Canadian Economic Forecast 2018: IMF and OECD Gives Canadian Economy Two Thumbs Up!

The Canadian Economic Forecast

The International Monetary Fund says Canada is the leading G7 Country

How odd is it in 2018, that a country on the verge of trade wars, real estate collapse in its major cities, flat wage growth, mediocre job growth, merciless consumer debt, and a sagging national housing market would be cited as the G7’s darling child?

In a new report just released, the IMF likes Canada’s economic situation and they’ve forecasted some lofty economic growth rates. Quite a rosy prediction for 2018 and beyond

Their confidence could impact the Toronto real estate forecast, | Calgary Housing Market Forecast and the Vancouver real estate forecast for 2018. And it could end the talk of a real estate market crash and begin to attract foreign investment into Canada once again.

Growth of 3.6% to 3.7% Predicted

For entrepreneurs, mortgage agents, realtors, manufacturers, retailers, builders, renovators, homebuyers and banks, this is a positive signal about growth ahead. Trump is looking to renegotiate NAFTA which doesn’t mean shutting out Canada.  The negative media hype is ridiculous. Even with renegotiation, Canadian small business has a good opportunity. If Trump has an issue, it’s likely with the multinationals who continue to rule everything including politics.

Despite sluggish growth for its major trading partner, the IMF believes Canada is poised for growth of 3.6% this year and 3.7% in 2018. That has to sound good for job hunters, real estate agents, mortgage agents, house buyers, and business development managers alike.




Underpinning all the optimism is the IMF’s belief in a broad-based global economic upswing. Does this mean the world has adjusted to US trade protectionism, or is Trump actaully unable to do anything about the US situation? The IMF points to Trump’s inability to get new tax laws passed and to the level of optimism globally. With Trump’s new tax bill passed, the US stock market could boom for at least one more year, and that’s good news for the Canadian economy.

This might come as quite a surprise to most of us who haven’t heard such a rosy forecast for the world as a whole. However, much of the uncertainty of housing and stock markets was of a global nature and it may be subsiding.

An earlier report from the OECD set Canada’s growth rate at 3.2% for 2018. Strangely, although Canada is believed to be the leader, overall global growth is set for 3.7%, a half percent above Canada’s forecast rate of growth.

The OECD is also calling on Canada to ease foreign investment restrictions and ease the Toronto/Vancouver housing crisis. Given that Canada is mired in the lowest levels of foreign investment ever, it would be healthy for the Vancouver and Toronto housing and condo markets along with the TSX stock market if such investment was allowed to flow.




The OECD also cites Canada’s lack of productivity as a big concern, however it appears the country has been able to make use of its assets to generate growth.

A BNN poll found that most viewers believe tax rates and the NAFTA deal are the key worries about the Canadian economy.

Canada’s Economic Facts

  • growth in 2nd quarter of 2017 was 5%
  • household spending was up 4.6% in June (YoY)
  • job growth was 186,000 over the first half of 2017
  • exports expanded 9.6%
  • central bank only expected to raise interest rate slightly
  • national trade deficit increased to $3.4 billion in August

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10 Good Reasons You Might Be Ready for Move to a New City

Are You Ready to Move to A New City?

What if you discovered that a move to a new city could really give your life a lift? Would you do it? Could you do it? If you’ve been struggling with this thought before, maybe you need to assess your actual state and figure out if another city or country might be a good choice?

I’ve made some big moves over the years, so I know how moving to a new city can be a thrill and revive your personal and work life. But relocating isn’t easy, and it’s usually driven by a salary change, layoff, or personal event and involves the kind of financial pain you’ve probably imagined.

But you know what, if our lives suck, well, we need to pull away from the video games, Facebook posts, hot yoga classes, reality TV shows, cooking classes, and tedious routines and start planning a change.

Hundreds of thousands of Canadians and Americans make the decision to relocate every year. 2018 might be a record year given how many babyboomers are retiring and how many Millennials are moving to find a good job. 2016/2017 were unusual years where a large number of people sold their homes for outrageous amounts. Off they went to Florida, California, Texas, Costa Rica and other places too weird to comprehend.




I’ve moved about 20 times during my life, and I wouldn’t imagine that’s too far above the national average. Certainly some people don’t move often, particularly baby boomers.  Yet more of us are exposed to the insecurity of todays job market and when money pressures hit, we suddenly become open to the idea of relocating.

If you didn’t have the debt, obligations, and had better self-esteem, would you do it?

My friend Adam from Wisconsin has moved to Australia, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Montana and Canada. He’s got more courage than anyone I’ve ever known and always finding a way to get things done. He’s had some tough moments but he’s avoided staying stuck. That kind of openness to interesting change is inspirational.

And I’m sure that’s been an influence on when you’ve moved, beginning with when you got out of college. That’s when the biggest changes in direction take place.

A good majority of people get comfy with their jobs, which is fine. It’s a good common sense, low stress lifestyle, where you build wealth and a life. Okay you’ve been there, done that. Very smart but it came with a price which is a lack of challenge, growth, exploration, and just novelty. We all need to grow, face new unstructured situations and shed boredom and the burdens of the past. Some people move just to freshen up their lives and feel alive again.

Sir Richard Branson moved to the British Virgin Islands, and for an old guy, he seems to be doing okay and enjoying things. 

So if you’ve been stationary for a while, you and your spouse might begin considering a move far from the usual. And it doesn’t mean you won’t ever come back. It just means you can sell your house for a fortune and start something completely fun and interesting elsewhere.

I was just thinking of an old school friend who moved to the San Diego area from Canada. What a great choice.  His postings on Facebook show he and his wife are feeling adventurous and having fun again. They had a mini vacation in Mexico. How many people get to do something like that? Could moving be one of the few ways you can relive the joys of childhood?  It’s so good that we have a chance to wipe the slate clean and start over — fresh as a dip in the ocean.




When you have completely new, unfamiliar unstructured situations, whole new areas of your brain get activated, from emotional to cognitive. You pick up new interests and skills and meet new people. The fact is, our brain needs something new to feel engaged and enjoy new relationships. And when the brain is activated, the body comes alive too. For those in poor mental and physical health, a change might be good for its own sake, as they say.




10 Sure Signs You Need to Move to a New City

Now that I’ve got you thinking about moving to a new city, and wondering which are the best cities to move to, let’s see if moving is a actually a good idea for you. Here’s 10 good reasons why moving might be good for you. In fact, if you have many of these factors, it may save your life.

1. You’re Bored, Irritated and Complain a lot – this means there is a mismatch between you and what your current ife/city has to offer. Staying put means putting up with less life than you deserve and trying too hard to make it work.

2. Your Mental or Physical Health is failing – which means you’re eating and drinking too much, lacking energy to exercise, and you’ve stopped participating in social activities.

3. You’re Chronically Unemployed or Unhappy with the Work you Do – your current city doesn’t have the type of work you enjoy doing and you struggle to generate sufficient income.

4. You Can’t Pursue your Passion – if you’re a mountain biker, kite surfer, or snow skier and you live on the dry prairies or in a concrete jungle, you feel trapped and sufocated.

5. You’ve Heard about a Fascinating Place – in the distance is an exciting city of Gold you’ve heard about and you can’t help comparing it to what you have where you are.

6. You’ve Always Lived Where you Do – you’ve lived your whole life in one spot and have never ventured anywhere and time is beginning to run out.

7. You Hate the Climate – you cringe at the mention of snowy blizzards or scorching hot days and you long for the other side.

8. You’ve had a Major Family Change – you’re now divorced or close family or friends have moved or died and thus your current lifestyle has lost its usual anchors leaving your life without purpose.

9. There’s Someone Really Special in Another City – A special person who seems to be all you want can keep you transfixed on that location, waiting for the opportunity to do your Valentine’s thing:)

10. You Can’t Afford to Stay – Those who live in Los Angeles, Toronto, Vancouver, Miami, New York City, or the Bay Area are an example of being where you can’t afford to live anymore.

If you can relate to 10 of these move factors, then Wow, you really should be researching the best cities to move to.  What a lot of people don’t realize is that time is running out, opportunities and situations dissipate, and our health could suffer if we don’t move to a place that’s more compatible.  We don’t realize the high health costs associated with disappointment, friction and disengagement.

Write down all the reasons you can’t or won’t move, just so you can see them.

You’re thinking about whether you and your family will have a better life in the new city. That’s the pros and cons comparison thing you need to do. Do your research and identify one city that makes the most sense.

You probably already think you know which city it’ll be. However, after doing your study, you might find that location really isn’t the right one for you, or that the risks are very high.  A quick visit there might bear it out. You could meet a lot of people who can’t wait to get out of that city or state.  And the economy might not be sustainable. Look at the oil price collapse and what it did to the people who just bought homes in the oil towns. There is a possibility of disaster.

If you’re bored, restless, and not engaged in the life you want, it’s a no-brainer. You’re going somewhere.  If you’re young, this is just the first time in your life you’ll go through this so be more proactive. It’s a life skill. Why not be smart about it?

I’d suggest keeping your mind open about the ideal potential cities for you and your family.

And if the cons outweigh the pros, and it seems you’re already living in your own paradise, then you won’t be moving. Still, it’s important to know you have options.

Further Reading:

17 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Moving To A New City

Costa Rica Real Estate | Retiring in Paradise is Possible

https://withoutboxes.com/archives/start-over/

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The Problem with Digital Marketing Today — Solved

Under Pressure: Cost and Time Efficiency

As an CEO, SMB owner, agency director, or startup entrepreneur, your concerns about business outlook likely have a similar ring to them. The top 3 costs, time and lack of ROI are the first that arise. Is the solution radical?

It’s rough. You’ve probably watched other businesses go belly up, while you’ve seen new startups somehow get a foothold.  But the stats show many CMOs are giving up. So what is it that allows some organizations to excel today?

Last year, CMO turnover reached its highest point since Russell Reynolds began tracking the data in 2012 — from post on Contently.com

I’ll bet the digital marketing world and digital business have you stymied.  Even the smartest business people are strangely inarticulate about what’s going on or what to do.  This post is about what’s driving change in marketing and what the successful survivors will be doing to re-organize their businesses and improve their marketing performance.




Casualties and Those Who Reach New Heights

What we’re all perplexed about is that something big is happening, and we can’t see into it or deal with the change it’s bringing to our market.  We can’t tell if it’s good or bad, know what’s happening, or toubleshoot it, yet  on our current trajectory, things look troubling for workers and businesses. It’s easy to be a paralyzed victim, but we can avoid becoming a casualty by taking how we do marketing to a much higher level.




According to SmartInsights, in 2015 alone, nearly 2.4 million U.S. jobs were outsourced to other countries. Add the loss of 7.1 million jobs to artificial intelligence across 15 leading economies over the next five years and you can see it’s a perfect storm for employment in North America and Europe.

How Did We Arrive at this Point?

In digital marketing as an example, markets have splintered into numerous communication and expense channels, each requiring its own specific expertise and vocabulary. The complexity is too tough for CMOs or workers to manage. Many want out and you can’t blame them. And most businesses simply don’t possess nor can afford expertise in each area of marketing. The staffing costs are ridiculous.

Marketing interns, outsourced work to India, or students doing content creation, SEO, ppc, email, and client account management are the typical solutions resorted to. The result?  Poor performance and business failure.

Agency clients/CFOs are demanding change. What if software took over the jobs of most of the marketing staff? That would carve out big money which could be retargeted for campaigns.  Yet if market competition is overly competitive, what says our campaigns won’t fail anyway? Can software really do an Adwords or Facebook advertising campaign all that much better? Agonizing questions.

Millions of marketing people worldwide are upskilling right now but it may be too late. It will be a big leap. This is where you need to be way ahead of the curve. It’ll be a wild ride, but maybe some of us will land on our feet.

Rising Artificial Intelligence Solutions

Yes, business owners are checking out AI software solutions which have been portrayed in villainous overtones. Despite that, they’re discovering how these software systems comprehensively manage and optimize entire digital marketing campaigns. They integrate, test, improve, report, advise, and work 24 hours a day. And they can help forecast campaign outcomes and customer behavior. That’s gotta be helpful.




Screen Capture Courtesy of Fast Company

AI Can Also be a Marketer’s Best Friend

For a talented marketer, AI can remove painful tasks, time-waste, and optimize campaigns. It is a creative marketers best asset going.

For those concerned about a robot takeover, remember that artificial intelligence (AI) can be a marketer’s best friend. Robots, unlike people, are consistent. They are good at tracking and delivering high-quality results which save us time, money and effort. Robots ultimately answer to us, making them effective helpers upon which we can increasingly rely. —  Eden Ames, American Marketing Association

What a great insight for those who need to get great results! Leave the politics and drama behind and get back to work. You can redeploy your financial and staffing assets to high production areas. You can personalize content for online customers via their click behavior, content interests, geographic locations, or preconceived customer personas and let your CRM bot respond and interact with customers online. Oh, and it appears to be pretty good at handling leads and converting the too.

Adgorithms launched their AI product branded as “Albert” has shown some impressive gains in social media paid advertising:

In month one alone, Albert increased Cosabella’s social and search ROAS by 50% while decreasing its ad spend by 12%. And on Facebook specifically, Albert produced a 565% increase in ROAS within his first month. By month three, Albert had increased Cosabella’s ROAS 336%–a 155% increase over the previous quarter. Albert’s work in just Q4 contributed to the company’s 50% year-over-year increase in overall ROAS. This success represents a 37% increase in overall website sessions, a 30% increase in new users, and 1,500 more transactions.

Prior to Albert, Cosabella credited social media with 5 – 10% of its paid ad revenue; with Albert, social media now consistently accounts for 30% of the brand’s total paid ad revenue. Albert’s success driving conversions on Facebook resulted in a 2000% increase in purchases originating from the channel. — Courtesy of Albert.ai.

Check out more about which AI marketing software is best

The AI marketing software can conduct all the tasks, scheduling, reporting, and optimizing of multi-channel campaigns. It does it all and fast like testing your email and blog content to where it finds the copy that gets the best response. It can’t do SEO yet, but it’s only a matter of time when AI SEO bots will wrestle directly with Google RankBrain for SERPs domination.

Where Are you in the AI Marketing Software Adoption Spectrum?

If you’d like to explore it please let me know. We can speak with experts and AI marketing software reps to explore the right solution for your company. Then you can explore other options for creative content and digital marketing communications.

If you are re-organizing to accommodate the new software, you’ll need to formulate what work skills will be needed to augment what the software does. The AI software won’t optimize your copywriting, visual content, SEO, or social engagement anytime soon. There’s still a need for creative optimization and oversight, so that should allow you to control implementation and ramp it up without fear.

Here’s some additional insight into AI and how it’s being used in digital business:

What will be the impact of AI on marketing jobs?

https://www.marketingaiinstitute.com/blog/is-my-marketing-job-going-to-be-replaced-by-artificial-intelligence

Marketing’s Artificial Intelligence Revolution Is Here

http://time.com/4685420/artificial-intelligence-online-shopping-retail-ai/

http://www.econtentmag.com/Articles/News/News-Feature/How-AI-is-Impacting-Content-Marketing-119095.htm

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ajagrawal/2017/05/23/artificial-intelligence-is-changing-seo-get-ahead-or-fall-behind/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2017/05/18/will-ai-eventually-take-over-the-content-marketing-industry/

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/ai-marketing-use-cases

https://www.marketingaiinstitute.com/blog/optimize-your-multi-channel-marketing-campaigns-with-an-ai-platform

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Are You Ready to Work with a Marketing AI Robot?

Artificial Intelligence is Going to Rock Digital Marketing

The future is here and it’s an exciting one we can share in. It involves software that uses artificial intelligence to manage nearly all aspects of marketing. And a software robot named Albert might be your next coworker. How do you feel about that?

AI represents fears and hopes for many workers in business so I thought it might be a good time to investigate with the goal of discovering the specific skills we’ll need.  The capability of AI is so promising (even without the hype) that it makes you sit back and consider what your role will be? At first, it’s intimidating with the thought that perhaps there is no role for us. Yet there will be roles for us.

Yes, it’s a big change for the marketing world and some managers are in denial about it. They’ll accept AI when they’re ready. If you’re managing an agency, brokerage, or you work in digital marketing, you’ll want to be ahead of the curve on this one. The cost efficiencies and productive power of AI could mean the difference between being in business and not.

AI will create a demand for marketers with entirely new education and skill sets

For us, it’s a chance to take a quantum leap ahead of slower, less optimistic competitors.  In this next series of posts, I’d like to delve into AI and explore how marketing AI can build success upon success.   In fact, with marketing AI, we should expect an entirely new type of digital marketer to arise, free from manual drudgery to explore their best marketing skills and creative powers.




Some Initial Questions for AI Marketing Workers

It’s all about finding the best questions. And here’s some questions regarding what we’ll be doing in future.

  • how do we use AI to increase social engagement?
  • how do we improve content recommendations?
  • how is the AI robot botching email and social communcitions?
  • how do we align and integrate all digital and offline channels?
  • how do we automate customer communications?
  • who will train us to find the right answers to marketing AI problems?
  • how will we respond after the AI system has moved the customer somewhere through the sales funnel?
  • who will use the AI software to optimize SEO performance?
  • how will we repond to the AI system’s content recommendations?
  • what is the AI system not learning about which content is working well?
  • how many different marketing tasks can we do well on our own in concert with marketing AI?
  • when is the best time for the AI system to warn us about performance issues?
  • how do we help the AI system do real-time customer research?
  • will we have to get involved in data collection and management?
  • who will do media planning and strategy?

 

AI within the agile workplace. Screen Capture courtesy of rullion.co.uk

Agile concepts and AI technology will be fully intertwined, where an increasing percentage of the population work in freelance, consultancy and temporary positions, moving from company to company. There’s no more “career” in the traditional sense, but instead we build a set of skills and move around companies, helping them to enhance and improve core business areas — Rullion.co.uk report.

Current Challenges

It seems the AI marketing solution companies lack transparency and educational services for customers. They require businesses to dive in with both feet with payment, with no trial period. That’s a problem, however we can see, as they know we can, that AI is undeniable.

What is happening right now, at an increasing pace, is the application of AI algorithms to all manner of processes that can significantly affect peoples’ lives — at work, at home and as they travel around. Although hype around these technologies is approaching the ‘peak of expectation’ there’s a potential fly in the AI ointment: the workings of many of these algorithms are not open to scrutiny — either because they are the proprietary assets of an organisation or because they are opaque by their very nature — from Inside the Black Box, Understanding AI Decision Making.




Leverage the Testing and Optimization Power of AI

The real matter is how well we use it, with what creativity, innovation, and exploration of best results. And that’s actually what this software is all about.  By all means, investigate these AI solutions when you can. It’s time well invested whether you’re like me, creating your next job in AI marketing, or to use to grow your business.

Everyone else is working with robots. It’s marketing’s turn. Photo courtesy of Volkswagen and infoplc.net

These new artificial intelligence solutions will help us do things better and allow us to access our highest potential. Just like they did in the factories, currently in medical fields, AI robots will spare us from drudgery in marketing and allow us to focus on what we enjoy, to vastly improve productivity and competence.

We have little choice really — AI is here. We should be innovative, broad-minded and optimistic about how we can improve business and make ourselves indespensable to our employers, or supercharge our own SMB.




Right now, automation is the buzzword, but soon the emphasis will be back on human creativity, innovation, and connectivity.  We’re evolving from machine learning and automated tasks to where more personality and a better customer experience happen.  The key question is, how will we adapt to AI solutions and add value?

You might have dreamed one day at the office, “wouldn’t it be nice to work with someone smart?” Well hallelujah, your Genie just came through for you. You’ll soon be working with AI marketing software and it won’t give you any backtalk or friction and instead, will come up with improvement ideas all day and night to make you better. And then you’ll be overseeing the process for even better results.

Demandbase conducted a survey that revealed 80% of marketing executives of companies with more than 250 employees believe that AI will revolutionize marketing by 2020 — from Marketo.com

Managers and CEOs who believe Artificial Intelligence as a marketing tool is still a long wayoff and can’t make a difference should reconsider that view. Robots and AI are in common use around the world and have made astonish contributions to product quality and customer service.  Now AI is set to force SMB owners and CEOs to reorganize their marketing teams.

Yes, there’s a lot of hype and it’s a little difficult to comprehend. But it’s wise to start learning how to plan for it, integrate it, execute it, and then optimize its performance.

You’ll need to choose the best AI software and then you need to hire your next generation of marketing employees. For those who fear job loss, the AI software will create all sorts of new digital marketing jobs. So you’re likely to be doing what you like, or create your own job. That’s what makes this topic so fascinating.




I’m in the midst of this revolution in marketing myself. Like 50% of the working population, I’m learning how to stay relevant within this trend of automation of marketing and sales.  Within a few years, it will force us into to a new role or pursue a new line of business entirely.  Do we want to react to these changes or build a strategy to be the best at it?

I’m excited about marketing AI because it offers power to really improve results in PPC, content engagement, testing content, testing SEO, testing conversion stategies and tactics, and optimizing our content strategy as a whole. It removes a lot of waste and friction and replaces it with potential.  With AI, traditional marketing skills become redundant, and new skills which I’ve listed below rise to prominence (I’ll expand on them soon, so bookmark this page).

With AI taking the DM dudgery away, we’ll be more creative, learn more and faster, and have more time for planning a multi-targeted, multichannel integrated DM strategy. Things that make a difference.

AI software can test, assess, and continually improve engagement with individual customers while giving us a good look at the overall picture. Everyone in the marketing and creative department will learn and grow because of it.

When the AI tsunami hits, those companies that use marketing AI will have an opportunity to take a huge chunk of marketshare. Without AI, old school employees and small businesses will be culled in the coming years. SMBs in particular need AI to keep pace with enterprise level competitors.

2017 State of Marketing Report Findings

The 2017 Salesforce State of Marketing report discovered 4 emerging trends:

  • Marketing is undergoing an AI revolution. The marketers surveyed anticipate their AI use will grow more than 50% over the next two years, helping them deliver more targeted campaigns, smarter personalization and higher ROI. (better performance)
  • Marketers are using AI to break down silos between sales, service and marketing, and bringing customer data together (reduce friction)
  • Marketers are making significant organizational changes to improve collaboration (reduce friction)
  • Over the next 2 years, marketers expect strong growth in their use of marketing technology (new opportunity)




Traditional Digital Marketers Will Go Out of Business

One estimate I read suggests $21 trillion dollars of business will transfer away from non AI businesses over to those which do use AI. That will make it the most dramatic business event of the past 60 years.

Will your firm be one of those going-out-of-business firms that sees your surviving clients/customers quickly slide over to your competitors? I hope not. The fact you’re reading this means you’ve seen the early signals and are wondering how you’re going to face this matter of marketing AI successfully. The transition will likely be awkward, with a learning curve.

I don’t have any in-depth successes to share with you just yet, and there aren’t many being told. But it’s early. We’ll hear more victory celebrations such as Harley Davidson and Cosa Bella.

A recent post on the Innovationenterprise.com submitted on Linkedin by Jennifer Von Amerom of Culture&Company recruiters is a case in point. It’s a high level post on AI marketing that’s hard to get your mind wrapped around. The essence of the post was in how AI is already being used successfully in the booming programmatic advertising sector. But it’s moving into all aspects of marketing.

Your Future Coworker Will be an AI Robot

If my next coworker is an AI robot named Albert or Aiden or Eistein, I’m okay with that.  In fact, it would be a quantum leap for me.  I introduced you to Albert, the versatile and helpful AI software robot from Adgorithms. It can make an ordinary digital marketer look like a powerful genius (they have a new small business edition released now I can tell you about).

What AI marketing solutions do so far, is help create better targeted ads, improve ad timing, and even improve ad creative. We all know conversion on clicked ads is about 1% at best, which means advertisers are wasting most of their ad budgets on paid advertising. That’s billions of dollars on poorly targeted advertising, and digital marketing teams stressed out trying to reduce it.

AI promises to help small business marketers understand the personas, click behavior, and needs of individual consumers and website visitors in more detail. At least some AI software solutions will offer insight. Finding the good transparent ones is something you have to begin doing now.




Career Decisions: Making the Transition to Marketing AI

It’s kind of a no-brainer. That’s why I am making a transition to the AI marketing field already. It seems AI marketing tools will require a whole new set of digital marketing skills, both software and creative abilities. It’s wise to begin the transition now.

As AI uses its own ever-improving learning processes (free of human marketer bias), it’ll assume more of all of the work of marketing, including testing of creative and estimating which generates better results. That means even creative people will have more time to think about creative planning and strategy and discussing it with an AI bot like Albert.

What Does an AI Powered Digital Marketing Specialist Do?

Anything or everything. We and copywriters, graphic designers, videographers, and web designers will work more closely with AI recommendations. Will workers need to be more specialized, or have more generalized skills? It looks like we’ll need both.

One of my biggest frustrations in working in digital marketing is the lack of information about the market and client’s website users. People make a big fuss about analytics but the insight it gives doesn’t really help us. We’re stumbling around in a black box.  AI software can test, assess, and continually improve on an individual customer basis while giving us a good look at the overall picture. Everyone in the marketing and creative department will learn and grow because of it.




And the reason for poor customer insight is that no one can test visitor’s interests, personas, and clickthrough behavior, and respond fast enough. Testing in real time, means you can get much more insight from visitors. Human’s can’t do it but AI can. It would be fun to orchestrate all of that.

Testing Out Content Strategies

I’m excited about how AI can provide more detailed insight so I can test out different strategies, or even build excellent content strategies in the first place. New possibilities. With AI, there’s no need to depend on big teams of digital marketers who may resist forwarding the info you need, nor aid you in what you’re doing.  That friction or lack of teamwork is a big element of “cultural fit” that many hirers obsess over. But AI might remove it entirely. You might say Albert gets along with everyone and is the ultimate team player.

With AI marketing software, the friction disappears and the strategist suddenly gets direct access to great information fast. Whatever thought, scenario, or supposition I can think of suddenly becomes one I can follow. The potential for campaign improvement and personal professional development is mind-boggling. A veritable dam burst of forward motion.

Old analytics systems will disappear as new ones arise to help us engage visitors and capture their buying intent. No more guessing or asking clients or managers for info and permission. Instead we can help the AI software do some harmless testing and discover the strategic potential of an insight. Clients and managers will be looking to AI marketing specialists for insight about how visitors feel and what they might purchase in the new year.

Yes, AI will be able to learn how customers and website visitors are feeling and what their buying intent is based on their interactive responses, questions they ask, and the content they view. AI systems can process natural language — almost like reading the customer’s mind to understand their underlying intent and issues.




Admittedly, right now, I’m a rank amateur in AI marketing strategy.  However, with anything, you’re as good as you want to be. It’s all about attitude. 1 year from now, I’ll be looking back at my newbie status with a smile.

So with AI, you or I won’t need big data expertise or experience. The AI tools themselves will take care of those deep insights and testing power. The software promises to ease time consuming manual work and let us work on higher level strategy. We’ll get excellent results.

It seems to me, that a digital marketing specialist or a content strategist I’ll be able to manage entire campaigns, which the AI software executes and provides feedback on. The purpose of a business is to create a customer, and AI serves that purpose pretty well.

AI Skills Digital Marketers will Need?

Basically, we’ll need to do anything Albert can’t do. In the SMB area, we’ll need to be versatile as our work touches on everything from client communication to creative strategy. We’ll need to weave campaigns together and attend to any aspect that’s ailing.

  • AI marketing software skills
  • content planning and strategy
  • intuition and emotional intelligence
  • campaign planning and strategy
  • search engine optimization
  • deep epic level content research
  • engaging copywriting
  • report generation and interpreting data
  • social media engagement
  • project management skills
  • web analytics and sales analytics
  • conversion optimization skills
  • client communication and management
  • outsourcing management

Additional Resource on AI marketing:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forrester/2017/06/15/how-marketers-can-prepare-for-ai-powered-marketing /

8 Ways Intelligent Marketers Use Artificial Intelligence

 

It’s Good to Share: Tell your friends and coworkers about the AI revolution in marketing. It’ll affect everyone in your office.

If you’re considering venturing into the AI marketing space and you’d like to have someone enthusiastic about helping you implement it, please contact me.

San Diego Real Estate Forecast

San Diego’s Real Estate Market

It’s hard not to forecast San Diego as a good housing market from 2017 through 2020 just as it is in LA, San Francisco and the Bay area. Buy if you can find anyone willing to sell.

The gorgeous climate, wonderful lifestyle, improving California economy, increased immigration of workers here, beefed up military spending, and proximity to Mexico and the Asian block countries means it is perfectly positioned for big housing demand and very high home prices. 




There’s no better place to relocate to if you’re established or your business is doing well. San Diego will give you back everything you give it and more. I’ve had amazing clients in San Diego.

San Diego is an exciting place to live and for real estate investment. Similar to South Florida, it’s younger buyers in the US and foreign buyers that are eyeing property here. And while many experts call for only moderate price increases, you’ll see the stats below are suggesting higher San Diego home prices and decreased availability. It’s the right time to sell your San Diego home.




What’s San Diego’s achilles heel? Lack of housing development and urban intensification. Another problem might be politicians trying to suppress growth in this little piece of heaven.  But San Diego’s smack dab in the middle of everything. They’ll be under extreme pressure to stop the resistance and net migration into SD County.

Political Resistance to Population Growth

In the face of huge demand, politicians will be under the gun about putting the Kaibosh on SD’s amazing real estate fortune. This factor will ensure prices will rocket out of control.  Are local SD County politicians and the California government doing much to grow housing developments inland? Will the exodus of illegal Mexicans ease the issue? Are illegals buying homes?

Demand for homes in San Diego County will never subside. It is one the best places on earth and prices will stay high. For homeowners here, it is on of those infrequent opportunities to cash out and make a killing. You only need a dream and somewhere to go.

Here’s an easy to understand Forecast of San Diego’s real estate future.

San Diego’s Real Estate Forecast for 2017 is Rosy

And that’s despite the negative outlooks of some toward all of SoCal. February 2017 saw significant price increases (e.g., La Jolla up 29% year over year for detached houses and 55% for townhouse condos) and it’s driven by the California housing shortage crisis. Because of that, we’ll see big home prices right through the spring. The same outlook applies to Los Angeles, Orange County, San Jose, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

This graphics below shows housing is in short supply and affordability is plummeting. It’s an emergency situation that forecasts big rent increases and strong home price growth. Since home building takes time especially in a heavily regulated environment, there’s little chance of diminished demand. With incomes increasing and millennials coming into their family building years, the stage is set for rocketing prices.

The Three Tiered Market in SD

This excellent chart below courtesy of First Tuesday, shows how demand for lower priced properties is almost a separate world. It’s this more steep tier that is most likely to see huge price growth. Will this turn into a San Diego housing bubble as part of a US housing crash?  The 2007 real estate crash saw big drops in luxury home prices in SD and this time around, we have to wonder if foreign money will vacate fast if the market heads downward. My opinion is that California and San Diego are pretty strong and there’s no other compelling destination for foreign money.

3 Tiered Real Estate Chart Courtesy of first tuesday

It’s an excellent opportunity for rental property investors who want to capitalize on the severe housing and rental property shortage. Property owners near the I5 with waterfront views in La Jolla, Del Mar, Claremont, Solana Beach, and Encinitas may not have much to be concerned with.

As long as the Trump ecconomic surge continues, San Diego’s outlook should be bright.




Should I Sell My San Diego Home?

You could hang onto your home for another 20%, but if enough San Diegans do keep their home off the market due to greed, the repercussions could be serious. This holding onto property is happening all over North America. With nowhere to go, there’s likely not going to be a big selloff anytime soon so price rises could elevate. To ease this crisis, governments could offer incentives for home sellers to let go of their property? For sure, new housing will not ease this crisis. What will make a difference is Realtors convincing people to sell their homes and move on with their lives.

Screen Capture courtesy of SDAR

The housing shortage is a  global phenomena, not just in San Diego. All the in demand cities are seeing foreign that’s fleeing other countries boost up prices in New York, Palm Beach, Toronto, and Miami. The new problem we may face is a shortage of construction workers, which could raise construction costs. That will put upward pressure on resale home prices.

 Considering Buying or Investing in Real Estate in San Diego?

Here’s 13 factors you should be weighing when buying or selling in San Diego County:

  1. Housing Demand – High overall demand – “all cash bidding wars” in some cases
  2. Housing Supply – Throttled, supply is far from what’s needed
  3. Mortgage Rates – Continuing Low, especially in light of global economic slackening
  4. Down Payment and mortgage rules – Banks are withdrawing FHA loans however some are offering downpayments as low as 3%
  5. Regional Employment – Very low and falling
  6. Buyer Income – low yet rising quickly
  7. Home Prices – High and rising – out of reach for most buyers – many consider San Diego County homes grossly over-priced
  8. Demographics – Millennials coming into family and home buying years and their income is growing fast
  9. Number of Renters – increasing fast
  10. New Home Construction: slow (100k to 140k per year) and illegal workers being chased out
  11. Economic-Foreign Trade – Trump expected to raise US GDP and add fuel to incomes and home prices
  12. President Trump – uncertainty of what Trump will create and how much interference he’ll see
  13. Taxes on Sale of Home – Tax situation is great for sellers

What will the San Diego Real Estate Market Look Like in 2017?

2016 was a great year and there’s no reason to believe the market will falter. In fact, San Diego’s situation is very similar to the Los Angeles real estate forecast.  Typically, SD’s housing market doesn’t pick up until after the main markets have grown. Normally, it takes years before demand for high end luxury homes reaches speed here in SD.

The market right now is in waiting mode for US buyers to get richer – particularly Millenials entering their family raising years.  Sure there are South American Buyers looking for homes right now, as well as Russians, but that demand could dry up soon.

With the new Trump Era fully engaged, job growth will pick up steam in Southern California. This will drive growth in places like Escondido, Del Mar, Oceanside, Carlsbad, and San Diego.

San Diego Home Prices

Take a look at San Diego’s historic price chart courtesy of SDAR. Detached home prices are up $300,000 in the last 4.5 years. We’ll be looking at similar price growth rates in 2017.  Many experts are commenting more on a possible housing crash, which would include San Diego.

If you’re thinking of selling, this might be the best time to contact a San Diego Realtor and begin the process. There is no vertical price rise on the graph, or glut of first time buyers with underwater mortgages, but 29% price rises in La Jolla might be a signal of trouble ahead.

My guess is that we’re in for good times for a while in San Diego. Make sure you review the Los Angeles report and the Toronto Real estate forecast to give you a better understanding the global foreign buyer demand that’s affecting all markets. US home builders should  be optimistic about demand and put pressure on legislators to free up land and offer incentives.




Case Shiller’s home price index for San Diego is 229 compared to the national average of 185.

Screen Capture courtesy of SDAR Stats
Screen capture courtesy of SDAR Stats

According to SDAR, home prices are up 6% to an average of $540,000. The real estate trends reflect the general demand as shown in the Los Angeles Market report.  A sharp rise in real income, combined with lower unemployment, rising GDP, and fewer listings available points to higher prices in 2017, 2018 and 2019.  But things are heating up as we saw in La Jolla where detached homes rose an astonishing 29% to an average of 2.26 million. These rates are only seen in other cities such as Toronto.

Screen capture courtesy of SDAR Stats
Screen capture courtesy of SDAR Stats

 

About Business: Should San Diego be a Startup Haven?

Forbes published their top cities for startups report and they chose San Diego as the best place to launch a new business. You probably wouldn’t get too much argument that a medical and security software startup would thrive here, but is SD better than silicon valley at anything else? Blair Giesen of Thevoiceofsandiego.com is a little skeptical that investors are here and that San Diego is a tech hub. But don’t tell that to San Diego Startup Week who just had their 5 day convention. And conventions are one big advantage San Diego does have.

 

San Diego Has All the Charm and a Good Economy – But are You Communicating That Well Enough?

California was just named the 5th largest economy in the world and it’s had a great year in 2016. That’s amazing, but does San Diego’s small business and startup growth compare to that of LA and silicon valley? Some of the data below suggests that despite growth in manufacturing and professional services, talented workers may not want to move to SD county. With the Trump presidency firmly launched, San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles may be headed for boom times.

Source: Wallet Hub




Which industries are best for startup businesses in San Diego?

bestbusinesses

Team Up with the Right Partners

Should San Diego Chamber of Commerce and San Diego Regional Economic Development be doing more?  Although some startups have found success, it isn’t easy to succeed especially in digital marketing against tough competition. Companies would be wise to get connected with companies and investors in other cities, perhaps Canada or the UK to build a wider base of success. By networking and accessing those components that don’t and never will exist in San Diego, SD might be able to compete equally with LA, NY, Boston and Silicon Valley. What shouldn’t be underestimated is the desire of companies in Vancouver or Toronto or London to work with SD companies. Motivation is a key factor in performance.

San Diego’s wonderful leisure climate and opportunities are a powerful draw to bring smart talent, business entrepreneurs, and investors from around the world. All that’s needed are people who believe in San Diego!

Check out SDEDC’s downloadable infographic of the current economic stats (June 2016)

sdedc

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Should SD be Leveraging the 4 Pillars instead of Leaning on Them?

San Diego has 4 key industries including maritime/naval, healthcare, tourism, and research.

Although US naval fleets and operations are the biggest engine of business and tax revenue in San Diego, the future of war doesn’t look good. If defense budgets stay at current levels, that’s fine, but San Diego needs to grow and diversify to generate greater opportunity, investment and of course jobs.

percapitasandiegoAccording to dot.ca.gov, in 2012, most employment sectors in San Diego enjoyed job growth. And the city’s current 4.2% jobless rate is extraordinary. Most cities can only dream of that. The largest gains occurred in professional services (+5,700 jobs), leisure and hospitality (+5,400 jobs), and retail and wholesale trade (+4,500 jobs), and education and healthcare (+4,300 jobs). The only sector that lost jobs was government (-1,400 jobs).  

It’s expected that from 2013 to 2018, growth will average 1.9 % per year and the fastest rates of growth will occur in information and professional and business services with annual rates of 3.8% and 2.9%

Compare SD’s per capital income growth to San Francisco’s pictured here at right, and you can expect more skilled, creative talented IT related workers to choose Palo Alto and Mountainview rather than San Diego to work and live. But for startups, it might be better to stick to Toronto (see Entrepreneur.com’s vote), Vancouver or Charlotte. Boston, LA, San Francisco, and Silicon Valley are expensive. And Sergei Brin of Google agrees.

Don’t launch your startup in Silicon Valley. During the boom cycles, the expectations around the costs – real estate, salaries – the expectations people and employees have … it can be hard to make a scrappy initial business that’s self-sustaining. Silicon Valley is good for scaling that opportunity, providing more capital and allowing more risk.” — Sergei Brin stated at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit June 27, 2016

From 2016 to 2020, SD’s population will grow about 180,000 and per capita income will grow about $4,000 to an average of $58,428. The professional services sector will see the strongest job growth in total of more than 20,000 new jobs.

sandiegoindustries

percapitasanfranciso
San Francisco’s average income is $30,000 above San Diego’s. It will take a lot for San Diego Businesses to overcome that, and the fact that Silicon Valley is full of investment money.

And in this graphic at right, we discover that per capita income will rise much faster than the California average (other CA counties will do much better).

High wages in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Mountainview, Santa Clara, San Jose will draw high skilled IT workers like flies. However the Bay Area is pricey and the cost of doing business there will eat away at capital and profits.  Silicon Valley looks to India for alleys but Donald Trump might throw a monkey wrench into their machine.

 

REAL ESTATE: High volumes of sales and soaring home prices indicate that compared to the rest of the nation, California metros are benefitting from strong housing sector growth in 2013. San Francisco is considered by some to be the strongest market in the country, closely followed by several other California metros including San Jose, Sacramento, Orange, and San Joaquin Counties.

 

Where will you find San Francisco apartments for rent? Are you looking for the best cities to invest in real estate in 2017? Where is the best Vacation destination: Costa Rica or San Diego? Is this he right time to sell your home? Reports suggest people don’t intend to sell their homes so what impact will that have on the US housing construction forecast?  How will first time buyers ever get the mortgage financing they need to buy?

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Donald Trump on the US Economy, Reform, and Real Estate Market

What Donald Trump Said

2 months ago, I forecasted that Donald Trump would become the next President and sure enough, at the last minute, he pulled it off. I mentioned that Americans appeared tired of economic stagnation, debt, minimum wage futures, political lobbying and corruption, and a lack of control over their own lives and in 2017 they would have a new president to make the changes.

But even as we inspect what New York’s Donald Trump has said he wanted to do, the real matter is how he could make change in jobs, energy, real estate development, and trade.
Yet Trump is a hotel and real estate magnate, so this has to bode well for the travel and real estate sectors. Trump is all about real estate development. Trump stated he will change the tax brackets (lowering taxes for some) so they have more money for a purchase.




Once investment and laws are changed, the US should see an honest revival of its economy and as momentum grows over the years ahead, it makes sense that fairer trade and a made in America emphasis will see jobs and investment come back to the US. It’s doubtful that China and Mexico will be devastated and I might add that Canada may follow the same road to bring jobs back from China and Mexico. Those who have lost their jobs to foreign companies know what’s been happening at a real life and emotional level. Once jobs return, the euphoria will begin.

Whoever actually voted for Trump, their decision is one that’s put rich multi-national companies, billionaires, and even pampered Hollywood stars in their place. Clinton and the Democrats had no real plan to boost the economy, create jobs and fix the trade deficit problem with China, Japan and Mexico. I thought it was a no brainer — Trump was the people’s only hope despite the thrashing the media gave him. None of it mattered because Americans are determined to bring back prosperity.

Is 2018 the best year to buy rental income property?  Find out more about the best investment opportunities in 2017 including investing in real estate




Everyone is wondering what a Donald Trump, president elect, lead government will look like. What did he say about housing and home ownership anyway? And how will his policies actually support small and medium-sized US businesses?

Share this post about Donal Trump with your friends and family on:

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A good number of people are still upset right now that the much hyped new President got in. He promised to drain the swamp in Washington, fix trade deals with China, Mexico and Japan, and help people buy a home. And in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Francisco, just as in New York City, Miami, Seattle, and most urban area, people have given up on the idea of owning and having equity in a home. That American dream had died.

homeownership
How do You Feel about This Statistic on Home Ownership?

Here’s a key statements and quotes from him (if you’re willing to believe his statements):

American homeownership rate in Q2 2016 was 62.9% – lowest rate in 51 yrs,” Trump tweeted July 30, 2016. “WE will bring back the ‘American Dream!”

It’s not hard to believe that homeowners in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco are low. Not much of a controversy there. How many millennials can afford a Million dollar property?

If his heart and head really are into making home ownership a reality for those in California, Texas, Florida, and New York and cities across the US where prices have gone bonkers, mostly due to a lack of development land. Trump’s bombastic style will fade in importance as he’s forced to get down to work and fix the American economy. There’s mention we’ll have panic and high global prices yet they’ll likely go down as manufacturers become more concerned about getting their products to their main customers — US consumers.




“I’m going to bring jobs back from China, Mexico Japan, Vietnam. They are taking our jobs. They are taking our wealth. We have $2.5 trillion offshore. We’re going to bring that money back. You take a look at what happened just this week, China bought the Chicago Stock Exchange. Nabisco and Ford, they’re all moving out. We have an economy that last quarter didn’t grow. We have to make our economy grow again” — Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina , Feb 13, 2016

Trump also has a lot of power now yet even the experts don’t know how he can improve the economy and boost the real estate and housing markets.

“A few years ago, Moody’s, the financial investment agency, calculated that every $1 of federal money invested in improving the infrastructure for highways and public schools would guarantee $1.44 back to the economy. Infrastructure investments have one of the strongest direct economic impacts.”  Source: Crippled America, by Donald Trump, p124-5 , Nov 3, 2015

“My policy is going to be something that’s going to set the country back right. I mean, one of the big things is we have to take back jobs from China.”  Source: Meet the Press 2015 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Aug 2, 2015.

So much for election promises and public political statements. We might want to visit his website and then calculate what impact taking jobs back from China, India, Japan, and Mexico will do.

https://www.donaldjtrump.com/policies/trade

https://www.donaldjtrump.com/policies/energy/

https://www.donaldjtrump.com/policies/economy/




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Microsoft is Buying Linkedin

Linkedin Being Purchased for $26 Billion

Microsoft has lunged back into relevance online with the purchase of Linkedin – the huge professional networking platform with 343 million members, just like you. Microsoft couldn’t resist Linkedin’s incredible performance stats of 19% year over year growth.

Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft made the announcement today. It leaves us to ponder what Microsoft could do to improve performance. Only about a third of Linkedin users are active and most aren’t using it as their primary, or even secondary means of professional communication.  Microsoft could integrate it with its suite of office productivity software, thus taking it from an external communication network to where it is preferred to email and actively pushing us to engage our Linkedin connections. Perhaps we’ll find Linkedin more effective as a business generating tool?

Has Linkedin been a powerful networking tool for you? Are you active in networking? Would you say Linkedin is less effective than Facebook in connecting with the best quality prospects?

Is your internet marketing strategy failing to deliver? It might be time to hire an experienced and innovative strategist able to help you leverage the best high converting sources of prospects and present content to them they will find relevant.  Don’t sit and hope for better results — get active and you’ll get results.