Libra Coin, Facebook's Answer to Bitcoin - Social Media & Crytpocurrency

Hello Libra!

This is a powerful integration, no doubt. This is a game changer which is backed by billion dollar companies like Paypal.

Just recently, Mark Zuckerberg announced that the future of the internet is privacy. Data encryption, security, regulation and trust are key words.

In the last 24 hours, Mark Zuckerberg formally announces Libra - a system that would allow Facebook users via Whatsapp & Messenger to send and receive money for close to zero costs, securely.


---

Today, Facebook is coming together with 27 organizations around the world to start the non-profit Libra Association and create a new currency called Libra. 

Libra's mission is to create a simple global financial infrastructure that empowers billions of people around the world. It's powered by blockchain technology and the plan is to launch it in 2020. You can read more about the association here: https://libra.org


Being able to use mobile money can have an important positive impact on people's lives because you don't have to always carry cash, which can be insecure, or pay extra fees for transfers. This is especially important for people who don't have access to traditional banks or financial services. Right now, there are around a billion people who don't have a bank account but do have a mobile phone. 

We aspire to make it easy for everyone to send and receive money just like you use our apps to instantly share messages and photos. To enable this, Facebook is also launching an independent subsidiary called Calibra that will build services that let you send, spend and save Libra -- starting with a digital wallet that will be available in WhatsApp and Messenger and as a standalone app next year. 



Calibra will be regulated like other payment service providers. Any information you share with Calibra will be kept separate from information you share on Facebook. From the beginning, Calibra will let you send Libra to almost anyone with a smartphone at low to no cost. Over time, we hope to offer more services for people and businesses -- like paying bills with the push of a button, buying coffee with the scan of a code, or riding local public transit without needing to carry cash or a metro pass.



In addition to our efforts, many other companies will build their own services using Libra -- from payment companies like Mastercard, PayPal, PayU, Stripe and Visa, to popular services like Booking, eBay, Farfetch, Lyft, Spotify and Uber, to non-profits doing important work around financial inclusion like Kiva, Mercy Corps and Women's World Banking, to companies in the crypto space like Anchorage, Coinbase, Xapo, and Bison Trails. A number of leading Venture firms are also joining to help drive innovation on the Libra network. We're hoping to have over 100 cofounding members of the Libra Association by the time the network launches next year.



All of this is built on blockchain technology. It's decentralized -- meaning it's run by many different organizations instead of just one, making the system fairer overall. It's available to anyone with an internet connection and has low fees and costs. And it's secured by cryptography which helps keep your money safe. 

This is an important part of our vision for a privacy-focused social platform -- where you can interact in all the ways you'd want privately, from messaging to secure payments. 



Privacy and safety will be built into every step. For example, Calibra will have a dedicated team of experts in risk management focused on preventing people from using Calibra for fraudulent purposes. We'll provide fraud protection so if you lose your Libra coins, we'll offer refunds. We also believe it's important for people to have choices so you'll have the options to use many other third-party wallets on the Libra network. 



There's still a lot more to learn and do before Libra will be ready to officially launch. We know it's a major undertaking and responsibility -- and we're committed to getting this right. We've been working with policymakers and experts in areas like financial inclusion, economics, security, privacy and blockchain, and we'll continue listening to their feedback as we figure out the best way to move forward. We're thankful for their partnership, and for all the businesses, organizations, and academic institutions that are part of the Libra Association. 

This is the beginning of an exciting journey and I'm looking forward to sharing more soon.


- Mark Zuckerburg, Facebook

Artificial Intelligence and Online Marketing for Small Businesses

The global artificial intelligence race is on! Facebook, Amazon, Google, Alibaba are amongst the billion-dollar companies in play.

Google is one of the leading FAANG companies that has devoted huge amount of investments in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Almost everyday, new developments on Artificial Intelligence are announced on news and social media. Now with Tensorflow, Google's opensource AI framework is more accessible to more people who are willing to learn and experiment.



It's a good time to correct the myths surrounding Artificial Intelligence to give small business owners an edge and enable them to be more sustainable in the long term.

The 3 myths:

1) The insurmountable learning curve for small business owners.

Artificial intelligence is developed give people an easier life. The general attitude to machine learning technologies and artificial intelligence is to view this technological advancement as an opportunity to improve business processes not just in marketing but also in operations, customer service and accounting.

2) Marketing costs will rise especially in the digital arena.

Understandable. There is a fear that experts will charge a lot of money for their knowledge. To view marketing as an expense is debatable. Marketing is an investment, it's putting money into a system that is supposed to yield more gains for a business. The focus should be on the value of the ROI (return of investment).  It's important for the business owner to be able to quantify and track his marketing efforts to make the best judgment on which channel to use. Consider the Chat bots - an artificial intelligence application that allows businesses to have a higher level of engagement with customers without having to hire staff. Chat bots can be deployed on any web page or Facebook page and respond to customers questions via chat messaging in real time. Chat bots can handle multiple conversations at the same time. Chat bots are also self-learning.

3) Online Marketing will be so much more complicated.

Step back a little. Digital marketing is just traditional marketing using digital technology to distribute content on a faster and global scale. The core concepts of beautiful storytelling, educational information that appeals to the target audience, proper representation of company values, etc - these concepts still remain. Artificial intelligence in marketing allows businesses to dig deeper, immensely faster into data that will allow business owners to make better decisions about how to improve their marketing methods.

2017 Moving Forward with Digital Marketing

Online Marketing is a wonderful ballet dance:

1. Balance of creativity and data analysis
2. Grace and consistency in terms of customer service
3. Disciplined execution of strategies
4. Continuous training
5. Understanding of audience preferences and behaviour
6. Beautiful production and presentation (includes design)
7. Reliable backstage management and administration

The modern workplace is virtual. The modern manager / business owner works anywhere with anyone with incredible attitude and appropriate skill.  2017 presents amazing opportunities to succeed in an online business.


What's in store?

Search (Google) is a fragmented channel eg: organic search | local search | paid and mobile | voice search etc. This in-channel fragmentation is on top of general online channel fragmentation (social media | video advertising | email marketing etc). Each channel requires different sets of tools/softwares/strategies to excel.
Trends in "Online & Mobile Search":
1. Organic Search
a. Voice search
b. Mobile search; and increasing use of mobile and multi-tasking in multiple devices
2. In-channel search (Facebook has a slightly similar keyword search feature as well as sites like Pinterest and Tripadvisor)
Social Media will still kick in some sales. However there needs to be a disciplined approach to make the efforts work.  The key is to determine the channels that appeal to your market. 

Video Marketing is a good channel to investigate for small business. Video production is expensive but there are many ways to create low-cost and educational / inspirational videos these days using new apps and easy-to-use devices.

Google Adwords is an effective channel. A lot of business owners think it is very expensive to implement however a good understanding of customer acquisition costs will help in determining whether this strategy is best for your business.  This is certainly a quick way to spread awareness about your business.

Consider this post about Online Marketing Checklist and this post about Jumping into the Social Media Bandwagon.

We wish you the best year yet!

The Future is Mobile

E-commerce, mobile, responsiveness, work anywhere = keywords that are quickly shaping the landscape of business. The future is here. Already, 30% of online sales come from mobile devices. People are using their phones to do work, anytime, anywhere.  This is the modern way to work.
Contact us 027 460 2555

Jumping Into the Social Media Bandwagon

My observations of small business owners in New Zealand and Australia over these years are:

1. Many SMEs are concerned about going online or participating in social media because they are not familiar with the common apps used on mobile these days.
2. Some business owners make a swift decision to go online and rely on bits and pieces of comments from people they know who operate in the field.
3. Some business owners believe that completely outsourcing social media to an agency will bring sustainable revenue.

The first is motivated by fear, which can be solved by knowledge. The second is a case of *knowing a bit of everything can be a dangerous thing*. The third is basically outsourcing responsibility. For 2 and 3, the solution is taking responsibility to learn more of the online market and aligning the implications to the business.

Social media is a communications channel where businesses can extend their marketing efforts through to the online world. Social media is not *the strategy*, it's a channel to implement a strategy - carefully examined and deliberated. An entire review of the business process, sales cycle, customer behaviour online and onsite (to name a few) needs to be done and documented to have great clarity of the processes that need to be implemented before and during an online launch. Knowledge of the online industry is important.  I encourage business owners to invest in learning about e-commerce:

1. To be able to ask the right questions when talking to agencies.
2. To be able to critically assess the suggested platforms, web apps, website features, technologies, etc.
3. To be able to understand the work that needs to be done and the time it would take to do it.
4. To be able to engage effectively with their contractor/employee/agency partner when things go wrong because there could be things that may go wrong along the process.
5. To be able to embrace the process of trial and error, experimentation and constant improvement in the online marketing efforts.

Social media or having a website is not a guaranteed success story. Online marketing is a high-execution, highly coordinated activity that relies on many factors. A few key factors are:

1. Knowledgeable staff/contractors/agencies
2. *Involved* business owner
3. Sharing of knowledge and information all throughout the process

The most successful businesses I worked with all involved highly engaged business owners - taking the lead in strategy formulation and initiating discussions and sharing knowledge and information with their partner agencies.

Going online is a potential opportunity to expand. However, careful analysis needs to be done before one jumps into the social media and online marketing bandwagon.

By LVD, Marketing Director, Web Marketing NZ/AU
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...