Category Archives: Uncategorized

How it is being used by brands

During the baby boom era, Kellogg’s began selling sugary cereal to children. With this change in business model came sociable animal mascots, lively animated commercials and the back of the cereal box as a form of targeted content marketing. Infographics were born in this era. This represented a new approach to make a brand memorable with the audience.

In the 1990s, everything changed for marketers. The arrival of computers and the Internet made websites and blogs flourish, and corporations found content marketing opportunities through email.

By 2014, Forbes Magazine’s website had written about the seven most popular ways companies use content marketing.
In it, the columnist points out that by 2013, use of content marketing had jumped across corporations from 60% a year or so before, to 93%[20] as part of their overall marketing strategy. Despite the fact that 70% of organizations are creating more content, only 21% of marketers think they are successful at tracking return on investment.

The supply chain of digital content marketing mainly consists of commercial stakeholders and end-user stakeholders which represent content providers and distributors and customers separately. In this process, distributors manage the interface between the publisher and the consumer, then distributors could identify the content that consumers need through external channels and implement marketing strategies. For instance, Library and document supply agencies as intermediaries can deliver the digital content of e-books, and e-journal articles to the users according to their search results through the electronic channels. Another example is when consumers pay for the acquisition of some MP3 downloads, search engines can be used to identify different music providers and smart agents can be used by consumers to search for multiple music provider sites.

In a word, the digital content marketing process needs to be conducted at the business level and service experience level because when consumers are accessing digital content, their own experience depends on the complex network of relationships in the content marketing channels such as websites and videos. The consumers interact directly with distributors in the big supply chain through various digital products which have an important role in meeting the requirements of the consumers. The design and user experience of these channels directly decides the success of digital content marketing.

Electronic services refer to interactive network services. In the electronic service, the interaction between the customer and the organizations mainly through the network technology, such as using E-mail, telephone, online chat windows for communication. Electronic services are different from traditional services and they are not affected by distance restrictions and opening hours. Digital content marketing through electronic service is usually served together with other channels to achieve marketing purposes including face-to-face, postal, and other remote services. Information companies provide different messages and documents to customers who use multiple search engines on different sites and set up access rights for business groups. These are some channels of digital content marketing.

Content Marketing News & Analysis

Content marketing means attracting and transforming prospects into customers by creating and sharing valuable free content. The purpose of content marketing is to help companies create sustainable brand loyalty and provide valuable information to consumers, as well as create a willingness to purchase products from the company in the future. This relatively new form of marketing does not involve direct sales. Instead, it builds trust and rapport with the audience.

Unlike other forms of online marketing, content marketing relies on anticipating and meeting an existing customer need for information, as opposed to creating demand for a new need. As James O’Brien of Contently wrote on Mashable, “The idea central to content marketing is that a brand must give something valuable to get something valuable in return. Instead of the commercial, be the show. Instead of the banner ad, be the feature story.” For content marketing, continuous delivery of large amounts of content is required, preferably within a content marketing strategy.

When businesses pursue content marketing, the main focus should be the needs of the prospect or customer. Once a business has identified the customer’s need, information can be presented in a variety of formats, including news, video, white papers, e-books, infographics, email newsletters, case studies, podcasts, how-to guides, question and answer articles, photos, blogs, etc. Most of these formats belong to the digital channel.

Digital content marketing is a management process that uses digital products through different electronic channels to identify, forecast and satisfy the content requirements of a particular audience. It must be consistently updated and added to in order to influence the behavior of customers.

During the baby boom era, Kellogg’s began selling sugary cereal to children. With this change in business model came sociable animal mascots, lively animated commercials and the back of the cereal box as a form of targeted content marketing. Infographics were born in this era. This represented a new approach to make a brand memorable with the audience.

E-commerce adaptations and digital distribution became the foundation of marketing strategy.

Internet also helped content marketing become a mainstream form of marketing. Traditional media such as newspapers, magazines, radio and TV started to lose their power in the marketplace. Companies started to promote and sell their products digitally.

The phrase “content marketing” was used as early as 1996, when John F. Oppedahl led a roundtable for journalists at the American Society for Newspaper Editors.

Metrics to determine the success of a content marketing are often tied to the original goals of the campaign.

For example, for each of these goals, a content marketer may measure different engagement and conversion metrics:

Businesses focused on expanding their reach to more customers will want to pay attention to the increase in volume of visitors, as well as the quality of those interactions. Traditional measures of volume include number of visitors to a page and number of emails collected, while time spent on page and click-through to other pages/ photos are good indicators for engagement.

Businesses want to measure the impact that their messages have on consumers. Brand health refers to the positive or negative feedback that a company gets. It also measures how important a brand is for consumers. With this companies want to find out if brand reputation influences their customers to make a purchase. For businesses hoping to reach not only more – but also new – types of customers online, they should pay attention to the demographics of new visitors, as evidenced by cookies that can be installed, different sources of traffic, different online behaviors, and/or different buying habits of online visitors.

Businesses focused on increasing sales through content marketing should look at traditional e-commerce metrics including click-through-rate from a product-page to check-out and completion rates at the check-out. Altogether, these form a conversion funnel. Moreover, to better understand customers’ buying habits, they should look at other engagement metrics like time spent per page, number of product-page visits per user, and re-engagement.

Content Marketing Industry News and Trends

Content marketing is a form of marketing focused on creating, publishing and distributing content for a targeted audience online. It is often used by businesses in order to:

Content marketing means attracting and transforming prospects into customers by creating and sharing valuable free content. The purpose of content marketing is to help companies create sustainable brand loyalty and provide valuable information to consumers, as well as create a willingness to purchase products from the company in the future. This relatively new form of marketing does not involve direct sales. Instead, it builds trust and rapport with the audience.

Unlike other forms of online marketing, content marketing relies on anticipating and meeting an existing customer need for information, as opposed to creating demand for a new need. As James O’Brien of Contently wrote on Mashable, “The idea central to content marketing is that a brand must give something valuable to get something valuable in return. Instead of the commercial, be the show. Instead of the banner ad, be the feature story.” For content marketing, continuous delivery of large amounts of content is required, preferably within a content marketing strategy.

When businesses pursue content marketing, the main focus should be the needs of the prospect or customer. Once a business has identified the customer’s need, information can be presented in a variety of formats, including news, video, white papers, e-books, infographics, email newsletters, case studies, podcasts, how-to guides, question and answer articles, photos, blogs, etc. Most of these formats belong to the digital channel.

Digital content marketing is a management process that uses digital products through different electronic channels to identify, forecast and satisfy the content requirements of a particular audience. It must be consistently updated and added to in order to influence the behavior of customers.

Blocking countries that you wish to exclude

A long time back, we found that none of our products and services are applicable to the Chinese and Korean market. However my mail servers continued to get a lot of spam from these sources – which was weird!

At some point I came across Okean (www.okean.com)  and started using their list to prevent access from such sources. I find it works great; and here’s the NETSH command used to perform the block on a windows box:

netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name="IP Block" dir=in interface=any action=block remoteip=x.x.x.x/32

server-to-server-transfer-notes

Transferring servers

  • Compress all unused / extra-low-usage stuff and ship it out first
  • DNS

Bulk transfer is the best way to do this.

  1. Use DNSCMD to bulk list all zones
  2. Allow them to transfer to a secondary
    dnscmd . /ZoneResetSecondaries testing.com /NonSecure
  3. Add them to the new server as secondary
    dnscmd . /ZoneAdd testing.com /Secondary (old-server-IP) /file testing.com.dns
  4. Give them 48 hours to sync correctly, optionally expand each zone and confirm that it’s actually synced
  5. Convert to primary
    dnscmd . /zoneresettype testing.com /primary /file testing.com.dns
  6. use this VBS script to ensure all the records are converted
    1.1.1.1 = old IP, 2.2.2.2 = new IP

    ---
    strComputer = "."
    Set objWMIService = GetObject("winmgmts:" _
    & "{impersonationLevel=impersonate}!\\" & strComputer & _
    "\root\MicrosoftDNS")
    
    Set colItems = objWMIService.ExecQuery("Select * from MicrosoftDNS_AType")
    
    For Each objItem in colItems
    If objItem.RecordData = "1.1.1.1" then
    dim zone
    zone = objItem.ContainerName
    dim rr 
    rr = Replace(objItem.OwnerName,"." & objItem.ContainerName,"")
    if rr=zone then
     rr=zone & "."
    end if 
    Wscript.Echo "dnscmd /recorddelete " & zone & " " & rr & " A /F "
    Wscript.Echo "dnscmd /recordadd " & zone & " " & rr & " A 2.2.2.2 "
    Wscript.Echo
    End If 
    Next
    -----
  • IIS

Use the IIS bulk transfer tool. This moves everything including SSLs and whatnot – but it does not move dependencies. You will need to ensure dependencies are installed using Web Platform installer else you won’t have a track record of what’s there & what’s not.

BUT it does not work for > 4GB sizes. Batch transfers get tricky as the new transfer may negatively impact the past imports…

  1. Use the Server > Management > Shared Configuration  option to export the config only
  2. Transfer the files by hand
  3. On the new box, use Server > Management > Shared Configuration to import the config.
  4. Note: Username/password relates to folder security and NOT the file encryption password.
  5. Install PHP as per your preference – I use 5.3.9 MSI installer for convenience. DO NOT select “ALL extensions” – keep it default and add more as you NEED to. Some of them malfunction causing whole PHP framework to crash.
  6. Be sure to install all the VC++ libraries needed by PHP. This is very confusing and I chose to install ALL varieties (x86 AND x64, VC9, VC11, VC15) and then it worked smoothly. Doesnt take long to install though.
  7. ASP.NET – is uber smooth. Grab it through Web Platform installer and its a zero effort setup.

Anonymous logins cause a lot more trouble than it’s worth. Use this script to fix the issue permanently:

Dim Siteobj
Dim Site
Dim SiteName
Dim SiteId

Set SiteObj = GetObject("IIS://localhost/W3SVC")

for each Site in Siteobj
 
 If Site.keytype="IIsWebServer" Then 
 if Site.AnonymousUserName<>"" then
 
 WScript.Echo Site.ServerComment
 WScript.Echo Site.AuthAnonymous

Site.AnonymousUserName="" 
Site.setInfo

end if 
 End if 
Next

Beware: If you do the bulk transfer without taking care of dependencies, you WILL corrupt your IIS install. It’s harder to fix after that…

  • Database

Be sure to install database and ODBC drivers – the new ACE oledb driver (ref: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/6649363/microsoft-ace-oledb-12-0-provider-is-not-registered-on-the-local-machine) won’t work unless you install these 4 links
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=23734
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=13255
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=39358
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=50040
(I chose the 32bit version, which means in IIS application pool you’ll need to enable 32-bit execution)

Make backups “BAK” of all SQL databases and immediately thereafter delete the database / stop the server. This way the transfer state will remain consistent.

Refer to http://solutioncenter.apexsql.com/transfer-sql-logins-for-users-with-a-large-number-of-sql-authenticated-logins/ to ensure you know how to get the users list across. This article is superb for ready-to-use code too: https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/kb/918992

Finally use this script: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-in/library/ms187858.aspx

For MySQL:

  • do a full script export and stop the server

    mysqldump –all-databases -u root -p > mysql.txt

  • do an import on the new server

    mysql -u root -p < mysql.txt

For MongoDB: its SUPER EASY! I so love this.

  • do a mongodump and stop the server
  • mongorestore on the new server – voila! Instant running.

 

New found love for Fantasy Cricket

I’ve always hated cricket. No seriously – I lost matches and had such a poor experience playing cricket that I genuinely hated cricket all through school and college. However I could never understand the passion when people watch a match, or play a match themselves… So I thought I should at least make an honest effort to figure this out. I mean cricket IS the most popular game in India after all 🙂

The game itself is no biggie – standard 11 players per team, little leagues, big leagues, ODIs and Tests and so much more… But that’s the usual stuff. What really grabbed me was the Fantasy Cricket thing. It sounded like betting, and it sounded like gambling – but as I dug deeper I found that, per a court directive, cricket betting requires such great skill in selection of players that it’s actually qualified as a game of skill!

The annual market for cricket betting is estimated as USD 11 billion across the globe. This is from relatively recent news mentions on this topic (and the fact remains that some part of this is not conducted legally so I’ll just leave that piece out). The clean income from fantasy cricket is expected to exceed USD 2 billion this year. I wanted to get into the game and make my own millions (maybe not billions; but 1/1000th of that is still pretty good right?) so I started researching this angle.

What I found is this:

  • A fantasy cricket user chooses their 11 players from the squad for a given match.
  • When the real live game commences, your game is on the move as well.
  • For each run scored, wicket taken, the players you’ve chosen will earn you points!
  • Now obviously you need a serious level of skill to recognize which player will do well; thus you’re not betting on the game; you’re counting on your own incredible cricket skill.
  • Finally when all the points are pulled together, you may win various prizes based on the outcome
  • People earn as much as 7000-13000 from a single game!!

BUT – the website that runs the fantasy cricket tournament earns even more. So I got to thinking, maybe I need to create a “fantasy cricket” website instead. Now my programming skill may not be enough; but I’ve learned a lot about the fantasy cricket api and data sources in the process:

  • Cricinfo and the other sites are quite useless – I can get some data from them but I never get accurate player-wise scoring data to use for my game.
  • There are API providers who can be very expensive when it comes to fantasy API
  • The best API I could get at a really cheap rate (and 1000 hits free on signup) was the one from www.cricapi.com – and I was instantly a fan of their really cool Fantasy API! Which is why I’m endorsing them here.
  • You need to be careful how often you want to get the API data; manage expectations upfront. Tell users they will get their score updates every 10 minutes or whatever – don’t overload your servers to give a second-to-second update.
  • Once your have your data, you want to calculate the outcome of each match and store it in a database
  • Then when the match is over, or preferably the day AFTER the match is over, compare the data in your database and announce the winners!

So this is a bit of simple math. If I take Rs 100 from each player for a reward of Rs 2000 to the winner, and I get 30 people to play the fantasy cricket (which is easy enough for me to get) – I get to keep a cool Rs 1000 per match. Now that’s good money specially during the major tournaments! Also based on the logic I make I can calculate winners for each Innings of the match, and maybe make even more moolah.

Naturally I’m looking for great people who can help me program this and share the profits; but mainly I’m putting this up because I feel it’s a great way to earn, and it’s totally non-competitive. You can run it in your local clubs etc which will never impact me negatively; I may run it in my friends circle which will never impact you negatively. It’s a win-win-win!!

If you’re a great coder who wants to work with me on this contact me on chaitanyabd@gmail.com – but if you’re trying to make your own fantasy site you can drop me a line as well and I’ll try to help you out where I can.

Bacchas today and how we fret about it

Was in the train today, when the kid standing at the door was ABOUT to fall. I managed to grab his bag and pulled him in. The kid of course was grateful etc.

So I asked him

Me: Are you trying to prove a point standing on the footboard?
Kid: No

Me: Fighting cancer or something?
Kid: No

Me: Making a case for the downtrodden or the poor or the drought struck?
Kid: No. I didn’t know there was a drought

Me: Do you have parents or siblings?
Kid: Yes mom & dad work at (some bank) and 2 brothers in college

On hearing this, I totally lost it.

Me: THEN WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU STANDING AT THE DOOR FOR?
Kid: College ke liye late ho raha tha

Me: AND WHAT YOUR 5 MINUTES LATE OR 1 PERIOD LATE IN COLLEGE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR LIFE??? STUPID KID!
Kid: 🙁 sorry sir

Some passers by mumbled about how today’s generation / millenials have no value for their own life – but anyways maybe 25-30 years later he’ll take the opportunity to screech at some other stupid kid… maybe make a difference that way.

I didn’t note the kid’s details. Didn’t even ask his name. This was 11th of April 2016 around 8:50 AM.

Call to a member function getIsGlobal() on a non-object

We came across this while using the Advanced Dataflow profiles in Magento

 

PHP Fatal error:  Call to a member function getIsGlobal() on a non-object in /var/www/html/app/code/core/Mage/Catalog/Model/Product/Type/Configurable.php on line 173

 

Finally narrowed it down to a missing column in the CSV sheet!! Hope this helps you if you’re having the same issue. Was 8-9 hours hard effort to figure out what broke and then it came down to a silly error 🙁

Magento API giving issues with Unicommerce integration

I found out I needed to add this in app/code/core/Mage/Api/etc/config.xml

under “adminhtml”

 <routers>
 <api>
 <use>standard</use>
 <args>
 <module>Mage_Api</module>
 <frontName>api</frontName>
 </args>
 </api>
 </routers>

 

Also need to turn off Auto-redirect to Base Url in System > Web > Url Options.

 

After this you can change the Admin URL to absolutely anything and it’ll work correctly in Unicommerce 🙂