3 Pros and 3 Cons You Need to Weigh About Specialization in Today’s Job Market

Unpacking the Pros and Cons of Job Specialization in Today’s Business World

Everyone reaches a point in their career where they get really good at a particular skill and they face a crossroads. Do I further hone this skill or do I continue to add new skills? Unfortunately, there isn’t a correct answer. It depends on a variety of other factors.

Understanding Specialization

If you want to understand the progression of the business world – and professional service industries, in particular – you have to get familiar with specialization.

By definition, work specialization is the act of splitting up processes of work into individual responsibilities that are each handled by the most qualified individuals available. Specialization often occurs within businesses and organizations, but individuals also benefit from concentrating on specific skills.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen an increased emphasis on specialization within the entrepreneurial/freelance community and the reverberations of this shift are clearly seen on multiple levels.

“Ongoing specialization has been a decisive factor for the current state of our society,” explains Consultants 500, a platform designed to connect businesses with specialized services. “The effects of specialization is such a broad concept that it touches upon almost everything in our daily life. And our natural urge for specialization is also one of the main reasons why professional services exist. Society and businesses cannot know everything and therefore need specialists with practical experience to help and guide us.”

While specialization clearly plays a valuable role in the business world, the dilemma of whether or not to pursue it as the focus of your own career can be intense. It sounds great on the surface, but what are the costs and benefits when you analyze career specialization at the roots?

The Pros of Job Specialization

While it’s not for everyone, there’s a lot of value that can be extracted from focusing on a specific skill or role. Let’s begin this analysis by taking a look at some of the benefits specialization affords so that you can get a better idea of the “why” behind such a career move.

1. Defined Skillset

There’s something about having specific responsibilities that allow you to get really focused on a defined skillset. This is perhaps the biggest benefit of specialization. When you’re able to stop wasting your time on low-returning tasks and instead drill down to what really matters, suddenly you become a more valuable commodity.

Consider a fictional scenario for a moment. Let’s say your house is getting old and needs some substantial work done. Namely, you need some of the siding repaired and a new roof installed. The first thing you do is call a local handyman who you know is pretty good with installing siding. And when he arrives at your house and you mention that you’re also replacing your roof, he suddenly perks up and tells you that he can do the siding repair and the roof replacement for one convenient price.

The handyman leaves and the specialized roof installation company that you had previously called out for an estimate arrives. They want to charge you substantially more for the job. Despite this, most people would be more comfortable paying the premium for the specialized service. Why? Because specialized companies/professionals are deemed to be more skilled at what they do. In other words, a defined skillset is a bonus.

2. Increased Trust

Specialization comes with a greater sense of trust in the eyes of employers. If you’re looking for a job and are able to say that you specialize in X, Y, or Z, that’s better than saying you have some basic experience doing X, Y, and Z. An employer is going to have more trust that you know what you’re doing if you’ve exhibited a history of focusing your efforts on a singular skill or objective.

3. Better Job Satisfaction

From your perspective, you’ll find that specialization generally leads to higher job satisfaction. The reason for this is rooted in any number of factors. For a lot of people, it’s a result of doing something that you love. That’s because professionals generally focus on a skill that they enjoy. Other people are happier because they get immense satisfaction and pleasure from doing something that they’re good at. It makes them feel like they have something of value to offer their employer/customers/etc.

The Cons of Job Specialization

Job specialization isn’t for everyone, though. Some people aren’t cut out for it and perform much better when they’re able to utilize a variety of skills and take on a diverse set of responsibilities. Keeping that in mind, let’s review some of the major cons of specialization in today’s job market.

1. Potential for Boredom

The majority of American workers aren’t finding fulfillment in their jobs. In fact, a Gallup poll shows that 50.8 percent of people are “not engaged” at work, while another 17.2 percent are “actively disengaged.” Less than one-third of people report being fully engaged. There are plenty of reasons for this, but boredom plays a big role.

Unfortunately, specialization is often a major cause for boredom. If you end up becoming too focused on one thing, you don’t get enough diversity in your life and burn out fairly quickly. This doesn’t always happen, but it’s always a risk – especially for those who like change.

2. Risk of Obsolescence

The world changes and certain skills and occupations come and go in terms of utility and value. When you’re a generalist, this doesn’t really matter. You slowly evolve along with the marketplace. But when you’re a specialist, you can get left behind. Obsolescence is a very real threat.

Consider, for example, someone who specializes in Google AdWords strategy and optimization. What would happen if suddenly Google went under or decided to eliminate AdWords and focus on an entirely different form of advertising? Suddenly that person would be out of a job. That’s the risk of tying yourself to one specific skill.

3. Limited Skillset

You also have to consider the fact that not every customer/client/employer is looking for specialization. When cost is a factor, it’s usually makes more sense for them to hire someone who can offer a variety of services. So while you may view it as a focused skillset, others could see it as a limited skillset. Keep this in mind as you decide where you want your career to go.

The Future of Job Specialization

There will always be an opportunity for skilled professionals to specialize their services. The key to specialization is to make sure you’re balancing your approach. You can specialize yourself right out of a job if you aren’t careful.

But done the right way, specialization can lead to a bright career in today’s job market.

Man at Computer Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "3 Pros and 3 Cons You Need to Weigh About Specialization in Today’s Job Market" was first published on Small Business Trends



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3 Pros and 3 Cons You Need to Weigh About Specialization in Today’s Job Market

Unpacking the Pros and Cons of Job Specialization in Today’s Business World

Everyone reaches a point in their career where they get really good at a particular skill and they face a crossroads. Do I further hone this skill or do I continue to add new skills? Unfortunately, there isn’t a correct answer. It depends on a variety of other factors.

Understanding Specialization

If you want to understand the progression of the business world – and professional service industries, in particular – you have to get familiar with specialization.

By definition, work specialization is the act of splitting up processes of work into individual responsibilities that are each handled by the most qualified individuals available. Specialization often occurs within businesses and organizations, but individuals also benefit from concentrating on specific skills.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen an increased emphasis on specialization within the entrepreneurial/freelance community and the reverberations of this shift are clearly seen on multiple levels.

“Ongoing specialization has been a decisive factor for the current state of our society,” explains Consultants 500, a platform designed to connect businesses with specialized services. “The effects of specialization is such a broad concept that it touches upon almost everything in our daily life. And our natural urge for specialization is also one of the main reasons why professional services exist. Society and businesses cannot know everything and therefore need specialists with practical experience to help and guide us.”

While specialization clearly plays a valuable role in the business world, the dilemma of whether or not to pursue it as the focus of your own career can be intense. It sounds great on the surface, but what are the costs and benefits when you analyze career specialization at the roots?

The Pros of Job Specialization

While it’s not for everyone, there’s a lot of value that can be extracted from focusing on a specific skill or role. Let’s begin this analysis by taking a look at some of the benefits specialization affords so that you can get a better idea of the “why” behind such a career move.

1. Defined Skillset

There’s something about having specific responsibilities that allow you to get really focused on a defined skillset. This is perhaps the biggest benefit of specialization. When you’re able to stop wasting your time on low-returning tasks and instead drill down to what really matters, suddenly you become a more valuable commodity.

Consider a fictional scenario for a moment. Let’s say your house is getting old and needs some substantial work done. Namely, you need some of the siding repaired and a new roof installed. The first thing you do is call a local handyman who you know is pretty good with installing siding. And when he arrives at your house and you mention that you’re also replacing your roof, he suddenly perks up and tells you that he can do the siding repair and the roof replacement for one convenient price.

The handyman leaves and the specialized roof installation company that you had previously called out for an estimate arrives. They want to charge you substantially more for the job. Despite this, most people would be more comfortable paying the premium for the specialized service. Why? Because specialized companies/professionals are deemed to be more skilled at what they do. In other words, a defined skillset is a bonus.

2. Increased Trust

Specialization comes with a greater sense of trust in the eyes of employers. If you’re looking for a job and are able to say that you specialize in X, Y, or Z, that’s better than saying you have some basic experience doing X, Y, and Z. An employer is going to have more trust that you know what you’re doing if you’ve exhibited a history of focusing your efforts on a singular skill or objective.

3. Better Job Satisfaction

From your perspective, you’ll find that specialization generally leads to higher job satisfaction. The reason for this is rooted in any number of factors. For a lot of people, it’s a result of doing something that you love. That’s because professionals generally focus on a skill that they enjoy. Other people are happier because they get immense satisfaction and pleasure from doing something that they’re good at. It makes them feel like they have something of value to offer their employer/customers/etc.

The Cons of Job Specialization

Job specialization isn’t for everyone, though. Some people aren’t cut out for it and perform much better when they’re able to utilize a variety of skills and take on a diverse set of responsibilities. Keeping that in mind, let’s review some of the major cons of specialization in today’s job market.

1. Potential for Boredom

The majority of American workers aren’t finding fulfillment in their jobs. In fact, a Gallup poll shows that 50.8 percent of people are “not engaged” at work, while another 17.2 percent are “actively disengaged.” Less than one-third of people report being fully engaged. There are plenty of reasons for this, but boredom plays a big role.

Unfortunately, specialization is often a major cause for boredom. If you end up becoming too focused on one thing, you don’t get enough diversity in your life and burn out fairly quickly. This doesn’t always happen, but it’s always a risk – especially for those who like change.

2. Risk of Obsolescence

The world changes and certain skills and occupations come and go in terms of utility and value. When you’re a generalist, this doesn’t really matter. You slowly evolve along with the marketplace. But when you’re a specialist, you can get left behind. Obsolescence is a very real threat.

Consider, for example, someone who specializes in Google AdWords strategy and optimization. What would happen if suddenly Google went under or decided to eliminate AdWords and focus on an entirely different form of advertising? Suddenly that person would be out of a job. That’s the risk of tying yourself to one specific skill.

3. Limited Skillset

You also have to consider the fact that not every customer/client/employer is looking for specialization. When cost is a factor, it’s usually makes more sense for them to hire someone who can offer a variety of services. So while you may view it as a focused skillset, others could see it as a limited skillset. Keep this in mind as you decide where you want your career to go.

The Future of Job Specialization

There will always be an opportunity for skilled professionals to specialize their services. The key to specialization is to make sure you’re balancing your approach. You can specialize yourself right out of a job if you aren’t careful.

But done the right way, specialization can lead to a bright career in today’s job market.

Man at Computer Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "3 Pros and 3 Cons You Need to Weigh About Specialization in Today’s Job Market" was first published on Small Business Trends



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The Value of Apprenticeships - Dan Mall's SuperFriendly Academy Aims Aims to Enhance People's Skills (TrendHunter.com)

(TrendHunter.com) Dan Mall is a developer who started the SuperFriendly Academy, a space where he essentially has apprentices who he teaches basic, entry level developing and designing skills to, while also...
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Kangol Tries to Find Niche Reversing Offshoring Trend

The Intangible Benefits of Doing Good
Since 1990, U.S. businesses have sent 85 percent of their manufacturing and other operations overseas as a way of cutting costs. But Kangol is doing just the opposite.

The popular hat brand actually recently brought its manufacturing operations back to the U.S. from China. This move hasn’t come without challenges — namely, the cost of labor. But it may also have some unexpected benefits for the brand as well.

At a time when the trend is sending jobs to other countries, the fact Kangol is doing the opposite could really set the brand apart. Consumers appreciate when businesses are willing to go the extra mile to create jobs and help the economy. And they might even be willing to pay a bit more to support those companies.

The Intangible Benefits of Doing Good

For small businesses, the lesson is that sometimes taking the more difficult route and working through challenges for a good cause can bring about intangible benefits in the long run. Maybe your business is considering switching to alternative energy or using sustainable resources in products. It might not be easy to get started. But if your customers support all the time and resources you dedicated to those initiatives — and show it by spending on products and services — it just might be worth it.

Image: AP/YouTube

This article, "Kangol Tries to Find Niche Reversing Offshoring Trend" was first published on Small Business Trends



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Kangol Tries to Find Niche Reversing Offshoring Trend

The Intangible Benefits of Doing Good
Since 1990, U.S. businesses have sent 85 percent of their manufacturing and other operations overseas as a way of cutting costs. But Kangol is doing just the opposite.

The popular hat brand actually recently brought its manufacturing operations back to the U.S. from China. This move hasn’t come without challenges — namely, the cost of labor. But it may also have some unexpected benefits for the brand as well.

At a time when the trend is sending jobs to other countries, the fact Kangol is doing the opposite could really set the brand apart. Consumers appreciate when businesses are willing to go the extra mile to create jobs and help the economy. And they might even be willing to pay a bit more to support those companies.

The Intangible Benefits of Doing Good

For small businesses, the lesson is that sometimes taking the more difficult route and working through challenges for a good cause can bring about intangible benefits in the long run. Maybe your business is considering switching to alternative energy or using sustainable resources in products. It might not be easy to get started. But if your customers support all the time and resources you dedicated to those initiatives — and show it by spending on products and services — it just might be worth it.

Image: AP/YouTube

This article, "Kangol Tries to Find Niche Reversing Offshoring Trend" was first published on Small Business Trends



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Pinterest Upgrades Promoted Video With Autoplay

Pinterest Adds New Pinterest Promoted Video Autoplay Feature

After introducing Promoted Video ad units last August, Pinterest is adding autoplay on those ads .

This new format of video plays as soon as you scroll across your feeds. They also autoplay in the platform’s search results.

New Pinterest Promoted Video Autoplay Feature

“So when someone knows exactly what they’re looking for on Pinterest, your video can be right there to show it to them. Your videos will also show up when they tap open a Pin and scroll down to the ‘More like this’ selection of related Pins”, writes Jenny Chiu, a member of the Partnerships at Pinterest team on the official Pinterest Business Blog.

The popular pinning and sharing platform announced last November that it was going to test auto-play promoted videos and now it is doing so with brands like Toyota, Universal Pictures, Adidas, L’Oreal and Visa. Pinterest plans to open the feature “in the coming months” to advertisers in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Advertisers will be able to buy the service through Pinterest’s self-serve ad-buying tool or advertising API or directly from the company’s sales team.

Since the video ads play automatically and are therefore more likely to get views, they will likely also cost less for advertisers. The social network will also charge advertisers based on the number of impressions their ads receive. So if a user quickly swipes past an ad within a second of it playing, the advertiser still has to pay.

Pinterest is obviously following in the footsteps of rivals like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and if all goes as planned, the company might soon be a major challenger in the market.

Finally, Pinterest announced Moat, a service providing real-time attention analytics, will provide data on viewability, or how much of the videos were in view while Nielsen Mobile Digital Ad Ratings will measure audience reach of campaigns using Promoted Video with auto-play.

“See how much people saw — thanks to our partnership with Moat, you’ll soon be able to find out how long people played your video, and how much of it was on screen (like “10 seconds, 100 percent in view”), Chiu added.

Image: Pinterest

This article, "Pinterest Upgrades Promoted Video With Autoplay" was first published on Small Business Trends



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Pinterest Upgrades Promoted Video With Autoplay

Pinterest Adds New Pinterest Promoted Video Autoplay Feature

After introducing Promoted Video ad units last August, Pinterest is adding autoplay on those ads .

This new format of video plays as soon as you scroll across your feeds. They also autoplay in the platform’s search results.

New Pinterest Promoted Video Autoplay Feature

“So when someone knows exactly what they’re looking for on Pinterest, your video can be right there to show it to them. Your videos will also show up when they tap open a Pin and scroll down to the ‘More like this’ selection of related Pins”, writes Jenny Chiu, a member of the Partnerships at Pinterest team on the official Pinterest Business Blog.

The popular pinning and sharing platform announced last November that it was going to test auto-play promoted videos and now it is doing so with brands like Toyota, Universal Pictures, Adidas, L’Oreal and Visa. Pinterest plans to open the feature “in the coming months” to advertisers in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Advertisers will be able to buy the service through Pinterest’s self-serve ad-buying tool or advertising API or directly from the company’s sales team.

Since the video ads play automatically and are therefore more likely to get views, they will likely also cost less for advertisers. The social network will also charge advertisers based on the number of impressions their ads receive. So if a user quickly swipes past an ad within a second of it playing, the advertiser still has to pay.

Pinterest is obviously following in the footsteps of rivals like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and if all goes as planned, the company might soon be a major challenger in the market.

Finally, Pinterest announced Moat, a service providing real-time attention analytics, will provide data on viewability, or how much of the videos were in view while Nielsen Mobile Digital Ad Ratings will measure audience reach of campaigns using Promoted Video with auto-play.

“See how much people saw — thanks to our partnership with Moat, you’ll soon be able to find out how long people played your video, and how much of it was on screen (like “10 seconds, 100 percent in view”), Chiu added.

Image: Pinterest

This article, "Pinterest Upgrades Promoted Video With Autoplay" was first published on Small Business Trends



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Overcoming Creative Barriers - Christoph Niemann Considers Fear in His Talk on Creative Inspiration (TrendHunter.com)

(TrendHunter.com) Christoph Niemann, an illustrator and writer, explains how he's managed to overcome his fears of not being good enough in his talk on creative inspiration. Like many, Niemann has found that...
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Announcing general availability of the Office 365 Centralized Deployment service

Office add-ins help Office users to personalize their work experience and streamline data access. Late last year, we announced the Centralized Deployment service in preview, which allows administrators to deploy Office web add-ins. Today, we are excited to announce general availability of Centralized Deployment.

From the Office 365 admin center or by using PowerShell scripts, administrators can deploy Office web add-ins to individual users, groups or an organization with ease, using Centralized Deployment. Users can simply open Office applications—such as Word, Excel or PowerPoint on Windows, Mac or Office Online—to see the add-ins installed on their ribbon. This allows organizations—large and small—to easily extend Office with high-value services across all platforms.

Image shows the Office 365 admin center displaying a list of add-ins that can be deployed using Centralized Deployment.

Add-ins built internally for use within an organization, as well as add-ins from the Office Store or Microsoft AppSource, can be deployed using Centralized Deployment to tenants worldwide.

“With Office 365 Centralized Deployment, we could deploy Qorus easily to our global user base, and the process is transparent to users. When they open Microsoft Word or PowerPoint, they find the add-in already installed.”
—Eric Jacobs, Genetec

Get started with Centralized Deployment

 

Frequently asked questions:

Q. How do you target add-in user assignments with Centralized Deployment?

A. Centralized Deployment supports users in top-level groups, Office 365 Groups, distribution lists and security groups that are top-level groups supported by Azure Active Directory.

Q. How do I know if my organization is set up for Centralized Deployment?

A. Centralized Deployment requires a recent version of Microsoft Office and OAuth enabled version of Exchange. IT admins can run a quick test to ensure compatibility and determine if their organization has the correct configuration prior to getting started. Learn more about configuration requirements and try the compatibility add-in.

Q. What languages and worldwide Office data centers are supported?

A. Today, we have worldwide support for Centralized Deployment for all supported Office languages. We also support the Microsoft Office sovereign datacenters for Germany, with support for Chinese sovereign deployment coming later in the year.

Q. What type of deployment telemetry is available?

A. Telemetry will be available shortly for IT admins to see data about deployments and usage in reports in the Office 365 admin center, and for developers to see their add-in deployments in the Office ISV Seller Dashboard, their developer portal.

Q. Can IT admins and users turn off add-ins?

A. IT admins may turn on or off the add-ins they deploy for all users from the Office 365 admin center. Soon, we will support the ability for users turn off add-ins that are deployed to them, so they are no longer shown on the Office applications ribbon.

Q. How do I deploy Outlook add-ins?

A. Centralized Deployment currently supports Word, Excel and PowerPoint add-ins on Windows, Mac or Office Online. Today, you can deploy Outlook add-ins from the Exchange management pages. This experience will merge with Centralized Deployment shortly.

The post Announcing general availability of the Office 365 Centralized Deployment service appeared first on Office Blogs.



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Immersive Reader comes to Outlook on the web and the OneNote for Windows 10 app, and expands its global reach

In February, we announced the availability of the Microsoft Learning Tools Immersive Reader on Word Online and OneNote Online. As a result of customer demand, we are pleased to announce that Immersive Reader is now available for Outlook.com, Outlook on the web and the OneNote Windows 10 app. Immersive Reader includes a view that utilizes techniques proven to help people read more effectively, such as:

  • Read Aloud—Reads text out loud with simultaneous highlighting that improves decoding, fluency and comprehension while sustaining the reader’s focus and attention.
  • Spacing—Optimizes font spacing in a narrow column view to improve reading fluency for users with visual crowding issues.
  • Syllables—Shows the breaks between syllables to enhance word recognition and decoding.
  • Parts of Speech—Supports writing instruction and grammar comprehension by identifying verbs, nouns and adjectives.

In addition to the Immersive Reader rollout across new apps and platforms, we are also adding new language and geographic availability for the Read Aloud, Syllables and Parts of Speech features. This expanded language support—coming to Word Online, OneNote Online, Outlook on the web and the OneNote Windows 10 app—will allow more customers across the world to experience the benefits of both the Learning Tools and the Immersive Reader. For the OneNote Desktop Learning Tools add-in, we are launching Japanese dictation, plus bug fixes and other small improvements. See all of the details at the Learning Tools language support page.

And finally, we are excited to announce the availability of Try it out—an updated and enhanced capability on the recently redesigned Microsoft Learning Tools landing page. Try it out allows anyone to quickly and easily try out the Immersive Reader, without needing an Office 365 ID or a Microsoft account. We hope these announcements enable more people to read in a way that works best for them, and we look forward to hearing impactful stories from more of you, such as this story about empowering students to read in a new way.

Immersive Reader brings increased accessibility to Outlook on the web

In talking with customers, a common request we heard was to bring the same Immersive Reader capabilities of Word Online and OneNote Online to those accessing Outlook via the web. Starting today, the Immersive Reader will begin rolling out to Outlook.com and Outlook on the web worldwide.

There are several ways to launch the Immersive Reader in Outlook on the web or Outlook.com:

  • On any received message, select the Reply all drop-down and then select Show in immersive reader.
  • Right-click any message and select Show in immersive reader.
  • From the main message view, click the and select Show in immersive reader.

The new Immersive Reader for Outlook on the web and Outlook.com will be available in many languages and countries. Visit the Learning Tools language support page to learn more.

Immersive Reader comes to the OneNote Windows 10 app

Since the release of Learning Tools for OneNote Desktop, many customers have asked for these same capabilities in our OneNote Windows 10 app. With the June OneNote Windows 10 app update, the Immersive Reader will be available to all customers via the View menu and will be pre-installed.

In the OneNote for Windows 10 app, a red square highlights the Immersive Reader button located under the View menu.

The new Immersive Reader in OneNote Windows 10 will be available in many languages and countries. Visit the Learning Tools language support page to learn more.

Expanding the global reach of the Immersive Reader

Since the Immersive Reader rolled out to Word Online and OneNote Online in February, customers all over the world asked us to expand these capabilities to more languages. Today, we are pleased to announce that Read Aloud is now available in 14 new languages and geographies, including:

  • Arabic (Saudi Arabia)
  • Czech
  • English (Ireland)
  • French (Switzerland)
  • German (Austria)
  • German (Switzerland)
  • Greek
  • Hebrew
  • Hindi
  • Hungarian
  • Indonesian
  • Romanian
  • Slovak
  • Thai

In addition, the Syllables feature is being added to four languages: Hungarian, Indonesian, Romanian and Slovak.

Finally, the Parts of Speech feature for German, Italian and Dutch will be enabled for Word Online, OneNote Online and Outlook on the web in the next few weeks. Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Danish and Brazilian Portuguese languages will be available later this summer.

Visit the Learning Tools language support page to see the current list of languages for the Immersive Reader.

Try it out—the updated and enhanced landing page for Learning Tools

With the recent interest and popularity of the Learning Tools and the Immersive Reader, we wanted to allow anyone to quickly try out the functionality through any web browser and experience all its benefits and features. We recently updated our Learning Tools landing page with the Try it out function that immediately launches the Immersive Reader. You can also put your own custom text in and try it out. The new Try it out feature supports 39 languages, so people from around the world can immediately experience the Immersive Reader.

Image shows "Try it out" button displayed on the Learning Tools landing page. Image is linked to the Learning Tools landing page.

Japanese dictation language added to the OneNote Desktop Learning Tools add-in

Support for Japanese dictation on OneNote Desktop has been added, in addition to bug fixes and stability improvements to the add-in. You can grab the latest version (v1.3) of the OneNote Desktop Learning Tools add-in on the Microsoft Learning Tools page.

In the OneNote Desktop, the Japanese dictation option is selected under the Dictate menu.

You can download the Learning Tools at http://ift.tt/1Qbk3F1. Send any feedback to LearningTools@onenote.uservoice.com or reach out on Twitter: @OneNoteEDU.

—The OneNote team

The post Immersive Reader comes to Outlook on the web and the OneNote for Windows 10 app, and expands its global reach appeared first on Office Blogs.



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Announcing the Microsoft Planner mobile app for iPhone and Android

We are pleased to announce that the new Microsoft Planner mobile app is now available for iPhone and Android phones. Starting today, current Planner users can use this companion app to view and update their plans on the go, addressing feedback we’ve heard since the launch of the Planner web app. For people who are new to Planner, you can first get started by visiting tasks.office.com. Once you’ve created your plans in the web app, you can view and update those plans in the mobile experience.

Planner is available to customers with Office 365 Enterprise E1–E5, Business Essentials, Business Premium and Education subscription plans. Current Planner users can download the app for Android and iOS.

Side-by-side images of the Planner mobile app on the iPhone (left) and Android (right).

In the coming months, we plan to add push notifications, the ability to create new plans from the mobile app and integration with Intune.

For other feature requests, please visit our UserVoice page and submit your idea. And as always, visit the TechCommunity page to communicate with other Microsoft Planner users and the product team.

To get the Microsoft Planner mobile app, leave a suggestion or ask for help, follow these links:

 

Frequently asked questions

Q. What is Planner?

A. Planner provides a simple, visual way to organize teamwork. The Planner mobile app enables your team to organize and assign tasks, share files, chat about what you’re working on and get updates on progress.

Q. How can I access Planner?

A. If you’re new to Planner, you can access the web app via tasks.office.com to start and build your plans. Existing users can access Planner through both the web and mobile experiences. If you don’t have an eligible license of Office 365, please visit our product page to learn more about which subscriptions include Planner. If you have an eligible license and would like to learn more about Planner, please visit our support page.

Q. Which features are coming next?

A. Updates including push notifications, the ability to create a plan and Intune integration are coming soon, and we look forward to hearing your feedback about how we can improve the Microsoft Planner mobile experience.

Q. Where can I learn more about the functionality of the Planner mobile app?

A. Please visit iPhone support and Android support to learn more about features and functionality of the mobile app.

The post Announcing the Microsoft Planner mobile app for iPhone and Android appeared first on Office Blogs.



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6 Killer Ways to Use Automated Marketing for Your Small Business

6 Killer Ways to Use Automated Marketing for Your Small Business

If you believe that automated marketing and email marketing automation are the same thing, you’re not alone. However, as you can see from the chart below, the use of marketing automation extends beyond email. Pulled from the pages of the Email Marketing & Marketing Automation Excellence 2017 Report, this chart reveals the top six ways marketing automation is being used today:

6 Killer Ways to Use Automated Marketing for Your Small Business

Source: Email Marketing & Marketing Automation Excellence 2017 Report

Automated Marketing Techniques to Consider

Let’s take a closer look at each of these automated marketing techniques and how you might use them to promote your small business.

Email Automation

While automated marketing does extend beyond electronic mail, email marketing is by far the most popular use of marketing automation and the top digital marketing tactic used today. Much of this is due to the benefits of email marketing including more leads, higher conversions, and lower marketing costs.

Click here to discover eight things you can do with automated email marketing.

Basic Profile Based Targeting

Profiles, for both your leads and customers, are the basis of the next four automated marketing techniques.

Targeting is the practice of focusing your marketing efforts on a specific group of people called a target market. Thanks to automated marketing tools, targeting, down to the individual level, is easier than ever, even across multiple channels such as email.

The power under the hood here is the profile. In recent years, marketing automation tools have gained the ability to learn a lot about your leads and customers from their behavior on channels including:

  • Your website: the products they browse, put in their carts, and buy, the content they read, and where they come from (e.g. a specific social media platform); and
  • Your emails: the emails they open and the links within those emails they click.

Based on these data points, you can hone your marketing efforts to a fine point by sending offers for the products and services in which they’ve implicitly expressed interest. In addition, you can use these profiles to target your customers using one of the four techniques below.

Personalization Using Dynamic Content

Whether on your website or via email, personalizing the experience is an effective way to market your products and services.

The best example of website personalization is Amazon’s recommendations. For each customer, they select the both genre and book recommendations based on your past purchase and browsing behavior. In the case of the image below, the customer buys a lot of science fiction and fantasy book and therefore, that’s what’s recommended to them for their next purchase:

6 Killer Ways to Use Automated Marketing for Your Small Business

When it comes to email marketing, the numbers show that segmenting your email list, sending different emails to different recipients based on their profile, is very effective.

Broadcast Timing Based on Location, Sign-Up Time, or Other Criteria

Timing is everything and then same is true for both email marketing and social media. If you don’t time your marketing messages correctly, there’s a good chance your email or social update will end up lost down in an inbox or social media stream respectively.

How do you know when to market? By using a customer’s profile which should contain all the clues you need including the time(s) they:

  • Signed-up for your email marketing list;
  • Most often visit your site and make purchases;
  • Open your emails and click on the links inside.

In addition, make sure to account for a customer’s time zone when configuring your automated marketing. For example, if you want to hit folks with an email first thing in the morning, use time zone targeting to stagger the email broadcast.

Advanced Segmentation

Segmenting your marketing efforts, especially your email marketing lists, is an important step to take when growing your small business. While there are a number of common segments to consider, you can break up and target your efforts in many different ways including:

  • Age;
  • Seniority;
  • Industry;
  • Content topic or format; and
  • Call-to-action clicks.

Every point of data you gather in a customer’s profile can be used to create an email segment. And use them you should – the more specific the segment, the more effective it will be.

Lead Scoring

Scoring your leads is an advanced form of segmentation, both for email marketing and beyond, that enables you to target the leads who are most likely to buy your products and services.

Many automated marketing systems include this feature which creates a lead score based on certain behaviors such as:

  • Emails opened;
  • Email links clicked;
  • Site visited;
  • Content viewed; and
  • Products viewed, added to cart, and purchased.

Each time a behavior occurs, it demonstrates the engagement of the lead and, the lead’s score goes up.

6 Killer Ways to Use Automated Marketing for Your Small Business

From on-site targeting to personalization, and lead scoring, you can use automation to more effectively market your products and services to both leads and existing customers. This automation extends well beyond email marketing and is worth considering as your build your marketing arsenal.

Marketing Automation Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "6 Killer Ways to Use Automated Marketing for Your Small Business" was first published on Small Business Trends



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