Artificial Intelligence Technology: The Path Forward

first_imgThe artificial intelligence (AI) taxonomy spans capabilities that enable systems to sense, reason, act and adapt. These capabilities stem from technologies for machine learning, including deep learning and classic machine learning, as well as the technologies for reasoning systems. In this post, I will focus on the hardware technologies for machine learning (ML). This is the area of AI that enables algorithms to learn from their experiences and improve their performance over time.AI TaxonomyThe machine learning algorithms that are at the heart of many AI solutions bring a unique set of technical challenges. For starters, these algorithms have high arithmetic density. Training a model with a billion parameters (moderately complex network) can take days unless properly optimized and scaled. Further, this process often needs to be repeated to experiment with different topologies to reach the desired level of inferencing accuracy. This process requires a huge amount of computational power.And then there is the data to think about. When you train a model, performance scales with the amount of data you feed into the model. For example, the performance of a speech recognition algorithm might improve greatly—to near human-level performance—if it is fed enough data (up to a point). Of course, this too requires significant amount of memory and computing capacity.Until recently, these challenges were a major blockade in the road to neural networks. While the mathematical concepts behind neural networks have been around for decades, until now we have lacked the combination of technologies required to accelerate the adoption of deep learning. That combination has two key components: enough compute to build sufficiently expressive networks, and enough data to train generalizable networks.Today, thanks to Moore’s LawOpens in a new window, the rapid digitization of content around us, and the accelerating pace of algorithmic innovation, we have overcome both of these challenges. We now have the compute and data we need for neural networks. A variety of processing platforms exist for executing deep learning workloads at the speeds required for AI solutions, even as the datasets consumed by the models grow larger and larger.Solutions for Every Business NeedWith recent acquisitions, Intel now offers four platforms for AI solutions. People sometimes ask me why we would need four platforms for AI. The answer is that different AI use cases have different platform requirements:Intel® Xeon® processorsWith machine learning and deep learning solutions, most of the processing time involves data management, such as bringing data into the system and cleaning it up. The compute time is a smaller part of the problem. This mix of needs—heavy on management, less so on compute—is best done on the Intel Xeon processor platform, the world’s most widely deployed machine learning platformOpens in a new window. Intel Xeon processors are optimized for a wide variety of data center workloads, enabling flexible data center infrastructure.Intel® Xeon Phi™ processorsAs you move forward into more demanding machine learning algorithms where models are built and trained and then retrained over and over, you need a different platform balance that enables a shorter time to train. Intel Xeon Phi processorsOpens in a new window are a great platform choice for these higher-performance general-purpose machine learning solutions. They are optimized for HPC and scale-out, highly parallel, memory-intensive applications. With the integrated Intel® Omni-Path FabricOpens in a new window, these processors offer direct access to up to 400 GB of memory with no PCIe performance lag. They enable near linear scaling efficiency, resulting in lower time to train.Future generation processorsWhen you advance into the deep learning subset of machine learning, your workloads will have different requirements. For the fastest performance, you need a platform that is optimized for training deep learning algorithms that involve massive amounts of data. Our upcoming Intel® NervanaTM platform (codename Lake Crest)Opens in a new window has been developed specifically for this use case. This platform will deliver the first instance of the Nervana Engine coupled with the Intel Xeon processor. With its unprecedented compute density and high-bandwidth interconnect, this new platform will offer best-in-class neural network performance. We’re talking about an order of magnitude more of raw computing power compared to today’s state-of-the-art GPUs.Intel® Xeon® processors + FPGAOnce you have trained your models, you need a platform that can very efficiently inference using these trained neural networks. For example, you might have an application that classifies images based on its ability to recognize things in the images—such as different types of animals. The combination of Intel Xeon processors + FPGA (field-programmable gate array)Opens in a new window accelerators is uniquely suited for these sorts of inference workloads. It’s a customizable and programmable platform that offers low latency and flexible precision with high performance-per-watt for machine learning inference.Just the Beginning of AIHere’s the bottom line– If the competitiveness of your organization depends on your ability to leverage a wide range of AI solutions, you need more than a one-size-fits-all processing platform. You need all four of these Intel platforms for an end-to-end solution.Let’s close with a look to the future. While we have clearly made huge strides in advancing AI, we still have a long way to go. We need to ramp up the performance of machine learning algorithms to unprecedented levels. At Intel, we are firmly committed to this goal. Over the next three years, Intel aims to reduce the time required to train deep models by 100x in comparison to today’s GPU solutions. This goal was spelled out in a recent news releaseOpens in a new window in which Intel unveiled its AI strategy.In the meantime, while Intel pushes onward and upward, you can explore our Artificial Intelligence siteOpens in a new window for more information on the technologies outlined here.last_img read more

Valentine’s Day Gifts: 6 Practically Free Ways to Celebrate

first_img Post navigation Money certainly doesn’t buy love (like, true love), but Valentine’s Day marketers always do their best to convince us that chocolates, fancy dinners and jewelry are sure-fire ways to your beloved’s heart.Last Valentine’s Day, the National Retail Federation estimated Americans spent close to $12 billion on their significant others and spouses – the most most in nearly a decade. Broken down, each person spent about $90 on gifts.But if you’re tired of the same old gift selection and want to avoid 100% markups on roses this time of year, consider these free or very inexpensive ways to celebrate with your loved one. Below are 6 crowd-sourced ideas from all over the country on how to spend little to nothing on a special Valentine’s surprise for your significant other.***A Priceless Surprise“Last year, for my boyfriend’s birthday, I drove down to see him. (It was a long distance relationship where he lived 4 hours away.) He had always made the drive, but that was my first time. We went to the beach. We spent time – not money – and had a wonderful time.”– Chant’l from Washington D.C.Inexpensive, But Sentimental“Once, I found a $3 necklace and earring set that was made of oyster shells. The significance is that the Tahitian officiator at our wedding gave me a beautiful oyster shell and told my wife that she is the pearl that I’m to take care of. Thanks for the great gift, Walmart!”– Brigham from Seattle, WAA Shower of Valentines“Several years ago I made my husband (then boyfriend) a pouch from his old pants and embroidered it with sayings that were sentimental. I also made two sachets with material I had on hand filled with herbs from the pantry. He once wrote out a bunch of small index cards with nice compliments about me he then dumped them on my head. He showered me in valentines!”– Laura from Yonkers, NYHomemade Services“I gave my girlfriend (now wife) a homemade ‘coupon book.’ The coupons were nice things we could do for free that she could cash in any time she wanted – like a back rub, watching a movie at home with popcorn, have me do all the chores one day, things like that. Part of the gift was that there were no restrictions on when she could use them, so they came in handy for her when she was having a bad day, etc.”– Andrew from Fort Mill, SCLove Letters“For our Valentine’s Day, I wrote the answers to the 36 Questions That Lead to Love inside a small notebook and gave it to him. We obviously were not strangers, and already in love… but a little extra assurance never hurts! He returned the favor for my birthday that same year.”– Katie from Denver, COMaking Art“I drew a series of cartoons depicting moments from our life together. They are hanging on our wall now… and our kids like to ask questions about them.”– Nina from Nanuet, NYHave a question for Farnoosh? You can submit your questions via Twitter @Farnoosh, Facebook or email at farnoosh@farnoosh.tv (please note “Mint Blog” in the subject line).Farnoosh Torabi is America’s leading personal finance authority hooked on helping Americans live their richest, happiest lives. From her early days reporting for Money Magazine to now hosting a primetime series on CNBC and writing monthly for O, The Oprah Magazine, she’s become our favorite go-to money expert and friend. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Relatedlast_img read more

Forests Are in the Paris Agreement! Now What?

first_imgInternational climate action isn’t just about fossil fuels anymore—forest conservation and restoration are strategies that are here to stay. The new Paris Agreement adopted at COP21 sent a strong, unprecedented message that REDD+ is a critical and prominent piece of the new global climate goal to achieve net-zero emissions in the second half of this century. The REDD+ program aims to cut emissions by providing financial incentives—backed by international funds—to reduce deforestation and forest degradation, promote forest conservation and sustainable management, and enhance forest carbon stocks in developing countries.The inclusion of REDD+ was no small feat. The Kyoto Protocol, adopted in 1997, excluded forest conservation in developing countries, where most emissions from deforestation are produced, over concerns of efficacy. Though REDD+ was brought back to the negotiating table in 2005, it took the international community another 10 years of painstaking work to address the details that previously prevented its adoption. Now REDD+ is permanently enshrined in Article 5 of the Agreement, finally providing the necessary political signal to mobilize much-needed action around forests.What does this victory mean, and what comes next? Four issues are worth noting:1) Governments Rally Financial Investment; Private Sector May FollowOne of the biggest impacts of the endorsement is that governments are putting their money where their mouths are. Leading up to Paris, REDD+ programs had already attracted an estimated $10 billion in international investment, largely from government sources. At the start of COP21, the governments of Norway, Germany and the UK collectively committed another $5 billion for REDD+ over the next five years. Such investments provide a solid monetary base to jump-start the ambitious forest-related climate goals countries put forth in their national climate action plans (INDCs) leading up to Paris. Many are also hopeful that the permanence of the Paris Agreement language will attract new, long-term investments from other developed countries, as well as private sector actors through zero-deforestation policies and carbon markets.2) Existing Framework Will Guide Development of REDD+ InitiativesOf course money isn’t the only consideration. Far from being a philanthropic cause, REDD+ is a pay-for-performance mechanism that requires countries to prove their forest conservation programs have reduced emissions before they can receive funds. Some countries have already started developing their REDD+ measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) systems thanks to the Warsaw Framework for REDD+, finalized in the 2013 negotiations. The Framework’s guidelines on monitoring are especially important for ensuring that country efforts are transparent and consistent over time. According to the Framework, remote sensing and ground-based observations are needed to:Monitor area of deforestation through time;Measure changes in forest carbon stocks and the amount of carbon emissions resulting from clearing; andMeasure progress against a historical baseline or “reference level” that may or may not be adjusted for “national circumstances.”As countries build their monitoring capacities, these criteria will help them do it right.3) New Data Will Improve Measurement, Reporting and VerificationEven with clear guidelines, a major hurdle to implementing REDD+ programs has been lack of data—namely for measuring changes in forest area and carbon stocks and understanding the relationship between forest change and emissions to establish an accurate historical baseline. Fortunately, these data have recently become more readily available as national governments build their own forest monitoring systems and the international scientific community continues to release data into the public domain. Notable data include the GLAD annual tree cover loss and the Woods Hole Research Center’s forest biomass map. The newly launched Global Forest Watch Climate brings into one easy-to-use platform these and all other best available information related to forest carbon.4) REDD+ Will Likely Be Scaled Up Over TimeOne of the key provisions of the Paris Agreement is that signatory countries must meet every five years to bolster their climate actions. With the inclusion of REDD+, countries are encouraged to measure forest conservation and management as a key component of their progress. The increasing availability of data and technology will strengthen new climate commitments by enabling countries to measure progress made between meetings and identify strategic, science-based forest conservation targets for further investment. Tools like GFW Climate can help by rounding up all the best available information in one place.A Brighter Future for ForestsThe inclusion of forests in the final Paris Agreement may seem like a no-brainer. After all, deforestation accounts for about 10 percent of annual carbon emissions worldwide, nearly equivalent to the emissions from all cars and trucks on the planet combined. Meanwhile, protecting forests could eliminate these emissions entirely and reduce global emissions by at least another 2 percent through enhanced carbon sequestration. Yet, it’s taken nearly two decades of negotiations and refinement to establish forest conservation as a critical component of the global efforts to fight climate change.Now that the new Agreement explicitly endorses REDD+, the future is brighter for forests and their contribution to climate mitigation. New funding is coming in, the guidelines are clear, and governments and the scientific community are slowly closing the data gaps that have presented hurdles in the past. Countries finally have the resources they need to ramp up action on forests, which will be critical to achieve the goal set in the Paris Agreement of getting to net-zero emissions in the second half of this century.last_img read more

The Next Big Thing for Marketers: Social Magazines

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack We now live in a world in which every tablet owner has become the editor of their own personal digital magazine. , meaning they sold almost as many iPads as Mac computers. The success of the iPad has also led to an accelerated amount of competition. HP is planning to release Our challenge as marketers is to create interesting content for our perspective customers and provide simple methods for them to include it in their own social magazines. – Many large companies still publish magazines and distribute them to their B2B customers as a method of nurturing and educating potential buyers. Social magazines allow potential buyers to create their own magazine that is most relevant to them. This relevancy means that potential customers are more likely to read the magazines they create instead of the magazines that marketers print and mail to them. Marketers will need to shift focus and make it easy for content to be included in social magazines by providing RSS feeds and aggregating content through social media. multiple tablet computing devices that will run Windows 7 that runs Google’s Android operating system. Social Media The iPad’s success has likely solidified the tablet as a consumer device category. This new device category that fits between a smart phone and a personal computer presents both challenges and opportunities for marketers. Originally published Jul 21, 2010 11:30:00 AM, updated October 01 2013 Today, 1. Noise Reduction 3 Reason Social Magazines Are Important to Marketers Flipboard Pulse As marketers, we need to examine what we are currently doing and determine what we can stop doing to make time and resources available for marketing on tablets and mobile devices. . 2. A Return to Visualscenter_img as their operating system, while Topics: , a social magazine that allows people to curate important news from 20 different sources has already become one of the most popular paid iPad apps. The Next Big Thing for Marketers: Social Magazines Robert Scoble The iPad has become the poster child for a new emerging device category: tablet computers. Much debate about this new device and category exists, but the numbers don’t lie. In the third quarter, Apple Inbound Marketing , a new social magazine application for the iPad, launched and has created sweeping buzz and conversation on the web. In less than a day, it has become the second-most popular free iPad application.  Flipboard turns an iPad into a social magazine. It creates different magazine sections from online news sources, Twitter, Facebook and curated content from online thought leaders like Flipboard organizes tweets, links, blog posts and news articles into a digital magazine that readers can flip through with a flick of the wrist. Flipboard isn’t the first social magazine to be available for the iPad. 3. Social Segmentation Dell has released a tablet called the Streak sold more than 3 Million iPads – Successful traditional print and offline marketing has been dominated by great visuals and tight copy. Today Twitter streams, RSS readers and online news sources are dominated by catchy headlines and bullet points. Social magazine prioritize the value of powerful images in online storytelling. Blog posts with powerful images that help illustrate the message of the post will translate well to this new method of media consumption. Pictures now have a greater impact on who reads your content. Tablets provide a new way for people to consume and interact with media.  If it is easier for users to consume text, audio and video while on the go, marketers have new opportunities to reach and interact with prospective customers. The problem is that most marketers already have a full plate of tasks, and adding another screen to the mix will be a daunting task. Tablets Are Here to Stay – Many marketers today are working to get social opt-ins on Twitter and Facebook in hopes of getting their content included in the information stream of prospective customers. The problem is that, for many people, their social streams are filled with too much content, and much of it gets lost in the crowd. Because social magazines help to filter and better display social streams, it is likely less content will be lost to noise and companies will have better opportunities to connect.last_img read more

5 Steps for Creating Successful Lead Nurturing Campaigns

first_img Topics: When it comes to effective marketing automation, one of the best steps you can take is making sure your emails are properly set up for lead nurturing success.Here are 5 steps you can take to ensure you generate more customers through a lead nurturing campaign.1. Define Your Audience and SegmentCompanies usually have more than one type of customer. Why do most companies only market to one type of buyer then? In order to set up a lead nurturing email campaign, you first need to know who needs nurturing. Once you’ve defined your ideal customer types, you should then segment them before you start creating campaigns.2. Offer Something of Value First, Not a Sales PitchJust because someone converts on your page doesn’t mean you should jump straight into sending them an email about requesting a quote or a demo. You need to nurture them through the sales funnel first to make them readier to buy. Instead of pitching your product as the greatest thing ever, you should first offer value. Examples of valuable offers include webinars, ebooks, and whitepapers. You don’t have to create new content for your lead nurturing emails — if you have a backlog of content, utilize those assets. If they’ve been successful converting leads in the past, there’s a high chance the leads you’re nurturing will find value in them, too.3. Set Objectives and Goals for Each EmailSo now you know you should be sending content first, not sales quotes. But how do you know what type of content to send? And what should that content’s purpose be? Ultimately, you should be picking offers that will appeal to your chosen audience segment with the intention of moving them further down the sales funnel and closer to the customer stage.A good example of how to do this is in the chart above from one of HubSpot’s customers. Not only do they provide information about their offers and goals for each email, they also include the subject line and CTA they’ll use to entice the reader to accept the offer. This type of chart is a great way to help you organize your campaigns and make sure you’re implementing goals to reach that final step — the sale.4. Set Up a Timeline for Your EmailsYour business has a typical sales cycle, and so should your lead nurturing campaigns. Typically, it’s a good idea to send 2 to 3 emails to your prospects in a lead nurturing campaign. Try to space out your emails accordingly. For example, if your typical cycle runs 30 days, you may want to set up a campaign for emails to be sent out the 1st, 10th, and 20th days after a conversion. With lead nurturing, patience is a virtue. It’s important to remember not to rush into the sale. Instead, let it take its natural course.5. Evaluate Your Success, and OptimizeAs your campaigns run, make sure to experiment with the offers you send, the subject lines, and the calls-to-actions found within the email. There’s always room to improve your campaign. Make sure you take advantage of testing and experimentation to better nurture your leads.Lead nurturing can be ineffective if done incorrectly, but if you put the time into your campaigns and follow these steps, you’ll be more likely to drive more lead-to-customer conversions for your business!How are you using lead nurturing campaigns as part of your inbound marketing strategy? Lead Nurturing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Oct 11, 2011 11:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017last_img read more

What to Do When Facebook Goes Down

first_img Facebook Marketing Topics: Yesterday morning, as many Facebook users worldwide discovered, the site — both its desktop and mobile versions — went down for a while. (Admit it, you were one of those who panicked when this occurred.)Despite the temporary glitch, the social media powerhouse was back up and running not too long after the issue first arose — and thus, a billion people across the globe (including a considerable number of inbound marketers) exhaled a simultaneous sigh of relief.No marketer out there would say they were happy the downtime happened. However, every marketing pro and agency can use the situation to serve as a reminder that when things like this happen, the world doesn’t end — nor are their campaigns ruined.Allow me to elaborate.Options Abound When Facebook Goes DownThink about it: Would Facebook (or Twitter or Pinterest, for that matter) going down for a short period — or even a full day — have that great of a negative impact on your marketing efforts? Would you really see a drastic, marked decrease in leads generated, site visitors, or even sales?Let me state this before I go any further: Yes, Facebook is undoubtedly a huuuge part of marketers’ strategies. When the site goes down, it feels as if your own site goes down. You worry about all of the issues that can come up when Facebook’s not operating as normal, and understandably so.But there’s one big difference between your Facebook page not working and your own website not working — you own and control your website. If your site goes down, you have the power to get it back working properly. And you have the capacity to adjust anything and everything on your site that you want, whenever you want, so you can leverage its capabilities to power your marketing.This, without a doubt, should make you feel pretty reassured of your marketing plans if you’re using your website now to its fullest abilities — like, say, starting a business blog, building landing pages that house amazing offers, and optimizing your site for SEO and lead generation.In other words, I’m here to tell you that there are a number of ways your marketing campaigns can endure social media outages that may feel like a huge punch in the marketing gut. Because while Facebook experiencing tech issues for an extended period may considerably alter your campaign’s progress, when you look at the bigger picture of your efforts — blogging, email, ebooks, whitepapers, infographics, and SlideShares — Facebook stalling for a short while doesn’t have to be the end of the world.How to Refocus Your Marketing EffortsUsing these aforementioned content types, there are several ways you can alter your campaigns accordingly to make up for the lack of traffic and leads generated while dilemmas like this come up. Take your blog, for instance.If you’re blogging the right way, you’ve developed a hefty amount of evergreen content and informational posts that will continuing to drive traffic and leads for you from search engines. And if you need a boost immediately, guess what — you can blog right now!Additionally, if you have, say, a brand new infographic you were planning to roll out on the site, you could publish it on another social outlet (they can’t all crash simultaneously … I hope and think). Create a blog post centered around the graphic, use it as an opportunity to promote on some other social networks, and even email it to some of your contacts who you think would find it useful. (Just remember not all of your subscribers are the same, so segment your emails and send content only to those you think would find it useful).It’s Possible to Capitalize on Social Media OutagesWhile it will likely take some hard work by you and your team to adjust your inbound campaign on the fly when things like this happen, just remember a negative can sometimes be turned into a positive.Just take a look at some brands took advantage of the outage — a worldwide issue, and one that many, many people were searching online around the time it happened.As Mashable points out, some companies, such as Gillette, were very quick to take to other social outlets to not only express their own frustrations with the issue, but also to promote themselves in a unique way.#Facebookdown Grab your Venus razor and Embrace your extra “me” time. pic.twitter.com/pUYjLVobBb— Gillette Venus (@GilletteVenus) October 21, 2013While it’s anyone’s guess if this tweet provided a boost to Gillette in some form, keep in mind that playing off these types of situations offers the potential to bolster brand awareness for all kinds of companies and organizations.The bottom line is this: Just know the next time something like Facebook going down occurs again — and this kinda thing will happen from time to time — you’ve got other facets of your marketing efforts that can help you ride out the storm.Do you prepare a “plan B” for your marketing efforts in case crashes like Facebook’s happen? Tell us all about it below!Image credit: Ivan McClellan Originally published Oct 22, 2013 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

An 8-Step Plan for Migrating to a New Marketing Automation Program

first_img Marketing Automation Topics: How They Did ItOne challenge Freeman faced was that the people who had installed and configured the previous marketing automation system at ShoreTel were no longer at the company. And the software had been in place since around 2007. “I had to go in and figure out how the whole thing was set up by someone else, with very little documentation on the current setup,” he says.In any migration, there will be some translation required. How much depends on which applications are involved. Some have more in common than others.Freeman offered to walk me through the steps he followed in his migration. The main thing, he says, is to put in the time up front to make a realistic schedule and anticipate the steps that are going to be the most challenging. “Planning is the most important piece,” he says.Here are eight steps he recommends:1) Take inventory.Map out the workflows, lists, contact fields, and content such as landing pages, emails, blog posts and images that you have in your existing marketing automation program. “Just define what you have and what you need to bring over,” he says.2) Do a clean-up.As long as you’re in the middle of change, it’s a good opportunity to get rid of old offers and other assets you don’t need anymore. It’s also a good time to comb through your contacts database and get rid of some email addresses, for example ones that have bounced or ones that have not opened one of your emails in a long time. (For advice on how to scrub your list, see this story.) “Bottom line is, this is an opportunity for spring cleaning,” Freeman says.3) Figure out which assets need to be changed.Identify any adjustments that you need to make in workflows that are being carried over.4) Export your data.“Because it’s a moving target, I set up an auto download or auto data export that ran daily,” Freeman says.5) Put the pieces back together.Start with landing pages and emails. “We took landing pages we had from Eloqua and applied styling and template changes,” Freeman says. “We recreated them in HubSpot, but with a new look and feel.”6) Perform a sync.Sync your contacts with Salesforce.com, and start recreating workflows, lists, and forms.7) Test.“We tested a lot before going live, but we also spent three days after going live with HubSpot looking out for problems, and fixing problems and oversights,” Freeman says. “That’s inevitable. There are going to be little hiccups. But we worked them out and everything was golden after that.”According to folks at HubSpot, you might want to run the old and new systems in tandem for some period of time.8) Shut off the old system.Hey, you don’t need it anymore. You’re done. Congratulations.ShoreTel finished the migration a few months ago, and has had no problems since. “I always find things to tune or improve,” Freeman says, “but things have really gone smoothly.”The PayoffThe biggest benefit for ShoreTel is the new system is easier to use than the previous system. “I have seven people who are actively using this now,” he says. “Every time I do some training, people go, ‘Wow, that’s so easy!’”His one biggest piece of advice to others who are planning a migration is to hire a consultant to help guide you through the process. “You shouldn’t try to do this on your own,” he says. Nobody looks forward to software migration projects. But with the right planning, and realistic expectations, you can get to the promised land without too much damage to your psyche.If you want some advice on how to evaluate marketing automation software, check out this free Marketing Automation Starter Kit. And once you’ve decided to make a leap, you can use this free guide to help you learn how to create marketing automation RFP. Originally published Apr 21, 2014 5:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017center_img This post originally appeared on the Opinion section of Inbound Hub. To read more content like this, subscribe to Opinion.Michael Freeman wasn’t psyched about having to migrate from one marketing automation system to another. But it had to be done. Last year Freeman’s employer, a telecom company called ShoreTel, moved from Eloqua to HubSpot, and it fell to Freeman, the head of demand generation at ShoreTel, to oversee the project.Freeman says he wouldn’t want to go through it again — “I’ve been here for two years, and this was the first time I was ever unhappy,” he says. “Since finishing the migration I’m much, much happier, and if I can help someone else who is in that situation, then I’m happy to help.”Migrations are becoming more common in the marketing automation space. A few years ago that wasn’t the case. The field was so new that when most companies installed marketing automation programs they were starting with a clean slate.But as the marketing automation field matures, an increasing number of companies find themselves wanting or needing to migrate. That might be because they’re dissatisfied with a vendor. Or maybe a company is being acquired and must migrate to the marketing automation program that its new owner uses.Freeman says ShoreTel moved mostly because it wanted greater ease of use, but also wanted to rethink its approach to marketing. He explains his reasons for moving to HubSpot in this video: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

The Top Business Podcasts You Need to Be Listening To

first_img Topics: Podcast Suggestions Love learning about business and how some of today’s most successful entrepreneurs and companies are operating?Business podcasts serve as a great way to stay informed (and inspired).All you need is your smartphone and a pair of headphones to tune in to everything from one-on-one interviews with today’s top leaders to recaps of the day’s most pressing business news.So whether you’re a seasoned executive looking for something to listen to during your commute or just someone who’s always itching to learn something new, this list of the best business podcasts is for you. From Kai Ryssdals’ Marketplace to Tim Ferriss’ self-titled collection of wisdom, the following seven business podcasts will teach how to strategize, lead, and grow your business. (If you’re new to podcasts, here’s a quick primer on how to subscribe to a podcast on your phone so you can listen on the go.)7 Business Podcasts Every Marketer Should Tune In To1) HBR IdeacastHBR’s Ideacast is consistently one of the top business podcasts on iTunes (for good reason). From an interview with Evernote CEO Phil Libin on the new ways we work to a discussion about how CEOs are succeeding in Africa, the HBR team covers a range of executive-level topics on a weekly basis.The best part? It’s snackable.Each episode is usually under 20 minutes and accompanied by a longer piece of content on the HBR website. 2) APM: MarketplaceYou may have heard Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal on the radio over the years, but now you can get American Public Media’s Marketplace — one of the most popular business programs in America — on-demand right on your phone.Marketplace has always been a must-listen to get caught up on all of the important businesss news from the day, only now you don’t have to worry about being in your car at just the right time to tune in.3) EntreLeadership EntreLeadership is a concept created by Dave Ramsey that explores how businesses can use effective management to create ventures that grow and prosper.An author, speaker and radio host, Ramsey wrote a book all about the concept of EntreLeadership back in 2011. Today, there’s a podcast with the same name focused on sharing lessons, tips, and tricks from some of today’s top entrepreneurs like Mark Cuban, Seth Godin, and Simon Sinek.4) How to Start a StartupThis might be the closest thing to getting an actual MBA.In the fall of 2014, Y Combinator’s Sam Altman started a new class at Stanford all about how to starting a business. But instead of only making it available to students enrolled at Stanford, Altman decided to share every lecture with the world. His lectures have since been transformed into podcast episodes for your listening pleasure. Tune in to this educational postcast to learn lessons like how to manage, how to build products users love, and how to raise money from some leaders such as author Ben Horowitz, Facebook’s VP of Growth Alex Schultz, and LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman.5) The Tim Ferriss ShowTim Ferriss is what you call a tinkerer. He’s always trying to find new ways to optimize his work, life and health, and lucky for all of us, much of it gets documented on his podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show.  If you’re interested in business, the real value comes when Ferriss interviews his friends — people like investor Chris Sacca, WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg, and even Arnold Schwarzenegger. Ferriss has a unique ability to go in-depth and uncover nuggets about what makes these successful people so successful, including how they work, how they build their teams, and even things like what the eat.6) TEDTalks BusinessThis great example of the power of podcasts needs the shortest explanation. Why?It’s just that good. Instead of having to sit in front of your computer to watch a TEDTalk, you can take it with you and listen on the go. Just make sure you have your notepad ready because the insights you’ll uncover are brilliant. 7) The Growth ShowEach week, HubSpot sits down with one of today’s top executives to unpack how they’ve been able to grow and build a world-class business. The Growth Show guests have included Warby Parker CEO Neil Blumenthal, Slack CMO Bill Macaitis, Tough Mudder CEO Will Dean, and theSkimm Founders Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin.Ready to Listen?Check out this list of all of the business podcasts from this post on iTunes:</ifra Originally published Jun 19, 2015 6:00:00 AM, updated March 06 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

I Tried Five Morning Routines So You Don’t Have To. Here’s What Works.

first_imgBut I made a list of these links in my Notes app the night before, and at 6:01, I opened Techmeme and read the headlines. I then made my way through Business Insider, ESPN — which I barely skimmed, since I don’t understand sports at any time of day — Twitter, and Instagram.It felt like a ton of information to devour before getting out of bed.While reading these articles in their entirety wasn’t entirely feasible due to time restrictions, checking out “what’s going on” in one’s industry in the morning seems like a good idea. The article headlines inspired me to jot down some new ideas before I even reached the office.I don’t have a personal trainer, but I do have Shaun from the T25 “high-intensity” workout DVDs. I figured that was close enough. And I’ll admit: It felt really good to get the workout over with. I was energized and refreshed by 7 a.m. and didn’t have to worry about fitting in a workout after work.That said, it’s also really hard to do a high-intensity workout without any breakfast. So buyer beware: You might feel like passing out.After that, Gary calls a family member on his way to work. I called my brother and spoke to him for exactly 47 seconds, mostly about why I was calling him that early and thought it was okay to wake him up.3. Jack DorseyThe founder/CEO of both Twitter and Square wakes up at 5:30 a.m., followed by meditation and a six-mile run.After checking emails during my Elon Musk morning and devouring news outlets during my Gary Vee experience, I was enthusiastic to meditate during Jack Dorsey’s morning. Granted, I was less thrilled to run six miles — but we’ll get to that later.I’m a meditation rookie, so I downloaded a meditation app called Simple Habit. I didn’t think I could do real meditation if I tried to do it on my own — in fact, I’d probably just fall asleep.The Simple Habit app starts you off slowly. My first lesson was only seven minutes long, mainly focused on my breathing. Admittedly, at 5:30 a.m., staying awake was the biggest obstacle — which I actually managed to accomplish.Surprisingly, I enjoyed meditating that early. It was easier for me to focus first thing, before my thoughts had the chance to ramp up. Plus, the research behind meditation has indicated numerous benefits to the well-being of employees — things like creativity, focus, decision-making, stress-reduction, and more.Of course, then I had to get up off my meditation floor and run. Keep in mind that I’ve taken about five months off of running outdoors, because Boston winters are, in a word, brutal. Dorsey lives in San Francisco, so I believed it would be unrealistic to re-enact this part of his morning. Oh, shucks.But then, I did some research and found that Dorsey’s average morning weather in San Francisco is about 40 degrees — which, on this particular morning, was actually colder than Boston’s. So, I got out the running gear. It wasn’t easy, and about three miles in, I took a full-mile walking break upon the impression that my frozen lungs had collapsed.But I did it. It took me about an hour — so I’m not sure I can make it a standard part of my morning routine.Six miles seems like a lot, but I see the appeal. Meditation and running can encourage you to start your day in a healthy mindset. Meditation reminded me to stay present and focused throughout the day, and running got my endorphins and energy going. And, once again, I got my workout out of the way — which meant I could spend my evening relaxing.4. Sheryl SandbergThe author and Facebook COO wakes up early, in order to get to the office by 7 a.m. Before then, she manages to:Spend an hour responding to emailsWork out in home gymDrop her kids off at schoolOnce again, I ran into the same predicament I had with Musk’s morning. I have about four emails first thing in the morning, and Sandberg has an hour’s worth.So I took my time responding to those four emails, then scrolled Facebook for a bit, and — in a nod to my Gary-Vaynerchuk-day — read some headlines, and checked Instagram and Twitter.I missed my Dorsey-meditation-morning. That meant my “address critical emails” time was partially cut short — in my half-asleep state, I flung my cell phone behind my bed and needed to take some time to move the bed to retrieve it. How Musk runs two multi-billion dollar companies on six hours of sleep is beyond me.I soon realized I had another problem with the address critical email activity. As you might imagine, being a marketing blogger doesn’t require quite as many critical back-and-forth emails as being founder and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX. So, I refreshed my email and replied to the six emails in my inbox, which took about seven minutes — leaving me with 23 minutes to spare.I’ll admit that I didn’t love starting my morning with emails. I wasn’t fully awake, so I can only hope my responses resembled something coherent. Plus, by the time I got to work, I had to re-read the emails because I forgot what they said.But I understand why Musk does it. Emailing can put you in a task-oriented mindset: “Okay, here are the things I need to tackle first when I get to the office.”Showering is something I also do every morning — and likely the only thing Musk and I have in common. I didn’t have any kids to say goodbye to. And while I respect that he only drinks coffee in the mornings (with only six hours of sleep, I needed it, too), by the time I got to work at 8:45, I was starving. So, although Musk skips breakfast, I allowed myself a banana. After all that hard work responding to critical emails — not to mention, moving my bed frame — I figured I deserved it.2. Gary VaynerchukThis entrepreneur, author, and speaker wakes up at 6 a.m., and begins his morning with these tasks:Reads Techmeme headlines, Business Insider, and ESPN, among othersChecks out Twitter and InstagramWorks out with his personal trainer, “Muscle Mike,” for 45 minutes to an hourCalls a family memberHow Vaynerchuk — better known to some as “Gary Vee” — devours this much information and actually retains it at 6 a.m. is nothing short of miraculous. Topics: 1. Elon MuskThe famous figure behind Tesla and SpaceX gets six hours of sleep, typically waking up at 7:00 a.m. From there, his routine looks roughly like this:Addresses critical emails for 30 minutesDrinks coffee — but is too busy for breakfastSends kids off to schoolShowers and goes to workTo prepare for my Elon Musk morning, I stayed awake until midnight to ensure accuracy. He doesn’t get more than 6 hours of sleep, so neither could I. I’m not a morning person.My morning consists of waking up as late as possible and feeling personally victimized by my alarm clock. And no matter how many times I wake up to my alarm, my first thought is always, “Why are you doing this to me?!”It has caused a love-hate relationship between my phone and myself.Disgruntled, I then scroll through my Instagram feed. Did I say, “As late as possible”? I should mention I give myself ten minutes to get out of bed.Download our complete productivity guide here for more tips on improving your productivity at work.Here are (a few) things I do NOT do in the morning:Work outMake a to-do listMeditateVisit my personal trainerHang out in my home gymAddress critical emailsRead all the tech industry headlinesCall family membersSay goodbye to my kidsMaybe that’s why I am not a widely famous life coach, rich entrepreneur, CEO or founder of any major corporations, creator of any mega-popular social media channels, or author of any best-sellers.And that’s also why, for five days, I decided to try the morning routines of five highly successful people: Elon Musk, Gary Vaynerchuk, Sheryl Sandberg, Jack Dorsey, and Tony Robbins.At the end of it, did I actually become more productive? You’ll just have to read to find out. Morning Routines of Successful PeopleElon MuskGary VaynerchukJack DorseySheryl SandbergTony Robbins The breathing was nice, but without my meditation guru — a.k.a., my Simple Habit app — my mind kept wandering. What should I eat for breakfast? How many reps is this? What time is it?Next, Robbins spends three minutes thinking about what he’s grateful for — roughly three items per minute. Three minutes doesn’t sound like a long time, but when you only have three objects per minute, it kind of is.My first minute went something like this: Okay, I’m grateful for my family … and, my health … and, hmm, I am grateful for clean drinking water. I processed these thoughts for what seemed like an adequate amount of time, only to open my eyes and realize it had only been 20 seconds.It wasn’t the first time I’ve thought of things to be grateful for, but it was the first time I’ve tried visualizing the list. And even though some items are tricky to visualize, it did make the exercise more genuine. At first, for example, I imagined the word “family”. But when I realized I needed to spend more time on it, I started visualizing specific relatives, and what it is about each one that I’m truly grateful for.After finishing his gratitude exercise, Robbins moves onto an “experiencing connection” activity, in which he imagines a light flowing through his head, energizing him, and then imagines the light flowing back up through his head and outward to his loved ones and strangers.This step is supposed to last three whole minutes. My light entered and exited my body in about 20 seconds, so I had to close my eyes and do it again. And while I appreciated the gesture, I’m not sure if this particular exercise is going to become a enduring part of my morning routine.For the last three minutes, Robbins spends each minute on one goal and imagines how it will feel to accomplish that goal. For me, that one was easy.Visualizing success is similar to prioritizing your day, which I noticed seems to be a theme throughout the morning routines of many famous, successful figures. After visualizing three big goals, I was able to organize my day better, by choosing tasks that immediately supported that goal.In a way, it actually made my day less busy. I visualized high-level goals, then narrowed down my to-do list to ensure these goals were met first.Long-Term TakeawaysWhat I’ll Do NextAt the end of my five-day morning routine experiment, I considered going back to my ordinary routine. But there were some morning activities I actually enjoyed — and therefore, some that I’m going to adopt.First, I agree that working out, even a little bit, is a great way to start the day. But I also enjoy attending late-evening workout classes, so I’ve created a moderation schedule. On Monday and Friday mornings, I now do a T25 DVD or go for a run, inside on a treadmill, weather permitting. On the remaining weekdays, I plan lunchtime or after-work workouts, because let’s be real — I have more time to do Barre classes than Gary Vee does.I’ve fully adopted tiny increments of morning meditation. And although I haven’t gone full enlightenment, I found it’s easy to switch out my morning Spotify playlist for a seven-minute breathing exercise, which I can do on the train — so I have no excuses.I don’t like waking up and starting my day with emails or industry headlines, mostly because — as previously stated — I’m only half-conscious in the morning. I do think it’s a good idea to tackle these things early, but since I’m not Sheryl Sandberg, it can usually wait until I’m in the office.And finally, I’m not going to continue visualizing any lights going through my head and into my soul — sorry, Tony. But instead of a full ten minutes of Instagram in the morning, I’ve switched to seven minutes on Instagram and three minutes dedicated to gratitude.I’ve done that primarily for two reasons. Not only do I have more time to visualize things I’m grateful for in my own life, but it also leaves less time to feel envious of other people’s “Insta-perfect” lives.What Else I LearnedWhile they didn’t get their own full sections in this article, I came across two other interesting takeaways in the course of my research. First, I learned that Mark Zuckerberg once said he dresses the same way each day, as it gives him “one less decision to make.”Mark Zuckerberg has proven himself successful. No matter what he wears — or what else people might say about him — he can come into work and no one is going to think, “Wow, what a lazy slacker.”On the first day I planned on wearing my Mark-inspired uniform — a grey t-shirt and jeans — I looked into the mirror and realized I looked like someone who had either overslept, or didn’t really care about her appearance. And I’m not the founder of any companies. So I changed, because this early in my career, appearance is still an indicator of effort.But I like the premise behind Zuckerberg’s routine. Why am I wasting fifteen minutes deciding what to wear each morning? While I don’t want to wear the same thing every day, I can choose my outfits the night before. The second thing I discovered is there are both good and bad times to drink coffee in the morning.As it turns out, your body’s cortisol generally peaks between 8 and 9 a.m., which is when your body is naturally “caffeinating” itself. If you drink coffee during that window, you’re probably not getting the full effects of your cortisol — or your coffee. Plus, your body builds up a higher tolerance to coffee during this time, because it’s thinking, “We don’t need any more of this.”Now, I try not to drink coffee until 9:30 a.m., when my cortisol levels are dipping. So far, so good.Give It a TryAnd with that, it’s your turn. Try these morning routines for yourself, and see how successful you can become.If you need a “cheat sheet” to get started, here are seven commonalities of successful people’s morning routines:Wake up early.Decide and review what to do for the day, and set goals.Work out.Have a healthy breakfast, or at least a smoothie. Whatever you do, don’t start with coffee.Maintain a journal or visualize how you’re grateful.Meditate.Tackle the day — early on — with emails and/or industry headlines.center_img Don’t forget to share this post! Unfornately, I don’t own a home gym — but I do own a yoga mat, the aforementioned T25 DVDs, and my very own state-of-the-art staircase. My home-gym exercise consisted of me completing one of those DVD workouts, followed by 10 laps up and down my stairs, topped off with a dash of yoga. And when I think about it, Sandberg’s home workout might not be so different.Silicon Valley executives: They’re just like us.I don’t have any kids to drop off at school, but after the investment in creating my make-shift home gym, that might be a good thing  — I wouldn’t have had the time anyway.5. Tony RobbinsThis motivational speaker gets three-to-five hours of sleep, waking up between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. After that, he:Performs a breathing exerciseExpresses gratitudeExperiences connectionVisualizes successI left this morning routine for Friday because it sounded — well, the easiest, if you will. But admittedly, I didn’t follow the three-to-five hours of sleep part. If I had, I wouldn’t be writing this post right now, and would probably be sleeping in HubSpot’s nap room instead.Robbins curated his own personalized morning routine, which he calls “priming,” and is supposed to bring you into a positive and energetic mindset at the beginning of each day.First, there’s a breathing exercise, more accurately known as Kapalbhati Pranayama. Robbins sits up straight, closes his eyes, and inhales through his nose as he simultaneously lifts his arms — think of the way you’d do that during a shoulder press.Then, as he exhales through his nose, he brings his arms back to his body, palms up. He does three sets of thirty, with short breaks in-between.Truth time: I felt ridiculous doing this on my bedroom floor first thing in the morning. Productivity Originally published Feb 26, 2018 6:00:00 AM, updated February 26 2018last_img read more

10 of the Most (& Least) Successful Brand Extensions to Inspire Your Own

first_img1. Reese’s Puffs Cereal (The Best)Image Credit: General MillsReese’s Puffs was my favorite cereal growing up, so I might be a little biased here. But with all the chocolate-flavored cereal around in the mid-90s, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup’s entrance into the cereal market was a smart and natural one.Nowadays, with some aid from their advertising campaigns that highlight how kids can eat their favorite candy for breakfast, Reese’s Puffs has helped General Mills, its conglomerate, capture the second biggest slice of the cold cereal market share.2. Aunt Jemima’s Pancake & Waffle Syrup (The Best)Image Credit: WalgreensAunt Jemima’s pancake and waffle syrup might be the most successful example of a brand extension. Before I wrote this piece, I didn’t even know they started their company selling pancake mix. I honestly thought they only sold syrup.When you think about it, they extended their brand to the most logical product category possible. I mean can you really eat pancakes or waffles without syrup? It was almost a necessity for Aunt Jemima to produce this complementary good for their flagship product.3. Colgate’s Toothbrush (The Best)Image Credit: WalgreensJust like Aunt Jemima’s pancake mix and syrup, Colgate’s toothpaste and toothbrush are complementary goods. But unlike the former example, you literally need a toothbrush to use toothpaste. Otherwise, you can’t brush your teeth.In my opinion, Colgate’s decision to enter the toothbrush market was a necessity and one of their best moves, helping them secure the third largest slice of the oral care market.4. Honda’s Lawn Mowers (The Best)Image Credit: HondaHonda’s line of lawn mowers might not elicit the most enjoyable memories of my childhood, but their entrance and success in a saturated market speaks volumes for a company who is mostly known for selling cars.By leveraging their expertise in small motors to enter the lawn mower market in 1978, they now boast the seventh largest slice of market share in the global lawn mower industry.5. Sunkist’s Vitamin C Tablets (The Best)Image Credit: Sunkist VitaminsFeaturing orange juice as their flagship product, Sunkist’s brand has associations with oranges, health, and energy. To both bolster and leverage this association at the same time, Sunkist produced vitamin c tablets that spawned an entire arm of business dedicated to vitamins and supplements.6. Cadbury’s Instant Mashed Potatoes (The Worst)Image Credit: Geek Goes VintageCadbury is known for making high-end chocolate and candy, so when they started producing low-end food products, like instant mashed potatoes, it’s not surprising to learn that their association with the finest chocolates weakened.Smash, their instant mashed potato brand, actually reached mainstream success, but it was at the expense of lowering their flagship product’s perceived quality. Cadbury eventually sold Smash in 1986, over 20 years after they introduced their instant mashed potatoes to the world.7. Levi’s Tailored Classics (The Worst)Image Credit: PinterestWhen Levi’s introduced their Tailored Classics in the early 1980s, they already owned a large share of their target market, so they wanted to enter some new markets to sustain their high growth rate.One of these markets was men’s suits, but since their brand was heavily associated with a casual, rugged, and outdoorsy lifestyle, Levi’s new product line conflicted with their core identity and failed to catch on.Consumers trusted Levi’s to produce durable clothing that could endure the wrath of mother nature, but, for that very reason, they didn’t trust them to produce high-end tailored suits.8. Pillsbury’s Frozen Microwave Popcorn (The Worst)Image Credit: YouTubeEven though Pillsbury is known for producing foodstuffs, their frozen microwave popcorn couldn’t compete with Orville Redenbacher or General Mills’ Pop Secret because their product positioning of being “frozen for freshness” didn’t offer enough value. Sure, sticking your popcorn in the freezer is convenient (I guess), but that benefit pales in comparison to enjoying a better-tasting popcorn.9. Samsonite’s Outerwear (The Worst)Image Credit: Property RoomWhile Samsonite’s outwear is more fashionable than Levi’s Tailored Classics, it still suffers from the same exact problem as Levi’s failed product line — the brand extension doesn’t align with Samsonite’s core identity.Samsonite is known for making high-end luggage, suitcases, and business bags. So unless they think their flagship product’s elegant traits can transfer to a completely unrelated product line, their venture into the clothing industry could diminish their brand equity. This is most likely the reason Samsonite doesn’t list their outerwear on their website anymore.10. Arm & Hammer’s Underarm Deodorant Spray (The Worst)Image Credit: TargetArm & Hammer has successfully extended its brand from a odor-neutralizing baking soda to laundry detergent, carpet deodorizer, and even cat litter. But one product line that isn’t the best fit for their brand is underarm deodorant spray. Applying a product that shares an ingredient with heavy-duty cleaning supplies to such a sensitive part of the body doesn’t jive well with consumers. After watching The Edge of Seventeen, a moving coming-of-age film starring Hailee Steinfeld as Nadine Franklin, a witty yet socially hopeless 17-year old girl who struggles to come to grips with her best (and only) friend dating her golden boy older brother, I was in awe of Steinfeld’s performance.As fiery and smart as her character was, she was just as insecure and resentful. And after watching the euphoric highs and heartbreaking lows she experienced throughout the movie, it triggered memories of the wholesome yet painfully awkward moments that high school was chock full of.Steinfeld is one of the most talented young actresses in Hollywood today, earning a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress for her performance in The Edge of Seventeen and even an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role in True Grit when she was only 13 years old.Click here to download our comprehensive guide to effective and measurable branding.But what amazes me about Steinfeld isn’t her acting prowess. It’s that she’s also just as accomplished as a singer. Steinfeld has collaborated with some of the most popular artists in the music industry, like Zedd, Florida Georgia Line, and Alesso, to produce three hit song that have all reached the Billboard Hot 100 record chart. After a quick search on Spotify, I even discovered that I had already saved these songs on a playlist, and I had no idea she sang them.Although Steinfeld is mostly known for her acting chops, her singing abilities bolster her esteem as a performer and stretch her brand to more audiences and fans. And just like her venture into music, companies often extend their brand to develop new products in industries that they don’t have any market share in. These initiatives are called brand extensions, and they allow companies to leverage their brand awareness and equity to create more revenue streams.What separates the best brand extensions from the worst?Historically, the most successful brand extensions are the ones that closely tie to the company’s flagship product or core brand, like Gerber’s baby clothes and Dole’s frozen fruit bars. By entering tangential markets that can preserve their brand’s unique associations and perceived quality, companies can develop new products that consumers intuitively understand the benefits of, even though they’ve never seen them on a shelf.On the flip side, a company can also exploit their brand, and, in turn, damage it. If they develop a product in a market that isn’t closely tied to their flagship product or core brand, like Zippo’s perfume for women, companies can attach undesirable associations to their brand, weaken its existing associations, and hurt its established products’ perceived quality.So whether you’re a SaaS company or a consumer brand thinking about extending your product line, check out our list of the most and least successful brand extensions to help inspire your own.Brand Extension ExamplesReese’s Puffs CerealAunt Jemima’s Pancake and Waffle SyrupColgate ‘sToothbrushHonda’s Lawn MowersSunkist’s Vitamin C TabletsCadbury’s Instant Mashed PotatoesLevi’s Tailored ClassicsPillsbury’s Frozen Microwave PopcornSamsonite’s OuterwearArm & Hammer’s Underarm Deodorant Spray Don’t forget to share this post! Topics:center_img Branding Originally published Mar 11, 2019 7:00:00 AM, updated March 11 2019last_img read more

US Open 2019: Roger Federer sick and tired of preferential treatment talk

first_imgRoger Federer said he is sick and tired of complaints that he receives a favourable playing schedule after his latest US Open victim suggested on Friday the five-times champion gets preferential treatment.Federer began day session on Arthur Ashe Stadium against Briton Dan Evans, who because of rain earlier in the week did not finish his second-round match until Thursday afternoon.Evans looked tired from the outset of his third-round loss to Federer, who completed his previous match under a closed roof on Wednesday, but the Swiss great said his team did not demand an early start time but were asked if they had a preference.”That doesn’t mean like, ‘Roger asks, Roger gets.’ Just remember that, because I have heard this shit too often now,” said Federer. “I’m sick and tired of it, that apparently I call the shots. The tournament and the TV stations do.”We can give our opinion. That’s what we do. But I’m still going to walk out even if they schedule me at 4:00 in the morning.”Federer, who is seeking a record-extending 21st Grand Slam title, also pointed out that whatever time Evans finished his second-round match he was always going to be at a disadvantage.Luck was on my side: FedererStill, the 38-year-old Swiss said he understood Evans’ frustration at the quick turnaround but was not about to apologise for something that was out of his control.”That’s tennis. It’s entertainment, and the show must go on,” Federer said after his 6-2 6-2 6-1 win. “Luck was on my side. There you have it. So, yeah, I understand if Danny is, like, a little bit frustrated.”advertisementWhile Evans admitted that Federer was simply too good, he also pointed out that he was trying to beat the Swiss while tired a day after a four-set match was “near on impossible.”Evans also suggested that there are about three players who have a say in when they play their matches and when asked if his team requested a later timeslot, he shot back and asked if a player ranked 58th would actually have a say in the matter.When told there was a suggestion that Federer requested that match time, Evans did not seem all that surprised.”That wouldn’t be the first time the higher-ranked player has had pull,” said Evans. “But also, the tournament… would rather Roger be going through that match than me, so it’s understandable.”Evans is not the first to moan about the subject.Last year Frenchman Julien Benneteau caused a stir when he accused tournament referees of being kinder to Federer when it came to scheduling matches.He felt the Swiss’s status meant organisers at events such as the Australian Open would regularly schedule Federer’s matches during the night session so that he would avoid the scorching temperatures.But there were plenty of players, including world number one Novak Djokovic, who leapt to Federer’s defence.”He deserves the special treatment because… (he’s) arguably the best player ever,” Djokovic said last November.”If he doesn’t have it, who is going to have it? People want to see him play on the centre court, and they want to see him play in showtime, the best hours, which is 7:30 at night.”Sometimes it does seem that maybe certain players get more favoured… On the other side, you have to understand that Federer is a driving force of tennis in terms of revenue, in terms of attention.”American John Isner said the likes of Federer, Djokovic and Rafael Nadal should get even more privileges.”If anything, maybe they should get more special treatment because those guys… have made other players below them a lot of money.”Roger… He is men’s tennis in my opinion. He deserves everything and more that he’s ever had.”Also Read | US Open 2019: Roger Federer strolls into Round of 16, Rafael Nadal gets walkoverAlso Read | US Open: Serena Williams, Ashleigh Barty advance to next round, Kei Nishikori crashes outAlso See:last_img read more

ISSF World Cup; Manu Bhaker-Saurabh Chaudhary win gold as India finish on top in Rio

first_imgManu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary staged a remarkable comeback to claim the mixed 10m air pistol gold, ending India’s campaign on a rousing note in the World Cup in Rio de Janeiro.Representing the other Indian team in the same event, Yashaswini Deswal and Abhishek Verma won the silver as India picked up the maximum possible medals on the final day of the tournament.World number one in women’s 10m air rifle, Apurvi Chandela, had earlier partnered Deepak Kumar to win India their fourth gold on the concluding day of the event. The pair won the top medal in the mixed air rifle event.The results ensured an unprecedented top finish for the country across all four ISSF World Cup stages this year including the lone junior world cup.Anjum Moudgil and Divyansh Singh Panwar, representing India 2, who won the previous two World Cup editions of the same event, won bronze as India continued to reach never-before-seen heights in rifle and pistol shooting.In the air pistol final, the pair of Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary prevailed over Yashaswini Singh Deswal and Abhishek Verma 17-15 in a nerve-wracking contest.Manu and Saurabh, who have now won each of the four ISSF Mixed Team Air Pistol world cup golds this year, were at various stages of the final down 3-9, then 7-13 and then finally 9-15 before winning the next four duels straight to stage a remarkable come-from-behind win.The winning pair had earlier shot 394 out of 400 in round two of qualification, including a stunning 100 each in the final 10-shot series, to top the eight team round while Yashaswini and Abhishek, both fresh from their individual gold medal winning exploits in the competition earlier, came in second with 386.advertisementHungary and China 1 were left fighting for the bronze, which was won by the pair of Pang Wei and Jiang Riaxin of China.Apurvi Chandela-Deepa Kumar win one-sided finalEarlier, Apurvi and Deepak blew away the Chinese pair of Yang Qian and Yu Haonan 16-6 in a one-sided final.India won eight of the 11 single-shot duels between the teams, where the combined score of one pair is compared to that of the other and the higher total awarded two points.GOLD number?? ?? ?? ?? for ?India ???? at #Rio ?@ISSF_Shooting? World Cup. ?@apurvichandela? & Deepak Kumar beat China’s Yang & Yu 16-6 to win the 10M Air Rifle Mixed team event. Wow! pic.twitter.com/JsVG3iDco7NRAI (@OfficialNRAI) September 2, 2019The first to 16 points wins and this is the format which will be used in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.After comfortably getting through round one of qualification, the pair of Apurvi and Deepak topped the board after 20 individual shots in round two, featuring the top eight teams from the previous round.Their total of 419.1 enabled them to get straight into the gold medal match where they found themselves against the Chinese pair who had come in second with 418.7.Anjum and Divyansh shot 418.0 to lie fourth and qualified for the bronze medal match against the Hungarian pair of Eszter Meszaros and Peter Sidi, who shot 418.6 to finish third.Anjum and Divyansh also won their bronze-medal match against the Hungarians with relative ease, chalking out a 16-10 result.India finished the tournament at the top of the medals tally with five gold, two silver and two bronze.The latest exploits also helped India finish on top of all four ISSF Rifle/Pistol World Cup stages this year.Also Read | Ultimate aim is to do well in Tokyo Olympics: Jinson JohnsonAlso See:last_img read more

Upcoming T20Is important for India’s T20 World Cup preparation: Vikram Rathour

first_imgWith T20I World Cup in focus, India’s newly appointed batting coach Vikram Rathour has made it clear that the team would treat every T20I match as a preparatory game for the showpiece tournament in Australia’s early summer next year.Having taken over the position from Sanjay Bangar, Rathour’s first task in hand is the 3-match T20I series between India and South Africa. However, the series has been reduced to 2 games after the first match being washed out.Speaking at a pre-match conference ahead of the 2nd T20 in Mohali, Rathour admitted that India’s approach towards the shortest format of the game was not as serious at international level but that would not be the case further on.”In the past maybe the T20 was not taken seriously when we were playing international cricket but now since we are preparing for the World Cup, all these games are going to be extremely important,” Rathour said while addressing the media.”The 20, 21 games we are playing will be our preparations towards the World cup.”Excluding the washed-out T20I against South Africa, India are scheduled to play 26 T20Is between the start of this home season and the T20I World Cup next year, with dates and venues assigned for 18 of them.With over 12 months in hand to prepare for the showpiece event, the responsibility of grooming the young batsmen lies on Vikram Rathour’s shoulders. The first and foremost task for the batting coach would be to find an ideal batsman for the much-debated No. 4 batting position.advertisementThe South Africa series will also provide India another chance to see how the three–Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey and Rishabh Pant-capitalise on the opportunities to settle in the middle order.India also has various options in terms of spin bowling with finger-spin-bowling all-rounders Washington Sundar and Krunal Pandya and legspinner Rahul Chahar coming into the frame. The second T20I between India and South Africa will be played in Mohali on Wednesday.Also Read | I would swap the drama at Headingley for an Ashes win: Ben StokesAlso See:last_img read more

China Open: Sai Praneeth crashes out in quarterfinals

first_imgWorld Championships bronze medalist Sai Praneeth crashed out of the China Open after suffering 21-16, 6-21, 16-21 defeat to Indonesia’s Anthony Ginting in the quarterfinals on Friday.Praneeth, who had beaten Ginting in straight games in their latest meeting, won his first set 21-16 but the Indonesian shuttler made a remarkable comeback to win the 2nd and 3rd set and sail into the semi-finals.Sai Praneeth, unseeded in the prestigious tournament, had defeated lower-ranked local shuttler Lu Guang Zu 21-19, 21-19 to reach the men’s singles quarter-finals. World No. 15 Praneeth had opened his campaign with a three-game marathon against Suppanyu Avihingsanon of Thailand on Wednesday.Anthony Ginting had progressed to the quarter-final after edging past Parupalli Kashyap in the Round of 16 match on Thursday. Kashyap, who had eased past Brice Leverdez on Wednesday, came up with a stiff fight only to go down 21, 23, 21-15, 12-21 to the World No. 9 in an hour and 10 minutes.Earlier on Thursday, China Open witnessed the biggest upset so far when PV Sindhu crashed out as early as the second round. The reigning world champion had outclassed former Olympic champion Li Xuerui in straight games on Wednesday but fell to a spirited effort from World No. 15 Porpawee Chochuwong of Thailand.India’s challenge in the singles ended after Sai Praneeth’s quarter-final defeat at the hands of Indonesia’s Anthony Ginting.Also Read | World Wrestling Championship: Sushil Kumar loses opening boutAlso see:last_img read more

Vodafone Idea to provide 4G IoT connectivity solutions to Revolt Intellicorp

first_imgVodafone Idea today announced its partnership with Revolt Intellicorp to provide 4G IoT connectivity solutions to the electric two-wheeler maker. Revolt Intellicorp had launched the all-electric AI-enabled motorcycle RV 400 in India on August 28.Under the partnership, Vodafone Idea’s enterprise arm Vodafone Idea Business Services will provide exclusive IoT enabled solutions to Revolt Intellicorp to enable features such as geofencing, bike locator and real-time bike information and diagnostics.”We are extremely happy to announce this partnership with Revolt Motors and make India’s first AI based electric motorbike truly smart through our IoT solutions. Electric vehicles will disrupt the Indian automobile landscape in the coming few years. Connectivity will play a pivotal role in ensuring that electric vehicles are a success. It offers us an ideal opportunity to collaborate and introduce comprehensive end-to-end solutions for our partners in the automotive industry and enhance customer experience,” Vodafone Idea Chief Enterprise Business Officer Nick Gliddon said.”We are happy to partner with Vodafone Idea, as we progress to make urban commute convenient, clean and connected. This collaboration is an important milestone in our journey to offer smart mobility solutions and enhanced riding experience to our customers. We are committed to the sustainable mobility mission and will continue to work towards bringing aspirational e-mobility solutions for the customers,” Revolt Intellicorp Founder Rahul Sharma said.Revolt RV 400 is available in two variants — Base and Premium. The customers can own Revolt RV 400 Base for Rs 3,499 per month and Revolt RV 400 Premium for Rs 3,999 per month. Under the My Revolt Plan (MRP), the owners will have to pay a total of 37 monthly instalments for each trim.advertisementPowering Revolt RV 400 is a 3KW motor, which can deliver 170 Nm of torque. The electric motorcycle gets a 3.24 kWh Lithium-Ion battery, which can be charged up to 75 per cent in three hours and 100 per cent in 4.5 hours.Revolt RV 400 gets a range of 150 km in Eco mode, 100 km Normal mode and 80 km in Sports mode. In Eco mode, the new RV 400 can reach a maximum speed of 45 kmph. The electric motorcycle can touch 65 kmph in Normal mode and 80 kmph in Sports mode.ALSO READ | Kia Beat360 brand experience center launched in IndiaALSO READ | Jawa 90th Anniversary Edition launched, India price is Rs 1.73 lakhALSO READ | Honda City, Hyundai Creta, Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Mahindra XUV300, Tata Tiago: Check out festive offerslast_img read more

Mike Gundy’s Most Important Program Ingredient

first_imgMike Gundy is the most important (and best) coach in Oklahoma State football (and maybe sports) history. The football part is at least indisputable. So I’m always interested to see what he has to say about program building.Obviously Boone Pickens’ money goes a long way whether you’re in Corvallis, Stillwater or Gainesville. Cash is paramount to building programs. But the one thing I’ve noticed Gundy mention over and over again is continuity. I have this theory about why Gundy hired Mike Yurcich a few years ago, and it has nothing to do with LEGOs.Gundy hired Yurcich, I think, because he wanted to get somebody who would be around for at least five years (I have written about this before). He rolled the dice on an unknown because he knew he could train him (because Yurcich is clearly intelligent) and knew that OSU would still feel big time to Yurcich in a way it didn’t to Holgorsen or Monken after a year or two.Gundy all but said this in the preseason.“Mike has come a long way,” said Gundy. “The reason that we brought Coach Yurcich to Oklahoma State is because we felt he was a young, upcoming, innovative coach and I had been very fortunate as a head coach to have that style of a coach with Larry Fedora and Dana Holgersen and Todd Monken, guys that are innovative and strong-willed and can make a decision and Mike’s fallen into that category.”And he even wants to stay!Then Gundy affirmed it in his weekly radio show this week and mentioned why continuity is important (recruiting — duh).””We have a plan, and we adjust it each year based on where the strengths are talent-wise on both sides of the ball, but the overall terminology, the structure in offensive meetings with the coaches, not only scheme-wise but also in recruiting, stays the same,” Gundy. “In preseason, when I had my meetings, those took considerably less time because everybody had already been with me for a year.You get the feeling he wanted to follow this up with a praise Him from whom all blessings flow.“I don’t have to go over all of that stuff before they get it, so that’s less time they spend in there listening to me and they can go in there and do something constructive. When you have two or three new guys on the staff, you have to go over everything to make sure it’s done right exactly the way you want it. It just takes time to bring those guys along.”The self-deprecation is compelling, and the point resounding: Oklahoma State (and any school) is good when its coaches are good, are all on the same page and have been there a long time. Gundy has that right now, and OSU is rolling. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Six Thoughts On The Final Play From Oklahoma State-Central Michigan

first_imgI’ve had some time to sleep on everything (not that that helped anything), but I’m back fresh with a few thoughts on the final fiasco that unfolded at Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday afternoon. I already did my 10 Thoughts on the game here so I’ll limit these thoughts to simply the intentional grounding call and subsequent play of the year from CMU.1. Gundy’s Big GaffeIt still seems impossible that Mike Gundy did not know that intentional grounding would be called on Mason Rudolph. I wouldn’t even be as flummoxed if he thought it would be waived off because it was the end of the game (that I would sort of understand), but he seemingly thought it would not be called at all. Did he think the refs had a lunch appointment at Chili’s and had to get out of dodge? That they would look past the throw right at his mullet and simply “do the right thing”?I’d like to know exactly what the thinking was here. And why Justice Hill is not running down the Cimarron Turnpike with the football as I write this with the final score of 27-26 Cowboys because he ran out the east end zone as time expired and never stopped. A lot of people will think about that play for a long time (Gundy included).2. When did you know?Everyone will have a different “this is when I knew … ” story 10 years from now. Here’s mine. I watch the games on the Fox Sports Go feed on my computer because you can rewind and fast-forward so I can cut GIFs and videos for you guys while the game is going on. It’s proven to be a really good resource for me in running this site. It’s how we were able to get the video of the last two plays up so quickly.The problem is that the feed is probably 10-20 seconds behind the real-time feed so Twitter is sort of a mess during the game. I don’t really want to know what’s happening via Twitter, but it’s also helpful so I sort of keep it rolling but try to not look every two seconds (#firstworldproblems). So anyway, I have the feed up and I’m tweeting about things like this as CMU gets lined up for the play:I’ll never blog again if it goes down like this.— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) September 10, 2016Then all of a sudden I see this tweet.OMG— Mark Cooper (@mark_cooperjr) September 10, 2016 That was it. I didn’t know … but I knew. I knew what had happened. Mark Cooper is a Tulsa World reporter (and a good one), and I knew he was at the game and probably 15 seconds ahead of me. As soon as I saw the “M” in that tweet, I knew I wasn’t going to see my family for the next 12 hours. That was followed by a string of “OMG” tweets from other people before Twitter literally broke for me. Like my Twitter for Mac app literally did not work because of the traffic. Cooper Rush broke my Twitter.Then the next tweet I saw, I’m not kidding, was this one:In Gundy’s defense he’s only been around college football for like 30 years— Dave Hudson (@okc_dave) September 10, 2016It made me laugh a lot. The entire 20 minutes was insane. I was franticly Slacking Kyle Boone fire emojis and he was asking me legitimate questions like, “what do you want me to write about?” that I had no idea how to answer. I’ll never forget seeing that Cooper tweet. It was my “oh, Weeden just threw a pick in Ames, eh” moment of this year.3. Mike Holder, bossThe strongest response of all came from Holder who called the entire thing “incomprehensible.” That’s the proper response from the proper person with enough distance from the situation. It would be difficult for Mike Gundy or any of the other coaches to take this stand because it would make them look whiney and weak. But Holder has the clout and the cachet to use these words, and he did so very well.4. How Did Nobody Know the rule?Carson Cunningham said this at some point in the insane postgame, but how did nobody associated with the Oklahoma State football program know that the CMU play at the end of the game should not have happened? I get that everything happened really quickly, but you would think someone in the organization would have radioed Gundy. From that point Gundy should have ran to the 50 yard line, signaled Larry Reece to hit the music and done The Gundy on loop until officials sorted everything out and declared the game and OSU the winner.How great would that have been, by the way?5. That Play ThoughCan we talk about the actual mechanics of the play? It has to be up there with the Nebraska catch against Mizzou, the Tyrone Prothro and the Kordell Stewart play in Boulder against Michigan (these are just the ones I thought of off the top of my head) as one of the craziest plays of the last 25 years.Central Michigan miracle win pic.twitter.com/dJ0QtNw7r9— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) September 10, 2016The pitch back hail mary is a play we used often in co-ed flag football. Nolan Cox (whose brother Mason is much more famous and likable) is 6’6″ and we used to run him to the corner of the end zone and just heave it up to him. The rule in co-ed flag football is that you had to complete a pass to a girl every other play (or something like that) but it would count if the girl caught a pitch back before Nolan’s feet hit the ground.So we would throw him the jump ball, he would pitch it back to a girl and we would have our completion. It actually worked a lot. Except that we weren’t using it to beat a Big 12 favorite at home in September on an untimed down at the end of the most insane game many of us have ever seen. Other than that, basically the same.6. What should happen?I thought Berry Tramel’s column about how CMU should give the game back was interesting but not realistic or necessarily what should happen. Here’s the thing that really irks me — who is in charge here? We had statements from the Big 12, the MAC, the athletic directors and basically everybody weighed in except for a liquored-up Dan Beebe sipping a Mai Tai from a Caribbean hut (#buyoutlife). But does anyone know who has the governing authority to nullify or solidify a win? Is it one of the conferences? The conference whose referees were used? Bob Bowlsby? The CFP committee? John Skipper? President Obama?It *should* be the NCAA. College football is too big and too important to not have a clarified governing body with a legitimate commissioner to make decisions like this. It’s insane that this is not a reality for what has become probably the third-most popular sport in the nation. It’s 2016, $932 billion is made on college football every year (approximately), and nobody actually knows who’s in charge.Would it change anything if there was a centralized governing body that everyone knew was the centralized governing body? Probably not, but like OSU changed the college football playoff system, maybe it can help affect change here as well. It already has in some ways. As a buddy said to me in church this morning: “Well, it sucks for you guys. But at least you know it will never happen again.” While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

All-Sports Roundup: Tennis Teams Fall to Elite Opponents, Cowgirl Hoops Thwarted in Waco

first_imgWelcome to this week’s all-sports roundup featuring the non-revenue sports like tennis and softball that still deserve our attention. A look back at how they performed over the last week.Cowboy TennisAfter a nine-year drought, the Cowboys earned an invitation back to the ITA Indoor Championships in Charlottesville, Virginia. The tournament provides tremendous opportunity to improve your NCAA tournament resume against quality out of conference opponents.In round one, OSU scored their first upset of the season taking down No. 7 Northwestern (4-2). The monumental victory was capped by No. 32 Julian Cash (OSU) taking down No. 25 Strong Kirchheimer in a three set heavyweight battle to give the Cowboys the victory.First upset of the weekend as 11-seed @CowboyTennis tops 6-seed Northwestern 4-2!#ITAIndoors pic.twitter.com/RGoDgL1qcq— ITA Tennis (@ITA_Tennis) February 17, 2017The Cowboys advanced to the quarterfinal were they met undefeated No. 3 Ohio State. In the battle of OSUs, an experienced Buckeyes squad blitzed the Cowboys in all facets of the match. The Cowboys fell 4-0 to Ohio State and were banished to the losers bracket to face No. 10 Texas in a rare out-of-conference meeting with the Big 12 rival.Although the Cowboy’s won the doubles point, the Longhorns dominated the singles portion and won the match 4-2. This is the first time this season the Cowboys have lost the match after winning the doubles point. A bright spot in the match was Julian Cash scoring another upset in tournament, this time defeating No. 5 Christian Sigsgaard on Court 1.Next up for the Cowboys (8-3) is a weekend in Big Ten country facing Minnesota on Friday and a rematch with Northwestern on Sunday.Cowgirl TennisThe rigorous road for the Cowgirls continued this past weekend in Florida with matches against No. 5 Stanford and No. 1 Florida.The Cowgirls dropped the first match of the weekend to Stanford 4-1 after jumping out to an early 1-0 lead. This was the first time the Cowgirls have faced Stanford since last season’s national championship match in which the Cowgirls fell in Tulsa in a close match, 4-3.Final practices underway w/ @OSUAthletics & @GoStanford tonight at the @usta #NationalCampus#CollegeMatchDayESPN3: https://t.co/sqX1C001eK pic.twitter.com/g9MFVokuaE— Tim Cass (@timcass_usta) February 17, 2017A difficult task awaited the Cowgirls on Sunday as they faced the No. 1 Gators and their 130(!) home match winning streak. The ladies put up a valiant effort falling 4-2 in a really close match. No doubt the last week facing five ranked opponents will prove to be invaluable experience come tournament time.The ladies will come back home and enjoy two weeks off before going back at it on March 3rd in Seattle.Cowgirl BasketballLooking to win in Waco for the first time since 2008, the Cowgirls headed down to the Lone Star state to take on No. 4 Baylor. The Cowgirls (14-12, 4-11) kept it much closer than their 36-point loss in Stillwater. Too much firepower propelled the Bears to a 89-67 win, keeping their Big 12 title hopes alive.Next up for the ladies is a home tilt against against Texas Tech on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in GIA.Cowgirl SoftballCowgirl Tennis wasn’t the only group of OSU gals in the Sunshine State. The softball Cowgirls were in Clearwater, Florida participating in the Michele Smith Pediatric Cancer Foundation Invitational.Tasked with playing five games in three days, the Cowgirls came away with a 2-3 weekend record with wins over Hofstra and Saint Joes. It wasn’t the tournament weekend results they had hoped for, but it looks like they still had a great time nonetheless.Thanks for all the fun in the sun this weekend, Clearwater. pic.twitter.com/kJ4y8i3qfE— Cowgirl Softball (@CowgirlSB) February 19, 2017Next up for the lady softballers is a cross country weekend trip to California to participate in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic starting Thursday, February 23. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Reform Measures Delivering Jobs – PM

first_img The Bill, which was passed, provides for the closure of the Fund and assimilation of its functions into the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.  The move is expected to result in savings to the Government of approximately $35 million. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the economic and structural reforms being undertaken by the Government are delivering real jobs for Jamaicans. “We (are) looking clinically on where we can expand shared services to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and get us on our way to meeting our debt to gross domestic product (GDP) target,” Mr. Holness said. Story Highlights Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the economic and structural reforms being undertaken by the Government are delivering real jobs for Jamaicans.He said the increase in employment over the last two quarters has been “fantastic” and “in the closing quarter we will be seeing (even) more jobs”.The Prime Minister was contributing to a debate on the Bill to repeal the Road Maintenance Fund Act in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (November 14).The Bill, which was passed, provides for the closure of the Fund and assimilation of its functions into the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation. The move is expected to result in savings to the Government of approximately $35 million.The closure of the Fund is part of Government’s public sector reform agenda aimed at reducing bureaucracy and improving efficiency in order to stimulateprivate-sector investment and job creation.“We (are) looking clinically on where we can expand shared services to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and get us on our way to meeting our debt to gross domestic product (GDP) target,” Mr. Holness said.He noted that the Government is committing to providing the private sector with the strategic support, “so that it can absorb whatever jobs may be released from the public sector”.He assured workers employed under the Fund that opportunities for jobs will be created elsewhere in government or in the private sector.last_img read more

Independent Review of MNZ’s Response to Rena Grounding …

first_imgzoom Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) welcomed the release of the independent review of its response to the grounding of the Rena, and the announcement of $2m of Government funding to help improve New Zealand’s maritime response capability.The report, by independent reviewer Simon Murdoch, was released today by Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee.MNZ Director Keith Manch said the organisation was already implementing a number of the review recommendations and the funding package would help MNZ develop a wider strategic and operational response to maritime incidents.In the review report, Mr Murdoch made it clear the Rena grounding was unprecedented in its complexity but the response, while flawed in some aspects, had ultimately been effective.After Rena hit the Astrolabe Reef on 5 October 2011, hundreds of oil spill responders and 8,000 volunteers removed around 1,000 tonnes of oily waste from the coastline, recovered more than 4,500 tonnes of containers and debris and rescued hundreds of oiled birds. Beaches closed as a result of oil were re-opened from 16 November 2011.“The reviewer finds the response team overcame initial hurdles to set up a strong and effective team that worked closely with the local community. The response minimised the risks to wildlife and achieved a high quality, world class clean-up,” Mr Manch said. “The generally positive results of the Rena Recovery Plan’s scientific monitoring programmesupport this finding.”Mr Manch said the response team faced a complex scenario involving not only oil recovery, but non-oil pollution from containers and resulting debris, as well as overseeing a difficult salvage operation.“I’m very proud of the professional and sustained effort by people across MNZ but we certainly did not act alone. The success of the response was only possible due to the collaborative efforts of the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, iwi, community groups, local government and other agencies such as the Department of Conservation, the Defence Force, and Massey University’s Wildlife Health Centre.”The review states: “As is often the case, imperfections in systems, plans and structures, which are to be expected in any crisis, can be overcome by a workforce that is motivated and well managed.” (8.6)“The review identifies a range of areas for improvement including: being better prepared (strategically and operationally) across government and with response partners; having greater capability and training; improved administration; revising the structure of the incident command centre (ICC); and better engagement with communities and iwi.”Mr Manch said a work programme was already underway to build on the lessons identified in the review. MNZ has:worked closely with the Ministry of Transport, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, and the Environmental Protection Agency to improve inter-agency information-sharing and reporting on maritime response activity.undertaken a comprehensive review of the National Response Team (NRT) – a group of trained oil spill responders from around the country who form the core response team for a Tier 3 oil spill incident. The team will have greater resources to support oil spill response and the national oiled wildlife response.appointed an exercise leader and additional technical support staff at MNZ’s Maritime Pollution Response Service (MPRS). A logistics manager has also been seconded to MPRS to improve national procurement and supply arrangements.reviewed its international support arrangements for oil spill response – both government and specialist commercial support. This includes the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and salvage experts London Offshore Consulting.developed additional specialist support arrangements in areas such as well control and hazardous and noxious substancesinitiated discussions with the Department of Conservation aimed at the development of memorandum of understanding to develop a wider response policy framework to address non-oil pollution and natural resource protection in its marine jurisdiction and coastline.reviewed the wildlife response contract to ensure better integration of this area of the response into the NRT.undertaken training for MNZ staff on the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund and International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation to improve understanding of how financial claims for oil pollution incidents should be compiled.MNZ is currently reviewing the national Oil Spill Response Strategy.MNZ is also reviewing its purchasing system to improve financial management during the peak of a response.The “Independent Review of Maritime New Zealand’s Response to the MV Rena Incident on 5 October 2011” report is available on Rena response page.Maritime NZ, December 4, 2013last_img read more