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Why Going Dark in Technology Marketing is Never in Fashion Erin Colleran

Senior Client Consulting Manager

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In a past life, I worked in ad sales for a fashion magazine in New York City. With 12 issues, we sold all year round – however the spike that was seen every year in September was huge. September was the end all be all month where a client would need to be in-market or risk losing mindshare to competitors. The September issue was the beginning of a new season of style and fashion. Designers and retailers used September to debut new collections, readers anticipated its arrival on their doorstep and the issue itself is always the biggest one of the year.  September is the start of the fashion selling season, with the change in weather bringing back to school, luxurious fashion week and the start of the ever important Q4 holiday push. If you were a fashion retailer, this is the one month you could not afford to miss. Other months? Maybe.

IT business is never seasonal – Projects are happening all year round that you cannot afford to miss out on

My colleague Garrett Mann wrote about why your marketing shouldn’t take a summer vacation, but the truth of the matter is, your marketing should never take a vacation in this industry. In IT, a large number of projects are starting every month at companies around the globe and research is happening all year round. We don’t have a September issue, there isn’t a month when vendors need to be in market or they risk it all.

I’d love to tell you that I am a world renowned expert on this subject, but the truth of the matter is, all you have to do is look at the data.

Data never lies

Looking at TechTarget’s IT Deal Alert Qualified Sales Opportunities for full year 2014, where we qualify projects based on activity on our network,  we see incredible consistency with very little variation in the uncovering of projects month to month. Even in the so-called “down” months of summer and the holidays:

Always On Strategy, Always en vogue

As a result of this, the best strategy to ensure influence over a project is an Always On Strategy. Being always on ensures you’re live for the entirety of a customers buy cycle, so you need to be always on not just for net-new projects, but for projects you influenced in the beginning of the buy cycle. And you don’t want to miss out on the crucial late stages when vendor short lists are being made.

Don’t let your competitors influence projects your brand should be impacting

I often hear clients say “We have budget for Q2, but will most likely be dark in Q3.” This statement always make me cringe because going dark for a quarter really just means we are going to let our competitors influence projects for a little while and we aren’t going to do anything.

Taking those annual marketing dollars and budgeting them across the year will allow you to stay in the game, and allow your brand to impact the decisions being made all year round. We don’t have seasonality here, this isn’t fashion, this is IT and people are buying all year round. You need to be always on and always in front of buyers if you don’t want to miss out on those opportunities.

IT Deal Alert, IT projects, project identification, technology marketing strategies

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Major Ethical Issues In Fashion

Ethical fashion raises fundamental concerns in the fashion business about exploitation, working conditions, animal welfare, fair trade, and the environment. Businesses are becoming more aware of the value of corporate social responsibility and are making the required adjustments to satisfy customers. There has been a considerable increase in consumer ethical concern over the past few decades, which has resulted in a rise in the demand for “ethical” options in the marketplace. The textile and clothing industries, which are primarily driven by labor-and resource-intensive practises and leave the largest carbon footprint of all value chains, are two of the sectors with a significant impact on our planet’s ecological and social footprints. Hence, this sector also faces significant ethical issues in the fashion sector.

Damage to the Environment

Dresses are lovely to wear, but there are several issues with how they are made. The dumping of nuclear waste, changes in the environment, global warming, the extinction of some species, and other issues are closely watched, and they are mostly linked to human activities. The fashion industry bears some of the blame, and opinions on the effects that human activity has on the environment vary. Chemical treatments are used to soften and colour a variety of textiles. Such substances can harm the environment and perhaps result in skin conditions. Chemicals used in the treatment of textiles include lead, nickel, chromium, and aryl amines.

Child Labour Increased Waste and Consumerism

The present fashion industry mostly uses the take-make-dispose model, which involves the extraction of large amounts of non-renewable resources to create clothing that is frequently worn for a few times before being discarded in landfills. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s research “A New Textiles Economy: Redesigning Fashion’s Future” points out that apparel is vastly underused. The average number of times a garment is worn globally has dropped from 15 years ago to only 7 to 10 times, a 36% decline. We shouldn’t be surprised that “one garbage truck full of textiles is landfilled or burned every second” when only 1% of materials are recycled into new garments.

Low Wages

Although a living wage has been deemed a fundamental human right by the International Labour Organization (ILO), salaries frequently fall short of even meeting workers’ most basic requirements, let alone covering emergencies. As a result, garment workers are compelled to work overtime and are unable to refuse assignments due to illness, pregnancy, or unsafe working circumstances. In countries in the Third and Second Worlds, the fashion sector claims to provide jobs. When the average worker’s annual salary is calculated and the working circumstances of his position are hypothesised, employment generation is, nevertheless, of little significance. Major fashion brands typically use contractors who typically pay below-minimum rates to their employees in many nations.

Risks to Health and Safety

In addition to depriving countless men, women, and children of their fundamental human rights and paying their employees insufficient wages, the fashion industry puts the lives of its employees and workers in danger because many of these businesses are known for constructing their apparel production facilities in developing and third-world countries on the cheap and shoddily. The majority of cotton farmers and sweatshop employees are exposed to pesticides, lead-based dyes, and chemical poisoning over an extended period of time, and as a result, they frequently experience chronic vomiting, headaches, tremors, lack of coordination, loss of consciousness, respiratory diseases, impaired memory, concentration difficulties, extreme depression, palpitations, seizures, and even death. This happens as a result of their disregard for the welfare of their employees, which eventually causes them to fail.

Animal Abuse

The fashion industry engages in two types of animal abuse: the first involves directly torturing the animal by objectifying it for its fur, skin, or hide; the second endangers animals by contaminating their habitats and upsetting their food chains. Both situations prevent these creatures from living in the wild and free due to the methods used in the fashion industry. Many animals are reared in captivity, matured to a certain age, and then their fur is removed by employees. Once their fur has been removed, live animals are frequently mutilated. Some creatures, like snakes and crocodiles, are purposely raised to be killed and have their skin removed for products like shoes, handbags, and other accessories.

High Utilisation of Natural Resources

The majority of natural resources used in the fashion industry are still non-renewable, which greatly contributes to climate change. The clothes we wear every day have been chosen for their particular utility and economic efficiency, but they have noticeable drawbacks in terms of the land, water, and fossil fuels needed for production. The production of textiles made of plastic requires a lot of energy, but the production of natural materials requires extensive use of pesticides and fertilisers (unless organic farming is used) as well as a lot of water, frequently in locations with limited water supplies.

Poor Working Environment

The great majority of clothing that is sold every day is made in hazardous and demanding conditions in underdeveloped nations. The collapse of the Rana Plaza plant in Bangladesh and the fire at the Tazreen Fashion clothing factory, which together claimed the lives of more than 1,200 garment workers, were merely the tip of the iceberg. Despite the issues receiving public notice, there are still businesses that keep hiring people in dangerously subpar conditions who are also subjected to toxic chemicals and physical and emotional abuse.


In today’s world, many discussions revolve around the ethical issues that the fashion industry faces. Numerous industries frequently respond to public concerns by demonstrating their corporate social responsibility in various ways. Being green is radical for some. Others chose to demonstrate their responsibility by picking a specific subject. For instance, several businesses clearly state that neither child labour nor inadequate pay is used in the process of creating their products. Whatever the actual situation, ethical questions continue to trouble activists, governments, and society at large.

Is Your Seo Company A Marketing Or Technology Company?

In the defense of many businesses, they do hear the same words coming from both the marketer and the technology company. Both companies use the words “SEO”, “optimization”, “paid search”, and many other terms, which on the surface sound the same. Thus, a business that doesn’t understand the digital medium would not know there is a difference between these two types of companies.

Evolution of Disciplines on the Web

If I think back 20 years ago when we first put a website together using HTML 0.0 we could bold text, change colors, make text flash and use an animated gif for a mailbox that opened and closed. It was all pretty exciting stuff, at the time.

Since then the disciplines have evolved and matured to the point where there are:

Technology companies that know how to manage servers and networks

Technology specialists who understand databases, programming, and website assembly

Creative Designers who understand how to make a website look good and lay it out

If we break the disciplines down to these areas, it might be easier to understand who has the competency in what areas.

Putting the Marketing Processes & Concepts to Practice

Think of a marketing process like a cycle, which starts with research, strategy, and planning. If you have a strategy, then you must also have a way to measure the success of this strategy. Measuring the strategy is important to understanding the initial plan so we know what tasks are necessary in the process and how those tasks will be completed.

This middle area tends to be where there is an overlap between marketers and technology firms when it comes to the execution.

The last area falls into gathering the measurements, assembling the measurements into a report(s), analyzing multiple data points, and ultimately interpreting the results. The interpretation is then used to communicate and collaborate with the client through a dialogue, which will be used to improve the results.

This dialogue is not only to present the marketing results, but also to learn from the client how the results have impacted them and what is happening in their business that needs to be incorporated into the marketing process. More importantly, the meeting must look at not only what is working, but also what is not working. Usually this is the area that requires the most discussion and collaboration.

Finally, action steps, which are documented in meeting minutes, to improve the marketing process are implemented and the cycle starts over again.

An interesting side benefit of the marketing process is the education of the client to help them better understand the digital medium. Equally, the marketing firm is given the opportunity to learn about the client’s business and industry as well.

Where Do The Differences Lie?

If you think about the labor time it takes to implement a successful marketing process, the biggest difference between the marketing firms and technology firms will be cost.

If your company is able to hire a marketing firm to manage the strategy, understand the results and lead the plan with discipline, then you’re able to remove yourself from “doing the work”.

On the flip side, if your company is only able to hire a technology firm, then you have to accept that you will be giving the orders, be more involved in the work, and need to interpret the reports you will be getting. Meetings tend to be few and far between.

Three Examples To Think About

One primary situation I have come across is businesses that say they have tried everything and nothing works. After some listening and some questions, I find they have been working with technology firms and usually both sides are equally frustrated with the other.

When it comes to meetings, they tend to not exist or, if they do, the discussion is about the reports that are missing information and not coordinated with a strategic plan. We have seen clients having to submit trouble tickets through a website to get any communication and certainly there is no consistency in a contact person who has learned about the client’s business.

In Conclusion

There is one thing a web marketing agency does or should be doing… accepting responsibility for when things do not go right. Instead of blaming yourself when you hire a technology firm, wouldn’t it make more sense to hire someone you can blame things on when they don’t go right?

Featured Image: Created by Author

Top Fashion Brands In The U S A

New York City is one of the fashion capitals of the world, where thousands of fashion designers and models come to make their careers. In addition to this, there are dozens of fashion brands in the United States that are globally popular.

Popular Fashion Brands in the United States

Here are the top 10 clothing labels in America, which are significantly impacted by the country’s different cultures


Sports and fitness are ingrained in the DNA of Americans in the United States. One of the most popular sportswear companies worldwide is Nike. The majority of sportsmen and fitness aficionados favour it over all else. It brings in $30.6 billion annually. One of the top professional basketball leagues in the world, the NBA, has chosen it as its official and exclusive uniform partner. It completed a $1 billion deal with the NBA. Nike clothing is popular among individuals from all socioeconomic levels. Top sportsmen like Serena Williams, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Roger Federer have served as Nike brand ambassadors. For elite athletes and fitness aficionados, Nike’s USP is its comfy shoes line. They offer a variety of colours for their products, and the majority of their items may be altered.

Ralph Lauren Levi Strauss and Company GAP

For many years, Gap served as both a representation of American fashion and style and one of America’s most well-known companies. The company became the go-to source for the casual jeans-and-T-shirt look at a cheap price because of its relaxed essentials and storied fabric. In the 1990s and the beginning of the 2000s, it was practically impossible to walk down the street without seeing a Gap sweatshirt because of the company’s colourful marketing campaigns, which were full of memorable jingles and well-known personalities. Despite being a popular American clothing company, its revenues have been falling for the past 13 months. Its social media presence, particularly on Instagram, is largely to blame for this. It resulted in the closure of numerous storefronts and the firing of staff, even though it improved their online sales.

Old Navy

For Americans, Old Navy offers excellent clothing at reasonable prices. They constructed their first store in 1994, becoming the first retailers to generate $1 billion in sales in just four years. They now rank among the biggest clothing brands in the world. The family can buy clothing from Old Navy. They have styles for everyone, whether they are men, women, kids, or seniors. By concentrating on the three pillars of their Imagine Mission—inclusion, opportunity, and sustainability—they hope to improve the world for future generations. The brand stands out by providing a choice of American clothing in a range of price points.

Michael Kors Coach

Since the 1990s, Coach has attracted a cult following thanks to its well-known heritage. Its success can be compared to that of other American brands like Calvin Klein, Guess, and Tommy Hilfiger in the period when Coach sold mid-range luxury goods. The corporation brings in an average of 4.3 billion USD per year. When Coach was at the height of its fame in the 1990s, bags were the one item for which it was best known. Women carried coach bags with pride around the world, showing off their fashion sense and pricey purses to let people know they were up to date. Along with making bags, Coach also produces menswear, womenswear, gifts, and personalised things. The company also puts on a runway show each year, enhancing its standing as a significant fashion house.

Tommy Hilfiger

Tommy Hilfiger, the second of nine siblings, was born and raised in New York. Sporting attire greatly inspired and motivated him. Given the robust sports culture in the USA, this is not surprising. The designer claims that the “preppy” clothing he observed while growing up in Elmira had a big influence on him. He took special attention to every little thing, from the Cleveland Browns’ brown and orange against white outfits to the game jerseys with blue and gold flocked scriptwriting. Baseball, football, and basketball were all impacted by the uniform craze. But he was always careful to pay attention to the finer details of the style. Both men’s and women’s clothes from their range feature hip and jazzy looks.

Under Armour

They have a yearly revenue of 3.1 billion USD, making them one of the top sports companies in the United States. In contrast to the combined sales of Adidas and Nike, which have plummeted by 23%, Under Armour’s sales have climbed by 20%, according to Sterne Agee research. Nike, the market leader, controls 46% of the athletic footwear market and a third of the sports apparel market this year, with combined sales of $8.9 billion. Sterne Agee claims that for months, Under Armour has been stealing market share in clothing sales from its more established German rival and even Nike.


Even though its larger competitors like Nike and Under Armour are American companies, the USA remains a big market for Adidas. In contrast to other countries, Adidas has changed its strategy and begun to “over-invest” in the United States. I started to see the client through the lens of North America and the United States. The company made significant investments in design, development, and other infrastructure in the US in order to concentrate on products for that market. In a few instances, it produced goods solely for the US.


Leading American clothing companies like Nike, Levi’s, Adidas, Gap, and others must stay current in order to meet consumer demands. Having the appropriate brand knowledge is essential in the fashion industry, regardless of your level of expertise as a retailer or fashion designer.

Why Is My Meeting Timing Out In Zoom?

Zoom has emerged as one of the most widely used video conferencing applications over the last few weeks. Thanks to its enormous repertoire of productivity features, organizations have turned to the popular platform to restore a sense of normalcy amidst the ongoing global crisis. For many users, Zoom for free is good enough, while its paid plans are not too costly either.

The US-based company has been doing its best to roll out more convenient features while also keeping the platform as secure as possible. However, despite Zoom’s best efforts, users are likely to run into trouble every now and again. Today, we are going to discuss one such annoying inconvenience users have been facing on Zoom, and tell you if and how you could bury the issue for good. So, without further ado, let’s get to it.

What does timing out mean?

Any meeting hosted on the Zoom platform is called a Zoom Meeting. Depending on the type of your account, a Zoom Meeting can last anywhere between 40 minutes and 24 hours. When a Zoom Meeting is reaching the duration threshold, users will see the dreaded “meeting timing out” prompt. After the timer runs out, all users will be escorted out of the said meeting.

RELATED: How to view everyone in a Zoom meeting on your screen with gallery view

Zoom’s meeting timeout guidelines

As mentioned in the previous section, the length of your meeting is dependent on the type of license you have — free or paid.

Free — Basic users

If you have a free license, you can host an unlimited number of Zoom Meetings, but the length of the said meetings cannot exceed 40 minutes — when three or more participants are involved. One-on-one meetings, meetings with no hosts and only two attendees, and host-only meetings can last as long as 24 hours.

RELATED: How to download and use Snap camera on Zoom

Paid users

Paid users, on the other hand, do not experience any such constraints. Meetings with three or more participants — between 100 and 10000, depending on the type of paid license — can last up to 24 hours. The same 24-hour rule applies to meetings with no host and any number of participants and meetings with only the host and no attendees.

However, if a meeting starts with one host and n number of participants, but only one participant remains, the meeting would end after 40 minutes.

RELATED: How to create and use Breakout Room on Zoom

Why is your meeting timing out?

Having gone through the section above, it becomes pretty evident that you need a paid license to push your meetings past the 40-minute constraint. So, if you’re trying to host a meeting for your organization, make sure you’re logged in with the credentials associated with your paid Zoom account. Additionally, you could also ask your administrator to grant you the required permissions.

If you are a paid user but have joined a meeting hosted by a basic user, the meeting would timeout after 40 minutes, as usual. The basic user could bypass the 40-minute timeout if he joins from a paid Zoom Room.

Finally, if you are a basic user and are on a paid account, you’d still have to adhere to the 40-minute cutoff.

RELATED: Zoom Free — All you need to know

How to fix the 40-min Meeting Timeout problem

Make sure you are on a paid plan

Make sure you are signed in with

Log out and log in with your Pro account

Make sure the meeting isn’t hosted by someone with free/basic plan

Still facing the issue? Contact your Admin.

How to hack the 40-min limit for free users

Zoom Free plan is great, but you are limited by 40 minutes of duration. Luckily, here is a little trick to continue the meeting even after the time limit of 40 minutes.

RELATED: Force Zoom meeting on the web browser

Having fun with Zoom? Well, notch it up by playing games for added fun. And we have also got a ton of free Zoom backgrounds to impress your friends.

Where Is Wearable Computing Ware Going?

Suddenly everybody’s talking about wearable computing. Two Silicon Valley giants are reportedly working on wearable computing devices, which appears to validate a fringe area of research that’s been around for decades.

But is a new era of wearable computing about to dawn?

The answer is yes — and no. Here’s where wearable ware is going.

My friend Seth Weintraub, writing on his blog 9to5Google, reported this week that Google is working on “wearable computer glasses.”

Google apparently hired MIT wearable computing expert Richard DuVal to work on the project.

Apple is also rumored to have created prototypes of a wearable device, which has been described as a curved-glass wristwatch. The device enables the user to give commands via Siri, the personal assistant software built into the latest iPhone.

Rumors that Apple and Google are working on wearable computing products triggered chatter expressing the flawed assumption that the whole category of wearable computing will suddenly go mainstream.

One such project involves a display built into a contact lens that communicates wirelessly to a smart phone. In fact, an International Symposium on Wearable Computers has taken place every year since the late 1990s to discuss various technologies and issues related to wearables.

Scientists, inventors and hobbyists have been working on a spectacular range of wearable computing devices for many years.

But just because experimental concepts fall into the “wearable” category with what two Silicon Valley giants are working on doesn’t mean they’re all validated. The technologies behind these far-flung ideas are all over the map, and the acceptance of each idea depends upon the readiness and user friendliness of each technology.

In other words, that Apple comes out with a wristwatch doesn’t mean augmented-reality contact lenses are going to be showing up as an option at your optometrist’s office any time soon. The technologies are unrelated.

It’s tempting to think of the wearable-computing revolution as one in which full-power computers are made so small they can be built into anything and everything. Although that’s reasonable and coming soon enough, the first wave of mainstream wearables will be less ambitious.

For example, I predict that Apple’s first major wearable will be a Bluetooth-connected iPod nano that takes Siri commands.

The first generations of this ‘iWatch’ will almost certainly require another Apple product nearby — say, an iPhone or Mac. You’ll touch the watch to wake up Siri and get it listening, then talk to it like Dick Tracey would.

As is Apple’s fashion, I suspect the iWatch will be limited in features to only those that are pretty solid. It will download music from iCloud, store them locally on the watch and play them through earbuds or on any nearby device that supports the technology, for example.

You’ll be able to do just about everything Siri now does on the iPhone — because it will use the iPhone to execute. So with the iPhone in your pocket or purse, you’ll be able to say: “How does my day look?” Siri will reply by speaking: “You’ve got a planning meeting at 2pm.” That sort of thing.

I believe that Bluetooth will transmit the noise your voice makes to the phone, which will upload it to Siri servers for the data crunching. The response will be sent back to the phone, then relayed to the watch and played. The illusion will be, however, that you talk to the watch and the watch talks back or displays the requested information.

Around the house, the fun really begins. I believe you’ll be able to use the iWatch to control your TV, Mac, iPad, iPhone or supported peripherals.

The reason I believe this is that it’s a continuation of current trends.

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