© Sue Martin By Gavin van Marle 20/01/2021 Truckers heading to the port of Dover once post-Brexit volumes recover could find themselves stuck for up to 20 days in 70,000-long truck queue.That is unless new infrastructure is built, extra staff hired and considerable cargo volumes diverted to other ports, according to new modelling undertaken by Simul8.It says if truck check-in times increase to 20 minutes at Dover, which would put it in line with non-EU member customs policy, a queue of 70,594 vehicles – equivalent to around 20 days’ delay – could form. This would represent the port being at some 500% overcapacity.However, Simul8 also fed in what would happen if an off-dock parking area for 2,000 trucks was built, along with seven new inland entrances to serve as new custom checkpoints and new staff were hired to reduce the average check-in time from 20 to eight minutes, the overcapacity would be reduced to around 300%.And if 20% of Dover’s normal cargo flow was diverted to Southampton and another port, the overcapacity at Dover would fall further, to 210%, while if 50% of its cargo was diverted to other ports it would fall to 140%.Simul8 chief technology officer Frances Sneddon said: “This particular digital simulation plays with just a few of the viable options posited, and it begins to provide useful evidence for the best solutions. But it really just touches the surface of the variables at play.“Wider modelling will produce the roadmap that is needed to unlock the challenge of adjusting the UK’s flow of goods through its ports as it leaves the EU,” she added. “Adopting this scientific approach when planning for the unknown, especially at this scale, is arguably the best way to start rationalising the problem.“The thought of over 70,000 trucks stuck on the road is nothing short of alarming, at first, but by testing the options available and then tweaking the system, suddenly it is possible to find out exactly what is needed to alleviate the bottlenecks, so that sensible decisions can be made.“Testing all of this in a digital space before it can cause any major disruption in the real world makes digital simulation a unique and invaluable ally,” she added.
Granton’s Kristin Strey tries to work her way around Greenwood’s Olivia Klabon during the Dec. 13 Cloverbelt East matchup. Greenwood led at the half, 25-16, before moving on to claim the win, 51-32. Hub City Times staff photo
South Africa is a nation united in action. Vodacom invests in education to allow South Africans to meet today’s challenges. Click arrow to play video.
5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… Tags:#biz#Reviews Tampa-based BlueGlass Interactive annouced earlier today the launch of a hosted platform for managing search marketing campaigns. The new offering, called SecondStep, promises to bring enterprise-level search marketing automation tools to smaller businesses using a freemium payment model. “While the search marketing software market for the world’s largest companies is seemingly well established, very little innovation has occurred for the other 98 percent,” says Dave Snyder, SVP of Search for Blueglass.SecondStep, which is now in private beta, is comprised of three core features: site audits, link-building and content generation. The NextAudits module generates reports on page-level and domain-level performance, as well as SEO insight into competitors’ sites. Campaign managers can use the LinkQuest tool to cultivate and monitor inbound links (white-hat only methods only). The CopyPress module automates the process of generating fresh content, not unlike a mini version of the so-called “content farms” generating so much controversy lately. Campaign managers can select a few keywords, assign a word count and identify how many pieces of content are needed. BlueGlass Interactive’s U.S.-based writers will take it from there, writing copy to the customer’s specifications, saving small and medium-sized businesses money on hiring their own content creators. Folks interested in trying out SecondStep can sign up for the private beta here. john paul titlow 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… Related Posts
Do I have to get the latest version of my application to get optimum performance? In most of the cases for enterprise workloads, the application gets performance boost as more cores are added to the system. However, the performance may not be optimum. As newer tools emerge to take advantage of Intel® Core® Architecture in a parallel environment, the ISVs may make changes to their software to give the their applications additional performance boost. Tools such as compilers and libraries from Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, Sun and others are constantly updated to provide optimum scaling and performance on Intel Architecture based Servers. Does my application cost more on a 6-core Xeon 7400 processor-based server? In most of the cases, NO. You need to make an assessment of the software licensing model currently used on your servers and then decide if the price/performance is worth moving to the Xeon 7400 processor-based platform. From what we have seen in the past many years, the performance of a multi-core platform far outweighs the price of the platform. In short, YOU PAY LESS TO GET MORE. Today multi-core processing has become the norm for Enterprise Applications. ISVs are constantly evaluating their application licensing models to run in an SMP multi-core environment. ISVs such as Oracle, Microsoft, SAP, VMware have made their applications multi-core friendly, giving you more for less. What does many cores on a server bring to me? Applications that run on x86 servers today have been written to take advantage of more processors (or SMP) on the Servers since the 90s. These applications have been threaded over time and fined tuned to deliver optimum performance. When such applications are run on a many-core platform (such as the 4-way Intel(r) Xeon(r) 7400 processor-based server), these applications show instantaneous performance gain. Database applications such Oracle 10g, IBM DB2, Microsoft SQL Server 2005, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 have shown significant performance gains when run on a 6-core Xeon 7400 processor-based server. As an example, check out the TPC-C performance of the 4P platform. We have seen SQL Server 2005 performance gains up to 68% compared to the previous generation processor – The highest 4P database performance on a Windows Server Platform today. We also have seen the highest DB2 database performance on Linux OS. Similarly, using Oracle OASB benchmark with Oracle 10g R2 DB and Oracle E-business suite v12, the IBM x3850M2 delivered unparalleled processing of 10,000 employee payroll batch update in 5.37 seconds (Wall Clock Duration). So Clearly, the benefits of using multi-core processors such as the 6-core Xeon 7400 processor are immense. It’s performance and more performance all the way for enterprise workloads. Another area that you MUST consider is Virtualization or Server Consolidation – where multi-core servers have been known to provide the optimum use of compute resources in your environment. You can read Virtualization benefits in blogs from Sudip Chahal, dave_hill, RK_Hiremane, and K_Lloyd One of the common questions that I get from customers is whether their applications will be able to take advantage of so many cores in their server. And it’s not just running the application without changes, but also being able to scale in performance. I would like to address this concern in three parts: To summarize, enterprise applications running on the 6-core Intel Xeon 7400 processor-based servers will see performance scaling as the number of cores increase. And it WILL get better over time. I hope you have enjoyed reading this. Let me know what you think.
I’ve been a member of LinkedIn for several years and continue to expand my network there. For those of you that are unfamiliar with LinkedIn, it is a social networking site targeted primarily at “professionals” (vs. MySpace which is for highschool students and Facebook which was originally for college students). If you’re not a member of LinkedIn yet, I’d encourage you to try it out. Step 3: Learn Yet More from Google, Provide Professional Search The idea here is relatively simple (and not that hard to implement). What makes the Google search algorithm so effective is the democratic nature of PageRank (and it’s recursive/iterative approach). It’s quite simple, but very powerful. Website owners link to other sites that they find useful/relevant. A lot of links coming in generally means a better site. The same concept can be applied within the LinkedIn network — because just as the Internet is a collection of connect web pages, LinkedIn is a collection of connected people. Many of the lessons from Google can be readily applied to LinkedIn. (I could probably write a book on this, but I’m not the Chief Software Architect at LinkedIn, but HubSpot, a software startup focused on (especially with regards to group features). However, I think LinkedIn is sitting on a fantastic opportunity to build a very significant business. How LinkedIn Can Become A Billion Dollar Company The whole point of getting a high Google PageRank is to help a website rank better in the Google search results. Something similar could drive the LinkedIn Search. If you’re looking for an SEO consultant, my guess is that the ProfessionalRank of the individual should factor pretty highly in the results. Though the “proximity” of that person to you should continue to be a variable (so those that are in your network rank higher than others), I think it’s often useful to find the “best” (most trusted, most authorititive) people — not just those you know directly or indirectly. LinkedIn could easily let users control their searches and specify whether they’re interested more in proximity or more in “quality”. Recently, I’ve been critical of LinkedIn in internet marketing For those of you that are not familiar with Google PageRank, it is one of the key factors that drives the Google search algorithm. Essentially, the Google PageRank is an internal number that Google assigns to each web page that it indexes on the Internet. PageRank is based largely on the number of *inbound* links to the page (i.e. other pages that are linking to it) and the power of those links. The power of the link is basically the PageRank of the page linking in. The higher the Google PageRank of a page, the more likely that page is to rank high in the Google results for any given search term. If you have some additional ideas that you’d like to share on this concept, feel free to leave a comment. I’m fascinated by this whole area. If LinkedIn did something like this, I think it would create a similar economic effect that Google PageRank did (in terms of search marketing). People would have an incentive to get linked “to” by trusted people and would also have an incentive to only link “to” others that they truly know and trust. For ProfessionalRank, LinkedIn could do a similar calculation. Your ProfessionalRank would be the number of people connecting “in” to you and the “power” (i.e. rank) of those other people. Very much like Google PageRank, ProfessionalRank would be earned over time based on the quantity and quality of your connections. Topics: Step 2: Learn More from Google, Distribute ProfessionalRank Across Connections So, lets say we had the above simple algorithm in place and your ProfessionalRank was 87.29 (on some sort of logarithmic scale of 0-100). This is of course based on the number of people linking to you and what their rank is. Now, what you’ve done is established some credibility within the network. What we would now do is “pass” your accumulated ProfessionalRank to the people *you* connect out to. So, if you only had 5 “trusted” people in your network, they would get some portion of the 87.29 units. The way Google does this is evenly distributes the weight across all outbound links. LinkedIn could go a step further and allow you to individually weigh your outbound connections. You could say: “Joe is the best thing since sliced bread, I’m going to give him 50% of my rank and divide the rest amongst everyone else…” Link Building Step 1: Learn from Google PageRank and introduce ProfessionalRank™ If someone from LinkedIn is reading this and is interested in discussing further, feel free to drop me a line. LinkedIn vs. Facebook Originally published Sep 12, 2007 11:14:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Topics: Ad Age reports that Pampers new Dry Max diaper, “the most significant innovation in 25 years” for the company, has already gotten a bad rap due to negative reviews online at Diapers.com, PampersVilliage.com, and on other social media sites. The reason these negative reviews developed two months before Pampers Dry Max campaign launch has to do with the way Pampers rolled out their new product. According to P&G, the new diapers have been available in various early markets starting last summer. Since distribution was slow and many of their prospects wouldn’t have access to the diapers until much later, Pampers decided to place the new Dry Max product in the old “Cruisers” packaging. Here’s the kicker: instead of explaining the change to their customers, Pampers decided not to say anything at all until the campaign launch (two months from now).Meanwhile, word started spreading virally about the new product among moms complaining about the new design in old package’s clothing. Since then a Facebook group calling Pampers to bring back the old “Cruisers” also surfaced and more and more people have joined in on the PampersVillage.com conversation. Pampers Strategy Vs. Domino’s Pizza TurnAround CampaignI wonder if this backlash against Pampers could have been prevented had they had as much transparency in their process as Domino’s Pizza did for their Pizza Turnaround Campaign. If you haven’t heard, Dominos recently updated their pizza recipe for the first time in 50 years of business. They made sure to document the entire process on their site www.pizzaturnaround.com, posted videos to YouTube and even invited customers to comment on the new recipe on Twitter via hashtag #newpizza. This strategy is drastically different than Pampers, who has been slowly planning a large marketing campaign for Dry Max. For many customers (who have already used the product) this campaign comes way too late. According to Jody Allen, V.P. of North American care, P&G believes that the negative feedback will quickly fade out once their marketing campaign goes in motion. Admittedly, P&G has been known for many years for their rigorous product testing. So, it’s possible that these Dry Max dissenters represent a very small portion of Pampers’ customer base. The question is, could much of the negative feedback been prevented if P&G had communicated as well as Dominos about their product changes? Start the Conversation, Before it Starts About YouWhen we talk about social media, we often talk about the power of listening to your customer and creating a two-way conversation between your customers and your brand. However, I think we don’t talk enough about starting the conversation before a crisis, too. Many big businesses have had success in using social media to communicate in a more timely way with their customers. This week, FourSquare had an API issue with their service and I couldn’t update my status for a few hours, which was frustrating. However, the entire day they made sure to post updates to Twitter to keep me informed on their progress toward fixing the issue. Since they’d taken the time to build their presence before an issue occurred, I was able to check my Twitter feed to get answers that helped alleviate my frustration. Pampers could have been using their Twitter and Facebook accounts to announce the change and to prepare their customers for the “new and improved” diapers. They could have documented reasons why the new diaper was chosen by interviewing their employees (as Dominos did) and posted them to YouTube and their Pampers Village forum. They could have done a lot of things to keep the lines of communication open and show that changes for the new Dry Max diapers were based on customer feedback and a clear customer need. It’s obvious based on a quick glimpse at PampersVillage.com forums that P&G failed at communicating changes properly. What other ways could Pampers have been more transparent about their new product launch and communicated more effectively? How do you use social media to communicate to your customers before a major marketing push? Video: How to Use Social Media to Manage Your Company Brand Online Learn how to use social media to manage your company brand.Download the free video and learn how to manage your company brand effectively using social media. Originally published Jan 22, 2010 3:37:00 PM, updated October 01 2013 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Marketing Trends
When executed properly, leveraging paid marketing opportunities to a limited degree can help to complement a business’ inbound marketing efforts. Display ads, for instance, can be a great way to promote your content and drive visitors to your website for conversion.Advertising on The New York Times, for example, is pretty sexy. It tickles one’s stature to know that their business is featured alongside top-notch articles. What is more, Times ads reach a demographic that is educated and wealthy—a great audience to market to. Unless you’re doing it wrong.It turns out that a lot of companies are doing it wrong and wasting their money on advertising in such online publications. We took a look at some of the ads featured on The Times’ website and saw many of the same patterns, all of which lead to ineffective marketing. Three of the most frequent scenarios we encountered are represented in the presentation below:Why ads on The New York Times are a waste of money If you’re considering experimenting with online advertising in your business’ internet marketing efforts, avoid the following three mistakes, as illustrated in the presentation above.Mistake #1: No GuidanceAdvertisers don’t give enough direction to readers who click through on their ads. Once an ad and its call-to-action grab someone’s attention, companies need to retain that attention. The reader should be guided through what to do next. If they see no clear value on the page that they land on after clicking on the ad, they will naturally flee. Be sure that you’re sending visitors to a dedicated landing page with clear instructions for the action you want them to take, whether it’s completing a form to download an ebook, or signing up for a free product trial.Mistake #2: Not Delivering on ExpectationsAnother common mistake advertisers make is that they don’t deliver on the expectations they set. If your ad promises a whitepaper, you need to deliver a whitepaper. If it is designed to convey a fun and light-hearted message, that is also what the offer should be. You shouldn’t feature a call-to-action with a cartoon character and then take the reader to a scary looking pricing page.Mistake #3: Providing Too Many OptionsOftentimes, advertisers offer too many options to readers who click through on ads. Once someone has decided that they are interested in your offer, try to keep their focus on that offer. Don’t distract them unecessarily. Remove calls-to-action, sidebar navigation, and links to other resources from the landing page that is tied to the ad.So, if you are going to advertise on The New York Times (or any other website for that matter), make sure you avoid these mistakes and improve the performance of your calls-to-action. Topics: Originally published Nov 17, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated July 03 2013 Calls to Action Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
The holidays are here! The holidays are here! And with the holidays come so many companies’ holiday marketing campaigns. While these campaigns are a great opportunity for business’ to show thanks for their existing customers, spread holiday cheer, and even attract the attention of new prospects and customers, how can you make sure your business stands out and does more than simply sending out a cheesy holiday card? Here are five awesome examples of companies doing it right that you can use to motivate your own marketing campaign this season.American Express: Small Business SaturdayAmerican Express created Small Business Saturday to encourage shoppers to remember their favorite small businesses during a period when big brands are usually in the spotlight. This year, the company is even giving American Express customers rebates for shopping at their favorite local businesses. They are also helping small business owners capitalize on their social media success by providing stores with Facebook ads, scripts, for tweets and Facebook posts, and even signage to attract attention to them. What makes it awesome?American Express’ campaign is not only a good example for marketers, but the company is also helping small businesses learn how to market their businesses. Furthermore, they are helping to stimulate the economy and local communities by encouraging shoppers to remember the smaller, local stores while also promoting its brand effectively.Starbucks: Cup Magic AppStarbucks’ regular mobile app has brought the company a lot of success. So for the holiday season, Starbucks launched an app to celebrate its renowned red cups and continue making Starbucks an experience for its customers. This app highlights holiday offers, allows you to send an eGift and uses augmented reality to animate the pictures on the red cups. Collecting all the characters on the cups may even lead to something special.What makes it awesome?Starbucks is always successful with customer engagement, especially when it comes to its mobile app. By creating an app just for the holidays, the company is not only promoting its brand and holiday drinks but also reminding people of its regular mobile app. When creating your marketing strategy, keep your long-term goals in mind. Your campaign should incorporate some holiday flair while keeping in mind and leveraging the bigger picture.OfficeMax: Elf YourselfWhat’s funnier than putting your friends and pets in elf outfits and watching them dance around on your screen? Few companies are able to repurpose the same holiday campaign year after year and still find success. But to keep things interesting every year, OfficeMax slightly changes the songs and themes of these videos, successfully getting people keep coming back for more. JibJab also makes it simple to share the videos on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and via email.What makes it awesome?By creating these interactive videos, OfficeMax is constantly engaging with its audience. OfficeMax saw an opportunity to do something fun while still promoting its brand. In addition, the personalized nature of the campaign creates a viral effect, helping the promotion to spread, and thus expanding the reach of the OfficeMax brand. For your next holiday campaign, consider opportunities to better personalize and target your campaign to the audience you’re trying to reach.Kohl’s: Friday Parody for Black FridaySomeone was bound to do it. This season, Kohl’s released a commercial with a parody for Rebecca Black’s song “Friday” with the purpose of highlighting Kohl’s as the destination for discounts on Black Friday. Even if people laugh at Kohl’s song selection, it has received a lot of viral attention as “Friday” is a song people love to talk about, even if they hate it.What makes it awesome?This may seem like an easy opportunity for any store with Black Friday approaching, but Kohl’s was the first store to take advantage of the song’s viral nature. Kohl’s also recognized that its target audience is made up of the types of people who applaud this song instead of laugh at it. Using this song for the parody keeps Kohl’s brand goals in mind while still benefiting from promotion for Black Friday.Macy’s: Believe CampaignEvery year, Macy’s donates $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation for every letter to Santa that is submitted at their store. In the last three years, they have collected more than four million letters. Customers and their children are immersed in the holiday spirit as they write to Santa and raise money for charity. This year, Macy’s designed an app to take pictures with some of Macy’s holiday characters to further promote their campaign.What makes it awesome?Macy’s always gets a lot of press during the holidays, but this year the department store is making its annual campaign more interactive. By giving customers a mobile experience, the company will be able to take the Macy’s brand and experience outside of the store, which is important for any business trying to leverage the current mobile phenomenon.The holidays are a great time to market your business during a time when many of your competitors are likely asleep at the wheel. Whether you create a mobile app or simply create a few holiday-themed offers, don’t miss out on a great opportunity to get creative and keep your business on the tops of your prospects and customers’ minds.And don’t forget to check out HubSpot’s holiday campaign featuring the @HubSpotUnicorn!What other awesome holiday campaigns have you seen this season?Photo Credit: cindyiscrafty Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Holiday Marketing Originally published Nov 24, 2011 3:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017
Calls to Action Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: We’ve talked a lot about calls-to-action on the blog. How to get people to click on them. How to design them. And even how to make them “smart” so different people viewing your website will see different calls-to-action.But wait a second … didn’t we skip over something crucial there?Download Now: 28 Free CTA TemplatesWe’ll admit it — we’re missing one key post answering two questions that people ask us all the time:What is a call-to-action in the first place?What makes people actually click on calls-to-action?So … that’s how this post was born.We’re going to take a step back and review the basics — and if you’re feeling confident to start creating calls-to-action of your own …What Is a Call-to-Action?A call-to-action (usually abbreviated as CTA) is an image or line of text that prompts your visitors, leads, and customers to take action. It is, quite literally, a “call” to take an “action.”The action you want people to take could be anything: download an ebook, sign up for a webinar, get a coupon, attend an event, etc. A CTA can be placed anywhere in your marketing — on your website, in an ebook, in an email, or even at the end of a blog post.Still not sure what they are? You’ll know them when you see them. Here’s a compilation of what CTAs can look like:In most places in your marketing, you have only one CTA — but sometimes, there are special instances where you might include multiple CTAs. We’re not going to worry about that much, but if you’re interested, you can read more about using multiple CTAs here.But here’s the catch with getting started with CTAs: you can’t just slap “Click Here!” on a neon button, insert it on your website, and start racking in the clicks and leads. There are several crucial elements you need to include in a CTA if you want to entice people to actually take an action from your content. A Checklist for an Effective CTA When you’re creating your first call-to-action, it’s easy to get all turned around and end up making something that people won’t click on. To save you time and effort, here’s a quick checklist for the essential elements of a quality CTA. Eye-Catching Design: For someone to click on your CTA, they have to first notice its existence. This is pretty much the one time you can veer off course from your branding guidelines: Your CTAs’ colors should contrast with your website design, yet also appear large enough to be noticed (we’ve seen them perform best around 225px wide and 45px high). Copy That Makes People Want to Act: It’s not enough to say “Submit” as your CTA’s copy — you need a concise, jargon-free phrase that uses actionable verbs to catch people’s attention. If you want more CTA copywriting tips, check out this blog post. A Clear Value Proposition: People should know exactly what will happen when they click on a CTA. Are they expecting to download an ebook or a PowerPoint template? Get a product demo or sign up for your weekly newsletter? Make sure the CTA explicitly tells them what they’re getting in exchange for their click. A Specific Page (Ideally a Landing Page) Aligned With One Stage in the Sales Cycle: A CTA is most effective if people are taken to a dedicated landing page after clicking it, rather than a random page on your website. For example, a CTA is still a CTA if it points to a “contact us” page (which isn’t a landing page), but it won’t be as effective driving leads and customers as a specific, focused landing page for a free ebook download. Also, CTAs should be created with a specific stage in the sales cycle in mind. For example, you wouldn’t include a product demo CTA on a blog post created for brand new visitors — your clickthrough rate would plummet.… And that’s the basics of CTAs. Hope that cleared up any questions you might have!Next Steps: Create a CTA of Your Own And that’s pretty much all you need to know if you’re unclear on what a CTA is. But if you want a deeper dive into creating and optimizing CTAs, you could download this ebook for more details. And if you’re itching to start creating, you can download our free PowerPoint template of 27 different types of calls-to-action.How are you going to use CTAs in your marketing? Share your ideas with us in the comments! Originally published Aug 14, 2013 4:00:00 PM, updated September 06 2017