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Marketers, Make Things That People Want to See, Watch and Buy. In That Order.

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Marketing expert Robert Willey details what brands need to do more (and do less) to make lasting connections.


5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Early in my career, a highly respected colleague told me that ‘marketing was the tax you pay for being unremarkable.’ At first, I was offended and felt defensive. And then I realized he was right. Marketing often stands at the end of the line, told to go fast, ignore the broken parts and do amazing work. This is exactly why marketing is expensive most of the time. It’s hard to convince people to buy something that was never meant to actually do them any good. Thankfully those brands are on the wrong side of history. Now more than ever consumers and brands can have a symbiotic relationship if brands simply strive to be a badge worth standing for. 

Here’s how.

Make it official

Eight percent of people on IG follow a brand. Remember when Facebook launched ads over a decade ago and there was nearly an internet revolt to allow companies to co-mingle their posts with your friends and family? Fast forward to today and not only do we follow brands, we expect them to engage like our best friends. To respect our feeds and post content we want to see, learn from, know about and occasionally buy. It’s such an invitation for the best brands to find new relationships and create lifetime value. 

Related: TikTok Star Sells Viral Video as NFT for $500,000

Yet countless brands just want to produce ads. Sell stuff. Tell you why you should buy their widget with a highly commercialized post that most of us simply scroll past. The best brands don’t aspire for anyone to simply purchase. At the recovery juice company Cheribundi where I serve as an executive, we make antioxidant-rich tart cherry juice that is consumed by pro, elite and everyday athletes, and we aspire to make things people want to see, watch and buy. In that order. What’s the point if not? And people want the same: to connect, advocate, share and come back later. That sounds a lot like a real relationship to me. And I’m here for it. 

It’s never just one thing

The concept of what we expect from our spouses has changed. Once upon a time, it was enough to be the master of a domain: provider, housewife, mother, dad, etc. Now talk to therapists and they all say the same thing: we want more in our relationships. We are dynamic, complex and aspirational humans that have come to believe we can have it all. Well, that’s now what we expect from our brands as well. 

Once upon a time the adage ‘stack it high and let it fly’ was the king of the retail kingdom. Earn the shelf space and create the biggest footprint to acquire consumers. Times have changed. While trial still often happens offline, it doesn’t begin and end with the shelf. It also requires more than just presence. Being the best at one thing rarely wins the day. As GM of ecommerce at the soap company method, we knew that efficacy wasn’t enough. Sure soap can clean things well, but why can’t it also be counter-worthy design or smell good or even help save the planet. And when we did all those things, we learned that consumers want more than just soap. 

It’s not about me, it’s you

In most companies, the ideas for innovation come from inside. Feasibility, operational inputs, P&Ls and efficiencies rule the roadmap. Yet that’s not where some of the best and often most disruptive ideas come from. In my time at Taskrabbit, we clearly understood that people needed help around their home assembling furniture and hanging shelves by paying attention to the challenges of weekend chores. Uber followed suit and was born because SF taxis were the worst. It wasn’t about trying to find white space in a market – it was creating the market. 

These types of opportunities surround us every day and all we have to do is look around. Pay attention to culture. Read, talk, watch and understand the social conversation. Be curious. No doubt sometimes the pace and tenor can feel throttling but that’s why marketing has moved to the front of the class. We aren’t just a cost center. We should be the compass for innovation and the microphone for cultural trends. At fashion ecommerce startup Spring, we always said that the sidewalk was the new catwalk. The show outside the show was where trends were made. Look outside, investigate your feeds and listen. 

Related: Influencer Marketing Strategy Won’t Work Without This One Key Ingredient

There has never been a better time to be a brand. To connect and positively impact people through commercial gain. While we have all been sitting inside, staring at screens and pondering the future, I’m excited to see brands build relationships IRL once again. Let’s aspire to be remarkable. 

Robert Willey serves as Chief Marketing Officer for several Emil Capital Partners portfolio brands, where he leads all marketing functions including brand strategy, growth marketing, packaging, PR, performance marketing and social media. Currently, Rob serves as an executive on Cheribundi, Sipp and Plantisch.

 

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7 Tips to Excel at Online Trading

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How investors can excel at online trading and generate profits when buying and selling stocks, forex, cryptocurrencies, and other financial markets.


4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


What does it take to be good at online trading and make money buying and selling stocks, forex, cryptocurrencies, and other financial markets on the internet?

1. Online trading vs. investing

Online trading is a short term, active method for making money investing. It differs to the long-term investing approach advocated by Warren Buffett. It is closer how the famous ‘Market Wizard’ Paul Tudor Jones plays the market. Online trading offers an amazing opportunity for making an independent income using the internet, BUT it’s not for everybody. Before investing your money and time into online trading, it is worthwhile investigating first if it’s right for you.

Related: What You Need to Know Before Getting Into Online Trading

2. Find a good online trading app

Online trading can be done using your smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer. It is important to find trading companies that offer an online trading platform that can be used on any of these devices. The online broker or bank should be regulated by a government agency from a reputable country like FINMA in Switzerland or the FCA in the United Kingdom. Among the top online trading apps, the cost of trading is usually comparable, but you should make sure the commissions and bid/ask spreads are acceptable.

3. Take a free online trading course

There are many free online trading courses available on the internet, as well as paid options. No one course teaches you everything you need to know about online trading- most of these lessons come from experience. Learning concepts like lot size, pips, leverage, and placing an order in trading will not take long but are necessary to understand how online trading works. Ideally, choose a trading course that explains the different trading styles and trading strategies available.

Related: How to Start Investing

4. Choose a trading style

Broadly speaking, you can be a day trader who does day trading, a swing trader who does swing trading or a position trader than does position trading. You can break this down further into strategies like scalping. A scalper aims for very quick in and out trades to make a short-term profit or loss. How much time you can allocate to trading will play a big part in which trading style you choose. If you have a few hours per day, you can day trade; a few hours per week would be more suited to swing or position trading styles.

5. Learn a trading strategy with risk management

It is not necessary to reinvent the wheel. Find a reputable trading mentor or trading educator that explains some simple trading strategies. Over time, you will alter the strategy to suit your own personality. Something important to get right from the start is incorporating risk management, which in simple terms is making sure you don’t risk too much on a trade. A simple strategy of buying and selling on forex signals is easy to learn, but there is no way to manage the size of the winning and losing trades. Harmonic trading is one example of an advanced trading strategy that incorporates trading risk management.

Related: How to Diversify Investments: 4 Easy Tips to Help You Get Started

6. Use a trading plan to set goals

All the best traders use a trading journal and set a trading plan. This plan can be adopted from already written trading plan templates. It will give details like how many trades to place per day, how much money you will deposit into your trading account, your financial goal for the end of the year, etc. There is also the decision over which financial markets to choose, for example, naked call options on tech stocks. Keeping this trading plan to hand will help encourage consistency in your trading.

7. Be persistent, keep your trading discipline

It is this final point that separates the consistently profitable traders from the rest. Conditions in financial markets will vary, which means your online trading results will vary too. It is important not to change trading strategy too quickly. Try to learn from your experience and use your trading journal to do more of what created winning trades and less of what led to losing trades. Whatever it takes to maintain your discipline, including some good R&R, is worthwhile.

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Mexico is the country with the most ‘sugar daddies’ according to the SeekingArrangement dating app

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If you are interested in becoming a ‘sugar baby’, in Mexico there are about 183,302 ‘sugar daddies’ available, reveal data from SeekingArrangement, the world’s largest ‘sugar dating’ application.


4 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.


The precarious economy in Mexico and Latin America has caused many women, mostly young, to become ‘sugar baby’ . That is, they seek the ‘patronage’ of mature men with the economic capacity to satisfy their needs, tastes and whims, who are commonly known as ‘sugar daddies’ . In this sense, Mexico leads the rankings as the country with the most ‘sponsors’ for these girls, according to data from the dating app SeekingArrangement .

An analysis by SeekingArrangement , the world’s largest ‘sugar dating’ application, revealed that in Mexico there are about 183,302 ‘sugar daddies’ available. This represents 34% of the total of those registered in Latin America.

In second place is Brazil , with 141,725 ‘papitos’, followed by Colombia with 73,745. For their part, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Venezuela, Costa Rica and Panama have 540 thousand 444 Latino sugar daddies.

The figures represent the number of registered members since 2006, the year the dating app was created.

The platform attributes the proliferation of ‘sugar daddies’ in Mexico to two main factors. On the one hand, our country is the second largest economy in Latin America   and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected an economic growth of around 5% by 2021. On the other, the vaccination against COVID-19 and the US economic stimulus package worth 1.9 trillion dollars, show signs of recovery and boost the Mexican economy.

In other words, the number of men with sufficient budget to act as ‘sugar daddy’ of one or more women is increasing.

How does the relationship between ‘sugar daddy’ and his ‘sugar baby’ work?

According to the platform, the relationship between these types of men and the women it sponsors is not a simple exchange of money for company or other benefits.

Sugar daddies not only provide financial assistance, they can also be mentors, offering their expertise as financial guides. For example for the payment of services, rent and lifestyle of those who call their ‘ sugar babbies’ , explains Brandon Wade, CEO and Founder of SeekingArrangement.

“In addition, they can support opportunities to acquire contacts and advance their careers , among other things, in order to improve the aspirations of future professionals while they are still in college,” he added.

And what do they get in return?

“These men find peace of mind when dating younger and more dynamic people, who might share the same tune and their same aspirations,” says Rachel Uchitel, spokeswoman for SeekingArrangement. She explains that these wealthy men seek younger people because they do not find mental compatibility between them and potential partners their age.

SeekingArrangement is currently the world’s largest sugar dating site, with 22 million members globally. According to their website , both ‘mature men’ and girls “seek mutually beneficial relationships, on their own terms.”

With information from El Universal .


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Frustrated With a Colleague? Expectations May Be Why.

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6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


I recently celebrated my 51st birthday and reflected on the many things I’ve learned since my first startup. 

Most of my learning has come from two places—the wisdom of others intended to help me avoid mistakes and the many mistakes I made despite all their wisdom. The opportunity to practice resiliency that comes from overcoming mistakes is priceless. I’ve seen firsthand that the most challenging mistakes are the ones that involve other people.

My experience is that solving most big problems requires a team of people rallying together to figure out how to both imagine and execute solutions. The execution is often where challenges begin between people, even those dedicated and committed to the mission.The greatest anxiety, frustration and stress often come down to one thing: expectations.

I’ve seen many scenarios unfold over and over again; here are the top four:  

1. Not setting expectations 

This is the most common culprit of conflict between individuals or teams: not setting expectations in the first place. 

“We met last week about the new campaign. We agreed when the new campaign would kick off. Then today, I got copied on an email to the client, and the date was way earlier. I’m so annoyed.”

Did anyone document what was agreed to? Who circulated expectations to confirm a shared understanding? Were the client communications expectations discussed and documented?

It’s easy to see how this can happen. Two colleagues assumed they were on the same page. But without an actual page, it’s easy for things to go awry.

Related: 8 Unrealistic Expectations That Can Harm You

2. Implied expectations

This one trips me up all the time and comes in two flavors. Let’s look at the leader disruptor version first. 

“The reason I missed this deadline is that our CEO asked me to dig into some metrics on this other project, and it took longer than I expected. I thought an executive’s request was more important and prioritized accordingly.” 

This scenario is the leader’s fault—there’s an implied expectation that because a senior leader made a request, it’s urgent and takes precedence. As leaders, we should clearly set expectations—especially for individual contributors who might not know to ask about priority. I’ve gotten better with this, but it still gets me every so often. 

The other flavor is hyper-accountable vs. accountable-accountable.

“They know how important the project is to the company. I’ve talked about it in meetings every week. I gave them feedback on their draft immediately. They’ve got everything ready to launch, but the program is still not live. I’m so frustrated.”

Are they bought in? How much does this project align with their goals? Are dates set, documented, and acknowledged by everyone involved? How is the team prioritizing other projects against this one? 

The reason I see this as hyper-accountable is that one side is so accountable to everyone around them (an awesome trait) that they assume everyone else is also the same hyper-accountable, and they can’t understand why they are not. The fix is for the hyper-accountable to step back and consider the overall priorities—in addition to what they are most committed to—and adjust their expectations accordingly. 

Related: The Dangers of Overpromising and Under-Delivering

3. Managing expectations

Any project that involves multiple contributors and multiple meetings are likely to change. If expectations have been set and everyone’s agreed to them, things are off to a good start. But then the universe throws a wrench into the mix. 

“They just told me that we’re not going to launch for another month. Apparently, this was decided two weeks ago because of a technical gap, but I’m just finding out about it now. I am so defeated.” 

How to avoid this mistake is obvious when you see it, but unfortunately, it is also so easy to fall into. In a rush to solve a problem, we often forget to manage and reset expectations. 

Are there stakeholders that would benefit from an update? Perhaps a board member who asked a question about a particular project that is now delayed. Are you going to wait a few weeks until the next board meeting, or should you update them sooner?

Related: Tricks to Staying Calm Under Pressure

4. Communicating expectations 

One of my co-founder’s favorite quotes is by George Bernard Shaw: “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

We’re all living with information overload constantly. It can be hard to figure out which email, Slack or text message is important and which can wait. Even if you do consume it all, how much are you really retaining—especially if it isn’t immediately relevant to you?

“I sent a long, comprehensive Slack update, shared the slide deck with the team…asked for their review and feedback, but no one got back to me. They’re saying they didn’t know about this policy change and that we never tell them anything. I am perplexed.” 

There’s a combination of problems here, but the biggest is ensuring that what’s communicated is actually being consumed and acknowledged. If you aren’t sure, ask. It’s a bit more work, but it tends to destress the situation. 

How does the team prefer to learn new information or participate in decisions? Do they want to be walked through the change and given the opportunity to ask questions live?

The expectation test 

When I’m observing a conflict unfolding, I do my best to assess with an expectation test. Does everyone have the same set of expectations? How would I—or they—know? If the answer is anything other than a resounding “yes,” it’s time to probe and see where the expectations may not exist, be weak, not be managed or be impacted by a communications issue. If you’re looking to defuse conflict, start with an expectation test and go from there. 

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