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Friends and Family / Nobel family
« on: July 29, 2018, 04:31:02 PM »
Nobel family

The Nobel family (/noʊˈbɛl/; Swedish: [nʊˈbɛl]) is a prominent Swedish and Russian family closely related to the history both of Sweden and of Russia in the 19th and 20th centuries. Its legacy includes its outstanding contributions to philanthropy and to the development of the armament industry and of the oil industry. Some of its foremost members are Emmanuel Nobel, the younger, engineer developer of underwater naval mines and inventor of the rotary lathe used to produce plywood, Ludwig Nobel, the founder of Bracknell and one of the richest and most important men in Russia at his time, and Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite who left the major part of his estate to the creation of the Nobel Prizes.

The Nobel family originated from the village of Östra Nöbbelöv in Scania, hence the name. The first member was Petrus Olai Nobelius (1655–1707) who married Wendela Rudbeck (1668–1710), daughter of the famous Swedish scientist Olaus Rudbeck the Elder, also known as Olof Rudbeck.
Members of the Nobel family are known not only for their interest in art but also for their inventive ability, which is sometimes referred to as a Rudbeckian trait, inherited from their ancestor Olaus Rudbeck, the elder. Immanuel Nobel pioneered the development of underwater mines, designed some of the first steam engines to power Russian ships, installed the first central heating systems in Russian homes and was the first to develop modern plywood (cut with a rotary lathe). One of his sons, Ludvig Nobel, was the founder of The Machine-Building Factory Ludvig Nobel, a great armaments concern and the inventor of the Nobel wheel. Ludvig was also the founder of Branobel, the foremost Russian oil industry of its time, and launched the world's first diesel-driven tugs and tankers, besides building the first European pipeline. Alfred Nobel, who died childless, was the inventor of dynamite and the founder of the Nobel Prizes, to the creation of which he left the bulk of his estate.

The Nobel family have created several societies, including the Nobel Family Society, a private society of which only the descendants of Immanuel Nobel, the younger, are eligible as members, the Nobel Foundation, a private society administering the prizes of Alfred Nobel, and the Nobel Charitable Trust. Notably, the Director of the Nobel Foundation, Michael Sohlman, and the elected head of the Nobel family disapproves of the institution of the Nobel Charitable Trust (NCT)

The Nobel family is also represented in the Nobel Prizes Award Ceremony, held in Stockholm every year. In 2007, the Nobel family archives kept in the Archives of Lund were inscribed in UNESCO's Memory of the World Register.
Olof Nobelius (1706–1760), artist, (m.1750) Ana Christina Wallin (1718–1787)
Immanuel Nobel, the Elder (1757–1839), physician, (m.1st.) Anna Kristina Rosell (1760–1795), (m.2nd.) Brita Catharina Ahlberg(1770–1823)
Immanuel Nobel, the Younger (1801–1872), (m.1828) Andriette Ahlsell (1803–1889)
Descendants of Immanuel Nobel, the younger
Robert Nobel, (1829–1896), pioneer of the Russian oil industry (m.1860) Pauline Lenngrén (1840–1918)
Ludvig Nobel, (1831–1888), founder of Branobel and its first president, (m.1st.1858) Mina Ahlsell (1832–1869), (m. 2nd. 1871) Edla Constantia Collin Nobel (1848–1921)
Alfred Nobel, (1833–1896), the inventor of dynamite, instituted the Nobel Prizes
Emil Oskar Nobel, (1843–1864)
Descendants of Robert and Pauline Nobel
Hjalmar Immanuel Nobel (1863–1956), (m.1923) Countess Anna Sofia Posse (1895–1975)
Countess Ingeborg Sofia (1865–1939), (m.1894) Count Carl von Frischen Ridderstolpe (1864–1905)
Ludvig Emanuel Nobel (1868–1946), (m.1895) Valborg Wettergrund (1869–1940)
Tyra Elisabeth Nobel (1873–1897)
Descendants of Ludvig and Mina Nobel
Emanuel Nobel, (1859–1932), Branobel's second president
Carl Nobel, (1862–1893), (m.) Mary Landzert (1865–1928)
Andriette Nobel-Tydén (1890–1976), (m.1912) Eberhard Tydén (1885–1968)
Birgit Maria Andriette Tydén (1913-2002)
Carl Eberhard Tydén (1916-2012)
Karl Göran Eugene Tydén (1918-1996)
Mimmi Nobel-Högman (1891–1938), (m.1st.1914) Gustav Högman (1888–1947)
Ulla Mary Elisabeth (b. 1916), (m.1939) Baron Sigvard Gustaf Beck-Friis (b. 1913)
Baroness Christina Mary Cecilia (b. 1943), (m.1968) Baron Jean-Claude Pierre Ferdinand Gunther Andre Lanauve de Tartas (b. 1945)
Alexandra Ulla Lanauve de Tartas (b. 1970)
Baron Joachim Beck-Friis (b. 1946)
Baroness Elisabeth Ulla Alice (b. 1950), (m.1986) Baron Erik Ottoson Thott (b. 1954)
Tom Åke Emanuel Högman (1922–1991)
Anna Nobel Sjögren (1866–1935)
Descendants of Ludvig and Edla Nobel
Esther Wilhelmina (Mina) Olsen-Nobel, (1873–1929)
Alf Igor Nobel, (1898–1968), (m. 1921) Esther Mathilda Johnsen (1898–1978)
Hans Emanuel Nobel (b. 1922)
Edla (Lisle) Nordenfelt (b. 1923)
Claes Nobel, (b. 1930)
Edla Nobel Claret de Fleurieu (1899–1996) (m.1st. 1920) Roger Daudy (1889–1933) (m.2nd. 1934) Count Médéric Claret de Fleurieu (1893–1968)
Countess Irline Aglaé Marie Nadine (b. 1935), (m.1956) Count Henri Lombard de Buffières de Rambuteau (1925–1991)
Jean-Marie de Buffières de Rambuteau (b. 1957)
Marie Edla de Buffières de Rambuteau (b. 1958)
Claude de Buffières de Rambuteau (b. 1959) (m.1991) Diane Claret de Fleurieu (b. 1961)
Astrid de Buffières de Rambuteau (b. 1991)
Mathilde de Buffières de Rambuteau (b. 1993)
Cécile de Buffières de Rambuteau (b. 1995)
Philibert de Buffières de Rambuteau (b. 1966)
Charles de Buffières de Rambuteau (b. 1968)
Count Patrick Camille Alfred Claret de Fleurieu (b. 1938), (m.1967) Anne Viguier (b. 1941)
Sylvie Claret de Fleurieu (b. 1968)
Médéric Claret de Fleurieu (b. 1969)
Sabine Claret de Fleurieu (b. 1971)
Leif Jurij Nobel (1901–1938) (m.1930) Anna Elisabeth Mellén (1905–2003)
Peter Nobel, (b. 1931)
Eva Nobel, (b. 1935)
Ludvig Alfred (Lullu) Nobel, (1874–1935) (m.1901) Mary (Minnie) Johnson (1876-1953)
Mary Lorna Nobel (1902-1911)
Manuel Ludvig Nobel (1904-1911)
Emanuel Percy Ludvig Alexis Nobel (1913-1987)
Philip Nobel (b. 1970) (m.2007) Chantal Nobel née Cordilhac (b. 1962)
Chloé Nobel (b. 2001)
Ingrid Hildegard Nobel-Ahlqvist, (1879–1929)
Marta Helena Nobel-Oleinikoff, (1881–1973), (m. 1905) Georgij Pavlovitj Oleinikoff (1864–1937)
Nils Nobel-Oleinikoff (1905–1990), last President of Branobel (m.1st 1933) Herta Frieda ter Meer (1911–1939), (m.2nd. 1943), Dora Ahlqvist (1906–1985)
Peter Nobel-Oleinikoff (b. 1937), (m. 1998) Anna von Holstein (b. 1943)
Nils Nobel-Oleinikoff (b. 1944), (m. 1968) Monique de Lamare-Singery, (1947–1995)
Christianne Oleinikoff (b. 1970) m.(2006) Bruno Ferraz-Coutinho (b. 1972)
Sven Nobel(-Oleinikoff)
Michael Nobel(-Oleinikoff)
Rolf Nobel, (1882–1947)
Emil Waldemar Ludvig Nobel, (1885–1951)
Gustaf Oscar Ludvig (Gösta) Nobel, (1886–1951)


Partnership / Avoid These 7 Partnership Killers
« on: July 29, 2018, 03:50:58 PM »
Avoid These 7 Partnership Killers

From powerhouse financiers like Kohlberg Kravis Roberts to retailers like Baskin-Robbins to IT pioneers like Hewlett-Packard, business partnerships have been an important part of entrepreneurship and startup success. The reasons are simple: complementary skill sets, shared equipment or expenses, and the idea that one person with "hard" money capital can create synergy with the intellectual capital of another person so both can profit from their venture.

In theory, a partnership is a great way to start in business. In my experience, however, it's not always the best way for the typical entrepreneur to organize a business.

The tough thing about most partnerships is that they are just like marriages, and if you know anything about those statistics, you know half of all marriages don't survive. Making a marriage work involves handling a volatile mix of partnership issues: ego, money, stress, monthly overhead and day-to-day expenses. Throw in some employees you must manage, and you have a good idea of the work required to make a business partnership successful.

If you're thinking about a partnership, consider the following list and avoid the potential pitfalls:

1. Sharing capital instead of expenses: Whenever you share your own capital--be it money, resources, information or property--you automatically give away your enterprise ability. In a perfect world, the person you are partnering with is upright, full of integrity, and not at all tempted to take this gift and run with it as his own. However, the world's not perfect. So be careful. Instead, work out an arrangement where expenses are shared in an "associative" arrangement. It also makes it easier to walk away if things go wrong.

2. Partnering with someone because you can't afford to hire: This is a partnership killer right from the start. The scene is always the same: Bob has a business idea and Fred has the business skills, but Bob can't afford to hire Fred as an employee, so they decide to share duties, expenses and profits. What happens is both Bob and Fred end up working against each other, and Bob finds himself liable for Fred's obligations (financial and otherwise) under the partnership agreement. If you've got the idea and someone else has the skill, simply hire him or work out an independent contractor agreement. Don't give away what you don't have to.

3. Lacking a written and signed partnership agreement: Due to the nature of partnerships, every detail and obligation must be clearly defined and written out, and agreed upon by all parties. This is best done with a written legal agreement drafted by a well-qualified, mutually agreed-upon lawyer. Just make sure the attorney is well-versed in business partnerships, and be sure to keep her card handy at all times. You may need that person again when things go wrong.

4. Overlooking a limited partnership: One of the main downfalls of a partnership agreement is the assumption of liability each partner makes for the other. A way around this is a limited partnership, where the limited partner is not liable for the actions or obligations of the general partner. Again, make sure an attorney well-versed in partnership agreements writes this arrangement.

5. Lacking an out or an exit strategy: Big-time marriages start with a pre-nuptial agreement. In business and contractual terms, a pre-nup is analogous to an exit agreement. In any partnership agreement, define the terms of an exit strategy that allows you or your partner to walk away from the partnership, or that provides options to buy out the other party. This can be done very clearly and simply--and without imploding the operations of a successful business.

6. Expecting the friendship to outlast the breakup of the partnership: Again, from the perspective of a marriage, how many ex-couples do you know who are truly friends? Not many, I suspect. So don't go into any partnership with a friend expecting to remain friends after a partnership breakup. It may sound great to do business with your friends, but remember, in the business world, it's always business first and friendships second. Also remember, most times when the business ends, so does the friendship.

7. Having a 50/50 partnership: Every business, including partnerships, needs a boss. If you decide to go the partnership route, make it a 60/40 or 70/30 split. Then you and the business have a point person for accountability and overall operational control. Also, keep your buyout or exit strategy clear and in your favor--benefitting you and saving problems down the road.

As a final note, I leave you with an interesting solution to the partnership issue from one of the companies mentioned earlier: Baskin-Robbins. Hopefully, it provides additional perspective.

When Burton Baskin and Irvine Robbins first considered partnering in the ice cream business, Robbins' father advised against it, thinking the compromises each man would make in getting the partnership to work would kill the product's potential. So the men each worked on their own businesses for two years before combining Robbins' five shops with Baskin's three stores under one name decided by the flip of a coin. Only after successfully launching and running their own separate businesses did the subsequent partnership actually work.

That's one partnership formula I do know of that proved effective. And if it worked for those two pioneers of retail success, it just may work for you.


Cyber Security / Types of cyber security
« on: July 29, 2018, 01:37:22 PM »
Types of cyber security

The scope of cyber security is broad. The core areas are described below, and any good cyber security strategy should take them all into account.

Critical infrastructure
Critical infrastructure includes the cyber-physical systems that society relies on, including the electricity grid, water purification, traffic lights and hospitals. Plugging a power plant into the internet, for example, makes it vulnerable to cyber attacks. The solution for organizations responsible for critical infrastructure is to perform due diligence to protect understand the vulnerabilities and protect against them. Everyone else should evaluate how an attack on critical infrastructure they depend on might affect them and then develop a contingency plan.

Network security
Network security guards against unauthorized intrusion as well as malicious insiders. Ensuring network security often requires trade-offs. For example, access controls such as extra logins might be necessary, but slow down productivity.

Tools used to monitor network security generate a lot of data — so much that valid alerts are often missed. To help better manage network security monitoring, security teams are increasingly using machine learning to flag abnormal traffic and alert to threats in real time.

Cloud security
The enterprise’s move into the cloud creates new security challenges. For example, 2017 has seen almost weekly data breaches from poorly configured cloud instances. Cloud providers are creating new security tools to help enterprise users better secure their data, but the bottom line remains: Moving to the cloud is not a panacea for performing due diligence when it comes to cyber security.

Application security
Application security (AppSec), especially web application security, has become the weakest technical point of attack, but few organizations adequately mitigate all the OWASP Top Ten web vulnerabilities. AppSec begins with secure coding practices, and should be augmented by fuzzing and penetration testing.

Rapid application development and deployment to the cloud has seen the advent of DevOps as a new discipline. DevOps teams typically prioritize business needs over security, a focus that will likely change given the proliferation of threats.

Internet of things (IoT) security
IoT refers to a wide variety of critical and non-critical cyber physical systems, like appliances, sensors, printers and security cameras. IoT devices frequently ship in an insecure state and offer little to no security patching, posing threats to not only their users, but also to others on the internet, as these devices often find themselves part of a botnet. This poses unique security challenges for both home users and society.


Cyber Security / Types of cyber threats
« on: July 29, 2018, 01:35:54 PM »
Types of cyber threats

Common cyber threats fall under three general categories:

Attacks on confidentiality: Stealing, or rather copying, a target's personal information is how many cyber attacks begin, including garden-variety criminal attacks like credit card fraud, identity theft, or stealing bitcoin wallets. Nation-state spies make confidentiality attacks a major portion of their work, seeking to acquire confidential information for political, military, or economic gain.

Attacks on integrity: Also known by its common name, sabotage, integrity attacks seek to corrupt, damage, or destroy information or systems, and the people who rely on them. Integrity attacks can be subtle — a typo here, a bit fiddled there — or a slash and burn campaign of sabotage against a target. Perpetrators can range from script kiddies to nation-state attackers.

Attacks on availability: Preventing a target from accessing their data is most frequently seen today in the form of ransomware and denial-of-service attacks. Ransomware encrypts a target's data and demands a ransom to decrypt it. A denial-of-service attack, typically in the form of a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, floods a network resource with requests, making it unavailable.

The following describes the means by which these attacks are carried out.

Social engineering
Attackers aren't going to hack a computer if they can hack a human instead. Socially engineered malware, often used to deliver ransomware, is the No. 1 method of attack (not a buffer overflow, misconfiguration, or advanced exploit). An end-user is tricked into running a Trojan horse program, often from a website they trust and visit often. Ongoing user education is the best countermeasure against this attack.

Phishing attacks
Sometimes the best way to steal someone's password is to trick them into revealing it This accounts for the spectacular success of phishing. Even smart users, well-trained in security, can fall for a phishing attack. That's why the best defense is two-factor authentication (2FA) — a stolen password is worthless to an attacker without a second factor, such as hardware security token, or soft token authenticator app on the user's phone.

Unpatched software
It's hard to blame your enterprise if an attacker deploys a zero-day exploit against you, but failure to patch looks a lot like failure to perform due diligence. If months and years pass after disclosure of a vulnerability, and your enterprise has not applied that security patch, you open yourself to accusations of negligence. Patch, patch, patch.

Social media threats
Catfishing isn't just for the dating scene. Believable sock puppet accounts can worm their way through your LinkedIn network. If someone who knows 100 of your professional contacts strikes up a conversation about your work, are you going to think it strange? Loose lips sink ships. Expect social media espionage, of both the industrial and nation-state variety.

Advanced persistent threats
Speaking of nation-state adversaries, your enterprise has them. Don't be surprised if multiple APTs are playing hide-and-go-seek on your corporate network. If you're doing anything remotely interesting to someone, anywhere, you need to consider your security posture against sophisticated APTs. Nowhere is this more true than in the technology space, an industry rich with valuable intellectual property many criminals and nations will not scruple to steal.


Cyber Security / How to build a cyber security strategy
« on: July 29, 2018, 01:34:21 PM »
How to build a cyber security strategy[/size][

Executing a strong cyber security strategy requires you have the right people in place. The demand for professional cyber security folk has never been higher, from the C-suite down to the security engineers working on the front lines. Security leaders have elbowed their way into the C-suite and boardrooms, as protecting company data becomes mission critical for organizations. A chief security officer (CSO) or chief information security officer (CISO) is now a core management position that any serious organization must have.

Roles have also grown more specialized. The days of the generalist security analyst are fading fast. Today a penetration tester might focus on application security, or network security, or phishing users to test security awareness. Incident response may see you on call 24/7. The following roles are the foundation of any security team.

The CISO is a C-level management executive who oversees the operations of an organization’s IT security department and related staff. The CISO directs and manages strategy, operations, and the budget to protect an organization’s information assets.

Security analyst
Also referred to as cyber security analyst, data security analyst, information systems security analyst, or IT security analyst, this role typically has these responsibilities:

Plan, implement and upgrade security measures and controls
Protect digital files and information systems against unauthorized access, modification or destruction
Maintain data and monitor security access
Conduct internal and external security audits
Manage network, intrusion detection and prevention systems
Analyze security breaches to determine their root cause
Define, implement and maintain corporate security policies
Coordinate security plans with outside vendors
Security architect
A good information security architect straddles the business and technical worlds. While the role can vary in the details by industry, is that of a senior-level employee responsible to plan, analyze, design, configure, test, implement, maintain, and support an organization’s computer and network security infrastructure. This requires knowing the business with a comprehensive awareness of its technology and information needs.

Security engineer
The security engineer is on the front line of protecting a company's assets from threats. The job requires strong technical, organizational and communication skills. IT security engineer is a relatively new job title. Its focus is on quality control within the IT infrastructure. This includes designing, building, and defending scalable, secure, and robust systems; working on operational data center systems and networks; helping the organization understand advanced cyber threats; and helping to create strategies to protect those networks.


Cyber Security / what is cyber security
« on: July 29, 2018, 01:31:59 PM »
what is cyber security

Cybersecurity, computer security or IT security is the protection of computer systems from theft of or damage to their hardware, software or electronic data, as well as from disruption or misdirection of the services they provide.

Cyber security includes controlling physical access to system hardware, as well as protecting against harm that may be done via network access, malicious data and code injection. Also, due to malpractice by operators, whether intentional or accidental, IT security personnel are susceptible to being tricked into deviating from secure procedures through various methods of social engineering.

The field is of growing importance due to increasing reliance on computer systems, the Internet and wireless networks such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and due to the growth of "smart" devices, including smartphones, televisions and the various tiny devices that constitute the Internet of Things. Professionals working in the cyber security field can be known by some of the following terms:

White hat hacker – also known as an "ethical hacker" or penetration tester. They are professional hackers that break into systems and use exploits to access target systems for reasons pertaining to prevention of crime or hardening the security of a target.
Black hat hacker – a criminal who breaks into systems and compromises security against the law.
Grey hat hacker – someone who conducts black hat hacks for white hat hacker reasons.
Vulnerabilities and attacks
Main article: Vulnerability (computing)
A vulnerability is a weakness in design, implementation, operation or internal control. Most of the vulnerabilities that have been discovered are documented in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) database.

An exploitable vulnerability is one for which at least one working attack or "exploit" exists.[7] Vulnerabilities are often hunted or exploited with the aid of automated tools or manually using customized scripts.

To secure a computer system, it is important to understand the attacks that can be made against it, and these threats can typically be classified into one of these categories below:

A backdoor in a computer system, a cryptosystem or an algorithm, is any secret method of bypassing normal authentication or security controls. They may exist for a number of reasons, including by original design or from poor configuration. They may have been added by an authorized party to allow some legitimate access, or by an attacker for malicious reasons; but regardless of the motives for their existence, they create a vulnerability.

Denial-of-service attacks
Denial of service attacks (DoS) are designed to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users.[8] Attackers can deny service to individual victims, such as by deliberately entering a wrong password enough consecutive times to cause the victims account to be locked, or they may overload the capabilities of a machine or network and block all users at once. While a network attack from a single IP address can be blocked by adding a new firewall rule, many forms of Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are possible, where the attack comes from a large number of points – and defending is much more difficult. Such attacks can originate from the zombie computers of a botnet, but a range of other techniques are possible including reflection and amplification attacks, where innocent systems are fooled into sending traffic to the victim.


Bank Loan / what is loan?
« on: July 29, 2018, 12:34:07 PM »
[center]what is loan?[/center][/i][/u]

In finance, a loan is the lending of money by one or more individuals, organizations, and/or other entities to other individuals, organizations etc. The recipient (i.e. the borrower) incurs a debt, and is usually liable to pay interest on that debt until it is repaid, and also to repay the principal amount borrowed.

The document evidencing the debt, e.g. a promissory note, will normally specify, among other things, the principal amount of money borrowed, the interest rate the lender is charging, and date of repayment. A loan entails the reallocation of the subject asset(s) for a period of time, between the lender and the borrower.

The interest provides an incentive for the lender to engage in the loan. In a legal loan, each of these obligations and restrictions is enforced by contract, which can also place the borrower under additional restrictions known as loan covenants. Although this article focuses on monetary loans, in practice any material object might be lent.

Acting as a provider of loans is one of the main activities of financial institutions such as banks and credit card companies. For other institutions, issuing of debt contracts such as bonds is a typical source of funding.

Types of loans:

See also: Loan guarantee
In a secured loan is a loan in which the borrower pledges some asset (e.g. a car or house) as collateral.

A mortgage loan is a very common type of loan, used by many individuals to purchase residential property. The lender, usually a financial institution, is given security – a lien on the title to the property – until the mortgage is paid off in full. If the borrower defaults on the loan, the bank would have the legal right to repossess the house and sell it, to recover sums owing to it.

Similarly, a loan taken out to buy a car may be secured by the car. The duration of the loan is much shorter – often corresponding to the useful life of the car. There are two types of auto loans, direct and indirect. In a direct auto loan, a bank lends the money directly to a consumer. In an indirect auto loan, a car dealership (or a connected company) acts as an intermediary between the bank or financial institution and the consumer.

Unsecured loans are monetary loans that are not secured against the borrower's assets. These may be available from financial institutions under many different guises or marketing packages:

credit card debt
personal loans
bank overdrafts
credit facilities or lines of credit
corporate bonds (may be secured or unsecured)
peer-to-peer lending
The interest rates applicable to these different forms may vary depending on the lender and the borrower. These may or may not be regulated by law. In the United Kingdom, when applied to individuals, these may come under the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

Interest rates on unsecured loans are nearly always higher than for secured loans because an unsecured lender's options for recourse against the borrower in the event of default are severely limited, subjecting the lender to higher risk compared to that encountered for a secured loan. An unsecured lender must sue the borrower, obtain a money judgment for breach of contract, and then pursue execution of the judgment against the borrower's unencumbered assets (that is, the ones not already pledged to secured lenders). In insolvency proceedings, secured lenders traditionally have priority over unsecured lenders when a court divides up the borrower's assets. Thus, a higher interest rate reflects the additional risk that in the event of insolvency, the debt may be uncollectible.

Demand loans are short-term loans[1] that typically do not have fixed dates for repayment. Instead, demand loans carry a floating interest rate which varies according to the prime lending rate or other defined contract terms. Demand loans can be "called" for repayment by the lending institution at any time. Demand loans may be unsecured or secured.

A subsidized loan is a loan on which the interest is reduced by an explicit or hidden subsidy. In the context of college loans in the United States, it refers to a loan on which no interest is accrued while a student remains enrolled in education.[2]

A concessional loan, sometimes called a "soft loan", is granted on terms substantially more generous than market loans either through below-market interest rates, by grace periods or a combination of both.[3] Such loans may be made by foreign governments to developing countries or may be offered to employees of lending institutions as an employee benefit (sometimes called a perk).

Target markets
Loans can also be subcategorized according to whether the debtor is an individual person (consumer) or a business.

See also: Credit (finance) § Consumer credit
Common personal loans include mortgage loans, car loans, home equity lines of credit, credit cards, installment loans and payday loans. The credit score of the borrower is a major component in and underwriting and interest rates (APR) of these loans. The monthly payments of personal loans can be decreased by selecting longer payment terms, but overall interest paid increases as well.[4].

Main article: Business loan
Loans to businesses are similar to the above, but also include commercial mortgages and corporate bonds. Underwriting is not based upon credit score but rather credit rating.

Loan payment
The most typical loan payment type is the fully amortizing payment in which each monthly rate has the same value over time.[5]

The fixed monthly payment P for a loan of L for n months and a monthly interest rate c is:

{\displaystyle P=L\cdot {\frac {c\,(1+c)^{n}}{(1+c)^{n}-1}}} P=L\cdot {\frac  {c\,(1+c)^{n}}{(1+c)^{n}-1}}
For more information see Compound interest#Monthly amortized loan or mortgage payments.

Abuses in lending
Predatory lending is one form of abuse in the granting of loans. It usually involves granting a loan in order to put the borrower in a position that one can gain advantage over him or her; subprime mortgage-lending[6] and payday-lending[7] are two examples,where the moneylender is not authorized or regulated, the lender could be considered a loan shark.

Usury is a different form of abuse, where the lender charges excessive interest. In different time periods and cultures the acceptable interest rate has varied, from no interest at all to unlimited interest rates. Credit card companies in some countries have been accused by consumer organizations of lending at usurious interest rates and making money out of frivolous "extra charges".[8]

Abuses can also take place in the form of the customer abusing the lender by not repaying the loan or with an intent to defraud the lender.

United States taxes
Most of the basic rules governing how loans are handled for tax purposes in the United States are codified by both Congress (the Internal Revenue Code) and the Treasury Department (Treasury Regulations – another set of rules that interpret the Internal Revenue Code).[9]:111

1. A loan is not gross income to the borrower.[9]:111 Since the borrower has the obligation to repay the loan, the borrower has no accession to wealth.[9]:111[10]

2. The lender may not deduct (from own gross income) the amount of the loan.[9]:111 The rationale here is that one asset (the cash) has been converted into a different asset (a promise of repayment).[9]:111 Deductions are not typically available when an outlay serves to create a new or different asset.[9]:111

3. The amount paid to satisfy the loan obligation is not deductible (from own gross income) by the borrower.[9]:111

4. Repayment of the loan is not gross income to the lender.[9]:111 In effect, the promise of repayment is converted back to cash, with no accession to wealth by the lender.[9]:111

5. Interest paid to the lender is included in the lender’s gross income.[9]:111[11] Interest paid represents compensation for the use of the lender’s money or property and thus represents profit or an accession to wealth to the lender.[9]:111 Interest income can be attributed to lenders even if the lender doesn’t charge a minimum amount of interest.[9]:112

6. Interest paid to the lender may be deductible by the borrower.[9]:111 In general, interest paid in connection with the borrower’s business activity is deductible, while interest paid on personal loans are not deductible.[9]:111The major exception here is interest paid on a home mortgage.[9]:111

Income from discharge of indebtedness
Although a loan does not start out as income to the borrower, it becomes income to the borrower if the borrower is discharged of indebtedness.[9]:111[12] Thus, if a debt is discharged, then the borrower essentially has received income equal to the amount of the indebtedness. The Internal Revenue Code lists "Income from Discharge of Indebtedness" in Section 61(a)(12) as a source of gross income.

Example: X owes Y $50,000. If Y discharges the indebtedness, then X no longer owes Y $50,000. For purposes of calculating income, this is treated the same way as if Y gave X $50,000.


Facebook / How to prototype a Facebook Messenger bot with Keynote.
« on: July 28, 2018, 04:38:09 PM »
How to prototype a Facebook Messenger bot with Keynote.

Recently, I was asked by my pals at TalkBe to help them prototype an example of how a bot could work for a brand they work with in Facebook Messenger. There’s a few UI kits kicking around, and so they thought I’d be able to use one to showcase a conversation a typical user could have with the bot, and specific commercial actions that could be taken.

Here’s the problem; How can we showcase this conversation in the most easy to understand way? As this was essentially a pitch piece, how could we impress the client, while getting around the typical build time issues, and then put it into the best format so the client could see the idea we’ve had?

The conversation is the experience
This wasn’t a typical prototype or UX piece. The task here was to establish a conversational flow, and then bring it to life using many pieces of the preset UI Messenger already employs. Yes, we could attempt to own some visual flair with the content we would be presenting, but the main parts of the overall experience is how the user can develop a relationship with the bot, and deal with many of their common interactions with the brand through the interface.

Copy is often the most important part of both UX and digital service design, as it’s the persuasive element which can convince a user to transact, or signpost their way to another area of service. For IM, copy is the only thing you have in converting a user to your goals.

To begin, script your conversational flow either in a text editor, or through a flow charting exercise. Remember to indicate the type of message, and required callbacks/CTAs.

This might be easy for some of you, but the essential bit is to put yourself into both the shoes of the user, and the brand that the bot is representing. Then, have a conversation with yourself! To get the best out of the feature set that Messenger has, you’ll also need to familiarize yourself with the differing types of interface language available.

Let’s look at the different interface elements we’ll be using:

Comments behave just as you think they will, because they’re the speech bubbles you see between yourself and the bot. They display simple content, without any embellishments, save for URLs. Be aware of their spacing, and how they change when comments are delivered in fast succession.
Structured Messages can contain an image, title, description and calls to action. They might also contain a URL, but the key utility of this message type is to give call backs (CTA buttons) that the user can select to change the onward journey of the experience. They can also be used in a carousel.
Quick replies appear above the message input, and are designed to be fast answers a user can select without having to type. While these can be generated through machine learning and be relevant to content, they can also be hard curated based on the expected reply instance.
Persistent menu appears when the burger icon is tapped at the side of the chat input, and gives the option to launch a different function of the bot. So for instance, users can select “help” or “top sellers” as a fast action from the menu.
We’ll assume here that you’re familiar with editing template documents in Sketch. After all, there’s thousands of them out there.

Bots came out not long after Facebook announced the new APIs for Messenger.
Sketch App Sources has this rather good mockup which has some good UI examples and demonstration of how the flow can work.
Facebook have this rather excellent iOS9 UI kit, which contains some bits you might find useful later on. And if you’re reading this in a post iOS 10 world, they’ve probably got a kit for that too.
We’re going to focus on animating assets in Keynote, to demonstrate what a bot experience would be like. In the real world, for your own conversations, you might edit the assets in Sketch and copy them in to Keynote for prototyping. Or redraw the assets in Keynote, so you can edit them there. I’ll leave that one to you though!

Tutorial Assets
Project Assets
I’ve also included the completed Sketch file you can play with as you please.

Step 1 - Setup your Keynote file
Open fb messenger iphone template from the Keynote folder. Select “New document” when prompted.

Go to Keynote > Preferences > Rulers.

Select “Show guides at object edges”. The template provided has the necessary guides for all gutter alignments, so selecting this setting will mean the assets snap to the edge of the guides.


TAX, VAT & AIT / Difference Between Central Sales Tax (CST) and VAT
« on: July 28, 2018, 04:07:27 PM »
Difference Between Central Sales Tax (CST) and VAT

CST is charged on interstate sales, by the central government, but collected by that state government in which sales have been made. On the contrary, VAT is a state-level multipoint tax, imposed in the value addition in the product, collected at various stages production and distribution. It contains a provision of set-off for the tax paid at the earlier stage.

There are hundreds of sale transactions that takes place every moment around the world. The selling price of the product includes the amount of sales tax, which we never recognize. When we talk about sales tax, both Union and State government have the power to impose a sales tax, wherein the Central government can charge tax on the interstate sale or purchase of goods. The tax charged on the sales can either be Central Sales Tax (CST) or Value Added Tax (VAT).

Take a read of the article given below to learn the differences between the two consumption tax along with their meanings, in tabular form.

Content: Central Sales Tax (CST) Vs Value Added Tax (VAT)
Comparison Chart
Key Differences

Comparison Chart
Meaning   Tax charged on the total value of the commodity, when the sale takes place is known as Sales Tax.   VAT is a tax charged at each level of the production and distribution chain whenever the value is added to the product.
Nature   Single point tax   Multi point tax
Tax Evasion   Can be possible   Cannot be possible
Cascading effect   Yes   No
Levied on   Total Value   Value Added
Account maintenance   Requires less effort because it is simple and easy to calculate.   Proper accounts should be maintained as it is comprehensive and complex to calculate.
Tax Burden   Falls on the consumer   Rationalized.
Input Tax Credit   Unavailable   Available
Area   Applies to the whole country.   Applies within the jurisdiction of the state.

Definition of Central Sales Tax (CST)
The type of indirect tax levied by the Central or State Government on the sale or purchase of merchandise is known as Central Sales Tax. The tax is applicable in the whole country.

It is an indirect tax because the tax burden falls on the consumer, but the responsibility to recover it, from the consumer and submit the collected tax to the tax authorities falls on the retailer or seller of the goods. Central Sales Tax is levied by the Government of India on interstate sales, whereas the State Government imposes the sales tax on intrastate sales. However, many states have adopted their own Sales tax Act (VAT Act) on which tax is charged on the commodities at various rates.

There are many commodities which are still beyond the range of Sales Tax and that is why they are exempt from tax. In India, the tax is charged more on luxury goods or items of high cost or whose consumption is not good for health and the tax is charged less on necessities.

Definition of Value Added Tax (VAT)
The tax, which is charged on the value addition to the commodity by each party is known as VAT. In other words, it is the difference between total output tax and total input tax. Here input tax refers to a tax on inputs, i.e. local purchases made from a registered dealer whereas output tax means a tax on outputs i.e. tax on sales made within the state.

VAT is an acronym used for Value Added Tax. It is a multilevel tax, which is charged when the transaction takes place in every single point of production and distribution. It is a destination based tax.

VAT is a consumption tax because the ultimate burden of the tax is borne by the final end consumer. It is also a type of indirect tax as the tax bearer is the consumer while the taxpayer is the seller of goods. There are three variants of VAT: Gross Product Variant, Income Variant, and Consumption Variant. Consumption Variant is the most widely used variant across the world. The methods of calculation of VAT are:

Addition method
Invoice method
Subtraction method

Key Differences Between Central Sales Tax (CST) and Value Added Tax (VAT)
The following are the major differences between Central Sales Tax and VAT:

Sales Tax is a tax on sales. Value Added Tax is a tax on value addition done by each party of the supply chain like supplier, producer, wholesaler, distributor or retailer, etc.
Sales Tax is a single-stage tax, but VAT is a multi-stage tax.
In VAT, the chances of tax evasion are very less as compared to Sales Tax in which evasion of tax can be done easily.
Double taxation is always there in case of Sales tax, whereas VAT is totally free from cascading effect.
The sales tax is levied on total value, but in VAT tax is charged only on the value added to the commodity.
Sales Tax is easy to calculate while VAT calculation requires time and effort.
In Sales Tax, the tax burden is borne by the consumer. On the other hand, the tax burden is rationalized.
Input Tax Credit (ITC) is available in VAT but not in Sales Tax.
The authority of levying sales tax is in the hands of both Central Government and State Government, but VAT is levied by the State Government only.

In India, VAT was introduced for the first time in the year 1986 as MODVAT i.e. Modified Value Added Tax but because of some shortcomings, Central Value Added Tax (CENVAT) was brought by the Government in 2000. Haryana became the pioneer in the adoption of VAT system for the first time among all states of the country. Thereafter, some other states followed the footsteps of Haryana and opted to apply VAT. At present, VAT is applicable to all the states in the country.

From past few years, Sales tax is suffering from some controversies like it lacks transparency and double taxation which is the very reason for tax evasion. That is why Sales Tax has been replaced by VAT.


Brochure and Leaflet / Learn How to Do Brochure Marketing Effectively
« on: July 28, 2018, 03:22:54 PM »
earn How to Do Brochure Marketing Effectively

Marketing isn’t about using one medium. It’s about getting and keeping customers. Yes, internet marketing can help you can do that but only if you use it in conjunction with other tactical tools. Also, there are thousands of potential customers that are extremely cautious about placing the important business or buying an expensive item from an unknown online vendor. That’s one of the reasons why, to succeed, every online company must have brochures and other forms of printed sales literature to hand out to customers and prospects.

An online company needs printed sales literature for two reasons:

Credibility: People expect a "real" company to have printed sales literature. It's easy to spend $60 on business cards, letterhead, etc. and call yourself a corporation. But if you want to look like you mean business, you need a brochure of some sort.
Time-saving. People want printed material to take home and read at their leisure. Yes, you can direct them to your Web site, but a brochure adds a personal touch, tells your prospect what the product or service can do for them and why they should buy from you. Brochures also support other advertising, direct mail, online promotions, and can be used as a sales tool by distributors. In short, a good brochure sells.

Here are 12 tips on writing a brochure that will support your online marketing efforts, and increase your sales.

Know What Your Reader Wants: You must write your brochure or leaflet from the reader's point of view. That means the information must unfold in the right order. Begin by analyzing what your reader wants to know. An easy way to do this is by assessing the order in which your reader's questions will flow. For example, imagine you own a medical spa facility offering Botox and other anti-aging treatments. You are interested in encouraging your readers to make an appointment for a consultation and/or schedule a treatment. Now, given the nature of your business, your reader will have a lot of questions they'll want to be answered before they'll consider making an appointment. Your brochure should answer their questions in a logical sequence following the reader’s train of thought. A good way to organize your points is to write down the questions you think a potential customer might have, and the answers your brochure might supply.
Motivate your reader to look inside: The first page your reader will see is the front cover. Get it wrong, and you've as good as lost the sale. Don’t make the common mistake of couching your services in technical jargon. Think benefits or thought-provoking statements that motivate the reader to pick up the brochure and open it. Add a flash that tells the reader there's something inside that will interest them – an exclusive invitation, a free report, special discount or advance notice of sales. Don't be tempted to put only your company logo or product name on the front. It won't work.

Contents Page – What’s in it: In brochures of eight pages or more, a list of contents is useful. Make your list in bold and separate it from the rest of your text. Use the contents to sell the brochure. Don't use mind-numbing words like "Introduction" or "Model No A848DHGT". Pick out your most important sales point and use that in your heading.
Describe Your Product: To help you describe your product draw up a list of product features (facts about your product) and add the words "which means that..." after each point. For example, "The cake is made from an original recipe, which means tastes better." Or, "The car has a 300 horse-power engine, which means goes faster." Remember that the purchaser of your product is not always the user so there may be more than one benefit for each feature.
Make it a Keeper: Putting helpful information in your brochure will encourage the reader to keep it, refer to it often or pass it on to other people. If you're selling paint, you can provide hints on color schemes, painting how-to information, tips from the pros, etc. If you're selling skin care products, you can give your readers tips on how to combat pimples, dry skin, fine lines, and wrinkles.
Alter the Shape: Who says a brochure has to be A4? Selling sandwiches? You can design a brochure in the shape of a sandwich. Season tickets to soccer matches? Design it in the shape of a soccer ball. Using your imagination when designing your brochure can produce better than average results. According to Direct Magazine, a recent mailing by CSI, a company that conducts customer satisfaction surveys for automobile insurance firms and repair shops, got a 15% response rate with a brochure delivered in a 32-ounce squeeze sports water bottle. The headline read, “Thirsty for more repair orders?” Try tall and slim, square, oblong. Whatever you like. The only limitation is your imagination, and, of course, your budget.
Make it Personal: An experienced speaker talking to a large audience will pick out a face in the crowd, and talk to that face. This connection with one person allows the speaker to make his talk more personal than if he were merely addressing a mass of faces. Similarly, the words in your brochure should use this technique and zero in on one imaginary single person. Why? Because writing in a direct, “I’m-talking-only-to-you” style will increase response.
Add Atmosphere: Don't let your brochure sound aloof. Let your reader share your feelings. There's no reason why a brochure about a wood burning stove has to go into the ins and outs of how the stove works. Tell your reader about rain swept winter evenings and snow-bound afternoons. Let your words show them how warm and snug and they'll be when they purchase one of your stoves.
Get Selling Fast: Remember, not everyone wants to be educated on every aspect of your product or service. Nor does everyone want to know the manufacturing details of your widget. Don't waste their time telling them about things that don't convey a benefit.
Talk about your reader's needs: Don’t get carried away with your interests. Talk about your reader, not yourself. Here are the first words in a brochure from a company selling insurance: “Insurance is a complicated business. Our company was formed in 1975 to help our clients deal with the process of finding the right insurance to suit their needs. In the last 20 years, we have been selling insurance to a wide range of customers from many different walks of life. Our company's reputation is unsurpassed in the industry...” Yawn...It is the bar room bore in print. Instead of telling you how the company can help solve your problems, it's more interested in telling you about itself.
Give Directions: Every brochure should be organized so the reader can flip through the pages and easily find what they want. Provide clear signposts or headlines throughout the brochure and make sure each one says: “Hey, pay attention to me!”
Ask for Action: Regardless of how you organize your brochure, there's only one way to end it. Ask for action. If you want your reader to respond include an 800 number, reply card, or some form of response mechanism. In fact, to increase your brochures selling power you should include your offer and a response mechanism on every page.


Branding / What Is Branding?
« on: July 28, 2018, 02:39:49 PM »
[center]What Is Branding?[/center][/i][/u]

“A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers” (American Marketing Association)

You can consider a brand as the idea or image people have in mind when thinking about specific products, services and activities of a company, both in a practical (e.g. “the shoe is light-weight”) and emotional way (e.g. “the shoe makes me feel powerful”). It is therefore not just the physical features that create a brand but also the feelings that consumers develop towards the company or its product. This combination of physical and emotional cues is triggered when exposed to the name, the logo, the visual identity, or even the message communicated.

A product can be easily copied by other players in a market, but a brand will always be unique. For example, Pepsi and Coca-Cola taste very similar, however for some reason, some people feel more connected to Coca-Cola, others to Pepsi.

Let’s illustrate this again with our water example. The product sold is water, but in order to convince people to purchase a particular water, companies developed different water brands, such as Evian, Perrier, Fiji or Volvic. And each one of these brands provides a different meaning to the product water:
– Evian makes you feel young
– Perrier is refreshing, bubbling and sexy
– Fiji Water is pure, healthy and natural
…and so on.


In the end, a brand is a person’s gut feeling about a specific product or company. Each person creates his or her own version of it, and some brands increase or decrease in popularity because of how consumers feel about them.

Branding definition:
What is it?

“Branding is endowing products and services with the power of a brand” (Kotler & Keller, 2015)

Branding is the process of giving a meaning to specific company, products or services by creating and shaping a brand in consumers’ minds. It is a strategy designed by companies to help people to quickly identify their products and organization, and give them a reason to choose their products over the competition’s, by clarifying what this particular brand is and is not.

The objective is to attract and retain loyal customers by delivering a product that is always aligned with what the brand promises.

Who does it affect?

Consumers: As discussed above, a brand provides consumers with a decision-making-shortcut when feeling indecisive about the same product from different companies.
Employees/shareholders/third-parties: Besides helping consumers to distinguish similar products, successful branding strategies are also adding to a company’s reputation. This asset can affect a range of people, from consumers to employees, investors, shareholders, providers, and distributors. As an example, if you don’t like or don’t feel connected to a brand, you would probably not want to work for it. However, if you feel like the brand understands you and offers products that inspire you, you would probably desire to work for it and be part of its world.
How can it be done?

Companies tend to use different tools to create and shape a brand. For example, branding can be achieved through:

advertising and communications
product and packaging design
in-store experience
sponsoring and partnerships
the visual identity of the brand (logo, website and colors, are just some examples).
In our example of branding water, packaging design and advertising are perhaps the most powerful tools used by marketers:

– Packaging design is the silent salesman that will grab busy consumers’ attention in-store. It informs consumers about the product’s properties and visually differentiates the brand from the competition on-shelf. A successful example in my eyes is Fiji Water, which managed to create a beautiful bottle design that perfectly reflects the brand’s values: purity is reflected through transparency effects and nature is perceived through the image of tropical flower and leaves in the background.


Why Traditional Marketing Still Matters in a Technology Driven Society

Technological advancements have evolved marketing strategies for business. With millions of users accessing the internet each day, businesses have turned towards digital marketing efforts to attract their attention. Creating websites, blog posts, and managing social media accounts have become largely popular ways to reach your target audience and grow your brand. Though digital marketing can take your brand to the next level, neglecting traditional marketing can prove to be a big mistake.

What is Traditional Marketing?

Traditional marketing is a form of branding or promotion that has been used by businesses for years. This can be television commercials, promotional products, flyers, business cards, signs, and more.

Why Does it Matter?

One could make the assumption that traditional marketing is a thing of the past, however, this is not completely true. Though many consumers are using the internet to conduct and research business, there is still nothing like the power of the tangible, accessible, face-to-face attributes of traditional marketing. Here’s why:

Let People Know Who You Are

Imagine going to a trade show or networking event with nothing but your mobile device. How will onlookers know who you are, what your brand is, and what you have to offer? Traditional marketing concepts like signage for instance, makes that possible. A business that invests in creating bold vinyl signs for a trade show or networking event will draw the attention of onlookers without having to say a word. Something like a BREN Inc. stencil cutting machine will accomodate this need.

Promotes Face-to-Face Interaction

There is no digital marketing strategy that will put you closer to your target audience than face-to-face interaction. Traditional methods of marketing put business owners in the same space as their target audience. For instance, trade shows allow businesses to showcase their best products by offering samples or tests to consumers. This, can be more effective in increasing sales than any social media post you might create.

Beat Out the Competition

The virtual world has become a crowded space. With more and more businesses flocking to digital marketing platforms, the competition to attract the attention of their target audience is stiff. There are hundreds of businesses advertising online within your industry. However, by implementing a traditional marketing strategy, you can reach out to your target audience through methods that most businesses don’t use anymore. This allows you to create a lane all for yourself to stand out from others.

Provides Something Tangible

Traditional marketing methods such as promotional products provide your target audience with something tangible to hold onto and remember you by. Pens, calculators, calendars, USB drives, flash lights, hats, and more can be customized to compliment your company colors, brand, and logo. Now, as you hand these products out, you’re giving people something they can use and will also remember your brand for.

Effective Traditional Marketing Strategies

You now understand why traditional marketing is still important to your brand. Here are some strategies that are proven to work despite the digitally dependent world today.

Press Releases – When new products or services are coming out, writing a press release can help get the positive buzz going. Instead of only posting them online, you can contact magazines and newspapers to post there too. This expands your reach to those who prefer print to digital reading.
Direct Marketing – If you have a brick and mortar location or want to generate local business, direct marketing options like flyers and brochures are still the way to go. Leaving a postcard, brochure, or flyer about an upcoming event, product, or service in the hands of someone you believe to be interested can often get you a sell faster than sharing it online.
Business Cards – Business cards aren’t going out of style anytime soon. They are small, pocket sized marketing materials that you can carry with you wherever you go. Now, if you see someone who you may be able to do business with, you can hand them a card that has all of your information on it.
Yes, digital marketing is a huge trend right now and it should be incorporated into building your company’s brand. That being said, it doesn’t mean that traditional marketing methods like flyers, brochures, business cards, and signage should fall by the wayside. Such methods can help you to reach a broader audience while building an authentic relationship with consumers – and beating out the competition.


Social Marketing / The Impact of Social Media Marketing Today
« on: July 28, 2018, 02:22:39 PM »
The Impact of Social Media Marketing Today

Due to the impact of social media, the relationship between brands and consumers have changed a lot. Nowadays, companies create strategies after they analyze and understand the target consumer’s demands, likes and dislikes through Social Media. Social media has had a major effect on the world and business. Starting from an MNC or a small startup, everyone is adopting Social Media Marketing to make their brand or services visible.

Earlier traditional marketing mediums such as radio, TV commercials and print ads were very costly mediums. But now, through Social media marketing, companies or brands can connect with their target customers for free, the only cost is time. Using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc., you can lower your marketing costs.

Social Media Marketing is having a tremendous impact on business and market as business growth and performance are taking place at an astronomical rate. Social media helps in developing business tactics. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc., show an opportunity for businesses to grab the attention of the customers while simultaneously building a brand image. These social networks allow businesses to use tactics to build and create brand profiles like fan pages, contests etc. Through Social media marketing, one can figure out the likes and preferences of customers as well as the latest trends adopted by the public. Social media marketing helps a brand/company to build a strong online presence by innovative social media marketing techniques and customer satisfaction.

Social media has countless benefits some of them are:

Improved Customer Insights
Businesses get a better understanding of their customers by allowing them to share their insights, knowing that the brand is listening. Social media allows them to see what potential customer’s opinions are and network with them as well.

Better Customer Service
Social media allows businesses to respond to customer grievances, questions, and concerns almost instantly. Customers want to be assured that, if they have a problem they will receive assistance at the earliest possible time.

Cost Efficient
When a business is running on a fixed marketing budget, social media is the most cost-efficient way to market and promote the business. Websites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc., allow any business to share their content for no cost at all. Hence Social media is an affordable advertising platform.

Businesses will always be connecting with the customers in terms of changing preferences, lifestyles, and resources and adapt to the changing interest of the consumers.

Establishing Brand Awareness
Through social media, it is possible to increase brand awareness among customers as businesses can create awareness by building company image.

Increased exposure through social media drives traffic to the company. This, in turn, converts potential customers to actual customers. 

Some of the major social media platforms are:

Facebook is a popular free social networking site on which registered can create profiles, upload photos and videos, send messages and keep in touch with friends, family, and colleagues. People can also create Facebook pages related to businesses, brands, and services. There are 2.07 billion monthly active Facebook users with an increase of 16% increase year over year.
Twitter is a famous social networking website that allows registered members to write their messages through short posts called tweets. There are 330 million active Twitter users.
LinkedIn is a social networking site designed for the business community, professionals, managers etc. LinkedIn has 467 million members connected. Basically, this site allows the registered member to connect and make a network of people they know and trust professionally.
Instagram is a fast-growing social media platform that allows users to share their images, stories and promote their business. Instagram has 800 billion monthly active users. Instagram is used by many brands to promote their products, target their audience and drive real social value.
Real life case studies showing the impact of Social Media Marketing

Case Study of Shari Academy

Shari Academy is a photography school which conducts workshops and provide certificate courses. Shari Academy wanted to promote their presence online, but they had some budget issues, so they decided to use Facebook and a blog to meet the twin objectives of branding and business. They created a Facebook page “Photography Tips” and worked on it. Now Photography Tips has more than 1.3 million fans and it is one of the biggest photography communities on Facebook. The Shari blog gets approx. 30,000 visitors per month.

Case Study of Nando’s

Nando’s was opening its new restaurant in Bangalore in late 2010. In order to get more people to the restaurant, they launched the discount offer that was “Peri-Peri discount offer”. They announced on their Facebook Page that fans would get a special discount if they tell them when they plan to visit Nando’s and with whom. In this offer, friends have to be tagged and if up to 6 friends are tagged, the group would get a 15% discount on the bill.  If more than 6 friends are tagged, the group gets a 25% discount on the bill. Because of this promotion, lots of groups visited Nando’s and got discounts. The largest group that availed themselves of this “Peri-Peri discount” was a group of 25 friends.


KYC - Know your customer / What is CRM?
« on: July 28, 2018, 01:19:27 PM »
What is CRM?

CRM or Customer Relationship Management is a strategy for managing an organisation's relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers. A CRM system helps companies stay connected to customers, streamline processes, and improve profitability.
When people talk about CRM, they are usually referring to a CRM system, a tool that is used for contact management, sales management, productivity, and more. The goal of a CRM system is simple: Improve business relationships.

When people talk about CRM, they might mean any of three things:

CRM as Technology: This is a technology product, often in the cloud, that teams use to record, report and analyse interactions between the company and users. This is also called a CRM system or solution.

CRM as a Strategy: This is a business’ philosophy about how relationships with customers and potential customers should be managed 

CRM as a Process: Think of this as a the system a business adopts to nurture and manage those relationships.

What does CRM software do?

CRM software records customer contact information such as email, telephone, website social media profile, and more. It can also automatically pull in other information, such as recent news about the company's activity, and it can store details such as a client's personal preferences on communications.

The CRM system organizes this information to give you a complete record of individuals and companies, so you can better understand your relationship over time.

CRM software improves customer relationship management by creating a 360° view of the customer, capturing their interactions with the business, and by surfacing the information needed to have better conversations with customers.

Why is CRM important?

RM enables a business to deepen its relationships with customers, service users, colleagues, partners and suppliers.

Forging good relationships and keeping track of prospects and customers is crucial for customer acquisition and retention, which is at the heart of a CRM’s function. You can see everything in one place — a simple, customizable dashboard that can tell you a customer’s previous history with you, the status of their orders, any outstanding customer service issues, and more.

Gartner predicts that by 2021, CRM technology will be the single largest revenue area of spending in enterprise software. If your business is going to last, you know that you need a strategy for the future. For forward-thinking businesses, CRM is the framework for that strategy.

Sales teams can use CRM to understand their sales pipeline better.

Sales managers can access reliable information about the progress of individual team members in achieving their sales targets, for example, and see how well individual sales teams, products and campaigns are performing too.

Sales reps benefit from reduced admin, a deeper understanding of their clients, and the opportunity to spend more time selling and less time inputting data.

Marketing teams can use CRM to make forecasting simpler and more accurate.

They can get clear visibility over every opportunity or lead, and map out the whole customer journey from enquiry through to sale, so giving them a  better understanding of the sales pipeline or prospective work coming in.

It’s also possible to include information from customers’ public social media activity – their likes and dislikes, and their sentiment about specific brands and businesses.

Customer service teams can effectively track conversations across channels.

A customer might raise an issue in one channel – say, Twitter or Facebook – but then switch to email, phone or live chat to resolve it in private.

Without a common platform for customer interactions, communications can be missed or lost in the flood of information – leading to an unsatisfactory response to a valued customer.

Supply-chain, procurement and partner management teams can manage relationships better.

They can track meetings with suppliers and partners, record requests made, add useful notes, schedule follow-ups and stay on top of expected next steps.
Reporting enables businesses to compare the efficiency of suppliers and so manage their entire supply chain more effectively.

The HR team can use CRM to accelerate the recruitment process and track employee performance.

CRM can help the HR function by speeding up the on-boarding process, automating the process of managing candidates, analysing resourcing needs and identifying skills gaps, and supporting the pursuit of staff retention targets.
Think about how convenient it would be to consolidate all the streams of data coming from sales teams, customer service staff, marketers and social media—and translate them into actionable business information. A CRM platform lets you manage these streams of information across channels without losing track, and gives sales, service, marketing, and beyond an integrated view.


How to Measure Your Pricing Effectiveness with a Custom Pricing Index

We were highly motivated to improve our pricing: we had key products with declining average sales prices, products with wildly varying discount rates, a competitor that was baiting us into a price war, a sales compensation plan that did not reward salesreps for good pricing behavior, no effective means of enforcing discount policies, and customers that were accustomed to paying the same price forever- it was not a good situation.

What did not work:

Total New Revenue - this is ultimately what we were trying to drive (along with profits of course), so it seemed natural to use this as our key metric. But using a number like Total New Revenue or Total Revenue makes it impossible to tell if the results you are seeing are due to better pricing or higher sales volumes.
Average order size - this metric was better in that it controlled for overall sales volume, but it was heavily influenced by the product mix sold. So if we ran a marketing campaign for one of our higher-priced product lines we could misinterpret the higher average order size as being the result of our pricing work, rather than the natural effect of which products were sold.

What did work: a Custom Pricing Index

We spent a couple of days researching the academic literature, online forums, and talking with peers at other companies, and we were not able to find a good solution. So we created our own Custom Pricing Index. Here is how it worked:

We identified a basket of products that represented the overall business - at least one for every important product line.
Every product in the basket needed to be sold in enough volume that we would have data for any time period.
The products in the basket needed to be picked with complete specificity - in our case we needed to specify both a product code and a quantity (# of users).
We created separate baskets for products sold in different countries. We could have commingled data across multiple countries, but found it easier to evaluate performance on a country-by-country basis.
We then pulled sales data for each of the products in the basket over the last few years, bucketed by the time periods of the sale (e.g., month/yr or quarter/yr). This data extract was harder to execute than it sounds, as we had a bunch of duplicate contracts data to wade through, we had a bunch of orders where one product was "free" (we spread the discount across all products on the order), and we had a bunch of products that had changed names over time (we created a synonyms table) - hopefully, your data will be in better shape.
We then took the average sale price for each product in the basket and added them together to create a price-weighted index in much the same way that the Dow Jones Industrial Average is calculated. We considered weighting each product based on the number of units sold (more like the S&P 500 index), but we ultimately felt like the understand-ability of the simple-addition calculation was worth more than the added precision of varying weights would provide. If you do choose to implement a volume-weighted calculation, it is critical that you keep the weightings consistent over time - if you recalculate the weighting in every time period, you will not be able to separate the pricing behavior from the changes in product mix sold.
To visualize the results, we created a simple graph and table showing the performance of the index over time. The following is a sanitized example.
We were then able to use the trend data to set targets for improvement and added this to the agenda for regular marketing performance review meetings.
There are a couple of valuable features of this Custom Pricing Index:

It is easy to understand. I refer to it as "like the Dow Jones" and people instantly get the concept.
It can be calculated using historical data that you likely already have - this is not the kind of metric that only works going forward from the time you decide to start measuring it.
You can easily change the components of the index over time by adding a divisor to the calculation so that the index remains stable before and after the product basket changes (in the same way that the Dow Jones divisor gets updated when a new company is added).
It provides a quantifiable way to measure the results of pricing work, independent of the volume or mix of sales.


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