Category Archives: SaaS

10 Online Savings and Wealth Management Services

10 Online Savings and Wealth Management Services

Wealth Management Services

There are a lot of cloud based options for those of you wanting to save for a holiday, invest some spare cash, or plan for retirement. This is a list (in no particular order) of some of the best services for online savings or wealth management.

WiseBanyan

Wealth Management Services

WiseBanyan was the world’s first free financial advisor with no minimum account balance, and is built on the principle that investing should be a right, not a privilege. Instead of charging their customers for their standard package, they earn money by offering additional paid services, like Tax Loss Harvesting. Although they have only a small share of the market at the moment (around $35 million in assets), they are a fantastic service for those looking for free or first time advice on savings or investments.

Mint

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Mint allows you to see your entire financial situation all on one screen; credit cards, savings, ISAs. investments, budgets, insurance, everything you can imagine. Mint updates and analyzes your information in real time, making judgements and suggestions on savings accounts and credit offers available. Their blog even offers financial advice on everything from how to handle student loan debt, to misconceptions about credit cards.

Albert

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Albert is another financial advice application it compiles your financial data into a single platform, including bank accounts, credit cards, property, loans and investments. Where it differs from Mint is that it’s more focused on giving financial advice and encouraging you to make financial changes, as well as helping you track your everyday spending and budget. And when it offers tips, it pushes you to actually put them into action. For example, if it suggests you start a savings account, it will transfer money across into it for you.

Moneybox

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Moneybox is a very simple little IOS (Android coming soon) app that helps you to save little by little. You add card details to the app and then every time you make a purchase Moneybox will ask you if you would like to round up to the nearest dollar or more and save the extra cash. Bank level encryption protects your savings and information and the money you save can be invested in several different ways, through cash, global shares, or property shares. You can withdraw your money anytime, and can spread your investments (no matter how small) across the three different types of investments.

Bank Simple

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Bank Simple, or Simple, is one of the world’s first completely digital banks. It does everything a normal bank does, digitally, with no branches, and more importantly, no banking fees. You can set savings goals, and it will analyze your spending, to give you a better understanding of how and where you spend your money, and how you could cut down on some spending. It even has a handy little “safe to spend” feature which helps to curb spending in case of emergency!

Betterment

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Betterment is an online investment service aimed at maximising investment returns, using a combination of smart automation to help invest excess cash and analyse your entire financial situation and an expert team of financial advisors and investors. They claim to increase profits by 4.30% when compared to DIY investment. Those with little money to invest don’t have to be put off, the service has no minimum balance or deposit, and can be used to plan retirement savings and to organise your taxes.

Wealthbar

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Wealthbar is a financial robo-advisor that can help you plan for long-term savings and investments, as well as helping to understand your spending and offer advice on how to save more efficiently. Wealthbar is competitive with a fee of only 0.35%-0.60% and insurance up to $1,000,00 of investment, so your money is definitely safe! The only downside is a minimum investment of $5000, so for smaller investments you may want to consider other services in this list.

Acorns

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Acorns is a robo-investment app that rounds purchase to the nearest dollar and invests the change in exchange-traded funds and bonds. At $1 a month or free for students with a .edu email address, acorn doesn’t cost much, but it is unlikely to make you rich. However, for first time investors, or for those with little to invest, it can be a useful stepping stone to larger investments.

Motif

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Motif is aimed at investors who have an active interest in investing in individual stocks and securities, and those with experience in doing so. Motif use a very unique system that allows you to pick stocks and investments, based on your personal beliefs and interests. You can choose specific stocks, buying fractional and whole shares, or you can choose from the selection of over 180,00 “motifs” that have been assembled by users and Motif themselves. The “motifs” are a collection of stocks and exchange-traded funds that represent market trends or specific industries.

Personal Capital

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Personal Capital is another online wealth management service for those with larger investments to handle (the minimum start-up deposit is $25,000), with a specialized department for dealing with investments over $1 million. You can link all your accounts together on the Personal Capital Dashboard to get a full overview of your financial life and net worth and they give you a personal financial advisor to deal with your investments. This service is definitely skewed towards higher end investors, with the costs dropping from 0.89% to 0.49% as you invest over the $1 million threshold.

None of the services included in this list were sponsored or paid for. However, companies interested in being involved in future sponsorship initiatives can contact us to discuss our other programs via: contact@cloudtweaks.com

By Josh Hamilton

How Venture Capital Has Changed Online Travel Agencies and Travel-tech Start-ups

How Venture Capital Has Changed Online Travel Agencies and Travel-tech Start-ups

Venture Capital and Travel-tech Start-ups

For the last decade, investment in Online Travel Agencies and Travel-tech start-ups from Venture Capital has been on the rise. The main driving factor behind this transition towards OTA’s has been the rise of the smartphone. The computing power of smartphones has increased exponentially over the last few years, with Wired even predicting in 2015 that, by the end of this year, we could be using our smartphones as our only computer. While that still seems a way off the prediction explains the mass investment in Travel-tech start-ups, especially those who focus on a mobile platform.

Atlas Venture’s Jeff Fagnan commented that “the major driver is how easy it is, the device factor has changed travel in itself,” – noting that the ease of booking has been the central reason for the shift towards mobile devices. Consumers now have the ability to book a last minute flight, a hotel, and an Uber to and from the airport in a matter of minutes on their smartphone – a trend which is only accelerating.

Travel-tech Start-ups

Investors have rapidly moved beyond mobile digital models of traditional travel services like booking a hotel room or a flight, towards more innovative and abstract businesses and ideas. FlyteNow the private plane ride-sharing service, Fishfishme a worldwide fishing charter booking platform, and Sailogy the on-demand yacht chartering service all raised new rounds of investment at the beginning of 2014.

This onslaught of investment can also be attributed to the fact that travel is typically one of the first markets to monetize online in emerging markets. Brian O’Malley of Accel argued that the lower physical barriers in terms of established consumer base and target markets, mean that there is much more opportunity to successfully monetize traffic.

The market today for Travel-tech start-up investment is not as pretty a picture as it was 2 years previous. However, total worldwide travel start-up investment in Q3 2016 has been estimated by venture capital research firm CB Insights, to reach $3 billion – a significant drop from the record breaking $4.5 billion raised in funding in 2015. However, it has to be noted that these figures do exclude Uber, who have now raised $15 billion in equity and debt, following an injection of cash from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

The drop off in funding (if you can call it that) was somewhat unexpected, but a record breaking year is rarely followed by a subsequent record breaking year.

Katherine BarrMany investors are waiting a bit longer to see more traction in companies before they invest,” said Katherine Barr, an investor and founding partner at Wildcat Venture Partners in a July 2016 interview with Skift. She postulated that many VC firms were simply adopting a “wait and see” approach in an attempt to moderate the highly optimistic company valuations of 2015.

Matt Keezer of Momentum Ventures has long been a believer in a more marked approach to VC investment, more like the investment market we have today. Although VC investment has begun to move towards Travel-tech start-ups and away from Online Travel Agencies, there is still huge potential for profit when investments are more cautiously managed. Skyscanner, has recently been valued at £1.4 billion when VC firm Scottish Equity Partners sold one third of it’s stake to a Chinese firm for £465 million – a massive return on their 2007 investment of £9 million.

Matt Keezer has helped to invest in, and grow, Flight Hub and Justfly, two hugely successful OTA’s through smart investment and a cautious approach to investment. That said he is in the minority as Travel-tech investment has begun to move over-seas in the past few years, to emerging markets in Asia and Africa.

Venture Capital Investment and the rise to prominence of the smartphone as a booking platform, pushed investment in Online Travel Agencies and Travel-tech start-ups to incredible heights in 2015. Yet, with emerging markets becoming increasingly more stable and thus lucrative, especially in terms of travel-based investment, VC investment in the US has declined and begun to move towards these emerging markets. Investment in Online Travel Agencies and Travel-tech is unlikely to hit the wild heights of 2015 in North America again, but markets in China, Singapore, Africa, and other emerging nations, is unlikely to peak anytime soon.

By Josh Hamilton

When The Cloud Comes To The Black Friday Table

When The Cloud Comes To The Black Friday Table

Black Friday

table-black-friday

Black Friday, as most people know, is the busiest shopping day of the year, occurring immediately after U.S. Thanksgiving, and ushering in the “official” beginning of the Christmas/Holiday shopping season. Its name has come to represent the time of the year at which most retailers start to turn a profit (operating in the black), as opposed to running at a loss (in the red) as they have been doing since January 1. Although this dire financial situation does not apply to all retailers everywhere, it is no surprise that the onslaught of aggressive, deal-hungry shoppers delivers a fresh wave of commerce and cash, much like a coastal ocean swell replenishing a tide pool.

Cloud technology has a major role to play in supporting the activities of the Black Friday weekend of course, first by managing the spike in commercial transactions that happens on the Friday and the weekend, and then secondly in coordinating the online sales that occur on the following “Cyber Monday,” a relatively more recent tradition in which shoppers turn to online retailers to complete the shopping they could not finish over the weekend. Retailers the world over now rely on the cloud to fulfill every element of the retail process from the pre-season wholesale ordering of goods through to post-sale delivery and customer service, and everything in between.

Though, Black Friday still seems to be a retail-oriented phenomenon, aimed squarely at consumers – the public – the B2C arena. Seasonal deals in the business-to-business (B2B) sphere are few and far between, and seem relegated to the primary levels of the industry, such as the occasional cloud hosting or web page-hosting provider offering up extra space for any new customers that sign up on this special weekend.

Cloud Black Friday

How long might it be before the world sees “Black Friday” sales on a higher-level? A cloud industry level? For a start, the increased awareness of the need for high-performance cloud technology in support of this busy retail season can easily translate into a plethora of conversations about robust cloud technology in areas such as analytics, security, application development and migration.

If one were to accept the notion that Black Friday was thus named for the arrival of profits, rather than losses in a storekeeper’s books, then today’s retail madness was actually born out of an accounting term. If the world can translate an event from “accounting” to “shopping”, then it might be just as easy to reconfigure the Black Friday concept from “retail” to “industry”.

Selling cloud technology is a big and very tangible business, as can be seen by the number of major trade shows and events that occur around the world, hosted in huge convention centers and attracting thousands of delegates. Although virtualization may be a central theme of cloud, there are still many solid parts to the machines behind it, and these need to be seen, touched and experienced by business buyers.

Although cloud has no season, techniques for selling cloud technology follow the same traditions as selling cars, phones and video games: newer equals better, cheaper, sexier, with more features and greater reliability. Cloud technology has made great strides in separating itself from old-school mainframe ideologies, through its current marketing approaches and its open-source attitude. Very soon, as in a couple of years soon, it is highly likely that the new generation of business-to-business will take a page from its retail sibling and start to sell its wares seasonally.

(Updated and edited: November 24th, 2016)

By Steve Prentice

The Evolution of Venture Capital – Matt Keezer vs George Doriot

The Evolution of Venture Capital – Matt Keezer vs George Doriot

The Evolution of Venture Capital

It was the general consensus in the aftermath of World War II that the US would fall back into depression. US government bonds were only yielding 2% at best, and many investors were willing to accept that. However, some were not, and this is when Venture Capitalism in its current form was born – prior to the war, Venture Capital investments came from wealthy family groups like the Rockefellers.

Georges Doriot, who many consider to be the “Father of Venture Capital”, was one of first to create a non-family based venture model with the founding of the American Research and Development Corporation (ARD). ARD’s early investment record is typical of more traditional models of venture capital; they had a few failed ventures (e.g. Island Packers – tuna fish packing), a few that produced modest returns (e.g. Tracer Labs), and one investment replenished the fund of all its losses (Digital Equipment – a chip manufacturer). ARD based all their investments on the idea of “taking calculated risks in select [growth] companies”, whilst still looking for companies that had passed key landmarks, such as having passed the test tube stage, with patent or IP protection.

In the spring of 1961, Doriot gave a talk (that later became a book) which he titled ‘Creative Capital’, that outlined the optimum model for Venture Capital investment; one that he had built over the past 15 years. Doriot’s thoughts on venture investing were that:

  • The best returns on investment were from the riskiest companies – often start-ups that had to be built from scratch
  • The strongest companies were not a result of overnight success – they were developed over time
  • The most lucrative areas for investment were in specialized tech – patents and know-how allowed smaller companies to be competitive with large corporations
  • The most difficult part of the job was convincing entrepreneurs to take outside help, regardless of whether it was for generating sales, getting a bank credit line, or hiring the right team.

Venture Capital Landscape

matt-picOver the past quarter of a century the Venture Capital landscape has changed considerably. The cost of starting a company has dropped considerably, from $2 million in the late 90s to little more than the cost of running a website today. This development means that serious venture investment is no longer required in the early stages of a start-up – micro ventures and crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter have stepped in to fill that investment void.

So where does that leave traditional venture capital? ‘Old school’ Venture Capital firms with 10-year investment vehicles, that tend to yield mediocre returns, are starting to realise that money is a commodity. Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures has even predicted that venture capital in its current iteration won’t be around in ten years.

However, there are a small number of more modern Venture Capitalist firms that are trying to find newer, more innovative, and ultimately more profitable ways of investing. Matt Keezer, CEO at Momentum Ventures, has been attempting to bring Venture Capital into the 21st century, with his very own three pronged approach to modern investment:

  1. Find and identify an industry that you are actually passionate about and are ready to immerse yourself in.
  2. Look at businesses within that industry that are doing well now and that will continue to do well in the future.
  3. Determine whether or not you have a reasonable entry point into that industry.

In contrast to George Doriot’s Venture Capitalist model, Matt and Momentum Ventures don’t buy into the notion that there has to be high levels of risk to foster true innovation and success. In a previous interview with CloudTweaks he commented,

I have a hard time not feeling bad for the entrepreneurs spending their time and careers on a failing project. However, some believe that this extreme level of risk is necessary for true innovation. I disagree with that notion.

Momentum Ventures have committed themselves to trying to reduce the risk that is somewhat intertwined with Venture Capital investment, they take pride in being what Keezer calls an “anti-venture capital” firm. They are attempting to bridge the divide between Venture Capital and the process of building a strong and reliable business, a divide that seems illogical in its conception. Crowdfunding and the rise of the internet has forced Venture Capital to grow and adapt, as there is nothing to suggest that the incentives that drive their investment have disappeared.

(Sponsored series via Momentum Venture)

By Josh Hamilton

The Continued Growth of the SaaS Travel Industry

The Continued Growth of the SaaS Travel Industry

SaaS Travel Industry

The online travel industry can trace its roots to American Airlines in the late 1970s. It has grown from the SABRE (Semi-automated Business Research Environment) system, which was developed to automate booking reservations to, to a sprawling industry worth billions of dollars.

Expedia, Yahoo Travel, Booking.com, Justfly, and Priceline, makeup just a few of the companies vying to establish themselves at the top of the digital travel industry.

In 1999, before the internet became truly globalised, the Travel Industry Association of America reported that 15.1 million people in the United States booked their travel arrangements online. Worldwide digital travel sales surpassed $533 billion in 2015, a 13.3% increase from 2014, and that number is set to grow again this year. It may shock you a little to discover that, 17 years later, despite the massive growth of the internet, more than half of all travel bookings are still made offline – either over the phone or through retail travel agents.

mobile-travel

However, the online travel industry is set to continue to grow rapidly over the next few years. It has been estimated that by 2020, the highest percentage of total sales made by online payments will be held by the travel industry (see fig. 1). This growth can be attributed to the growth of the travel industry in general, with developing countries like China and India housing an ever expanding middle class, the amount of disposable income that these countries as a whole can spend on travel is set to skyrocket over the next decade.

Of the many travel sites that have benefitted from the meteoric rise of the internet over the last decade, Justfly has been one of the more recent success stories. JustFly is the fastest growing online travel company in the US, whose exponential rise can be attributed, at least in part, to their drive to stay ahead of the curve in providing modern technological benefits with a human touch.

The fact that over half of bookings still occur offline, can give us an insight into the public desire to deal with people rather than booking sites, when it comes to travel arrangements. Sites like Justfly or Expedia, who combined the best of modern technology, along with a human component seem to be enjoying the most success. Although some airlines have attempted to lessen the impact of these middle-men, they are fighting a losing battle. Michelle Evans, the digital consumer manager at Euromonitor, commented recently that online travel agencies are leading the overall growth in online and mobile travel bookings, though there has been some growth in direct bookings for hotels and lodgings.

Co-founder of ComScore, a U.S. Internet analytics company, Gian Fulgoni did suggest that airlines have been doing more to hold onto revenue that hotels, since branded travel sites have more to lose from receiving bookings through OTA’s (Outside Travel Agencies).

In contrast to the earlier statistic, that over half of all bookings are still made offline, a 2015 report by CNBC, suggested that 7 out of 10 people using the internet in the US were visiting travel sites. So, how do we account for this gap in the statistics? People are using the internet to find and compare prices, and many of them will then go to more traditional methods of booking to finalise their arrangements. Why else would sites like Expedia and Justfly place such a high value on the need for a human element to travel booking? Justfly’s entire matra is built on combining a team of travel experts, with their “efficient and technologically bullet-proof platform”.

Add all this to the fact that TripAdvisor garnered substantially more internet traffic (14.5% share of the market) this year, than any other travel site, the stats suggest that we are becoming smarter consumers. We are learning to take all aspects of the travel industry, both digital and human, and combine them to help us to find the best prices for our travels. As Gian Fulgoni put it, “The Internet has put pricing power in the hands of the consumer“.

Sponsored by Justfly

By Josh Hamilton

Waiting for IT? Rise Up Citizen Coders! Cloud Now Eliminates the Need for Developers

Waiting for IT? Rise Up Citizen Coders! Cloud Now Eliminates the Need for Developers

SaaS Application Development

All we seem to hear about is the shortage of developers, people who can code. Times are changing in response to this need. Ever hear of “Low Code” or “No Code”? Now you can modify and connect your applications, as needed without developers. Cloud makes this possible.

Can you use Excel? Know somebody on your team who can? You or they don’t need to be spreadsheet jockeys but just have a basic faculty. Guess what? In a couple of weeks, this is your answer to your shortage of developers. You do this by taking advantage of the Lo Code/No Code Movement through tools like QuickBase.

Quickbase and its kin basically provide a Graphic User interface (GUI) that enables you to drag and drop elements needed to get different SaaS programs to produce unique reports or to link with other programs to produce integrated data. These apps created by low- and no-code platforms are mostly hosted on the web and fill roles in eCommerce, sales, digital form filling, and other basic computing needs.

Now, keep in mind that this is not going to produce a brand new program to manage your big data research, but that’s not the point: it’s designed to fulfill business needs simply and quickly. The beauty of this approach is that often there is a disconnect between what the business wants and what IT thinks the business wants. Here the business can directly build the application to get exactly what it wants.

Sounds like a pretty good idea, doesn’t it? You bet it is and the market is responding. Clay Richardson, an analyst at Forrester, says: “We expect the demand for new apps will drive the low-code platforms market to grow at 50-60% YoY for the next three to four years.”

The big SaaS providers have recognized the need and responded as well. Salesforce.com offers App Cloud Mobile. App Cloud is a one-stop shop for building, running, managing, and optimizing apps. Using the services included in the App Cloud you can build any kind of app, and connect it to all your systems.

The brave new world of cloud computing continues, enabling all kinds of organizations to raise the bar in performance and service to customers. Sure there is a shortage of developers but here is a way around it. What are you waiting for?

(Originally published Oct 27 th, 2016. You can periodically read John’s syndicated articles here on CloudTweaks. Contact us for more information on these programs)

By John Pientka

Is It Time For Your Small Business To Take CRM Seriously?

Is It Time For Your Small Business To Take CRM Seriously?

Small Business CRM

Nothing is more important to a small business than creating and nurturing solid relationships with its customers and treating them in ways that lock in their loyalty for many years to come. But customer relationship management (CRM) is hard work and very time consuming without the right tools to tackle the challenge. Making that relationship easier to manage is the reason why multi-national software company SAP has developed SAP Digital CRM, an all-in-one solution that can centralize the administration and record keeping of the entire spectrum of customer engagement within a company.

You may think that your small business doesn’t need this kind of software; that you really know and understand your customers and their individual needs. While that may be true, that kind of thinking does limit your ability to expand your business while maintaining such high quality relationships.

So what are the signs that you need to make the move to a CRM solution?

  • If you are relying on personal memory to keep track of customers preferences and requests
  • If you do not have a system that tracks the current status of requests
  • And if your records are not accessible and shareable from any of your devices.

These are all common business challenges. It should be reassuring to know that there are software solutions out there that are easy to implement, and allow you to focus on your core strengths while maintaining the quality of relationship that you have worked so hard to develop.

Watch this video to get an insight into how SAP Digital CRM could work for you:

There are a number of key features of the solution which are worth highlighting that will really bring home the value of SAP Digital CRM to a small business owner. When each member of a team logs on, they are directed to a personalized homepage on their mobile device that displays all the relevant information for that day in a simple format. Appointments, pipelines, forecasting, to-do list – all are there in one easy-to-use view.

First-class service for customers is at the heart of SAP Digital CRM. The dashboard allows you to create tickets that manage all the customer queries in one place. Those tickets can be escalated, assigned to specific members, and commented on via notes all the way through. Furthermore, you can select activities that need to happen on each of the tickets, such as a follow-up call or a new task, and you can manage the status of the ticket constantly. Customers who receive proactive and effective service never forget it and are likely to remain loyal. A recent study by Twitter itself confirmed the widely held belief that responsive customer engagement leads to greater customer loyalty in meaningful ways. In the airline industry, a responsive tweet to a customer within the first six minutes after a query results in the customer willing to pay $20 more for service. Furthermore, a response to a negative tweet from a customer has resulted in a favorable perception from customers in 69% of cases.

There are massive opportunities for businesses who are willing and able to engage with prospects via Twitter. That’s why it is so beneficial that SAP Digital CRM can be attached to a company’s Twitter feed, in order to monitor and respond to customer queries or conversations around the brand, and even to escalate tickets that demand an urgent response from disgruntled consumers before they start badmouthing a brand to their followers. This is a simple, low-cost option that should be mandatory for any brand working in the digital space.

Read the Twitter blog on Responding to customers:

When it comes to generating and nurturing new leads, SAP Digital CRM makes it easier than ever. In order to keep growing you need to make sure that your message is being seen by the right people, and that you are ready to respond when prospective customers reach out. SAP Digital CRM lets you create targeted email campaigns, rank your leads in terms of any number of metrics and measure how effective your marketing campaign has been. And all this from a simple, all-in-one platform.

It’s no secret that happy, loyal customers are the foundation of any successful business. If you are ready to unleash your full potential, to steer your sales teams to greater heights and grow your business the way you’ve always dreamed of, then it’s time to consider a simple and effective way of making customer engagement central to everything that you do, while freeing you up to keep the business growing.

SAP Digital CRM is available for only $23 per user/month, and you can try it free for 30 days here, no credit card required. (10% on SAP Digital CRM Promo Code: DCRM10LIST)

Sponsored spotlight series by SAP

By Jeremy Daniel

Growth Hacking Your Startup Into The Cloud

Growth Hacking Your Startup Into The Cloud

SaaS Growth Hacking

Growth hacking could be just the kick your business’s marketing strategy needs but knowing that the cheap and prolific tools and tactics work and knowing how to make them work for you are two different things. We take a look at who to get advice from, which brand strategies to replicate, and where to get the how-tos.

A Few of the Experts

growth-hacking-followers

Though there’s no definitive list of growth hacking experts, there are a few who’ve made a name for themselves in the field and continue to develop their art. Sean Ellis is notable not only for coining the term ‘growth hacking’ but also for the marketing triumphs of Dropbox, LogMeIn, and Eventbrite (to name a few). Check out Sean’s Twitter feed for some valuable advice. Neil Patel, co-founder of CrazyEgg and KISSmetrics, is another digital marketer with an excellent reputation and a list of top tier clients he’s helped to grow. Considered a top influencer on the web by the Wall Street Journal, Neil provides tons of quality growth-hacking content on advertising, SEO, content marketing and much more. Though the range of experts worth tapping includes far more than mentioned here, Brian Dean rounds us off with specialist SEO expertise that helps organizations build traffic growth through SEO. Brian keeps thing simple with a few key strategies and detailed step-by-step tutorials for decisive success.

Influential Brands

brands-tech

But don’t just take the experts’ word for it; it’s always a good idea to have a look at the growth hacking success stories to see what might best fit your own business. Hotmail made excellent use of simple email tag lines that invite new users through mail sent out by existing users, and both Gmail and Pinterest exploited the public’s love of exclusivity to create a buzz through invite only access. Twitter’s automatic suggestions of new users to follow have encouraged broader connections and sustained use, a version of upselling that when correctly employed is extremely fruitful. A few brands, including PayPal and Dropbox, have made good use of the fact that nobody can say no to free stuff with incentivizing schemes that encourage existing users to refer friends to their services, a growth hack that not only expands customer bases but improves the loyalty of current users.

The How-Tos

For some tips, tricks and detailed growth hacking tutorials, consider the following:

Growth Tribe

Coming to you from Amsterdam, ‘Europe’s 1st Growth Hacking Academy’ offers a wealth of information helping individuals and companies build and use top growth hacking skills.

GrowthRocks

26 online courses to help you make the most out of the available growth hacking tools.

Udemy

With a sizeable range of growth hacking courses available, this online learning platform lets you pick and choose the skills you’d like to master.

Traction

How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth’ – by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares, a practical and tactical must-read.

100 Days of Growth

Sujan Patel and Rob Wormley’s ‘Proven Ways to Grow Your Business Fast.’ Practical advice in an actionable set of guidelines and strategies with examples of successful devices.

Just as growth hacking provides budget-friendly and efficient marketing tools to new and growing businesses, the growth hacking community is eager to share and build their skills inexpensively and abundantly. For those with the will, the resources are waiting.

By Jennifer Klostermann

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The Internet of Things Is About To Explode By 2020, Gartner estimates that the Internet of Things (IoT) will generate incremental revenue exceeding $300 billion worldwide. It’s an astoundingly large figure given that the sector barely existed three years ago. We are now rapidly evolving toward a world in which just about everything will become…

Cloud Infographic – The Future (IoT)

Cloud Infographic – The Future (IoT)

The Future (IoT) By the year 2020, it is being predicted that 40 to 80 billion connected devices will be in use. The Internet of Things or IoT will transform your business and home in many truly unbelievable ways. The types of products and services that we can expect to see in the next decade…

5 Surprising Ways Cloud Computing Is Changing Education

5 Surprising Ways Cloud Computing Is Changing Education

Cloud Computing Education The benefits of cloud computing are being recognized in businesses and institutions across the board, with almost 90 percent of organizations currently using some kind of cloud-based application. The immediate benefits of cloud computing are obvious: cloud-based applications reduce infrastructure and IT costs, increase accessibility, enable collaboration, and allow organizations more flexibility…

The Security Gap: What Is Your Core Strength?

The Security Gap: What Is Your Core Strength?

The Security Gap You’re out of your mind if you think blocking access to file sharing services is filling a security gap. You’re out of your mind if you think making people jump through hoops like Citrix and VPNs to get at content is secure. You’re out of your mind if you think putting your…

The Cloud Is Not Enough! Why Businesses Need Hybrid Solutions

The Cloud Is Not Enough! Why Businesses Need Hybrid Solutions

Why Businesses Need Hybrid Solutions Running a cloud server is no longer the novel trend it once was. Now, the cloud is a necessary data tier that allows employees to access vital company data and maintain productivity from anywhere in the world. But it isn’t a perfect system — security and performance issues can quickly…

Three Reasons Cloud Adoption Can Close The Federal Government’s Tech Gap

Three Reasons Cloud Adoption Can Close The Federal Government’s Tech Gap

Federal Government Cloud Adoption No one has ever accused the U.S. government of being technologically savvy. Aging software, systems and processes, internal politics, restricted budgets and a cultural resistance to change have set the federal sector years behind its private sector counterparts. Data and information security concerns have also been a major contributing factor inhibiting the…

Choosing IaaS or a Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting Provider?

Choosing IaaS or a Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting Provider?

There is a Difference – So Stop Comparing We are all familiar with the old saying “That’s like comparing apples to oranges” and though we learned this lesson during our early years we somehow seem to discount this idiom when discussing the Cloud. Specifically, IT buyers often feel justified when comparing the cost of a…

Virtual Immersion And The Extension/Expansion Of Virtual Reality

Virtual Immersion And The Extension/Expansion Of Virtual Reality

Virtual Immersion And Virtual Reality This is a term I created (Virtual Immersion). Ah…the sweet smell of Virtual Immersion Success! Virtual Immersion© (VI) an extension/expansion of Virtual Reality to include the senses beyond visual and auditory. Years ago there was a television commercial for a bathing product called Calgon. The tagline of the commercial was Calgon…

Cloud Native Trends Picking Up – Legacy Security Losing Ground

Cloud Native Trends Picking Up – Legacy Security Losing Ground

Cloud Native Trends Once upon a time, only a select few companies like Google and Salesforce possessed the knowledge and expertise to operate efficient cloud infrastructure and applications. Organizations patronizing those companies benefitted with apps that offered new benefits in flexibility, scalability and cost effectiveness. These days, the sharp division between cloud and on-premises infrastructure…

Cloud-Based or On-Premise ERP Deployment? Find Out

Cloud-Based or On-Premise ERP Deployment? Find Out

ERP Deployment You know how ERP deployment can improve processes within your supply chain, and the things to keep in mind when implementing an ERP system. But do you know if cloud-based or on-premise ERP deployment is better for your company or industry? While cloud computing is becoming more and more popular, it is worth…

3 Keys To Keeping Your Online Data Accessible

3 Keys To Keeping Your Online Data Accessible

Online Data Data storage is often a real headache for businesses. Additionally, the shift to the cloud in response to storage challenges has caused security teams to struggle to reorient, leaving 49 percent of organizations doubting their experts’ ability to adapt. Even so, decision makers should not put off moving from old legacy systems to…