There’s a whole host of reasons you’d want to rebrand your local business: Your product and service offering might be outgrowing your name and website. You might have found a new location close to the center of town. You feel a facelift might revitalize a flagging business. Whatever your reasons, they must be good given the work it takes to rebrand. It may be the biggest and highest-risk challenge you’ve ever faced. The tone of voice, website design, color scheme, logos, directory listings and sales process may all need to change at once. It’s not an easy or quick switch. Interest in a local business’ rebranding isn’t as strong as big brands enjoy, so you can kiss that viral piece on the evolution of your brand goodbye. Unlike Pepsi or other big brands, there is a high likelihood few will notice a logo change from a small business. Small businesses don’t have access to a multimillion-dollar branding and communications strategy. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still make a true impac..
Valve has pulled a game from its online Steam store after allegations were made that it was exploiting players’ computer resources to mine for cryptocurrency. Warning bells rang for players of the game, a simple and minimalist platformer called “Abstractism”, because it was consuming so much processing power from their CPUs and GPUs. When you see the very-basic game in action, it’s hard to believe that it could have any legitimate need to stretch the abilities of a typical gaming PC.If things weren’t suspicious enough already, the game was also accused of duplicating expensive items from other video games, and attempting to sell the fake goods at inflated prices in Steam’s Community Market. Gamers spotted that Abstractism was generating a “Strange Professional Killstreak Australium Rocket Launcher” for instance, raising suspicions of foul play.An identical-looking rocket launcher (using the same image, and same description) is used in the game Team Fortress 2. The appearance ..
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Tech Lab has been moving quickly to catch up with blockchain. A week ago, its Blockchain Working Group announced a pilot program that would analyze the results of blockchain-based projects by its 150+ member organizations. This effort will include a white paper that pinpoints the most promising ad-related aspects of the participating projects, sets up some standardization targets and possibly notes which claims are farther off. Now, the Working Group is releasing some explainer documents. There’s a freeBlockchain Technology Primer and a Resources Wiki,both assembled by Working Group participants. [Read the full article on MarTech Today.]
364 inmates in five of Idaho’s state prisons have exploited vulnerabilities in the JPay tablets they use to read email and access video games in order to boost their credit balances. But what is a JPay tablet? And why would you want one if you are locked up in prison? Well, if you find yourself in the unpleasant predicament of being incarcerated in prison, one of the many undesirable consequences is that you may well feel disconnected from the outside world. But panic not, because correctional facilities across the United States are equipped with JPay video phone kiosks and email terminals that allow inmates to keep in touch with loved ones (at a price). The only challenge, aside from the cost of earning credits for low paid prisoners, is that the devices can be popular and there can be long queues. To get around that problem inmates can purchase a prison-issued JPay tablet, manufactured by technology firm Securus who also make the kiosks, through which they can access their messag..
Taking a leaf from Apple’s rulebook regarding cryptocurrency mining, Google has updated its Play Store guidelines to keep shady financial instruments out of its Android applications venue. Over on the Google Play Developer Policy Center, the tech giant explicitly states: “We don’t allow apps that expose users to deceptive or harmful financial instruments.” This isn’t a new policy from the Internet behemoth. However, the company has recently made an addendum to this category. “We don’t allow apps that mine cryptocurrency on devices. We permit apps that remotely manage the mining of cryptocurrency,” reads the newly added guideline. In other words, Google Play will no longer be accepting any tools advertised as capable of mining virtual money using the customer’s mobile device. Google doesn’t expressly state the reasons behind its decision. However, it is reasonable to assume that the company wants to steer Android users clear of any potentially deceptive application description. Goog..
Link-building mistakes come with the territory: The longer you spend pitching webmasters, the more war stories and link failures you’ll have under your belt. I’ve done many, many linking campaigns and have made my share of mistakes. Based on my experience, I am not sure which campaign was a bigger epic fail: The campaign where all the email I sent went to the trash folder because I used a term associated with spam in the subject line. The fact I launched a huge content campaign the same day Donald Trump was inaugurated. via GIPHY These things happen. Mistakes are a key ingredient of learning, particularly when it comes to link outreach. You will probably make a lot of mistakes and get very frustrated before you learn how to consistently build links with content. It’s all part of the learning process. What if you could skip over the costly learning curve and jump directly into all the link-building lessons without committing all the mistakes? Would you like to know which mistakes ca..
According to Ipsos, over 75 percent of advertising impact is determined by creative quality. And yet, creative messaging seems to be an afterthought next to ad placement and targeting. I get it. Making the perfect creative requires some patience. But if you have the budget for it, testing programmatic display creatives is worth your time. I’m talking consistent optimization, a dramatic increase in performance and insights that can be used in other channels. For the best results, you’ll need to thoroughly test programmatic display creatives. At Brainlabs (my company), we want to know which creatives work best for particular audiences, to maximize performance at the most tailored level. There are two ways we approach testing. Each depends on the objectives and length of the campaign. Creative testing The first method is to test lots of creatives at one time with the aim of gathering insights. This is typically for short campaign periods (two months or less) with larger budgets. This ..
From the Brand Safety Institute/TAG white paper, “Defining Brand Safety” In the days of “Mad Men” and before, ads were delivered into fixed placements that were known in advance. But these are the days of real-time delivery into millions of dynamic contexts, defined by surrounding content and challenged by viewing conditions. So, advertisers find themselves increasingly concerned that their messages are being compromised by factors they don’t control. Toward the goal of re-establishing control, a new organization — the Brand Safety Institute — launched this week in Washington, DC. Formed by Mike Zaneis, CEO of the corporate-focused Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) and Neal Thurman, director at Coalition for Better Ads (CBA), the organization intends to help define best practices, provide a certification program for the new role of Brand Safety Officer and offer other kinds of supporting education, training and resources. Zameis told me that, to his knowledge, this is the fir..
It was likely that GDPR would have consequences on all companies whose business affects Europeans, but Facebook appears to be in a bit of a free fall after applying GDPR guidelines to its entire network. After losing one million monthly active users in Europe post GDPR, confirmed by the second quarter earnings report, the company experienced a 19 percent drop in shares. One million might not be much for a company that counts 376 million users in Europe and 2.2 billion globally, but it only shows that certain users are more concerned about data privacy than others. “Starting this week, we’re asking everyone on Facebook to review important information about privacy and how to control their experience,” wrote Facebook’s Chief Privacy Office, Erin Egan, in May. “People have told us they want clearer explanations of what information we collect and how we use it. […] we’re now showing people an alert as they visit News Feed so they can review details about advertising, face recognition, a..
Leveraging a key human trait that machines would not fall for, cybercriminals can easily manipulate or fool humans using social engineering tactics. A new study on the most effective phishing scams shows that, ironically, the subject lines relating to security are most likely to trick users into handling their credentials insecurely. “By playing into a person’s psyche to either feel wanted or alarmed, hackers continue to use email as a successful entry point for an attack,” according to KnowBe4, which deals with security awareness and simulated phishing. The firm compiled user data based on simulated phishing tests and real-world emails that savvy users reported to their IT reps. They found that criminals can best hack into a user’s accounts by playing to their commitment to security, using message bodies and subject lines that prompt users to enter their passwords. After examining tens of thousands of subject lines, including some “in-the-wild” emails, researchers compiled the foll..