to getting your message out.

Netflix is available on seemingly every device. From computers to smart televisions, users can access Netflix wherever and whenever they want. Marketers at Netflix take a similar approach to promotion. To hype season two of the company’s hit show Stranger Things, Netflix teamed up with Snapchat to release an augmented reality experience. At the same time, Netflix used Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and email marketing to promote the upcoming season.

Takeaway:

Multi-channel marketing isn’t about spending big bucks on advertising stunts. It’s about creating marketing campaigns that meet members of the target audience wherever they "live." In the case of Stranger Things viewers, Netflix knew that their target audience would spend hours on social platforms, so they developed a strategy accordingly.

Simple is powerful in a complex world.

We live in complicated and noisy times. As a result, the average person has an attention span of just eight seconds, according to the New York Times. Netflix chooses to keep things simple when creating a mission statement or designing a user interface. The company’s investor relations page says, “We are a relief from the complexity and frustration that embody most MVPD relationships with their customers. We strive to be extremely straightforward.” It’s no surprise then that for non-customers, the Netflix homepage is so simple it’s sparse. It takes just two scrolls to reach the bottom of the page, and features two messages: “watch anywhere” and “cancel anytime.”

Takeaway:

Use simplicity as a differentiating factor, and make it easy for members of the target audience to understand what you do and how you can help them. Ensure that this approach translates to marketing material, product experience and customer service.

Email marketing is still a key component to customer onboarding.

Despite claims to the contrary, email marketing is not dead. In fact, it’s used by Netflix as a key component of customer onboarding and nurturing. New Netflix customers receive a series of emails that make content recommendations and encourage new users to explore the platform. This is a way of driving platform adoption, which improves customer retention in the long run. Long time customers also receive periodic emails from Netflix. To promote the release of a new show called The Punisher, Netflix sent customers a marketing email that appeared to be spam at first glance. But once opened, the email played a GIF that slowly redacted information until a button at the bottom appeared, encouraging subscribers to watch the new show.

Takeaway:

Email marketing is not dead; unimaginative email marketing is. Netflix marketers invest hours in building creative email marketing campaigns designed to engage and delight recipients. You don't need sophisticated tech to engage people in your database. You just need to understand the target audience, and apply some imagination to email marketing. Netflix is successful thanks to a focus on understanding target audiences. Once that happens, marketers launch creative cross-platform campaigns that deliver simple and clear value propositions. Remember that success in digital marketing isn’t a result of big budgets and advanced technology. It comes from creative and customer-centric strategies.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

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

Shark Tank’s Herjavec Thinks Bitcoin And Blockchain Are ‘Here To Stay’

Shark Tank’s Herjavec Thinks Bitcoin And Blockchain Are ‘Here To Stay’

According to Shark Tank’s Robert Herjavec,

Bitcoin is “here to stay” in the long term, cryptocurrency will definitely be regulated, and investors should both get in and get out now, according to an interview with financial news outlet TheStreet. While Herjavec says that he himself is not an investor in crypto, he predicts that Bitcoin’s price will continue to rise in the short term, even above

the January high of 20,000:

“It’ll take out that high, I’m saying it right now.”

He believes that cryptocurrencies should and will be regulated, and that as firm regulation becomes closer to reality, the price of Bitcoin will continue to speculate but then drop way down. Based on this idea, while maintaining that Bitcoin is around for the long term, Herjavec tells TheStreet that “I don’t know if you want to own Bitcoin right now. I think you want to get in, and you want to get out,” a mentality that is opposed to the traditional crypto geek’s desire to “hodl,” that is hold onto your coins.

Besides Shark Tank, Herjavec is the CEO of the cybersecurity firm the Herjavec Group. When asked about the security of cryptocurrencies, Herjavic doesn’t think that crypto exchanges themselves are “prone to great security,” referencing the hack of over $500 mln in NEM from the Japanese-based crypto exchange Coincheck last month, but that cryptocurrency transactions are secure. In answer to a question about the future of Blockchain, Herjavic thinks that Blockchain shows a lot of promise because of its “inherent security of a transaction.” He predicts that 10 years down the line, due to

the power of Blockchain:

“I will walk somewhere and a sensor will automatically know it’s me, the sensor will be linked to my bank, it’ll know how much money I have, I’ll pick up something like at the Amazon store, it’ll automatically be scanned, and as I leave, it will automatically be verified and paid for.”

Chuck Reynolds

 


Marketing Dept
Contributor

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

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