Monday, 20 November 2017

Producing Video En Masse – 4 Practical Tips

We need video. And lots of it. It’s something we hear all the time. Video has become such a central way of engaging with audiences, that brands require more and more of it. And for businesses with large product lines, whether its a portfolio of properties/hotels, an educational e-learning series or an extensive range of consumer products, the challenge is even more acute.


Here are 4 tips to help you when it comes to volume:


1 – The template is your friend


Invest time upfront in producing a standard template for all future video in a series. This will ensure the videos are being consistently expressed in the right way, but will also allow your video suppliers to be quicker and more cost-efficient in the way they produce your videos.


Areas for consideration include:


Filming style
Design elements
Music / VO
Content / Messaging
Animation 




Video Production Services - Editing Department


2 – Find the perfect partner


Look for a video supplier that has the ability to drive efficiency. Suppliers that rely on freelance crew, for example, will inevitably find it much harder to provide the efficiencies you need over the course of a large body of work. Also look at what added extras they can provide. For example, at Aspect, we have our own in-house film studio. For companies looking to produce lots of videos featuring products or interviews, this is an incredibly valuable asset as it allows them to take advantage of cost-savings across a large body of work.


3 – Efficiency Efficiency Efficiency


Plan ahead. Sounds simple, but with holistic planning you can create a bank of assets, shooting for multiple content in any given filming opportunity. This allows you to find efficiencies, saving money on crew, location and acting costs without any loss in the quality of the final output. Assigning a dedicated team to produce the video series will also drive efficiency, as they get familiar working to the established template – increasing output over time.


Video Content Strategy


4 – Go ahead and monetise


Perhaps your video content series gives rise to an opportunity to monetise. Creating different ‘levels’ will tease audiences to want to consume further. For example, your content may be made available to access free of charge up to a point but then will require some kind of subscription or data capture to reveal and access the full series. There may also be an opportunity to sell the units to 3rd parties.



Source: B2C

Creating Video that Delivers – Our 5 Secrets

When people see video content they like, they are 41% more likely to seek future content from that brand and 37% are likely to purchase your product or service! Video is a hugely powerful marketing tool. But its not simply about being entertained, audiences want brands to provide them with regular help and guidance through clear and engaging content.


All of this points to brands having a dedicated video content strategy. But this is a challenge that can feel quite daunting, so we’ve broken it down to 5 key things you need to consider.


Frequency


Brands need to produce regular video content to stay in the front of their audiences mind. But this can be enormously challenging. The key here is to develop a central campaign idea that will give rise to plenty of potential content development, whilst also providing a framework for other creators to come in and create further.


Taylormade - First On Course


Cost


Getting that frequency and quality of content within the annual budget is another huge challenge for brands. The key here is to carve the overall budget to align with major marketing objectives. It sounds obvious but understanding objectives will help you prioritise and spend well. By thinking about your content calendar holistically you can also maximise filming opportunities, making your budget go that much further.


UWE - 24 Hours City Campus


Quality


You need to produce video content (and lots of it) that is of a quality that befits the brand you spent a lot of time establishing. If you don’t, you’ll actually end up negatively affecting your brand with the video you produce.


The following tips can really help:


  1. Be smart with the way you plan your video content calendar. Try to film multiple pieces of content in single shoots.

  2. Challenge your creative partners to be truly unique and embrace ideas that use innovative techniques and be open to creating content differently.

  3. Invest time in producing video brand guidelines. Commit your brand’s identity on video to a specific document that sets a clear standard that all suppliers can adhere to, giving your video content a consistent quality across the board.

Product Video Production Example 3


Engaging


Producing engaging and relevant content is a challenge for 61% of content marketers (Content Marketing Institute, 2016). Brands need to know to what their audiences are hungry for and serve up content that satisfies those needs.


Think about.


  1. HUMAN TRUTHS: This is about finding themes and ideas that audiences will identify with. The bigger picture.

  2. INTERESTS NEEDS PASSIONS: If we want people to engage and actively seek out our content, we need to give them what they’re hungry for. A reason to care. Content that talks specifically to their passions, needs and interests will engage.

  3. GENUINE STORYTELLING: This means telling authentic stories. Structure a narrative so it satisfies and engages the viewer on an innate human level. The actual telling of the story is open to any number of creative treatments, which you can apply to a surprising number of different content types.

Nationwide Commercial


Activation


Ironically last, and frequently last thought about – how are people going to find and engage with this content. With 68% of brands seeing their content as ineffective in terms of engagement and correlated impact there is clearly a disconnect between content and marketing.


Think about…


  1. Your customer journey, so you have a comms calendar with correlating CTAs that nudge toward overall marketing objectives, and can gauge pre-sales, engagement etc.

  2. Channel selection is critical. Targeting information about your audience should give you some clear ideas of which channels you need to use to engage. Its vital that your content is created with these channels in mind.

  3. Connecting PR, media, customer communications, partners, and events teams to ensure maximum awareness and distribution of content via owned channels i.e. YouTube, website and twitter

Essentially it’s about distributing the content to make sure it is discoverable for consumers, and seeding it in the right places to maximise its exposure to the right customers. It’s vital that this thinking is done up front, not after your video content is created.



Source: B2C

Organic Search is Not Dead

422737 / Pixabay


I am tired of the notion that all good search marketing has to be paid. There has been too much emphasis on this idea. The easy way out is to put out some paid ads on Facebook or Google, and you will get traction. However, these same people who are clicking your paid ads are also not your real customers. I can only speak for myself here in that last sentence. I am sure others have found much success here, but the customers I typically market to are B2B.


The other topic I have looked at hard in 2017 is the topic of local search. Yes, mobile search is increasing and it does help if your clientele is local. However, if you have clients across multiple states, I would tell you that organic search can still work. Be on close alert here, your competition in other locations may be taking work away from you if you are not out there working on your content marketing initiatives.


Finally, I think it is critical to get content published on a variety of platforms and sites. We all need someone to talk about our content. The truth is the days are over for driving all traffic to our websites. Websites are one place for people to find us, but it is not the only place. My goal now is to get our content on different platforms: television, publications, advocates, social media sites, posters, billboards. It comes down to word-of-mouth. Not a new term, but news travels fast these days, and we need to be in places where people can see our news without being sold to.


A couple of weeks ago, I went to an NAIA Basketball Game, and the game lasted one hour and 20 minutes because there were no radio and television timeouts for advertisers. Why is Netflix so popular? Answer: No commercials. We are moving toward a world of fewer ads, and the best way to deal with this is to become a better media company.


Becoming a media company takes a lot of work and planning. What does it look like for my company to become a media player? Becoming a media company is where I am going to be focusing my time in 2018. Getting more organic is one area where I want to go. I find this whole process fascinating, and I think it will be of a higher quality than going after advertising dollars. Companies may be starting to gain more control of this process after all.


Many people want me to focus on impressions and clicks. For me, I find more value in bringing on new clients. The number of new clients will be substantially less than clicks or impressions, but the one item they bring in dollars $$. It is time to refocus and start putting resources into areas that make a difference.



Source: B2C

3 Examples of High Performing Facebook Ads That Drive Leads and Sales

mohamed1982eg / Pixabay


Social media advertising is now a core skill that businesses need to master. It sits next to email marketing and content marketing as a core competency that the marketing team needs to have in their toolkit.


The top social media channel that most digital marketers have as their “go to network” is Facebook.


But Facebook ads come in all shapes and sizes. Boost posts, create awareness, capture leads, drive traffic, grow your likes and many more. It is complicated and often confusing.


That means you can waste a lot of money fast.


So how are other organisations spending their dollars on social media advertising?


The data


According to some research by eMarketer more than 66% of B2B businesses devote dollars to social media advertising. The top 2 by a significant margin are Facebook and LinkedIn. Followed by Twitter and YouTube. Google+, Pinterest and Slideshare pick up the crumbs.



If you are going to spend money on digital advertising then you need to male sure you know why you are doing the ad. This means make sure you know what your goals are.


Get clarity on our goals


You need to be clear on is this simple question. What are your marketing goals?


Is it brand awareness, engagement or is it to convert leads to sales.


Make sure that you have clarity on the goals for your B2B Facebook campaign. These can include:


  1. Brand awareness (Don’t try and sell here but pique their interest)

  2. Traffic (Website, Landing page or Facebook)

  3. Lead generation

  4. Conversions (Use targeted landing pages that convert and not just your website)

Here is an example of the “Buying cycle” from Lee Odden at Top Rank Marketing to provide some perspective on your goals at different parts of the journey.



Image source: Top Rank Marketing


B2B Facebook Ads Best Practice


For most business to business (B2B) companies the primary goal is not brand awareness but generating leads for their sales team. Facebook wasn’t seen as a good B2B platform but that is a now proven to be a myth.


Businesses that sell to other businesses usually have a higher ticket item and the education process is often a longer journey. It is about building trust and credibility with content not just a special discount offer.


This means you need to offer something of value before anything else.


Best practice:


Best practice can be a murky art and science at the best of times in marketing but there are some tips worth considering.


Use ad types on Facebook that are focused on lead generation. Vendasta captured 2,000 qualified leads using this Facebook ad type.



Best type of images to use according to (in a post on Social Media Examiner) are as follows:


  • Use Darker background (136% more clicks and 87% submitted their email address),

  • Create visuals with a clear call to action e.g. “Download now”

  • Use location images.

  • Include a clear call to action in the copy


Focus on creating a sales path that includes awareness, consideration and conversion. Here is a graphic from Wordstream that show the core objectives to choose in your Facebook ad dashboard.



3 Examples of Facebook Ads That Work


A lot of money is wasted on Facebook ads. So it is it important to get the basics right. It means you need clicks and conversions when the ads are sending traffic to a landing page, such as your landing pages or Lead ad pop-up within Facebook .


Here are 3 specific and high performing examples of Facebook ads that drive leads and sales.


Example #1: Digital Marketer


Ryan Deiss and his team at Digital Marketer run an annual conference called Traffic and Conversion. Their focus is very much about leads and sales. No fluffy campaigns for them.


Here is their top performing Facebook ad according to their data. It is all about generating leads and not about making a sale. That comes later.



According to the metrics this ad works for the following reasons.


  • The image portrays the marketing message. it is congruent and relevant. So make sure that image and copy work together.

  • The advertising copy is tempting and is designed to be so compelling that you need to click on the ad. Also swipe files are some of the top performing resources that you can create.

  • The call-to-action is subtle yet tempting. Using words like “scroll” and “get inspiration”. It is not as blunt as the typical “click here”

Results?


This exact Facebook ad generated 83,285 leads at $3.26 each.


Example #2: AppSumo


Noah Kagan is the genius behind AppSumo and SumoMe. I also use SumoMe on this site for lead generation (100,000 leads and counting) and sharing buttons. So they know a bit about lead generation.


But I digress. Noah has spent over $2 million in Facebook ads and here is an example of one that works well for him.



Why does this work?


He is not trying to sell. All he wants is someone to hand over their email address. It is all about email list building first and selling later.


Also it is compelling and it generates curiosity as you want to know how he can start a business in just one hour.


What are the results?


According to connect.io each email lead costs $3, and every 89th email lead went on to buy the course giving him $267 in net profit after all deductions and cancellations.


Example #3: AdEspresso


Ad Espresso decided to run a test between running an email list building campaign that tested the performance between two different campaigns.


  1. Driving traffic to a “Landing page” outside Facebook

  2. Driving traffic to a “Lead Ad” that captured leads without leaving Facebook.

The call-to-action was a free ebook.


They set aside a daily budget of 60 dollars per day, with a total spending cap of 1000 dollars per campaign.


This is what the actual Facebook Ad looked like.



This is how the pop up within Facebook looked.



The results?


  • Landing page results: Of those that came to the landing page, they captured 1,077 leads. This was a conversion rate of 50%.

  • Lead ad results: There were 1,569 clicks on the Lead Ad Form, and 1,057 people completed the Lead Form. So a conversion rate of 67%.

  • According to AdEspresso when the costs were added up the Landing Pages had a slightly lower cost per lead at 93 cents (.93 USD), while Lead Ads had a slightly higher cost per lead at .95 (95 cents)

The other interesting part of the test was that the costs of the advertising from Facebook Lead ads went up dramatically after 7 days.


Also they mentioned that for cold traffic campaigns, there’s a hypothesis floating around that Landing Pages blow the socks off of Lead Ads, since Lead Ads only required a “name” and “email” (very little commitment).


Final word


Facebook ads can be a great way to build your email list and sales. But you need to make sure you are always testing and making sure that you are not wasting your money.



Source: B2C

The State of Business VoIP and Where It’s Headed in 2018

Aichi8Seiran / Pixabay


Voice over IP (VoIP) is such a hot topic because it has become the new default backbone for business communications.


Three years ago, Network World predicted the rapidly approaching end of public switched telephone networks (PSTN), writing, “Replacement of the PSTN with a global VoIP-only network delivering service provider wired voice and wireless voice is not a question of if, but when.”


That was the same year that the Harvard Business Review suggested it was finally “the end of the line for the analog phone networks” as the FCC began conducting trials on converting entire communities from PSTN to VoIP as quickly as possible.


The end of plain old telephone service


Part of this large-scale digital transformation in telecom involves the abandonment of the traditional phone lines that carried the nation’s phone conversations for most of the past century. Copper land lines are now fading into history, either replaced by optical fiber as they breakdown or simply no longer serviced.


This summer, Illinois joined 19 other states that have authorized the end to copper land line servicing so that telecom companies can devote resources to developing VoIP and other future communications technology.


Meanwhile, the National Regulatory Research Institute (NRRI) reported that 41 states have now either reduced or eliminated their oversight of wired telecom. VoIP converts voice, video and data into digital packets that can travel easily across fiber, cellular networks or Wi-Fi.


That future-proofing flexibility explains why VoIP is now No. 1 telephone service choice by US businesses, in a report on business VoIP usage by Software Advice. Approximately 36% of business are using VoIP today.


In second place, an estimated 24% of businesses continue to rely on PSTN, aka plain old telephone service (POTS), even though it can’t handle next-gen data and video. Primary rate interface (PRI) comes in third place, used by 11% of businesses, mostly large enterprises using a mix of PBX, ISDN circuits and T1 lines.


Virtual PBX phone systems


The fourth category of telephony technologies is the most recent. Around 8% of businesses are using cellular networks as their primary business line. That number is likely to soar in the future as the workplace transforms into a digital, mobile-first world of solopreneurs and online businesses.


This conclusion is backed up by survey responses given by business owners on why they upgraded their phone systems. The top reason for switching to VoIP for 29% of respondents was that they needed an easy way to forward calls to their mobile phones.


A close second at 25% was a flexible voicemail system that was simple to access on the road. In third place at 21% was a phone system that simplified interoperability with their existing mobile phones. The top three answers, representing a combined 75% of the survey responses, indicate that the future of business is mobile.


In the years ahead, phone service providers will invest heavily in technologies built on VoIP, including Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and HDVoice. Look for a wave of mergers and acquisitions in 2018 as the turbulent market sifts out the winners from the losers. Telecom industry analysts at Entrepreneur to Exit suggested, “Amid considerable M&A activity across the IT channel, one particular hotspot involves IP telephony.”


As coverage areas and feature sets won’t work as differentiators anymore, phone service providers are competing on factors such as the quality of their voice UX and wider interoperability.


High quality voice UX


For companies that have not yet implemented a VoIP system, they cite concern over poor sound quality. VoIP is often associated with the early years of free and low-cost providers like Google Voice and Skype. In the 20 years since VoIP was introduced, service providers have been working intensely with sound engineers to dial up VoIP’s Quality of Service (QoS).


The sound quality or Voice UX of VoIP systems are impacted most by the bandwidth available and stress on the network. For smaller companies operating near their network capacity, VoIP is only an option in the cloud or over their cellular services.


The biggest advances in this area have been handled internally by the big four cell service providers: Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint. Each as their own versions of VoLTE and HDVoice. These are VoIP options with first-class voice UX delivered over cellular networks. They rely on the processing speeds of massive server farms owned by the service providers and the most advanced software for improving sound quality.


5G and the next generation


In the year ahead, 5G will come online in more locations. It is projected to stream voice, video and data 10 times faster than 4G. A report on 5G by IT Toolbox concluded, “5G will also improve the quality of VoIP calls by notably reducing or even eliminating jitteriness, data transfer losses and the much-dreaded dropped call.”


While there have been great strides in voice UX, interoperability still needs attention. Many of the central functions that used to be performed by software on desktops are now handled by smartphones, including email, meeting notes, project planning, data analysis, CRM updating, task coordination and administrative work. In the year ahead, VoIP and cell service providers will devote more resources to making sure that mobile communications integrate more naturally into back office functions.


A good example is the spread of “Click to call” buttons, driven by the dominance of smartphones over PCs as the primary way people access the web. Research by Google revealed that 70% of mobile users expect businesses to enable a “Click to call” functionality on their main websites. Interoperability between the web, phone systems and back office software will be the new frontier in VoIP development.


The new last mile


The new last mile in telecom isn’t hardwired into a fixed structure but follows the user wherever they are. As the workforce is increasingly mobile and remote, empowering mobility in the field becomes a key differentiator in business phone service. Mobile-first, software-based phone systems are designed to be managed and deployed across your mobile phone infastructure.


The WEF estimated that the digitalization of telecom will be worth $2 trillion in operating profit by 2025. Part of that value will come from the tranformation of clunky desk phones, complex wiring and aging servers to virtual phone systems that live in the cloud and intutively adapt to network capacity to deliver the highest quality voice experience possible.


Reninventing voice


As voice is better supported by mobility and smart tech, a new user experience is emerging. AI is transforming telecom, from more resilient networks to better call quality and advanced analytics. Spoke Phone is a truly global phone system with DDI’s in 56 countries, AI auto-attendent, and smart geo routing. To learn more about Spoke, including how our AI is powering the next generation voice UX, sign up for an interactive demo and see how to transform your mobile phone or business phone line into a smart office phone system.



Source: B2C

7 Personal Traits You Need to be a Successful Entrepreneur

geralt / Pixabay


When we see a successful entrepreneur, we’re observing only the surface of where they are in the present moment. We may admire their freedom from having a boss, the satisfaction they feel for being able to create, and develop something from scratch and the self-confidence that comes having control over one’s future. From the outside it appears that they have a lot going on that many working stiffs envy and would love to have. What we seldom see, or hear about, are the sacrifices, long hours, struggles and failures that are necessary to get to where they are today. These are the oft hidden, undesirable parts of what it takes to eventually reach success for people that make the courageous decision to start their own business. They are the aspects of going solo that entrepreneurs are willing to do that others are not. There are specific attributes that determine whether an individual has what it takes to make it as a business owner.


Emotional Intelligence


To be successful at running our own business, we don’t have the luxury of not doing things because we don’t feel motivated or are feeling down or discouraged. We need to keep going despite what we are experiencing emotionally. The better we are able to communicate with others and form strong connections with our staff, suppliers and customers the more smoothly the organization will run and the better our chances for success. Successful entrepreneurs are able to develop strong connections with others that help them overcome obstacles and help them to keep moving through difficult times. They are able to delay immediate gratification and sacrifice for a goal that may be a long way down the road.


Self-Confidence and Self-reliance


If the idea that you are starting from scratch and often need to rely upon yourself frightens you, it is not likely that you will be able to cope. It is necessary to keep going despite the feelings of fear, that are inevitable, when we are moving into new areas, pushing our boundaries and outside of our comfort zones. This is not for the faint of heart. To be able to function well, despite being outside of their comfort zone, is a big part of what sets entrepreneurs apart from those that need the security (or what they think is security) from a having a stable career. Successful entrepreneurs have a greater fear of being stuck in their comfort zones and not reaching their potential than they do of facing ongoing uncertainty. They believe that it is entirely up to them to determine their future.


Dogged Determination and Perseverance


There is one certainty in striking out on your own. Things will not always go smoothly, the way we expected and hoped they would. In fact, they rarely do. For many people frustration sets in and their determination begins to waver. For the true entrepreneur quitting or giving up is not an option. They have what it takes to keep going in the face of adversity, setbacks and uncertainly. Following their own path, their own dream is the most important thing to them and the thought of failing does not scare them as much as not having had the courage to try.


Optimistic


A trait shared among all entrepreneurs is unfailing optimism. Many people let failures stop them, seeing them as evidence that they are incapable and not able to move ahead. They give up. Not so with those that decide to go solo. Successful people that run their own businesses have faced failure; some many times, before they became successful. Walt Disney, Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey are just a few of the long list of hugely successful people who were initially rejected, fired from their jobs, or turned down before making it big. The ultimate is Thomas Edison, who tried 10,000 times before inventing the light bulb. When asked about this he said that he just discovered 9,999 ways that didn’t work, bringing him that much closer to the way that finally did. That sums up the mindset of successful entrepreneurs. They never take failure personally, but learn from it, move on and try again. Failures is seen as a necessary step that will bring them closer to the success they believe they will ultimately achieved.


Passionate


Steve Jobs stated that “the only way to do great work is to love what you do”. Without being passionate about what they do successful business owners would not be able find the energy to put in the effort, long hours and sacrifice necessary to achieve the outcome that they desire. They are driven and motivated by a vision, sometimes one that only they can see.


Curious, Open and Lifelong Learners


All successful business owners are committed to lifelong learning. They recognize the need to continually keep up to date, current and knowledgeable not only about the particulars of the business they are in, but what is going on in the greater world. Insatiably curious, they are constantly on the lookout for better, more efficient, productive ways of doing things. For them there is no such thing as becoming comfortable with the status quo and failing into a pattern in which they can relax. They realize that standing still is not a possibility, it means falling behind.


Creativity and Trust in Their Intuition


One constant when it comes to starting a new business is never having all the information that we need. If you are unable to make a decision without having a full, complete picture, you will never make it as an entrepreneur. Success means seeing an opportunity and jumping despite not seeing the complete picture. Entrepreneurs have a high level of trust in their own intuition as they seldom have as much information as they need or would like. They are often in unfamiliar territory, with no previous experience to deal with a situation or problem they find themselves up against. They need an unshakeable belief that they will find a way, or create a way.



Source: B2C

Sunday, 19 November 2017

The Power Of Authentic Relationships In Business, With Patrick Ewers [Podcast]

Patrick Ewers of MindMaven.com specializes in relationships and the power they can have in your business. In this episode of Real Relationships, I dive deep with Patrick into the power of relationships in your business and life. Patrick explains how approaching someone with authenticity can open the doors to a relationship that lasts and benefits both members. If you are struggling to grow your network and or simply want advice on how to effectively benefit those in your circle, make sure you listen to this episode with Patrick Ewers.



Relationships are at the center of effective business


As humans, we all have many of the same needs and desires. This common ground means having a genuine relationship with those in your circle and your business will connect you on a fundamental level, essentially boosting your business. Patrick Ewers has seen the power of relationships and how they can bring about the seemingly impossible. That is why he has dedicated his professional life to teaching the art of the relationship. In this episode of Real Relationships Patrick gives insight into how relationships play a major role in his daily business. This is a must hear episode, make sure you listen in.


Being reactive instead of proactive is the best way to kill your productivity


It’s completely natural. We all react to our surroundings, events, or conversations. Yet not many of us are naturally proactive. If all we do is react we lose some of the best opportunities to make a difference, not only in our life and business but also in the life and business of others. Listen to this episode of Real Relationships to catch Patrick Ewers’ tips on how to be proactive in a reactive culture.


We will find our greatest potential in relationships


Humans are social creatures. Our lives revolve around others and we run our businesses to meet the need of others. Change is made in our world through the way we affect those around us. As a human, our greatest potential is found in our relationships with others. Patrick Ewers knows this and has become an expert in the art of relationships. He trains people how to create and maintain relationships that make a difference and shares some great advice in this episode. Don’t miss it.


3 tips to connect with high profile people


We can all agree that relationships are important and relationships with influential people are priceless. There are many ways you can connect with high profile people but there are a few that are more effective than others. In this episode of Real Relationships my guest Patrick Ewers outlines his top 3 tips on how to connect with influential people while remaining authentic. Listen to the whole episode to catch them all.


Outline of this great episode:


  • [0:24] My intro of Patrick Ewers of MindMaven.com

  • [1:15] The WHY behind what Patrick does

  • [3:20] FInding our greatest human potential in relationships

  • [5:38] The role relationships play in Patrick’s daily business

  • [9:90] As humans we are all very similar, that is why relationships are so important

  • [11:00] We all tend to be reactive instead of proactive and that hurts our productivity

  • [16:00] Building relationships with high profile people

  • [17:50] 3 Tactics that can draw out responses and increase conversion

  • [21:00] Relationship advice from Benjamin Franklin

  • [26:46] The CORE issue to overcome when creating great relationships

  • [27:00] Patrick reveals the power of positivity and the key to being authentic

  • [33:50] Resources and closing


Source: B2C

Mexico Seizing 800 Pounds Of U.S. Government Cocaine Is Fake News


The Mexican government seizing 800 pounds of U.S. government cocaine is fake news. There is no truth to a report that the government of Mexico seized a large amount of cocaine from the U.S. government. Where did this fake news originate?


Your News Wire published the fake news article reporting that the Mexican government took control of 800 pounds of U.S. government cocaine. You can read the fake news article below.


Authorities in Mexico have seized a massive shipment of cocaine that was headed towards a U.S. government facility in America.


A statement from the Defense Department says the vehicle which was transporting the cocaine belonged to the United States Social Security Institute.


However, the above story is false, according to Hoax Alert. The story takes some truth and spins a different narrative. The YourNewsWire cites an article on The Goldwater as its source, which in turn cited a site named KrisTV which published an A.P. wire story about an incident that actually occurred:


CIUDAD VICTORIA, Mexico (AP) – Mexican authorities have seized more than 800 pounds (371 kilograms) of cocaine being transported toward the U.S. border inside a truck bearing the markings of the country’s Social Security Institute.



Soldiers detained three people on board who said they were employees of the Social Security Institute.



However, the stories being cited for the YourNewsWire story do not mention the final destination of the cocaine being the U.S. government. The story also mentioned that the truck had markings from the Mexican Social Security Institute; however, there is no “United States Social Security Institute.”


Additionally, the image used in the fake news article originated from another drug bust in Mexico where over 100 tons of marijuana were confiscated and subsequently burned.


Here are some examples of people sharing the fake news on social media.












The 2016 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report found that around 90 percent of cocaine coming to the U.S. during the first half of 2015 made its way through the Mexico and Central America corridor. That number is up from 86 percent in 2014 and 80 percent in 2010.


YourNewsWire was recently profiled in the Hollywood reporter where it was described as:


Your News Wire, a 3-year-old website of murky facts and slippery spin, is published by Sean Adl-Tabatabai and Sinclair Treadway — a Bernie Sanders supporter in 2016 — out of an apartment in L.A.’s historic El Royale.


RationalWiki described YourNewsWire as:


YourNewsWire (styled as YourNewsWire.com[1]) is an Los Angeles-based clickbait fake news website known for disseminating conspiracy theories and misleading information, contrary to its claimed motto (“News. Truth. Unfiltered”).[1]


What did you think of the fake news that Mexico seized 800 pounds of U.S. government cocaine? Did you believe the fake news or see people sharing it falsely on social media? Let us know in the comments section.



Source: B2C

Jude Law Shares Similarities With Albus Dumbledore For Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald


The casting of Albus Dumbledore had many fans imagining who should play the future headmaster of Hogwarts. Following the reveal of the first cast photo for the “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” sequel, the film’s producer David Heyman has now spoken about some of the casting choices.


Specifically, he told EW that the casting of Jude Law as Dumbledore was because the actor possesses many of the same qualities that they have found in the Dumbledore character:


“One of the reasons we chose Jude is he has many of the qualities we find in Dumbeldore in the Potter films. He’s got authority, he’s got a twinkle in his eye, he’s sometimes a bit elliptical. So you have that but also have this youthful energy and jubilance. So he brings that twinkle, mischief, authority, and power, but at the same time brings far more youthful energy to the film. You understand why he would be your favorite teacher and be someone you believe is an extraordinary wizard.”


Law is the third actor to play Albus Dumbledore on the big screen, following behind Richard Harris and Michael Gambon, both of whom portrayed the powerful wizard in his final years.


Law is part of a cast that also includes Ezra Miller as Credence, Claudia Kim as a Maledictus, Zoe Kravitz as Leta Lestrange, Callum Turner as Theseus Scamander, Katherine Waterson as Tina Goldstein, Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski, Alison Sudol as Queen Goldstein and Johnny Depp as Dark wizard Gellert Grindlewald.


Depp’s return to the film series has attracted criticism from some fans who said he shouldn’t have been cast again after being accused of assaulting his ex-wife Amber Heard last year.


Here are some reactions on social media to the casting of Law.










In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the story opens in 1926 as Newt Scamander has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident…were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt’s fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.


“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” is in production in the U.K. and France ahead of a late 2018 release.


Photo Credit: Warner Bros.



Source: B2C

Charles Manson, Convicted Mass Murderer, Dead At Age 83 Is A Death Hoax

charlesmanson2014


Charles Manson found dead at the age of 83 in his prison cell is a death hoax. There is no truth to reports that the infamous criminal who was recently hospitalized died. Manson, the ringleader behind a 1969 Los Angeles killing spree, has been at the center of several death hoaxes.


Where did this death hoax originate? Two websites named florida-times.com and texas-express.com published identical stories archived here and here reporting that Manson died. You can read it below.


Infamous serial killer Charles Manson has died after a brief hospitalization, authorities say. He died Thursday in a hospital in Bakersfield, California.


A spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation confirmed news of Manson’s passing, assuring the press her outfit will very soon put out an official statement on his passing.


The head of the Manson Family was found guilty in 1971 of orchestrating the murders of seven people, including actress Sharon Tate. He was reported to have sought to start a ‘race war’, which he dubbed ‘Helter Skelter’ after The Beatles’ song of the same name.


Manson was sentenced to death, a sentence which was later amended to life imprisonment in Corcoran State Prison after California discontinued the death penalty.


However, there is no truth to the above story, according to Hoax Alert. In their research, Hoax Alert noted that the two sites reporting the death hoax are part of a network of fake news websites designed to look like “local” news sites with generic news stories on their front pages.


For one thing, there has been on legitimate news coverage reporting that Manson had died. Rather, the LA Times reported on Friday that Manson was still alive even though he had been hospitalized:


Mass murderer Charles Manson remained alive Friday, authorities said, but details of the illness that brought him to a Bakersfield hospital remain unclear.


Vicky Waters, a spokeswoman with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said only that Manson was still living and that the department could not provide any further details.


Kern County Sheriff’s Lt. Bill Smallwood told The Times earlier this week that Manson was at a local hospital.


In January, Manson, 83, was rushed to Mercy Hospital in Bakersfield for what authorities at the time would describe only as a serious medical problem. He was returned to prison a few days later.


Here are some examples of people sharing the death hoax on social media.










As of this writing, the CDCR Inmate Locator is still listing Manson as incarcerated in California State Prison, Corcoran while stating that the information is “current as of 11/19/2017”.


What did you think of the death hoax regarding Manson? Did you believe that Manson had died or see people sharing the death hoax on social media? Let us know in the comments section.


Photo Credit: Source



Source: B2C

Jude Law Shares Similarities With Albus Dumbledore For Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald


The casting of Albus Dumbledore had many fans imagining who should play the future headmaster of Hogwarts. Following the reveal of the first cast photo for the “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” sequel, the film’s producer David Heyman has now spoken about some of the casting choices.


Specifically, he told EW that the casting of Jude Law as Dumbledore was because the actor possesses many of the same qualities that they have found in the Dumbledore character:


“One of the reasons we chose Jude is he has many of the qualities we find in Dumbeldore in the Potter films. He’s got authority, he’s got a twinkle in his eye, he’s sometimes a bit elliptical. So you have that but also have this youthful energy and jubilance. So he brings that twinkle, mischief, authority, and power, but at the same time brings far more youthful energy to the film. You understand why he would be your favorite teacher and be someone you believe is an extraordinary wizard.”


Law is the third actor to play Albus Dumbledore on the big screen, following behind Richard Harris and Michael Gambon, both of whom portrayed the powerful wizard in his final years.


Law is part of a cast that also includes Ezra Miller as Credence, Claudia Kim as a Maledictus, Zoe Kravitz as Leta Lestrange, Callum Turner as Theseus Scamander, Katherine Waterson as Tina Goldstein, Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski, Alison Sudol as Queen Goldstein and Johnny Depp as Dark wizard Gellert Grindlewald.


Depp’s return to the film series has attracted criticism from some fans who said he shouldn’t have been cast again after being accused of assaulting his ex-wife Amber Heard last year.


Here are some reactions on social media to the casting of Law.










In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the story opens in 1926 as Newt Scamander has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident…were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt’s fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.


“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” is in production in the U.K. and France ahead of a late 2018 release.


Photo Credit: Warner Bros.



Source: B2C

The 5-Part Sales Funnel That Leads to More Business Revenue

Generates more revenue


Over the course of the last couple of years, I’ve been focusing heavily on systematizing the different offerings in my sales funnel. Rather than focusing on the quick money I could make from a person, I started focusing on what business experts call “long money.”


What is “long money”?


Long money refers to the lifecycle of one client. Savvy business people know that it’s easier to get someone who has already bought from you to purchase again than it is to acquire a brand new client.


Simply put, the person who has purchased from you already trusts you. They’ve already seen what you can do. As a result, they buy again.


As business owners, this means you need to come up with a sales funnel that has different offerings for these people. In this article, I’ll be sharing the sales funnel I finally completed for my own business.


Note that in this article I will only be referring to products and offerings. You can read this article on how to get leads into the funnel.


Part 1: Free or Low-Price Point


The first part of a sales funnel is either a free or low-price point offering. This helps leads and customers get acquainted with you with very little risk on their part.


In my current business model, I focus on the free and upsell to low price point. For instance, I’ll run Facebook ads to a free worksheet or free webinar to build my list. If they want more, they can purchase my book at a low price point.


Part 2: Mid Price Point


In my business, mid-price point offerings refer to courses that cover one specific topic. For instance, I have an on-demand class that teaches people how to become freelance writers. Or, I am an affiliate for a course that focuses solely on affiliate marketing.


These are both less than $200 and convert pretty well because they address one specific issue. From there, someone’s next question may be about branding and building their influence online so they can make money as a writer or as an affiliate marketer.


Part 3: High Price Point


The next step in a sales funnel is a high price point offering. In my case, it’s my group coaching program that is around $2000. This is basically a packaged and systematized version of what I’ve been teaching private clients for years, but without the hefty price tag.


This is also the part of my sales funnel where I start working with people more closely. Up until this point, they really have no contact with me at all.


Part 4: The Upsell with Recurring Revenue


Once someone has entered my group coaching program, I may invite them to come on as a private coaching client. This is a VIP offering that requires a large contract and customized attention. It also leads to recurring revenue for me.


Part 5: The Downsell with Recurring Revenue


If someone isn’t a good fit for private coaching or they just aren’t ready yet, I downsell them into my membership site which acts as a vault. In it, they can access all the classes and lectures I’ve ever taught as well as access exclusive content not found elsewhere.


Again, this gives me recurring revenue each month. Some people opt to do both the membership site and the private coaching.


Final Thoughts


Your job as a business owner is to create a sales funnel where products complement one another. This will lead to more money in the bank and more peace of mind.



Source: B2C

Saturday, 18 November 2017

The 5-Part Sales Funnel That Leads to More Business Revenue

Generates more revenue


Over the course of the last couple of years, I’ve been focusing heavily on systematizing the different offerings in my sales funnel. Rather than focusing on the quick money I could make from a person, I started focusing on what business experts call “long money.”


What is “long money”?


Long money refers to the lifecycle of one client. Savvy business people know that it’s easier to get someone who has already bought from you to purchase again than it is to acquire a brand new client.


Simply put, the person who has purchased from you already trusts you. They’ve already seen what you can do. As a result, they buy again.


As business owners, this means you need to come up with a sales funnel that has different offerings for these people. In this article, I’ll be sharing the sales funnel I finally completed for my own business.


Note that in this article I will only be referring to products and offerings. You can read this article on how to get leads into the funnel.


Part 1: Free or Low-Price Point


The first part of a sales funnel is either a free or low-price point offering. This helps leads and customers get acquainted with you with very little risk on their part.


In my current business model, I focus on the free and upsell to low price point. For instance, I’ll run Facebook ads to a free worksheet or free webinar to build my list. If they want more, they can purchase my book at a low price point.


Part 2: Mid Price Point


In my business, mid-price point offerings refer to courses that cover one specific topic. For instance, I have an on-demand class that teaches people how to become freelance writers. Or, I am an affiliate for a course that focuses solely on affiliate marketing.


These are both less than $200 and convert pretty well because they address one specific issue. From there, someone’s next question may be about branding and building their influence online so they can make money as a writer or as an affiliate marketer.


Part 3: High Price Point


The next step in a sales funnel is a high price point offering. In my case, it’s my group coaching program that is around $2000. This is basically a packaged and systematized version of what I’ve been teaching private clients for years, but without the hefty price tag.


This is also the part of my sales funnel where I start working with people more closely. Up until this point, they really have no contact with me at all.


Part 4: The Upsell with Recurring Revenue


Once someone has entered my group coaching program, I may invite them to come on as a private coaching client. This is a VIP offering that requires a large contract and customized attention. It also leads to recurring revenue for me.


Part 5: The Downsell with Recurring Revenue


If someone isn’t a good fit for private coaching or they just aren’t ready yet, I downsell them into my membership site which acts as a vault. In it, they can access all the classes and lectures I’ve ever taught as well as access exclusive content not found elsewhere.


Again, this gives me recurring revenue each month. Some people opt to do both the membership site and the private coaching.


Final Thoughts


Your job as a business owner is to create a sales funnel where products complement one another. This will lead to more money in the bank and more peace of mind.



Source: B2C

How EA Became the Most Hated Company On the Internet (and How They Can Fix It)

A Problem, There Is…


star_wars_battlefront_ii_logo


Video game company EA is in the final stages of releasing a long-anticipated game, Star Wars Battlefront II. Earlier this week, one player was surprised to discover that it would take him a total of 40 hours of gameplay to unlock just one of the main characters (such as arch-villain Darth Vader or ultimate hero Luke Skywalker) which have been used prominently in the promotion of the game. Users would need to spend more time playing in order to collect in-game credits which they could then use to unlock characters or upgrade other aspects of their game play (weapons, vehicles, etc). EA was, in essence, heavily pushing their players towards the purchase of downloadable content (DLC) through “micro-transactions” using real-life currency. This includes “Lootboxes” which are a “lucky-dip” style product which is now being described scathingly as “micro-gambling”.


“I’m buying a car that comes with a stereo, I shouldn’t have to pay extra to unlock radio stations I want to listen to!”.


Video game enthusiasts have widely decried this function, which EA uses across a variety of titles to create a continuous secondary flow of income for the company. This is also frustrating for gamers who can’t afford to invest in additional DLC, and who are left at a disadvantage against other players who invest heavily.


The most vocal argument against this form of DLC is that customers have already paid for a game, why should they have to pay more to fully enjoy the game? The comparison is, “I’m buying a car that comes with a stereo, I shouldn’t have to pay extra to unlock radio stations I want to listen to!”.


Record-Breakingly Bad…


The customer who made this discovery then shared his displeasure on the Reddit web forum for Star Wars Battlefront, where it quickly gained 142,000 approving “upvotes” and over 3,000 comments. However, this story would have probably blown over quite quickly if not for the unfortunate response by EA, which stated that the decision was reached based on data from the Open Beta, and was calculated to ensure “…players have challenges that are compelling, rewarding, and of course attainable via gameplay.”


ea_battlefront_reddit_response

The response by EA on Reddit which has become the most downvoted comment in the website’s history.


While this might have seemed like a reasonable response by EA, it has now become the most downvoted comment in Reddit’s 12 year history, with almost 680,000 downvotes in just 2 days. In comparison, the second most downvoted comment on Reddit has “only” 25,000 downvotes. This has caused an avalanche of unwanted publicity for EA, from coverage in Forbes and The BBC, to fellow game developers such as Blizzard, and countless posts from regular social media users.


Since then, it was then discovered, as users tried to cancel their game pre-orders, that EA had canceled the refund option on Battlefront II, forcing users to “go the long way around”, canceling transactions and demanding refunds through the credit card companies.


The creators of the game have now reduced the price of some in-game transactions, however, this apparently hasn’t rectified the issue. EA has scheduled an “Ask-Me-Anything” Q&A session with users of the subreddit, which will take place at 9:30AM PST on the 15th of November. It remains to be seen what the outcome of this will be, but with Wall Street financial analysts becoming concerned, the outlook for EA is not good.


Learned Complacence?


ea_battlefront_headline_collageEA has developed a long-standing reputation for customer dissatisfaction, having been decisively voted the worst company in America three times within the last 5 years. However, nowhere is their dormancy more noticeable than on their very own Instagram page.


If you take a look at the comments on this page you might notice something strange. No matter what image they post or what topic they discuss, 90% of all comments they receive are from users pleading for EA to develop “Skate 4” a long-awaited sequel to the popular skateboarding game Skate 3, last released in 2010. Skate 3 was a high-selling game as late as 2014, requiring EA to reprint the title, and in 2016 it was made backward-compatible on Xbox One after a popular vote.


With hundreds of thousands of comments over the course of three years, and a proven track record of success, it’s very surprising that EA has not yet decided to begin production of the requested sequel. However, the fact that they have chosen to not even formally address the grassroots campaign which has taken over their Instagram page is downright outrageous. In the age of digital communication where most large companies are trying to communicate more effectively with their customers, it’s shocking that EA, as the second largest gaming company in the world, is turning a blind eye to the palpable desires of their customers.


EA has developed a long-standing reputation for customer dissatisfaction, having been decisively voted the worst company in America three times within the last 5 years.


What We Can Learn


1) You need to listen to your customers. This should be painfully obvious, but unfortunately it isn’t. Listening to your customers is the key to not only staying ahead of the curve and ahead of the competition, but is also how you can guarantee that you’ll make a successful product that actually has demand from the customers and will be purchased in large numbers.


2) You need to involve your customers BEFORE you launch your product. The above case, where EA made changes to Battlefront II only after the furor on Reddit, shows what happens when your customers aren’t involved in the development process. Your customers need to be involved in the planning stages of any new product, something which can be easily facilitated through an idea and innovation management system.


3) The final, and most important lesson, is that users need to be involved in the process, but they need to be LISTENED TO. None of the lessons above hold any meaning if you have the customer data but refuse to do anything with it. EA ran an Open Beta on Battlefront II, but disregarded the input and feedback from their users, which led to the current backlash against them. This is probably the most serious failure on the part of EA, assuming that they know the customers better than they know themselves. That, or EA was blinded by greed, and assumed that the users would just go for anything that had a Star Wars label on it.


EA has made some quick in-game changes to respond to the outpouring of hostility, lowering the cost to unlock heroes by 75% but that may be too little, too late. EA is a large game company, with many successful titles, and will probably recover from this controversy. We can only hope that they will have learned their lessons about customer engagement for when they release their next games.



Source: B2C

Security Researchers Find Flaw in Amazon Key

haalkab / Pixabay


A security company has revealed that Amazon Key is not foolproof, but the online retail giant assured that the delivery system is safe.


Amazon Key allows couriers access inside a house or apartment to drop off a package if the recipient isn’t around.


After studying the Amazon Key system and conducting tests, Rhino Security Labs revealed that fake delivery men could disable the Cloud camera that monitors deliveries.


Rhino Labs disclosed its findings to Wired, accompanied by two videos that showed techniques that allowed fake delivery men to enter dwellings that have installed Amazon Key.


Findings


Wired said: “Security researchers have demonstrated that with a simple program run from any computer in Wi-Fi range, that camera can be not only disabled but frozen.”


A viewer watching live or recorded stream sees only a closed door, even as their actual door is opened and someone slips inside.”


That attack would potentially enable rogue delivery people to stealthily steal from Amazon customers, or otherwise invade their inner sanctum.”


Amazon Statements


Wired said it brought the findings to Amazon’s attention and the company reportedly said it plans to issue an automatic software update to address the issue.


In a separate statement emailed to Mashable, the online retailer said it is aware of Rhino Labs findings but downplayed any threat to Amazon Key.


Amazon emphasized that all Amazon Key deliveries “time-stamped reports detailing how long doors are opened, and the company alerts customers if the camera goes offline for a long time.”


An Amazon representative told Mashable also that the company conducts a “comprehensive background check” on all drivers and that each delivery is tied to an individual driver so that any illicit activity can be detected right away.


Aside from Amazon Key, the company also has a locker system to complement it.


What’s Next?


What are your thoughts on the findings of Rhino Security Labs on the Amazon Key system? Share them by commenting below.



Source: B2C

Midyear Update: 2017.5 Mazda 6

Mazda 6 makes a case for the midsize sedan segment.


2017.5 Mazda 6

2017.5 Mazda 6 in fast-departing daylight.


Manufacturers typically adhere to model years except when they don’t. A case in point is the 2017.5 Mazda 6, a midsize sedan benefiting from light changes put in place too late for the 2017 model year, but months before the 2018s arrive.


2017.5 Mazda6


The 2017 Mazda 6 already offered a few changes of note, including a new steering wheel design and an available heated steering wheel, heated rear seats and Nappa leather-trimmed sport seats. Further, Mazda also upped its optional safety features to bring in lane keep assist on the top trim model along with traffic sign recognition.


The mid-year changes include blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert with the base Sport model along with available leather seating surfaces and an 8-way power driver’s seat on the mid-grade Touring model. Could the changes have waited until the 2018s rolled out? Perhaps. But, in an ultra-competitive (and shrinking) segment, Mazda likely realized the changes were timely and prudent.


2017/2017.5 Mazda 6


2017.5 Mazda 6


No matter, what you have in the Mazda 6 is a stylish, front-wheel drive midsize sedan with room for five. Available in three trims — Sport ($21,945.$22,995), Touring ($24,195/$25,245) and Grand Touring ($30,695) plus $875 for destination — this Mazda is one of the few models left offering a manual transmission.


Thus, the prices reflected here are for the manual followed by the automatic for the first two trims. The Grand Touring offers an automatic transmission only. By the way, the prices for the mid-year model are unchanged from the 2017s.


Exterior and Interior Features


2017.5 Mazda 6


I’ve long admired the 6’s looks, one of the more fashionable models in a segment once dominated by dull, boring sedans. The look could just as easily be applied to a sports car and it is — the Mazda MX-5 Miata offers a similar visage with its gaping grille, athletic shoulders, and sinuous lines. The Mazda 6 stretches that canvas to its proper size and adds a raised rear deck to round out the expression.


Standard exterior features include automatic halogen headlights and running lights, LED taillights, power side mirrors, 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels and bright finish dual exhaust outlets. Options include LED lighting, high beam control, adaptive front lighting, LED fog lights, heated side mirrors, rear spoiler, and 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels.


2017.5 Mazda 6


Inside, you’ll find a cabin that’s open, well organized, and clean. My test Grand Touring model had all the amenities you’ll find in this segment, including white leather seats. The cabin is one of the largest in the segment and you’ll also find a spacious 14.8 cubic-foot trunk. A 60/40 split-fold bench seat extends the storage area.


Standard interior features include keyless entry with push-button start, a tilt and telescopic steering columns, power windows and door locks, cruise control, cloth seats, and air conditioning. Options are many and include a heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, imitation leather seats, power front seats with driver lumbar support, and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.


Tech and Safety Highlights


2017.5 Mazda 6


Tech features include a standard 6-speaker audio system, HD Radio, Bluetooth connectivity, USB audio port, and a 7-inch color display. Also available is a Bose 11-speaker audio system, satellite radio, navigation, and a power moonroof.


Safety technologies include a rearview camera across the model line along with blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. The top-trim Grand Touring brings in such driver-assist features as lane departure warning, lane keep assist, radar cruise control and traffic sign recognition.


Speaking of safety, the 2017 Mazda 6 earned a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and a top five star-rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). You cannot get any better than that!


Engine and Transmissions


Outside of performance models, acquiring a vehicle with a manual gearbox has become increasingly difficult. The take rate is typically less than five percent (according to what manufacturer representatives have told me) and that means finding manuals is becoming even more difficult challenge than ever.


2017.5 Mazda 6


Mazda, however, keeps the 6-speed manual it has long offered with its midsize sedan. It comes standard on the Sport and Touring editions, but is not available on the Grand Touring.


All models are powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, generating 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. These numbers beat the Ford Fusion’s engine of the same size, delivering 175 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque, but are under the Toyota Camry’s 2.5L making 203 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque.


The Mazda 6 earns an EPA-estimated 26 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway for a combined 29 mpg. Across my 233.5-mile journey, I earned exactly 28 mpg for about 80 percent highway driving. I was a bit disappointed to fall short of 30 mpg, especially with cruise control used extensively on the open road.


2017.5 Mazda 6


On the Road


There are very few six-cylinder engines left in the segment. The Subaru Legacy still offers a 3.6-liter inline-six, the Toyota Camry can be had with a 3.5-liter V6, while Ford offers the most powerful engine in the segment, a 2.7-liter turbocharged V6 making 325 horsepower.


As for Mazda, you have the one engine and nothing else. Chances are, most people will be happy with it.


That said, the engine is loud and nothing like the lusty roar of a V8. More of a whiny clamor when you’re pressing the pedal to the metal. That’s also par for the four-cylinder course — some manufacturers do a better job of disguising the buzz through sound-deadening materials or white noise.


But there are several strong suits present, including a sporty ride and active steering. Quite noticeable is the G-Vectoring Control system, what keeps the sedan fixed and stabilized under hard acceleration. Torque steer? None detected.


2017.5 Mazda 6


Mazda 6 Parting Thoughts


Sales of midsize sedans continue to tumble as consumers shift their purchase decisions to crossovers in greater numbers. That’s a shame for two very good reasons, both of which are exemplified in the Mazda 6:


1), Sedans offer a more enjoyable driving experience, and


2), They’re more cost effective. Indeed, with the second point it is fairly easy to find a well-equipped model for $25,000, typically after claiming whatever discounts are available.


Choose the Grand Touring and you’ll pay quite a bit more, but you’ll enjoy an upscale interior. Premium features are present, including an available power moonroof and a nifty head-up display screen that emerges from the top of the dash.


2017.5 Mazda 6



2017.5 Mazda 6 Specifications


  • Sticker price from $22,820

  • Seats five

  • Engine: 2.5-liter four-cylinder gas

  • 184 horsepower @ 5,700 RPM

  • 185 foot-pounds of torque @ 3,250 RPM

  • 6-speed manual or automatic transmission

  • Wheelbase: 111.4 inches

  • Length: 191.5 inches

  • Width: 72.4 inches

  • Height: 57.1 inches

  • Passenger volume: 99.7 cubic feet

  • Storage volume: 14.8 cubic feet

  • Towing capacity: NR

  • EPA: 26/35 mpg city/highway (est.)

  • Regular gasoline

  • Fuel tank: 16.4 gallons

  • Curb weight: From 3,240 to 3,305 pounds

  • IIHS safety rating: Top Safety Pick+

  • Limited vehicle warranty: 36 months/36,000 miles

  • Powertrain warranty: 60 months/60,000 miles

  • Corrosion warranty: 60 months/unlimited miles

  • Vehicle assembly: Hiroshima, Japan


This article was originally published by Auto Trends Magazine.



Source: B2C