Business and Technology News from NUS

Month: January 2018

The War on Blogger Entitlement


Blogger Elle Darby was the center of controversy after requesting free accommodation

“Perhaps if you went out and got real jobs you’d be able to pay for goods and services like everybody else,” wrote Paul Stenson of The White Moose Cafe in a post that effectively bans all bloggers from staying at their lodge. These drastic measures were taken against a social media influencer who has since exposed herself, Elle Darby. Her crime? Putting forth a proposal for an exchange of services.

On the 16th of January, the establishment published an email with redacted personal details onto their Facebook page. The screenshot depicts a request for four nights at the accommodation in return for exposure. Attached with the post was a snarky commentary from the establishment itself, detailing why they would not be requiring her services in a condescending tone which some have found humorous (the author included) and proceeded to generate publicity for themselves and made merchandise of the incident.

The influencer on the other hand, made a tearful video and in it admitted that she was the one who contacted the establishment for a free stay. Many felt she uploaded the video in a bid for attention and the fact that the video is monetized supports the fact. Following the incident, she has reached out to many media outlets to share with them how she has become a target for bullying.

While this incident is a classic case of self-victimising, the establishments have made a few fair points and have done so ingeniously. Although they have since posted a play-by-play on their newly minted blog, detailing the thought process behind every move they have made.

According to this case study, the first step to becoming a successful influencer is to optimize exposure. The cafe jumped on the opportunity and did not back down because they did not single out any one person for their behaviour. They took one example and turned it into a teaching experience. By doing so, and with their tongue in cheek, they continued to fan the flames while provoking angry commenters and making headlines.

One thing to come away with from this debacle is that nobody should ask another business for free services or products, especially in an impersonal email which does not convey any sincerity whatsoever. If bloggers would like to be taken seriously as a new crossbreed of advertisers cum entrepreneurs, dabbling in SEO and attempting to make it to the ‘big leagues’, it should be understood that one has to deal with things professionally, which, could be hard considering it is such a new industry that there are no hard and fast rules. However, if either had taken things down a notch, the publicity generated around this episode would not have gone to such numbers.

The owner of the cafe has asked the public to refrain from bullying the influencer in a slew of tweets, which has largely gone ignored. However, despite his pleas, he could not help himself from poking fun at the girl, tweeting: “Cyber bullying is a serious allegation. As someone who was bullied in school, I despise bullies. I’ve always said that I don’t condone the unjustified comments the girl is getting, but I don’t agree that the cyber bullying card be used as a tool to generate cash via YouTube views”.

This article was written by the NUS community. If you would like to contribute your article, please get in touch.

TrackMySubs is preventing costs from hidden online subscriptions

“The irony of our product being a subscription is not lost on us…” ~ Gabe Alves, Founder of TrackMySubs

When was the last time a company acknowledged that their own product contributed to an issue they were trying to address? Gabe Alves, Founder of TrackMySubs did just that. He discovered, that his own subscription list was costing him over $200/month. That is $2,400 a year and did not include that nasty $850 whoops charge to his credit card. But how many of us have had that happen?

We sign up for a trial period and accept the terms and conditions because we know that we will be cancelling it before the month is up? Or, offer our cell phone to the kids to play with to remain occupied so we can continue a conversation, and they click purchase. End of the month comes around and we notice less money in our accounts. Login to the system and there it is, a subscription that we meant to cancel and just forgot.

Maybe you have heard of these common subscription sites: Godaddy, Netflix, or even Amazon Prime. Many people use these services and forgot they even signed up. That’s where TrackMySubs comes in. On average, their users spend $94.00 AUD on 6.5 subscriptions, with approximately 20% having 20 different subscriptions. But what does it do?

TrackMySubs does just that. Tracks all your personal subscriptions and keeps that information in one place. All the Netflix, or Godaddy charges in one spot so it can be visualized in a calendar view and you know what is coming out when. No need to worry about how much or what currency your accounts will be charged in, because that is included as well.

Gabe and his team at TrackMySubs is focused on giving their clients what they themselves have had happen. Loss of income because of silly mistakes. They discovered that people should be asking how the subscription should be helping them instead of how hard will this be to get rid of or cancel?

Digital subscriptions are taking the world over. Wine, herbal supplements and movies are all things that can be regularly sent to us in a variety of ways and sometimes we need a hand to manage our busy lives. This program helps us to develop a plan and manage spending or even better, cut it out where and when necessary.

There are many apps out there to provide what is necessary to manage any amount of subscriptions. So how do you choose the right one? Consider financial protection above all else. Many apps store personal information making it as easy as a finger print to purchase an item. A very small second should be the ability to cancel. Some subscription providers make it feel virtually impossible to cancel without a significant ordeal. Last, deal with a company that not only owns their slogan and stay in control of your own subscriptions and keep your money where it belongs; in the bank.

This article was written by the NUS community. If you would like to contribute your article, please get in touch.

Data analytics – why every smart entrepreneur uses them

In 2017 Google toppled Apple to become the world’s most valuable brand- an extraordinary achievement for a company that was less than twenty years old. Inspiring as the story sounds, would-be entrepreneurs need to be mindful of the fact that less than 10 percent of start-ups succeed. By common consensus, the single biggest reason for the low success rate is the lack of market demand for the product.

Admittedly, it is difficult to predict what can sell. After all, computers and mobile phones- ubiquitous in our day to day lives now- were both seen as novelties with a limited market when they were first introduced. Fortunately, data analytics can not only offer solutions to mitigate the risks inherent to entrepreneurship, but also create new opportunities in the following ways:

  • Elimination of guesswork: Data can help understand what is going on in the target market on a real-time basis. Thanks to advances in data analytics, market information can be mined to an extent of detail that was scarcely imaginable even at the beginning of this decade. Armed with in-depth analysis, entrepreneurs can avoid errors commonly made by start-ups, such as survey mistakes, erroneous demand forecasting, inaccurate cash flow planning, etc.
  • Understanding customer behaviour: Data analysis can generate insights to understand what the customers want. For instance, an e-commerce player can identify the source of web traffic, the most frequently used search terms, commonly sought products and even the point where potential customers abandoned their search, and tweak their webpage design or product offerings accordingly.
  • Identifying new possibilities: Analytics can throw up information that can help start-ups identify business opportunities or design promotional ideas that they may not have otherwise thought of. Companies can identify what potential customers are looking for, design promotional offers based on consumer preferences and track performance to identify what works best. In some cases, it can also generate ideas for cross selling. For example, a company selling alcoholic drinks online can use customer feedback to identify food products that can be added to the product portfolio to pair up with the drinks.
  • Prompt decision making: Business Intelligence tools can sift through vast quantities of data and identify opportunities, trends or challenges on a real-time basis, empowering businesses to think and act on their feet. For instance, a company management which receives a fresh order can assess working capital and inventory levels to decide whether it will be in a position to mobilise the necessary funds and meet the deadline for delivery on a real-time basis.
  • Future planning: Planning for the future is always a challenge, especially in a rapidly changing environment marked by a high degree of uncertainty. Fortunately, predictive analytics can use existing data to predict future trends and thereby reduce the degree of guesswork in future planning. For instance, a motorcycle dealership on the verge of closure recently achieved a complete turnaround, increasing the number of leads generated by nearly 3000 percent, using artificial intelligence.

A recent study indicates that adoption of data analytics is on the rise and the trend is not restricted to big businesses. Even smaller players are hopping on the bandwagon. In the context of business decision making, analytics is the future.

This article was written by the NUS community. If you would like to contribute your article, please get in touch.

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