Need people to renew their membership? Or sign a petition? Or sign up for volunteer times? With SMS marketing, you can send reminders tailored for each person’s unique situation.
It can be hard to remember a time when friend requests and text messages were not part of daily life, effective SMS marketing strategies can be the perfect platform for targeting your Millennial clients.
For better assistance
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Companies often list email as one of their most powerful
marketing channels. To this day, the size of your email list is a
demonstration of your reach and thought leadership. However,
your email marketing campaigns should be part of a holistic
approach to educate your contacts about your company. Your
marketing emails need to be complimented by other efforts,
such as content creation, social media engagement and behavior-based nurturing.
In order to integrate your email marketing with your other data systems, you need to use a marketing software that allows for that integration to take place ,and that’s when you can benefit from our help.
What should be included in your inbound marketing plan?
1. Goals, Objectives & Metrics. If you’ve been following this blog series, you know goals, objectives and metrics is the most important part of a plan. Not only does it give you a path forward but it also sets up the parameters for monitoring and analyzing regular performance. If we’ve done our job so far, you should be ready to tackle this section already! Typically, your plan will have qualitative goals, quantitative objectives and the KPIs you’ll use to measure your performance.
2. Competitive Benchmarking. Understanding where you stand against your competition will give you perspective on how much activity you may need to execute to maintain or gain ground. If you’re the early adopter of inbound in your market, you have an opportunity to make early inroads with your best prospects. If you’re organization is a bit late to the game, you may have a bit more work to do. One of the best tools to get an understanding of your competitive situation is marketing.grader.com. This free tool gives you a fantastic overview of your online impact and straightforward guidance on where additional improvements may be needed. This same tool lets you enter the URLs of your top competitors and compare your standing against theirs.
3. Target Personas. In traditional outbound marketing, the focus is on target audiences en masse. In inbound marketing, the focus shifts to the very best prospects within those audiences. Target personas paint a picture of the exact “person” you want to talk to along with their goals, challenges, pain points, needs and even questions they may be asking that you can answer for him/her.
For example, if you’re a commercial insurance company targeting the construction industry, your persona may be “Contractor Cal,” owner or GM of a general contracting company. He likely has a degree in construction management, engineering or architecture; is 35-45 years old, married and has tweens in the home; household income is $150-200,000 with a home in the suburbs; he’s rugged, enjoys working with his hands, loves outdoor sports and likes active vacations.His business has between 5-50 employees; he’s heavily involved in the day-to-day activities of his company; goals are to minimize revenue/expense fluctuations and grow the business sustainably. Pain points include keeping enough projects in the pipeline, meeting deadlines, managing expenses, keeping workers safe and managing the mix of permanent and temporary employees.
By thoroughly understanding exactly who you’re “talking to,” your inbound marketing content becomes much more finessed and relevant. You won’t attract every prospect, you’ll attract the best leads.
4. Content Strategy. Feeling good so far? Good, hang on to that good feeling because this is where the core of your inbound marketing plan takes shape! You know what you want to accomplish, you know your competitive situation and you know exactly whom you need to talk to. Now…what are you going to say? Your content strategy needs to clearly identify your company’s positioning, competitive advantage and why your prospects should listen to you over all of the other choices on the Internet. Once that takes shape, the next step is messaging. What products, services, guidance, etc. will you share? Remember, your content should be designed to demonstrate benefits specific to your personas, not to act as a sales pitch expounding features of your “widget.” Your content strategy will outline the topics to be created and their corresponding formats – will they be tip sheets, white papers, videos, case studies, checklists, audits, consultations, etc.? Identifying the right forms for each topic is as much art as science but you’ll quickly learn what your best prospects convert on most regularly. When you’re thinking about content, don’t limit your plan to in-depth advanced content. A well-considered content strategy will include ongoing top-of-the-funnel content like blogs and social media keeping all of your messaging consistent and sharing the right information with your personas.
5. Editorial Calendar. The second biggest mind shift in inbound marketing is thinking about distributing and sharing your content like a publisher. Any organization that’s taken the leap into inbound marketing learns quickly that attracting leads is directly correlated to a regular editorial calendar. A well-coordinated schedule tying your blog posts to your promotional emails, advanced content, nurturing campaigns as social media sharing along with specific creation and distribution responsibilities by each member of your team is the absolute best way to get the most out of your inbound marketing.
6. Nurturing Plans. In a perfect world, every lead you generate would be ready to buy. Unfortunately, while some need your product or service immediately, the majority of your leads will need at least a little nurturing. Think of it like dating: once you find out what the “other” is interested in, you talk a lot more often and more in-depth about those interests. The same goes for inbound marketing. When a prospect raises his hand and identifies himself as interested in what you have to say about a specific challenge, he’s giving you what you need to know to strengthen your connection. Based on your typical sales cycle, plan to reach out to those leads in your funnel regularly with more information. The goal here is to become invaluable on the subject and ultimately guide the prospect through the funnel into a customer! If you’ve identified your goals, objectives and metrics upfront, monitoring the performance of your nurturing and adjusting as needed becomes a more natural and logical process. Ultimately, tying your lead generation and conversion rates to the customers generated by the end of your nurturing will give you the calculations you need to realistically project your performance against your stated objectives by the end of the year.
7. Roles and Responsibilities. In our recent post, What Capabilities Does Your Organization Need To Execute Inbound Marketing?, we outlined the unique team makeup a business will need to execute its inbound plan whether from internal resources or help from an experienced inbound marketing firm. Because the success of your inbound marketing efforts depends heavily on the participation and execution from that team, the specific roles and responsibilities of each key contributor should be outlined in the 2015 plan. Don’t make the mistake of thinking one department, or worse, one person, can successfully satisfy all of the necessary skillset requirements.
8. Budget. As part of our planning series, we also talked a lot about all of the budget considerations for your inbound marketing program. This includes everything from your team resources to tools like your website, automation tools, CRM and outside support. The best part about an inbound marketing program is it has a calculable ROI so it’s really important to make sure all costs return expectations are identified.
9. Service Level Agreement (SLA). The SLA should be a separate organizational activity but, because of its importance and relevance to performance, we’ve included it as part of the planning process.
Historically, sales and marketing have not always had a great relationship. In fact, according to a Corporate Executive Board study, 87% of the terms sales and marketing use to describe each other are negative. Generally speaking, sales views marketing as the irrelevant pretty picture department and marketing views sales as simple-minded, lazy, and incompetent. Ouch! Developing an SLA that outlines roles, commitments and responsibilities to and from both departments lets the teams work together with clear expectations. The SLA outlines the quantifiable activities and metrics expected along with reasonable engagement timing and closed-loop reporting.
Whew! That’s quite a process. I’m not going to lie: your first inbound marketing plan will be a challenge but the rewards more than make up for it. Keep following our 2015 planning series for guidance and feel free to peruse our resources page and blog library; there’s a lot of great free information in both to help you get started. And, of course, we’re always here to help if you need a little one-on-one.
The Internet has drastically altered the way in which information is shared, and has had a profound impact on marketing. Over the past few years, there has been more of a shift toward inbound techniques, while many outbound tactics have become antiquated. More businesses are finding success publishing original content rather than embedding advertisements within external content, because of the additional benefits these tactics offer, such as branding and audience growth.
With these trends in mind, let’s discuss my predictions for the top online marketing trends of 2014.
1. Content Marketing Will be Bigger Than Ever
One of the main ways that companies are establishing authority and gaining trust with consumers is by consistently creating valuable content through a variety of channels. This typically involves relevant industry information that provides insight or entertainment to an audience. Doing so allows a company to steadily build rapport with its demographic and develop a loyal following. According to the Content Marketing Institute, the top B2B content marketing strategies are social media, articles on a business’s website, eNewsletters, case studies, videos and articles on other websites.
By using one or more of these channels, businesses are able to build a positive reputation within their industry. This trend suggests that marketing to the masses through techniques like television ads and radio ads are becoming less effective. Instead, it’s better to concentrate on inbound marketing, by producing valuable, engaging content designed for a specific audience. For help designing your content marketing strategy, see my articles “11 Places to Find Awesome Content Marketing Ideas,” and “How to Build a Kickass Content Strategy.”
2. Social Media Marketing Will Require More Diversity
Just a few years ago, businesses were limited with regard to the social media networks they could implement into their marketing campaigns, with the biggies including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Now, it seems like new social media sites are appearing all the time. While some never really get off the ground, others like Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr and Instagram have surged in popularity and have provided businesses with a plethora of new options that allow them to produce engaging content in a variety of media forms and build their audiences across more channels than ever before.
Consequently, it has become common for businesses to branch out and experiment with multiple networks with the aim of reaching the maximum amount of consumers. This diversification seems to prove fruitful for many companies because it often builds brand equity by making it easier for consumers to recognize a particular brand. For help figuring out which social media networks are right for your business, see my article “How to Determine Which Social Media Network Fits Your Business.”
3. Image-Centric Content Will Rule
As consumers are hit with an increasing number of advertisements, it’s becoming more important to make content easily and quickly digestible. If you look at the social media sites I mentioned previously that are on the rise, three of the four have a common characteristic…they place an emphasis on images. The rapid rise to success of Buzzfeed and Pinterest are testaments to the power and viral potential of image-based content.
Successful blog posts that receive the most social shares also usually have a common characteristic: they pepper in some well-placed pictures to break content up and emphasize certain points. Another example is infographics, which combine images with a minimal amount of text to explain a topic and provide statistical information or data from research studies.
While I doubt that traditional text-based content will ever completely go out of style, it’s pretty clear that incorporating images is beneficial to a marketing campaign.
For more information about using Image-based social media networks in your online marketing initiative, I recommend the following articles:
- How to Use Pinterest in Your Online Marketing Initiative
- Visual Micro-Sharing Platforms: The Next Big Time in Social Media Marketing?
- The Power of Images in Social Media Marketing
4. Less Will be More
One notable trend is the apparent shift in consumer preference regarding simplistic marketing messages instead of in-depth messages. When you think about some of the top brands in the world like Apple and Google, they clearly value simplicity. A large part of Pinterest’s appeal is its clean, uncluttered, and minimalist aesthetic.
With many consumers feeling burned out by a constant barrage of information and advertisements that scream “look at me”, some of the most innovative marketers are going the opposite direction. The’re now making efforts to tone-down their campaign messages and not overwhelm consumers with hype.
Perhaps an article by Forbes said it best: “there is a sense that from the hyper-connectivity of our highly-digitized lives to the bright, flashy, complicated sensory input we’re fed everyday, there is no way to continue at this pace. As a result, 2013 is likely to be a year where the most successful marketing strategies will be ones that are not only simple in nature, but promote goods and services that serve to simplify the consumer’s life, or even just their customer experience.”
5. Mobile-Friendly Content Will Be Necessary
Due to the widespread (and quickly growing) use of smartphones and tablets, it’s necessary for companies to create content that’s accessible to mobile users. According to Forbes, “87% of connected devices sales by 2017 will be tablets and smartphones.” Whether it’s creating an alternate mobile version of a website or utilizing responsive web design, it’s important to provide a positive experience to users that are browsing via a mobile device.
Otherwise, it’s easy to lose customers to competitors who have adapted to this trend. As the shift from traditional PCs and laptops to mobile devices continues, businesses that aren’t onboard are likely to suffer.
6. Ad Retargeting Will Grow in Effectiveness
This is a marketing strategy that has really caught on recently. In a nutshell, it works by utilizing browser cookies to track the websites that users visit. Once they leave a certain site, the products or services they viewed will be shown to them again in advertisements across different websites.
It’s fairly obvious as to why this technique can be so effective. With only two percent of web traffic converting on the first visit, ad retargeting works to increase the overall conversion rate by reminding consumers of the product or service they viewed. This keeps the brand and the product at the top of the consumer’s mind. There are even psychological studies that have shown that simple exposure to brand names and logos creates familiarity, which builds trust and makes consumers more likely to make a purchase.
Even if there’s no immediate purchase, this can really pay off in the long run. Due to the success that many marketers have had with ad retargeting, there’s a good chance that it will become more mainstream in 2014.
7. SEO and Social Signals Will Become Even More Intertwined
Although social signals still don’t typically carry the same weight as traditional inbound links, it’s pretty undeniable that they play a role in organic search rankings these days. After all, they’re one of the three pillars of SEO. Since the goal of Google and other search engines is to provide users with the most relevant and highest quality content possible, it makes sense why they would factor in the number of social shares that a blog post, article or product page receives.
The more people that are sharing a piece of content, the higher quality it’s likely to be, and therefore its position should increase within the search engine results pages. It’s no coincidence that the top-ranking search results tends to have lots of social shares, while those ranked lower have fewer.
Besides this, social shares can serve as a stamp of approval (ie, a trust signal) for visitors landing on a page. If they see that it has hundreds or thousands of shares, it’s likely that there’s something of value. That’s a big reason why so many businesses are installing social share plugins and encouraging consumers to share as much as possible.
While it’s difficult to predict algorithms will evolve in the future, there’s a reasonable chance that social shares will match or even outweigh traditional inbound links by the end of 2014. For more information on how SEO and social media are becoming intertwined, see my article “How to Integrate Social MediaWith Your SEO Campaign.”
There you have it, my predictions for the top seven online marketing trends of 2014. Did I miss anything? What do you think about my predictions? Leave a comment and let me know!
I have become a habitual Instagrammer.
When I am out cycling, walking or just sitting admiring the view or the passing parade, I am looking for photo oportunities that I can snap and then share on my Instagram “app”.
All I need to be carrying is my iPhone or iPad and with my Instagram app waiting patiently for me, I can capture that photo, apply a snazzy filter and click the Facebook and the Twitter share buttons and it flies around the world.
It then showcases in my follower’s streams and updates and invites them to engage with me by commenting, liking or sharing.
Jamie Oliver a “celebrity chef”, understands this and with over 412,000 followers on Instagram has embraced the power of photos to market the Jamie Oliver brand.
Not surprisingly, the better the photo the more it drives engagement and Instagram takes my ordinary and average photos and gives them that “zing” factor (a good example is my Instagram photo from Istanbul, Turkey in the top right corner of this post) .
The Age of Visual Culture
We live in the age of the “camera in everyone’s pocket” and with more than 2.5 billion camera phones in use we are entering a new dynamic era around image creation and content according to Bob Lisbon from Luminate.
This can be broken into three phases as we enter the age of visual culture and language.
Phase One: Massive increase in photo creation
Ten percent of photos taken by humankind took place in the last 12 months
Phase Two: The Rise of Image Centric Social Networks
Photos are becoming the “universal language”. The fastest growing social media networks are not surprisingly Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram.
These social networks are the names on everyone’s lips as they have embraced the visual medium and have made it easy to upload and share images and photos online.
Phase Three: Images become Interactive
Pinterest is one of the first platforms that allows you to interact with static images and Luminate’s image apps (which are used by more than 100 million consumers) is also an example.
So how and why should you use images in your business communications, marketing and social networks?
6 Reasons Why Images are Important
If you have an online store, issue press releases or even just have a Facebook business “page”, then here are 6 reasons to publish images and photos as part of your business marketing tactics.
- Articles with images get 94% more total views
- Including a Photo and a video in a press release increases views by over 45%
- 60% of consumers are more likely to consider or contact a business when an image shows up in local search results
- In an ecommerce site, 67% of consumers say the quality of a product image is “very important” in selecting and purchasing a product
- In an online store, customers think that the quality of a products image is more important than product-specific information (63%), a long description (54%) and ratings and reviews (53%)
- Engagement rate on Facebook for photos averages 0.37% where text only is 0.27% (this translates to a 37% higher level of engagement for photos over text)
Read more: http://www.jeffbullas.com/2012/05/28/6-powerful-reasons-why-you-should-include-images-in-your-marketing-infographic/
If you need to drive loads of high-quality site visitors to your web site, get plenty of subscribers and a lot more product sales the following is a great content marketing strategy that you can use.
It is not tough in any way.
The thought of an effective content marketing strategy just isn’t to waste loads of funds on putting ads all more than the net that few men and women will any discover , rather the notion is always to offer people with information that may help them to solve their problems.
What is A Content Marketing Strategy?
Content marketing is basically the method of making high-quality, beneficial content such as weblog posts, videos and content articles that will attract organic visitors from men and women who are seeking specifically what you’re supplying – your item or your company opportunity.
In other words, a great content marketing strategy would seek first to understand precisely what your primary target market is actively attempting to find, making content to reply to that voiced need in the market and then promoting that content so it can be found easily.
The Basis of a Good Content Marketing Strategy
A good and well-planned content marketing strategy is one of the most effective ways to attract large amounts of visitors from which you can profit. Having your own blog that provides informative content and contains videos alongside a series of emails and maybe a once per month newsletter is the easiest way to do it. If you don’t have any idea what to scribble about and you use your time writing irrelevant content you’re not going to get anywhere.
The key to implementing a successful content marketing strategy is to place yourself in the customer’s shoes at the time they are have an active need or want to find out more about whatever it is you offer.
Then look for techniques to simplify and improve her life without recourse.
Meaning do what you can to readily offer fantastic price first before asking for the sale.
On the internet that is as simple as such as the words within your content which might be precisely precisely the same as your likely consumers are trying to find.
You then optimize your content making use of these key phrases and phrases to ensure that your content can be found and served for your prospect by the search engines, this is called natural search.
Why a Content Marketing Strategy Will Work
Content is the power behind the Net, all of your potential customers are looking for information and help for problems, so by furnishing them with optimized content you boost your opportunity for being found by the search websites and those prospects. What people don’t like is in-your-face sales spiels. By employing a useful content marketing strategy it gives you credibility and authority and makes people much more cozy when they come to deciding. You become the expert and the go-to person instead of being seen as yet another person pushing a product.
The most profitable individuals operating in internet and network marketing use tactics that will bring them a consistent provide of competent leads by delivering beneficial content which only infrequently provides their items or services directly.
If you are not following a great content marketing strategy, it is not difficult whatsoever and it is probably time you looked into it.
For people with no internet marketing experience whatsoever it can be very difficult to understand what exactly the benefits of internet marketing are. You might already know some basic fundamentals regarding how to promote websites and such, but eventually that knowledge just won’t cut it if you would like to have a professional internet marketing career. I know a lot of people who run a small business for instance and pay for a website without even knowing what the benefits are and how to work with it.
Many People Don’t Know That…
- Every visitor on a website is a potential customer or customer for the advertisers on that site.
- The more traffic a website has, the more money it will make.
- So internet marketing is much more than just having a website. It’s about generating traffic, creating sales, publishing, advertising and so much more.
The Benefits Of Internet Marketing
In this blog post I explain the benefits of internet marketing without really getting into technical details and marketing techniques. You can surf around on this blog if you need more information regarding the three facts that I stated above.
The internet can feel like a real jungle when you first get started online. So if you have absolutely no experience, you have to start from the beginning. Everything starts with understanding. If you don’t understand what the benefits of internet marketing are, you also won’t do any effort to build an online marketing business.
What Are The Benefits Of Internet Marketing?
1. You Can Help The Right People
In online marketing and the home based business industry in general you can decide who you want to work with. In all honesty, if you know that you’re the excuse-type of person, do yourself and me a favor and don’t get started. Look, I don’t have time to babysit, nor do I make time for people who don’t want to roll up their sleeves. I’m not saying that working with me requires you to be Spartacus, but you need at least a positive mindset and the will to make things happen.
So when you focus on helping the right people, you will see the results that you deserve. When you waste your time on people who don’t deserve it, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
2. The Benefits Of Internet Marketing When You’re A Full-Time Online Marketer
The truth is that when you get started online, you will have to work many hours to get your business off the ground. Once you are making profit, things always get much easier. You will be learning how the business works and keep on improving as an online marketer.
When you’re a fulltime online marketer, you no longer have a boss who orders you to do this and that. This is a tricky benefit because it can make you believe that you are no longer obliged to do this and that. However, that’s total bullshit of course because you now have a business so you need to pull in cash by yourself. The big difference is that you can succeed if you really want it. Ask yourself this question before you get started: would you hire yourself?
3. Unlimited Income
Whenever you are working for yourself, you can earn unlimited income. Whether it’s in the home based business industry or in a bricks-and-mortar business, if you are your own boss, you basically decide how much you want to work and as a result how much you will approximately earn.
When working online, however, the benefits of internet marketing can boost your income big time. Internet niches such as online advertising are crisis-free and there’s almost no saturation in the marketplace. The internet also gives you the power to make sales 24/7 even while you’re not working.
Read more: http://jensholvoet.com/3-benefits-of-internet-marketing/
Internet Marketing doesn’t always make you think of authenticity. In fact, it might be reminiscent of just the opposite. After all, I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of people pushing spammy products online, right?
But let me ask you something:
When you think about it, does it really make sense to sacrifice a long term customer relationship for a once-off sale? Because just as the internet allows you to scale scammy sounding email marketing offers, it also allows you to build thousands of authentic relationships on autopilot.
Let that sink in. Because…
Instead of being a modern-day snake oil salesperson, now you can start building profitable and authentic relationships with your online marketing. And do you know what that means?
It means more money per transaction, customers who refer you, and prospects who don’t care about price. Put another way: If you could cultivate an army of loyal followers eager to pay you whatever you ask… why wouldn’t you? (I certainly can’t think of a reason).
And that’s why here at SEOcial, we’re such active advocates of authentic online marketing. So if you’re still not convinced being authentic matters for you…
THREE REASONS AUTHENTIC ONLINE MARKETING MATTERS FOR YOUR BUSINESS:
(1) Authentic Marketing is a Rallying Cry for Your Customers:
First of all, let’s get clear: Authentic marketing is based on really wanting to help your customers. That means authentic marketers genuinely care about their customers, prospects and leads. You want to share your authentic passion.
Authentic marketing is about sharing your corporate vision and communicating your mission statement. Your authentic marketing message should be centered around why you went into business in the first place. It’s about starting with why (link).
And here’s the thing:
When you communicate in an authentic manner and lead with a giving hand, you build goodwill among your audience. You create camaraderie and trust. This kind of relationship allows you to position yourself as a premium solution (with profit margins to match).
(2) Authentic Marketing Means Better Educated Customers:
I don’t mean to sound crass, but dumb customers are bad customers. If your customers aren’t educated about the value you provide them then they are always going to feel ripped-off and cut short.
On the other hand, authentic marketing helps your customers understand you unique advantage. And when they appreciate this distinction price becomes a secondary factor. You become a hero in the mind of your customer because they trust you when you answer their questions and cure their pain.
Not only does this lead to evangelical fans. But it also continues to build goodwill and help catalyze change in your industry. When you educate your customers with an authentic marketing message you help them make more informed and intelligent buying decisions. Plus, they’re likely to tell their friends.
(3) Authentic Marketing Leads to a Sustainable Competitive Advantage:
If you are an authentic marketer, then you’re building an authentic connection with your customers. Do you know what that really means for you bottom line?
It means your customers don’t just see you as another vendor in a crowded marketplace. Instead, you take the role of trusted advisor and expert authority on the subject at hand. And the implications of this are huge.
When you use an authentic marketing message to position yourself as an authority, you are no longer viewed as just another commodity. And that means you can start selling on value, and stop competing on price. For a lot of growing business, this is an incredible turning point.
And there’s nothing that catalyzes it like authentic marketing.
So if you’re facing struggling to make sales and thinking about improving your marketing messages, remember to be authentic. Spammy once-off approaches or confusing corporate doublespeak are the path to a low margin business. To truly be sustainable and successful in the world of online marketing your message needs to be authentic.
Read more: http://www.seocial.com/the-power-of-authentic-online-marketing/
A question how many of you buy a product which is good but has no brand value or there is not advertisement about that product. Do you trust any products or services? Well answer is people don’t buy any products which don’t have a known brand or buy product which has not been advertised due to many reasons such as it can be fake or not of good quality.
If situation is that you are making such innovative product and it is of good quality will people buy it without you doing any marketing?
Well people will not buy for same reason mentioned above. In same way if you are selling your product online and you are not marketing about your site or the product people will not buy. You need to connect with the customers about the products and services through advertisement and online marketing such that you will be able to make sales.
You will have to communicate with people why your product is good else you can always keep them in your store room. Many entrepreneurs are now relying on the internet marketing as marketing strategy as it attracts the customers and they are able to make smart profits.
Online business marketing is distinctive as it is able to extend the reach of the business to millions of people across world. Online marketing provides excellent avenue for sale of products and for services as well. It is rewarding as well as affordable form of marketing. Online marketing is effective even for the startup business as its cost is low.
Significance of the online marketing is because it is able to redefine the growth and development of the business and is able to surreal the expansion plans. You can realize your business objectives with effective and affordable online marketing. Online marketing gives you opportunities and increase value of sales. You can create your own brand and get edge over competition as well.