Thursday, September 27, 2012

6 Most Valued Render Farm Secrets

If you consider using an online render farm, there are facts you must know in order to take the right decision. I reveal the secrets here only if you can spare a little time to read them.

1. Investigate service providers: There are so many providers in the rendering business, consequently, you must carry out a little investigation to the right one. Some of the things you should know are the provider's location, product features, pricing, customer service and so on. It is indeed important to look around before selecting your choice provider.

2. Visit render farm blogs: Read everything you can on blogs to aid you in your decision making process. Information abounds everywhere, if you can it, you will find it. You will be treated to issues relating to the industry which will help you in choosing the best service provider.

3. Visit review sites: Every now and then, professional webmasters review products and services in specialized fields. Check out reviews for the rendering service industry and you will definitely see for yourself the big players around. However, be careful of reviewers who are sentimental in their write-ups or those who stand to gain directly from websites the review.

4. Visit forums: If you really want to know a good or bad provider, endeavor to visit online forums. The reason for this is not far-fetched; there is every possibility of meeting those who have used these services before and will like to share their experiences. As a result of this, you will be able to confirm your various investigations. Forum users are very blunt and do not mince words when giving their opinions about a provider.

5. Make inquiries: Consequent upon your research, you will discover many render farms all claiming to be the best. They have the right to do that and you have the right to investigate. Ask them questions, read their FAQ's, talk to them on the phone; during this process, you will discover the right provider that will meet your needs.

6. Tested platforms: Before you part with your money, make sure you attempt to avail yourself of a trial service. An online render farm that cannot offer you that should not be given a second thought. If you are able to test the service for a short period of time, you will be able to experience the provider's claims. Even though, all the features might not be available in the trial plan, it is equally a better deal to have a feel of some of the features on offer.

Friday, September 21, 2012

How Should Product Managers Price Their Products In A Down Economy?

How is your product priced? Are you playing a "price it and forget it" game? How about the "price it and then discount it down to whatever the customer will pay" game? You would think that product pricing would be a standard part of the product development definition, but all too often we skip over it because it seems too hard to do. No matter how your product is priced today, there is a good chance that it could be priced much better if only you knew how to do it. That's what we need to have a talk about.

What New Technologies Mean To Your Product's Pricing

Not that the world was ever all that simple of a place, but it has clearly become a lot more complicated these days (try putting that on your product manager resume!) Product managers are now facing a lot more channels that can be used to sell their products. When you combine this with more and more price point combinations that can be used across the new channels, and very quickly you have a product pricing situation that can get out of hand.

A lot of product managers rely on the old standby - Excel spreadsheets to keep track of what prices they are charging and where they are charging them. This is not going to work in the long haul. What's needed is a system of price management that will allow you to take an automated and integrated approach to solving your pricing dilemmas.

In a perfect world you would be able to incorporate your customer's price sensitivity into each stage of the product planning process - initial financial forecasting, promotions planning, allocation, replenishment, and finally management of markdowns at end of life. Clearly the old way of doing things won't cut it anymore and product managers are going to have to start to use new software technologies in order to do better price management.

Why Is Price Management Such A Big Deal Now?

One of the questions that product managers are asking is "why has pricing become such a big deal all of a sudden?" The answer is pretty simple: your potential customers have become much more price-sensitive. They have new tools to use, such as smartphones, and they know how to use the Internet to find the best deal possible.

The old days where product managers could rely on using a single price for their product are long gone. You are now going to have to be able to segment your product from a pricing perspective. What this means is that you are going to need to have prices that are tailored to not only the channel that the product is being sold though, but also to the specific level that it has in your product hierarchy.

The good news is that product managers have more data on their potential customer than we have ever had before. This means that we are going to be able to analyze the price sensitivity within each group of potential customers and determine how we want to handle such things as promotions and markdowns for our products. Using price management we can make our products more successful than they have ever been before.

What Does All Of This Mean For You?

All too often product managers believe that it is part of their product manager job description to spend the majority of their time looking for ways to get more customers for their product. What they are missing is that by spending more time on managing their product's price they can contribute just as much to the bottom line impact of their product as getting more customers would.

The arrival of new channels to sell products along with additional price points have made the old ways of tracking prices with spreadsheets obsolete. A more sophisticated price management system is called for. Taking the time to segment your customers not just by channel but also within levels of product hierarchy is what product managers need to do in order to maximize the benefits of pricing their products correctly.

Pricing is an activity that scares some product managers because it is all too often seen as being a black art that few are able to master. We need to overcome this fear and establish a clear price management system so that our products have the best chance of being a success in our marketplace.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Cutting Edge Strategies to Market Your Medical Practice

Let's face it! Competition is extreme in the healthcare industry and physicians, hospitals and medical practitioners are leaving no stone unturned to outdo each other. And, methods through which you can attract new patients are in abundance. Innovation in the healthcare industry has paved way to cutting edge medical marketing strategies. Conventional referral method and print advertising is a pass among today's physicians. However, you need to have a closer look at these strategies and select the one, which best represents your practice. Here's a checklist of all those medical marketing ideas.

Medical SEO has proven repeatedly that it is by far one of the most signifying online marketing strategies to attract new patients. Besides revamping your website, you can do a lot more to achieve a higher ranking in the search engines.

It's an internet age and most of the patients go online to find remedies for their issues. People rely heavily on reviews and then only they visit your website and look for directions to your office and more. When a patient searches for physicians in your community, you must come up in at least 10 Google listings. A Google Place listing is one of the newest ways to improve online credibility. One good thing about this marketing strategy is that it is free of cost.

Frequently adding fresh content to your website not only keeps your patients updated and engrossed with what's happening at your practice, but also incorporating explicit keywords and phrases into that content increases your rankings in the search engines. To perfect this strategy, write blogs and articles related to your specialty. Don't do all the stuff by yourself. If feasible, hire a medical content specialist. In addition, there are many article banks where you can obtain targeted articles that relate to your expertise.

When was the last time you actually thought of sending a press release for your practice? You probably would keep numb on this question. If you have added new facilities, doctors or services, let it be informed to patients through press releases. Here, local publications will help you generate a little media buzz about your practice.

It does not make sense to create a profile on social networking sites if you can't follow it consistently, It's like not thinking of the next shot to pin the ball in a 9-ball snooker game. Your social media strategy must include the target market, how frequently you are going to post, what content you would be using, what you want to achieve with social media. Play safe and incorporate only one social media profile. Then tracking its progress, gradually increase at a pace that is comfortable for you to maintain.

Friday, September 7, 2012

How to Integrate Social Media Into Your Medical Practice Marketing

We all know about the big bang that gave birth to the universe. Similarly, the explosion of social media has given birth to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace and many more. In the past few years, we have seen how social media platforms have dominated the marketing campaigns of every business in the world. And results are noteworthy, as businesses who have integrated social media into their marketing strategies have experienced more brand awareness and growth.

If you are planning to take your competitors by marketing your medical service, be sure to include social media and social networking sites. Many healthcare professionals may be hesitant to start with social networking because they think of it as a time waster. In reality, it can save you on that part and empower your patients and staff to communicate effectively. Overall, it contributes to your practice to run smoothly.

Just think of social networking as an eminent source of information to your patients and vice-versa. If your patients are avid internet users and you do an immense work of updating your status, do you realize what impact it would have on your productivity and efficiency? Adding to that, patients can provide critical information to improve your customer service.

You can term social media platforms as "Referral System with a 21st Century Twist." In the previous years, when patients were to find a doctor, they preferred friends and relatives and believed they would not guide them wrong. With the onset of social media networking, the conventional word of mouth marketing has become archaic. Conversely, there are few practical ways to keep in mind before you think of creating a social networking profile.

When you create your Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook page, make sure you are advertising in the similar way that you would with any offline piece of marketing for your practice. To make it easy for the patients to recognize you, use the same logos and punch lines that you have used in newspaper ads, TV commercials or radio spots.

Once you have completed all the formalities related to profile making, it's time now to make the smart move. Promote your Facebook and Twitter account on other mass media marketing materials such as print ads and television commercials. A signboard hanging outside your clinic that advertises "Like on Facebook" and "Follow us on Twitter" will encourage patients to hit "like" sooner rather than later.

Remember: social network marketing is a dangerous weapon that can attack the enemies, but also has the ability to hit back. So much so, for the good news, bad news can also be spread rapidly just like fire in the jungle. If patients are dissatisfied with your services, their comments and interaction on your social media profile can put curtains to your medical practice. That's the reason why you need to be vigilant of what's being written about your practice.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

How Social Media Marketing Fits Into All Aspects of Your Campaign

Social media is a relatively new way for marketers to reach out to consumers and as such, social networks can initially be a challenge for brands to navigate. But once grasped, it can be an excellent marketing and publishing channel that can be integrated into all aspects of a holistic digital strategy. Including a social strategy is something that all brands should consider as it is truly a global medium with increasing and important reach.

Email marketing

Social media can be and should be easily integrated into your brand's email marketing campaign. Doing so will not only help your brand gain more fans and followers on your various social networking profiles; it can also boost your email list in return. By regularly posting updates to remind social followers of your email newsletter or even hosting a sign-up page right on your social media profile, you can make sure that both mediums are working together to grow your brand.

Mobile marketing

Mobile marketing is experiencing massive growth rates as the number of mobile and smart phone users continues to grow at exponential rates. The growing popularity of tablet devices has also encouraged marketers to invest even more focus in this field. In South Africa, more people connect online via their mobile devices than through desktop computers and the number one activity engaged in on these devices: social media. Brands that are able to establish social media presence and use it as part of a mobile campaign are very likely to see great return on investment especially if targeting a younger audience.

QR codes have also changed the way consumers find content and pages through their mobile phones. By including QR codes in print advertisements or even posters even traditional mediums can now become interactive points of connection.

Video marketing

Video marketing is another exciting medium that just effortlessly blends with social media. Video sharing sites such as YouTube almost function like social networks in their own right with user profiles commenting systems and the like. But it is first and foremost a publishing platform where brands can upload their own branded videos. Once live, these videos can then instantly be shared and embedded on websites and blogs as well as social networks such as Facebook to Twitter. Videos are one of the most popular content forms on the web and fare particularly well when shared with your followers via social media.

SEO and social media

In today's information hungry world, more and more brands are relying on being visible when their consumers search for them through major search engines such as Google. A major part of SEO is the process of link building and social networks provides brands and publishers with an organic way to do just that. By sharing your branded content online you'll be generating traffic to your brand's website and blog and from there things could get exciting. From there people can either link to your content or use their social profiles to share that very link - and so the cycle continues.

About Digital Fire

Digital Fire, an email marketing and digital media specialist with a head office in Cape Town. Digital Fire specializes in full service opt-in email marketing, email data rental, email database management, social media consultancy and management as well as Search Engine Optimisation. We provide cutting edge digital marketing and advertising solutions for our clients locally and abroad. Contact us today for digital marketing