Blog Directory Martinspiration

Loyalty builders

June 9, 2019

Businesses large and small can find it challenging to turn first-time clients into repeat patrons. But it’s well worth the effort, as merely a 5% rise in customer retention can generate more than a 25% growth in profit, and the success rate of selling to an existing customer is up to 70% versus as low as 5% for a new customer.

Want to keep your clientele happy and coming back for more? Prepare to shower them with more attention, encourage feedback, and provide incentives for their repeat business. These general approaches can be accomplished in a myriad of ways. But for more specific strategies that have proved successful, I interviewed three industry professionals on this topic for the US Chamber of Commerce's new CO site; you can read the full article here.


Robots in the newsroom

June 3, 2019

C-3PO as a nightly news anchor? Alexa winning the Pulitzer Prize? These silly scenarios sound like the stuff of science-fiction. But the truth is that automation is increasingly infiltrating the fourth estate and impacting how the press gathers and reports the news.

From transcribing to fact-checking and polling to tweet parsing, artificial intelligence has aided the newsroom for years. More recently, organizations small and large—including giants like The Washington Post, Forbes, AP and Reuters—are using AI and machine learning to actually compose content. And that’s got the industry and consumers sitting up and taking notice. Naturally, some journalists worry about being replaced by bots. But others embrace the technological advancements, seeing them as aids in the process of producing and distributing the news.

Intrigued? Read my newest piece for Digital Content Next, which includes interviews with major and minor news organizations and how they are increasingly adopting AI, available here.


How to pay for home improvements when you don’t have enough savings

May 27, 2019

Home renovation is hot. For proof, consider that 90 percent of homeowners expect to remodel their home at some point soon, up from 84 percent tallied in 2018, per a recent Trulia survey.

Problem is, despite your eagerness to improve, you may not have the moolah saved for such endeavors. In fact, only 27 percent of homeowners who plan to remodel in the next year have saved up to one quarter of the total home improvement cost, according to a new Discover Home Equity poll.

There’s no shame in having to finance some or all of your home upgrades. In fact, it can be the smart move nowadays—preventing you from depleting your personal savings, which you could need in a pinch, and allowing you to capitalize on continued low interest rates. Learn more about ways to fund home improvements by checking out my first article for new client, available here.


A blow-by-blow analysis of "The 400 Blows"

May 21, 2019

For episode #11 of the Cineversary podcast, I take a trip to Paris (let's call it an audio journey) with Columbia University film studies professor Annette Insdorf, author of the book "Francois Truffaut" and former personal translator for the late director. She's the ideal guest to help celebrate the 60th anniversary of "The 400 Blows." In this installment, Annette and I explore why the movie is worth celebrating all these years later, its cultural impact and legacy, what we can learn from the picture today, how it has stood the test of time, and more.
To listen to this episode, click the "play button" on the embedded streaming player below. Or, you can stream, download or subscribe to the Cineversary podcast using 
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Got artificial intelligence smarts? You're in high hiring demand

May 18, 2019

Anyone who works in human resources for a company looking to hire will likely tell you that they face an overall talent shortage challenge today—regardless of the industry or sector they compete in. It’s simply a fact of life lately in a booming economy with an unemployment rate that remains near record lows. In fact, over four in 10 businesses are worried they won’t be able to find the talent they need, according to Indeed polling; and almost three in four employers are finding it hard to recruit relevant prospects, per TalentNow. Contributing to this quandary is the fact that the rate of labor force participation is dwindling; U.S. Census and Bureau of Labor data show that the percentage of eligible U.S. workers is expected to fall to approximately 61 percent by 2026 (down from about 67% in the late 1990s), partially due to lots of baby boomer retirements.

But candidates who possess artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning (ML)-related aptitudes appear to particularly be in short supply. I delve deeper into this topic in my latest article for Speech Technology Magazine, which you can read in full here.


Come hell or high water

May 12, 2019

Hospitals, nursing homes and other health care organizations affected by record flooding in the Midwest in March are still bouncing back from the disruptive weather event that killed at least four people and displaced hundreds.

Most of the flooding occurred following a bomb cyclone that hit over 12 states with severe rain and/or snow as well as high winds; saturated or frozen grounds prevented the excess water from being absorbed, and fast-melting snow and ice contributed to the weather disaster.

In my latest article for Health Facilities Magazine online, I talked with several hospitals and health care facilities impacted by this flooding. Read the full story here.


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