Twomentor Releases Groundbreaking Insights on the ROI of Workplace Mentoring Initiatives

Twomentor logo

Twomentor logo

Julie Kantor

Julie Kantor

Across the board, companies that invest in formal workplace mentoring programs experience substantial returns on their investment”

— Julie Kantor

WASHINGTON, DC, USA, November 13, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ — Twomentor, a global provider of mentoring initiatives and leader in developing talent strategies for a diverse workforce, is pleased to announce that it released a whitepaper entitled “Understanding the Return on Investment of Workplace Mentoring Initiatives.” This report introduces groundbreaking insights and research on the value of mentoring initiatives. Companies highlighted in the whitepaper include Sodexo, Sun Microsystems (Oracle), Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, Women in Technology International (WITI), International Data Corporation (IDC), Deloitte, BNY-Mellon/Pershing International, and more.

“Across the board, companies that invest in formal workplace mentoring programs experience substantial returns on their investment,” explains Julie Silard Kantor, the founder, and CEO of Twomentor. “Companies such as Sodexo realized a $19 return on every dollar invested in mentoring and promoting diversity and inclusion. Sun Microsystems (now Oracle) realized savings of more than $500,000 annually as a result of their mentoring program. Both companies also experienced better retention rates, increased engagement and higher promotion rates among underrepresented groups.” DDI World disclosed in its Mentoring Global Leadership Forecast (2018) that 54% of organizations in the top third of financial performance have formal mentoring programs, as opposed to 33% of organizations in the bottom third.”

Twomentor lists the top six benefits of formal workplace mentoring initiatives as:

1. Having a more skilled and prepared workforce.
2. Development of a diverse leadership pipeline.
3. Enhanced manager success and improved succession planning.
4. Significantly higher retention rates, especially for millennials.
5. Increased employee engagement and commitment.
6. Happier and more inclusive workplace culture.

“If we want more diversity, we need to mentor and sponsor more diversely,” continues Kantor. “Our research supports that too often informal mentorship is not diverse mentorship. Lean In found that one in six men feel uncomfortable mentoring women. Other leaders in human capital initiatives have drawn the same conclusion. These studies showed that women and minorities usually connect better with their mentors through formal programs that offer an established, credible and supportive way for men to mentor women and minorities. Furthermore, researchers discovered that mentoring had the largest impact of all strategies, resulting in an increase of representation of minorities at the manager level by 9% to 24%.”

Eight key lessons Twomentor shares in the whitepaper from its vast experience facilitating and initiating mentoring programs are:

1. Managers that have been mentored find executive leaders are more accessible and authentic.
2. Mentoring helps decrease corporate burn-out (classified as a disease in July 2019 by the World Health
Organization).
4. Companies need to engineer their mentoring programs for success [given that under 30% of executives have mentors and under 12% mentor others from Twomentor’s field research].
5. Formal mentoring programs produce better results than informal mentoring.
6. Mentoring helps recruit high-performing interns to be employees.
7. Senior managers benefit from Mentor 2.0 training on the difference between a mentor and a sponsor.
8. Mentees want to give back to their mentors (reverse mentoring).
9. Flash (speed) mentoring works to launch mentoring programs and boost engagement.

“The people who mentor at your company are the people who drive retention at your company,” explains Kantor. Deloitte found that companies experience a 25% higher retention rate when employees participate in a mentoring program at their organization. Another study by Bellevue University found that mentorship increased millennial retention by 23%. Deloitte uncovered in its 2018 Millennial Survey that 43% of millennials expect to leave their job within two years. Companies with formal mentoring programs are more attractive to this generation. Millennials want 50% more time dedicated to mentorship and coaching, and twice as much time focused on developing leadership skills.”

Here is a link to download “Understanding the Return on Investment of Workplace Mentoring Initiatives.”

Julie Kantor
Twomentor
+1 833-563-6867
email us here

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How Crypto Assets Are Capturing the Attention Economy

How Crypto Assets Are Capturing the Attention Economy

Human attention is a finite resource: we awake each day with it replenished, only for it to seep away through work, leisure, and time frittered idly browsing the web while circumventing ads. Recognizing the scarcity of maintaining human interest, attention economists have devised incentivized systems powered by crypto assets. These reward engagement and turn idle clicks into profitable browsing.

Also read: 2 New Blog Sites That Allow Users to Earn Cryptocurrencies

Blocktv and Brave Are Spearheading the Attention Economy

Scarcity doesn’t just apply to crypto assets that come with a finite supply: human attention is equally scarce. As such, it must be preserved in order to prevent brain drain and information overload. Digital media companies seeking to capture the attention of their audience face a dilemma, therefore: how do you get an audience to give up a moment of their precious time for your content? For companies such as Brave and Blocktv, the answer lies in attention tokens: digital assets that reward you for watching.

The model that Brave has successfully pioneered with its privacy-oriented web browser is now being adopted by Blocktv, the media startup dedicated to covering the cryptoconomy. The emphasis is on streamlining the process by which users interact with content and ads, with the aim of advantaging content creators, advertisers and consumers. The Israeli company is listing 20% of its BLTV tokens on Bittrex on November 21, though there will not be an initial exchange offering: the token will simply be added to the market.

Through tokenization “we can connect advertisers to viewers and content creators while retaining editorial oversight over the journalistic product,” explains Blocktv COO Noa Tamir. “Advertisers may spend for placements using the token, of which a share will be distributed to viewers who can prove they’ve spent the time watching the ads.”

How Crypto Assets Are Capturing the Attention Economy

With advertisers engaged in a highly competitive arms race for user attention, projects such as Blocktv and Brave are advantageous for publishers and consumers. Rewards are granted to users for their attention (the quantity of ads they view) while advertisers benefit from captive, rather than passive, interest which manifests in higher click-through and conversion rates. The term “attention economy” might have been coined by Davenport & Beck in 2001, but the tokenized projects of today pitch themselves at a savvier, more data-conscious consumer who understands that their attention is now at a premium.

Brave Browser Gathers Momentum

Perhaps the best-known blockchain project in this field is Brave, the speedy pro-privacy web browser which lets users block ads and trackers – or choose to opt in. Brave comes with its own proprietary utility token, Basic Attention Token (BAT), which users and publishers can accrue depending on content engagement levels. Brave surpassed 5.5 million active monthly users at the turn of 2019 – up from a million a year earlier. What’s more, over 28,000 verified publishers have signed on.

Clearly Brave is making good progress, both in terms of browser installs and adoption of its attention-based ads system. The Tor Project has just become a Brave Ads Grants recipient, for example, claiming $10,000 in free advertisements each month – and Brave users can now seamlessly tip Tor within the browser.

Not the Only Show in Town

Anther project to embrace a token-based rewards model is Verasity. While Brave focuses on general web browsing, Verasity is all about video. The Verasity model is pretty simple: after watching 80% of a video, a trophy icon appears on screen and the viewer clicks it to claim their VRA tokens, which can be used to purchase stream codes or game mods. (The Verawallet.tv crypto wallet lives within the video player.) As well as video, Verasity is working with mobile gaming publishers to create apps which work off the same principle. Because it has been integrated with major video players such as Youtube, Vimeo and Twitch, Verasity’s tech is available to over 2 million video publishers with 550 million users and 110 billion monthly views.

Brave Browser Launches Trial for Advertising Program

It’s been three years since William Mougayar boldly claimed that cryptocurrency would refuel the attention economy with value. If the number of projects springing to life is any indication, his assertion may yet prove accurate. Certainly it remains the goal of attention-rewarding projects like Brave: to overhaul irritating, repetitive ads and sluggish page loads, and replace them with optimized ads with an incentive component. Ultimately though, it’ll be advertisers, content creators and, most vitally, users who have the final say.

Would you accept tokens for viewing adverts? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Kai Sedgwick

Kai’s been manipulating words for a living since 2009 and bought his first bitcoin at $12. It’s long gone. He’s previously written whitepapers for blockchain startups and is especially interested in P2P exchanges and DNMs.

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Can Cannabis Be Normalized?

Mainstream acceptance is on the horizon, but we still have a way to go.

3 min read

This story appears in the October 2019 issue of Green Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

One of my favorite quotes from my interview with Chelsea Handler in the current issue of Green Entrepreneur magazine — and there are many — is when she said, “The world is only getting browner, gayer, and higher, so you’d better hop on the bus.” Just four years ago, who could have imagined that today, 12 U.S. states would permit the use of recreational marijuana — with more predicted to decriminalize the plant in 2020? 

The legal weed train has left the station, and there’s no turning back. But how mainstream will marijuana become? I’m writing this note from Los Angeles, the epicenter of the cannabis business, where every street corner has a fancy billboard for a new dispensary or brand. MedMen, which has been called the Apple store of weed, has an expensive ad campaign calling cannabis use “the new normal.” This is a clever phrase, and I want to believe it’s true, but I wonder if some of us are living in a bubble.

RELATED: Why The Cannabis Industry Deserves Access To Modern Banking And Financing

There’s a tug of war going on in the industry today. Some people welcome cannabis with open minds and wallets, while others still consider it “the devil’s lettuce.”

Even in so-called progressive communities like Brookline, Mass., residents staged a protest rally when the news dropped of a retail pot shop opening on their streets. The tony Santa Barbara region in California is booming with outdoor grows, but when locals kept complaining that it smelled like a Phish concert, cultivators were forced to find a solution or risk being sued. National fitness industry giants such as Equinox and SoulCycle are carrying CBD lines, but when Ricky Williams and others tried to open a weed gym, called Power Plant Fitness (great name, btw), in San Francisco, regulations made it impossible.

The cannabis movement has made tremendous progress — economically, socially, and legally — but there’s still work to be done. Education is the word on every smart entrepreneur’s lips. The more people understand the benefits of the plant, the more the deep-seated stigma starts to wither away.

RELATED: We Are Nearing the End of Cannabis Prohibition

That’s why some dispensary owners meet with community members to allay concerns before opening stores. And that’s why Handler will include personal notes with each of her products explaining what dose to take and feeling to expect. If everyone in the business continues to educate, the question won’t be whether cannabis can be normalized; the question will be when. 

Image Credit: Cara Robbins

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Freshworks raises $150M Series H on $3.5B valuation

Freshworks, a company that makes a variety of business software tools, from CRM to help-desk software, announced a $150 million Series H investment today from Sequoia Capital, CapitalG (formerly Google Capital) and Accel on a hefty $3.5 billion valuation. The late-stage startup has raised almost $400 million, according to Crunchbase data.

The company has been building an enterprise SaaS platform to give customers a set of integrated business tools, but CEO and co-founder Girish Mathrubootham says they will be investing part of this money in R&D to keep building out the platform.

To that end, the company also announced today a new unified data platform called the “Customer-for-Life Cloud” that runs across all of its tools. “We are actually investing in really bringing all of this together to create the “Customer-for-Life Cloud,” which is how you take marketing, sales, support and customer success — all of the aspects of a customer across the entire life cycle journey and bring them to a common data model where a business that is using Freshworks can see the entire life cycle of the customer,” Mathrubootham explained.

While Mathrubootham was not ready to commit to an IPO, he said they are in the process of hiring a CFO and are looking ahead to one day becoming a public company. “We don’t have a definite timeline. We want to go public at the right time. We are making sure that as a company that we are ready with the right processes and teams and predictability in the business,” he said.

In addition, he says he will continue to look for good acquisition targets, and having this money in the bank will help the company fill in gaps in the product set should the right opportunity arise. “We don’t generally acquire revenue, but we are looking for good technology teams both in terms of talent, as well as technology that would help give us a jumpstart in terms of go-to-market.” It hasn’t been afraid to target small companies in the past, having acquired 12 already.

Freshworks, which launched in 2010, has almost 2,500 employees, a number that’s sure to go up with this new investment. It has 250,000 customers worldwide, including almost 40,000 paying customers. These including Bridgestone Tires, Honda, Hugo Boss, Toshiba and Cisco.

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Bitstamp Crypto Exchange Expands Into Asia-Pacific Region With New Hire

Luxembourg-based cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp has hired Andrew Leelarthaepin to lead its business development efforts in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.

In a Nov. 13 press release, Bitstamp announced that Leelarthaepin was joining the company to further expand the exchange’s presence in Asia-Pacific “to meet the growing level of demand for the exchange’s services.” 

Bitstamp’s struggle to establish a local presence in Asia

Miha Grčar, global head of business development at Bitstamp, said that the crypto exchange already has “an excellent reputation” in the West, but has so far been unable to establish a local presence in the APAC region. Grčar sees this new hire as an important step towards achieving that goal and establish themselves in the region and said:

“Andrew’s knowledge of the global financial markets and experience in the region makes him a great fit to oversee Bitstamp’s expansion in this very important market.”

Leelarthaepin previously worked at major financial institutions such as JPMorgan Chase, CGS-CIMB Securities and Saxo Bank, for which he ran distribution businesses across the Asia-Pacific region. Leelarthaepin commented on his new position: 

“Cryptocurrency adoption in Asia is growing at a breakneck pace and the commodities and assets trading markets in general are very highly developed. I believe there is a large need for Bitstamp’s mature approach to crypto in this region and look forward to expanding our presence here.”

Bitstamp highlights Bitcoin’s utility

In October, the CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp, Nejc Kodrics, highlighted Bitcoin’s (BTC) utility after funds worth almost $1 billion changed hands for less than $4 in fees. The CEO pointed out that the funds were “transferred in a single transaction for the price of a cup of coffee,” referring to how easy it actually is to use BTC for huge wealth transfers without the need for government approval or middlemen.

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Price Analysis 13/11: BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, LTC, EOS, BNB, BSV, XLM, TRX

Although Bitcoin (BTC) is not showing any trending move, Bakkt and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group continue to roll out products designed to attract the large traders. Bakkt recently announced that it will add a cash-settled futures contract to its existing Bitcoin-settled contract. On the other hand, the CME group plans to offer options on Bitcoin futures after receiving the necessary regulatory approvals. 

Bitfinex cryptocurrency exchange is also planning to launch a slew of products, which include, options trading and a gold-backed stablecoin, to attract customers. These actions by cryptocurrency exchanges instill confidence that trading volume is likely to pick up. These products will also limit the possibility of market manipulations by the whales.

Daily cryptocurrency market performance

Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360

Venture capitalist Tim Draper continues to be bullish on Bitcoin and has reiterated his previous price prediction of $250,000 by 2022 or 2023. He expects the “Lightning Network and OpenNode and maybe others” to facilitate the use of Bitcoin for micropayments, which will boost the price. 

Swiss crypto broker Bitcoin Suisse has also announced plans to team up with payment and transaction services provider Worldline to increase the use of crypto in the country. Such initiatives will help speed up the integration of cryptocurrencies in the economy.

While the fundamentals continue to improve, do the technicals also indicate the possibility of an up move? Let’s analyze the charts and find out.  

BTC/USD

The pullback after the sharp rally in late October is finding buyers close to the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement levels of the up move. This shows that the bulls are initiating long positions on dips. If Bitcoin can rise above the 20-day EMA and the downtrend line, it will indicate strength. 

There is a stiff resistance close to $9,600. A strong breakout of this level can carry the price to $10,360 and above it to $12,000. Traders can buy on a breakout and close (UTC time) above the downtrend line and keep a stop loss just below the recent lows.

Contrary to our assumption, if the BTC/USD pair fails to pick up momentum above the downtrend line, it might remain range-bound for a few days. The flattish moving averages and RSI just below the midpoint suggests a consolidation for a few days.

The trend will turn negative if the bears sink the price below $8,467.54. If this level cracks, a fall to $7,952.84, which is 78.6% Fibonacci retracement level of the most recent rally is possible. 

ETH/USD

Ether (ETH) continues to consolidate in the upper half of the $197.75 to $161.056 range. The bunching of the price action close to the resistance of the range is a positive sign. It indicates that the bulls are supporting the altcoin at higher levels and are not waiting for a dip to buy.

If the price breaks out of $197.75, the altcoin is likely to pick up momentum and quickly move up to $235.70. Therefore, traders can hold their long positions with stops at $150.

Contrary to our assumption, if the bulls fail to scale and sustain above $197.75, the bears will attempt to sink the ETH/USD pair below the moving averages. The support levels to watch on the downside are $173.841 and below it $161.056. A break below this support will resume the downtrend. However, we give it a low probability of occurring.

XRP/USD

XRP has been trading below the 50-day SMA for the past two days but the bears are struggling to sink it to the next support at $0.24508. This indicates some buying by the aggressive bulls close to the current levels. However, until the buyers push the price above the 20-day EMA, the altcoin remains weak. 

The 20-day EMA has turned down and the RSI is in the negative zone, which suggests that bears have the upper hand. A failure to rise above the moving averages can start the next wave of selling that can drag the XRP/USD pair to $0.24508. If this support also cracks, a drop to $0.22 is possible. Therefore, traders can retain the stop loss on the long positions at $0.24.

BCH/USD

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has been consolidating between $306.78 and $269.10 for the past few days. The 20-day EMA is sloping up and the RSI is just above the midpoint, which suggests that bulls have a slight advantage.

If the bulls push the price above $306.78, a rally to $360 is possible. Conversely, if the bears sink the BCH/USD pair below the 20-day EMA, it will retest the support at $269.10. If this support also cracks, a drop to $241.85 is likely. Hence, traders can retain the stop loss on the long positions at $267. 

LTC/USD

Litecoin (LTC) has again corrected to the 20-day EMA. Repeated retest of a support level weakens it. Therefore, we anticipate the support to give way and the price to dip to the 50-day SMA. This is an important support to watch out for because if it breaks down, a drop to $50 is possible.

Contrary to our assumption, if the LTC/USD pair bounces off the moving averages, the bulls will try to carry it above the overhead resistance of $66.1486. If successful, a move to $80.2731 is likely. For now, the traders can retain the stop loss on the long positions at $47. 

EOS/USD

EOS has been trading between $3.37 and $3.69 since Nov. 5. Both moving averages are flattening out and the RSI is just above the midpoint. This shows a balance between demand and supply.  

If the bulls can push the price above $3.69, the EOS/USD pair can move up to $4.24 and above it to $4.8719. Alternatively, if the price breaks down of $3.37, a drop to $2.998 is possible. If this level also fails to provide support, the decline can extend to $2.4001. Therefore, traders can keep the stop loss on the long positions at $2.95. 

BNB/USD

The bulls are attempting to propel Binance Coin (BNB) above the overhead resistance of $21.2378. If the price sustains above $21.2378, it will resume the new uptrend that can carry it to $23.5213 and above it to $30. The rising moving averages and the RSI in positive zone indicates that the bulls are in command. 

Our bullish view will be negated if the BNB/USD pair fails to sustain above $21.2378. If the price turns around and plummets below the 20-day EMA and the 50-day SMA, it will indicate a lack of buyers at higher levels. Traders can retain a stop loss on the long positions at $16. We will suggest trailing it to $17.5 if the price sustains above $21.2378.

BSV/USD

After a doji candlestick pattern on Nov. 12, Bitcoin SV (BSV) dipped below the 20-day EMA today. However, the bears are struggling to keep the price down. Buying at lower levels has pushed the price back above the 20-day EMA, which shows that bulls are active at lower levels.

If buyers can propel the BSV/USD pair above the descending channel, the uptrend is likely to resume. There is resistance at $155.38, above which the up move can reach $188.69.

Conversely, if the pair sustains below the 20-day EMA, it can drop to the support line of the channel and below it to the 50-day SMA. We will wait for the price to sustain above the channel before recommending a trade in it.

XLM/USD

Stellar (XLM) is facing resistance above $0.080 level and is witnessing buying close to the 20-day EMA. This shows that bulls are buying on dips but are cashing out after a small rally. This tightening of the range will eventually result in a sharp move in either direction. The upsloping 20-day EMA shows that the bulls have the upper hand and a breakout of the downtrend line is likely.

A breakout and close (UTC time) above the downtrend line will be the first indication that the up move is resuming. There is a stiff resistance at $0.088708, above which, the XLM/USD pair could move up to $0.145. We remain bullish but will wait for a close (UTC time) above the downtrend line to suggest any trade in it.

Contrary to our assumption, if the pair turns down from the downtrend line and slides below the 20-day EMA, it can drop to the 50-day SMA.

TRX/USD

The bulls have defended the 20-day EMA, which is a positive sign. If they can push Tron (TRX) above $0.0204880, a rally to $0.0234 and above it to $0.0276185 is possible. The momentum can even extend the up move to $0.030. 

As the risk to reward ratio is attractive, traders can buy if the price sustains above $0.0204880 for about four hours. The initial stop loss can be placed at $0.018.

Both moving averages have started to turn up once again and the RSI has risen into the positive territory, which shows that bulls have the upper hand. Our bullish view will be invalidated if the TRX/USD pair turns down from $0.0204880 and plummets below $0.018660. 

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Market data is provided by HitBTC exchange.

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These Strategies Will Get More Customers To Your Dispensary

From loyalty programs to regularly messaging customers, building a community and increasing sales takes strategy.

7 min read

This story originally appeared on Weedmaps

It goes without saying that you want to get as many new customers into your dispensary as possible. But with the cannabis retail space becoming more and more competitive every day, you can’t just expect a flood of new customers to rush in the second you open your doors. You need the right marketing strategy to break through the clutter, grab your ideal customers’ attention, and drive new business for your dispensary. 

“Marketing is a vehicle for [consumers] to get familiar with the brand, the company, the dispensary and what they’re about,” said David Hua, CEO and co-founder of Meadow, a software company that creates point-of-sale (POS) solutions for cannabis dispensaries. “Now’s the time to … use marketing to create an identity around your brand and the dispensary experience that you’re looking to deliver.”

But what, exactly, does that marketing strategy look like? What are the different tactics you can use to drive new customers through your door — and, just as importantly, keep them coming back?

RELATED: 5 Things You Need To Know Before Opening A Dispensary

Make Yourself Searchable Online

In order for new customers to do business with you, they need to know you exist and know where to find you. Building an online presence and making your dispensary easily searchable online checks both of those boxes.

Create profiles and listings on any sites where your customers might search online, such as Weedmaps. “So creating online profiles — the basics of Google Places, a Yelp page, a Weedmaps menu, where[ever] the customers are — and just making sure you have the right information so when people search, you appear,” Hua said. 

Making yourself discoverable online is not only an easy way to connect with new customers, it can also be much more cost-effective than other marketing strategies. “This is one of the easiest ways and highest ROI that an operator can do to get more eyeballs [on their cannabis business], because people are searching and it’s about meeting them where they can find you,” Hua said. 

Easily drive transactions where your customers are researching and make your online menus shoppable. Enabling online ordering on Weedmaps or using a menu embed on your website helps your customers checkout and increase your sales. Once they are in-store, use the opportunity to educate them on your product selection and availability to further encourage product browsing and tie-in their online experience to your offline one.

Offer A Variety Of Discounts And Promotions

For many consumers, choosing which cannabis dispensary to do business with will ultimately boil down to one thing: who has the best deal. “People like seeing discounts or promotions,” Hua said. 

If you want to capture those customers, you need to make sure you’re offering a variety of deals to get them through the door.

Discounts and promotions are vital to luring in curious and experienced cannabis consumers. Some common discounts are for first-time customers, family and friend referrals, or daily deals.

Image credit: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

There is a variety of discounts and promotions you can offer to grab a new customer’s attention and get them shopping at your dispensary. Some of the most popular include:

  • First-time customer discounts. Obviously, giving a discount for first-time customers is a solid strategy for driving new business. Just make sure you have other marketing strategies in place to keep them coming back. Otherwise, you could have a wave of first-time customers coming in to get their discount — then taking their business elsewhere.
  • Referral discounts. One of the best resources for getting new customers to your dispensary? Your existing customers! Offer a referral discount whenever an existing customer brings a new customer into the store; that will incentivize your existing customer base to spread the word about your business — and will drive plenty of new customers through the doors.
  • Birthday discounts. People love to feel special on their birthday — and offering a birthday discount is a great way to ensure they spend their birthday feeling special at your dispensary.
  • Themed discount days. Having themed discount days (for example, offering 15% off prerolls every Monday) is a great way to promote your top-selling products, categories, and brands — and the promotion can also entice new customers to come into your dispensary to get a discount on their product of choice.

RELATED: 7 Facts About Starting A Cannabis Dispensary In 2019

Offer Customers A Loyalty Program

Discounts and promotions are a great way to get new customers in the door, but if you want to drive repeat business, you need something that will keep them coming back.

And that’s where loyalty programs come in.

“Once you get a customer in, how do you keep them coming through your doors over and over again?” Hue asked. “From what we’ve seen, customers like loyalty [programs]. They like to be able to get points or earn rewards for shopping at their … favorite dispensary.”

Offering a loyalty program, through which customers can earn rewards and discounts based on their purchases, is a great way to drive repeat business. Not only does it incentivize customers to keep coming back to your dispensary, but it also can incentivize them to spend more on each purchase (“I just need 15 more points to get a discount on my next visit!”).

Look For Partnership Opportunities

Is your local health food store hosting a tasting event? See if you can set up a booth and whip up some CBD cocktails for attendees. Is there a big snowboarding expo rolling through your town? See if you can sponsor a booth or donate some merch for their raffle. Look for opportunities to partner with local businesses.

“We’re starting to find that a lot of other businesses … are willing to align with dispensaries,” said David Farris, Director of Marketing for Planet 13 in Las Vegas, the world’s largest cannabis dispensary. And those partnerships offer the opportunity to get your brand in front of an entirely new audience — and drive those customers into your store.

The point is, partnering with other businesses gives you direct access to their audience — and also gives you the opportunity to convert that audience into customers for your dispensary.

RELATED: What I Learned From Visiting 50 California Dispensaries

Keep In Touch

One of the fundamental rules of dispensary marketing is that it doesn’t end with the sale. If you want to continue to drive more customers through your doors, you need to continually market to them — and that means capturing their information and keeping in touch.

When a customer signs up for your loyalty program, get their email address and cellphone number and have them opt in for texts and email communications. If you host an event, have a sign-in sheet so you can get attendee information and add them to your contacts. Continue to send targeted marketing messaging — including promotions and discounts — to drive those customers back into your dispensary.

If you want to continually drive more customers through your door, you need to continually be in touch with them — so make sure you have what you need (namely, their phone number and email address) to make that happen.

Get Out There And Get New Customers

There’s no denying that cannabis retail is competitive. But with these strategies, you have everything you need to grab your ideal audience’s attention and drive new customers through your door. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and get those customers!

To stay up to date on the latest marijuana-related news make sure to like Weedmaps on Facebook

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Data Provider Messari Closes $4 Million Funding Round

Data provider Messari has closed a $4 million funding round led by Uncork Capital with new participation from Coinbase Ventures and former Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan, according to a statement from the New York-based firm. As part of the deal, Uncork’s founder Jeff Clavier was named to Messari’s board of directors.

Uncork joins existing Messari investors including Blockchain Capital, CoinFund, Danhua Capital, Fabric Ventures, Semantic Ventures and Underscore VC, among others.

In a statement, Messari co-founder and CEO Ryan Selkis described “one of the industry’s toughest problems” as being the “coordination challenges of self-regulating an emerging asset class and providing accurate, timely data to investors with diverse compliance requirements.”

In a Telegram conversation with CoinDesk, Selkis described Messari’s relationship with Uncork:

“Clavier is a straight shooter that hasn’t bought the crypto hype, but likes picks and shovels businesses building infrastructure in the space.”

The additional funding will help Messari automate on-boarding data and registry participants along with offering new products for subscribers in its self-described effort to sift out “bad actors” from the crypto space. Messari’s funding round began last May, closing six months later. The “broader macro challenges in the industry this year” slowed securing funding quickly, Selkis said.

Founded in 2018, Messari offers investment products such as a Bloomberg Terminal–styled registry and data analytics via its Messari Pro interface, an API service. The firm says it has some 60 projects and several exchanges utilizing its data.

Disclosure: The author of this post is a former Messari employee.

Ryan Selkis image via CoinDesk archives

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Here’s How To Make Your SaaS Marketing Strategy Generate Revenue

Optimizing for conversions is just the tip of the iceberg.

4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Entrepreneurs who venture into the SaaS industry are often fueled by the passion of building phenomenal products that can change their customers’s lives, but also consider marketing and sales central to realizing their goals. Marketing for a SaaS business is uniquely challenging. Unlike traditional product- or service-based businesses, the element of tangibility is low.

While there are many so-called hacks to follow when strategizing, there is only one approach that can yield consistent revenue regularly. It involves successfully leveraging content to your advantage. Here’s how.

1. Optimize your website for conversions.

Content optimization and keyword research are central to ensuring that your SaaS site comes up when customers search for a product that you offer. How do you go about doing it? Identify all the buy-intent keywords that your potential customers may be searching for and optimize your existing landing pages to target them. The idea is to direct potential customers to your website whenever they’re making a purchasing decision. 

You should be focusing on drawing traffic that has the potential to convert, impact the business’s bottom line and deliver promising ROI. This is exactly what’s promised by the hockey-stick content-growth strategy, which focuses on generating leads with content.

Related: Buying or Selling an SaaS Company? Read This First.

2. Create content that meets your target audience’s queries.

To drive organic traffic to the landing pages, it needs to be layered with content pieces. Focus on answering queries that cover what customers in the consideration phase of marketing funnel would ideally be looking for by targeting middle-of-the funnel keywords. This ensures that the leads entering your funnel will be higher along in their journey of discovery and more likely to convert. These content pieces also act as a bridge when building backlinks to your landing pages, driving link equity as well as referral traffic back to the conversion-optimized pages on your blog.

3.  Make sure your content comes up in relevant searches.

In a perfect world, you would only need to produce stellar content and your audience would automatically discover it, publications would organically link to it and you would get a string of leads flowing in right away. The truth is, no matter how well-researched your content is, it seldom reaches its audience unless you put forth some serious effort. How do you do that? Build backlinks for your content. Pitch to high-authority industry publications within your niche that target the same audience as you and offer to write guest articles for them. This builds the authority for your SaaS website, getting your content to rank organically while driving referral traffic at the same time. 

Related: 4 Ways SaaS Can Make Entrepreneurs More Efficient 

Now that you have attracted leads, nurtured them with information and gotten them to convert into paying customers, what next?

  • Optimize your content for the entire sales cycle. The retention stage of theSaaS sales cycle is often of crucial importance, because the SaaS model relies heavily on ongoing subscriptions rather than one-time purchases. Having an ongoing relationship with the customer is crucial for their engagement and retention. The value of content isn’t limited to the inbound traffic. It can be used as a tool for training the existing users and offering them added value to retain them as well. 

  • Leverage content as a remarketing tool. Content can be used to connect with the leads stored in your SaaS CRM software and re-engage with them. The SaaS industry is highly dynamic and rapidly evolving, and SaaS entrepreneurs need to stay abreast of all changes by constantly upgrading their products. Content opens up new avenues for upselling and cross-selling in Saas. 

  • Monitor the customer actions. While content is certainly crucial to getting qualified leads into your sales funnel, getting them to eventually convert requires insights into analytics and expertise in user experience. Monitor what actions your users are performing on your website to figure out what is working and what isn’t.

SaaS is an industry where everything — the product, its marketing, sales interactions and customer support — is tightly bound. Every touchpoint of customer interaction needs to provide a seamless experience to the users to unlock revenue potential and ensure long-term growth. Marketing is no exception.

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UPS and Agritech Firm Use Blockchain to Verify Beef Shipment From US to Japan

American logistics giant UPS has successfully delivered a blockchain-verified beef shipment from the United States to Japan. The company partnered with agritech firm HerdX to incorporate its packaging technology into a blockchain network to trace the journey of beef from Kansas to Japan, the firm announced on Nov. 11.

As announced by UPS, the jointly-delivered shipment involved a blockchain partner network developed by HerdX. Meanwhile, UPS provided its visibility tool that integrates with HerdX’s blockchain technology and records live updates, registering details throughout the journey.

U.S. Embassy and Japanese officials checked the blockchain-recorded beef

The pilot was supported by the United States Embassy in Japan and was announced at a special dinner event in Tokyo, UPS stated.

The steak reportedly left Kansas on Nov. 4, after which it arrived at a steakhouse in Tokyo where guests including U.S. Embassy and Japanese officials were able to scan QR codes to access data about the food’s journey.

UPS’s blockchain initiative is not the first time blockchain has been used to track meat. In November 2018, the South Korean government announced it will use blockchain for tracing beef to provide consumers with more data about its supply chain. In March 2018, Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com implemented blockchain tech to monitor meat from a farm in Australia.

In late 2018, UPS chief engineering and information officer Juan Perez said that he did not expect any significant benefits from the implementation of blockchain technology.

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