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Car Dealership Outages Persist From CDK Software Cyberattack

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Car Dealership Outages Persist From CDK Software Cyberattack

Car dealerships across the country are being forced to use paper forms as the auto industry looks to recover from a cyberattack that caused mass outages last week.

The attack hit CDK Global Systems, a cloud-based software that runs all back-end financials and information on car sales, financing, repairs, maintenance, and more. The company serves an estimated 15,000 car dealerships across the country.

Ford and Kia noted in statements to Reuters that some operations have been affected.

The interfaces were reportedly hit with back-to-back cyberattacks that caused dealerships to begin shutting down operations as early as Wednesday around 2 a.m. EST.

Related: Mark Cuban Issues Warning After His Google Account Is Hacked

Per Bloomberg, the group that claimed responsibility for the attack (which is believed to be based in Eastern Europe) demanded tens of millions of dollars in ransom to cease the system hack ahead of the weekend, which CDK was reportedly willing to pay.

“In the interim, we are continuing to actively engage with our customers and provide them with alternate ways to conduct business,” CDK told Reuters.

The software company is also planning to run an internal investigation and is cooperating with authorities as it works towards the full restoration of its services nationwide.

Related: GM Taps Costco to Sell Chevrolet, Cadillac Electric Vehicles

The restoration was underway by Monday afternoon, though CDK said that it estimated that full restoration would take “days” and not weeks to complete. Still, it did not give an exact estimated timeline as to when dealerships would be able to resume business as usual.

CDK did not clarify exactly how many customers were still affected by the attack as of Monday afternoon.

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Nearly 50% of Parents Have Started Side Hustles: Survey

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Nearly 50% of Parents Have Started Side Hustles: Survey

Side hustles are soaring as Americans take on second jobs to be able to afford the normal stuff.

According to a new survey, one group in particular is feeling the crunch of rising inflation and home prices, and taking on extra work in response.

Bankrate released its side hustle survey on Wednesday and found that more than one in three U.S. adults make extra money with a side gig, like a weekend job or freelance work.

The survey noted that parents of children ages 18 and under are turning to side hustles more often than those without children or those with older kids.

Related: This Mom Started a Side Hustle on Facebook — Now It Averages $14,000 a Month and She Can ‘Work From a Resort in the Maldives’

“Many Americans are still finding that one job isn’t enough,” Bankrate Senior Industry Analyst Ted Rossman stated. “The cost of living has risen sharply in recent years.”

Nearly half (45%) of parents with kids younger than 18 have a side hustle compared to 36% of childless adults and 28% of parents with adult children.

The average monthly side hustle income is $891 per month and the majority of Americans with side hustles (52%) have only been at it for less than two years. They’re likely using the money to pay bills, build their savings, or for discretionary spending.

Related: This 26-Year-Old’s Side Hustle That ‘Anybody Can Do’ Grew to Earn $170,000 a Month. Here’s What Happened When I Tested It.

“My schedule is mayhem,” 41-year-old Jordan Chussler, parent to a 5-year-old daughter and editor of a financial publication, told Marketwatch.

His daughter’s private school bill is $10,600; inflation has brought household expenses up for his family across the board. Chussler works during his lunch break and at night, as a freelancer and at restaurants, to make ends meet.

Chussler and his wife make about $165,000 combined at their main jobs; Chussler takes on extra jobs throughout the year to bring their combined income closer to $200,000 for more financial security.

He puts the extra money from side hustles into a Roth IRA and his daughter’s education fund.

Related: He Turned His High School Science Fair Project Into a Product That Solves a $390 Billion Problem: ‘This Has Not Been Done Before’

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How Success Happened for Stephen Lease of Goodr

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How Success Happened for Stephen Lease of Goodr

This week on How Success Happens, I spoke with Stephen Lease, the CEO and co-founder of sunglasses brand Goodr. He’s had an amazing career, and I was curious to find out about what inspired him to become an entrepreneur, how selling industrial water treatment systems to golf courses taught him to identify what his core consumer base actually cares about, and how he applied the lessons he learned from his time in corporate America to the founding of Goodr.

You can listen to our full conversation above, and below, I’ve pulled out three key takeaways.

Don’t let sunk cost keep you attached to something that’s not working

When you launch a business and feel confident that it’s a great idea, your loved ones will root for you no matter what. Lease founded five businesses prior to finding success with Goodr, and despite feeling confident in all of them at the outset, it eventually became clear that hope was not a solid strategy when a business was simply not working. At the beginning of his entrepreneurial journey, it was painful to come to terms with folding a company he had invested energy into, but eventually, he got good at starting companies cheaply and identifying quickly whether or not they would be a success.
Timestamp — 8:50-10:30

When you shift your mindset to celebrate the work over the results, the ups and downs of the day-to-day grind become a gift

Lease started Goodr as a side hustle, which meant that he worked round the clock for several years before running the company full-time. He’s often asked how he found the motivation to put in that time, and the only answer he can think of is that he found joy in the day-to-day. As a leader, he wants to inspire his team to take big swings, and sometimes, that means putting a ton of effort into something that fails. However, he assures them that failure is okay so long as you celebrate the work over the results.
Timestamp — 19:40-20:50

You can’t be a master at everything — identify your north star as a brand and double down on it

When Lease and his co-founders launched Goodr, they weren’t sure if it would be a lifestyle brand or an eyewear brand, but after a few years, they took an honest look at the business and realized that eyewear is what it did best. That opened up a world of possibility, but they also needed to identify what their differentiators were as a brand — those differentiators are function, fun, fashion and “‘ffordability.” Honing in on that has given the brand a clear decision matrix as it expands its product offerings, and Lease is confident that with those differentiators top of mind, Goodr will continue creating products that its customers love.
Timestamp — 21:28-23:35

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How AI Is Revolutionizing the Marketing Landscape

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How AI Is Revolutionizing the Marketing Landscape

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The marketing landscape is on the cusp of a profound transformation, driven by the rapid advancements in artificial intelligence (AI). These new AI marketing tools are poised to revolutionize how companies approach their strategies, structure their organizations and ultimately reach their target markets.

However, amidst this exciting wave of innovation, identity verification will emerge as a critical factor in ensuring the ethical and effective use of AI in marketing.

Related: How to Harness AI for a Competitive Edge in Marketing

AI marketing: A new era of possibilities

AI marketing tools are no longer a futuristic concept but a tangible reality. They offer unprecedented capabilities, from hyper-personalized customer experiences to data-driven campaign optimization. Let’s delve into how these tools are reshaping the marketing landscape:

  1. Hyper-personalization: AI algorithms can analyze vast amounts of customer data to deliver tailored messages and product recommendations in real time. Imagine websites dynamically adapting content and offers based on each visitor’s individual preferences and past behavior. This level of personalization can significantly enhance customer engagement and drive conversions.

  2. Predictive analytics: AI can predict customer behavior with increasing accuracy, enabling marketers to anticipate needs and proactively offer solutions. This can lead to improved customer satisfaction and retention rates.

  3. Campaign optimization: AI-powered tools can analyze campaign performance data in real time, allowing marketers to make data-driven adjustments on the fly. This can significantly improve the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and reduce wasted ad spend.

  4. Content creation: AI is increasingly being used to generate marketing content, including ad copy, social media posts, images and even product descriptions. While this can streamline content production, it raises important questions about authenticity and the need for human oversight.

Related: 5 AI Marketing Tools Every Startup Should Know About

Organizational impact and go-to-market strategies

The rise of AI marketing will inevitably impact the structure and operation of marketing organizations:

  • New skill sets: Marketing teams will need to acquire new skills in data analysis, AI tool utilization and ethical AI implementation. This may necessitate upskilling or hiring new talent.

  • Data-driven culture: Companies will need to foster a data-driven culture within their marketing departments. This involves embracing data-driven decision-making and investing in data infrastructure. This is critical for any size organization and regardless if you’re a hyperscaler or an organization looking to increase EBITDA.

  • Collaboration: Marketing teams will need to collaborate closely with data science and IT teams to maximize the benefits of AI marketing tools.

As for go-to-market strategies, companies will need to adapt to the evolving landscape:

  • Omnichannel marketing: AI can help create seamless, personalized experiences across multiple channels, from email to social media to in-app messaging.

  • Customer journey mapping: AI can help map the customer journey more effectively, identifying pain points and opportunities for optimization.

  • Transparency and trust: As AI becomes more prevalent in marketing, companies will need to be transparent about their use of AI and ensure customer trust.

Related: AI Is Considered the “Wild West” — Here’s How Marketers Can Rein It In and Ensure Ethical Use

The critical role of identity verification

Identity verification will play a crucial role in ensuring the ethical and effective use of AI in marketing. Here’s why:

  • Data accuracy: AI relies heavily on data. Accurate identity verification ensures that the data being fed into AI algorithms is reliable, preventing biased or discriminatory outcomes.

  • Regulatory compliance: Many regions have strict data protection, age verification and privacy regulations. AI ensures that marketing practices adhere to data protection regulations, such as GDPR or CCPA, by accurately verifying identities and managing consent. This reduces the risk of legal penalties and enhances consumer trust.

  • Preventing fraud: Inaccurate or fraudulent data can lead to misdirected marketing efforts, wasted resources and even reputational damage. Identity verification helps mitigate these risks.

  • Building trust: Customers are more likely to trust brands that prioritize their privacy and security. Robust identity verification practices can strengthen this trust.

The road ahead

The future of marketing is undoubtedly AI-powered. Embracing AI marketing tools can unlock new levels of personalization, efficiency and effectiveness. However, it’s imperative for companies to prioritize identity verification to ensure the ethical and responsible use of these powerful technologies.

As AI continues to evolve, the marketing landscape will undoubtedly undergo further transformations. Companies that adapt to these changes and harness the power of AI will be well-positioned to thrive in the years ahead.

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