5 things your hospital should be doing online.

5 things your hospital should be doing online.

Patients today are relying heavily on the internet for health and wellness needs. Is your hospital prepared? Stay ahead of the curve with these five key tactics.

  1. Provide accurate medical information.

    Fact: 59 percent of adults search online for health information. They research symptoms, treatments and weigh the importance of visiting a doctor. Top search engine result pages (or SERPs) for these searches tend to feature Web MD and Mayo Clinic. Whether you ascend to Mayo SERP heights or not, you should enrich your site with helpful content. Medicinenet provides patient-centered medical info anyone can access, including symptoms, treatment options and fast facts on each illness. Start with the most frequently diagnosed ailments and work your way down.

    Provide accurate medical information.

  2. Use chatbots.

    While live chats are managed by living, breathing humans, they are often unable to respond right away and often demand your email to reply later. Chatbots offer similiar benefits of live people without the people. Chatbots answer questions and guide patients along their journey, saving time and money. Use chatbots on your website and on Facebook Messenger to increase customer engagement.

    Use chatbots.

  3. Let patients schedule appointments online.

    It’s not just Millennials who are accustomed to doing things online. In fact, 96 percent of Americans shop on the web. But hospitals have been slow to adapt to the online marketplace. Nobody likes making appointments by phone, so Mayo Clinic and Henry Ford Health System allow patients to request an appointment online. Although it takes up to three days for a response, it’s a big step forward in making the healthcare more online accessible.

    Let patients schedule appointments online.

  4. Optimize social media.

    Your hospital needs a Facebook and Twitter presence. If you want to up your content, you need video. In 2016, the number of video posts per person on Facebook increased by 94 percent in the U.S. The American Heart Association does a great job of posting short videos explaining safety traning procedures and medical terms. See one here. Can’t make a video? Share one.

    While you’re at it, boost engagement. Reach out to your audience though quizzes and polls. It’s also great to collaborate with partners. Tag partner videos and games and share. Everyboydy wins.

    Want more tips? See these infographics on when and how to post the best content.

    Optimize social media.

  5. Get good reviews.

    Easier posted than done. Still, patients reviewing hospitals, treatments, and doctors is a thing (see RateMDs or Healthgrades). If they’re not doing it on your website, they probably should. According to squared media, 58 percent of consumers say that the star rating of a business is the most important factor they consider when making purchases. Instead of tracking down your review on Yelp and Consumer Affairs, why not put them on your website? You may earn trust and referrels along the way.

    Get good reviews.
    Credit: ratemds.com

We know healthcare. For more, follow the Brogan Healthcare Checkup.

Weekly Recap - July 21, 2017

Amazon has officially started a supermarket war. With its recent purchase of Whole Foods, the online behemoth and Walmart are on a mission to take over the grocery industry—brick and mortar and online. Does your brand have a proper mission? Promote it in video to build loyalty. Your brand too can be a YouTube star with these pointers. Maybe even connect with Gen-Z.

DETAILS, Please

Amazon to buy Whole Foods for $13.4 billion. A deal that will instantly transform the company that pioneered online shopping into a merchant with physical outposts in hundreds of neighborhoods across the country.

12 truly inspiring company vision and mission statement examples. Often, the reason we stay loyal to brands is because of their values. The best brands strive to combine physical, emotional, and logical elements into one exceptional customer- and employee- experience.

7 vital elements of a successful YouTube video. YouTube is a marketer’s paradise. The statistics are mind blowing.

Move over Millennials, Gen-Z is now the largest single population segment. According to Nielsen’s new Total Audience report, Millennials and Gen-Z now comprise 48 percent of the total media audience.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

5 stats about marketing to Baby Boomers. With a median household income of $40,581, Millennials earn 20 percent less than their Boomer parents did at the same age.

How banks and credit unions can connect to Gen We.  Just because a kid has a bank account, it doesn’t mean she knows how to manage it.

THE Topic of conversation

Communicating with Visuals - Visual communication. Did you know that 93 percent of communication is visual? Amplify your marketing and discover how your brand can communicate visually. Download our latest free guide, "Communicating with Visuals."

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How banks and credit unions can connect with Gen We.

How banks and credit unions can connect with Gen We

Just because a kid has a bank account, it doesn’t mean she knows how to manage it.

A recent report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) suggests that many teens aren’t financially literate. The findings, released in May 2017, are from an international student assessment which tested 15-year-olds in several countries.

On the assessment, 22 percent of teens scored below the financial-literacy "baseline level," and only 12 percent scored at the highest level, according to a story published at Bloomberg.com.  The mean financial-literacy score for U.S. teens was very close to the OECD average. The U.S. ranked seventh among the 15 participating countries and economies.

The assessment covered various financial skills, from reading invoices and recognizing a bank phishing email to deciphering a pay slip and reading stock prices recorded over time. While 56 percent of the teens studied reported having a bank account, nearly two out of three of those teens didn't have the skills to manage their account.

The dismal results spell opportunity for financial services. Give a kid a bank account, and she’ll have a safe place to keep her birthday money. Teach her to save and invest and she may reward you with a lifetime of business.

Credit unions have long sponsored personal finance programs for youth.  They lean on proven curriculum from Junior Achievement and National Endowment for Financial Services curriculum to familiarize kids with the credit, savings, budgeting and investments. Some even have student-run branches to teach bank management in addition to promoting thrift. 

And the courses work: high school seniors who take personal finance are more likely to save money, and have a budget and invest, according to a Discover survey.

Three ways for financial brands to connect with Gen We:

Get involved in the schools.

Your future customers are in high school. Help prepare them for the world—and your products and services—by volunteering in the classroom. Financial literacy is the ultimate brand fit. In addition to NEFE and Junior Achievement. Jump$tart Financial Smarts for Students has aggregated an online library rich with vetted personal finance classroom materials.

Seize teachable moments.

Many banks and credit unions have programs aimed at elementary-age children. The promotional items come quarterly, courtesy of a cutesy mascot and an opportunity to win tickets to an amusement park. While this tactic may have worked a couple decades ago, it falls flat on today’s tech-savvy generation. What’s more, these programs tend to fizzle out after third-grade.

Instead, shift your promotional budget to high school. This is the age when kids are becoming much more aware of money. They want stuff and want to do stuff—much of which comes with a price. Help them become good consumers by seizing any opportunity to counsel them. Yes, invite them to sign up for a checking account, and help them understand lending when they apply for a car loan or college loan. Credit is another teachable moment. While one-on-one conversations are far more personal, you can host youth seminars to reach a wider audience more efficiently.

Create Gen We-friendly products.

Gen We is growing up to be particularly entrepreneurial. They’re also more influential than previous generations on the family budget, according to CEB Iconoculture research. Rather than attempt to squeeze them into existing financial products and services, build a suite around them and market accordingly. Provide rewards and incentives for first-time borrowers and positive credit behaviors.

For more on marketing to Gen We, check out 5 things you need to know about Gen We.

Weekly Recap - July 14, 2017

The more you know, the more likely you are to buy. Discover the role of education in purchase decisions. What’s the average attention span of consumers? When it comes to email, it’s longer than you might expect. Amazon Prime Day came and went, but the showdown between Google home and Amazon Echo continues. (Cue ominous music.) Finally, should your brand look into virtual reality?

DETAILS, Please

How content marketing impacts purchase decisions, brand affinity, and trust. New research from Conductor illustrates the impact of education on purchase decisions and brand affinity.

The short attention span solution for marketers (Hint: it’s email) [infographic]. According to Entrepreneur, 2017 marks email’s 40th birthday, with 1978 cited as the year when the first marketing email was delivered.           

Prime Day brings a price battle between Amazon Echo and Google Home. Both companies drop the prices on their smart speakers, but Amazon’s aggressive discount could win the day.

Is video a game changer for virtual reality? Adoption of virtual reality (VR) headsets hasn’t grown by leaps and bounds.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

Write better meta descriptions and improve CTR [with cute animals]. Personally, I dread writing meta descriptions. I really do. So to make the process easier, I included several priceless animals for your viewing pleasure. You’re welcome.

Gen Z: marketing solutions for the next largest generation [data]. In three years, Generation Z (those born after 1996), will account for one-third of the US population. While the general public might be tempted to lump them in with Millennials, Gen Z has its own set of unique values.

THE Topic of conversation

Visual communication. Did you know that 93 percent of communication is visual? Amplify your marketing and discover how your brand can communicate visually. Download our latest free guide, "Communicating with Visuals."

SHARING is CARING

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Gen Z: Marketing solutions for the next largest generation [data].

Gen Z: Marketing solutions for the next largest generation [data].

In three years, Generation Z (also known as Gen We), or those born after 1996 will account for one-third of the U.S. population. While the general public might be tempted to lump them in with Millennials, Gen Z has their own set of unique values.

Who is Gen Z?

A major defining feature of Gen Z is they do not remember 9/11. They were raised under the shadow of increased national security and perceived danger from outside forces. As such, they are more cautious than previous generations, with a 40 percent drop in teen births and additional drops in high school drop-outs and alcohol abuse. With the oldest turning 21 and entering college and the workforce, now is the time to look at their habits in order to better understand this generation.

Ad avoiders.

Most of Gen Z won’t sit through a 30 second ad. Their perspective on certain ads is almost twice as negative as Millennials. We now live in a world of multiple screens. As soon as a commercial interrupts their program Gen Z will turn to their phone or laptop. This generation bounces between five screens: TV, laptop, desktop, tablet, and smartphone. They are also more likely to install ad blockers on their laptop.

Solution: Dazzle them. The same research on Gen Z’s ad perspective found that over 55 percent of Gen Z enjoyed ads that told an interesting story or had good music, and 72 percent enjoyed ads with humor. What’s more, don’t make your ads non-skippable. This will only create backlash from the audience.

How would you describe your attitude toward each of the following formats of online video advertising?

Figure 1 credit: Marketing Land

Collection of culture.

Gen Z is set to be the most diverse generation. Roughly 45 percent of the demographic identifies with a minority, with particular growth in Hispanic and multicultural families. A study from 2016 showed over 60 percent of Gen Z enjoyed ads with diversity.

Solution: When trying to show diversity, talk to your demographic. Testing campaigns with a focus group or marketing research will help ensure your ad connects at the right level.

Attitudes toward people/diversity in ads according to US internet users, by generation, Sep 2016

Wallet weary.

A survey conducted by Lincoln Financial Group found that among Gen Z members ages 15-19, 60 percent have a saving account, and 13 was the average age the cohort began financial planning for the future. One-fifth believes debt should be avoided at all costs. Growing up through the Great Recession, Gen Z is naturally nervous about finances.

Solution: Emphasize your deals. While humor and entertainment will draw your customers in, a deal is what will sell them. Groupon is a great way to draw in saving savvy customers. You should also make sure customers can pay through their phone, like roughly half of Gen Z does.

Gen Z is learning from millennials' money mistakes.

Figure 2 Credit: Center for Generational Kinetics

Brand busters.

Growing up along the Occupy Wall Street Movement has made Gen Z concerned about big institutions and corporate greed. Retail stores such as Abercrombie & Finch have been doing poorly with the thrift store generation, since Gen Z cares more about the quality of the product than the brand that produces them. The internet allows access to countless brands, most with consumer reviews so these young consumers can find the best deal. Overall, 90 percent of customers read a review before going to a business.

Solution: People Promoters. While Gen Z may not trust brands, they do trust people. Not exactly celebrities, but real people who have gained a following on Twitter and other social media. Copious YouTubers big and small, like Domics, are known for having sponsored content at the end of their videos. They don’t have to be an all-star, anyone within your niche market should help get your game on.

TV turn-off.

Growing up online has made Gen Z aware of their options. The average amount of time 18-24 year olds watch TV has fallen by 10 hours since 2011, according to Visual Capitalist. For Gen Z, it’s all about YouTube and Netflix now. And you can bet that they’re on these sites via smartphone, whereas Millennials are more known for using their laptop.

Solution: Go online. Use online ads and social media. Know types of Facebook ads and ways to interact online. The dating app Bumble excels at online interaction by consistently responding to comments and always offering to chat.

Know your generations. Check out how to market to young Millennials or 5 things Millennials want from healthcare.

Women choose strong over skinny.

Women choose strong over skinny.

My college-aged nieces regularly post goofy selfies. Some might say unflattering. Eyes crossed, hair wild, tongues lolling. Anything goes. Their friends respond in kind. #photoshopmenot.

We celebrated friend’s birthday recently with a rock climbing trip. It was his 16-year-old daughter’s first experience and the route was fairly technical. My 16-year-old son has been climbing for some time and offered to lead the way, but she wouldn’t have it. “I can figure this out.” And she did, with gleeful bravado and fresh bruises.

My 14-year-old daughter Sofia and her friends broke from studying recently to see who could hold a plank the longest. “You’re so skinny,” one of her friends said to her. That was once the ultimate compliment for a girl, right next to thin and petite.

“I don’t want to be skinny,” Sofia barked. “I want to be strong.”

When Cass Hines, an Australian fitness model shared pics with her 88,000 followers after gaining 18 pounds of muscle, she won twice as many likes as she got from her previous skinny posts.

"Seeing these pics side by side, I can now honestly say that being ‘skinny’ is not what I want anymore," Hines wrote in the caption. "It blows my mind to think what I can do in terms of training and the strength I have gained vs. back then."

Is the female ideal shifting from size to strength? Several brands seem to think so—whether championing the cause or following it. Consider the following related events, from traditional media to the big screen.

Women’s Health Magazine cuts the fat. In response to a reader survey, Women's Health magazine resolved to stop using the words "shrink" and "diet," as well as the phrases "Bikini Body” and “Drop Two Sizes” on any future covers at the beginning of 2016.

Wonder Woman crushes stereotypes. After telling the stories of Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Dr. Strange, Green Hornet, and a host of other male superheroes, Hollywood this year released the first female-centered comic book movie.  It’s also the first-ever live-action film to be directed by a woman with budget of more than $100 million.

Samantha Bee goes Full Frontal. After being the longest-serving regular correspondent on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Bee in 2015 became the first woman to host a late-night satire show. 

Brands go skin deeper. Dove began changing the conversation from outer beauty to inner beauty more than a decade ago. Today’s Barbie is pursuing a STEM career and Always is cheering her on from the sidelines, encouraging girls to step up and take the lead. For more brands empowering women in 2017, check out this blog.

Have you changed the way your brand communicates with female consumers? What’s working and why?

7 ways you can write better blog titles.

7 ways you can write better blog titles.

If you don’t like spending hours to think of a four word title, you’re not alone. Creating a good title is work, especially with the added pressure to drive traffic to your blog or website. So, if you want to increase click through rates (CTR) and conquer the search engine results page (SERP), read on.

  1. Use these words.

    When it comes to the five w’s, headlines with the word “who” generate a 22 percent higher CTR than those without it. Clarification can also boost CTR. Bracketed clarification in your title, such as [Podcast] or [Video] perform 38 percent better than headlines without.

  2. Avoid these words.

    Readers won’t click on “amazing” content because they know it’s probably not. In a world of clickbait, readers are more choosy about what they read. Words like: amazing, magic, best, simple, secret, and trick, saw a decreased CTR. “Tip” saw a CTR drop of 59 percent, and “how to” dropped by 49 percent. Additionally, “why” saw a 37 percent drop.

  3. Don’t lie.

    Of course, this mostly applies to clickbait. Social media sites like Facebook are working to remove fake news and false articles from consumer feeds. While flashy advertisement might get more clicks in the short term, over time it creates a sense of distrust in the consumer. With more people catching on, clickbait could get users to avoid you for life.

  4. Promise something.

    A reader should know exactly what they’re getting from a title. It should give something, something the reader wants, and deliver it. If your topic is way out of left field, make sure you mention it in the title. A study of popular titles like Buzzfeed, Huffington Post and Vox revealed 67 percent contained an unknown new concept.

  5. Use numbers.

    Going along with gifts, numbers help the reader know exactly what to expect. How many tips do you need? Should you include five tips or 26? Surprisingly, odd number tend to increase CTR. In fact, research shows that we struggle to process more than nine items in a row. So nine or seven might be a good way to go.

  6. Make it eight words long.

    Often, we’re told to keep titles short and sweet. Yet an outbrian study showed that titles with eight words received a 21 percent higher CTR compared to other lengths. If you can’t make it eight words exactly, don’t worry. In a HubSpot study, 8-12 word titles got the most Twitter shares and 12-14 words received the most Facebook likes.

  7. Stand out and  fit in.

    “9 ways to improve your SEO.”  Or “How to market to Millennials.” We’ve all seen these before. But does that make these titles old news or seasoned veterans? There’s a tug-of-war with titles: the need to appeal to our audience vs the pull of being artistic. Fortunitely, you can do a little bit of both. You can be accurate and follow these tips while adding some flavor. Keep your brand persona in mind, keep it honest, and keep it fun.

Need more content tips? Take a look at 5 tips to boost video performance and what you need to know about voice activated search and SEO.

Weekly Recap - June 16, 2017

Words matter. But so does tone. When it comes to conversions, which is more important? The answer is in your prospects. Know your audience and the path they take to your door. Need a map? You’re in the majority. A paltry 4 percent of brands surveyed feel confident they get truly their base. Chances are you’ll find many of them scrolling through social feeds, happily consuming sponsored content. If you’re following the dramatic changes in organic search, follow the leader.

DETAILS, Please

Copywriting for conversations: 9 ways emotion and word count affect your landing pages [new data]. Should your tone be positive? Angry? There’s new data for each industry. 

How to solve the mystery of what customers really want. How well do you really know your customers? If your company is like most brands, you already realize that you don’t really know them at all.

Sponsored spenders: one in three Millennials have made a purchase based on branded content. A recent Collective Bias study finds consumers coming around to idea of promoted posts.

How Google’s algorithms do & will work together. In a recent Webmaster Central Google Hangout John Mueller revealed that Google’s various algorithms share data.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

How to market to young Millennials. We’ve heard the stereotypes of young Millennials. But is there any truth to them?

THE Topic of conversation

Millennials - discover who Millennials are, why it’s important to market to them, and how you can increase brand loyalty and engagement. Download our free whitepaper “8 Rules of Marketing to Millennials.”

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Healthcare marketing: Making privacy a priority for patients.

Privacy. What was once the norm is now a luxury. Today, is the age of Facebook and Fitbits. Tracking and tweeting. But yet, when it comes to healthcare, patients still want privacy – but on their own terms.

Yes, patients post to social media to share their miles walked. Their cancer remissions. Their medical triumphs. But when it comes to their personal data, patients are very selective over who gets to see what. According to CEB Iconoculture research, when patients were polled on what terms they associate with healthcare, privacy ranked number one:

Healthcare marketing: Making privacy a priority for patients.

Last year alone, two-thirds of consumers shared personal health data via wearable devices, apps or websites. So why is this different? Patients have the ultimate control over their own personal data. With recent discrepancies in regulations of other people having access to patient portals, makes consumers uncomfortable with the lack of control over their personal data.

What should your healthcare brand do?

  1. Make privacy a priority with patients. Let them know upfront what parties will have access to their data, when consulting with other physicians, hospitals, etc.
  2. Be transparent with medical notes. No one wants a doctor that isn’t in their court. Some are even turning to OpenNotes, a system that allows patients access to their doctor’s medical notes, to increase transparency and garner trust.
  3. Not all patients are created equal. Just because some demographics or generations have similar media habits and a social media presence, doesn’t mean all of these consumers do. Acknowledge the differences among patients’ privacy needs to better patient relationships and referrals.

For more information on healthcare industry trends, sign up for our Brogan Healthcare Checkup.

What you need to know about voice activated search and SEO.

What you need to know about voice activated search and SEO.

Just when you thought you had the whole SEO thing down, the internet shifts to voice activation search. ComScore predicts that 50 percent of all searches will be voice activated by 2020. Users tend to search differently when typing versus speaking, so your content will need to be optimized for both the written and spoken word. Brace yourself. It’s about to get vocal.

Last year, voice activated search on popular engine Google reached 20 percent. That’s a 13 percent increase from just six months ago. And as speech recognition improves (errors have dropped from 20 to 8 percent in two years, according to the Search Engine Journal), demand follows. So to any deniers, voice activation isn’t just on its way. It’s here.

How voice activation affects search.

When a consumer wants to know who the president of Uzbekistan is, she might type “Uzbekistan president” while she may say “Who is the president of Uzbekistan?” (It’s Shavkat Mirziyoyev, by the way.) She may also misspell or mispronounce the subject. All of these factors play a role in the search results. So, we’ll have to learn to include phrases that are more speech-friendly. It’s also a good idea to include mispronunciations of brands names because, we won’t always get it right.

Remember the five Ws.

Who, what, where, when, and why? These are key phrases that often appear in speech, but not so often in type. “Alexa, where is Mont Rushmore?” (Black Hills National Forest, South Dakota.) “Alexa, how much is a gallon of milk?” (About $1.81.) Including these words in your SEO will help your search optimization. Outside the five Ws, any sort of conversational phrasing will increase as voice activated searches become more common. “What is 67 times 50?”  “Where is the nearest gas station?” (3,350 yards, and it’s probably a Speedway.) Google is working tirelessly to improve its voice recognition to recognize these sorts of phrases. So, do like Google.

Use common language.

Google is pushing to have computers understand common language, so we will have to do the same. For example, if someone asks for recipes for spaghetti, Google would find recipes for spaghetti. If the person follows up with the query, “show me pictures of it,” Google will understand that the speaker is referring to the spaghetti, and not the creepy clown movie. In the same way, Google will begin to understand phrases using I, me, and my. Moving forward, we’ll have to prepare for even more of these changes.

Schema Makeup is here to help.

Schema Makeup is going to be a big help during this adjustment. Created by a collaborated team between Google, Yahoo, and Bing, the software was designed by users to create a better experience. Schema will tell the search engine what your data means, and not just what it says. And thankfully, this doesn’t require any new coding skills. You only need to add the proper vocabulary to the HTML Microdata.

No one said change is going to be easy. But at least as the internet expands, change is getting easier. With these tips, voice activated searches don’t have to be the end of the world.

Still looking to optimize your internet prowess? Check out our Weekly Recap, which features even more online info.

Weekly Recap - June 2, 2017

Raise your hand if you’d like more people checking out your content. Take a look around. You’re in good company. Every Marketer is looking for that prospect juice. You may find insight in these seven tips, complements of Search Engine Journal. Need a little creative pick-me-up? Look no further than this collection of May’s best. Think you’re mom’s favorite? Sorry, Instagram. Try harder.

DETAILS, Please

8 of the top marketing challenges marketers face today [new data]. And more importantly, what to do about them.

7 tricks no one told you about content promotion. No company wants to be less popular. Get more clicks with some tips on promotion.

10 of the best ads from May: Hot dogs, rhinos, and an accidental viral hit. Learn from the best, from Play-Doh to Sweden.

More than 90 percent of U.S. moms have a social media account. You can never have enough data!

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

A healthcare marketer’s cheat sheet: What to advertise, and when. We know all about winter flu season, Heart Month and World Health Day, but what about other “seasons” that healthcare marketers could capitalize on?

THE Topic of conversation

Communicating with Visuals - Visual communication. Did you know that 93 percent of communication is visual? Amplify your marketing and discover how your brand can communicate visually. Download our latest free guide, "Communicating with Visuals."

SHARING is CARING

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Weekly Recap - May 26, 2017

Got any good Stories? Instagram Stories are expanding to include specific locations and hashtags. Speaking of Instagram, new research shows the social media site is taking off in Europe. Bon voyage. How do you measure a tweet? We’ve got five ideas. There’s also a bit below about avoiding content marketing mistakes. But don’t believe everything you read on the web, especially when it comes to SEO. Cue ominous music.

DETAILS, Please

Instagram just announced two new types of Stories so you can watch forever. Instagram stories just got an upgrade.

5 helpful insights you can find using Twitter Analytics. Analytics can be confusing. Look at some advice from the pros.

5 content marketing mistakes you should avoid to earn more Links. Offline, we don’t like traffic. Online, we do. Here’s how to get more of it.

Bad SEO information: Too easy to find, impossible to escape. The internet is a misleading place, and some SEO information is just plain wrong.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

6 top takeaways from Iconosphere 2017. The vibe was strategic, energizing and inspiring. Speakers spouted future-forward ideas, consumer insights and timely research.

How to find a rainbow at the end of a troll storm. Blame it on the anonymity of the internet or the juiced up political environment. Whatever the prompt, trolls are inescapable. Even puppies aren't immune.

THE Topic of conversation

Instagram. Learn how your business can use Instagram to build brand awareness and increase engagement. Download our free whitepaper, Why your business should be marketing on Instagram.

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