Have you ever gotten so caught up in watching a game or a video through virtual reality, that you were unable to consciously decipher whether it was real or not? There are several technological applications designed for play or entertainment that add new dimensions of digital components where the real and virtual worlds enhance each other. Such technology transports end-users into a new age of collaboration and thinking.
Virtual reality (VR), a common application and acronym we are familiar with, offers digital recreation of a real life setting. Typically VR headsets are very popular with gamers, entertainment, media, films, and design, by merging the power of 3-dimensional graphics in an artificial environment. Augmented reality (AR) provides virtual elements in a setting that overlay the real world. Mixed reality (MR) on the other hand, sometimes referred to as Hybrid reality (HR) merges and interrelate the real and virtual worlds, which reacts to each other in real-time environments and visualizations.
Leaders in the tech industry are doing some revolutionary things with motion-activated commands and holograms. VR and AR technology can possibly make a great impact on the medical field. While we are making quantum leaps between virtual, augmented and hybrid worlds, are we also experiencing cautionary symptoms of hyperreality? Hyperreality, a postmodern semiotic concept, coined by French Sociologist and Cultural Theorist, Jean Baudrillard, (according to his book, Simulacra and Simulation), explains a human condition in which the inability to consciously distinguish simulation from the real world really exists.
Technology is reflecting entertainment, reality, and function in radical ways. Of course, there are discussions from various non-tech individuals who seem to agree that addictions to simulated reality, particularly where young people are involved, sometimes gives evidence of real-time life encounters handled through the lens of the 3-D world. For example, kids may not truly understand the consequences resulting from the danger of handling an unsecured weapon and mimicking a VR fight scene that could have fatal consequences.
So what do you think? With such amazing software used to create entertainment for these devices, can hyperreality become such a threat that many gamers may not be able to logically distinguish hybrid reality from the real world?
Recently we had discussions with some brand marketing and social media specialists who shared a common concern about the etiquette and ethics of social media followers and following. While social media is a goldmine for marketing opportunities, more often than not, followers look for specifics when they choose to follow someone or an organization. We asked them to honestly consider the following questions to see if the problem they shared fell under the following individual analyzations:
(A) Is your content relevant to your brand?
(B) Do you offer something fresh, informative, consistent and useful?
(C) Are you doing too much self-promoting?
(D) Too much message automation? Automated messages can be a major turnoff, especially when message inboxes are flooded with these bots. Who has time to read all of that stuff? Most of the time such automated messages are ignored or deleted.
(E) Do you personally engage with your followers?
Let us also point out that you will probably see many affiliate accounts following you on your social media site, advertising how to increase your social media followers by purchasing a package for a certain amount of followers. While many people desperately think this is the way to go to quickly improve their followability, we don’t advocate it and besides, it is not a guarantee. We believe in authentic organic traffic. Besides, what type of database guarantees you will get these followers and what is the quality of those followers should they follow you? It may take time, but depending on your industry or the content of your personal page, everyone’s pace and consistency in posting will deliver different results. There is no “One Size Fits All” cookie cutter formula for everyone.
Our discussion touched on another disturbing trend that all of us face. You will get someone to follow you and after you follow them, they will unfollow you whether it takes a day, week or month later. You watch your following numbers go up as your followers decline. Now, while the above 5 questions are legitimate, this deceptive social media tactic “I follow you, you follow me, I unfollow you and you still follow me” has many screaming foul.
While you may often wonder, as we do, why people who have 125K plus Followers initiate to follow you, when you only have 500 Followers, although they could genuinely want to follow your brand, more often than not we find there are ulterior motives. Should you choose to reciprocate and follow them, sadly you wind up discovering when you check your analytics you notice they quickly unfollowed you just so their metrics will look good. Unless you are interested in their brand offering, we suggest unfollowing them in return. As you can tell, we are not a fan of this type of deceptive cat and mouse social tactics.
Look folks, in business, we will always find those who are respectfully ethical and unfortunately, there are some who use slick maneuvers for personal gain. Don’t be socially illiterate to their tactics if this is the case. Be prudent.
Does your company have an RPM? Nah, we aren’t talking about automotive Revolutions Per Minute or real-estate Real Property Management, but Revenue Performance Management. Throughout your marketing processes, what is your strategy for driving real sales growth? How do you quantify and optimize those processes?
Revenue Performance Management (RPM) appeals to a company’s marketing initiatives, because it validates their activities, projects, contributions and shows active revenue generation. RPM helps management evaluate sales and marketing activities in real time. They are able to measure the reach of activities, the pipeline value, customer spending and how marketing activities appeal to consumers’ emotions. This method leads to conversion, which is an important component to sales and marketing. Conversion shows revenue performance progress through each stage of your sales cycle.
(Retrieved from High Performance Marketing for Revenue Performance Management, September 4, 2012. http://ezinearticles.com/?High-Performance-Marketing-for-Revenue-Performance-Management&id=7251839)
Your sales cycle includes (a) prospecting or initial contact, (b) sales lead/building rapport, (c) identifying and assessing needs, (d) delivering persuasive presentations or proposals, (e) overcoming objections/negotiations, (f) closing the sales and getting repeat sales, and (g) follow-up and referrals. Management is able to evaluate how much time is taken in each stage of the sales cycle, their return on investment from sales and marketing activities, how to improve forecasting and reviewing stage-by-stage analysis for continued revenue growth.
Measuring volume-based metrics is not an easy process. Somehow the customer gets lost in the process of your repeatable strategy and all too often it is difficult to “buy” loyalty from a customer lost in the shuffle of the system. Optimize interactions with your customers, avoid wasting resources and missed opportunities. Ethically, you want to give customers a say and make their customer experience so exceptional that it leads them to become your company’s advocates/evangelists, which will lead to your revenue performance progress.
The negative repercussions from Canada’s ongoing defiance of its trade obligations are a stark reminder of the critical role exports play in the health and vitality of the U.S. dairy industry.
Over the long term, U.S. milk production is rising faster than domestic demand and will likely continue to do so. Since 2003, nearly half of “new” milk produced in this country has gone to markets beyond our borders.
Dairy exports annually contribute about $15 billion to the U.S. economy, supporting 42,000 U.S. dairy farmers, 100,000 good-paying jobs and countless businesses that provide inputs all along the dairy supply chain. To sustain the benefits that exports bring to this nation, exports need to grow.
What do I mean when I say grow?
The staff at the U.S. Dairy Export Council analyzed U.S. dairy capabilities, global demand expectations and the capacity of competitors to meet the expanding and evolving needs of overseas buyers. Over the last four years, U.S. dairy export volume has averaged the equivalent of about 15% of the U.S. milk supply. We believe we can grow that number to 20% — or as we say at USDEC, “The Next 5%.”
Demand will be there
Population gains and middle class expansion will continue to drive global dairy consumption in emerging markets at a faster pace than domestic dairy industries can match.
Over the next 15 years, Asia’s middle class alone will grow by 2.7 billion people, from about 525 million today to 3.2 billion, which is about 10 times the total current population of the United States.
There is incredible opportunity for U.S. dairy processors and producers with those middle class consumers. USDEC estimates rising consumer demand will increase globally traded milk powder and dry whey volumes by more than 1 million tons by 2021. Demand for other dairy ingredients — milk protein concentrate, lactose and specialized products like lactoferrin and alpha-lactalbumin — will rise by more than 100,000 tons.
On the cheese side, demand for natural cheese at foodservice and retail (as well as pizza and other cheese types) will raise global cheese trade by more than 500,000 tons by 2021.
An ample, rising milk supply and a competitive, evolving product portfolio put the U.S. dairy industry in position to capture significant shares of those additional ingredient and cheese volumes. Backed by rigorous quality and safety standards, U.S. suppliers have made investments in products, people and plants. They have strengthened customer-centric relationships, aiming to cultivate long-term global supply and innovation partnerships.
For USDEC’s part, we plan to focus on three areas to help deliver The Next 5%.There are many facets to each strategy, but briefly:
- Increasing demand includes supporting research into dairy nutrition and communicating positive health links to consumers, governments and aid organizations to buttress consumption. The more we can facilitate the understanding of milk’s benefits and the enjoyment of dairy products here and abroad, the more consumers will gravitate toward dairy. It is particularly important to address younger people to improve the chances that they will continue to utilize milk and dairy products as they age.
- Facilitating sales focuses on making it easier for…Continue reading
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