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CRM Marketing Trends 2019

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Your customer relationship management (CRM) strategy should be based on a system that can seamlessly adapt to trends. One that unlocks potential and ensures that, no matter where interconnectivity takes you, your customers will follow. 

There’s a change in how all customer segments across Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Consumer (B2C) select who and why they buy from one company or another. As well as when they buy to harness that information, you have to collect it and that’s where CRM comes in. 

The better the marketing data, insights and customer-centric knowledge driving decisions, the more effective every marketing tactic and strategy will be. When marketing strategies are built on a solid foundation of customer intelligence and insight, customer experiences improve. 

Therefore here are the CRM Marketing trends to look out for in 2019 

  • Brands with purpose 

A big focus for 2019 is marketing products that stand for something and solutions that give back to society. This is because consumers want social proof of brand impact and value. 

  • Data-driven insights 

Data is everywhere, and sales and marketing are honing into the endless possibilities provided through data mining to deeply understand customers, their emotions and buying patterns. 

  • Mobile/voice search and voice assistants 

Brands should be looking to redesign their websites to support visual and voice search. Voice search and digital assistants are the new trends that are fast becoming the primary mode of search. By 2020 more than half of all searches will take place via voice search. 

The Cortana’s, Bixley’s, and Siri’s of the world, coupled with machine learning capabilities, are becoming more popular as their capacity for recognising human speech has improved significantly.  

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) 

AI in customer relationship management will be one of the primary catalysts of intelligent CRM’s growth over the next four years, supported by analytics, business intelligence and machine learning. Buyers will focus on the addition of emerging technologies that enable more effective customer experiences. 

It will be AI’s role, to ease the burden of manual and tedious tasks. This will offer more time to focus on giving customers what they want consultative, trusted advisors, a uniquely human skill set. 

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Credit Scores: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

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Your credit score is a reflection of your credit history. Your total credit score takes into account factors such as your payment history. This can include your total debt, the duration of your credit history, your new credit and the types of credit you use. Now this can mean something good, bad or ugly for your credit scores depending on your financial behaviour.  

Credit scores range from 300 to 850 when we look at the good in credit scores. The higher scores are the more positive. A score in excess of 700 is a good score and should give you good access to credit at a preferential interest rate. Above 767 is excellent and shows you to be a very low-risk consumer that institutions would be happy to give credit to. 

Therefore the better your score is it shows your financial responsibility and you’ll appear more reliable to lenders. Because it will indicate that you most probably paid your bills on time and lenders will more likely to trust you to stay on top of your payments. Along with that you’ll be provided with the best interest rate, which could save you money. 

While the bad of credit scores is negative information that’s valid such as late payments, this could cause you to experience financial limitations and obstacles. That can include unsecured loans may be your option. Or suffer the consequences of being subjected to very high interest rates and add-on fees. 

The good news though is that this can simply be improved by ensuring that payments are made on time every single month. Budgeting finances can help you along in improving your credit rating.  

And the ugly of credit scores is having debt settlements, bankruptcies, foreclosures, law suits, wage garnishments or attachments, liens or public judgments against you. These items of public record constitute the most dangerous marks to have on your credit report from a lender’s perspective. 

As these can only be taken off of a credit report after a period of several years and it’s not something that just goes away easily or can even be overlooked. Therefore getting back on the road for your credit score to improve might take time and a whole lot of work and effort on your side. You may suffer the consequences of being totally denied for loans. Although in the meantime dedicating yourself to paying off debts, is a start. 

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A Beginner’s Guide To All Things Trade-Related

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Trading can offer a good way to build wealth. An important part of the process is having a plan and knowing how you could get out of bad trades.   

Knowing your appetite for risk is fundamental. If you have a low propensity for risk-taking behaviour, then all things trade-related are not for you. One of the key parts of trading involves taking some form of risk.  

You can learn a strategy from someone else if you have no idea where to start. While there are various courses available, it may be better to learn from someone with experience. 

Practice is important. You can use a demo account to practise. Do this for several months until you have been profitable using it. Then you’ll be ready to open a live account. This offers a great way to get as much experience as possible and to become even more familiar with your risk-taking behaviour. 

There may be certain capital requirements involved so you need to consider this before you start trading. Depending on what you are trading in, there may be a particular starting amount required. 

For instance, forex day trading doesn’t have a legal minimum. This has lowered barriers to entry. 

Consider your goals. One of the rules of thumb before one begins trading is that there has to be a strategy in place. This means that you need to have some goals. Consider how much money you would like to make, as well as the type of portfolio you want to create for yourself. 

Making money doesn’t happen overnight. You can become consistently profitable in six months to a year once you start trading and become familiar with all things trade-related. 

You can also use a broker to make the entire process simple for you.  

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Managing And Understanding Financial Risk

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The management of financial risk can be used to protect against financial market exposure. This is essentially protection against loss in value of a financial asset. 

For Violet, who owns her own make-up range company, managing and understanding financial risk should become a key part of making sure that her business operates as efficiently as possible. 

This includes the development of relevant policies and procedures.  

Avoiding unnecessary risk should also be part of the process. 

Many businesses often generate passive income by using financial investment. Violet could opt for this as a way of making additional money. Going into this also means that she will need to become acquainted with the risks and rewards involved. She has to learn how to make the protection of company resources a priority. Managing and understanding financial risk in this sense means that she will have to ensure that there is no loss of capital. By enlisting expert help and diversifying the company’s portfolio, there is a greater chance of avoiding loss of money. 

Violet also needs to understand that the use of a savings account ensures that there is cash on hand for emergency purposes. This may also provide a relatively safe investment tool. By establishing an emergency fund with at least three to six months’ worth of savings she will be in a better position financially, should business go south.  

Having the right amount of insurance is important. This should protect her from losses she can’t afford to replace. 

There are three typical ways of managing risk: 

  1. Sharing the responsibility 
  2. Doing nothing and accepting it 
  3. Hedging risk 

Violet needs to decide which will be the best way of managing risk for her business, in a way that will be most efficient for business operations.  

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Factors Influencing Financial Risk

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Financial risk is the risk that businesses run into when making investments or when conducting day-to-day operations.  

Monty is a car mechanic running his own business from a garage in his neighbourhood. He has to consider a range of risks that come with owning and running such as business. All of the risks that he identifies may potentially affect his ability to make money, which mean that they ultimately lead to financial risk. 

For Monty, factors influencing financial risk like market changes, government regulations, credit use and liquidity are major. 

If fewer people are buying cars, then the need for his services may dwindle. The fact is that if there are no cars to service, then there is no demand for his services. Market risks present themselves in the form of changes based on supply and demand, technology or consumer interest. 

If government decides to impose strict regulations about where businesses like his can operate in residential areas, this will have a direct impact on his finances. 

Credit risk for Monty relates to the current financial standing of his company. If Monty provides services to some of his clientele on credit, he expects payment to be made as promised. If this isn’t done, then his financial standing is affected negatively, which may lead to his business having difficulty servicing its credit agreements. 

Liquidity refers to how much cash the business has kept aside for emergencies. If Monty’s business has no form of liquidity, this poses a financial risk. Cash flow is also determined by daily revenue and expenses.  

Economic changes that may lead to financial risk are often unforeseen. This includes inflation, taxes and fluctuating markets. 

Understanding the various factors influencing financial risk is an important part of running any business efficiently. 

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Defining Financial Risk And Its Types

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Orlando runs a welding shop and is assessing the various risks that may affect his organisation. This includes looking at financial risk that may apply, 

What is financial risk? 

This is the risk that a business entity or individual will be unable to meet financial obligations. This may be due to a range of reasons. 

Types of financial risk: 

Market Risk this is uncertainty that arises as a result of changes in market prices. For Orlando’s company, fluctuations in the price of metals directly impact operations. Demand for his niche services is also a factor. 

Credit Risk this is when an external entity fails to keep a promise. This may then lead to financial uncertainty on the part of the firm. If one of Orlando’s clients constantly pays him late then this affect operations. 

Liquidity Risk this is when a company is unable to pay. If a company does not have enough cash flow then is likely that it won’t be able to meet certain obligations. Mitigation of such a risk involves creating an emergency fund. 

Reputational Riskif the perception of the entity is negative, this may have a bad effect on finances.  

Having clear risk management policies in place goes a long way towards mitigating financial risk. 

For entrepreneurs like Orlando, defining this risk and its types is vital to fully understanding what it means to operate as efficiently as possible. Part of this journey for him involves creating a way to manage this risk in such as a way that it becomes easier to operate without the fear that operations will be disrupted or halted.  

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Why Forex Trading Is Becoming A Big Deal In South Africa

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Many South Africans have become familiar with news reports profiling Sandile Shezi, South Africa’s youngest self-made millionaire at the age of 23. As soon as news first broke about him, many people were surprised it was possible for ordinary folk to make that kind of income from trading.  

Sandile Shezi’s trajectory was no fluke either. This was proven when the likes of Simz D’ Mandla became more popular after becoming a millionaire at 20. 

Forex trading is the buying and selling of currencies. It involves speculation to some extent and it also relies on statistical probabilities. It can be volatile, intense and stressful. 

Why forex trading is becoming a big deal in South Africa: 

Fast money 

Many people are drawn to it because of the returns that it promises. The reality is that there aren’t guaranteed returns with any form of trading. It’s become much easier for scammers to cash in on gullible individuals by promising them returns on their investments.  

It offers flexibility  

It requires a willingness to take high risks, which is why many people have opted to start trading on the side while still employed. Once they gain more confidence, many of them have become full-time traders; which enables them to determine their own hours. 

The ease of access is a major driver 

In the past, forex trading was the domain of experienced brokers. Technology has changed all of this, by making it easy to trade from anywhere and at any time. 

There are no barriers to entry 

Forex trading is becoming a big deal in South Africa because it’s become much easier to get started, even with a low amount of money. Forex trading is made more affordable. 

There are numerous courses available 

It’s important for South Africans to only use legitimate companies that are registered with the Financial Services Board. Forex trading training remains unregulated in the country.  

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How To Choose A Lender: The Right Loan For Me

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When in need of a loan, there may be temptation to accept any offer you get. The reality is that you need to choose the right lender for your needs. When you choose a lender it’s important that you take into account a number of factors. 

How to choose a lender: 

Jabu is applying for his first car loan and is wondering where to start. 

Know what your credit standing is 

He can avoid wasting a lot of time and energy by getting up to speed with his current score. He needs to remember that lenders will monitor how he has maintained his credit agreements. 

Make sure that the lender has the type of loan you are looking for 

There is no point to applying to a lender that doesn’t have the kind of finance you are looking for. Do your research beforehand and choose a lender that has what you need. Jabu would be doing himself a favour by identifying the best car finance providers. This process includes comparing different lenders.  

Consider your affordability 

The bottom line is that if Jabu can’t afford repayments, chances of approval are slim to none. When he chooses the right loan for his needs he must keep his affordability in mind. If he already has too much credit to his name, Jabu needs to expect the possibility of rejection. 

Find a legitimate lender 

The lender you apply to has to be legitimate. Jabu will benefit from a lender with transparent processes that has a number of existing systems in place for dealing with various borrowers. Jabu needs to follow due process by finding ways to identify a lender that is registered with the relevant regulatory bodies. 

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The Secret To Saving Money

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For best friends Kelly and Molly, saving for their first overseas trip together is something they have been working towards since they were teenagers. With the challenges that life presents, they have found themselves falling behind their target.  

As part of their reassessment of where they faltered along the way, they’ve found themselves searching for the secret to saving money. 

Consistency 

Being consistent is a simple way to save money and to actually see the progress of your efforts. One thing that consistency creates is the desire to push to the next level. As soon as one goal has been reached, it’s common to want to reach the next savings level. 

Be prudent 

One of the easiest ways of saving money is being prudent about the entire process. This means creating a budget and sticking to it, avoiding overspending and saving a dedicated amount of money every month. That coffee you buy every day on your way to work could be costing you hundreds of rands which you could be saving monthly. That packet of cigarettes you buy everyday could be costing you a lot more money than you think. The secret to saving money is figuring out how much money you are losing monthly and identifying the behaviours leading to this. 

Be positive about saving money 

When saving money it’s important for you to maintain a positive attitude throughout. 

Have a clear plan 

This is an essential part of the process. Having a clear plan means that you have set a particular goal for yourself and that you know how you will define success. 

Have an account 

Find a high-interest savings account for your savings and you are more likely to save more money in the long run. 

Pay yourself first 

This is a well-known secret to saving money. A rule of thumb is to save at least 15% of your salary before you have to pay any expenses.

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Loan Advantages And Disadvantages

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While there are numerous positive aspects that come with qualifying for a loan, there are some negative aspects that one has to consider too. 

For Tiffany, who is expecting her first child with her husband Derek, applying for a loan is proving to be more stressful than she initially anticipated. The couple’s goal to extend their home before the arrival of their baby is something that they have had to get assistance with. When comparing loan advantages and disadvantages, they must be cognizant of specific needs. 

Advantages 

You get financial relief – You have the financial means to meet your needs. 

It can be paid off at a later stage, so you don’t need to stress about repaying it immediately. 

Amounts offered range from R500 to R150 000. For Tiffany and Derek, the amount should be enough to cover the exact needs of their renovations. 

There are different types of loans which can be applied for. 

The waiting period for accessing the loan may not be too long, depending on the type applied for. 

You can pay your debts off faster, with access to the cash. 

You can consolidate debts. 

Interest rates may be low if you get a secured loan. 

Disadvantages 

  • Fees may be high, depending on your credit score and level of affordability 
  • Interest rates may be high if you have a poor credit score 
  • The loan amount may be high if the loan term is long 
  • Criteria may be strict 
  • Approval may be dependent on credit score 
  • Approval may lead to over-indebtedness 

The various loan advantages and disadvantages are essential to consider before applying for any loan.

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