Category: location based service

What Is Location Based Marketing?

Location-based services such as Foursquare, Gowalla, and Facebook Places have started creating a lot of buzz about a concept called “location-based marketing.”

What is location based marketing? Just another social media buzz word or something that has the potential to change the way businesses interact with their consumers?

Here is a definition from one of the leading mobile marketing gurus:

Location Based Marketing: A social media marketing strategy focusing on mobile check-in services, like Foursquare or Gowalla, to bring deals, promotions, coupons, discounts, or specials to customers in real time on their mobile devices.

At its core this strategy stands at the intersection of social media marketing and mobile marketing. Also known as “LBM” – location based marketing is creating a way for businesses to literally bring value to the palm of their customer’s hand.

Customers can “check-in” to at a store on their mobile device to unlock specials and deals. This takes the often mushy concept of “social media” and creates a way for businesses to quantify exactly how their Facebook or Twitter presence is generating revenue. Social media turns into a tool to drive real traffic into restaurants and retail stores.

LBM is a low cost and easy to use marketing strategy for small businesses and restaurants that uses cutting edge proximity marketing strategies to transform customer engagement from a small business perspective.

This is exactly why LBM has so much potential and has generated so much buzz lately in marketing circles sites – it is finally a way for brick and mortar businesses to generate concrete revenue with social media.

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Consumer Education Tips For Bluetooth Marketing

The popularity of Bluetooth Marketing continues to grow, but many people are still unfamiliar with the concept. Bluetooth Marketing sends coupons, flyers, or other content to cell phones using a wireless Bluetooth connection to a consumer’s cell phone, smart phone, or other Bluetooth enabled device. Consumers must be within the Bluetooth range of the server in order to be contacted by the server. Consumers receive a customized contact message and must opt-in to receiving the advertisement before it is sent. After the consumer has consented, the advertisement – which may be a JPG or GIF image, and MP3 audio file, 3GP video, or other content – is transferred to the consumer’s cell phone via Bluetooth. No identifiable information, including phone numbers, is collected during the flyer transmission.

This process is cost effective as there are no per-message fees for the consumer or the owner of the Bluetooth Marketing server. It is also environmentally friendly as it reduces the number of paper flyers that are created and distributed.

Since Bluetooth Marketing is still fairly new, consumers need to be educated about how to receive Bluetooth flyers and they need to be reassured that the flyer is coming from a trusted source. Using print signs along with Bluetooth flyers can significantly improve the performance of an ad campaign. The presence of the sign near the transmitter indicates the location of the Bluetooth transmission so the consumer can identify the transmission’s range and they know where they should be in order to receive the flyer.

A good sign should:

  • Reassure the consumer that the transmission is from a trusted source
  • Tell the consumer that no personal information, including their phone number, can be collected during the Bluetooth transmission
  • Instruct the consumer to enable their Bluetooth in order to receive the flyer
  • Tell the consumer the contents of the flyer they will be receiving
  • Tell the consumer why they want to accept the flyer
  • Provide the server’s PIN code in case their phone requests one
  • Be eye catching and stylish like any good advertisement

When used at an event, a representative can be used on site to generate excitement. Some Bluetooth Marketing servers are small and can be used as a mobile device with a portable power supply. A representative can easily carry a small server in a backpack while they stroll through a crowd at an event. The representative can engage with people, discuss the product that is being advertised, and show them how to use their cell phones’ Bluetooth. Representatives wearing eye-catching outfits will draw attention making it easy to interact with the crowd. The representative should then ask people to turn on their Bluetooth and accept the advertisement and offer any assistance needed by the consumers.
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Make It Stronger With Video and Location-Based Marketing!

Today the hot topic in marketing is video; and tomorrow it might be another component of video. It’s just how the pace goes today with digital.

Change is the name of the game in digital today. As video is diversifying its face more boldly into individual marketing campaigns, the number of users are not only effecting the expected returns but are also playing a huge factor in the manner in which small-medium business gravitate to marketing and directly impacting how Location-based marketing and technology is shaping itself for the present and future. Location-based services (LBS), otherwise referred to as proximity marketing, taps into smart-phones and mobile GPS’, and is becoming the desired highways for local information. So, the more users tap into these location services, the greater they begin to integrate these principles into normal marketing campaigns; and ideally become less foreign to the US market.

* Almost one fifth (19%) of the world’s six billion mobile users are already using LBS. 1
* Navigation via maps and GPS is currently the most popular application, used by 46% 1

It’s not surprising that video and LBS’s basically go hand-and-hand. Considering that all of the LBS’s platform’s data are powered via local GPS and geared towards attracting local audiences or targeted segments. These platforms rely on global positioning for geography. Doesn’t matter if one is using TagWhat, Viddy (now the #1 Free Android App as of 4/27/12), or other platforms like Foursquare and Go Walla; they all provide information to users based on their mobile location. So, therefore when utilizing video marketing, it’s even more crucial that business executive stay fresh with their aligned marketing platforms and campaigns and not be afraid to create highly engaging environments on these location-based platforms or utilizing the many services of Location-Based Advertising (uses tools such as GPS and geo-fencing to locate potential prospects and send them messages) and Blue-tooth/Wifi (this allows data transfer over short distances. If you’ve used a wireless phone headset, it probably was Blue-tooth or Wifi).

Say for example, you’re a consumer retailer or business that interacts with a high volume of event attendees; you might want to explore installing proximity built around blue-tooth and Wifi to increase your audience engagements with highly personal and individualized marketing promotions. So anytime a device comes within your vicinity (300-500 feet), your targeted audiences will receive a special call-to-action encouraging the desire to shop, interact or patronize the brand in a personal manner and in real-time. The returns and quantities of transmissions are not only unlimited but instant. As the main denominator is distance and/or range from the device and the receiving mobile phone. One main benefit is the ability to transmit various file types and formats to devices. Another benefit is the cost of this highly profitable and personalized marketing program; ideally totaling only a few hundred dollars each month and includes executive level reports and in-depth analytics on dwell times, traffic patterns and behavior profiles.

Maybe you’re considering additional marketing ideas, don’t be afraid to venture into the uncharted areas of location-based techniques and tools. Though these marketing techniques are still underutilized here in the US, they’ve been proven to instantly open up stronger communication channels and create uncharted opportunities that might be the deciding factor in your ROI’s.

The benefits are endless; but the returns offer all of the following:

* Its “Real-Time” analytics with detailed reporting metrics to track campaign initiatives and measure the overall success of performance.
* A developed strategy and marketing plan for execution; including creating the aligned elements and areas for creative or design; including mobile and web.
* Help set realistic and actionable goals that are attainable and aligned with the business plans & company’s strategies
* It’s an integrated (multi-channel) marketing tool that is used to increase consumer experiences, boost customer interactions and delivers instant returns.
* Real-Time Marketing with rich generated user-content for better customer engagement
* A cross balance between paid media (PPC, Display & Banner), earned media (Social & Consumer Interaction) and owned media (Content, Web/Mobile & etc).

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The iBeacon App Development Solution for Internal and External Corporate Functions

Apple’s iBeacon uses Bluetooth Low Energy devices such as tablets and smartphones to send information. It holds great promise for automating and personalizing several functions via compatible apps or operating systems. So far, it is being used by companies to trigger location-based services actions such as tracking customer location, sending personal offers etc. Three new iBeacon apps have been launched recently to leverage the beacon technology benefits for improving operations. These are –

1- iBeacon app for the exhibition industry : this application is highly advantageous for the exhibition centres to offer as a complementary service. The cost of Beacon applications is next to negligible and in the face of future competition, this will become an included deal in all service packs. With this application, the visitors of the exhibition or event will be guided through the course of the event without any assistance from an usher, all using a virtual device. It will save the employment of manpower and visitors can view the exhibition at the leisure. The application can be used to mark stalls or object of interest, locate it in the venue and to send personal notifications based on the visitor’s interest.

2- iBeacon app for your Enterprises activities : enterprises, irrespective of their size have some common operations that will only differ in size. The iBeacon application can be used to track employee activities, allocate tasks, measure work efficiency and productivity and even keep attendance records. The data will be saved on cloud for easy and secure storage and retrieval. Personalized messages and important notifications can be sent to individual employees or teams. This technology can be used to set work priorities and speed decision-making process. The application can be customized as per the individual business requirements of the company.

3- iBeacon app for an eCommerce Store : iBeacon has marked applications for the retail industry, both internally and externally in B2B and B2C transactions. Although this store has been designed for eCommerce stores, it can be used by brick-and-mortar stores with equal efficacy. Other than sending customer’s personal notifications on offers of interest, it can also be used to direct them to aisles where products they frequently purchase are placed, to direct them to exclusive sales among other things. It will not only enhance the shopping experience, but also free employees to manage the store operations as customers will not have to rely on them much.

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Location Based Marketing – How To Reach More Local Customers

From billboards to costumed mascots, companies have been using location based marketing for years. As technology has continued to grow and change, so have the ways that you can reach potential customers.

What is Location-Based Marketing?

Location Based Marketing allows a business to market directly to its patrons via social media marketing applications accessed through mobile devices. Simply put, if your customers are using a Smartphone, iPad, or other mobile device near your location, you can utilize this local mobile marketing strategy to get them through your front door.

How It Works

With the prevalence of sophisticated mobile devices, the popularity of location-based services social media is growing. Smartphones alone accounted for 19% of all mobile devices sold in early 2010. More and more people are getting involved and connecting on sites like:

* Foursquare

* Facebook Places

* Gowalla

* Loopt

* Google Latitude

* Brightkite

These sites let people “check in” to show others where they are and depending on the service, give them access to a variety of digital interactions. Foursquare users for example, can collect badges based on the number of times they check into a particular place. This type of social media marketing involves taking advantage of these interactions to encourage people to visit your location, make purchases, and recommend it to their friends.

Getting Involved

In order to make the most of location based social media, your company must be listed on a location based social networking website. Each site handles listings a little differently, so it’s important to make sure that the information provided about your company is correct. A quick search of location based social media sites will tell you if you have a listing and if any changes need to be made. If the site doesn’t allow you to update the listing yourself, simply contact them to get your listing corrected.

A correct listing ensures that potential clients can find your business when looking for to places to go when they’re out and about. This can draw both local residents and people from out of town to your company, bringing in customers who might not otherwise have thought to stop by.

How Your Business Can Benefit

There are many ways to utilize location based marketing to grow your business. Depending on your marketing goals, you may wish to:

* Offer specialized coupons to customers the first time they check in

* Create a “digital punch card” that gives a discount or free item after a certain number of check-ins

* Post a customized banner ad or icon to catch the attention of potential clients

* Run targeted promotions for users on specific social media sites

Location based marketing occurs in real-time, meaning that the customer will view a promotion, decide whether or not to act on it, and post comments or reviews all while physically present at your location. By keeping on top of what consumers are saying, you can analyze which promotions are working the best for your company and modify your internet marketing strategy accordingly.

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How Location-Based Services Are Mis-used?

The Global Positions System (GPS) satellites are free for anyone to use. However, to use it, a GPS receiver is required which is not free. In recent years these GPS receivers have become very small and embedded in mobile phones. This has given rise to many location based services. Though there are many LBS applications that are very useful, there are a few applications that are misused.

One of the location-based services as mentioned at Child Tracking. In a study carried out by New Media Technologies students (2005) in Australia, they have detailed how this service can be misused. They state that,

“In 1998 the US implemented the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act 1998 which limits the ways Web site operators and others may collect and disseminate information pertaining to customers under the age of 13. So far, Australia has not followed suit and does not seem to have a law, which directly protects children from technology such as the Internet. With the introduction of global positioning systems for tracking purposes, the issue of child protection needs to be addressed before this technology gets into the wrong hands and used for malicious purposes.”

Some of the other consequences that may occur due to these services are the problem of parent-child relationship and also marital relationship. In their study they point out “parents should negotiate with their teenagers an agreeable form of knowing where they are whether it be GPS on their phone or just a phone call to let them know where they are. This will ensure that the relationship will not be damaged through a form of mistrust.”

And even between spouses each needs a bit of their own space and privacy, which will be jeopardised by the use of this service and may cause problems in marital relationships.

In a ZDNet news by Lisa Bowman (1999) speaks of some scary scenarios where this technology can be misused such as, “Insurance companies could refuse to insure you, or charge you higher rates, unless you install a tracking system on your car. They could then tell if you drive over 55 or spend time in shady neighbourhoods where your car has a greater chance of being stolen.” Or “FBI and local police officials could have access to your whereabouts by simply logging onto a database attached to a cell phone, tollbooth or GPS tracker”.

In yet another case a rental car company was sued by the customer for tracking him down using GPS. “In a case that could help set the bar for the amount of privacy drivers of rental cars can expect, a Connecticut man is suing a local rental company, Acme Rent-a-Car, after it used GPS (Global Positioning System) technology to track him and then fined him $450 for speeding three times.” (Robert Lemos, 2001).

A Wireless week (2003) article lists how even location-based games can be misused. “In Sweden, thousands of wireless game subscribers stalk each other using cell phones and location technology. In Japan, you can use a GPS-enabled cell phone to arrange a date, an application sometimes used by teenage prostitutes. In many countries around the world, a GPS-based game called “geocaching” is growing in popularity.” Ever since Princess Diana’s death the perils of stalking has come to the forefront in the media. The availability of such services will only help the stalkers.
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3 Can’t Miss Trends In Internet Marketing 2011 – Insider Secrets Revealed

Internet marketing is not the same as it used to be few years back. A simple webpage with few well written words, a picture and a link at the bottom was good enough to drive you sales. But internet marketing has moved to a more advanced form in last recent years.

Lets look at the 3 super hot trends in internet marketing at the current moment.

1. Social Media

Do you know Facebook rank third in term of population behind China and India with over 500 million users. Twitter get 22 million unique visitors each month. 100 million YouTube visitors in US only. Serious Internet Marketers can find a lot of business on these sites alone. All these numbers are going to be even larger in coming years. If you are not utilizing social media than you are losing a lot of market and money.

2. Location Based or Geo Marketing

Geomarketing is on fire with the advent of new location-based services ad product Google Boost. Websites with little or no SEO are outsourcing larger websites for higher keywords getting tons of traffic for free. Also get linked to Yowza!!, Loopl and Google latitude to take advantage of this trend. Keep your eyes and ears open as Google is working hard at developing and improving local search technology.

3. Mobile Marketing

Mobile market in exploding and is going to be the hottest of all trends in future. Nearly 50 million US users access web from their mobile. It is estimated that 20 billion mobile apps will be downloaded yearly by 2014. Savvy marketers to take full advantage of this hot trend by increasing their mobile application use like Twitter. A quick fact: cell phone users have surpassed cable TV, home PCs and web access in US. Does it make your heart beats go up?

There has been a lot hype about mobile marketing recently, but the real market is here now. Don’t be too late. Start off now and enter into a much bigger platform of marketing for more income.

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Location Based Applications Could Be An Untapped Market – Have You Checked in Yet?

Mobile applications like Foursquare could be one of the hottest tech trends coming down the pipeline these days. What’s really intriguing about this is that most people still have not taken them for a spin yet. At least that’s what a report from Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project says.

According to the report only 4 percent of online adults use a service such as Foursquare or Gowalla that allows them to share their location with friends and to find others who are nearby. On any given day, 1 percent of Internet users are using these services.

Here are some other interesting facts on the report:

• 7 percent of adults who go online with their mobile phone use a location-based service.

• 8 percent of online adults ages 18-29 use location-based services, significantly more than online adults in any other age group.

• 10 percent of online Hispanics use these services – significantly more than online whites (3%) or online blacks (5%).

• 6 percent of online men use a location-based service such as Foursquare or Gowalla, compared with 3 percent of online women.

In the past couple of years, as Web-enabled phones have become more popular, place-based apps have been among the most buzzed-about features in the tech world.

The idea is to let friends know what you’re up to, theoretically so you can meet up. Most also have game elements, such as earning virtual rewards or, as on Foursquare, earning a title such as “mayor” of a location if you check in there more than anyone else. This could be a great marketing tool for local search marketers who are trying to create brand awareness.

So far Foursquare has been the leader is the location-based realm. The application has reached over 4 million users. That’s up from just half a million over the spring. That number alone should tell you just how fast these apps are growing popularity. Gowalla has put itself square in Foursquare’s path as it’s major rivial.

There are some other apps out there trying to carve out their own spot in the location based mobile app world. To name a few a Get Blue and Miso who look to expand on this concept to include TV, movies and other entertainment options.

Something to consider is that younger mobile phone users are among the most likely to use these apps. Which really isn’t that surprising but the takeaway from this is if your trying to reach users who are looking for a retirement center your probably not going to reach to many people. It seems the biggest winners are going to be bars and restaurants at least for now.

A Pew report in September suggested that fewer than one in four adults who have phones that run mobile apps use any of them.

What’s exciting is that this is such an untapped market. If you are running a location based search-marketing campaign or a social media campaign now is the time to jump on the bandwagon. This has the potential to reach a bunch of younger users who are most likely searching for something to buy and tell their friends about it. That right there should be enough to get any local search marketer excited.

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Internet of Things: More Than Just Protected Plumbing

The man looking over the water gauges couldn’t believe what he was seeing…

Just down the road, a few miles from his little control room, the giant tank holding Robinson Township’s municipal water supply was draining down… fast.

He looked at the clock. Midnight. The thermometer registered an icy 20 degrees. Somewhere out there, among the Pittsburgh suburbs’ 15 square miles of snow-covered neighborhoods and businesses, a water main was losing more than 3,000 gallons of water a minute.

He checked his dials again and did some quick calculations. The township’s storage tank held 1 million gallons of water. At this rate, all of it would be gone before dawn.

But exactly where was the water leaking? Where was the pipe break?

He had no idea.

The answer came five hours later.

A ruptured water main in the town’s commercial district drained off the majority of the township’s supply and left six inches of standing water on the floor of a neighboring Toys “R” Us (not to mention – with little available water for the day, it forced schools to close).

You read about this stuff all the time. For cities around the country, water main breaks are a fact of life.

Or are they?

This is where one of the investing mega trends – the Internet of Things (IoT) – has a rising impact.

IoT to the Rescue

What if you could place sensors in underground water mains, fire hydrants and elsewhere within a piping system, each transmitting bits of data to the town water department?

Put dozens or hundreds of those sensors together, spitting out minute-to-minute information on flow rates and water pressure, and the location of a million-gallon water main break in the middle of the night is no longer such a mystery.

Most breaks, however, aren’t so dramatic or obvious.

Think of a pinhole leak in an underground water main. It might seep a comparatively small amount of water – dozens or a few hundreds of gallons a day. But add up all those leaks in a network of pipes hundreds of miles long, and you’re talking about a lot of wasted H2O.

For instance, Philadelphia’s water department pumps 250 million gallons of water through its municipal system each day. Experts say about a quarter of the water never actually reaches the businesses and residences on the other end of its pipes. That’s 60 million gallons of water lost today. And tomorrow. And the day after that.

Until recently, good luck trying to find even a small portion of those leaks. It’s like trying to find a needle in a stack of needles.

Unless you have IoT.

Powering New Efficiencies

You can imagine how precious water is in a place such as Las Vegas. Well, the region’s water district recently installed Internet-connected sensors to the buried water mains running right down the center of the Las Vegas Strip.

The devices monitor the physical integrity of the pipe walls on a real-time basis. Such efforts have helped the water district identify more than 1,600 leaks in its system and saved nearly 300 million gallons of water.

That’s just one water system. Keep in mind, the United States has more than 150,000 city, county and regional water authorities. That’s a lot of water saved (and a lot of money too).

The Internet of Things is about more than just detecting leaks in water mains, of course. But it demonstrates in just one way the growing use of the IoT and why it’s such an investable mega trend.

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Enterprise App Development Is the Future for Businesses

We are living in the age of mobile, and in this fast-changing technological environment, it wouldn’t be odd to say that our lives are tangled deeply in a mesh of mobile and web applications. Mobile technology has quickly evolved from being an everyday task simplifier into a major business utility. Mobile applications, today, have practically become an integral part of most businesses around the globe. We’ll be discussing the several benefits of enterprise apps and how they provide opportunities to app developers and businesses, along with highlighting the importance of adopting enterprise app development and what it has in store for the future.

According to a research by VisionMobile, mobile application development targets the enterprise market for the most part because business apps are useful and have the potential to generate immense revenue. Business experts look upon enterprise location-based services as being a whole new ball-game, carrying major pay-offs for both developers and businesses in the longer run. Knowing that this is the easiest way to open new revenue channels, developers need to react quickly to the demands of the customer and deliver efficiently.

According to research by Gartner and Forrester, the enterprise mobile app market will soon see an explosion because it holds immense unutilized potential, and developers need to quickly take advantage of what could be a gold rush.

Following are 5 reasons for why enterprise mobile apps will dominate the future of the business world.

1. Business processes are adopting a mobile-first strategy. Gartner believes that over half of all business process require real-time responses, which can be handled through mobile business apps. As a matter of fact, by 2018, the enterprise app market is expected to almost double. Notable examples from the Fortune 500 companies who adopted a mobile-first strategy are Walmart, McDonald’s, General Motors and AT&T.

2. Tablets are the most popular task managers. There’s an annual shipping of approximately 320 million tablets in the market that are increasingly being deployed for carrying out business tasks. According to Gartner, 70% of mobile workers will be using tablets by 2017. Forrester estimates a mammoth 900 million figure for tablets being used in daily business activities by 2017.

3. Mobile apps are being increasingly deployed for business processes. Businesses are quickly deploying mobile applications to allow their employees to stay connected to their clients while they work, at the same time collaborating on tasks with their team members. Applications like SharePoint, Salesforce and Chatter are popular examples of such software being used extensively.

4. The app security market is on the rise and improving. Security is one of the major concerns in enterprise app development, but over time, this domain has seen significant improvements, and thus, the process of securing enterprise mobile has been simplified. The ease of adopting the latest security with real-time support has smoothed the increasing demand for enterprise mobile apps.

5. Mobile Device Management, file sync location based  services and repository solutions are in demand. Enterprises are increasingly requesting these features, as they have become a necessity in the enterprise ecosystem. Developers are being asked more and more to incorporate all of these features in a single feature-pack, which of course multiplies the value and profits earned by app developers.
Companies, in recent years, have sought to ease their customers’ lives by developing several applications.

Mobility is being used for both B2C and internal applications. B2C applications emerged as particular solutions to boost revenue while also improving long-term customer relationships. Enterprises today have immense opportunities to use B2C apps to engage customers and attracting future prospects. Also, clients are able to reach customer services with much more ease, and get in touch with enterprises through email, direct messaging and one-touch applications.

Some benefits of employing B2C applications are:

• Improved visibility among users
• Maintaining long-term client relationships
• Serving clients better
• Making it easier for clients to connect to enterprises
• Better customer service
• Boosting revenue
• Surviving competition

However, internal applications are the new emerging trend. Companies are looking to deploy applications that are convenient to both the company and its employees. These enterprise apps help regulate the internal affairs of a company and utilize Big Data, while also having self-learning abilities to optimize mechanisms according to work patterns and trends.

Some of the benefits of integrating internal applications are:

• Increased operational efficiency and productivity
• Automated billing systems
• Transaction processing
• Cost planning
• Enterprise mobility management
• Resource planning

There are a myriad of benefits in store for both the companies adopting enterprise apps and for the enterprise app developers. Significant increase in enterprise-wide efficiency, productivity and field mobility is seen in companies that integrate enterprise apps, along with visibly reduced operational costs. Enterprise apps utilize Big Data and optimize information they gather to assist companies in many ways, by using either cloud services or internal software platforms.

The benefits of business-to-consumer apps are many, but greater benefits are being reaped by businesses by deploying internal applications.

Developing enterprise apps provides unique and great opportunities to developers. Considered to be of a complex nature, and being hard to manage, enterprise apps are not as easily developed in-house as consumer apps are. Thus, not only the development but the management of enterprise apps is also more than often outsourced, creating a new window of opportunity for developers.

The market for enterprise app development is booming. Businesses are frantically mobilizing their workforce to adapt to the latest technologies by leveraging their in-house IT departments. As more businesses begin to rely on optimized machine learning and data to increase operational efficiency, more companies will readily deploy such apps. This requires companies to shift their data onto clouds.

There’s a strong realization among enterprise app developers that both maintaining and developing enterprise apps has become much easier than ever before. So, the need for real-time data along with a maturation of the diverse user experience, creates new business opportunities. It is important for app developers to seize their moment and value every second as an opportunity, because, there is increasing competition in a market that itself is evolving at a rapid rate, making it hard to keep up.

To sum up, adopting a mobile-first strategy is helping companies gain the competitive advantage they need to distinguish themselves from their competitors. Not only do enterprise applications help businesses carry out daily affairs more efficiently and quickly, but they open new revenue channels and help companies excel at a faster rate.

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