$4 billion in financing available to IBM Business Partners to provide clients access to the latest technology
IBM is making things easy for customers to implement their tool. Other vendors require a payment upfront and do not offer help with financing.
IBM announced that its global ecosystem of credit-qualified Business Partners will have access to financing of up to $4 billion over a period of 12 months through IBM Global Financing. IBM is delivering more simplified access to financing options for credit qualified businesses, opening the door for affordable financing options that will help businesses quickly and easily acquire advanced technology solutions such as analytics, cloud, and PureSystems that can ultimately help drive growth.
For Lima Consulting Group, working with IBM Global Financing means to improve our cash flow, grow our business, and also help our clients improve their competitive position. When we recommend IBM Global Financing, we’re not only offering our clients real value–we give ourselves a number of advantages throughout the sales process. IBM Global Financing enables us to sell more by making solutions more affordable and overcoming our clients’ cost and budget challenges. read more
By Adrian Carrasquillo, Fox News Latino
Read the original article here
Amidst the bustle of the throngs down Avenue of the Americas in New York City, a conference in the Hilton hotel is adding a Latino touch.
SES New York (Search Engine Strategies) is a search and social marketing conference that seeks to help companies and individuals stay ahead of the curve and understand what is happening in the ever-changing online space.
But this year, the third day of the conference that runs from March 21-25 will have a track of programming called Focus Latino, which will be centered on the Latino online market and how and why companies should reach out to Hispanics. Is this a big deal? You bet it is.
“We’re really just beginning to understand how to reach Latinos online,” said Giovanni Rodriguez, the Chief Marketing Officer of Broadvision and board member of Latinos in Social Media (Latism). There are big numbers out there, he said. Like that Hispanics in the United States have 1.3 trillion in spending power but “competing studies say different things about how much Latinos are actually online,” he said.
Rodriguez said that some organizations commission studies where its in their best interest for results to say that Latinos are online. But even when it comes to nonpartisan “fact tank,” the Pew Research Center, there have been confusing reports.
University of Puerto Rico activists have used social media as a weapon in their protest movement.
In a report published in February, the Pew Hispanic Center found that Latinos were less likely than whites to be online, have a broadband connection and own a cell phone. But in previous reports Pew found that Hispanics lead when it comes to mobile applications and cell phone use and that Latinos use Twitter more than other groups as well as location-based services like Foursquare. The rapid adoption of social media by Hispanics has also caught the attention of many people.
But because of contradictory information, companies and brands have been unsure how to approach the Hispanic market. Do they pour money into digital campaigns and advertisement or do they stand pat knowing that Latinos are behind?
Google made a move that sent ripples through the industry and answered uncertainty about the Latino market when it hired Mark Lopez, the new head of U.S. Hispanic Audience in the U.S..
Its place in the online market is robust and ever-present so when Google created a new position and hired someone just for marketing to Latinos, people sat up and paid attention.
“Google is the number one player,” Carlos Vassallo, CEO of Latinvision and creator of the Focus Latino track said. “If they say, ‘We have a whole new organization that is going to be active in this market, nationally and internationally,’ it makes everybody aware,” he said. “When the number one moves everyone will follow.
“Google validates that the market is there,” he said.
And Vasallo says evidence of the Latino market growing in importance can be seen everywhere. One of the reasons he wanted to hold a Focus Latino day of panels at SES New York was because of the outreach and infrastructure already in place. Carlos Manzano heads the Latin Media and Entertainment Commission, started by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, which hopes to draw events like SES New York to the city.
Vasallo says that Hispanics are the fastest growing audience segment when it comes to the NFL, the NBA and Nascar and he believes that something like Focus Latino brings Hispanics out into the spotlight even more.
The track will feature panels such as “Reaching Latinos Through Search Engine Optimization,” “Search and Social Marketing to Latinos” and “Analytics for the Latino Markets” as well as a keynote speech by Mark Lopez and a question and answer session afterwards.
A sign of the times for SES NY is that the event, which was once geared primarily towards search engine marketing, now has added social marketing to the mix — an acknowledgement that social media is significant online and that Hispanics are very engaged. And Rodriguez says this provides a challenge for advertisers.
“Besides how much to spend on digital [strategy], how much do you spend on social?” he said. “Do you spend money on Facebook ads? Companies understand that the world is developing and multi-cultural [English and Spanish-speaking] Hispanics are a huge part of it.
Rodriguez has a theory that if Latinos are truly early adopters and over-indexing across social media, then advertisers will be forced to treat them differently and cites a precedent for preferential treatment to a certain market segment.
“Bloggers were invited to advise companies on product strategy five years ago,” he said. “It’s the way we treat anyone who is ahead of the curve. Its not about just throwing advertisements at them but saying lets actually include them.”
Paul Lima, the CEO of Lima Consulting and the person who put together the content for the Focus Latino programming, brings it back to Mark Lopez when he talks about the excitement for the event and what it means for the importance of Hispanic consumers.
“I’m most excited to hear his keynote speech,” Lima, who will ask questions of Lopez afterwards said. He gave a preview of some of the questions he thinks people are really interested in having answered.
“This is a newly created position. Why? What is Google saying by doing this? If its good for Google, its good for business. And Latinos are good for business,” he said.
And Lima thinks something like Focus Latino was a long-time in coming.
“This is a mainstream topic, I’m glad that its part of a mainstream conference.”
It should come as no surprise to anyone working in digital or conventional marketing that Hispanics are an extraordinarily important and growing demographic.
How can marketers reach Hispanics effectively? Longtime marketers know that using demographic profiling to generate conversions for your website is good, but using psychographic profiles is better and should be considered when building a digital market strategy.
Here are three psychographic tips and examples of how companies can reach Hispanics. Generally brand loyal, Hispanics value word-of-mouth and over-research before making purchase decisions online.
1. Use Referrals to reach hispanics. All internet users display a variety of behaviors when researching, shopping or merely browsing. Some researchers use a model made popular by marketing thought leader Bryan Eisenberg where the speed of the decision and the level of emotion or logic used by the visitor are tied together. Online buyers generally fall into one of four psychographic profiles, ranging from humanistic (make slow decisions using their heart), competitive (make fast decisions using their brain), spontaneous (make fast decisions using their heart) and methodical (make slow decisions using their brain). While everyone has their personal tendencies online, research shows that Hispanics respond very well to a human touch or a humanistic segment. They like referrals, to know who else of the connected world is purchasing, and recommendations of a product or service.
The effectiveness of this medium actually manifests itself online, increasingly more via product rating sites and social marketing tools like Facebook’s “Like” button. One of the easiest application programming interfaces to integrate into almost any part of a website is the Like button. More advanced users can use crowdsourcing product review sites like Yelp or Amazon. Media companies, service companies and distributors can all take advantage of this feature.
2. Drive trial and reward Hispanics with culturally sensitive messaging. Hispanics are known to be brand loyal. This opens opportunities such as cross-promotion across several brands, whether they’re run by a single company or built through strategic partnerships. Presented with engaging content, Hispanic consumers are perfectly happy not only returning to but also becoming actively engaged with a website through things such as comments and social network sharing.
Use email alerts and updates to draw your Hispanic customers back to your website. Once you’ve earned their trust, they’re prepared to engage in meaningful communications and are generally willing to respond to surveys, customer reviews and offer feedback. Encouraging registration with your site can be quite helpful in building up these brand/consumer relationships through preferred offerings, newsletters, among other things. Use email marketing tools, mobile applications and a solid analytics tool to track return visitors and time between visits to compare Hispanic users against your index. Once you’ve identified those visitors who are influencers, offer them rewards, discounts and promotions.
3. Promote tools to make decision making easier. Finally, digital marketers would be wise to focus resources on reaching Hispanics not only because of their growing size, but also because the demographic has shown itself to be quite open to online media.
AOL recently conducted a study about Hispanic internet usage that revealed 72 percent of online Hispanics trust product rating sites. While they value word-of-mouth and referrals, Hispanics in the middle class and above do their homework online before making major purchase decisions. The trend towards more reliance on digital sphere shows no signs of slowing down as younger, more English-dominant and increasingly more tech-savvy generations of Hispanics continue to enter the marketplace and make their presence felt.
Hispanics trust brands and their corresponding tools that can aid them in making smart product selections. For example, a product configuration tool (Home Depot’s fence configuration tool is a good example), product recommendation tool (Fidelity’s investment tools section has several examples) or any questionnaire that leads to a recommendation (www.LongevityReady.com from Long-Term Care Quote) will be a valuable tool for your Hispanic users.
Finally, let me add a small note about language. Marketers interested in reaching Hispanics in the middle class or higher don’t need to translate websites into Spanish or Portuguese. However, having these language options available indicates your recognition of their presence and is a nice tip of the hat towards acknowledging the importance of the Hispanic market.
Search Engine Strategies has been part of the search marketing conference landscape for over a decade. With a powerhouse trifecta of outstanding speakers, crowds in the thousands, and a three-day agenda of sessions ranging from über techtastic to super social-chic, it’s clear to see why this summit is labeled must-attend for many industry pros.
This year, SES has added a brand new track to the conference agenda: Focus Latino. SES New York, the fourth stop on aimClear’s March Conference Road Trip, will host the debut of the LatinVision Media-sponsored track. Paul Lima, of Lima Consulting Group collaborated with Latin Vision to develop the agenda for the five unique sessions that will take place throughout the day, each with a keen focus on Internet marketing to the Latino/Hispanic community. The track will kick off with an Introduction & Opening Keynote that was coordinated by Paul, moving into morning and afternoon sessions Reaching Latinos Through SEO, Search & Social Marketing to Latinos: Roundtable, Analytics for the Latino Markets, and finally, Improved Conversions With Web Site Optimization.
I had the pleasure of sharing an interview with one of the marketers behind the much-anticipated Focus Latino track, Paul Lima (@Paul__Lima). Paul, founder of Lima Consulting Group, will take the stage on several panels throughout Day 2 of SES NY. Read on for the fruits of our Q&A.
| aimClear: Paul, thank you for your time today. When perusing your Search Engine Strategies bio, I was fascinated to learn you were a former commander of the Pentagon’s cyber-warfare unit. That seems quite the leap from interactive marketing—an industry in which you’ve been active for over a decade. Tell us a bit about how that career transition came about.
Paul Lima: Each side of my career has helped the other, like an upward spiral you could say. The opportunity to serve in such a specialized unit and with such talented soldiers afforded tactical and operational insights into the underpinnings of the telecommunications infrastructure that all Internet marketers rely on. My role there was no different than my role today as the owner of a digital strategy consulting firm; that is, to find appropriate clients and recruit the best people. But I have to admit, there was something very, very special about working with the institution that funded the Internet, and as one of the Generals I worked for said, innovating new ways to fight and win America’s wars.
It should come to little surprise to anyone working in digital, or even conventional marketing for that matter, that Latinos are an extraordinarily important demographic. In a way, within the US we have seen a kind of internal emerging market. We are seeing a new playing field even the most experienced Latino-focused marketers find themselves thirsting for more data and insight into this ever expanding market.
Online ad spending is one of the most rapidly growing markets today. eMarketer cites general-market online growth at 25% per year. What makes Latino marketing interesting is that their growth is estimated to be growing a full 7 points above the general market, at 32% per year. Its clear that the explosive growth of the Latino population in the US is being mirrored in the digital realm as well.
So how does one reach Hispanics effectively? There are a few characteristics of the demographic that should be considered when building a digital marketing strategy. The first of these is the power of word of mouth amongst Hispanic communities. The effectiveness of this medium actually manifests itself online increasingly more via product rating sites and social marketing tools like Facebook’s “Like” button. As one of the easiest APIs to integrate into almost any part of a website, we would recommend adding Like buttons to most if not all of your content to ensure you take advantage of Latino social networks. Media companies, service companies and distributors can all take advantage of this feature.
Hispanic markets are also known to be brand loyal. This opens opportunities such as cross-promotion across several brands whether they be run by a single company or built through strategic partnerships. And finally the market is also quite “Sticky” which goes hand in hand with loyalty. Presented with engaging quality content Latin consumers are perfectly happy not only returning to, but also actively becoming engaged with a website through things such as comments and social network sharing. Encouraging a registration with your site can be quite helpful in building up these brand/consumer relationships through preferred offerings, newsletters, etc.
Finally, digital marketers would be wise to focus resources on reaching Latinos not only because of their growing size, but also because the demographic has shown itself to be quite open to online media. AOL’s study found that 72% of online Hispanics trust product rating sites, while 28% still stick to the more traditional word of mouth. The trend towards more reliance on digital sphere shows no signs of stopping as the younger, more English-dominant, and increasingly more tech-savvy generations of Latinos continue to enter the market and make their presence felt.
I have recently been in discussions with a very large company about their social media guidelines. Then, as a board member for the Wharton Alumni Association, I published yesterday our draft for the Wharton School for their Social Media handbook for how clubs, special interest groups and classes (think reunions) can use social media. And then today, I see the US Army Social Media Handbook.
As a former US Army Officer I can tell you that the military has a very keen interest in leading in general. And it should come as no suprise that they have taken an interest in leading the conversations about its mission (brand for “civilian speak”). And some of the brightest minds in the Officer and Enlisted Corps are at the helm here (some of these guys looking at this were Rhodes Scholar candidates).
Even the title of this blog is a painful reminder of the differences between how civilians speak, and how soldiers speak.
For many reasons soldiers make terrific students. Apart from the fact that Officers and Senior Enlisted soldiers need to obtain Advanced Degrees in order to advance in rank, they are generally disciplined, they have terrific leadership skills, they bring experience from having worked in the worlds’ largest corporation, the Department of Defense, they can help a university improve their diversity targets for minorities, and they generally can pay for the program via their GI bill or have the Department of Defense pay for their degree directly.
To be successful in promoting your Masters program or MBA program to Officers and Senior Enlisted soldiers in the United States military, here’s three tips:
1. Be authentic in your tone when speaking to them about the advantages of your program.
2. Reach them at the right time in their careers.
3. Share the right message.
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