How Data Collection is Expanding Beyond Cookies (INFOGRAPHIC)

Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing

Businesses with an online presence rely on their tracking tools to inform marketing decisions.  In the past and into the present, this has meant planting cookies on the devices of people who visit their website.  Cookies are small text files that allow the planter to recognize and track online behavior.  Some only last for the duration of a browsing session while others linger. 

Due to recent laws passed by the European Union and select US States, online data collection cannot be as extensive as it used to be. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in force in the EU gives users many new rights and powers.  For example, users must be given total access to their personal data and any supplementary information businesses have collected about them.  Users must be able to export or download their data on demand.  Most of this data is only valuable in aggregate, but this right lets users know what online companies assert about them.  Furthermore, users have a right to correct their data if it is inaccurate, block the processing of their data, or even have it erased in certain circumstances.  The GDPR is far reaching in its impact on how businesses collect information on customers. 

Since the GDPR took effect in 2018, the EU has issued over 800 fines across their jurisdiction, including a $877 million fine to Amazon for failure to obtain “freely given” consent.  Google also came under fire to the tune of over $56 million when they did not provide privacy notices to users.  Yet while most companies do want to follow the law, they also face a dilemma.  Data analytics is nearly useless when too many users refuse consent.  Businesses may no longer know the proportion of consenting users to total, what cohort is reflected in collected data, or if a sufficiently representative sample is present to make accurate optimizations. 

Measurement methodology must move beyond cookies if it is to survive.  Methods include forms of anonymous data collection, such as page loads, button click counts, and completed transactions.  If no unique identifier is attached, no personal data is subject to regulation.  Another method is “named” user optimization, which encourages people to willingly register for accounts on more websites. Finally, there are regression-based attribution methods that operate without cookies.  Incrementality is made possible with geo-testing.  It’s time businesses learned new ways to harness the power of data.  Just… lawfully so.

 

Data Collection in a Post-Cookie World
Source: InfoTrust


About the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.




Empower Your Business with Data Analytics (INFOGRAPHIC)

Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing

The world today is ruled by Big Data.  Despite that, companies are still learning how to use the data their analytics tools can offer them.  Only 24% of executives have been able to create a data driven organization.

What’s keeping everyone else behind?  They could be dealing with any number of obstacles.  In some companies, executives refuse to rely on data to make decisions, rendering its analysis useless.  In others, the data is deemed untrustworthy due to its poor quality.  Some companies struggle with siloed data or data illiteracy, and still more experience a combination of several problems.  As a result, up to 73% of data within an enterprise may never get analyzed.  Data collected without analysis is a waste of company resources.

Consequences can be dire for a company with poor data quality.  Data quality issues lead to an average of $15 million in annual losses.  These losses accrue from lower productivity and growth, misguided business strategies, increased costs, and missed opportunities.  External relationships with suppliers and customers may also suffer as a result of poor data practices.  On the other hand, data-driven organizations are 178% more likely to outperform peers in terms of revenue and profitability.  Who wouldn’t want to follow in their lead?

When companies have a solid understanding of their purpose, support from the right partners, and the right tools and data processes, they excel in their field.  Data analytics can empower businesses to identify expansion opportunities alongside risks.  They can develop effective growth and marketing strategies while making innovations on their products and services.  Using data to guide their decisions, data-driven organizations can manage complex supplier networks and improve customer acquisition and retention at the same time.

Google Analytics 360 is a great tool for companies looking to get the most out of their data.  Formerly known as Google Analytics Premium, this service benefits companies in possession of high data volumes, need to make marketing decisions on a frequent, regular basis, and want sophisticated analysis for their hit-level data.  Google Analytics 360 is partner first, offering businesses a chance to connect with a licensed analytics partner.  Choosing the right partner can be overwhelming, but Google has plenty of partners on board with industry knowledge, strategic guidance, and results-oriented methods.  Many will offer prospective clients samplings of their work and references they have received in the past.  Certification also goes a long way in becoming data-driven.

 

The Science of Analytics
Source: InfoTrust


Brian WallaceAbout the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.




Protecting Your Data for the Work From Home Future (INFOGRAPHIC)

Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing

In 2020, 62% of Americans worked from home.  While remote work has increased productivity, lowered office costs, and alleviated community stress for many, the rapid shift brought new cybersecurity concerns.  The COVID-19 pandemic prompted a new wave of security concerns almost overnight, and cyber attacks have skyrocketed.  In early 2020, the FBI reported a 300% increase in cybercrime.  Attacks targeting remote workers grew 5x in the first 6 weeks of lockdown, and 20% of organizations experienced a data breach linked to remote workers.  Phishing increased by 600%, ransomware by 148%, and malware activity by 128%. 

The top security concerns about remote work are as follows: 45% of devices may be more exposed at home, individuals may have difficulty managing new devices using remote work resources, and IT support is not as effective for remote work.  Cybercriminals will continue to target remote employees using social engineering attacks, vulnerable devices and IoT, and unsecured home Wi-Fi networks.  Additionally, data breaches may take longer to detect due to increased remote work. 

Organizations were forced to transition to remote work with little preparation and no in-person support.  Now they must find a way to reduce risk without compromising productivity.  Multi-factor authentication (MFA), combining a password with other authentication methods, is almost the answer.  Additional authentication measures might slow a hacker down, but they won’t keep your data secure.  Passwords that can easily be guessed or harvested from a previous breach, security questions that can be answered based on social media or public records, and one-time codes sent by SMS that can easily be intercepted by hackers are all factors that make MFA easy to breach. 

Additionally, MFA increased employee frustration.  One-time codes slow down logins and require a secondary device on hand.  Passwords and security questions are easily forgotten and need to be reset.  The frustration associated with multi-factor authentication is likely to lower employees’ compliance with other security procedures.  While many companies may default to outdated solutions, such as MFA, we know that the only true security solution lies in passwordless authentication. 

Move beyond passwords through passwordless security.  This eliminates the need for passwords completely, replacing them with secure cryptography and biometrics.  Risk-based authorization checks risk signals from every user and device to enforce stronger access control.  Password-less security also creates a secure and frictionless login without a second device or out-of-band message that could be intercepted by a hacker.  Invest in password-less authentication and access control for the work from home future. 

 

Securing Remote Work


Brian WallaceAbout the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.




Reasons for Entrepreneurs to Get Business Credit Cards

Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing 

Easy access to funds is one of the most important aspects of growing a new business.  And getting a business credit card is the best way to fund business purchases and payments even when you don’t have enough cash on hand or in a bank account. there are several ways entrepreneurs can get benefits from business credit cards.

Why Get a Business Credit Card?

According to experts, a business credit card is one of the popular financial tools to fulfill business expenses and make other business-related payments. A business owner can use a business credit card to pay for utilities or raw materials when there are not enough funds in the business account. Below are some reasons for entrepreneurs to get business credit cards for smooth cash flow and better business growth.

Better Cash Flow and Financial Flexibility

Apart from the size and nature of a business, better cash flow is a key element of running its operations successfully. Thanks to the higher credit limit of a business credit card, you can use it to make business purchases, payments, and daily expenses. You can use a business card anywhere to fund business expenses and purchases even without having cash on hand. As such cards come with the large credit limit, businesses can make hefty purchases and payments without facing financial issues. However, you should choose the best credit card as per the individual needs and requirements of your business.

Separation of Personal and Business Expenses

Credit card obtained for your business allows you to keep personal and business expenses separate. it not only saves you time at the end of the month but getting separate statements also makes bookkeeping easier and more efficient. Some credit cards also come with useful financial tools that assist business owners in tracking expenses instead of saving invoices and bills in hard form. Some card providers allow entrepreneurs to integrate monthly statements into their company software and accounting tools for better record keeping.

Free Reward Points, Cash-Back, or Perks

As personal credit cards allow users to earn free rewards points and perks when used for personal payments and purchases, business credit cards do the same. For example, a business that spends lots of bucks on traveling can get a business card that offers travel rewards and points like free air mileages, discounts on hotel reservations, and access to executive airport lounges. As a result, the business can save a lot of bucks every month just by using a credit card for bookings and reservations.

Large Credit Limit

As it is mentioned above business credit cards come with a large credit limit than personal cards, businesses can fund big-ticket purchases and other business transactions without getting a loan. The higher limits of business credit cards can work as a lifeline for businesses when quick access to cash funds is required to fund big purchases like raw material or inventory etc.

Opportunity to Boost Your Credit Rating

Getting a business credit card and making consistent monthly payments is the best way to boost the credit rating of your business. This will work great when you use your credit card to make payments for vendors or suppliers that directly report to the credit bureaus. As a business card is separate from a personal credit card, making full monthly payments boosts your business credit score so you can get easy business loans in near future.

Easier to Apply than Loan Qualification

The overall process of getting a credit card is faster and easier than applying for a small business loan. This is the reason, entrepreneurs prefer applying for a credit card rather than obtaining a loan. Another best thing about credit cards is that you can use them for any (legal) purpose like paying for utility bills, inventory purchases or vendors’ payments, etc. On another hand, some business loans come with usage restrictions. A business can get a credit card within 24 to 48 after submitting the application. This provides quick access to plastic money that you can use for a variety of business purposes.

Final Verdict

Since business credit cards come with myriad benefits, one should shop around for a card best suited to individual business needs. Comparing available credit card offers is a great way to pick the right one with appropriate benefits and perks associated with the nature of your business.


Brian WallaceAbout the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.




4 Social Media Marketing Trends in the Insurance Industry

Commentary….

Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing

In this digital environment, insurance companies need to arise with innovative marketing ideas to reach and engage their target market. While traditional methods of marketing and lead generation like direct mail and networking events are still popular among insurance providers, they can reach a wider audience effectively using social media. This not only helps promote insurance products but also helps companies to interact with their customers and respond to their queries in real-time. Social media is also a great marketing platform to build and increase brand awareness for insurance providers. Some insurance companies rely on mascots, some target users with particular demographics and a few connect with celebrities to reap the benefits of influencer marketing.

If you are wondering how to do insurance social media marketing well, here are some top social media trends in the insurance industry you can consider to reach the target audience proficiently.

Informative and Problem-Solving Content Is Important

Since sharing informative and problem-solving content on social media is important, insurance companies are posting less content than ever before. Social media users really don’t like to be bombarded with lots of posts about buying insurance products, but rather would like to see some posts with useful and interesting information that draw their attention. Whether you are selling funeral insurance policies or working as an auto insurance agent, you should post informative and problem-solving content about insurance consistently. You can explain the significance of buying an insurance plan or write about the insurance buying process to make the life of insurance customers easier.

Video Content Getting More Popular

As video content is easy to understand and consume, modern consumers love to watch videos whenever they want to learn more about a brand, product, or service. This is the reason the number of video posts being shared across social media sites like Facebook and Instagram has increased in the recent couple of years. Teens and younger customers respond to video content more positively than any other type of content. This means video content can help you get your insurance company and products in front of more consumers that you can easily convert into customers. The beauty of videos is that you can share them across different digital and social media channels to get more eyeballs.

Faster Customer Support

Nowadays, people complain about brands, products, and services over social media sites. And having a host of customers leaving negative reviews across insurance social media profiles can harm your overall online reputation. This is the reason having a quick and faster customer support policy can increase customer satisfaction by resolving their queries as soon as possible. The faster insurance companies respond to angry customers, the more soothed they are to stick around for longer. In simple words, social media sites can be a great platform to listen to your customers and respond quickly even in real-time. Using chatbots is also a good idea to respond to common customer queries in real time and make your insurance business available and accessible 24/7.

Promoted Content

Creating and posting interesting and informative content across your insurance social media profiles is a good idea to build a strong presence on social media sites. Running paid social ads is another great way to be successful on social sites as an insurance company or agent. Promoted content enables you to reach a particular audience with specific interests and demographics. This allows you to present your insurance products in front of people who are likely to buy insurance. You can also run targeted campaigns to improve your audience targeting efforts and reach the right social media users with the right insurance offer or plan. Promoted content can instantly increase your reach and engagement to stand out from competitors.

Summing Up

Using social media marketing for your insurance company is most important than ever to stand out from the competition and reach your target audience more effectively. Social media is not just a platform to share details and information about your business or products, but a significant place to get customer opinion and feedback. Furthermore, it can also be used as a brand management tool and to interact with insurance customers to listen and respond to their queries as faster as possible.


Brian WallaceAbout the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.




Hybrid Work – Striking The Right Balance Between Comfort And Flexibility

Hybrid Work - Striking The Right Balance Between Comfort And FlexibilityBrian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing

Remote work has been largely removed from the American workforce picture, but in its place has come hybrid working. According to CNBC, 25% of people are now employed through  hybrid working, with 14% mostly in-person, and 9% mostly working remotely. While some employers have seen remote working as a simple necessity, with a return to the office greatly anticipated, the benefits of the opposite approach has shown itself to have considerable benefits. Starting with overall employee happiness, remote working has revolutionized business in a way that has led to successes across the board.

Happier, and healthier, workers

The early change to remote working was not easy. Hastily arranged workspaces were not conducive to productivity, and many businesses had to find ways to rapidly expand their business hardware and software infrastructure to meet the needs of their remote workers. However, workers quickly became aware that remote working can be made to work, and to work well, with only a few resources. Indeed, building a productive home working space requires little more than a desk, plugs to provide power, a sense of peace and quiet and the ergonomic tools to keep the body flexible and fresh. 

The benefits have been huge for employees. According to Fortune, hybrid workers are happier and more productive, and have greater engagement with their coworkers; 71% reported better levels of connection with their peers, and were also more likely to declare a strong connection with leadership. What’s more, employees are also less likely to need sick days – and not for fear of penalties. The Financial Times recently reported that workers can better manage chronic conditions and minor ailments at home while remaining productive; the flexibility is key.

Staying productive

There has been considerable debate over the general productivity of remote and hybrid workers. This is largely to do with the period of downturn as systems quickly shifted to meet new expectations. However, according to Forbes, the debate over hybrid worker effectiveness has now ended, following the publishing of several key studies.

One of three studies analyzed by Forbes was huge in its scope, including 105 million data points from over 30,000 individuals. It concluded that, on average, hybrid and remote workers were 5 percentage points more productive than their peers, based on a wide range of scales. That puts the debate over productivity to bed – workers that are employed on a hybrid or remote basis, and want to be there (a crucial point, as worker happiness is clearly predicated on their choice, and the ability to be flexible), will produce more for the business than their peers.

Opportunities for business

Remote and hybrid working is the peak of the digital economy; professionals, using IT skills to work away from the office, and existing entirely online for their professional life. While this is true, the effect on small businesses has actually been something of a rebound. While larger franchises and urban businesses have suffered from the downturn in urban footfall, local businesses have profited – and digital enterprise.

This has been key to a new economic boom, according to Bloomberg. Remote and hybrid workers are more likely to use smaller, local businesses, for everything ranging from food, to services, to retail. Furthermore, remote workers are also more likely to use local online businesses – alongside the big players, such as Amazon. When paired with the inexorable rise of private courier services, and a general push towards favoring small and sustainable business, remote work has been crucial to helping the wider business economy.

Work and time concept

According to The Guardian, the next phase in the hybrid work experiment is set to unfold in the USA – through a radical reassessment of the 5-day working week. In digital services, it is being seen as increasingly unnecessary that businesses commit to the orthodoxy of a Monday-Friday week, and more flexibility is being put in to benefit employees, employers ,and their overall working plans. What’s more, the tight labor market is likely to make this a reality sooner rather than later. There are simply not enough employees to match the size and ambition of digital businesses around the country, and that means benefits are absolutely crucial. Giving potential hires the best possible path to work in will give businesses the edge over their competitors – another big force in the world of work.

Hybrid work has struck the exact balance that businesses need. It maintains productivity, while still allowing workers a great degree of flexibility in order for them to enjoy their work/life balance. The impact of greater productivity also gives a positive feedback effect to workers; they can enjoy their flexible work while simultaneously getting the satisfaction of having done a good job. In time, remote and hybrid working might change the entire face of US business.


Brian WallaceAbout the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.




A Look at the Replacement Lenses Economy (INFOGRAPHIC)

Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing

There’s no end to the diverse set of options that come with the industry around eyeglass wear today. Regardless of if one is looking for a new set of prescription glasses, a new pair of sunglasses, to update their current pair of glasses, or to update an older pair, there’s now options for everyone.

A lot of this comes as a consequence of the new industry around replacement lenses. Replacement lenses allow a consumer to take an old pair of frames, prescription or not, and insert a new set of lenses inside of them. These can be prescription lenses, sunglasses lenses, tinted lenses, whatever one may need in a pair of eyewear.

Looking first at sunglasses, sunglass lenses can be added to any pair of frames in a prescription or nonprescription form. On top of this there’s also the advent of transition lenses that effectively serve as sunglasses in sunlight and normal glasses in any other context.

This means that any interesting set of frames, even those found at a vintage store or with completely outdated prescriptions, can be turned into a pair of viable sunglasses. On top of this though, and the main appeal of replacement lenses, is that the same can be done with prescription lenses.

This means that bifocals, trifocals, high-index (effectively strong prescription), and progressive lenses can all be added to any frames. There’s also the ever popular lens coatings, things like scratch-resistance, UV-resistance, fog-resistance, and blue light blocking coatings.

These are extremely effective additions that can lower some of the hassle of any pair of glasses. Interestingly though, lens tinting is also growing in popularity, not due to the aesthetic value, but due to some practical positive effects.

Brown lenses, for example, reduce eye strain in bright light. Pink frames help with depth perception and migraines, and blue lenses help with fog and reflected light. These are just a few of the colors and effects possible through tinted lenses. As a whole, tinted lenses are thought to help with dyslexia as well.

It’s also important to point out that opting to replace the lenses, instead of ordering a whole new pair of glasses, is a cheaper alternative. The options highlighted above will cost extra, but that extra cost may just be covered in the refusal to search for a new pair of frames. It’s also a much quicker process to send in a pair of frames for new lenses instead of ordering a completely new pair.

Eyeglasses can be an expensive and hassling industry to deal with, this applies to sunglasses, prescription glasses, and even contacts alike. Although it’s the creation of new alternatives and options like replacement lenses, like tinted lenses, like transition lenses, that all make it all worthwhile.

The World of Replacement Lenses
Source: LensFactory


Brian WallaceAbout the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.




Want to Stay Healthy? Probiotics are a Must (INFOGRAPHIC)

Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing

Most Americans understand that probiotics are good for us and that they can be important to use when we’re sick, but many of us may not understand the true importance of probiotics. It’s one of those things that may hold a nebulous place in our minds, leaving us to diminish the impact that these supplements actually have on our health. 

The fact of the matter is that maintaining a healthy gut and healthy gut microbiome is of the utmost importance when it comes to our health, and probiotic supplements play a major role in that process. 

The COVID pandemic of the past few years has left us with a fresh understanding of our own physical and even mental fragility. Although the strength of the human spirit is formidable, as we have seen again throughout the pandemic, the strength of the individual person can seem very small at times, particularly when a new strand of virus comes to completely knock us off our feet and cause the loss of so many loved ones. 

It’s no wonder that Americans are taking their health a bit more seriously these days. Sadly, many may not realize that taking probiotic supplements for a healthy gut has a huge impact on the immune system. In fact, 70–80% of the immune cells are located within the gut microbiome. 

This microbiome, made up of fungi, viruses, and bacteria in the digestive system, is centrally located for a reason. It takes a central role in how the rest of the entire body functions. We’re born with the microbiome, but it can become unhealthy based on things like too much sugar, lack of exercise, and exposure to antibiotics. Contrariwise, things like exercise, plenty of sun, and quality probiotic supplements help to build and maintain a healthy gut microbiome. 

Beyond the importance to the immune system, gut health is also significantly responsible for levels of inflammation throughout the body, as well as stress responses in the brain. In other words, diseases caused by inflammation (which is most, in some way or another), as well as depression are all integrally linked to gut health. 

Essentially, if we want to stay healthy then taking probiotic supplements should be non negotiable as probiotics support gut health by doing things like feeding good bacteria, inhibiting growth of bad bacteria, producing anti-inflammatory compounds, balancing immune system responses, and having a direct influence on the body’s organs. Probiotics can influence our overall health in major ways. 

Do Probiotics Really Work?: Why Probiotics are Necessary
Source: Nouri


Brian WallaceAbout the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.




Skyrocketing Consumer Prices: Can Russia Be Excluded From the Global Economy?  (INFOGRAPHIC)

Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing

A financial war against Russia has begun across the world with the launch of a series of sanctions that have never been applied before. Countries like the U.S., France, Germany, and Canada have all removed Russian banks from Swift while also freezing Russian foreign reserves in their jurisdictions. The U.S. has put sanctions on Russian sovereign debt and banks as well as imposed restrictions on exporting technology that could aid intelligence services and oil drilling to Russia and Belarus.

One of the biggest bans the U.S. has put on Russian imports involves oil and natural gas. In fact, if the EU joins in banning Russian energy imports, Russia’s economy could see a decrease of more than 20% in 2022. These sanctions have been noticeably different from previous sanctions due to them being levied on entities that were once considered out-of-bounds to hurt the broader Russian economy. 

Several U.S. companies have suspended operations in Russia, including McDonald’s, Coca Cola, and Microsoft. Apple and Google have tracked and stopped a loophole that allowed some Russians to keep using their payment apps even with the existing sanctions while BP announced that they will dump their 20% stake in Russian oil giant Rosneft. However, all of these actions are preventing U.S. companies attempting to still carry out business operations in Russia to send capital into the country or take profits out. 

With all of these sanctions imposed on Russia, how do they actually work? Sanctions are penalties typically put on a country’s or person’s economic situation. They can be used as a form of punishment or to disincentivize particular actions and can include travel bans, import/export controls, trade embargo, asset seizures, or capital controls. Sanctions are used to influence geopolitical events without the need to utilize the military, although sometimes they can be ineffective in carrying out their purpose. 

Compared to other countries, the U.S. has the most power when it comes to levying sanctions as 90% of all currency trades utilize dollars. In fact, half of international trade involves dollars. Nations throughout the world hold a portion of their foreign reserves in dollars, which helps provide the necessary jurisdiction to the U.S. to levy sanctions. 

In our world today, Russia is involved in many global markets, meaning that sudden economic isolation might have significant consequences around the world. The sanctions have blocked Russians from sending money abroad while halting interest payments to foreign holders of sovereign debt, but measures like these will be hard to sustain long term, especially with Russians turning to gold for economic benefit. 

With the Russian-Ukraine conflict currently in progress, the war will have significant consequences on our finances for the long run. These include rising gas and grain prices as Russia is the second largest producer of oil and one of the largest producers of wheat and grain in the world. Cryptocurrency also took a hit, but it is expected to rebound and be used in novel ways, such as being an incentive for Russian soldiers to surrender, becoming a direct way to financially support Ukrainian armies, and a possible workaround for Russians to get around sanctions. 

During these troubling economic times, investing in gold can be a low-risk investment to consider as a hedge against market uncertainty.

 

financial war
Source: USGoldBureau.com


Brian WallaceAbout the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.




What’s Driving US Inflation So High? (INFOGRAPHIC)

Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing

In 2021, the US Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 6.8%.  This figure is higher than anything America has seen in 30 years.  To understand what this means, consider what the CPI measures.  Included in the CPI is a basket of goods deemed relevant to the average American consumer.  It includes food, clothing, healthcare, transportation, and so on.  In 2021, food prices rose 8.3%.  Clothing costs increased 5.6%.  Healthcare is 6% more expensive than it was before.  Most shockingly, used cars (a form of transportation) rose 29.7% in price.  It costs more money to maintain the same standard of living than it did a year ago.

What is causing inflation in the United States?  There are two major theories surrounding the causes of inflation, and both are applicable to the current situation.  The first theory, demand-pull, states that prices rise when demand outpaces the availability of products.  Since coming out of lockdown, US consumers have demanded more goods than they did during quarantine.  Producers do not have the supply necessary to meet their demands, and so prices become bid up.  The second theory, cost-push, states that higher production costs get passed onto consumers in the form of higher prices.  Many inputs used to make goods (like timber) have risen in cost during 2021.  Producers pay more to make the same number of goods.  Supply chain breakdowns also increase the costs of shipping.  To make back the additional expenses, producers raised prices on their end consumers.  

The US Federal Reserve does have tools it can use to rein in inflation.  It could sell more bonds, thereby removing some money from circulation.  It can also raise interest rates through the central bank, making it more expensive to borrow.  The reason the Federal Reserve may be hesitant to tackle inflation now is because both tools have the potential to cause recessions.  The US just left a recession in 2020.  The impact of job losses is severe.  One of the important links in the chain of events that caused the 2008 recession was monetary policy aimed at curbing inflation. 

How can individual consumers protect the value of their money?  Instead of saving money in the bank, investors should look into projects with a return above the inflation rate.  Stocks, real estate, and commodities all have the power to beat inflation if one invests wisely.  Protecting finances from inflation can be difficult. 

 

Why is Inflation so High?
Source: Expensivity


Brian WallaceAbout the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.




Digital Fatigue in the Modern Work World (INFOGRAPHIC)

Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing

Following the onset of COVID, the world saw a shift to remote work that was far larger than ever before. It was such a large and important shift that 78% of current remote employees want to continue remote work for the rest of their lives. 

The convenience of remote work and realizing the lack of a need for a physical department in many industries has revolutionized how people conceive of working. Although this is not all without consequence, there are some serious trade offs that come with remote work that must be addressed.

The most major of these consequences comes in the form of digital fatigue and inefficiency. Digital fatigue is defined by a few key factors. First, the general way in which a zoom call is oriented is ripe for producing anxiety and discomfort.

This is because of a lack of personal space, reduced mobility, the challenge of nonverbal communication, and the mirror effect. A video call will show each participant’s face much closer than you would realistically see in a physical workplace while also cutting off their body. This creates a lot of awkward eye contact and reduces nonverbal signals. 

Video calls also show each member themselves in the corner of the screen, this produces the mirror effect, basically making each participant much more anxious and nervous about how they’re being perceived than they would normally be. These are solvable but widespread issues.

All of these factors together make it so 49% of remote workers feel exhausted on camera. 23% of remote workers even say their Zoom fatigue is worse now than it was when the pandemic began. This would all be okay if these meetings were necessary, but that doesn’t quite seem to be the case either.

83% of remote employees spend up to 33% of their work week in video meetings and, concerningly, 71% waste time every week due to either an unnecessary or canceled meeting. 56% of employees want to spend less time video calling, and 42% say they actively contribute nothing to these calls.

This creates an average of 31 hours of unproductive meetings monthly per employee. This only makes it so that digital fatigue becomes worse and worse, and on top of all the downsides of virtual meetings, people miss their coworkers. 49% of remote employees miss seeing, and 44% miss interacting with their coworkers. 

Fortunately, although this is a wide spread and complicated issue, there are proposed solutions. Some companies such as RedRex have proposed a more comfortable digital workplace. Creating a digital building that would have floors and rooms for the employees that worked there, even going as far as to have the ability to “knock” on someone’s door.

This would work to return some of the privacy and efficiency of a physical workplace. Everything would be much more cohesive in an environment like this, and there would be much more practical means for coworkers to interact with each other in less serious circumstances. 

This certainly isn’t the only or inherently best proposed solution, but it’s leading a way forward for the unhappy remote workers that exist today. Society is continually moving to be more and more digital, and the workplace has to learn to adapt to that change.

 

The Future of Work & Online Events


Brian WallaceAbout the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.




How Brands Can Reach Generation Z (INFOGRAPHIC)

Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing

Born between the years 1995 and 2010, Generation Z numbers over 2 billion strong worldwide. 9 in 10 of Generation Z live in emerging markets, with India alone accounting for 1 in 5. By 2031, Gen Z’s collective income will reach over a quarter of the global income, or over $2 trillion in global earnings. 

At home in the US, Gen Z accounts for 40% of US consumers. Almost half of Gen Z is not white, more than any other generation. 20% identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community, over twice as many as prior generations. On top of being the “diversity generation,” Gen Z are on track to be the best-educated generation in America. 57% of recent high school graduates have enrolled in post-secondary education.

Given their size, spending power, and influence, brands of all shapes and stripes should want to sell their goods to Generation Z. If they haven’t developed Gen Z-specific marketing strategies yet, they need to. Only 36% of Gen Zers today say they have a strong connection to any particular brand. Instead, Gen Z chooses where to shop based on the values they perceive a company to hold. As a group, Gen Z prefers products that promote sustainable/ethical business practices and inclusivity. Gen Z wants to see marketing as diverse as they are, but they won’t just stand for “rainbow-washing” or “greenwashing.” Most consumers in this age group also want to see diversity and inclusivity in senior leadership and company policy. They’re also willing to pay more for sustainable products, making it worth a company’s while to go the extra mile. 

Now that brands have an idea of what to include in their marketing, they also need to consider how they’ll get their message out to its target audience. In this area, companies ought to adopt a mobile-first marketing approach. Nearly half of American teens are online “almost constantly,” spending more than 10 hours a day on their mobile device. 

Social media is a good place to start for mobile marketing. Nearly half of Gen Zers get most of their information from social media. Yet as of 2020, younger audiences began to leave established social media platforms for smaller “digital campfires” like Fortnite, Roblox, and Twitch. A fifth of Gen Zers are spending over 5 hours a day on TikTok. The goal is for brands to meet people where they are and become relatable.

INFOGRAPHIC

How Gen Z Relates To Brands and How it Will Disrupt Global Markets


Brian WallaceAbout the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.




Utilizing Google Analytics 4 for Your Business (INFOGRAPHIC)

Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing

Just a few years after the emergence of the internet, the first analytics solutions appeared.  Since then, the data analytics industry has rapidly evolved.  By 2028, the data analytics market’s expected worth is an estimated $550 billion.  Web Analytics are essential; they are used to understand customer behavior and optimize web experiences.  Metrics for user behavior are used to optimize conversion rates and improve both page performance and user experience.  Marketers also use data analytics to create targeted advertising

Web analytics has quickly grown over the past decades.  In the late 1990s, it could take large businesses up to 24 hours to process their website data.  Now, these metrics are collected in seconds or less.  Today, an estimated 28 million active websites use Google Analytics for their data analysis.  Google Analytics emerged in 2005 after acquiring the top analytics provider, Urchin, for $30 million.  In 2012, Google Analytics introduced Universal Analytics.  Universal Analytics enabled the tracking of users across not only multiple platforms, but also various devices.  Universal Analytics utilizes user IDs to monitor offline behavior, gather demographic information, and get customer data. 

The evolution of the internet has not stopped, and to no surprise, Google Analytics has developed alongside these changes.  In October 2020, Google announced Google Analytics 4 (GA4) as their new analytics platform.  They are giving companies a few years to make the transition to GA4.  Google’s Universal Analytics will shut down on July 1, 2023.  Are you and your business ready to make the switch?

So, how is Google Analytics 4 different from Universal Analytics?  GA4 is specifically designed to combine web and app analytics in a single platform and is focused on user privacy while improving data insights.  GA4 considers every event a hit, automatically collecting all engagement data instead of just page views.  GA4 uses predictive analytics for customer behavior.  It can predict revenue expected for the next 28 days by looking at data from active users in the past 28 days.  Similarly, it employs purchase probability and churn probability. 

There is no straightforward upgrade path from Universal Analytics to GA4 and no method to transfer historical data.  While making this transition is beneficial to your business, approaching this transition may seem daunting.  InfoTrust provides expert help with your analytics transition, alleviating the difficulties merging your data.  Expert help allows businesses to realign their data strategy.  This means businesses will learn how data collection changed with GA4, recode their existing tags to work with this new technology, track new metrics by redoing their dashboarding, and more.  Transitioning to GA4 presents a perfect opportunity to improve your business through smart data analysis.

History & Future of Web Analytics
Source: InfoTrust


Brian WallaceAbout the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.




Why Colleges Across America are Struggling to Keep Students in the Classroom (INFOGRAPHIC)

Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing

Attending college has been ingrained into American society. In order to be successful, college is a must. It is the clear next step after high school. But now this seemingly plain next step is beginning to waver. There has been a trend in colleges and school campuses closing, and in some cases, permanently shutting down. From 2016 to 2019, 86 colleges shut down or merged with other schools, and even more, 53 colleges closed permanently during the 2019-2020 school year.

In 2022, more than 1 million fewer students are enrolled in college than before the start of the pandemic. It is clear the pandemic accelerated the decline in enrollment. In 2020, 56% of US college students said they could no longer afford their tuition, as they needed to figure out a new way to pay because of the impact of COVID-19. While the pandemic has undoubtedly contributed to fewer enrollments, there are other non-COVID related factors that have steadily become larger issues prior to 2020.

To begin, the rise of college costs has continuously increased and outpaced both inflation and family income growth, up until the pandemic halted tuition increase. There is also greater interest in attending community colleges which offer more affordable options. 36% of students said they would attend a community college over a 4 year college, which is 8% higher than  before the pandemic. Also, students are seeing a lower return on investment. 99.5 million Americans have a bachelor’s degree or higher yet 73% hold a position unrelated to their major. Furthermore, there is just an overall lack of interest in attending college. Only 48% of high schoolers show a desire to go to a 4 year college, a decline from 71% in 2019.

The financial strains are not only on the shoulders of students but on the colleges themselves. 74% of higher education professionals say their institution is facing significant financial constraints. The struggle is even greater for smaller schools. Colleges and universities are forced to compete for students in order to maintain their tuition revenue, making them operate at a small margin. Ivy leagues and other highly selective schools have a competitive advantage since they have access to larger endowment funds which can attract students with generous financial aid.

It behooves the young people of America to be aware of the financial health of colleges before enrolling. When applying to colleges, students should be aware of a variety of determinants including endowment reports, tuition discounts, financial responsibility composite score, and other reports documenting frequent changes in leadership, declining enrollment as well as accreditation issues. If a college does shut down, keeping records of course syllabi, transcripts and important conversations with school officials is imperative. Also, some colleges have transfer agreements with nearby universities and students can obtain the details of how these credits will transfer but should be wary of high pressure tactics to accept these agreements. 

In a nation that holds attending college to one of the highest standards, there is no doubt the landscape of American universities and colleges will change. With an increasing amount of uninterested students and trying times for colleges to maintain enrollment, getting a higher education does not necessarily fit the bill anymore.

Why are Colleges going out of business


Brian WallaceAbout the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.




What to Look for in Blockchain Consulting 

What to Look for in Blockchain Consulting 

 

Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing

Blockchain consulting services are a suite of modern digital service offerings that assist businesses in navigating the complexities of blockchain technology and leveraging blockchain-enabled solutions to transform their business processes. These services can be provided to businesses individually or as part of a larger package.

Blockchain technology is most often linked to digital currencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), but it also has a number of other applications that make it an attractive investment opportunity for businesses that plan forward.

A technological solution that has the potential to address all of these concerns could be the most important innovation of the last ten years. This is because consumer privacy concerns are growing, global supply chains are becoming more complex, and there is an infinite pool of sensitive data that needs to be managed. Think about the most difficult problem or hurdle that your company has; there’s definitely a method that blockchain can help you overcome it.

Undoubtedly, there are still a significant number of skeptics who maintain that certain uses of blockchain technology are only conceptual. However, anecdotal evidence reveals that the world’s most successful company executives have moved on from questioning whether or not blockchain technology would really function to focusing on how it will disrupt their respective sectors.

A large percent of CEOs are convinced that blockchain will attain even more widespread use, despite the fact that implementation and regulatory barriers still remain a difficulty.

The struggles that afflicted sectors like healthcare are experiencing could be solvable with the help of blockchain technology. In the United States, medical mistakes are the third biggest cause of mortality, and a significant number of these errors are caused by problems in provider to provider communication. The healthcare business is primed for disruption by blockchain technology as a result of the increasing fragmentation of healthcare, the stringent privacy requirements, and the high cost of data breaches.

The increasingly complicated and opaque global supply chain is one of today’s major issues.

Each iPhone includes hundreds of global components. It may include a Bosch accelerometer from Taiwan, an audio chip from Singapore, and a battery from China.

Because businesses can’t track their goods’ origins, illegal and immoral actions might flourish.

It also makes it difficult to keep track of merchandise and track down missing ones. Companies like Walmart, Nestlé, and Tyson are already using blockchain to solve these problems.

New supplier categories and locating suitable suppliers within each category are difficult tasks. Not made any easier by the Russian/Ukraine conflict.

With blockchain, businesses can readily access supplier records, government and insurance data, and earlier verifications conducted by trustworthy parties. As a decentralized digital record, blockchain may be used for tracking, agreements, and secure payments. Blockchain eliminates supply chain conflicts by allowing all suppliers and producers to examine the same ledger.

That being said, blockchain is still such a recent technology, and one that continues to grow in many different directions exponentially, that the wise manager and/or business owner will want to consider hiring professional blockchain consultants when the time is right.


Brian WallaceAbout the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.

 




The Rise of Domestic Violence During the Pandemic (INFOGRAPHIC)

Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing

Did you know more than 200 million women and girls are victims of domestic violence in a typical year? During the pandemic, helplines received five times as many calls as previously. Domestic violence cases have especially spiked in the U.S. with Portland, Oregon seeing a 22% increase in arrests related to domestic violence and Jefferson County, Alabama seeing a 27% increase in domestic violence-related calls. 

Since 2020, at least 7% of Americans have reported being cyberstalked with one in six people being women and one in seventeen people being men. However, as much as 76% of those who were accused and arrested for misdemeanor stalking were not convicted. In terms of those who have seen the most increase in rates of abuse, marginalized groups have been hit the hardest. These are the same minorities who were the most affected by the pandemic as well. 

The increase in abuse has been linked to a few possible causes. One is increased stressors such as uncomfortable living situations, unemployment worries, and security/health concerns. Another is greater opportunity due to being stuck at home and lack of crowded, public spaces to go to due to lockdowns. Fewer safeguards like families having less in-person interactions with mandated reporters, varying reporting procedures between precincts, and limited access to safe screenings caused by the shift to telemedicine also contribute to the rise in domestic abuse. 

Less than half of those who receive injury from an intimate partner actually accept medical help while more than half of domestic violence cases don’t get reported. Reasons can include social pressure from victims feeling embarrassed to report cases of domestic violence, psychological effects of abuse making it harder to leave, and the possibility of losing their partner’s support. 

The concern of pets getting involved in domestic abuse cases led to nearly 50% of victims staying in abusive situations instead of choosing to leave their pets. In fact, 71% of women in domestic violence shelters had their pets either killed, injured or threatened by the abuser as a means of control. Unfortunately, this means that 52% of survivors had to escape by leaving their pets while 25% decided to return to their abuser because of their pets. 

Nonetheless, there are ways for people to help stop domestic violence in their community. One is knowing how to detect early warning signs, like your partner being jealous of you spending more time with others, controlling all your financial decisions, and purposefully causing damage to your property. It is also best to not avoid cases of domestic violence and to call the police if you suspect someone might be in danger. 

Being available to help and even listen can also be a great form of support to domestic violence victims. With less than one in ten people contacting a victim service provider for help, being able to share local resources or organizations with those who are experiencing violence can help save them from further harm. 

 

Domestic Violence: How You Can Help


Brian WallaceAbout the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.




How Inflation is Affecting Gas and Insurance (INFOGRAPHIC)

Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing

Inflation is affecting all aspects of life in the United States, even gas prices and car insurance. With the country experiencing the largest two year increase in gas prices, drivers are looking for new ways to save money at the pump.

With the average car costing about $52 to fill this year, drivers are trying new strategies to keep their gas costs down. One of these strategies is using lower quality gas. While this low quality gas may save a few dollars at first, it can lead to more serious consequences later down the line such as powertrain damage, damage to the transmission, or even engine failure. A trip to the mechanic to fix those problems will lead to a much bigger bill than you’d find getting higher quality gas. 

If you think you are spending too much at the pump, there are some tips to follow to conserve the gas you already have. Try avoiding sudden stops and unnecessary braking. Keep a good distance between you and the car in front of you to avoid any short stops. Going over 50 mph can also lead to increased fuel consumption. Maintaining a lower driving speed is not only a safer way to drive, but can also save you from taking extra trips to the pump each week. These  small changes to the way you drive can increase your fuel economy by 40%. 

With gas prices increasing, insurance is also on the rise. Car insurance premiums have gone up by about 10% in the United States, and some of the largest auto insurers are filing for rate increases for this year. Safe driving tips like the ones mentioned above can help keep your insurance rates from rising too high, as many insurance providers offer safe driving discounts for their insured parties. 

Along with safe driving discounts, insurance providers offer multiple kinds of discounts for drivers. Drivers can even qualify for more than one discount at a time, and this can lead to a significant reduction in your monthly bill. If you think you are paying too much each month for your insurance, look into other providers and compare different quotes. Some providers may have different discounts you qualify for and can offer a better deal. Make sure to do your research so you know you are finding the right rate for you. 

Inflation is affecting gas and insurance rates in the United States, but there are things you can do to help. Reducing the amount of unnecessary driving in your day can keep your insurance  and gas consumption down, and so can safe driving habits. Learn more about what to do about rising gas and insurance prices in the infographic below:

 

the effect of inflation on gas and car insurance

 


Brian WallaceAbout the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.




Native Video Advertising: How to Make Your Brand More Engaging

Native Video Advertising

Commentary…

Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing 

When most people think of advertising, they think of TV commercials. But in today’s digital world, there are a variety of different ways to reach your target audience. 

One such way is through native video advertising. Native video ads can be extremely engaging for your customers, and it can help you build a stronger relationship with them. 

In this blog post, we’ll explain what native video advertising is and how you can use it to improve your brand’s visibility and engagement.

What is Native Video Advertising?

Native Video Advertising is a form of online video advertising that is integrated into the design of a website or app. 

Unlike pre-roll or post-roll ads, native video ads are not intrusive and do not interrupt the user experience. Instead, they are contextually relevant and appear in a format that blends in with the surrounding content. 

Native video ads are often used to promote products or services within the content environment where they appear. 

For example, a native video ad for a new car might appear on a YouTube channel that specializes in car reviews. By appearing in a relevant and non-intrusive way, native video ads can be an effective way to reach potential customers.

How Does Native Video Advertising Differ from Traditional Online Video Advertising?

There are a number of key ways in which native video advertising differs from traditional online video advertising. 

Perhaps the most obvious difference is that native video ads are designed to blend in with the surrounding content, while online video ads are typically more obtrusive. This means that native video ads are less likely to be skipped or ignored by viewers. 

Another key difference is that native video ads are often delivered through social platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, which have highly engaged user bases. This gives advertisers the opportunity to reach a large audience with their message. 

Finally, native video ads are typically shorter than other online video ads, making them more effective at holding viewers’ attention. Taken together, these factors make native video advertising a powerful tool for marketing campaigns.

Why Should You Consider Using Native Video Advertising as Part of Your Marketing Toolbox?

Video advertising is becoming an increasingly popular and effective marketing tool, and using native video ads is a great way to reach your target audience. Native ads are designed to blend in with the content of their surrounding environment, making them less disruptive and more likely to catch the attention of viewers. 

In addition, native ads leverage many of the same social media platforms that people already use every day, making it easier for them to connect with potential customers in an organic, conversational way. 

And because native ads are accompanied by interactive features such as transcripts or linkable landing pages, they can also help you gather important data and analytics about your target audience. 

In short, if you want to boost your marketing results, then adding native video advertising to your toolbox is a must! 

How Can You Create Engaging Native Video Ad Campaigns?

Here are some tips to get you started with native video advertising.

Keep It Short and Sweet

The attention span of most internet users is notoriously short, so you’ll need to hook them in quickly with an engaging opening. Brevity is key when it comes to native video ads.

Make It Relevant

Relevance is essential for all types of advertising, but it’s especially important for native video ads. Your ad should be carefully targeted to the audience you’re trying to reach, and it should offer something that they’re actually interested in seeing.

Use Attractive Visuals

Video is a highly visual medium, so it’s important to make sure that your ad is visually appealing. Use high-quality images and video footage, and consider using animation to add interest.

Tell a Story

A well-told story can be incredibly engaging, so try to incorporate one into your native video ad campaign. Your story doesn’t need to be complicated – it could be as simple as highlighting how your product or service has helped a customer achieve their goals. 

Use CTAs Sparingly

Video ads are not always well-received by viewers, as they can be intrusive and disruptive. One way to minimize this negative response is to use call-to-actions (CTAs) sparingly in native video ads. 

CTAs are typically used to encourage the viewer to take some kind of action, such as visiting a website or making a purchase. However, too many CTAs can be off-putting and may even cause the viewer to skip the ad entirely. When used judiciously, however, CTAs can help to guide the viewer towards taking the desired action. 

In native video ads, it is often best to use a single CTA at the end of the ad, rather than peppering them throughout the spot.

Best Practices for Creating and Publishing Effective Native Video Ads

When creating and publishing online video ads, there are a number of best practices that should be followed in order to ensure maximum impact. One key area is choosing the right platform for distribution. 

Since different video platforms cater to different audiences, it is important to choose one that is likely to resonate with your target demographic. Additionally, it is essential to optimize your ads for viewing on mobile devices, as this is where most consumers will be accessing them. 

Of course, you also need to make sure you develop a compelling narrative. That way, you can break through all the other noise in today’s overcrowded advertising landscape – and capture your viewer’s attention from the start. 

Native video advertising is a great way to make your brand more engaging and interesting to potential customers. By following the simple tips we’ve outlined in this blog post, you can create videos that are both creative and informative, driving more leads and sales through your website or landing page.


Brian WallaceAbout the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.




How Alternate Payment Options Can Make Unexpected Expenses Possible (INFOGRAPHIC)

Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing

In 2022, most Americans are more interested in Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) plans than they were before the pandemic.  As the cost of dental and veterinary care continues to rise, fewer people are able to pay their bill up front.  Cash and debit payment options aren’t feasible for a significant portion of the country.  Meanwhile, credit cards charge fees and high interest rates.  Payments get more unmanageable the longer an individual keeps a balance on their card.  

How does Buy Now, Pay Later change that?  BNPL plans offer a longer timeline and flexibility without excessive interest rates.  Fair, fixed rates are among users’ favorite features of a BNPL plan.  Their budgets are so easy to follow, nearly 7 in 10 Americans stick to them without trouble.  For pet parents, the proportion is even higher, at 78%.  More than half of pet owners have already used BNPL to pay for vet services. 

To understand why BNPL is growing in popularity, it’s important to understand the context of rising healthcare costs.  The cost of care is a problem across the board, but it’s especially acute in the dental and veterinary care subfields.  Since dental care is usually covered separately from most health insurance plans, fewer Americans are likely to be insured.  Partially as a result of no or insufficient coverage, 69% of Americans fear they won’t be able to afford their own future dental care costs.  This worry is especially acute among the Generation X age group, or individuals ranging from their early 40s to late 50s in age.  Among pet owners, vet insurance is also extremely low, with only 18% coverage.  66% of pet parents worry about affording future vet costs for their furry friends. 

Healthcare bills of all types tend to take a while to pay off.  40% of Americans take a month or longer to fully pay off a trip to the dentist.  For pet parents facing vet visits, that number is 49%, or nearly half.  Why would someone use a high interest option like credit when they have the option to get a BNPL plan?  Nowadays, most people know BNPL is an option available to them.  2 in 3 Americans are familiar with BNPL as an alternative to credit, debit, or cash.  71% of Americans who visit the dentist frequently would choose to use BNPL over traditional payment methods.  As costs keep rising, Americans need new options. 

Buy Now, Pay Later
Source: Opy.com


Brian WallaceAbout the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.




Cloud Computing Modernizes Finance and Reduces Emissions (INFOGRAPHIC)

Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing

In 2022, most consumers are conscious of their individual effects on the environment. We’re looking for ways to conserve and ways to recycle, reuse, and to minimize our carbon footprint in the move toward the desired “net zero” status. 

We can make a number of changes to our daily habits to work toward this goal, like reducing our use of plastic, using reusable grocery bags, eating more local and seasonal fruits and vegetables, and only buying what we need to avoid excess waste.  However, one thing we may neglect to consider is that every single purchase we make throughout the day is also another contribution to carbon emissions. 

One of the lessons we learned from the COVID pandemic is that the responsibility and effort to protect, heal, and promote safety falls on each individual and every single industry, from food to finance. 

As it turns out, the financial industry can be a large contributor to global pollution and 52% of banks are seeing environmental concerns as a great risk within the next five years. Not only are financial organizations responsible for their part in climate change, but their consumers are also wanting them to use more sustainable processes, and many are willing to pay a little bit more in order to do business with sustainable organizations. 

Currently, there are almost 370 billion purchases, and more than one billion credit card transactions every single day. Done traditionally, these transactions each may contribute to CO2 emissions across the globe. Fortunately, the traditional way is not the only way. 

By transferring operations to the cloud, the financial industry can save millions of metric tons of CO2 emissions. In fact, cloud computing is set to be responsible for an emissions reduction of more than 629 million metric tons within the three years between 2021 and 2024. 

Not only is cloud computing a sustainable mode of operations for the entire financial industry, but it helps the industry to stay relevant according to trends and desires of their consumer base. It also causes banks and other organizations to update their antiquated processes to function more efficiently and effectively in the modern economy. 

Many processes within the finance industry need to be refurbished to and updated to stay on target to service the modern consumer.  Transitioning to the cloud makes these long needed updates a reality, while helping the entire industry to uphold its global responsibility to do its part in reversing climate change. 

How the Cloud Can Help Reduce Carbon Emissions for the Financial Services Industry


Brian WallaceAbout the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.