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The question that savvy marketers need ask is “what do people really want from their mobile marketing experience?” Without too much guesswork, you can probably figure out what people don’t want: text-only access; having a wait time between sending and receiving information; navigating huge Web pages on a tiny screen; and not being able to access their data if they are disconnected.
With those factors in mind, it becomes apparent that people would ultimately prefer to have the same type of experience on their mobile device as they do on their personal computers. And what is the number one way marketers can reach their audience through a personal computer? The answer is simple – their Web site.
The good news for marketers is that mobile technology is improving all the time. The novelty of SMS will wear off as better devices continue to hit the market – devices designed to deliver a better mobile Web experience. It’s only a matter of time before smartphones are no longer considered “smart,” simply because at some point all mobile devices will be able to offer up the same type of experience.
With smartphone sales expected to rise 70 percent in 2006 over the previous year, according to InStat, the opportunity to extend the Web site experience to mobile is already here. Brands like BMW, The History Channel, HP, Microsoft and United Airlines are leading the pack in delivering rich visual content to mobile users.
Mobile marketing should encompass more than just building brand awareness. It needs to be a robust part of the overall marketing strategy, helping companies to not only manage their overall brand message, but also to improve customer relationships, educate customers about products and solutions, and essentially give the company even greater control over its sales funnel.
This might sound like a hefty promise for mobile to deliver. But it isn’t, when you consider how having a mobile Web site strategy can help companies extend their existing Web site, bringing rich, interactive information directly into the hands of their customers.
Let me explain further. Web sites optimized for mobile devices have the power to:
Ø Help the customer take information with them. This is especially important for customers who are in the middle of the buying process. They typically know what they want and do the research before they buy. For example, a customer searching for a new car would use a mobile Web site to search for dealerships, research models and request additional information. And, most importantly, the customer can do this while he or she has downtime, such as sitting on the subway or on a plane.
Ø Create a one-to-one shopping experience through incentives that customers can take with them. A retailer such as Best Buy may decide to offer a coupon to users through their mobile Web site. Customers show the coupon on their device while they are in the checkout lane, saving them from having to do any clipping or remembering to take the coupon with them.
One of the great things about smartphone and wireless PDA devices is that in addition to wireless connectivity, they offer mobile users one other important feature – the ability to download information and take it with them. This is especially important now as wireless connectivity is not always available or cost-effective and probably won’t be for at least a couple of years. People want their information available at all times – and that means being able to sync wirelessly or through a desktop link is still crucial.
This article was first published on chúng tôi
You're reading Mobile Marketing Myth: Staying Connected To Your Audience
Keywords. Conversion. User experience. Search engine optimization.
What do all of these words and phrases have in common?
They all relate to how you will attract, engage, and convert your target audience.
The crux of any good digital marketing campaign is to identify the specific characteristics of your ideal customers, including geographic, demographic, and psychographic variables.
The more you know about your audience, the more powerful your digital marketing efforts will become.
At some point, whether it was in a Marketing 101 course you took or from self-learning, you’ve probably heard that getting to know your audience is incredibly important.
What this really means: it isn’t enough to know the demographics and location of your prospects. You have to know as much as possible about them, including their:
Knowing all of this will help you:
Come up with an accurate list of topics and keywords to target.
Set up your pages to convert more effectively.
Create a great user experience.
Optimize your content.
Craft the perfect message to cause your readers to take action.
Find key influencers in your market.
Below is a step-by-step approach you can use to get to know your audience, which will, in turn, help you create a successful digital marketing campaign and turn you into a marketing rock star.Step 1: Conduct Market Research
When you want to know more about your target audience, you need to conduct good old-fashioned market research.
The goal of market research is to get as many details as possible about the group you’re targeting, which you can later use to build personas.
There are many ways you can gather this information, including the following five methods.Reach Out to Other Departments
Many times, we work in silos, meaning we stick within our own team or department and don’t reach out to anyone outside of our group.
For example, the sales team will know the types of questions that prospects ask and will also know their interests and desires.
If your company has a customer service team, they will be able to provide insight into the words customers use (i.e. possible keywords for SEO) and what concerns are commonly brought up.Gather Data Using Tools
Plenty of tools can help you gather data about your target audience. These tools range in price, but can provide assist you in building a foundation of information, ranging from basic demographic data to specific habits and interests.
Two of my favorite tools are:
Demographics Pro: This tool will analyze Twitter and Instagram profiles to give you insight into the followers. If your company doesn’t have a large following, you can analyze your competitor’s profiles. You can glean a ton of great data for your personas after analyzing a profile, as seen here:Research Social Networks
If you ever wanted to read your customers’ minds, social media is the closest you will get.
This concept is known as social listening. It consists of monitoring the various social networks to discover what is being said about your brand, your competitors, and topics relevant to your business.
You can even identify trends in your audience’s interests and problems.
Also, you can determine what social networks your target audience is the most active on, as well as the influencers in that space.
Instead of asking your audience questions, you can listen to their social conversations and determine what type of content will be the most valuable and relevant to them.Create a Quantitative Survey
You will need to gather more information about your audience than general demographics. However, that doesn’t mean you are going to dismiss demographics, such as age, gender, income level, education, employment, etc.
To gather this information fairly quick, you can take a quantitative approach. This research method is ideal for surveying a large population of interest, such as your existing customer base or potential market.
The easiest way to go about this research is to use an online survey. The data is then quantified, giving you statistical results about your population.
You will be able to see general characteristics about your target audience.
This approach won’t give you specific insight into individual experiences. Instead, it reflects trends and commonalities among your audience. Tip: SurveyMonkey is a great surveying tool.Conduct Interviews
Interviews are considered a qualitative research method, which delves into motivations, thoughts, and even opinions. It is a way to get to know your audience on a more personal level.
Because interviews are a time-consuming process, the population you research will be smaller. Generally, you will aim for 10 to 20 interviews.
The interview itself should be treated as a conversation. There should be a lot of listening on your end.
Be careful not to put words into the respondent’s mouth. Instead, take the time to allow the person to get deep into his or her thoughts.
If you truly listen to these interviews, you will discover a wealth of information that you can use to successfully market and sell to your potential customers.Step 2: Build Your Personas
Now that you have collected detailed information about your target audience, you can start to build buyer personas.
Marketers who use personas achieve 73 percent higher conversions, according to Aberdeen Research.
A persona isn’t a simple buyer profile. A buyer persona is a representation of your ideal customer, based on market research and actual data about your existing customer base.
Step one helps you put together this information to discover your target customers’ demographics, motivations, interests, and behaviors.
Personas offer a voice from your ideal target customers that tie right back to your digital marketing efforts.
Think of and refer to your personas as real people instead of an abstract audience. That will help you engage in genuine conversations with your current and potential customers.
Below are some tips to help you build personas for your digital marketing campaign.Identify All the Personas You’re Targeting
After conducting your market research, there is a strong chance you identified more than one buyer persona. That’s OK. In fact, it’s pretty common.
All of these personas should describe different target customers. You will tailor your content and SEO efforts to connect with each of these customer segments.
For example, if you identified millennials as one of your buyer personas, you will develop a content marketing strategy that speaks directly to them. You will also consider what words they use and the websites they frequent.Write a Detailed Description of Each Persona
It isn’t enough to jot down a “type” of a persona you have identified. Instead, you want to describe, in detail, each one.
You would include basic demographic data, but also other pertinent information, such as the person’s:
Be very detailed in your persona description. Include real quotes for your personas, which should be taken from the interviews you conducted during your market research.
You might consider including a picture of your persona and even a name or archetype, such as Frugal Freddy, Motivated Mary, etc.
If you need a little guidance in describing these personas, there are plenty of free persona building templates out there, including HubSpot’s MakeMyPersona.Put Personas Into Action
Once you create personas, you should regularly refer back to them when you are working on any facet of digital marketing, including SEO, content development, and social media marketing.
For instance, if you are thinking about redesigning your website, creating a social media strategy, or targeting new keywords, refer to your personas.
View them as your real customers and focus on how you can best connect with them. You should also map your content to the various personas you identified.Step 3: Identify Influencers of Your Target Audience
Once you’ve done your market research and defined your personas, it’s time to consider the influencers who can help you grow your brand’s visibility.
You need to identify the people who have a direct influence on your target audience. These are the people who can significantly impact your customer’s purchasing decision.
While influencers can include celebrities, journalists, and even industry analysts, the focus here is on social influencers. These individuals are the ones who have built a substantial social following and engage with their audience on a regular basis.
Social influencers are going to be different in each market.
For example, if you are trying to reach young mothers, you might want to find and reach out to a popular mom blogger. Or, if you are trying to reach teenagers, look at popular Snapchat celebrities or YouTubers.
Unsure who is an influencer in your market? You can use tools such as BuzzSumo or Followerwonk.
When you are looking for one of these influencers, consider the following.
Pay attention to engagement: The number of social followers is a metric to view when considering an influencer, but just as important (if not more) is the level of engagement. You want to work with an influencer who has a high engagement with followers. Social influencer Zach King is a great example. King has more than 21 million followers on Instagram and 2.3 million subscribers on YouTube. In an interview, he talked about the importance of an engaged audience and a strong collaboration between the brand and influencer.Reach Out to Influencers
When you determine the influencer(s) who are relevant to your target audience, you can start your outreach.
Take the time to get to know the influencer, just like you would take the time to get to know your target customer.
Read or view his or her posts and get a feel for what is important to the influencer. Tailor your message to each particular influencer, but at the same time, be sure to clearly communicate your brand objectives and deliverables.
You should also explain your expectations. As mentioned in the previous section, you will likely need to compensate the influencer, so start that conversation right away.Final Advice
The majority of the information shared up to this point has to do with marketing.
You have to apply tried and true marketing principles to have a great SEO or digital marketing campaign.
While some of these principles have evolved over time, what hasn’t changed is that you are still marketing to people.
It is trendy to talk about the evolving consumer, but a good marketer should also be focused on what has remained unchanged: human instincts, motivations, desires, and needs.
The more you know about your audience, including your target customers and key influencers, the greater success you will achieve through your digital marketing.
The increasing number of people who surf the internet every day calls for new methods and techniques to reach them. This is why it is important for small businesses to continuously reinvent digital marketing techniques regularly. Getting noticed is very important in order to stand out from the competition. So, let’s discuss more tips to reinvent digital marketing and its importance.Why is Reinventing Your Digital Marketing Important?
Reinventing is a process that occurs when a plan is not working properly. This can be caused by various factors, such as a lack of innovation in the business environment. Most businesses still spend a significant portion of their marketing budget on traditional strategies. Using old tactics can result in slowing down growth, hence, it is important to be adaptive. Check out the below-given ways to reinvent your digital marketing.10 Best Ways to Reinvent Your Digital Marketing
Here are some of the best ways that can easily improve your digital marketing, check them out −Make a Digital Marketing Strategy
Before you start implementing a digital marketing strategy, it’s crucial that you have a plan that will help you reach your goals. Having a well-defined understanding of your target audience and business will allow you to prioritize which areas of marketing are most effective.
For instance, if you know that most of your customers are young, then a lot of social media marketing might be a good start to reaching them. However, before you start investing in this type of strategy, it’s important that you have a solid plan in place.Focus on Growth Hacks
One of the most common terms in digital marketing is growth hacking. It is a process that involves using resource-light and inexpensive strategies to boost a company’s digital marketing efforts and increase its exposure to potential customers. According to chúng tôi growth hacking is a strategy that helps businesses grow and retain their users.
Growth marketing involves regularly experimenting with new strategies and methods, gathering feedback from customers, enhancing the quality of an organization’s digital efforts, and improving brand awareness and visibility.Use Video Marketing
Due to the increasing popularity of videos, many businesses consider them a marketing tool. According to a survey, over 80% of companies consider them as an effective marketing strategy. There are various types of videos that are created by various organizations, such as instructional videos, explainer videos, and promotional videos. Besides being more effective than sharing long texts, these types of videos can also help your business explain itself.Create User Friendly Web Design
A company’s website is today’s “storefront.” It should be easy to use, intuitive, and provide the best possible customer experience. This will help keep potential customers coming back. It should not be complex or confusing for customers.Follow the 80/20 Rule
One of the most effective marketing techniques that you can implement is the 80/20 rule. This principle states that 80% of your revenue comes from the 20% of customers who are engaged in your business. To keep your customers informed about your products and services, you can regularly send out newsletters. By having a strong relationship with your customers, you can increase the chances of building a stronger and more lasting relationship.Disruptive Marketing
Another effective technique for increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of your marketing campaign is by implementing disruptive marketing. This method involves turning the rules of marketing upside down. It can help you create a more trustworthy and transparent relationship with your customers. There are many reasons why you should implement this strategy.Use social Media
Digital marketing is very powerful, and if you know how to improve it, then you already have a Facebook or Instagram page. There is still a lot of room for growth in social media marketing. Brands can reach their potential customers through news feeds and notifications.
Social media provides businesses with an opportunity to expand their operations. It lets users keep up with your products and services and showcase your brand image in a way that’s true to its core values. This will help you build a strong and lasting relationship with your customers.Remarket and Retarget Campaign Analysis
A post-campaign analysis is a process that involves estimating the campaign’s success and then coming up with a report that will be useful for the next campaign. It helps you know which parts are executed well, how viewers reacted, the effectiveness of the campaign, and other factors.
The PCA model can help you if your plan doesn’t work. It can help you reinvent your strategies and generate the necessary ROI. Since you’re investing a lot of money into your marketing efforts, it’s important to devise strategies that can quickly generate the desired results.Automation
There are many tools that can help marketing organizations reduce their daily tasks. One of these is CRM, which can automate the management of their customer relationships. You can explore the different features of this tool and set the parameters to make it work for you.Conclusion
Marketing is considered to be the soul of a company. Having a strong marketing strategy can help businesses improve their performance. The more you understand the concept, the more you can develop effective marketing techniques. The rapid emergence and evolution of new technologies have made digital marketing an integral part of new businesses’ operations.
If you are one of the active individuals in the digital space, be proud of your work, but if you are a newcomer or someone who is trying to survive in this competitive environment, then digital marketing companies can help you. These firms provide a wide range of services, such as website development, app development, and branding.
You probably know that a marketing plan is a must for your business. After all, marketing is what helps you spread the word about your business and get new customers. And you can’t have successful marketing without a clearly defined and well-thought-out plan. But, if you’ve never created a marketing plan before, it can be difficult to know where to start.
To help small business owners who are serious about putting together a marketing plan, we’ve created a simplified six-step process that will help you achieve real results:
Assess your current business situation
Determine what you’re able to invest
Outline your marketing goals
Identify your target audience
Determine your marketing tactics
Put together an action plan that prioritizes tasks
We’ve compiled these steps into a free marketing plan template you can use to get started right now.
Let’s walk through each step in detail so you have everything you need to create a marketing plan for your small business.Step 1: Assess your current business situation
Before you get started outlining the meat of your small business marketing plan, it’s important to take stock of where you are now so you can determine the best marketing goals and objectives.
This is the ideal time for a good ole SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
A SWOT analysis is helpful when creating your small business marketing plan because it allows you to take an objective look at your business and determine areas where you’re doing well right now and areas where you might want to improve.
For example, you might already have a good social media presence, so that would be a strength, but you’re not getting as many website visits as you think you should be, which could be an opportunity.
By taking a good look at your business as well as your competitors’ businesses, you can set a solid foundation for the rest of your marketing plan.Step 2: Determine what you’re able to invest
Now that you’ve analyzed your current business situation, it’s time to figure out how much you’re going to be able to invest in a marketing plan for your small business. This will help guide and direct the remainder of your planning.Set a budget
Marketing costs money. So you need to be realistic about what you’re able to spend to invest in a successful marketing plan.
If you’re unsure how much money you should be spending on marketing, most new businesses allocate 12-20% of their gross revenue while established businesses allocate 6-12%.
It may seem like a large chunk, but the return on your investment will be worth it with the right small business marketing plan!
And even if you have little-to-no budget to spend on marketing, any little bit can help you take your business to the next level. (Plus, there are some great free and low-cost marketing ideas you can try.)Budget your time
How much time are you able to invest per week in marketing? It’s really easy to let your marketing slide as you focus on running your business but having a specific goal will help you keep track of how you are doing relative to your plan.
In terms of how far out you should plan, a year is not a bad place to start. If this is the first time you’ve put together a marketing plan for your business, you should understand that you may need to do some course corrections over time. Don’t completely flip your marketing plan every month, but you also don’t want to go an entire year without taking stock of what’s working and what’s not.Step 3: Outline your marketing goals
Now it’s time to get down to business! Once you have a solid understanding of your opportunities and weaknesses as well as your budget, you can start writing your marketing goals.
Marketing goals should be SMART. Check out this chart for details on what SMART stands for:
An example of a SMART marketing goal would be something like: Increase website visits by 5% in six months.
This goal is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-specific.
When it comes to writing your marketing goals, you might consider some broad marketing objectives that many small businesses have.
Here are some common marketing goals examples:
Building an online presence
Increasing brand awareness
Connecting and engaging with your audience
Growing your online audience
You can determine which of these make the most sense for your business and then make them SMART.Step 4: Identify your target audience
Before you can solidify your marketing plan, it’s important to know who you’re going to be targeting with your marketing. Your target audience varies based on a number of factors, including your business type, your area, and so much more.
Here are some questions to ask to help identify your target audience:
Who are your current customers? This includes general demographics such as age, gender, location, and more.
Who else would you want to reach? Is there any group that you wish you were reaching but you aren’t? You can outline this group and target them with your marketing plan.
What products/services are your customers buying from you? It’s helpful to understand what your current customers are buying from you so you can incorporate that into your marketing plan–or look for opportunities to show your other products and services a little more love.
Why are your current customers buying from you? Understanding your customers’ motivations for buying your products and services can give you a deeper glimpse into your differentiators as well as what pain points your business can address.
What information is influencing their purchasing decision? If you can pinpoint specific information, marketing channels, or people that are either getting them to buy from you or keeping them making a purchase from you, you can better tweak your marketing messaging and address areas for improvement (such as bad reviews!).
Where do your current customers spend time online? If you can understand where your customers spend time online, you can also incorporate this data into your marketing plan by investing in the channels that have the best chance of reaching them.
What do your competitors’ customers look like? It’s important to know what the competitive landscape looks like when it comes to determining your target audience. Take a look at what your competitors’ customers look like to see how you could replicate reaching a similar audience.
Get more tips for finding your target audience here.
Once you have your target audience defined, you can even create buyer personas to better understand who you’re targeting and why.Step 5: Determine your marketing tactics
Now that you have your marketing goals outlined and you know who you’re targeting, it’s time to determine what will make up your small business’s marketing plan.
Take a look at each of your marketing goals and list the marketing tactics you think you would need or want to reach those.
Let’s use our example marketing goal from above. In order to increase website visits by 5% in six months, there are a number of different tactics we can use, like:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – this will help us optimize our website to get found in search engines.
PPC – This will more immediately drive users to our website while our SEO is getting up and running.
Facebook Ads – These will help grow our audience and drive more visitors to our site.
Once you’ve completed this exercise for each marketing goal, you can revisit the budget you set in step two to determine what’s realistic and doable–both from a time standpoint and a monetary standpoint.
This is also the point in creating your marketing plan that you may want to decide whether or not you want to outsource your marketing plan by working with a marketing partner. It may require a little more budget to outsource your marketing, but it will save you time and deliver better results in the long run.Step 6: Put together an action plan that prioritizes tasks
Congratulations! You now have all the pieces to put together a marketing plan. The next task is to simply write down the tasks that you want to accomplish and prioritize them.
This may seem like an unnecessary step, but nothing could be further from the truth. You want to have a nice to-do list that you can reference any time you have a spare moment to work on your marketing.
You can fill out this chart in our free sample marketing plan!
Creating this prioritized list will make your marketing far more approachable, and it will make you far more likely to get started and stick with it. Once you create your list, put it in a highly visible spot for quick reference and share it with your employees and your marketing partner.Get started with your small business marketing plan today
No matter how great your small business idea, it won’t stay alive without a solid marketing plan. Now that you’ve created yours, make sure to measure your results and adjust your plan accordingly. Your goals may shift as changes happen in your business, the economy, and your market, but your overall marketing plan should keep you on track for success and growth.
Want more planning tips? Check out these resources:Stephanie Heitman
Stephanie is the Associate Director of Content for LocaliQ and WordStream. She has over 10 years of experience in content and social media marketing and loves writing about all things digital marketing. When she’s not researching the latest and greatest marketing news and updates, she’s probably watching reality TV with her husband, reading, or playing with her two pups.
Other posts by Stephanie Heitman
Connected devices are a cause of cybersecurity concerns for small, medium, and large businesses across all sectors. Any attempt at securing data environments requires the establishment of impenetrable cyber security frameworks for IoT devices. (NIST) recently asked experts to submit their proposals on the design of data security standards for IoT devices. This is an effort by NIST to lessen the burden related to data information security.What is IoT?
Devices that can connect to Internet sources or even to other devices are considered devices. Smart home devices including electric lights that can be controlled via your smartphone fall under this category. IoT devices have permeated all industries, since they enhance efficiency. Nowadays, it is easy to monitor and protect your home even when travelling, thanks to IoT. Lots of businesses are making an effort to ease their data monitoring burden by incorporating IoT to enhance productivity. Likewise, manufacturers are increasingly restructuring their production processes by using IoT to support their (SCADA) systems.What Risks are Associated with IoT Devices?
Needless to say, we have the ability to control computers. We can always turn our computers on or off to protect our data whenever we are not around. Nevertheless, the IoT environment is there to enable us automate activities. This way, we stand to interact less with our devices and in the process, involve ourselves more with information. In the medical industry, for instance, pacemakers that are IoT-capable can allow a doctor to monitor patients’ hearts better. In our homes, we can easily manage the security situation from our workplaces by connecting doorbells to our smartphones. Nonetheless, sensors used to collect and relay data in IoT devices are at risk. Whenever you share data between devices that are connected across an internal network, you definitely have protective measures such as passwords, firewalls, and encryption to protect your data. Connections and sensors between Bluetooth-enabled devices do not have the level of protection that is in larger devices.What is Bluetooth Connection?
A Bluetooth connection is a low-frequency and short-distance radio wave signal that uses little power. This connection links one device to another. Typically, Bluetooth connections have a 30-foot range. Regardless of the connectivity of anchored devices to the Internet, Bluetooth connections are not always fixed to a network-enabled device. For instance, headphones can be connected to a smartphone, which can connect to the Internet. Nevertheless, they require the primary anchored device so that they reach the Internet. From a data security standpoint, Bluetooth connections are considered to be lightweight. This is due to the low radio frequency involved, and insignificant power consumption. Therefore, these connections have minimal “weight” in terms of their overall ability. They act as tethering devices, which cannot independently integrate.What Risks Face IoT?
Owing to the fact that IoT and Bluetooth devices connect in several ways, several risk factors emerge. The five major security gaps that typify IoT are: 1. Authentication. When your computer is connected to a network, you require a username and password. Incorporating multi-level authentication involving the use of biometrics, such as fingerprints, will help you secure your data whenever you are connected a network-based service. 2. Confidentiality. Since connections between IoT devices aren’t secured by any authentication method, information passed across may not remain confidential. The problem of authentication is mostly experienced in public Wi-Fi networks, where anyone can access information passing through the network. 3. Authorization. Generally, Bluetooth connections are not complex enough to protect connected devices from unauthorized programs and users. Traditionally in networking, you can control access to data by individuals. Nonetheless, Bluetooth connections do not allow the creation of usernames and passwords. It is therefore difficult to define by user the data that they can access. 4. Integrity. You cannot set authorization, or even authenticate users, when IoT devices are connected. Therefore, data integrity isn’t guaranteed since you cannot be sure that only the right people have access to information that is being passed via the IoT connection. 5. Pairing. Pairing Bluetooth IoT devices with tablets, smartphones, or computers requires you to create a data-sharing connection between them. Once you leave primary devices open to Bluetooth connections for any of your IoT connections, the other devices will automatically start searching for Bluetooth connectivity. This way, they are likely to end up being paired with any open IoT Bluetooth device in the vicinity.NIST’s “Lightweight Cryptography” Project in Brief
Connected devices are a cause of cybersecurity concerns for small, medium, and large businesses across all sectors. Any attempt at securing data environments requires the establishment of impenetrable cyber security frameworks for IoT devices.(NIST) recently asked experts to submit their proposals on the design of data security standards for IoT devices. This is an effort by NIST to lessen the burden related to data information security.Devices that can connect to Internet sources or even to other devices are considereddevices. Smart home devices including electric lights that can be controlled via your smartphone fall under this category. IoT devices have permeated all industries, since they enhance efficiency. Nowadays, it is easy to monitor and protect your home even when travelling, thanks to IoT. Lots of businesses are making an effort to ease their data monitoring burden by incorporating IoT to enhance productivity. Likewise, manufacturers are increasingly restructuring their production processes by using IoT to support their(SCADA) systems.Needless to say, we have the ability to control computers. We can always turn our computers on or off to protect our data whenever we are not around. Nevertheless, the IoT environment is there to enable us automate activities. This way, we stand to interact less with our devices and in the process, involve ourselves more with information. In the medical industry, for instance, pacemakers that are IoT-capable can allow a doctor to monitor patients’ hearts better. In our homes, we can easily manage the security situation from our workplaces by connecting doorbells to our smartphones. Nonetheless, sensors used to collect and relay data in IoT devices are at risk. Whenever you share data between devices that are connected across an internal network, you definitely have protective measures such as passwords, firewalls, and encryption to protect your data. Connections and sensors between Bluetooth-enabled devices do not have the level of protection that is in larger devices.A Bluetooth connection is a low-frequency and short-distance radio wave signal that uses little power. This connection links one device to another. Typically, Bluetooth connections have a 30-foot range. Regardless of the connectivity of anchored devices to the Internet, Bluetooth connections are not always fixed to a network-enabled device. For instance, headphones can be connected to a smartphone, which can connect to the Internet. Nevertheless, they require the primary anchored device so that they reach the Internet. From a data security standpoint, Bluetooth connections are considered to be lightweight. This is due to the low radio frequency involved, and insignificant power consumption. Therefore, these connections have minimal “weight” in terms of their overall ability. They act as tethering devices, which cannot independently integrate.Owing to the fact that IoT and Bluetooth devices connect in several ways, several risk factors emerge. The five major security gaps that typify IoT are:When your computer is connected to a network, you require a username and password. Incorporating multi-level authentication involving the use of biometrics, such as fingerprints, will help you secure your data whenever you are connected a network-based service.Since connections between IoT devices aren’t secured by any authentication method, information passed across may not remain confidential. The problem of authentication is mostly experienced in public Wi-Fi networks, where anyone can access information passing through the network.Generally, Bluetooth connections are not complex enough to protect connected devices from unauthorized programs and users. Traditionally in networking, you can control access to data by individuals. Nonetheless, Bluetooth connections do not allow the creation of usernames and passwords. It is therefore difficult to define by user the data that they can chúng tôi cannot set authorization, or even authenticate users, when IoT devices are connected. Therefore, data integrity isn’t guaranteed since you cannot be sure that only the right people have access to information that is being passed via the IoT connection.Pairing Bluetooth IoT devices with tablets, smartphones, or computers requires you to create a data-sharing connection between them. Once you leave primary devices open to Bluetooth connections for any of your IoT connections, the other devices will automatically start searching for Bluetooth connectivity. This way, they are likely to end up being paired with any open IoT Bluetooth device in the vicinity.Basically, IoT devices differ in sophistication and price. Therefore, NIST recognizes the need to create standards that will protect all devices. This is what the NIST Lightweight Cryptography Standardization Project is all about. NIST is seeking to introduce minimum requirements, which will focus on coding to help prevent brute-force attacks against IoT devices.
Printing anything from anywhere is no longer fantasy. In fact, it’s often a necessity if using a smartphone, tablet, or laptop is an essential part of your daily workflow.
Whatever the case, wouldn’t you like to send a print job to the printer you spot down the hall, or to a printer in an office superstore down the block? Or how about sending a document from San Francisco to your own printer back in Chicago?
Epson’s iPrint app lets you print photos or documents, save to cloud storage, and more.
Mobile printing technology makes all of this possible. Printers with wireless or Web connectivity can communicate far beyond a specific user or workgroup. And printer vendors, all too happy to help you keep printing, are rolling out solutions that use e-mail or cloud-based print servers as the backbone for sending print jobs. Big companies like Apple, Google, and HP have particularly well-developed technologies that address issues such as reaching older printers, or finding places to print when you’re on the road.Get ready and set to print
Where and how you get started depends on how far you want to take your printing capabilities. You’ll also have to consider three basic issues:
1. Find your printer, find your app: Your device and printer of choice need to find each other. Obviously, it’s easy to set up mobile printing around your home or office, where you own or already have access to the printer. But what about when you must send a job to an unfamiliar printer? Luckily, checking a printer’s online feature sheet will tell you whether it supports a solution to cover your mobile device or situation. You can also visit the iOS App Store or Google Play to search for a mobile app from the company that makes the printer you want to use (conversely, you won’t have much luck searching for these apps in the Windows Phone Store or Windows Store). And if you want to find printers in random places as you travel, apps can help you detect accessible printers—at places like office stores and copy shops that offer printing on the fly (for a fee).
2. Print prudently: Security is a big issue with mobile printing. You want to protect remotely printed jobs from being seen by prying eyes, and also protect your Web-connected printer from being accessed by unauthorized users—or even hackers. Simple wireless printing usually prints the job immediately, so you’ll need to be nearby to pick it up. If you’re sending to a printer that’s not immediately accessible, look for a solution that gives you a passcode and holds your job until you get to the printer and enter the code. If you’re part of a big company, your IT department may require you to stick with implementations that lie within protected networks.
3. Accept limitations: A major challenge with mobile printing is the lack of a reliable connection and an installed driver. Printer vendors have had about three years to work out the biggest transmission kinks, but it’s still possible that your print job will go astray, and you’ll have to resend it. More commonly, you’ll miss that driver when your print job comes out looking funny. While most mobile solutions will let you print Microsoft Office files, photos, and PDF files with decent results, formatting hiccups could include extra pages, cut-off pages, font substitutions, and odd scaling.
The easiest kind of mobile printing targets the printer you know: the one that’s sitting in your home or office. If it’s on a wireless network, you can print to it directly from nearby. Conversely, if it’s connected to the Internet, you can use an e-mail-based sending app to print to it remotely. An office you’re visiting may even have a printer that you can connect to in one of these ways.
If you use an iOS device, you’re in luck: Major printer vendors—such as Brother, Canon, Dell, Epson, HP, and Lexmark—cover iOS devices through either their own app or compatibility with Apple AirPrint. AirPrint lets you print from an iOS device to any AirPrint-compatible printer that shares the same wireless network. Your iOS device will detect the printer and print to it. (If your printer doesn’t support iPrint, the third-party FingerPrint app may help.) As with many direct-connect printing apps, you’ll have little to no control over the details of your print job, but you’ll usually get a decent, if not perfect, print.
Android devices, too, enjoy either a wireless app for direct printing from most printer vendors, or the benefits of Google Cloud Print. Google Cloud Print is notable for being brand-independent and for working with older printers as well as newer ones.
New Windows 8 devices don’t have much to work with yet, other than platform-independent solutions like Google Cloud Print and HP ePrint. Surface tablets, like devices using Apple AirPrint, will print to any printer on the same wireless network.
To use Google Cloud Print, an older printer needs to be connected to a Windows, Mac, or Linux PC that’s turned on and connected to the Internet. If you see the term “Google Cloud Print Ready” in your printer’s specs, that means it can connect directly to the Internet, skipping the computer intermediary. The sending device has to run Android or iOS and use the Chrome browser, and you have to have a Gmail account. A Print option will appear for printing Gmail attachments or files uploaded to Google Drive. You can also share your printer with friends or colleagues who have the same basic setup, either as individuals or as part of a Google Group. Not bad for an app that’s still officially in beta.
GoogleWhen you connect to a printer or print service using Google Cloud Print, their names appear as destinations in the Chrome browser’s print dialog.Find printers wherever you go
HP’s ePrint may be brand-specific, but it’s still the most mature mobile printing solution. It comes in enterprise as well as consumer flavors, and HP’s ePrint Public Print Locations let you print to machines at UPS Store and FedEx Office locations, as well as many hotels, airport lounges, public libraries, and other organizations. HP offers an ePrint app for iOS, Android, and BlackBerry devices that lets you locate accessible ePrint Public Print Location printers and send print jobs on the fly.
Widely deployed services like these show how you can remove some of the uncertainty from needing to print when you’re on the go, whether passing through a city or an airport. More office stores, airports, hotels, and even public libraries are adding printers that can be detected by mobile users. FedEx Office stores also accept Google Cloud Print jobs, if you choose “Print to FedEx Office” in the Cloud Print dialog box.
Your device app may be able to detect compatible printers in the area, or you may get access information from the airport-lounge manager or librarian. In most cases, after sending the job, you get back an access code to release the printout when you get to the printer. In most cases, you also pay a fee for the print.
And if you’re really in a pinch, and a FedEx Office, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, or UPS store is nearby, each of those brands will let you upload a document to the cloud (a website) for printing, then pick up the job in person at the store.
Mobile printing is being embraced in multiple ways by multiple vendors, but any attempt at uniform standards is still in its infancy. Nevertheless, it’s only a matter of time—probably less, rather than more, time—before it will feel natural to print to any printer that happens to be nearby without going through hoops such as installing a driver or plugging in a cable.
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