Why You Should Consider Using VoIP for Your Business

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones & communication systems allow you to make & receive calls digitally using data networks. This and the ever increasing advancement in VoIP technology has allowed these systems to become the preferred choice for businesses worldwide, and are now being hailed as the future of telecommunications.

There are many advantages of using VoIP Telephone Systems the most important one being the cost effectiveness of this service making it cheaper than traditional analogue telephone services. As VoIP uses a broadband connection it makes it less expensive for the provider and their customers to make calls, many providers now offer a flat rate monthly fee allowing long distance and local calls to be charged at the same rate.

As VoIP is non – geographically based, this enables you to create a virtual number assigning any area code you choose to your numbers even if your business is not physically based in that area – the additional benefit of this is that your virtual number is portable so you can take it with you anywhere you go even if you decide to move offices.

VoIP Maintenance costs workout to be lower than traditional phone systems and they are inexpensive to set up as they use your existing broadband connection. This means there is no need for extra phone lines to be installed. VoIP phones are similar to telephones in there look and ease of use.

VoIP allows you to streamline your communication systems and manage your information more effectively as calls can be run over existing data networks enabling you to receive voice mail and faxes with your emails. Another great advantage is that you can make and receive calls from numerous devices such as phones, pcs (via a software-based phone), or a mobile phone that has voice capabilities. Controlling how your business calls are handled is easy by taking advantage of VoIP’s ability to enable automatic call routing & interactive voice responses.

Call forwarding, call waiting, voicemail, caller ID and three-way calling are some of the many other features that make VoIP attractive to businesses. VoIP can also be used for conference calls the VoIP technology treats services on the phone like any other kind of data, enabling the users to attach documents to voice messages, or participate in virtual meetings with the help of shared data and video conferencing.

The fact that you can make and receive phone calls wherever there is a broadband connection by simply signing in to your VoIP account makes VoIP highly portable.

With all the great advantages of VoIP phones & communication systems, it’s easy to see why it has rapidly become the number one choice for businesses. If you’re planning to switch to one of Business VoIP Solutions, complete your homework and in case, you have a question about this technology, you can make a comment below in the available space.

Digital Marketing Decoded Part 2

Last fortnight in part 1 of BizParade’s Digital Marketing Decoded we asked Melbourne internet agency Salsa to share their knowledge on how to get the most out of search engine optimization to help drive your website’s presence in the free search engine listings, and how to get a head start by implementing an AdWords campaign or linking strategy to rank even higher.

In this issue the author talks to three digital marketing agencies to investigate the advantages of implementing digital campaigns, how you can market to your database more effectively, and the benefits of developing a more comprehensive digital strategy to maximize the return on your marketing spend.

Some of the most significant advantages to digital marketing over more traditional mediums include the ability to track the results and measure them against specific desired outcomes and segment your audience, but cost efficiency and fast lead times are also a draw card.
Sydney based digital marketing specialists Permission Communications specialize in digital marketing solutions for a range of medium to large companies spanning the FMCG, fashion and event sectors.

“We use a combination of solutions that are available, for example email marketing platforms, but we also build lots of little applications and solutions that say, well okay you’ve got a need in your business to do this, so we’re going to build a digital solution that can allow you to do that, for instance online surveying systems, event management systems and triggered email systems to name a few,” says Permission’s [insert title], Jeremy Glass.

One of their strengths is developing email solutions including direct marketing, CRM and promotional campaigns right through to more technical solutions including custom-built email systems, integrated email and spam management technology.

“Email campaigns are often compared to direct marketing, but there are significant advantages to online, which traditional direct mail simply cannot offer. Primarily this is the ability to easily measure the effectiveness of an online campaign, which can be more challenging and costly with direct mail,” explains Glass.

Advanced reporting software can track a consumer’s behaviour from the second your email hits their inbox, or they click on your banner ad or upgraded directory listing, right through the consumer’s engagement and purchasing process.

Unlike more traditional mediums where you don’t know if the response to an offer has uptake until the phones start ringing or the consumer visits your store, tracking an email campaign is significantly more telling and it is in real time.

Tracking reveals important information about your campaign and gauges whether it is delivering the desired results. If the results are below expectation, you can track this back to the number of people actually clicking on the email, and whether your subject line was a success. Or, if they opened your email and clicked through to your website, telling you whether your call to action was compelling or if it was clearly understood.

“You get those metrics down to the individual, so you can tell what different people in your database would be interested in, and then you can do a follow-up communication with them specific to that insight so that immediately gives you a lot more power,” adds Glass.

This is the other important advantage of digital: the ability to segment your audience and tailor messages to different groups depending on their purchase behaviour. “The tools which are available for building, sending and managing email campaigns generally come with the capability of both segmenting a database based on profiles of the members of the database, but also using that segmentation to send out content specific to that profile,” explains Glass.

One of the biggest trends in email marketing currently is automated and triggered response emails, which effectively communicates to your subscriber at any given time they act. “It’s based around the principle if you can talk to the person with the right message at the right time, you’re more likely going to.

Gaining these insights so you can segment and target messages gives you the added advantage of adjusting the campaign within the first few days or even hours, which can be critical to your event’s success.

Whilst email solutions are not necessarily cheap, says Glass, they are far more cost effective in delivering ROI against desired outcomes compared to above-the-line because they are relatively inexpensive to produce and they can be targeted so precisely.

In tests run for one of their clients Esprit, Permission found email marketing was five times more cost effective at delivering the same level of response than it was using direct mail. “And that’s just the cost let alone the insight and the information that we got from it,” says Glass.

This can also be said for mobile and interactive wireless marketing solutions, which brands such as Vodafone have been successfully testing since 2005. For the past three years Vodafone Australia has sponsored major electronic music festivals across Australia as part of their ongoing relationship marketing strategy, says AURA Interactive’s Sales & Marketing Director, Adam Dunne.

Similar solutions can be just as effective for implementation at events and conferences, with mobile marketing offering the same advantage of segmenting your database according to their previous purchasing behaviours or preferences.

“Entry level pre-event reminders and post event follow-ups via SMS can be just as effective to remind participants of conference dates or results post event, says Dunne. But being more active during the time they are actually engaged at your event is probably where mobile technology can cut through, given the often-limited access to email.

“Being more active during the event and using the conference database to actually drive traffic through to the seminars or to specific stands and sponsors, sending reminders about session times and potentially prize draws for example,” are all opportunities to add value to the consumer experience cost effectively, adds Dunne.

Measurability is just as easy with the ability to track user’s actions and gauge insights about their behaviour, whilst also being able to react quickly with different messages depending on your desired outcome.

Last minute offers, reminders, and refer a friend campaign can all be instigated at the push of a button and sent directly to consumers based on their previous level of engagement either via email or mobile campaigns, or both.

“From an event marketing perspective, I would look at putting a strategy into place that actually looks at all those different scenarios up front and have it all ready to go because it’s not like a print campaign where if you want something to be ready to go, you’ve got to invest the money, the time, and the logistics and it’s got to be all planned out. Rather, we just make a snap decision and within a couple of hours we can send out a special offer,” adds Glass.

Award winning digital agency, Clear Blue Day’s Peter Bray agrees that planning your digital strategy is integral to achieving better online results. “The adage about failing to plan is a plan to fail is very true. It is essential that you take time to create a strategy, but also you need to be realistic about what you want to achieve, and start with a budget. Having key performance indicators as part of your initial plan is vital so that you can judge your success,” Bray adds.

Specialists in the development of digital strategy, online campaigns, search engine optimization and website design, Clear Blue Day offer a fast and effective method of understanding your business and how digital can best meet your objectives, says Bray.

“The Sprint method cuts out a lot of the meaningless consultancy. Most of Clear Blue Day’s clients come to us with one end game: sell more products and capture more market share. There is no point in spending weeks working out what needs to be achieved when everyone in the room knows the goal. The sprint model allows companies to not only come up with a strategy in minimal time, but also to roll it out quickly. In the time precious world of business, this is vital.”

In a landscape that is constantly changing with the introduction of new technologies and capabilities, engaging a specialist digital agency before you engage your clients is an important first step in planning any digital activity.

“One of the key principles that we often talk about is that there are a lot of little potholes and falling into one of them can actually scuttle your whole campaign,” adds Glass.

“You’ve got to make sure you’ve ticked all your boxes to ensure this doesn’t happen, and I guess that’s the difference between working with someone that’s been doing it for years who is a specialist.”

And, if you are concerned about the costs, then you will be reassured to know the investment is worth it. Online marketing is considerably cheaper and more cost effective than more traditional mediums and there are a number of entry points depending on your budget, ranging from search engine optimization to a fully integrated email system or mobile campaign.

Know More About Hosted Contact Center VoIP Solutions

In this contemporary world, business and corporate houses are searching for various ways to increase their competitiveness in terms of lowering down the calling costs and improving the organizational proposition. As a matter of fact, the traditional telephone networks are designed to carry low-fidelity signals with a high level of reliability. Though they are very reliable for the audio communication, but are not suited to provide services for digital communication applications. Thanks to the new technology called VoIP- Voice over Internet Protocol for initiating ‘unified’ communication.

The voice over internet protocol allows the users to send & receive voice, data and images over a single IP network. Apart from this, the main attraction of hosted business VoIP services is its calling price. The calling price over this technique is minimal as packet switching technique is used in them. The VoIP solutions use packet-switched networks to facilitate non-real-time data using much less bandwidth. The advantages of internet telephony solutions include flexibility, efficiency, and scalability.

1.Flexibility: The hosted business VoIP services provides flexibility. As a matter of fact, these services can be used in a variety of configurations to suit a number of users, client/server application requirements and desired bandwidth.

2.Efficiency: The bandwidth is consumed when needed. Unlike traditional PSTN services, the service providers cover same network for carrying voice and data networks i.e. voice, video, fax, and data traffic. Furthermore, this increases the efficiency of the bandwidth, as many terminals on the same connection are shared with the network.

3.Scalability: In the hosted VoIP solutions, one can easily extend or add the telephone lines as per the demand of the organization.

These advantages help the users to save money and improve the organizational productivity. As per the statistics, more than 25 million small & medium businesses or SMBs are making use of VoIP services.

To improve the sales and market shares, contact centers have refined their marketing strategies. Considering this fact, VoIP contact center solutions have widened their scope in various sectors including telemarketing, e-mailing, instant messaging and online communication. With the application of hosted contact center VoIP solutions, the users or clients of business and corporate houses are able to grow instantly without spending much on the infrastructural enhancements. Moreover, with these services, the users enjoy freedom to locate and relocate anywhere across the globe.

To conclude, the business users or clients can enjoy the benefits of technical assistance or customer services at any time of the day, as and when required. Hence, it can be stated that hosted business VoIP solutions allow the users to enjoy long distance and international calling at discounted rates.

Social Media Marketing: A New Business Prime Mover

What Is Social Media Marketing?

Almost half of more than 2 billion people who regularly use the internet are addicted to Facebook. Using the social media outlets like this one has been a recent phenomenon, interlinking people through a cyberspace process. And this is the main reason why businessmen should consider social media marketing as a new prime mover of their business for them to hit ‘profit.’

Social media marketing is a process giving multiple benefits to business owners by way of using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google +, LinkedIn or Tumblr Accounts to promote brands of products and services. People are very much aware of these social media channels. For this reason, the business owners can expect an incredible increase of their sales volume that is denoting income.

Comparing it to the conventional way of promoting business brands, i.e. the use of televisions or radios, this newly-discovered method is more powerful in one way or another due to several factors such as:

1. No territorial boundary;
2. Greater market;
3. Lesser investment; and
4. Simultaneous promotional actions.

How Does This Prime Mover Work?

The first factor talks about the spatial aspect. Applying this technique does not put limitation on where should and where should not. There is no delineated and surveyed market territory where a particular business is only allowed to operate. The main medium is the internet and it penetrates almost every geographical line of the four hemispheres of the world.

The second factor emphasizes quantity. Try to imagine that in a traditional way of promotion, let say TV, it is only feasible to tap those people in a certain locality who are watching the primetime show with the advertisement of this product during commercial breaks. The difference now is that, it might be more doable to persuade more people simultaneously about particular brands through the social networking sites.

The third factor implies ‘money’ used in the promotion. Paying television networks needs big additional capital. However, opening a Facebook page is free. What is important is to learn about the dynamics of this promotional technique. In fact, there are people who are earning by opening a simple online store in FB.

The last factor elucidates time. Simultaneous action is indicated in this methodological application. Try to imagine that it is possible to have a lot of social media accounts. And instantaneously, it is probable to promote products and services using those accounts.

It is quite simple to analyse. The factors being considered are place, people, capital and time. No businessman will tend to neglect these aspects. They are the known as the business pillars. With the presence of social media networks, generating what a businessman calls ‘profit’ has a greater feasibility. Social media serve as the new prime mover of business.