Syrac Inspirations Reveal the Secrets to Marketing Success


Outsourced sales and marketing firm Syrac Inspirations reveal its guide to new marketers, which shows the firm’s 5 top tips on how to build a successful marketing career.

Tip 1 – Never stop learning.

Sara Holt, head of brand and global campaigns at BBC Worldwide once said ‘the key to success in marketing today is to be learning constantly’. Syrac Inspirations states that it is imperative to all marketers that they must never stop learning, especially because marketing trends come and go constantly. Knowledge is power, and it will only make us stronger.

Tip 2 – Take risks.

Syrac Inspirations believes that there is no such thing as ‘success and failure’; instead the firm sees it as ‘success and learning’. People must take risks, and only see it as an opportunity to learn if the risk doesn’t work out quite as planned.

Tip 3 – Look before you leap.
It is important not to get sucked into a routine because this prevents learning and development. It is also important to give a new role time to mature.

Tip 4 – Set realistic goals.

Goals are important because they create purpose. But it is also important that goals are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely). Make decisions because they are right, and not just to get ahead.

Tip 5 – Do what you are good at.

It is important to develop in areas that one is good at, because this is where they will excel. If one concentrates on the task at hand, then they will get recognised for their hard work.

Syrac Inspirations is an outsourced sales and marketing firm based in Sheffield. The firm specialises in a unique form of direct marketing, allowing them to personally connect with each individual customer on behalf of their clients. Syrac Inspirations connect with customers on a face-to-face basis because this creates long-lasting and personal business relationships between their clients’ brands and their customers. Syrac Inspirations are supporters of entrepreneurship and constantly develop new ways to encourage and educate their sales contractors to become well-rounded and confident entrepreneurs.

Live 4K Streaming Trials Exclusive to Sony 4K HDR Ultra HD TVs


Sony Electronics announced today that it has participated in successful streaming trials of live 4K sporting events, including the first live North American soccer broadcast in 4K by Univision Deportes. These events, streamed live in 4K by leveraging the NeuLion® Digital Platform and delivered over-the-top (OTT) to Sony 4K HDR Ultra HD TVs that have integrated the NeuLion 4K Streaming SDK, were viewable to exclusive audiences at locations in Florida , New York and California. These streaming events, which began in early 2016, will continue through the summer.

“Sony 4K HDR Ultra HD TVs are the logical choice for these 4K events because with our experience in 4K HDR shooting, editing, recording, storage, playback, and transmission, we understand 4K display technology like no other company,” said Sunil Nayyar, Director of Product Marketing, TV and Projectors, North America. “These 4K live streaming tests reveal that the streaming and broadcast of live 4K sports is on its way to consumers in the near future. And Sony’s line-up of 4K HDR Ultra HD TVs are ready today.”

Univision Deportes, the multimedia sports division of Univision Communications Inc. that includes UDN, the No. 1 Spanish-language sports network, produced the first live North American soccer event in 4K for a friendly match between Mexico’s National Team and Senegal that took place at Marlins Park in Miami, Florida on February 10. It was streamed live via exclusively to Sony 4K HDR Ultra HD TVs with the NeuLion 4K Streaming SDK integrated. NeuLion, a leading technology product and service provider specializing in the OTT distribution and monetization of live and on-demand video to Internet-enabled devices, and NEP, a global leader in the remote television industry, partnered with Univision Deportes  to deliver the 4K live stream.

“What makes 4K so exciting is how it enhances the experience for our fans and how we can boost their passion for our sports in a truly immersive way,” Univision Deportes Senior, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Operations, Olek Loewenstein. “Soccer matches are won and lost with lots of detail on the field of play, and with 4K, the fans are closer than ever to the insider experience. The popularity of our Univision Deportes App reveals that our fans are eager for more sports and we are the leader in the soccer fan experience. With the proliferation of 4K-capable devices and content, we are excited to take this first step to deliver a soccer match in 4K with NeuLion and Sony.”

Univision Deportes has more 4K events coming up this year, including producing the final of the Copa America Centerio in 4K. As the lineup of 4K events grows, Univision Deportes and other NeuLion customers are expected to deliver the new 4K services targeting devices like Sony’s 4K UHD HDR TVs.

“NeuLion is very excited to partner with Univision and Sony to create an end-to-end solution for the delivery, monetization and distribution of live 4K video on the world’s most popular devices,” said Dr. Kanaan Jemili, CEO of NeuLion. “These events are proof that live 4K sports are the wave of the very near future.”

Sony Electronics has an unmatched portfolio of 4K technology from the lens to the living room, so it’s no surprise that we’re also in the forefront of 4K live production. Over 20 Sony professional 4K HDC-4300 cameras were used to capture this soccer match. The 4K mobile unit provided by NEP contained numerous Sony production monitors and edit stations, alongside the NeuLion solution for real time encoding and streaming. Delivery of the live match was powered by NeuLion’s end-to-end platform—a robust solution for content management, monetization and distribution—that facilitated the high-quality 4K streaming onto Sony 4K Ultra HD televisions.

Sony Electronics newest lineup of 4K HDR Ultra HD televisions, the XBR-X850D and the XBR-X930D/XBR-X940D series, with exclusive Sony picture enhancing technologies, provide the ultimate experience in viewing 4K and HDR content. HDR content is currently available on Amazon Video, the first video provider to offer titles in HDR. Amazon Original Series HDR content includes the most-streamed Amazon original show ever, The Man in the High Castle, and Golden Globe winning series Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle, as well as movies including After Earth, Fury, Salt, Elysium and more. Netflix was the first to roll out 4K content to the mainstream market and has made a commitment to providing HDR content to its subscribers as well. In addition, the new X850D and the X930D/X940D series will support ULTRA, an app from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment to be launched this year in the US. With ULTRA, consumers can purchase and stream 4K HDR movies and TV shows – the best new and classic titles from the 4K digital library of Sony Pictures – directly on their Sony 4K HDR Ultra HD TV.

Powered by Sony’s 4K Processor X1™ advanced image engine, these televisions deliver a better 4K and HDR viewing experience as well as near 4K HDR Ultra HD quality up-converted from HD sources. Dramatic brightness and black levels bring scenes to life with dark, inky blacks and stunning bright whites. The Slim Backlight Drive™, found in the stand-out X930D series, provides dramatic contrast with X-tended Dynamic Range™ PRO, while the TRILUMINOS™ Display delivers brilliant colour. An ultra-thin design creates an expansive, borderless picture and the optional flush mount system, available in the X930D and X940D series, enables the TV to be mounted closer to the wall than ever before. All of these TVs feature Google’s Android TV™ operating system making your home smarter with access to a growing number of apps and support for IoT (Internet of Things) devices.

M&T Bank Recognized for Serving Small Business


M&T Bank has been recognized by Greenwich Associates with 10 Greenwich Excellence Awards for Small Business Banking, six national and four regional honours, for providing excellent banking products and services to small business customers.

Greenwich Associates surveys small businesses annually about their overall satisfaction with their bank, the capability of their relationship manager, the bank’s treasury management services and a number of other service categories.

“Understanding the needs of small business customers and helping them succeed has always been an important part of our mission. Our relationship managers are central to delivering on that mission, because they are out there listening to and assisting customers every day. It is also gratifying to us when a respected third party like Greenwich Associates captures our customers’ experiences and recognizes our efforts,” said M&T Senior Vice President for Business Banking Neil Hosty.

The success of the bank’s relationship managers with customers was recognized with national Greenwich Excellence Awards in several categories, such as: Relationship Manager Performance; Industry Expertise; and Advice to Help My Business Grow.

Small business banking has historically been one of M&T’s core strengths. The bank ranks as the 7th largest U.S. Small Business Administration lender in the nation, based on the total number of loans made through the SBA’s loan guaranty programs and has been the leading SBA lender in many of its largest markets.

As M&T grows, the bank looks to expand its small business lending activities in the communities it serves. After acquiring Hudson City Savings Bank in November, giving M&T its first retail branches in Connecticut, M&T was then named “Lender of the Quarter” by the Connecticut SBA District.

“We are excited for the opportunity to further expand our strong small business programs in the communities of Connecticut, New Jersey, and the greater New York City metro area. The addition of 135 former Hudson City branches increases our ability to deliver needed capital and technical assistance, to help more businesses grow and create local jobs,” Hosty said.

Brandlective Communications: 7 Tips for Successful Social Media Marketing


It can be easy for businesses to do social media, but doing it well is a different story. Social media experts Brandlective Communications have offered their advice to help businesses implement effective strategies across all social media platforms.

There are many reasons as to why businesses should be using social media to promote their brand, and an ever increasing number of businesses are now realising the potential of enlisting a social media marketing strategy. With Facebook estimated to have a global user count of over 1 billion, and Twitter reporting 232 million monthly active users, social media has the potential to connect businesses with consumers from all over the world. However, this is only possible if businesses are using these platforms correctly and alarmingly, many businesses are not harnessing the full power of social media within their sales and marketing strategies.

Social media marketing experts Brandlective Communications are concerned that businesses may be significantly limiting their potential through these failings. Having an active presence can help a brand manage their online reputation, and keep track of what people are saying about them which is key not only to customer acquisition, but also conflict resolution and maintaining positive customer relationships. It can also help improve online visibility and allow a business to rank more favourably in search engines which again, can increase customer acquisition. However whilst social media can boost a brand’s reach, doing so requires time, effort and research to ensure the content that is being shared is engaging. Brandlective are not convinced that businesses are investing adequate resources into social media marketing.

To help businesses move forward and integrate social media into their marketing and sales, the firm have offered the following advice.

1. Make a strategy.

Businesses need to ask themselves what they want to achieve through social media, research customers and competitors, and put together a clear and precise plan.

2. Try a combination of things.

Different platforms work for different industries, businesses should try out a combination of platforms to identify where they get the most engagement.

3. Build Habits

Brands need to stand out online, which means content should be posted regularly. If businesses are struggling to find the time to do this, there are a range of subscription sites that allow content to be scheduled in advance.

4. Keep track of trends.

Social media is ever evolving and trends come and go. Businesses need to pay attention to what people are using and talking about.

5. Promote

Social media is a great platform for showcasing products and services, however it’s important to strike up a healthy balance and not bombard users with too much promotional content as it can be a big turn off for consumers.

6. Two Way Street

Businesses need to let customers have their say. Starting a conversation is fine, but hogging it is not.

7. Use your eyes

Consumers don’t have the time or the patience to read a constant barrage of text and this kind of content can be extremely off putting. Instead think visual. In addition to text and stories, brands should post photos and infographics.

Network-enable Cloud in Europe


Over the past year, cloud connectivity has emerged as a key focus area for many cloud providers. Cloud connectivity refers to strengthening network-access technologies that lend increased flexibility, predictability, and security to enterprise cloud platforms. The public cloud concept is based on the delivery of shared, scalable computer and storage resources that are easily accessible via an equally scalable and flexible network, the Internet. In the case of the public cloud, enterprises can add a layer of security to the platform by adding a level of encryption over the network using a secure socket layer (SSL) or an Internet Protocol-based secure virtual private network (IPsec VPN). However, with the evolution of the cloud market, enterprises increasingly want more than scalability.

They want operational stability and predictability as well, which only private networks can deliver. The network connecting the cloud plays a key role in delivering operational predictability to a cloud platform. Enterprises’ choice of cloud providers is no longer solely based on the architecture of the cloud platform, but is also dependent on the way network access is built into the cloud. A key reason for this evolution of customer preference is that the enterprise cloud is only as secure as the network accessing the platform.

Furthermore, the enterprise IT environment is increasingly hybrid, consisting of on-premise deployments and off-site data centre services and cloud services. A distributed enterprise set-up requires a robust and reliable network that provides seamless connectivity across different environments. Cloud providers are therefore forging partnerships with network providers to offer secure connectivity and simplify access to the enterprise cloud. 

Some key announcements related to cloud connectivity over the past 2 years include the following:

Verizon’s Secure Cloud Interconnect was expanded to offer customers private and secure access to its own and partner cloud solutions. 

– Orange Business Services continued to build partnerships with cloud providers to provide secure access solutions to the cloud with Business VPN Galerie. 

– A growing partnership ecosystem for the Equinix Cloud Exchange provides customers with easy and direct access to preferred cloud solutions. 

– The launch of Google’s Cloud Interconnect Solutions is poised to offer increased network access options for enterprise customers.

Recognising the importance of the network, cloud providers are focusing on improving the network architecture connecting to their cloud platform. In this analysis, the growing importance of cloud connectivity is explored with examples of the existing models in the market. It draws a particular focus on Interoute, which is growing rapidly with its “networked cloud” offering.

AIG Travel Launches Innovative Solution for Tech-Savvy Travellers


AIG Travel, provider of Travel Guard® travel insurance solutions and global assistance services, recently launched its First Notice of Claims Loss (FNOL) tool.

Designed with direct customer feedback, the tool represents AIG Travel’s continued commitment to a streamlined customer experience. Customers and their travel agents may now submit claims online – at a website optimized for mobile, tablet and PC/laptop – at the time most convenient for them. In addition to dramatically reducing claims processing time, the FNOL tool is designed to facilitate:

  • Obtaining a claim number instantly
  • Uploading documents and photos via smart phones or other devices
  • E-signing important claim documents
  • Checking the status of a claim online anytime
  • Communicating directly with a claims adjuster via the message center
  • Receiving timely text or email updates about claim status

“When unanticipated travel events occur, customers look to AIG Travel to provide appropriate solutions quickly,” said James Page, senior vice president and chief administrative officer of AIG Travel. “We’re committed to offering that assistance as fast as possible, including during the claims submission process. That means not only providing convenient solutions, but also listening to our customers to determine what ‘convenience’ means to them – we’ve done that and we’re pleased to introduce the FNOL tool in response to their needs.”

Alpha Innova Outlines the 10 Steps to Start Having Better Conversations


As direct marketers, Alpha Innova understands the importance of valuable connections through conversation. Here, the firm has revealed the 10 steps to having better conversations.

Alpha Innova connects with consumers on a daily basis through face-to-face conversations. As a direct marketing firm, Alpha Innova specialises in personalised communications in order to create lasting business relationships between brand and consumer. To do so, the firm tries to truly get to know and understand individual consumers in order to provide them with the most suitable product or service for them. This involves having conversations with consumers that form valuable connections.


Number one: Don’t multitask

Alpha Innova says that this means being present in the moment. Individuals must not think about anything else they need to do that day and just be focused on the present conversation. 


Number two: Don’t preach 

“If you want to state your opinion without any opportunity for response or argument or pushback or growth, write a blog,” states Alpha Innova. The firm believes it is important not to preach to their consumers about how amazing their products are. It is important to listen to what it is the consumer desires and then make suggestions and allow for their reactions to these suggestions.


Number three: Use open-ended questions

Use questions that start with who, what, when, where, why or how. One-worded answers do not provide any real information about the consumer or how a product can help them, offers Alpha Innova.


Number four: Go with the flow

Alpha Innova states, “Just because a thought or a question enters your mind does not mean you have to say it out load immediately. Listen to what the consumer is saying and if the question you have thought of fits, then ask it. However, if it doesn’t let it go, otherwise it seems like you have not been listening.”


Number five: If you don’t know, say that you don’t know

Alpha Innova says that there is no point in lying to consumers, they will see right through this. The firm suggests being honest. “If you don’t know the answer to a question, offer to go away and find out for the consumer.”


Number six: Don’t equate your experience with theirs

“All experiences are individual and more importantly, it’s not about you. Don’t compare your situation to theirs because it will never be the same,” highlights Alpha Innova. Conversations should not be a promotional opportunity states the firm.


Number seven: Try not to repeat yourself

People tend to take their point and rephrase it over and over, Alpha Innova says that this is very boring and condescending and will lose the attention of the consumer almost immediately.


Number eight: Stay out of the weeds

People don’t really care about the names, the dates and all those details that are hard to remember about a product, points out Alpha Innova. The firm believes that people are interested in having a connection with sales representatives; they care about what the business is like and shared interests.


Number nine: Listen

Listening is perhaps the most important conversational skill a person could develop, outlines Alpha Innova. “Listening to the consumer will tell you everything you need to know about what product will suit them best.”


Number 10: Be brief

“A good conversation should be short enough to retain interest but long enough to cover the subject,” outlines Alpha Innova.