Indian Govt to Introduce New Measures For Increased Aadhaar Security

first_imgAfter the whole controversy surrounding reported security breach against Aadhaar, the Unique Identification Authority of India on Jan 10. said it will bring in two-layer security to reinforce privacy protection for users.The new proposed measures involve giving virtual identification for the ID holders, so that the actual Aadhaar numbers need not be shared by them to authenticate their identity. It means that a 16-digit temporary number will be used instead of the Aadhaar number. The UIDAI said the Virtual ID software would be released by March 1.The virtual identification can be generated, retrieved, revoked or replaced through UIDAI’s portal, mobile app, enrollment centers, etc. For any kind of verification with virtual ID, only name, address and photograph will be shared. This is an effort to curb the number of people who will have access to the Aadhaar number. The UIDAI will also set a minimum validity period for Virtual ID and the users would be able to replace their ID from time to time.The authority has regulated the storage of Aadhaar number within various databases. For an authentication request by agencies, UIDAI will send a UID Token, which is a specific number that will remain the same for a specific agency but will be different for different entities.The measures seek to address the privacy and potential misuse of identity concerns, which have resulted in a legal challenge to Aadhaar in Supreme Court. The virtual ID will be a 16-digit random number mapped with the Aadhaar number and it can only be generated, replaced or revoked by the Aadhaar number holder from time to time.“It will not be possible to derive the Aadhaar number from the virtual ID,” a circular issued by UIDAI said.Until now, a person had to give their 12-digit identity number along with demographic and biometrics or through a one-time password during authentication or e-KYC (know your customer) for accessing various benefits and services from service providers. UIDAI also introduced the concept of limited KYC category which does not access Aadhaar number.The authority now has introduced two categories of an Authentication User Agency (AUA), an entity — government, public or private legal agency– engaged in providing Aadhaar-enabled services. As a category of AUA, the limited KYC category would be providing only need-based details of user to an authorized agency.The changes have again been met with various opinions, with critics calling it unworkable.“The new virtual ID is untested and unworkable. The UIDAI is trying to rectify technical breach by its untested technology,” said one of the petitioners who are fighting a case against Aadhaar in the Supreme Court, NDTV reported. “In the hearing next week, we will oppose it tooth and nail,” the petitioner added.Some, however, welcomed the move.“If someone authenticates you, they will only have the virtual number, and even if their database gets hacked, all that gets lost is the virtual ID number which doesn’t put you at risk because you can always change this number,” Rahul Matthan, partner at law firm Trilegal, was quoted as saying by the Mint.“Aadhaar is here to stay! Happy that the @UIDAI has introduced virtual ID and limited KYC in the spirit of continuous innovation to enhance privacy and security,” former UIDAI chairman Nandan Nilekani tweeted.#Aadhaar is here to stay! Happy that the @UIDAI has introduced virtual ID and limited KYC in the spirit of continuous innovation to enhance privacy and security. https://t.co/EyWGB2KiK5— Nandan Nilekani (@NandanNilekani) January 10, 2018NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden tweeted again about the issue earlier this week, talking of UIDAI’s FIR that is said to name the Tribune journalist who reported on security threat for investigation:The journalists exposing the #Aadhaar breach deserve an award, not an investigation. If the government were truly concerned for justice, they would be reforming the policies that destroyed the privacy of a billion Indians. Want to arrest those responsible? They are called @UIDAI. https://t.co/xyewbK2WO2— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) January 8, 2018Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Jan.8 said the government asked the UIDAI to request the Tribune and its journalist to assist the police in the investigation.UIDAI will also be releasing necessary APIs (application programming interfaces) by Mar. 1. All agencies have been directed to make the necessary changes for the use of virtual ID, UID token and limited KYC and operationalize it by June 1. Related ItemsAadhaarUIDAIlast_img read more

Non Veg Nation

first_imgA nationwide poll debunks a popular myth that India is a vegetarian nation. The first nationwide survey of both rural and urban Indians found that only 31 percent of Indians declare themselves vegetarians. Another 9 percent identified themselves as “eggtarians,” or vegetarians who eat eggs.The poll found that women are more likely to be vegetarian then men. The only group in which a majority were vegetarians were Brahmins, but even among them 45 percent reported themselves as non vegetarian. In only two states Rajasthan (63%), Haryana (62%) did the majority of the population identify themselves as vegetarian. The fewest vegetarians lived in Kerala (2%), Andhra Pradesh (4%) and Bengal (3%).The survey conducted for the The Hindu-CNN-IBN TV found that 21% of Indians smoked and 13% drank liquor.  Related Itemslast_img read more

Vikram Chandra’s Sacred Games

first_imgIt’s been seven years in the making and reportedly bagged a seven figure advance after a heated bidding war on three continents. A $300,000 marketing blitz has spread the word across the literary landscape, and it’s been translated into 11 languages. Now Sacred Games (HarperCollins) by Vikram Chandra is in the hands of readers, all 900 pages of it – a heft that can hardly be supported in the subway or even in bed! Defying and subverting genres, Chandra takes what could have been your regular cops-and-robbers thriller and transforms and reinvents it as high drama, an epic tale, setting it in the complex, frenetic city of Mumbai of the 1990’s.The protagonists set on a collision course are police inspector Sartaj Singh and mafia overlord Ganesh Gaitonde, and the novel is as overpopulated as Mumbai itself with scores of unforgettable characters.Originally Chandra had envisaged the novel at just 300 pages, but as his characters and the machinations of the city took over, the novel took on a life of its own: “What I became really fascinated by was the mesh of this huge network of events and human lives and political agendas and historical forces sort of threading through each other, making this weave, and individual people caught up in this, often being affected by things that were thousands of miles away, and not knowing why.”Desi readers will get a real pleasure out of reading Hindi words peppered through the novel and lots of Bombaiyya slang, which brings the city alive. In fact the book has so much street talk and so many characters that it comes with a glossary and a listing of a who’s who!Chandra did much of his research pounding the pavements of the city and actually meeting with the bhais of the underworld. Was he ever in danger? He says with a disarming smile: “For the most part everyone was very avuncular as in ‘Come, come, sit and have a cup of chai.’ Especially the higher level guys, they operate like they are nationally famous, they operate like corporate heads, and they are interested in spin. It’s not that easy but you can get to talk to some of them. “A lot of the lower level guys were harder to find, because they are always afraid. A lot of them never sleep more than one night in the same place. Everyone was perfectly courteous and invariably the last line was – and I’m translating from Bombaiyya now – ‘If you ever have a problem, come talk to me!’”Chandra is bemused at the interest his research of the underworld has generated, pointing out that a novel is all about the world of imagination: “I think we live in a somewhat confessional age and, like it or not, authenticity is attached to personal experience, but that’s not what writers do. Writers lie for a living. And I think we should remember that!”-Lavina Melwani  Related Itemslast_img read more

Sanitation Drag

first_imgThe World Bank’s Water Sanitation Program estimates that a lack of toilets and poor hygiene practices costs India almost 6.4 percent of its GDP, or $54 billion every year. “For decades, we have been aware of the significant impacts of inadequate sanitation in India,” Christopher Juan Costain, the World Bank’s head for South Asia’s water and sanitation program said. “The report quantifies the economic losses to India, and shows that children and poor households bear the brunt of poor sanitation.”The report, Economic Impacts of Inadequate Sanitation in India estimates 450,000 deaths out of 575 million cases of diarrhea in every year in India, at a cost $38.5 billion. It projects $10.7 million is lost in productive time to access sanitation facilities.  Related Itemslast_img read more

Borderless Festivities

first_imgHistory and circumstances may have flung overseas Indians to the farthest reaches of the globe, but they remain undiminished in their infectious enthusiasm for festivals and rituals that define home. Increasingly, this zest for creative redefinition of what constitutes tradition is being facilitated by technology, fusing the present with the past, mixing nostalgia for an irrecoverable time and place with the constant reinventions of history. Social media is the newest addition to the repository of technological ammunition that global Indians have appropriated in the service of their reconfigured tradition, as they “tweet” Diwali celebration updates, bookmark Eid dinners “Delicious,” or “livecast” videos of the midnight mass on YouTube.South London Durga Puja in Mitcham, Surrey, has a Facebook page for Bengalis in England to indulge in their roots and revel in the beats of the dhak (a version of the drum). Part of the Greater London council since 1965, Surrey makes for a perfect venue for a ritual that is as dear to the Probashi Bengali’s heart as Rabindrasangeet and maachher jhol, and what better way to spread the word than the world’s favourite social media network?Social networking has revved up every aspect of human interaction and Indians scattered across the globe have seized upon platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Orkut, Bigadda to showcase their identity and the rituals that help maintain it.After relishing the pleasures of electronic mail and immersing themselves in the exquisite intimacies of instant messaging, or airing one’s self-important opinions at a niche chat room, came the next milestone in the history of pumped up communication. Social media networks offer people a personal corner in the virtual world that is an extension of their home and life. Decorating it (“customization” in the geek lexicon) was akin to doing up your house or dressing up – a way of creative self-expression, with some handy tools and applications. When social media exploded into the world of “cool,” people found in it an infinite universe to reach out for and forge new connections, or dig up long lost friends, and most of all expand their professional and social networking circuits.  As word-of-mouth was replaced by buzz on the Internet, event management in the age of social networking has become quite a cakewalk for global Indians, who till the virtual soil to sow the seeds of reinvigorated ritual.Sarita Bhattacharjee, of Dallas, Texas, says, “Using Facebook to connect with family and friends on every occasion has made life so much better. Putting up pictures for everyone, especially those who live in India, brings me such joy!”Sarita Bhattacharjee performing at Durga Puja ceremony in Dallas, TexasFor Bhattacharjee, who is a member of her local cultural committee, it’s not just the big occasions that call for massive “Facebooking,” but also the small wonders of life, such as birthdays, baby showers, sacred thread ceremonies, or friendly dinners that are equally memorable and demand a well-annotated virtual album. A pharmacist by profession, Bhattacharjee is most famous as the local danseuse and community choreographer, who trains children and women, and sometimes men, during elaborate performances and cultural functions. Correspondence to decide meeting venues, posting updates, and all public information are shared over Facebook, according to Bhattacharjee, with only confidential communication, such as matters pertaining to sponsorships, financing, and other logistics, relegated to email and cell phone exchanges.While community events such as Bhattacharjee’s local “Antorik Durga Puja Samiti” in Dallas hinge on the collaboration (online and offline) of members of the committee, public events such as the annual Diwali celebrations in Trafalgar Square, London occur on a far bigger scale, with the Mayor of London a member of the motley board of organizers. Several Hindu religious groups and non-profit organizations – like Oshwal Association of the UK, Chinmaya Mission UK, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s The Art of Living, Brahmin Society of North London, International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) UK, Metropolitan Police Hindu Association, Vishwa Hindu Parishad UK, National Hindu Student’s Forum – have come together since 2001 to realize the collective dream of Indians in London to see their festival of lights celebrated in style in the heart of the city’s most famous landmark. The organizers of the event use the Web (www.diwaliinlondon.com) and Facebook  to mobilize participation in the annual celebration that is among the “must see” events identified in the official Visit London tourism guides. The images of South Asian and other Londoners dressed in colorful traditional Indian clothes assembled at Trafalgar Square on Diwali is a tribute not just to multiethnic ethos of the British capital – it is also a statement about being at home in a foreign country, albeit many would argue that London is scarcely “foreign” to an overseas Indian.Diwali UpdatesCultural rituals and functions are among the biggest draws for Indians, the second largest ethnic minority group in Britain, after Blacks. Updates on Facebook, Twitter and Orkut, are crucial to exchanging information on the culture gigs in town. Major British cities, such as Leicester, Birmingham, Cardiff, Bedford, Bristol, have Diwali, Holi, Dushhera events at city halls, public parks and other major venues. They are occasions for Indians in England to visit family and friends residing in different cities and to soak in the vibrant cultural programs and enjoy a good celebration. Social networking is the nodal point at which the various strands of festivities converge and cross-pollinate by infusing each other with ideas and glimpses.For Pawas Bisht, a doctoral student at Loughborough University, slipping off to Leicester is easier than coming to London to participate in Diwali celebrations. Bisht, a documentary filmmaker from Nainital, makes sure to record his cultural interactions during Diwali in Leicester, with his English, European and African friends, celebrated with cakes, cheese and wine and the occasional sweet bought at the Indian corner shop and share them on Orkut and Facebook.For Adila MIrza, a reporter with a Delhi-based tabloid, annual trips to Dubai during Eid-ul-Fitar (in August) and during Christmas, are the star attractions of the year ever since her parents moved first from Abu Dhabi to Kerala and then to Dubai several years ago. A precocious 22-year-old, Adila’s Facebook pages buzz with activity and photo updates as she gets together with her family at large in Dubai and gorges over Islamic delicacies, such as kebabs, biriyanis, haleem, halwas, interspersed with rides in games fair at Zabeel Park, seeing Al Seef fireworks, window-shopping at the world-famous gold souks, indulging in the balloons and bubbles fiesta at Dubai’s Marina Hall, and enjoying a panoramic view of glittering Dubai by night atop the Burj Khalifa. For Adila Facebook is handy not just for reporting, but when she’s out having fun.Suvajit Chatterjee, a software engineer now living in Perth, Australia, saves up his leaves and holidays for the festivals. When not visiting Kolkata, their hometown, Suvajit plans trips to Sydney and Melbourne, for the festivities that he discovers through the social media.People like Bisht, Adila, Suvajit and Sarita, are well-heeled in technology and affluent enough to afford the required gadgets such as laptops, smartphones or tablet computers. However, they have a hard time convincing their parents to also set up social media accounts. While Suvajit and Sarita created accounts for their parents and showed them how to use it to stay in touch, Adila and Bisht were mildly surprised to see their parents “befriending” them on Facebook, although now they have acclimatized themselves to the “prying eyes” of the older generation. Party girl Adila thinks her parents are “cool” with her outings with friends, and she does not forget to wish them on Eid. Similarly, Bisht “likes” his father’s comments on his photographs of life and times in Loughborough, and they often end up having a lengthy conversation on Facebook instead of Skype, where they usually video-chat on Sundays.It is a pattern that Tairah Firdous, a human rights activist based in Montreal, Canada, has discovered. While her father has a Facebook account, Tairah’s mother hasn’t created one and relies on her husband to fill her in on her daughter’s progress on a documentary film.Redefining Religion, Challenging TraditionHas the growth of social media led to transgressions of traditional bound definitions of home, homeland and homepage? Has religion been pushed out from the domain of private observance into the public world of tortuous Twitter debates, ferocious Facebook fights and fierce YouTube demonstrations? The effect of social media has clearly not been just a simple reiteration of identities along religious lines, although many media scholars contend that the social media explosion has heightened religious fervor and stronger identity-based assertions. What used to be group activity, such as belonging to a faith-based group or promoting religious beliefs as part of a collective, in the age of social media has coagulated into an individual pursuit of freedom of expression vis-ˆ-vis tradition, cherished beliefs and passed down conventions.Immigrant and diasporic Indian communities are one of the most vocal groups around the world whose public display of faith and religiosity often go hand in hand with their political outlook and relationship with both the homeland as well as the adopted country. In recent years, global Indians have emerged from a muted, publicly secular and privately religious minority community that steers clear of the rough and tumble of the mainstream politics of their adopted country, to an aggressively self-asserting and self-confident body of mobile entrepreneurs and white collar professionals, who contribute significantly to drive the economic engine of their new homeland. In the USA and UK, a massive transnational network of cyber-users, web impresarios and technologically-armed Indians shape the global flow of cultural capital as much as it enhances the financial and data traffic.Challenging, and sometimes dissolving the boundaries between categories like the Non-Resident Indian (NRIs), Indian Americans, British-Indians, Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs), etc., social media often flatten out the hierarchy that would be still relevant in the offline world. Religious reiterations as well as their secular and anti-religious counter-arguments, assume a hightened pitch in the highly sensitive and contested world of Facebook and Twitter battles. Notions of transnational religious citizenship are augmented as zealous groupies belonging to faith-based political tribes use the social media to drive home their ideas. On the other hand, student politics and youth activism increasingly become a matter of airing one’s thought, no matter how nebulous or well-collected, on social media and getting instant reactions, comments, like and dislike notifications, thus creating an alternative and heightened forum for young people to express themselves and understand the sentiments of religious or cultural other.  Says Ashwin Sharma, a lecturer at a UK university: “Social Media is the perfect virtual counterpart to the global churn of people, media technologies, capital and language flows that mixes things up, altering discourses on religion, tradition, nation. Cyberculture is a whole new level of social communication that does not just reflect the real, but actually creates it.”Often, social media actively contests the mainstream projections of identities and vehemently questions stereotyping along religious and racial lines. For example, while local Indian ethnic media, particularly the Hindu print and web-based media in America, do not overtly question the faith-centered beliefs of the Indian American community, the student community scrupulously engages in rigorous debates on the resurgence of virulent religion in Indian American public life and the ideologies at work. Even as they organize the ritual Diwali bash, or Eid gathering, Indian student groups at universities and colleges also engage in lively discussions and engrossing dialogues, which often are extended on social media.Garga C, a postdoctoral fellow at a topnotch American university, who is also a keen cultural commentator, shares his views on being a moderate Hindu Brahmin in the age of fashionable secularism, atheism or fanaticism: “It’s a difficult job explaining to others that I like wearing the badge of being a Hindu Brahmin, belonging to Kashyap Gotra, and can still participate in the conversations on secularism. I write about the many-faceted role of tradition, its riveting contradictions, but I do not disregard it like many of my fellow urban Indians, whose logic dictates an equivalence between projecting religious indifference/ignorance and being hip, cool and modern. I post the online links to my articles on Facebook and appreciate the comments and feedback that carry the conversation further.”Similarly, Nayantara Kabir, a Chicago-based fashion designer, does not shy from infusing her boutique casual wears with traditional embroidery laced with Islamic motifs or Hindu symbols, as her Facebook page amply demonstrates. Kabir does not distinguish between the festival wear and the regular wear as she caters to the rising fashion aspirations of Indian Americans, who not only want to appear part of the general American populace, but also wish to stand out in the crowd. Kabir’s special line of Eid and Diwali dresses mirror each other in a curious case of religious intercourse, as motifs, symbols, patterns co-mingle. Kabir also gets suggestions to improve and change some of her fabric creations in via her Facebook page.Accessories to celebrations, such as beauty tips, ethnic cosmetics like sindus, mehendi, heena, bindis, gold and silver jewelry, brocaded skrits, lehengas, sarees, blouses, sherwanis, shawls and other couture paraphernalia, also get a boost through social media advertisements. Many ethnic stores have elaborate social media pages that engage potential customers in conversations about their products and their meanings.The home pages of the web and social media sites correspond with the designing of actual homes and renegotiate their ties with homeland. Festivities give added visibility to the ethnic traditions and social media become tools that not only augment selling opportunities for ethnic business, but also act as lucrative platforms to continue and change the tradition.Indian festivals in countries as far and diverse as Mauritius, Australia, South Africa, Fiji, Trinidad and Tobago, Kenya, Tanzania, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore. Guyana, as well as United States and the UK are points of intersection for not only the ethnic Indians living there, but also serve as fascinating opportunities for locals to get a peek into Indian values and rituals. Stressing on collective joy and harmony, these festivals have now found an enabler in social networking. The idea at the core of both is to bring people together, reestablish connections and string the world into a knitted community, amplifying exchange and interaction. It is a platform to mix the old and the new, the past and the present, the aged and the youth.  Virtual ReligionDurga Puja in Kolkata is jut a mouse click away for overseas IndiansGanesh Chaturthi in Mumbai and Durga Puja in Kolkata are now just a mouse click away for overseas Indians.At this year’s Ganesh Chaturthi, the Andhericha Raja and Lalbaugcha Raja, two of the most famous Ganesh Mandals in Mumbai, streamed their aarti rituals online, enabling thousands of their overseas disciples to witness in real time the colorful spectacles that envelop Mumbai for more than a week.Overseas Bengalis are likewise able to participate in virtual Durga Pujas in Kolkata through web services, such as utsavlive.com and bangalinet.com. Utsavlive.com streamed durga puja ceremonies, including mahalaya, anjali, aarati, and sindoor khela for overseas Indians in collaboration with Washington Bangla Radio. At Bangalinet.com, devotees can light lamps, garland their deity, play dhak and perform aarti — all virtually. Theholidayspot.com, which celebrates all major events, holidays and festivals, allows devotees to perform pujas during their favorite festival and get virtual prasad as well.Christian groups are finding modern twists for their timeless faith. The Catholic Diocese of Lucknow has created an online prayer request, which has received thousands of prayer appeals from Indians from as far away as Australia, Canada and the USA.Several major Indian temples now stream ceremonies and take online prayer requests online. The DivineIndia.com portal offers online darshan and video streams ceremonies at 151 temples, 53 dargahs, 41 gurdwaras, 24 churches, and 363 other shrines, including mosques, churches, derasars, and monasteries.At prarthana.com overseas Indians can submit prayer requests at Tirupati, Palani, Thirunallar and Guruvayur for between $15 to $18. 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Sari State of Affairs

first_imgAs long as our collective memories can remember, when Indian women represent the country on the world podium, the sari is their most obvious and emblematic choice. The opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics at Rio De Janeiro was no different. As contingents of enthusiastic athletes from across the world took that famous stroll on the global stage, dressed nattily in outfits designed exclusively by the best designers of their countries, the sight of Indian athletes in sari was neither unusual nor unceremonious.However, what didn’t escape the notice of observant Indians was the fact that some women athletes visibly vetoed the dress code of stockpiling their saris with a stuffy blazer. Athletes Jwala Gutta, Ashwini Ponappa and PV Sindhu chose to carry their blazers in their hands. That the agile athletes wanted to show off their demure side was quite apparent, but it lent a rather slipshod appeal to a look that was already mismatched. In so doing, the players followed the tradition ofDesigner Varija Bajaj modernized a sari with French lace paneling.The Internet vigilantes were quick to deliberate on Twitter the need to bog the national attire with an unnecessary blazer; many even wondered if the national outfit of the country is so obsolete that we need a newer modernized version of it.Although most athletes welcomed the idea of wearing a sari for the special occasion, many admitted that they didn’t even know how to tie one. The public attention rekindles a debate on the relevance of saris in the life of not just athletes, but as casual attire for the woman of today.The sentiment of athletes, who spend their lives in shorts and slacks, and look at the sari as occasional festive wear, is equally true for a whole generation of young Indian Americans.Designer Preeti S Kapoor, who is based in Delhi but caters saris regularly to NRI clients in the United States, says: “The issue here is not about saris. It’s about how badly were they presented. Somewhere it showed that we were less confident of our national attire being accepted as formal wear and hence the need to add a blazer to it.”The Indian sports authorities unwittingly confirmed the growing notion, common especially amongst Indians settled abroad, that a sari is festive wear and not professional, hence the need to pair it with a western blazer.Even though designers are constantly churning out both newer and classical representations of saris on runways and in Bollywood, in the pace of our everyday lives, saris are increasingly taking a back seat. According to data from the Ministry of Textiles, between 1998 to 2006 the market share of saris in India grew at a rate of 8.8 percent to $12 billion. However, it has been downhill since. A recent study by Technopak Advisors, a retail consultancy group, found that the market for lingerie, denim and t-shirts will grow fastest in women’s apparel at 15 percent over the next decade, while saris will grow at the slowest clip of just 6 percent.The slope is even steeper among overseas Indians.India Sari Palace is amongst the oldest surviving sari shops in the USA.Manu Khiantani, owner of India Sari Place in Jackson Heights, N.Y., perhaps the oldest surviving sari shop in the United States, has been a front row witness to the sari’s decline. Khiantani rues: “If Bangladeshis were not buying saris now we would have closed down our stores.”He recalls: “When we opened back in 1971, there were no specialized stores in the U.S. selling just the saris. It was a novelty and there was huge demand amongst Indian Americans for Japanese synthetic saris that they took home as gifts for their relatives. Slowly India started manufacturing the synthetic saris and Japanese stopped making them. Indian women took to western wear more readily than any other community and the sari got pushed back as a day wear.”The decline of the sari in the United States is reflected in number of sari shops that have shuttered in the past decade. India Sari Place has shrunk from 17 shops spread all over the USA in 1995 to just four today in major metro areas — New York, Washington, DC, Chicago and Los Angeles.However, in an interesting twist, when Indian Americans and other NRIs buy a sari for a festive occasion, they are really prepared to splurge. The average cost an Indian American woman is willing to spend on a sari is far higher than a western dress. Says designer Preeti S Kapoor: “Amongst NRI women the craze of a couture sari is on a rise. When they want a sari it has to be elaborate, exclusive and dollars do not matter.”The Indian sari at the Olympics in Rio.That may explain why online sari renting services have limited appeal among Indian Americans. Websites such as Luxemi, Borrow it Bindaas, and Devi’s Closet, launched by young Indian American women, targeted women like themselves who may not want to spend a lot for a sari that they wear just once or twice and hence gave them the option of renting one. The prices, inclusive of fitting blouse and shipping, started at $35, and the websites offer tutorials on how to wear a sari. However, more than 60 percent of the women availing the service are non-Indians, usually those attending or serving as bridesmaids at Indian weddings.Designer Varija Bajaj says that during the wedding season she is flooded with demands from Indian Americans for expensive, custom made saris. However, she says: “We are definitely looking at the next generation, which would have no knowledge of tying the sari. Even today most first generation Indian Americans request for pre-stitched saris as they have no idea how to tie one.”In the United States, some corporates are now encouraging their employees to wear traditional dresses for festivals, such as Diwali. However due to practicality, ease or just to fit-in, most Indian women continue to embrace western wear.Sari is now de-facto accepted as occasional wear for Indians in the West by sari manufacturers trying to woo the younger generation. The Nalli Group, the oldest known name in silk saris in India, has a store in Mountain View, Calif. Fifth generation scion Lavanya Nalli in a bid to attract young women to wear saris has launched Nalli Next, a modern, cocktail sari range, dramatically different from its heavy silks and kanjeevarams, priced from $30 for cotton saris to $1,600 for wedding attire.Says Sonya Suri, vice president of Nalli Silks, “Sari in the U.S. is an occasion wear, but we have seen a steep interest amongst Indian Americans who want to wear a sari on festivals and functions. There was a dip in silks in between, but with silks back in fashion, the demand has increased. Also the online sales have bolstered our growth in a big way.”Bollywood’s favorite designer Manish Malhotra who sexed up the sari on the silver screen by making it in gossamer thin chiffons and adding a sleek structure, says: “In my new range of saris, called Regal Threads, I have used Western patterns like checks and stripes and have introduced colors like greys and blacks so as to make it modern and appealing to women who relate better to an LBD (little black dress) or a pair of shorts.”He adds, “Unless the sari, our centuries old heritage, is made to look relatable and sexy we can’t expect young girls to toss their dresses for unstitched fabrics.”Perhaps then, the Indian Olympic Associations’ decision to mar the beauty of the sari by having athletes wear them with a boxy blazer did little to enchant millions of Indian women across the globe to look at their grandma’s sari collections with new-found zeal. Related Itemslast_img read more

Theresa May Ignored Warnings of Sexual Harassment Incidents, Says British MP

first_imgAmid the sexual harassment scandal surrounding the British Parliament, Indian-origin Labour MP Lisa Nandy said on Nov. 1 that Prime Minister Theresa May failed to address the abuse cases she had brought to her attention on three occasions in the past.After Labour MP Jared O’Mara was suspended from Westminster for misogynistic abuse, other MPs alerted their parties about various leaders’ misconduct. A private WhatsApp group of the female staff members was also formed where they had discussed MPs who can be “handsy”. The MPs fear that many of them may have to resign from their position.May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn urged the staff members who have faced sexual harassment or abuse to contact the House of Commons authorities or police to file official complaints. In light of these incidents, Nandy came forward on Nov. 1 to inform the House that in 2014 she had brought evidence to May, who was the Home Secretary then, about how party whips exploited MPs’ misbehavior “to exert control” over them in the 1970s.3 yrs ago, I asked Theresa May to act on evidence that Whips had covered up sexual misconduct. Today at #PMQs I asked her again to act. pic.twitter.com/NBl0iwyJK3— Lisa Nandy (@lisanandy) November 1, 2017I raised this 3 times with May; twice in the chamber and again in writing. She did not acthttps://t.co/aaMqkjAqE9https://t.co/jnwAjAEjVf pic.twitter.com/hrygfGKIAI— Lisa Nandy (@lisanandy) November 1, 2017May responded to Nandy’s accusation, saying that those who were abused must go to the police to make formal complaints. In July 2014, Nandy had asked May:“Has the Home Secretary given any thought to the new legal powers that may be needed by this child abuse inquiry but may take some time to establish? My understanding is that records kept by the Whips are not subject to freedom of information, but are subject to data protection. If the inquiry panel has no power to hold those data or compel information to be shared, how will it bring justice for survivors?”May’s response to Nandy at the time read: “The inquiry panel that I have set up is not a statutory inquiry panel under the Inquiries Act 2005. What we have made clear, though, is that if there comes a point at which the chairman of the panel believes that its work could better be carried forward as a statutory inquiry panel under the 2005 Act, we will be prepared to change it into such a panel.”Nandy had told the then Home Secretary that a senior Whip in the mid-1990s, who had served in 1970s, told the BBC that Whips Office helped MPs with getting rid of scandals “including those, in his own words, ‘involving small boys’.” The Whips Office later used the information to “exert control” over the MPs..@lisanandy challenges PM: “Whips used information about sexual abuse to demand loyalty… on three occasions I asked her to act” #PMQs pic.twitter.com/xi9VZQs0TH— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) November 1, 2017Nandy added on Nov. 1 that she had warned May that if this was not addressed incidents like these would recur.Nandy served under Jeremy Corbyn as Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change from September 2015 until June 2016. She is the daughter of Luise Nandy, the daughter of Lord Byers, who had been a Liberal Party MP, and Dipak Nandy, an Indian academic who came to the United Kingdom from Kolkata, and served as a director of the Runnymede Trust, a race equality think tank in the country. Related ItemsBritish house of commons sexual harassmentBritish MPs sexual abuselisa nandysexual harassment scandal house of commonsTheresa Maylast_img read more

Anthem Acquires Kiran Patel’s $1.4 Billion America’s 1st Choice HMO

first_imgFlorida Cardiologist Kiran Patel has sold his managed health care company, America’s 1st Choice, to Anthem Inc., the second largest health insurer in the United States.Anthem did not disclose financial terms for the purchase of the company, which had combined revenues of $1.4 billion and net income of $10.1 million in 2016. The deal will close in the first quarter of 2018. This is Anthem’s second acquisition of a Medical Advantage company in Florida. Last month Anthem, which has a market cap of $54 billion, acquired HealthSun, which has 40,000 Medicare Advantage members in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.America’s 1st Choice, one of the largest privately held managed Medicare healthcare company in the United States, operates Medicare Advantage plans for 130,000 seniors under the brands Freedom Health Inc. and Optimum Healthcare Inc. in Tampa, and America’s 1st Choice of South Carolina.Patel told the Tampa Bay Business Journal: “In life, there comes a time where one has to decide personal capacity and capabilities. I’m an entrepreneurial type and the company has grown to a level where now, to grow to next level, you need a disciplined approach, a corporate type-approach and I don’t survive in that type of environment…. I like to grow things and then it’s time to pass it on to someone who has a more corporate structure.”In a letter to the nearly 1,000 employees of America’s 1st Choice, Patel said that while the company had many suitors, “I found Anthem to be uniquely aligned with my thoughts and vision.”“Many corporations can provide the governance and capital, but I wanted a partner that was philosophically aligned with my thoughts,” Patel wrote.In a company press release, Anthem CEO Joseph Swedish said: “The acquisition of America’s 1st Choice, which has strong technology tools and expertise designing and implementing engagement programs, fits well with our growth objective and will also enhance our ability to deliver a broad variety of cost-effective, high quality plans to meet the diverse needs of the Medicare population.”.Peter D. Haytaian, president of Anthem’s Government Business Division, said: “This acquisition further demonstrates our commitment to capitalize on new opportunities in our Government Business Division that help expand our presence and improve our capabilities to help serve the needs of the most vulnerable populations, which includes Medicare, dual eligible as well as those living with chronic conditions.”Anthem’s stock closed 5 percent higher on Wednesday, after it reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings and its strategic acquisition, a day when the Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.5 percent.In 2002, Patel sold another managed healthcare company, WellCare Health Plans, a Medicaid services provider, for a reported $200 million. The company currently has a market cap of $8 billion.Patel, who also owns several hotels, has indicated that he plans to turn more of his attention to philanthropic endeavors, which are focused on education and healthcare. Last month he committed $50 million to Fort Lauderdale’s Nova Southeastern University to expand its programs in osteopathic medicine and health care sciences, as well as an additional $150 million to develop a medical complex in Clearwater, Florida, which will serve as Nova’s regional Tampa campus.He is also establishing the Drs Kiran and Pallavi Patel University near Vadodara in Gujarat, India, which will include a medical school in collaboration with Nova Southeastern University. Related Itemslast_img read more

5 Signs a Business is Legit

first_img Post navigation How do you know a company is on the up-and-up? You don’t want to throw away your hard-earned money on a bogus business, let alone a scam. But how can you tell?It’s not as if we’re issued a “scam-o-meter” that starts beeping when you pass by a bad business. But maybe there ought to be.No one collects information on scammed Americans (I tried to come up with a number in my latest book, but it’s more of a guesstimate).Perhaps the most authoritative number is the FBI’s Financial Crimes Report, which is a troubling document to read. It makes us look like we all have a bull’s-eye painted on our backs, which, in a way, we kind of do.Here are five signs a business is legit:A friend you trust loves the company.A word-of-mouth endorsement from someone you trust remains the best (but by no means the only) way to vet a company.If your best buddy in the world swears by a business, then that’s a good sign.Your research turns up no skeletons.A cursory Internet search of the name of the business alongside key words like “scam” or “rip-off” should reveal no meaningful complaints.If they do — if for example, you find a site called “companyname” sucks.com — then you’d be well advised to avoid it.The crowds love it (but not too much).Love ‘em or hate ‘em, crowdsourced reviews by the likes of Angie’s List and Yelp are very much a part of the modern-day vetting process for customers like you.And while it’s important to factor in these ratings, you have to be careful — reviews can be manufactured and manipulated.If a rating looks too good to be true, it probably is. Never, ever make a decision based solely on one of these write-ups.It has an impressive trophy case.Awards are important because they suggest the business means — well, business.But there are awards and then there are awards. Many industry trophies are hopelessly rigged, using contrived categories to ensure every company is a winner, or requiring you to pay for the award in order to show off your prize.Bogus!Look for something impartial like the American Customer Satisfaction Index, which doesn’t play any of those games.Its products speak for themselves.If a company’s products are so good that the business doesn’t have to do a lot of advertising — or doesn’t do any advertising at all — then you’ve probably struck gold.This often happens when restaurants serve food that is so outstanding there’s always a line around the block. You’ll never see an ad — the long lines say everything.Bear in mind that these are only signs that the business may be legit. There is no guarantee that you won’t get ripped off.Actually, companies change owners and managers with some regularity, so unless it’s a family-owned business with several generations involved in the day-to-day operation, change is practically a given.Next week I’ll have report on how to tell if a business is bogus. Safe shopping, everyone.Christopher Elliott is a consumer advocate who blogs about getting better customer service at On Your Side. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook or send him your questions by email.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Relatedlast_img read more

4 Challenges in the Fight to Save Central Africa’s Rainforest

first_imgLire cette histoire en français.By any measure, Central Africa is a prime spot for conservation. The region’s intact rainforest is the world’s second-largest and contains some of the most spectacular places and species on the planet: misty forests, thundering rivers, herds of elephants, three-quarters of Earth’s great ape species. It’s also home to 118 million people struggling to survive and provide for their families amid pervasive challenges—armed conflict, deadly diseases, fraught elections, extreme poverty—that make protecting nature much more difficult. In a word, it’s complicated.I recently traveled to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic with my colleagues at the Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE), a U.S. government-funded conservation and development program implemented by a coalition of NGOs. Traveling by plane, Jeep and motorboat, I visited cities, villages and protected areas. I talked with government officials, farmers, scientists, park rangers, lawyers, fishers and NGO staff. In almost all these conversations, four themes kept coming up.1. Sometimes conservation success depends on the boring stuff.In conservation fundraising, simple answers have long been favored as a way to appeal to donor emotions. Give money, save a wild animal. Dig a well, improve the lives of an entire village. These are important goals, but in reality their success often depends on less glamorous things.Take the work of park rangers in Central Africa, for example. Without gasoline for motorbikes and boats, they can’t reach the forests or communities where they work. Without proper boots, they can’t patrol the forest safely. And without working satellite phones, those rangers can’t alert anyone when they uncover illegal activities.To ensure that the exciting stuff—rescuing parrots, arresting poachers—can get done, conservation programs need operational support, from steady supplies of equipment to fuel in gas tanks to properly trained staff.2. Corruption is a constant threat.As Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai put it in her excellent book, “The Challenge for Africa,” “Development success isn’t only about money; if it were, Africa would have solved many of her problems years ago.”The DRC, Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic consistently rank among the world’s most corrupt countries—and the situation may be getting worse. A recent study by TRAFFIC found that criminal syndicates in Central Africa are taking advantage of corruption to evade crackdowns on ivory trafficking.Near the village of Ilanga in northwestern DRC. Photo by Molly Bergen/WCS, WWF, WRI Corruption keeps the money and power in the hands of a few—and those who try to speak up about it often find their voices silenced. The culture of bribery extends down the chain to policemen, park rangers and other officials who struggle to make a living on meager salaries.Fighting a system so entrenched in local governments requires an extensive, multi-faceted approach that extends far beyond the environmental sphere. However, conservationists on the ground are doing their part to address the problem. Working with local organizations such as Juristrale and the Council for Environmental Defense by Legality and Traceability, CARPE is promoting transparency within judicial processes that have long been stymied by corruption. For example, by frequently visiting jails where convicted poachers are serving sentences, these NGO’s lawyers can act as watchdogs and reduce the likelihood of prisoners bribing their way to freedom.3. Unexpected consequences are almost inevitable.In recent years, international organizations have sent hundreds of millions of mosquito-repelling bed nets to sub-Saharan Africa to help eradicate malaria. However, many recipients began using the nets to catch fish. Because the nets’ mesh is so fine, it catches everything, including immature fish, pushing already over-taxed fisheries to the brink. And as fish populations drop, fishers often turn to another source of protein: bushmeat.On the other hand, the range of impacts from a simple project can be positive. In the two Congos, WWF and the Wildlife Conservation Society are introducing fuel-efficient stoves for cooking. These stoves don’t just reduce the need for fuelwood (and thus forest destruction), but also help limit respiratory disease. Less time spent collecting fuelwood means women and girls have more time for education. It can even reduce the likelihood of sexual assault while collecting fuelwood in remote areas.4. Long-term investment is essential.Conservation and development programs often require results within a year or two of their inception in order to continue funding—but many efforts take much more time to get off the ground and build momentum. In the DRC, for example, travel between even nearby sites can take days or weeks, delayed by poor road conditions, lack of vehicles or gasoline (see #1) or weather. And the value of new projects can take a while to ripple through the community and catch on. For example, a goat husbandry project might start off involving only five families. As they begin to earn income from selling their goats, their neighbors will take notice and perhaps join the project. But this doesn’t happen overnight.A poorly maintained road near the Congolese village of Iyembe Monene. Photo by Molly Bergen/WCS, WWF, WRI In the face of all these challenges, the long-term investment and field experience of CARPE’s government and nonprofit partners has led to real conservation progress over the past two decades, from arresting prominent ivory traffickers to creating new protected areas and boosting mountain gorilla populations. But to adequately protect Central Africa’s forests and all the life they contain, the U.S. government and its local partners must keep investing.The U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE) supports initiatives to improve the management of the Congo Basin’s biodiversity and natural resources. It is implemented in collaboration with African Parks, African Wildlife Foundation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the University of Maryland, the Wildlife Conservation Society, World Resources Institute, World Wildlife Fund and other partners.last_img read more

Wrote a Negative Online Review? It’ll Cost You $3,500

first_img Online Reviews You know that time the sweater you ordered was more blue than black? Or the time your friend’s birthday present showed up two weeks too late, even though you ordered it months ago? What about the time one of your returns didn’t process?Bad experiences with companies online aren’t anything new — which is why once in a while, we all take to the review sites and leave a negative review. Sure, some people are overzealous, but most people reading this blog are probably pretty discerning, reasonable people, jotting down their experiences so others can learn from them and make good choices about where they spend their money.For one such person, it cost her $3,500.How One Woman Was Fined $3,500 for Leaving a Negative Online ReviewHere’s what happened. Jen Palmer ordered a package from a business called KlearGear a few years ago, but never received the package. When she couldn’t get in touch with them, she wrote a negative review on Ripoff Report.Pretty standard, so far.Three years later, KlearGear got in touch saying she had to either remove the negative review, or suffer a $3,500 fine. Here’s what their notice read, courtesy of Mashable:If you check out that first sentence, you’ll notice the phrase “your acceptance of this sales contract prohibits you from taking any action that negatively impacts KlearGear.com, its reputation, products, services, management or employees.”In other words, when she did business with KlearGear, she checked that “Agree to Terms and Conditions” box you’ve clicked a hundred times before, but never read. And it came back to bite her in the … well, in the wallet.And if you think this is all totally screwed up, hold on to your hats, because it gets worse. According to Mashable, Ripoff Report refused to delete the post unless they were given $2,000. Because Palmer was unable to shell out the cash, she suffered subsequent financial hardship because of the credit dings.Oh, and one more thing. Other KlearGear negative reviews say the company charges an additional $50 when you dispute a charge with your credit card company because your order wasn’t received. Said one reviewer:”They promised delivery within 10 days. After three weeks and unsuccessful attempts to contact them about my order – I cancelled the charge with my credit card company. A few weeks later I received an email from KlearGear’s legal guru “Stephen Gutman” informing me that I owed KlearGear $50 for canceling my order due to the terms of service I had agreed to.” Luckily, Palmer’s story is receiving coverage, and my hope is that she gets the backup she deserves. I suppose you can consider this post a little holiday shopping tip from me to you.Have you heard other similar stories about online reviews taking this turn? Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Nov 19, 2013 10:40:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics:last_img read more

Brand Strategy 101: 7 Essentials for Strong Company Branding

first_imgTo avoid leaving potential customers struggling to put the disconnected pieces of your business together, consider the benefits of creating a style guide. A style guide can encompass everything from the tone of voice you’ll use to the color scheme you’ll employ to the way you’ll position certain products or services.By taking the time to define and agree upon these considerations, your brand will benefit as a whole.3) EmotionCustomers aren’t always rational.How else do you explain the person who paid thousands of dollars more for a Harley rather than buying another cheaper, equally well-made bike? There was an emotional voice in there somewhere, whispering: “Buy a Harley.” But why?Harley Davidson uses emotional branding by creating a community around its brand. It began HOG — Harley Owners Group — to connect their customers with their brand (and each other).Source: HOGBy providing customers with an opportunity to feel like they’re part of a larger group that’s more tight-knit than just a bunch of motorcycle riders, Harley Davidson is able to position themselves as an obvious choice for someone looking to purchase a bike.Why? People have an innate desire to build relationships. Research from psychologists Roy Baumeister and Mark Leary best describes this need in their “belongingness hypothesis,” which states: “People have a basic psychological need to feel closely connected to others, and that caring, affectionate bonds from close relationships are a major part of human behavior.”Not to mention, belongingness — the need for love, affection, and being part of groups — falls directly in the middle of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which aims to categorize different human needs.The lesson to be learned? Find a way to connect with your customers on a deeper, more emotional level. Do you give them peace of mind? Make them feel like part of the family? Do you make life easier? Use emotional triggers like these to strengthen your relationship and foster loyalty.4) FlexibilityIn this fast-changing world, marketers must remain flexible to stay relevant. On the plus side, this frees you to be creative with your campaigns.You may be thinking, “Wait a minute, how am I supposed to remain consistent while also being flexible?”Good question. While consistency aims to set the standard for your brand, flexibility enables you to make adjustments that build interest and distinguish your approach from that of your competition.In other words, “effective identity programs require enough consistency to be identifiable, but enough variation to keep things fresh and human,” explains president of Peopledesign, Kevin Budelmann.A great example of this type of strategic balance comes from Old Spice. These days, Old Spice is one of the best examples of successful marketing across the board. However, up until recently, wearing Old Spice was pretty much an unspoken requirement for dads everywhere. Today, it’s one of the most popular brands for men of all ages.The secret? Flexibility.Aware that it needed to do something to secure its place in the market, Old Spice teamed up with Wieden+Kennedy to position their brand for a new customer base.Source: Works Design GroupBetween new commercials, a new website, new packaging, and new product names, Old Spice managed to attract the attention of a new, younger generation by making strategic enhancements to its already strong brand.So if your old tactics aren’t working anymore, don’t be afraid to change. Just because it worked in the past doesn’t mean it’s working now.Take the opportunity to engage your followers in fresh, new ways. Are there some out-of-the-box partnerships your brand can make? Are there attributes about your product you never highlighted? Use those to connect with new customers and remind your old ones why they love you.5) Employee InvolvementAs we mentioned before, achieving a sense of consistency is important if you wish to build brand recognition. And while a style guide can help you achieve a cohesive digital experience, it’s equally important for your employees to be well versed in the how they should be communicating with customers and representing the brand.If your brand is playful and bubbly through Twitter engagements, then it wouldn’t make sense if a customer called in and was connected with a grumpy, monotone representative, right?To avoid this type of mismatched experience, take note of Zappos’ approach.If you’ve ever been on the line with a customer service representative from Zappos, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, check out this SlideShare which details some of its most inspiring customer support stories.Zappos is so committed to ensuring that not only its brand, but all brands, remain consistent across digital and human interactions that they’ve dedicated an entire department to the cause called Zappos Insights. Come join us and learn the Zappos WOW approach to customer service! Learn more about the Zappos School of WOW: https://t.co/g3tU4179q9 pic.twitter.com/eRkpcfYAKD— Zappos Insights (@ZapposInsights) August 21, 2017By holding all Zappos employees to its core values and helping other companies implement the same approach, Zappos has built a strong reputation for solid, helpful, and human customer service.6) LoyaltyIf you already have people that love you, your company, and your brand, don’t just sit there. Reward them for that love.These customers have gone out their way to write about you, to tell their friends about you, and to act as your brand ambassadors. Cultivating loyalty from these people early on will yield more returning customers — and more profit for your business.Sometimes, just a thank you is all that’s needed. Other times, it’s better to go above and beyond. Write them a personalized letter. Sent them some special swag. Ask them to write a review, and feature them prominently on your website. (Or all of the above!)When we reached 15,000 customers here at HubSpot, we wanted to say thank you in a big way, while remaining true to our brand … so we dropped 15,000 orange ping pong balls from our fourth-floor balcony and spelled out thank you in big metallic balloons:And while it may have seemed a little out of the ordinary to some folks, for those who know our brand, the gesture made perfect sense.Loyalty is a critical part of every brand strategy, especially if you’re looking to support your sales organization. At the end of the day, highlighting a positive relationship between you and your existing customers sets the tone for what potential customers can expect if they choose to do business with you.7) Competitive AwarenessTake the competition as a challenge to improve your own strategy and create greater value in your overall brand. You are in the same business and going after the same customers, right? So watch what they do.Do some of their tactics succeed? Do some fail? Tailor your brand positioning based on their experience to better your company.A great example of how to improve your brand by learning from your competitors comes from Pizza Hut:@TheRealElysium You know our vote. ^AB— Pizza Hut (@pizzahut) March 20, 2016 Let’s say you’ve come to the difficult realization that quite frankly your brand — if you can even call it that — is all over the place. Or perhaps worse, you have a defined brand, but you’re noticing that it just doesn’t seem to mesh with who you really are and what you really do.Don’t panic.Before you get all hung up on what shade of green to use for your logo or what tone you’re going to use when engaging with people on Twitter, you need to step back and take a look at the big picture.Download Now: Free Brand Building GuideWhat is Brand Strategy?Brand strategy is a plan that encompasses specific, long-term goals that can be achieved with the evolution of a successful brand — the combined components of your company’s character that make it identifiable.(We’ll get into that more in a bit.)A well-defined and executed brand strategy affects all aspects of a business and is directly connected to consumer needs, emotions, and competitive environments.First, let’s clear up the biggest misconception about brand strategy: Your brand is not your product, your logo, your website, or your name.In fact, your brand is much more than that — it’s the stuff that feels intangible. But it’s that hard-to-pin-down feeling that separates powerhouse and mediocre brands from each other.So to help you rein in what many marketers consider more of an art and less of a science, we’ve broken down seven essential components of a comprehensive brand strategy that will help keep your company around for ages.7 Components for a Comprehensive Branding Strategy1) Purpose”Every brand makes a promise. But in a marketplace in which consumer confidence is low and budgetary vigilance is high, it’s not just making a promise that separates one brand from another, but having a defining purpose,” explains Allen Adamson, chairman of the North America region of brand consulting and design firm Landor Associates.While understanding what your business promises is necessary when defining your brand positioning, knowing why you wake up every day and go to work carries more weight. In other words, your purpose is more specific, in that it serves as a differentiator between you and your competitors.How can you define your business’ purpose? According to Business Strategy Insider, purpose can be viewed in two ways:Functional: This concept focuses on the evaluations of success in terms of immediate and commercial reasons — i.e. the purpose of the business is to make money.Intentional: This concept focuses on success as it relates to the ability to make money and do good in the world.While making money is important to almost every business, we admire brands that emphasize their willingness to achieve more than just profitability, like IKEA:Source: IKEAIKEA’s vision isn’t just to sell furniture, but rather, to “create a better everyday life.” This approach is appealing to potential customers, as it demonstrates their commitment to providing value beyond the point of sale.When defining your business’ purpose, keep this example in mind. While making money is a priority, operating under that notion alone does little to set your brand apart from others in your industry.Our advice? Dig a little deeper. If you need inspiration, check out the brands you admire, and see how they frame their mission and vision statements.2) ConsistencyThe key to consistency is to avoid talking about things that don’t relate to or enhance your brand. Added a new photo to your business’ Facebook Page? What does it mean for your company? Does it align with your message, or was it just something funny that would, quite frankly, confuse your audience?In an effort to give your brand a platform to stand on, you need to be sure that all of your messaging is cohesive. Ultimately, consistency contributes to brand recognition, which fuels customer loyalty. (No pressure, right?)To see a great example of consistency, let’s look at Coca-Cola. As a result of its commitment to consistency, every element of the brand’s marketing works harmoniously together. This has helped it become one of the most recognizable brands in the world.Even on the surface of its social media accounts, for example, the seamlessness of its brand is very apparent: Don’t forget to share this post! Originally published Oct 11, 2017 8:12:00 PM, updated May 11 2018center_img When a pizza lover posed this question to his Twitter following, Pizza Hut didn’t miss a beat, and playfully responded in minutes, before Domino’s had a chance to speak up.If Domino’s is keeping an eye on the competitors, they’ll know to act fast the next time a situation like this arises.For HubSpot customers, keeping tabs on your competitor’s social mentions is easy using the Social Monitoring App. Check out this article to learn more about how to set up custom social streams.And while staying in tune with your competitor’s strategies is important if you want to enhance your brand, don’t let them dictate each and every move you make.Sure, you probably sell a similar product or service as many other companies, but you’re in business because your brand is unique. By harping on every move your competitor makes, you lose that differentiation. Branding Topics:last_img read more

15 Fashion Brands You Should Follow on Instagram for Marketing Inspiration

first_img Topics: 5) Fossil @fossilIf you like photos of neatly organized items, then Fossil’s Instagram is definitely for you. The accessories brand curates an impressive feed of food, fashion, and celebrity influencers like Kristen Bell.  Originally published Jul 31, 2018 7:08:00 PM, updated October 30 2019 4) Zara @zaraZara has made a name for itself by emulating the marketing of more expensive, luxury brands, and their Instagram feed is no exception. Their account looks like a high-fashion magazine, with professional editorial shots of their men’s and women’s styles. 8) Madewell @madewellApparel brand Madewell is known for their relaxed, classic styles, and their Instagram clearly reflects this aesthetic. With bright, sunny images of their latest products and collaborations with brands like Vans, their feed is a fashion lover’s delight.  3) Teva @tevaTeva’s Instagram feed is perfect proof that it’s possible to give your brand a modern update without losing the spirit of what made you successful in the first place. Their feed includes customer-generated photos of their sandals out in the wild, as well as sleek product shots highlighting their new styles.  10) Asos @asosBritish online fashion and beauty retailer Asos keeps their feed updated regularly with colorful and bold product images and editorial snaps from their latest campaigns.  No other B2C industry has thrived on Instagram quite like the fashion industry.Between their carefully curated photos, expertly targeted ads, and decisive adoption of Instagram Stories, fashion and beauty brands have become masters of consumer engagement on the visual content platform. And brands from any industry could learn a thing or two from these inspirational feeds. Download 25 Free Business Instagram Templates.Back in 2015, business intelligence firm L2 found that fashion and beauty brands were growing their community size and engagement rates on Instagram at a rapid rate. Source: DigidayThe L2 report also found that among fashion and beauty brands, Instagram had firmly become the social media platform of choice — far outranking Facebook and Twitter.Source: L2Today, the industry’s love affair with Instagram isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. Digiday recently checked in with a number of fashion and beauty social media insiders at SXSW’s Decoded Fashion and Create & Cultivate events, confirming that Instagram remains a top priority in their digital marketing strategies.”Instagram is always a priority for us,” Rosi Sanchez, a social media strategist at Fossil, told Digiday. “We have more reach and a larger new follower group there, so it leads to more conversions. Until we get to 1.5 million or 2 million followers, it’s going to be our number one priority.”Fossil isn’t alone. Social media strategists from more established brands like L’Oréal USA, Shopbop, and Murad also indicated that Instagram was their top social media priority for the foreseeable future.Brands from any industry looking to level up their visual storytelling chops should keep a close eye on fashion brands for inspiration. To help get you started, we’ve compiled a list of 15 fashion accounts — both big and small — who are crushing the Instagram game. Take a look below, and start planning your next big Instagram push. For a deeper dive on how to build a presence on Instagram, check out our complete guide to Instagram marketing. 15 Fashion Brands to Follow on Instagram1) Everlane @everlaneWhile Everlane’s account has no shortage of beautiful product imagery, they also feature photos of their customers wearing Everlane clothes, inspiring travel photography, and tips on food and art destinations in different cities around the world.  6) Kate Spade @katespadenyDespite being a well-established label, Kate Spade’s Instagram has a distinct personal touch that sets it apart from similar brands. Their social media manager shares daily outfit pictures, snaps from around New York, and behind-the-scenes shots of the design process at the Kate Spade studio. Instagram Marketing 12) Eileen Fisher @eileenfishernyEileen Fisher keeps the emphasis on their quality materials and environmentally friendly production processes Instagram presence. By featuring images of women from all walks of life, they prove that style is truly ageless.  14) Girlfriend Collective @girlfriendcollectiveThis leggings startup has yet to even officially launch a full collection of clothing, but they already boast an impressive 60.2k followers on Instagram. Thanks to a free leggings promotion they advertised earlier this year on Instagram and Facebook, the brand has enjoyed explosive social media growth. Their feed keeps customers engaged with stunning product photography of their minimal styles, and screencaps from inspirational movies. 13) Anthropologie @anthropologieWith colorful close-ups of their brightly patterned styles, Anthropologie’s feed is a visual smorgasbord of inspiration. We especially love the travel shots featuring their clothes around the world.  9) The Row @therowAnother account that focuses less on their products and more on visual inspiration, The Row features vintage photos of art, architecture, and fashion — only occasionally sharing images of their actual products.  15) J.Crew @jcrewJ.Crew has mastered the art of follower engagement on Instagram. With daily-updated Stories and regular contests to select new styles for clothes and accessories, their vibrant feed keeps customers inspired and interested. 2) Nike @nikeThe behemoth athletic brand has enthusiastically embraced video content, and can be regularly found sharing clips with their impressive 7.1 million follows on Instagram. Their feed features a motivational mix of professional athletes and regular, everyday fitness enthusiasts.  11) Aerie @aerieScrolling through Aerie’s Instagram feed is like taking a tropical beach getaway. The lingerie and bathing suit brand has been applauded for their commitment to unretouched photos in their print ads, and they continue the effort on their Instagram account by celebrating a diverse range of women and body-positive messages.  7) Fjällräven @fjallravenofficialThe Instagram feed for Swedish outdoor apparel brand Fjällräven is less about their products, and more about the adventurous spirit that has defined the company for almost 60 years.  Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more

The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Jobs

first_imgIf someone were to ask you, “Do you know what marketing is?” you’d probably say yes, right? But when asked to define marketing, you might struggle. That’s okay — I would, too.Marketing is a seemingly simple concept on the surface, but it becomes more complex as you break it down. What do marketers do every day? How has technology expanded the marketing field? How do you land a marketing role, and how do you excel within one? Can you switch between marketing fields?Let me be the first to tell you that marketing is fun. Marketing a company is essentially grabbing a bullhorn and saying, “Hey! We love this company, and here’s why you should, too!” Marketing is also an incredibly dynamic, diverse field that offers positions for people of all strengths. Whether you’re equipped with creative ability or analytical prowess, marketing’s got a spot for you.In this article, we’ll break down what marketers do, how you can get into the marketing field, and the different marketing jobs that are available in today’s economy. By the end, you’ll be able to map out your budding marketing career and pinpoint your goals. Let’s get started! HubSpot’s free inbound marketing course and certificationHootsuite’s free social media training and paid certification courseGoogle’s free Analytics AcademyUdemy’s SEO training course by Moz The Marketing Job Market Marketing Job Resources Marketers are responsible for promoting a company and the product and services it sells. People who work in marketing typically organize and implement both inbound and outbound promotional campaigns that raise awareness of a brand and use marketing tactics to convince consumers to make a purchase from a company. Marketing Jobs and Careers Originally published Aug 9, 2018 7:30:00 AM, updated September 30 2018 Topics:center_img ThinkGrowth.org on MediumGrowthHubGrowthHackersFor a carefully curated list of marketing books, check out our recent blog post.Over to YouMarketing is an asset that’s in every company’s toolbelt. For that reason, the career path isn’t going away anytime soon… but it is becoming a more competitive and complex industry.Between the influx of digital trends and the variety of available roles, you can no longer simply apply to be a “marketer.” To score a marketing job, you must define which specific positions you’d like, acquire the necessary skills and qualifications, and strategically pursue the role.Thankfully, marketing remains one of the most dynamic and diverse fields. Whether you’re equipped with creative ability or analytical prowess, there’s a job for you. According to the dictionary, marketing is “the process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service.” But the job involves much, much more than that.The day-to-day activities of a marketer depend on what they’re marketing, whom they’re targeting, and what platforms they use to promote products or services. There are too many marketing roles and functions to provide a single definition applicable to everyone in this field.Before we dive into the various positions you can find within a marketing department, let’s discuss tools and education necessary to become a marketer.What You Need to Be a MarketerThere’s not a single, definitive path to any job field. Marketing is comprised of people with all kinds of backgrounds — journalism, psychology, and more. I’ve mapped out a career path as it’s the most straightforward way to jump into a marketing job. Later in this article, I’ll dive into how to get a marketing job.EducationIf you’re serious about a long-term marketing career primed for growth and variety, a bachelor’s degree is the way to go. Four-year programs teach you the skills and competencies needed to join and excel in the competitive, fast-paced landscape that is the marketing world, including public speaking, creative problem-solving, logistics, sales, and analytics.The following degree programs can lead to a career in marketing:MarketingManagementBusinessEconomicsPsychologyCommunicationsPublic RelationsJournalismNowadays, it doesn’t matter as much what you major in as it does where you go to school or what you get involved in. Organizations like the American Marketing Association, National Association of Sales Professionals, or Pi Sigma Epsilon (a co-ed marketing fraternity) can help you get connected outside the classroom and off-campus.Some marketers choose to extend (or return to) their schooling by pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or graduate degree in marketing. Both programs offer in-depth studies of marketing, but they differ in education specifics and structure. MBA programs focus on the humanity of business, such as people management, organizational behavior, and leadership. Graduate marketing programs study consumer behavior, changes in the domestic and international marketplace, and growing digital trends.These programs can be combined, of course, but their cost and completion time can be an issue for most students. While we can’t tell you if graduate school is the right choice for you, we can encourage you to research your options for career success. Here’s a great quiz by The Princeton Review to help you better understand if an MBA or master’s program is for you.Internships and Co-opsWhile a degree (or three) may not be in the cards for you, an internship or co-op most certainly should. There’s no better education than real-life experience, and internships allow you to learn on the go while you’re still learning in the classroom.Marketing internships are valuable because they help you determine what kind of marketing you want to do. Do you like the creative side of marketing, or do you like working with numbers and analytics? Does promoting a single product excite you, or would you prefer to work on overall brand awareness? Marketing departments are made up of lots of moving parts, and internships and co-ops help you determine exactly which projects and promotions you’d like to join.Lastly, internships are valuable currency in today’s job market. Think about it: Thousands of students graduate each year and enter the workforce. That’s not even considering how many workers are changing their minds and careers to pursuing marketing jobs. With some real-life experience under your belt, you automatically become a highly desirable candidate to employers. Some internships can lead to full-time jobs, too!Many educational institutions offer internships through their business or communications departments, so if you’re still in college, start there. Universities worldwide hold valuable relationships with local businesses that will hire students while still in school.If going through your college or university isn’t an option, sites like WayUp and Internships.com can help you find open positions. Idealist is an internship site that focuses on non-profit roles, and Global Experiences helps you find international opportunities. And, of course, you can always find open internships through LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed.Skills and AptitudesSurgeons possess incredible patience and stability, psychologists are fantastic listeners, and chefs have an excellent memory. Like any other professional role, great marketers tend to carry a particular set of skills. These can be skills you’re born with or skills you develop and fine-tune through schooling and real-life practice.Either way, the following skills and aptitudes are typically required to excel in any marketing role:Creativity. Whether you’re writing a business plan or a campaign brief, being able to creatively spell out your vision is a must in the marketing field. In today’s world, grabbing consumers’ attention isn’t very easy. Marketers have to constantly think up new ways to attract their audience and entice them to make a purchase — great marketers are creative.Problem-solving. Imagine the conundrum marketers faced when DVR was released and commercials became futile. What about the overwhelming switch to mobile versus desktop? These trends in the marketplace forever changed the way businesses sold to us, and marketers were on the front lines of those shifts, huddling and figuring out to how to solve new problems that came their way. Great marketers are problem-solvers.Passion for numbers. Even the most right-brained marketers have a passion for numbers and ROI. How else do companies know that their promotional efforts are working? Whether they’re tracking retweets, click-throughs, or video views, marketers live and breathe metrics. Great marketers are analytical so they can prove the value of their work.Curiosity. The marketing landscape is ever-changing, and opportunities arise every day for businesses to promote their products in new and exciting ways. But marketers wouldn’t be able to seize these opportunities if they don’t continually ask, “What if?” Great marketers stay curious and are lifelong learners.Now that you know what’s recommended (if not required) to thrive in a marketing role, let’s take a look at the job market for marketers. How many people are looking for marketing jobs, and what companies are looking for them? Is there room for growth and innovation?The Marketing Job MarketAccording to Monster, there were over 200,000 marketing jobs in the United States in 2012. The same study projected that, by 2022, that number would increase by 12% — to 224,000.But the marketing job market is increasing faster than anyone expected. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that in 2016, almost 250,000 marketing jobs existed. That’s 10% more jobs than were expected — and eight years sooner.The marketing profession is growing faster than the average for all other occupations, and it likely won’t stop anytime soon. Marketing and promotional campaigns are essential to every company, regardless of industry, as organizations seek to grow and maintain their market share.That’s why marketing jobs are available at all kinds of organizations — large firms, startups, small businesses, and non-profits. But there are cities that have more opportunities than others, mostly due to size and population. This article from USA Today compiles a list of the top 10 cities for marketing jobs based on open listings and salary trends.Do some companies offer better marketing jobs than others? No, not really. But there are some companies that excel at different types of marketing and offer opportunities for different kinds of employees.Here are a few collections of top companies for marketers, based on a variety of factors:10 companies hiring marketers right now (Forbes)10 companies that pay marketers really well (Forbes)10 companies that are defining innovation in marketing (Fast Company)15 companies deemed the best places for UK marketers to work (Marketing Week)25 of the best companies for content marketers (IZEA)15 agencies that excel in social media marketing (The Manifest)5 companies revolutionizing marketing analytics (Forbes)7 companies hiring remote marketers (FlexJobs)Today’s job market is thriving, and there’s more opportunity than ever to dip your toe into the proverbial marketing waters. But what are these specific opportunities, you ask? Below we’ll break down the various marketing jobs and marketing career paths available.Marketing Jobs and CareersAny given marketing department is made up of a variety of positions, projects, and goals. The difference between these roles can be minute or major — it all depends on what medium they’re working with, what they’re promoting, and who they’re promoting to.Digital MarketingDigital marketing refers to marketing through digital channels like search engines, websites, email, and mobile apps. In the last 30 years, the rise of the internet, smartphones, and big data has completely changed the way companies market and promote their products and services … and, in turn, created many new marketing careers.Search Engine Optimization (SEO) / Search Engine Marketing (SEM) SpecialistSearch engine optimization refers to organically optimizing web content to be indexed by search engines and easily found by your audience. Search engine marketing is paying for advertising space on said search engines. SEO, SEM, and their ever-changing trends have become such an influential part of online marketing that people are specializing in it — and companies are hiring for it, too.The responsibilities of an SEO specialist include improving the ranking of a website on a search engine results page (SERP), conducting keyword research, making technical SEO recommendations and designing the site architecture, and analyzing and applying metrics on website and keyword performance. The responsibilities of an SEM specialist include leveraging search engines like Google and Bing to increase website visits, conversions, and revenue through paid advertisements.The skills and qualifications required of both SEO and SEM specialists include experience interpreting and applying analytics, the ability to manage and allocate a marketing budget, the ability to read and apply website and search analytics, proficiency in Google AdWords and Google Analytics, and knowledge of search engine trends and news.SEO specialists make between $31,000 and $64,000, with the median salary being $43,500. SEM specialists make between $34,000 and $65,000 with the median salary being $46,000.Email MarketerEmail as a marketing medium may seem more traditional, but its effect is far from dead. Email marketing utilizes a single channel to reach current and potential customers through creatively-written emails and digital promotions.The responsibilities of an email marketer include creating emails that recipients not only open but also engage with, increasing revenue and sales through digital marketing, growing and segmenting email lists, and reading and analyzing data to optimize promotions and open rates.The skills and qualifications required of email marketers include proficiency in email marketing and tracking programs, excellent creative communication and design skills, HTML, and data analysis and interpretation.Email marketers make between $39,000 and $70,000, with the median salary being $50,500.Growth MarketerGrowth marketing (or hacking) is a relatively new term and refers to marketing that targets the entire funnel — not just the top few tiers. Growth marketing takes into account the fact that retention is a major factor of growth and therefore prioritizes both customer success and customer acquisition.Growth marketers work with a variety of media and teams, including but not limited to SEO and SEM, social media, PR, and email. Because of this, the responsibilities of growth marketers can range from A/B testing to conversion funnel optimization to content creation and user experience design.The skills and qualifications required of growth marketers include innovative and creative mindsets, quantitative and qualitative problem-solving skills, knowledge of a variety of digital marketing systems, and experience interpreting and applying data.Growth marketers make between $41,000 and $140,000, with the median salary being $80,000.Content MarketingContent marketing, since it’s mainly executed online, could be considered a segment of digital marketing. But the career path has become so impactful that we believe it deserves its own section. In fact, according to LinkedIn, content marketing managers are one of the five fastest-growing jobs in 2018. Content marketing is paving its own way in the marketing world.Content MarketerContent like blogs, ebooks, white papers, and guides are critical components of a solid inbound marketing strategy, and content marketers are the people who create them. Content marketing refers to marketing via long-form content, websites, blogs, and even audio and video content.The responsibilities of a content marketer include strategizing and executing content creation and delivery, tracking metrics that influence content strategy, and managing a team of writers, designers, and strategists.The skills and qualifications required of a content marketer include strong writing and editing skills, proficiency with content creation and management tools, project management, and experience in online audience growth.Content marketers make between $44,000 and $92,000, with the median salary being $64,000.Graphic DesignerGraphic design is a subset of content marketing that focuses more on the visual appeal of web and print content. Graphic designers typically work on website design, ad designs, and any graphics or images used in marketing or promotions.The responsibilities of a graphic designer include creating any visuals used in marketing materials or campaigns, both print and digital. Some graphic designers work on corporate identity and establish how a company will visually communicate its overall message and brand.The skills and qualifications required of graphic designers include proficiency in graphic design programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, knowledge of design elements, excellent verbal and visual communication skills, and experience creating visual art for marketing purposes.Graphic designers make between $31,000 and $61,000, with the median salary being $42,500.Social Media MarketerSocial media marketing is another new marketing avenue that’s paved the way for its own specialists and experts. Social media marketing is leveraging social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to promote a company and its products and services as well as connect with its audience in new and authentic ways.The responsibilities of social media marketers include managing a company’s social presence, monitoring online conversation, organizing customer service through social media, creating content for social channels, and staying up-to-date on social media trends and news.The skills and qualifications required of a social media marketer include excellent verbal and digital communication skills, a creative and innovative approach to digital marketing, proficiency in all social channels, and experience in public relations or public brand management.Social media marketers make between $33,000 and $78,000, with the median salary being $50,000.Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) SpecialistThe main goal of content marketing is to use content to educate, interest, and convert readers into customers. But content can’t always do that on its own. That’s where CRO specialists come into play.CRO specialists focus on optimizing websites, user flows, and content offers to drive the most conversions — whether a conversion means making a sale, securing a lead, or getting a subscriber. The responsibilities of a CRO marketer include auditing content to measure effectiveness and ROI, influencing content creation to ensure impact, measuring how visitors and readers interact with your content, and using this data to optimize for improved performance.The skills and qualifications required of CRO specialists include experience auditing and creating digital content, ability to A/B test and measure content impact, and proficiency in online content platforms and analysis tools.CRO specialists make between $32,000 and $130,000, with the median salary being $64,000.Product MarketingProduct marketing is all about setting the tone for how, where, when, and why a company’s products and services are promoted. Product marketers are typically assigned to one product or product line and act as chief advocate and strategist for that product.The responsibilities of a product marketer include determining overall messaging and positioning of the product, mapping the buyer’s journey to purchase the product, and collaborating with the product creators, designers, and other marketers.The skills and qualifications required of product marketers include excellent verbal and written communication skills, collaborative working style, prior experience strategizing and analyzing marketing campaigns, and competitive intelligence skills.Product marketers make between $55,000 and $120,000, with the median salary being $86,000.Brand MarketingIn today’s economy, a company’s brand plays a major role in how consumers shop. In fact, 59% of shoppers would rather buy from brands they know, and 21% have purchased products solely because they like the brand itself. This budding consumer behavior has paved the way for roles in brand management and public relations.The responsibilities of a public relations (PR) manager or brand marketer include creating and maintaining a company’s public image, working with other teams to ensure content and messaging is consistent, and crafting campaigns to promote and boost brand awareness.The skills and qualifications required of a PR manager or brand marketer include excellent written and verbal communication skills, experience with brand and crisis management, proficiency with email and social media marketing, and ability to manage projects and people.PR managers make between $40,000 and $97,000 with the median salary being $65,000. Brand marketers make between $48,000 and $110,000 with the median salary being $70,000.Event MarketingCompany-run events are a popular way to interact with and entertain potential customers and clients. Events bring together your community, delight your customers, and put a friendly face to a brand name. In a study of marketing budget trends, almost 20% of respondents planned to increase their event budgets in the following year, citing events as majorly effective for B2B marketers. For this reason, companies need event marketers.The responsibilities of an event marketer/manager include organizing and promoting events, creating messaging, designing and organizing marketing campaigns, connecting with audience members, and managing a team of marketers.]The skills and qualifications required of event marketers/managers include excellent digital and written communication skills, willingness to work under pressure and on deadlines, and high-level negotiation and organizational skills.Event marketers make between $35,000 and $72,000 with the median salary being $50,000.Marketing AnalysisIn the marketing world, numbers are king. No other factor has the power to shift campaigns, change budgets, hire and fire employees, and draw investors. That’s why the role of a data scientist is the fastest growing job in the United States.Marketing analysis is a unique role. While most companies hire internal analysts, third-party consultants and agencies also exist to help businesses interpret and apply data findings. Regardless of whom they work for, data scientists — specifically marketing analysts — read and interpret digital data to help businesses and marketing departments make better business decisions.The responsibilities of a marketing analyst include using data to influence campaign impact, allocate funds, determine how to design and optimize a website, set the prices of products and services and much, much more. Analysts also identify new opportunities and initiatives as well as develop metrics, benchmarks, and standards for future performance.The skills and qualifications required of a marketing analyst include data analysis and management, fluency with programs like Microsoft Excel, SPSS Statistics, and SAS, and knowledge and experience with trends in big data.Marketing analysts make between $39,000 and $76,000, with the median salary being $53,000.Clearly, there’s no deficit of marketing jobs. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a highly competitive field. With ever-changing trends and ever-changing consumers, marketers must be at the top of their game when applying to and thriving within their roles. Next, we’ll dive into how to find, apply for, and get a marketing job in your chosen field.How to Get a Marketing JobGetting a marketing job might be complicated, but it’s not impossible. There are a few things you can do to ensure you’re applying for the right jobs and promoting the best version of yourself in the process.Figure Out What Type of Role You WantBefore opening a job application, you must figure out what type of marketing job you want. As we explained above, there are plenty of marketing jobs available — and we hardly scratched the surface.Do yourself (and your potential employers) a favor and perform some self-analysis before deciding which jobs to pursue. Review the jobs we’ve described above and research others that spark your interest. Take a look at how marketing impacts your day-to-day life and see which components intrigue you.Do you find yourself gravitating towards the creative parts of marketing, or are you excited by the analytical side? Both play an important role in marketing, but the jobs for each will differ.Make a list of what you’d like to do in your role. If I were building a list of “wants,” I’d say:I like writing and telling storiesI like researchI like working with analytics only to help me create better contentI like working with a teamDetermining what kind of marketing jobs interest you will give you much more clarity in your job search and will help you decipher which specific roles best match your interests and skills.Find Jobs Matching Your InterestsThere are a few ways to go about finding marketing jobs. First, throw your search query in Google. If you’ve decided you’d like to design marketing materials for a company, search “marketing design jobs” or “graphic design marketing jobs” and see what comes up.Second, check out job board sites like Indeed, Glassdoor, and SimplyHired. These sites aggregate available jobs and make it easy to set filters for salary, location, company size, and more. They also include suggested jobs in the search results so you can easily discover related roles.Lastly, check out available jobs on company websites. If you’ve discovered a few companies for which you’d love to work, go to their websites directly and see what kind of roles they have listed.Also, some roles might have different names at different companies and might not come up in common search results on job boards. For example, a “blogger” at one company might be referred to as a “content creator” at another.Review Job DescriptionsOnce you’ve found a few open jobs to which you’d like to apply, take a close look at the job descriptions. This is when you’ll compare your list of “likes” from earlier to the terms in the job descriptions.From my list above, I’d look for words like “writing,” “editing,” “content creation,” “research,” and more. This process will help you find the best-fit roles, which will, in turn, increase the likelihood of securing an interview — and the job.Market YourselfOutside of a job application, cover letter, and interview, there are other ways to boost your chances as an applicant. As a marketing candidate, you must be able to market yourself. In fact, your “marketability” speaks volumes to companies and managers, sometimes more so than your application material.As you search for and apply to jobs, make sure your digital presence is spotless. Review your LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social channels and ensure they all promote the same message and self-image. Google your own name and make sure all results reflect positively on you.Also, depending on what role(s) you’re pursuing, consider creating a portfolio or sample of your marketing chops. If you’d like to find a position in social media, create some sample posts to include in your application. If you’re pursuing a public relations role, build a contingency plan to discuss in your interview. These steps will help you stand out from the crowd of marketing applicants and will skyrocket your chances of landing the job.Marketing Job ResourcesYou don’t have to pursue a marketing job on your own. Looking for some resources to help you better understand specific marketing components or brush up on your skills? Check out the tools and materials below. Bonus: Some of these certifications can make you a more desirable marketing candidate, too!Courses and Communities How to Get a Marketing Job What You Need to Be a Marketer What does a marketer do? Marketing Jobslast_img read more

Champions League or bust now for Real

first_imgReal Madrid Champions League or bust now for Real Madrid as La Liga slips away Ben Hayward Last updated 1 year ago 06:19 1/8/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(110) Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid Getty Images Real Madrid Primera División UEFA Champions League Celta de Vigo v Real Madrid Celta de Vigo Opinion Zinedine Zidane’s men are 16 points behind Barcelona in the Primera Division and will be looking to Europe in an attempt to save their season A crisis is never too far away at Real Madrid. In 2014 Los Blancos ended the year with a best-ever haul of four trophies, yet six months later coach Carlo Ancelotti was sacked. And with 2018 just underway they risk something similar this time around.Los Blancos bettered their 2014 mark by claiming five titles in 2017, the last of those in mid-December as Zinedine Zidane’s men lifted the Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi. A week later, however, a 3-0 loss to Barca in the Clasico left a huge dent in their hopes of retaining La Liga.Madrid were provisionally 14 points adrift of their fierce rivals prior to this weekend’s fixtures, with a game in hand due to their participation in the Club World Cup. And after the Blaugrana brushed aside Levante at Camp Nou earlier on Sunday, they could ill afford another slip-up. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Zidane’s side nevertheless went behind at Balaidos as Daniel Wass exquisitely chipped Keylor Navas, and although Gareth Bale struck twice to dig the champions out of a hole it was insufficient in the end as Maxi Gomez levelled late on with a header.Celta Real Madrid scoreSo it was two more points dropped for Madrid and it could have been worse than that, too. Earlier, Iago Aspas had seen his penalty saved by Keylor Navas, while the Spain striker also hit the post and saw an appeal for another spot-kick waved away in the closing stages when it could easily have been awarded.Defensively, Real were all over the place in the absence of captain Sergio Ramos through injury and Gomez was left completely alone in the box when he headed the second goal for Celta with eight minutes remaining.Madrid were also carved open for Celta’s opener and on several other occasions throughout the 90 minutes. Even with Ramos out, this type of defensive display is not in keeping with a team that was the best in both Spain and Europe last season.That will be a big concern for Zidane and although the French coach will say that his side can still win La Liga, realistically that looks impossible now – especially as Barca have just welcomed back Ousmane Dembele from injury and also signed Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool.Gareth Bale Isco Cristiano Ronaldo Real MadridCelta celebrate against Real MadridThe Champions League is always an attraction for Real and Los Blancos have made the competition their own in recent times, winning the trophy in three of the past four seasons. Now they will look to Europe for glory once again – and also to save their season.But it is extremely difficult to win the Champions League, let alone three years in a row, and the competition looks stronger this year with Barca and Manchester City on fine form, not to mention the fact that Paris Saint-Germain lie in wait for Madrid in the last 16.Real are struggling at the back against most of their rivals right now and it is hard to see on this evidence just how they will be able to contain a trident made up of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani.Significant improvement will be needed, while failure to keep pace in La Liga could ultimately be an advantage if Zidane decides to rest players in the Primera Division. But one week into 2018 and all the success of last year suddenly seems to have lost its sparkle.last_img read more

OSU Continues To Win Close Games, And Mike Gundy Says That’s No Accident

first_img“I think there is some truth to them believing in themselves makes a big difference. When you start to win over a period of years, you feel like you’re going to win,” added Gundy. “Your mind is much more powerful than the physical part of your body, and we believe in that, so they just play hard and I’m proud of them.“I told them in the locker room that it’s fun for me to sit back and cross my arms and watch them play, even though the games are exciting and pressure-packed. It’s fun to watch them. They like being around each other, they’re good young men, they play hard, and as a coach, what more could you ask for? Nothing.”What more could you ask for as a fan?! I’ve gotten burned about this before, but I don’t care. As a simple consumer of college football, being an OSU fan is more fun than being an Alabama fan. It just is. Does Alabama play in more big games? Sure. But Oklahoma State plays more fun ones week in and week out.We can discuss whether that’s actually what you want as a college football program, but what isn’t up for debate is that every Saturday is a thrill until the very end.“Gundy preaches it to us all the time,” Washington told the Tulsa World. “Right before practice is over, we’ll do a little fourth-quarter deal. That’s really just separates us from different teams, I feel like. In the fourth quarter I feel like we’re still playing just as hard as we were the first through the third.”OSU actually didn’t score in the fourth quarter on Saturday (if I had told you that before the game, you would have though horrendous things, right?), but it probably would have if not for taking a knee at the very end.What are the responses of other staff members over all this end-of-game consternation? Assistant coach Mike Yurcich needs a cigarette and Glenn Spencer continues to preach love and trust.Far and away the 2 best answers on how #OKState wins close games. Gold from Mike Yurcich and Glenn Spencer. pic.twitter.com/h4K8iLB8BI— Dylan Buckingham (@DylanBuckingham) November 13, 2016It really is an amazing time to be an OSU fan, even when it doesn’t feel like it. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. I’m not sure it’s necessarily been “fun” to watch the way eating ice cream is fun or catching fish is fun, but Oklahoma State has now won 11 of its last 12 games that have been decided by less than 10 points. It doesn’t seem sustainable, and yet … it kind of has been over the last few years.It did so again on Saturday in Stillwater as it took down Texas Tech 45-44.Head coach Mike Gundy explains why he thinks this is happening.“No fear, no frustration and no fatigue is what we talk about,” said Gundy after the game. “Truthfully, I talk to the players about the core values and the accountability we have in our program. I wish I could give you and X’s and O’s, or say that I could give a Vince Lombardi pregame and halftime speech.“I think it’s the overall concept of our program. It’s our nutrition, it’s our sleep method that we use, it’s our strength training. I think that at the end of the games, we’re somewhat fresh. I know they scored at the end of the fourth quarter, but we got more pressure on (Mahomes) in the end of the fourth quarter than we did the entire game.”This is true. Justin Phillips got a monster sack in the fourth quarter, and Mahomes was hanging on for dear life on the final drive.last_img read more

OSU Receiver Pledge McKaufman Eligible in 2017

first_imgNEO wide receiver Patrick McKaufman, a 6-5 prospect who committed to Oklahoma State this week, confirmed to Pistols Firing on Thursday that he will be on campus for the 2017 season as first reported by Scout.com and The Oklahoman’s Kyle Fredrickson.“I plan to move in July 5, which is on a Wednesday. Classes and workouts sessions start on July 10,” McKaufman told Pistols Firing. “I’m not taking any classes at the moment, so right now I’m just working out and enjoying the time I have to spend with my family.”McKaufman, a 2016 graduate from Douglass High School, says he has three years of eligibility remaining — and he plans on spending season no. 1 on the sidelines redshirting.AdChoices广告“I’ll have three years of eligibility left,” McKaufman explained. “It will be kind of late for me coming in July, so we sat down and talked about, and I’m going to redshirt my first year, then I’ll play in the spring and so on.”With OSU’s depth at receiver next season in James Washington, Marcell Ateman, Jalen McCleskey and Tyron Johnson, a redshirt year will give McKaufman a chance to study under some of OSU’s best talents at the position as he prepares for the 2018 season.As a freshman at NEO last season, he caught 13 passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns in his transition year from quarterback at Douglass to wide receiver for the Golden Norsemen. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Zach Sinor’s Heisman Campaign Kicks into Overdrive at Big 12 Media Days

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. If you can’t get enough of the #Sinor4Heisman campaign, then day three of Big 12 Media Days was for you!After weeks of humorous videos and images released on social media, the campaign for Oklahoma State punter Zach Sinor has officially reached its apex at Big 12 Media Days. It started with the release of an “official” Sinor for Heisman website.The best way to describe it? Geocities.AdChoices广告This site, a throwback to 90’s build-your-own webpage, can only be described as so bad it’s good. It comes complete with a spinning title, the infamous dancing baby graphic, and a twinkling star background. My personal favorite parts are the “punters are people too!” line running across the screen and this photo:Sinor didn’t leave it there. He was caught walking around the Star handing out pamphlets to the media.And there’s brochures too pic.twitter.com/lQtDUhFB7o— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) July 18, 2017Also, let’s talk about that facial hair.#OkState punter Zach Sinor says he thinks he’ll win the Heisman because he “likes cool dogs” ?He’s got my vote! #Big12MediaDays #Big12FB pic.twitter.com/YLhWaoqWdL— Jessica Morrey (@JessicaMorrey) July 18, 2017Glad to know that Sinor and Rudolph competing for the Heisman won’t get in the way of their friendship.At this point is it fair to say OSU has done a better job promoting Sinor for Heisman than Rudolph? I wouldn’t argue with you if you made the claim.I realize some are tired of it (though I don’t understand why), but what better way to pass the time until the season starts, than enjoying one of the funniest social media campaigns ever produced by a college athletic department? Bravo.last_img read more

Pogba being treated like a bouncer by Mourinho

first_imgUEFA Champions League Pogba being treated like a bouncer by single-minded Mourinho Peter Staunton Click here to see more stories from this author Chief Correspondent Last updated 1 year ago 17:21 23/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(13) Paul Pogba Jose Mourinho Manchester United Getty Images UEFA Champions League Paul Pogba José Mourinho Sevilla v Manchester United Manchester United v Chelsea Manchester United Sevilla Chelsea Premier League Opinion Signed to be the centrepiece of the new United, the £89m man is suffering at the hands of a manager who wants to harness his power, not his finesse Jose Mourinho gave the BT Sport reporter Des Kelly a hug in his Champions League post-match interview on Wednesday. Why? Des asked him about Scott McTominay, who started against Sevilla, rather than Paul Pogba, who didn’t. It gave Mourinho the opportunity to wax lyrical about all the things the young midfielder could do while at the same time hinting at the things Pogba could not.“He did everything well,” the Manchester United manager said of McTominay’s display in the last 16 first leg. “He put lots of pressure on Banega, which was important to stop him to play. He was always comfortable – simple, safe in possession. I think he was brilliant.“But I have also to say that in my opinion the midfield started really well. And then when Herrera came out Paul made a big effort to go into that dynamic that we need. And I think he had also a positive performance.” Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp There you have it. The 21-year-old making only his second Champions League start was “brilliant”. Pogba, a veteran of Champions League and European Championship finals, and with four Serie A title and an £89 million price tag to his name “made a big effort”.It clearly demonstrates the attitude Mourinho currently harbours towards the most talented player in his squad. He wants him to do things – like press Ever Banega and play simple, safe passes deep in midfield – that would seem to run contrary to his skillset.He doesn’t want Pogba to be United’s Mesut Ozil – as his attributes suggest he could be. He would appear to have little interest in unlocking his creative potential. Rather, he wants another Nemanja Matic. In the midfield position, he demands discipline, destruction and caution in possession. And he wants Pogba to do it for him.Mourinho looks at Pogba and maybe sees a player who should be good at those things. But appearances can be deceptive. Just because Pogba is a big, powerful man, it doesn’t mean he is best deployed as a bouncer.Nor in any sane universe should he find himself behind McTominay in the pecking order. It is nothing short of insulting for a player of his standing to be told to sit and learn from an apprentice with no more than 20 games played in his senior United career.David de Gea Scott Mctominay Clement Lenglet Sevilla Manchester United UCL 21022018Pogba should feel more aggrieved by his latest demotion than the one he suffered under Sir Alex Ferguson before he decided to walk out on a free transfer to Juventus. Back then, it was Rafael and Park Ji-sung keeping him out of the team for a home defeat against Blackburn Rovers which seemingly swayed Pogba – and agent Mino Raiola – into thinking the player’s future lay away from Old Trafford.Now Mourinho is attempting to do with Pogba what he has done with more than one United player since turning up at Old Trafford.The 2004 and 2010 Champions League winner has a very clearly defined strategy in how he wants his teams to defend. Once those fundamentals have been taken care of, then the team can start thinking about how the goals are going to come. Everyone has a job in this defensive structure and everyone will follow it or else risked being dropped.It is not a case of Mourinho fitting a shape around the abilities of his player but the players fitting around the shape. Luke Shaw, Anthony Martial and Henrikh Mkhitaryan have all been victims of this aspect of Mourinho’s management style. If a player will not do the exact job he asks, the player will be banished, no matter what he cost.Subjecting Pogba to this technique, however, is to misinterpret the kind of player Mourinho has on his hands. Pogba is not the type who should be shoehorned into a broadly reactive style of football. He is one who should be the focal point in a positive, attacking team.Mourinho’s pre- and post-match press conferences in Sevilla were dominated by speculation over Pogba’s place in the team and it’s easy to figure out why. Mourinho feigned exasperation over those questions but has got to accept that scrutiny of that kind of decision comes with the territory.Paul Pogba Manchester UnitedIt was accepted at the outset of Mourinho’s regime that Pogba was going to be the centrepiece of the New Manchester United – a long-term investment to construct a team around. Less than two seasons later and it is clear that this is not the case. For now, Mourinho regards him as a luxury player – not to be trusted in the highest-profile European match of the season.It gives a glimmer too into what direction Mourinho sees United heading. He has added not only Pogba but Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez to his squad but it appears he is putting together what will eventually be a functional, counter-attack machine when it takes its final shape.It is a pretty rudimentary prospect and one which – perhaps – falls short of expectations on this club given its status as the world’s richest by revenues. All that money and this is where Mourinho wants to take them.There is undoubtedly a need to spend big again this summer in order to get United up a level. But it’s inevitable that if Mourinho gets his way there’ll be more Matics than Pogbas arriving and within that system there will always be a space for a McTominay, who will press, harry and destroy exactly like his manager tells him.last_img read more

Champions League final tickets on sale

first_imgUEFA Champions League Champions League final tickets on sale: How much they cost and how to buy them Harry Sherlock 18:33 16/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Gareth Bale Real Madrid Champions League Final Trophy Getty Images UEFA Champions League Real Madrid Barcelona Sevilla Liverpool Manchester City Bayern München Juventus Roma The showpiece takes place on May 26 in Ukraine and the cheapest ticket is available for €70, with the most expensive costing €450 Tickets for the UEFA Champions League final are officially on sale!The showpiece will take place in Ukraine, at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium on May 26, and a total of 40,700 tickets are available for fans and the general public to purchase.The two teams who reach the final will be allocated 17,000 tickets each, and 6,700 tickets are on sale to fans worldwide via UEFA’s official website. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp The remaining tickets will then be allocated to the local organising committee, as well as broadcast partners, UEFA and national associations.Tickets will not be sold on a first-come-first-served basis, with a ballot instead conducted once the sale period has ended.The cheapest ticket will cost €70, for Category 4, while the most expensive, Category 1, is priced at €450. Category 3 is costed at €160, while Category 2 is €320. A youth package – two Category 2 tickets, with one adult and one child – is available at €140. Accessibility tickets for disabled supporters cost €70.Applications are limited to two tickets per person, and those who apply for a ticket will be informed by April 6 as to whether they have been successful.The quarter-final draw takes place on Friday, with eight teams vying for the right to be called the best in Europe.Holders Real Madrid, Barcelona and Sevilla represent Spain in the draw – having defeated PSG, Chelsea and Manchester United respectively – while Liverpool and Manchester City feature from the Premier League, beating Porto and Basel. Juventus and Roma fly the flag for Serie A, after defeating Tottenham and Shakhtar Donetsk. Bayern Munich are the only German team in the draw, following their demolition of Besiktas.The quarter-final first leg ties will take place on April 3 and 4, with the second legs due on April 10 and 11. The semi-final draw will be made two days later; the first leg will be played on April 24 and 25, and the second legs the week following, on May 1 and 2.Cristiano Ronaldo is currently leading the way for the Champions League Golden Boot, having scored 12 times. He leads Sevilla’s Wissam Ben Yedder by four strikes.last_img read more