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Semiconductor Industry Sales Overview – 2013

According to a report from the Semiconductor Industry Association, worldwide semiconductor sales in 2013 totaled $305.6 billion, hitting an annual record. This was an increase of 4.8% from 2012 sales of $291.6 billion.

Brian Toohey, president and CEO of SIA, reports that this is the first time that the global semiconductor industry exceeded $300 billion in sales for the first time ever, spurred by robust sales growth across nearly all regions and all product segments. Toohey notes that the industry finished the year with the strongest December sales on record, an indication that this momentum is likely to carry over to this year.

Toohey also adds that the semiconductor is becoming ubiquitous and is present in many products, from the home, the car, and mobiles. This indicates a favorable position for the semiconductor industry.

The SIA report indicated that total chip sales for the fourth quarter of 2013 came to $79.9 billion, which was 7.7% higher than the $74.2 billion reported in the fourth quarter of the previous year. In December 2013 alone, chip sales totaled $26.6 billion, which was an increase of 17.3% from December 2012.

The American market showed the biggest growth in sales, exhibiting an increase of 13.1% in its annual semiconductor sales. Europe and the Asia Pacific region also showed increases of 5.2% and 7.0%, respectively. However, sales in Japan actually suffered and decreased by 15.2%, part of which is due to the devaluation of the Japanese yen.

Falan Yinug, SIA director of industry statistics and economic policy, says that Japan has been artificially devaluating the yen in order to stimulate exports, leading to lower sales in the Japanese market, but there could be better growth this year. On the other hand, Europe’s sales had been suffering in 2012 and in the first half of 2013, but the numbers showed that the market there is already recovering.

Among the industry segments, memory was the fastest growing with sales increasing 17.6% in 2013. DRAM performed well in the memory segment, with its sales increasing by 33.3%, while NAND flash also showed strong growth with an 8.1% increase. Optoelectronic products and analog also showed positive growth, with annual sales increases of 5.3% and 2.1%, respectively.

It’s still too early to say whether the record sales is significant in itself as semiconductor sales has fluctuated yearly since 2008. However, even as industry sales remain cyclical, the extreme numbers are slowing down and are being replaced by numbers indicating small but steady growth as the semiconductor industry matures.

A Deutsche Bank Market Research release expects that growth in the industry would accelerate to 8% in 2014, but this projection has already been discounted by many sectors within the industry itself, such as analog and PLDs.

In contrast, the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization forecast a more consistent market growth for this year as well as in 2015, projecting sales of up to $317 billion in 2014 and $328 billion by 2015.

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Films That Race to the Finish

It used to be that films about car racing catered to a specific audience, mostly young and predominantly male. But recently, car racing films have tried to reach across the aisle and bring in more female fans. With more complex plots and terrific action sequences, car racing films have grown in popularity in recent years.

Much is expected of a new biopic film released in September 2013. “Rush” tells the story of the Formula One rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda during the mid-1970s. Directed by acclaimed American master Ron Howard, the film is a joint production effort between Universal Pictures (United States), StudioCanal (United Kingdom), and Pathé Productions (France). Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl take on the roles of Hunt and Lauda, respectively. The film was released to critical acclaim, with many calling “Rush” the best sports drama film in a long while. Apart from “Rush,” there have been many other car racing films that have achieved success at the box office. Some of the most memorable are elaborated upon in greater detail below.

“Days of Thunder”

Directed by the late Tony Scott, “Days of Thunder” features Tom Cruise teaming up with “Top Gun” director Scott once again. The film, which also stars Nicole Kidman, Robert Duvall, and Cary Elwes, follows the fortunes of a young NASCAR racing driver, Cole, played by Cruise. The early part of the film sees Cole and his archrival Rowdy Burns battle it out on the racetrack. At the Firecracker 400 in Daytona, each of them suffers major injuries from crashes that bring them together in the process. Cole takes longer to recover than Rowdy, and as a result he is shut out from the racing team. After Rowdy suffers another accident, Cole is allowed to get back on the race track. The final race is the Daytona 500, in which Cole overcomes the new hotshot Russ Wheeler to become the new champion. Film critics were mostly positive about the film, but some called it “Top Gun” on wheels.

“The Fast and the Furious”

The first film of what ultimately became the most successful car racing film series of all time, “The Fast and the Furious” showcases the very best street racing has to offer. Director Rob Cohen got the inspiration to make the film after reading a magazine article about street racing in New York City. Featuring Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, and Michelle Rodriguez among others, the film follows the fortunes of LAPD officer Brian O’Connor (Walker), who is tasked with going undercover to infiltrate a street-racing gang led by Dom (Diesel). The pair forms an unlikely friendship, and they engage in an impromptu street race at the end that O’Connor wins.

The film was mostly panned by the film critics, but this feeling was not shared by many moviegoers. “The Fast and the Furious” became a commercial success worldwide, making back almost five times its production budget. Film executives were so pleased that a sequel was ordered, followed by another a few years later. Twelve years after the original, the series is still going strong, with six films produced so far. Another film is scheduled for release in the summer of 2014; it will be called “Fast & Furious 7.”

“Cars”

A computer-animated film, “Cars” was released in 2006 and surprised many experts in the film industry. The film was the last to be produced by Pixar before its takeover by Walt Disney Pictures. Owen Wilson, Paul Newman, and Tony Shalhoub lend their voices to some of the key characters in the film. “Cars” was widely praised by film critics, some calling it one of Pixar’s best films ever. The film also appeals to more than just kids, with viewers of all ages able to enjoy it. “Cars” held the number one spot at the U.S. box office for its first two weeks and made more than $450 million worldwide. This made it the highest grossing animated film in the United States for the year it was released.

The film was nominated for and won a plethora of awards during the 2006 awards season. Walt Disney was so pleased by the response to the film that it produced a sequel, “Cars 2,” five years after the original. Also, a spin-off called “Planes” was released in the summer of 2013, and some short animated films known as “Cars Toons” have been airing over the last five years. Retail merchandise from the film helped break several retail sales records for a Disney Pixar film, with some estimating that the franchise has brought in an additional $10 billion since its release in merchandising sales alone.

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Looking for More Customers? Turn to Web Video

Where do your customers find you?

In the year 2012, more than ever, business people need to be where your potential customers are looking for your product or service. But where to put your limited marketing dollars? It’s not print, it’s not direct mail, it’s not the Yellow Pages and it’s certainly not telemarketing. You are savvy enough to know that the web is where your potential customers are searching.

Your company website is the hub of your marketing in this day and age. It is the most accessible way for prospects to learn about your company and what you have to offer them. And when they get to your site, they need to see the benefits of choosing your company – and they need to see them in a way that appeals to them.

After all, we now live in a world where people want what they are looking for right now, and if we do not find it within a few seconds we will simply look elsewhere.

So your message needs to be clear, concise and compelling. Within a matter of seconds your website visitors will determine if you can help them.

And just how do people get the fastest, most complete picture of what you have to meet their needs? The answer: on-line video.

Why put video on your website?

If you don’t know about the revolution in web video, you just have not been paying attention.

Just over 7 years ago, YouTube was launched to host web videos for free, and in that short time, people now watch OVER 2 BILLION VIDEOS PER DAY – on YouTube alone! That is almost twice the prime time audience of the three major television networks put together.

Hundreds of thousands of videos are uploaded to YouTube daily. In fact, every minute, an incredible 24 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube.

While these statistics are staggering, you might ask “How does that impact my business?”

In these difficult economic times, most companies find that competition for buyers is fiercer than ever.. Today staying ahead of the competition is vital in setting your business apart and attracting customers. Today’s internet savvy buyers see one website after another, day after day. The sites that “break through” to the viewers present their message in an engaging way.

Web videos are a powerful internet marketing medium because of the unique way they engage your visitor, transforming your site into an interactive and entertaining alternative to a standard text-based site. In fact, one-dimensional, text-based websites are becoming relics. After all, text requires action and energy on the part of the visitor.

In contrast, web videos allow your viewer to sit back and absorb YOUR message, just as you present it to them. What could take many paragraphs or even pages of text to communicate can be presented in just a few engaging moments. Web videos captivate and entertain site visitors, who receive YOUR message.

But don’t take our word for it.

Author Jason Prescott, in a May 2010 report says, “Video marketing has become one of the best promotional tools on the web. Well-executed videos can grab attention faster than any other advertising medium (emphasis mine) as videos continue to draw internet users in droves. Research by eMarketer shows 66.7 percent of the 147.5 million U.S. internet users watch video online monthly. By 2014, eMarketer estimates that number will rise to 77 percent of internet users (193.1 million people).

“Online video has surged in popularity due to the rapid proliferation of broadband and video technology advances. This has resulted in the production of cost-effective, premium videos, a dramatic increase in traffic to video-sharing sites, and online video’s acceptance into the mainstream.

“Consumers are receptive to video on websites, landing pages, search results pages, emails, and video-sharing sites because it is so engaging and self-explanatory. Video conveys information quickly and accurately, making it an excellent tool for marketers because consumers want to know more about the companies they deal with and the products/services they buy. “Video is a very memorable medium. A study by The Wharton School of Business revealed that video improves comprehension and retention by 50 percent over a live presentation. Other studies have indicated that video speeds up buying decisions by 72 percent when compared to print.” (emphasis mine)

Who is putting web video on their site — and why?

The short answers: all savvy marketers with a web presence, and because it works!.

Author Mark Robertson comments on a Marketing Sherpa report that marketers that are currently using video on their sites are quite satisfied with the results and expect to use it in the future. He further reports that a survey from PermissionTV states that “more than 2/3 of senior marketing and media executives identified online video as a primary focus of their 2009 digital marketing campaigns and budgets. More than two-thirds stated that they plan to launch online video projects in the first half of this year.”

In fact, video has now become the fastest growing website feature for small business.

Recently, Jeffrey Grau, senior analyst for eMarketer authored an in-depth analysis of the use of on-line videos for business. He notes that retailers are “quickly adding videos to their sites. They find that videos boost sales conversion rates.”

And the future looks even bigger for web business videos. MultiChannel Merchant reports that video is a “must-do” for business websites, insisting that site owners should “Set your site video program in motion. …videos can help your site sell more. Retailers have learned that … (video) clips can boost site conversion.”

In fact, a report using that very title from author Mark R. Robertson cuts to the core of the growing demand for web video. “Any form of advertising that captures the imagination of cost-conscious local merchants has to be effective. And by that measure, online video is hot.”

He gets down to specifics. “It would be tough for the small business to stay in online advertising if they couldn’t see conversions going up as a result. Small companies rarely have the luxury of throwing money at campaigns for brand awareness. Which is why these increases in spending are exciting-it shows that online advertising is working for many small businesses. In my experience, these small business owners rarely make marketing decisions based on gut feelings. Even when they do, their focus quickly changes away from the novelty of the medium onto measured effectiveness. In the end, it’s usually something quantifiable on the bottom line that informs and guides their spending decisions.

“The conversion stats are pretty impressive, with 35.5% of clicks resulting in conversion actions.” (emphasis his)

He concludes by saying “more small businesses are spending their ad dollars online, implementing online video and targeting search… which is leading to better click through rates and higher conversion rates.” (emphasis mine).

In a powerful look at the responsiveness of consumers to web video, Sally Evans tells of a recent study in Marketing Sherpa. She says ” you’d be crazy not to be getting more involved with online video as a marketer. Why? Their study showed that featuring a video in an ad can increase responsiveness by 49.5%.” (emphasis mine)

In a recent white paper, author Justin Foster shares several reports on the increase in conversions from using video on web sites. Some examples:

“So far, the videos have been a success. Testing them on laptop product pages lifted conversions and increased accessory sales 12% in some cases” said Rich Lesperance, Director of Web Sales and Operations at Circuit City.

“We ran an A/B test across 50,000 product detail page views at eBags and measured the conversion rate in Omniture in order to track the impact of video at the product page level. What we discovered was that the conversion rate increased 50.1% for those users that clicked the “play” button in the video compared to the control group, and 138.9% for those users that watched the entire video compared to the control group.” David Witzig, Manager of E-Commerce and Video at ShopNBC.com.

“Ice.com, a web-only jewelry retailer, has experienced a 40% rise in conversion rates on products highlighted in online videos, says co-founder and president Mayer Gniwisch.”

Translation: your customers are watching videos on the web prior to making their marketing decisions. And they are buying based on those videos.

But this is still a vast untapped area that your competition is likely not taking advantage of. By incorporating web videos into your site, you will set yourself apart from your competitors.

But the benefits of web video don’t end there.

First, your web video can be a permanent part of your sales effort. While a direct mail piece or even a TV ad may generate business for a limited time, a web video remains on your site, selling for you as long as you’d like it to.

And web Videos not only do a better job selling to your customers, but they also help bring them to your site in the first place. Placing a video on your site can improve your website’s search engine ranking significantly.

Internet marketing guru James Burchill states “Web video marketing is big business now that Google’s new Universal Search strategy includes video in the search results. According to recent research data there is 53 times as much chance that your video will show up on Page 1 of Google (for your select phrase) than just using a corresponding text-only entry.”

Did you see that? 53 times better!

In another article Burchill states what we’ve known all along. “Video is not going anywhere. It’s online and it’s here to stay. It’s only going to get better, in fact. So every marketing strategy, no matter its goals, will have to incorporate video in some way.”

So now what?

So now that you know that you MUST get a video on your company website and other sites as well, what now?

One of the keys is to have your video done professionally, as your company image deserves it. Professional equipment has become cheaper and so your professional video need not be overly expensive. There are many available video production companies that can do the work for you, but as always, check references and get a company that has experience. This is not a job for the high school kid down the street with a cheap camcorder…

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