Digital

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Death of the Salesman

Welcome to a new edition of the P4Digital rotating round tables.

Our special guest this week is an expert in sales, and how new technologies are changing how they are being conducted in both corporate and retail locations.

Curious about the future of sales? Well, stay tuned and enjoy.

Stay tuned and enjoy

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Job Revolution: Recruiting in the Digital Age

Welcome to a new edition of the P4Digital Round Tables!

This week we have a special guest star – Nadine Lamothe, one of the officers here at Planet4IT. She will be joining us today, along with Jim Carlson and Andrew Carlson, to discuss Job Hunting and Recruiting in the Digital Age.

Stay tuned and enjoy

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Rise of the Digital Space

Welcome to a new edition of the P4Digital Round Tables!

Who among you would love to work from home. With Digital technologies it’s becoming easier to do. This week the P4Digital executive team examines the rise of the digital space.

Stay tuned and enjoy

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The rise of the cryptocurrency

We live in a cashless society, but are we on our way to a universal digital currency? Bitcoin may seem like a digital currency for a digital age, but is it really? We investigate in this week’s round table discussion.

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Amanda: We’ve talked about Bitcoin before at the P4Digital Blog. It’s a topic that fascinates us, but 2014 was a rough year for it. In this week’s discussion, we talk about the rise of the cryptocurrency, how it works and speculate on whether or not we’ll all be paid with it in a few years.

Jeremy: Hello, today we’re talking about Bitcoins. Do they now have a legitimate trading exchange?

Archana: Yes, the topic we’re talking about today is the roll out of a new US-based exchange called Coinbase, which hopefully does legalize the cryptocurrency. What are your thoughts?

Shaheerah: Okay, so basically just to define Bitcoin in very basic terms, it is virtual cash that is generated, or rather mined by computers. It is a very sophisticated process. And Bitcoin lives on the internet, and you can use it to buy stuff both online as well as offline. In late January of this year, the Coinbased Bitcoin exchange went live. And this is actually the first one in America. And it could make Bitcoin more of a reality for the average Joe, as well as the corporate financial role. So as of now the exchange has been approved in 24 American states, and previously in the US the Bitcoin traders had to use exchanges that were based outside of the USA. And those exchanges did not have adequate regulations or security and so it made it pretty risky. So for example in February of this year, a Japan based Bitcoin exchange collapsed and they lost 750,000 customer Bitcoins, as well as 100,000 Bitcoins of their own. There are also all these problems with the security hacks. So for example recently Bitstamp lost 19,000 Bitcoins worth 5 million dollars, so that’s a lot. But now what’s going to happen is the Coinbase exchange is set to be a game changer because it is better regulated. They do have better security including insurance, which the other exchanges did not have. They have encryption, and the Bitcoins are actually kept offline so you won’t be able to hack them. There is also a one-time use passcode that you have to use, it’s texted to your phone and every time  you want to log in you have to use that one-time passcode, and you have to use the same computer every time as well.

Jeremy: Yeah, the Japanese exchange that Shaheerah mentioned is called Mt.Gox, which apparently is short for Magic the Gathering, which is a Role Playing – some type of Role Playing Dungeons and Dragons type game. So that’s not really the most credible way to be trading your Bitcoins.

Amanda: Speak for yourself! I’ve played Magic the Gathering and it’s an intense game!

Archana: Again, sort of going back to what Shaheerah mentioned, primarily the lack of regulation, inadequate security and the difficulty in getting US dollars in and out of these exchanges being the primary reasons why Bitcoin hasn’t really taken off. Coinbase really seeks to make a difference because it’s being backed by some thoughtful investors and financial venture capitalists, including the NYSE and the Citigroup CEO and Thompson Reuters ex CEO as well, so it obviously does lend a huge deal of credibility. And like what Jeremy mentioned, the Japanese company – a lot of luster was lost of Bitcoin amidst all these scandals and different scams. Case in point would be the Japanese Bitcoin exchange. And also more recently a Slovenia Bitcoin exchange also collapsed. So Coinbase does seek to differentiate itself from the rest of the crowd. What remains to be seen is how successful they’ll be.

Jeremy: And right on the heels of Coinbase is another exchange that is going to be launched later this year, which is backed by the Winklevoss twins of Facebook fame, called the Gemini exchange. So they’re not narcissistic at all! Anyway, this exchange is going to be partnered with a major US bank, which means your US cash deposits will be eligible for FDIC insurance, although I’m sure the Bitcoins held in there will not.

Amanda: It’s interesting. Amazon and I believe PayPal also are accepting Bitcoins as of last year for payment for certain transactions.

Archana:  Yes, just like what Amanda just mentioned, apparently Coinbase also already accounts for about 2.2 million consumer wallets, and nearly 40,000 merchants already use their services. So from this point on it’s really a matter of them consolidating their position and building the business.

Shaheerah: Yes, and I also wanted to share some other facts about Bitcoin, which were published in an infographic from whoishostingthis.com. The FBI actually owns 15% of all the Bitcoins in the world. 65% of the world’s bitcoins are inactive – so they’re just left in the Bitcoin ewallets, and the remaining bitcoins are what are actually used for the transactions. You can get stuff like Pizza and plane tickets and university tuition using your Bitcoins. And even former Spice Girl Mel B, she was the first artist who started accepting Bitcoins as payment for her music. There’s also a maximum number of Bitcoins that can ever exist. The last Bitcoin is predicted to be mined in the year 2040.

Amanda: Make myself sound like a bit of a Geek here, but Mel B was always my favourite Spice Girl.

Laughter

Jeremy: Jim too

Laughter

Jeremy: Well, the problem with Bitcoins is they’re really too volatile right now to be used as an integral part of our trading economy. I mean, it would be kind of foolish to ask for your pay cheques in Bitcoin because the value fluctuates so much. I really think that if they built a good, secure system and a means of transactions- I think they’re going to around for a while, it’s not going to be worthless, it’s always going to be worth something. But to make the jump between something that you horde and something that you use to spend money on, the question is when that’s going to be.

Amanda: I have a general question for the executives here. If it was more secure, would you ever consider accepting your salary in Bitcoins.

Jeremy: I would not accept my salary in Bitcoins right now – not the way it fluctuates.

Archana: Not right now, but really whether we like it or not I think digital currency is definitely going to be a part of our lives in the coming future. Whether its Bitcoin o some other form of digital currency, I don’t know but for sure, salary one day would be in the form of Bitcoins.

Shaheerah:  And I just wanted to add, that actually Bitcoin has been known to lose up to 80% of its value in just a few days, so yes it is very volatile. And in fact both Thailand and China had put bans on Bitcoin back in 2013 for this reason.

Amanda: So that’s a no on accepting it on your salary, huh Shaheerah?

Shaheerah: Yup, that’s right.

Amanda: I have to say, after hearing that last statistic, I have to agree.


 

That was the P4Capital team discussing the rise of Bitcoin and Crytopcurrency. Apparnetly, none of us want to get paid with it in the near future. Want to know more? Check out our website  and previous posts about Bitcoin at http://www.planet4it.com or follow us @p4capital. Thanks and see you next time.

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How are jobs and careers changing in the Digital Age?

Welcome to a new edition of the P4Digital Round Tables!

Digital marketing is changing the face and infrastructure of the world. The job of recruiting is not exempt from this. This week, the P4Digital executive team examines how their jobs are changing in this new age.

Stay tuned and enjoy

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What did 2014 bring to the Digital world? P4Digital investigates

Happy New Year listeners and welcome to 2015! In honour of the new year, The P4Digital Executive team will be examining what 2014 brought to the Digital World, and what 2015 might change.

Stay tuned and enjoy

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P4Digital discusses the growth of the in house digital department

The P4Digital Executive team will be discussing the rise of the In House Digital Department this week – and whether or not companies should use them, or continue to outsource their digital work.

Stay tuned.

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Introducing the P4Digital executive team and Round Tables

The P4Digital group is joining in the Podcast community with a series of Round Table discussions piecing together what the Digital revolution means.

This is their first – what Digital means to them and what it means for the world economy.

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The Importance of a Landing Page to an SEM Campaign

In this post we will take a look at how landing pages can save you money on your SEM campaigns.

What is SEM?

Search Engine Marketing describes using the paid advertising services provided by the various search engines.  These ads typically appear at the top and right hand side of a search query.  Often the area is shaded to distinguish the paid advertising section from the organic results.  With Google this means using their Google Adwords software.

What is a Landing Page?

Simply put, a landing page is the page that appears when you click on an SEM ad.  Often, the landing page is the home page of a website, but increasingly advertisers are recognizing the value in creating a landing page that is specifically designed for your ad.

Understanding the Auction

A common misconception when running SEM campaigns, is that the auction used to determine which position your ad appears in, is solely determined by the amount you are willing to pay for a click on your ad.  The reality is that where your ad appears is actually determined by a formula taking into account the “bid” of your (and competitors) ad and the “quality score” of your (and competitors) ad. Google’s chief economist Hal Varian does a good job of simplifying this process in this video.

Quality Score Saves you Money

The important thing to take out of that video is; the higher the Quality Score of your ad the less it costs per click on your ad.

Improving your Quality Score through the use of Landing Pages.

At 2:45 of the above video Mr. Varian goes into the three components of determining Quality Score:  Click through rate, relevance and landing page.  When using a specially created landing page as your landing page rather than your home page as your landing page you can improve all three facets of determining Quality Score. A landing page improves “click through rate” by presenting the consumer with enough information to ensure that they click through to your home page.  This obviously only works if your landing page is good and we will go into what makes for a good landing page in the next post here.A landing page shows relevancy by using the keywords you are using in your ad on the landing page, which typically would not be highlighted on your home page.  For example let’s say you are a dentist and your home page (being used as a landing page) is mostly pictures of your office.  If you are running a SEM campaign and using “dental surgery” and “teeth whitening” as search queries to have your ad appear for, then the pictures of your office do nothing to show search engines that your ad is actually relevant to the queries of the consumer.  By using a landing page that makes note of all your services, such as “dental surgery” and “teeth whitening” search engines understand that your ad is relevant to the queries of the consumer and your Quality Score increases.A landing page increases the landing page portion of Quality Score by the three things Mr. Varian discusses in the video:  Relevant and original content, easily navigable and transparency.  It works best in comparison.  Compare a landing page that states specifically what your business is, what you provide, how you provide it and when you provide it, with a home page that has a minimal amount of information and is more of a portal to the rest of your website.  The home page obviously is going to be a deterrent to your Quality Score because it creates more work for the consumer who clicked on your ad to determine if they have found what they are looking for.  Search Engines want the process of a search returning the results the consumer is looking for to be as easy as possible so that they still use that search engine.

The Importance of a Landing Page to a SEM Campaign

Landing pages, if done correctly, increase your Quality Score.  Increasing your Quality Score decreases the cost per click you pay for someone clicking on your ad.  Saving you money!

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Andrew is one of the newest members of Planet4IT, but he brings with him a fresh new perspective.

With one eye on the job market and the other on the IT world, he’s the man to go to for information on how the latest advancements in Data, Digital Marketing and Social Media are affecting business.

Andrew encourages you to reach out to him through not only telephone or email, but LinkedIn and Twitter as well

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