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The Importance of Dental Health: Why a Healthy Smile Matters

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The Importance of Dental Health: Why a Healthy Smile Matters

Having good dental health is not just about having a beautiful smile. It goes far beyond aesthetics and plays a crucial role in our overall well-being. A healthy smile is a reflection of a healthy body, both physically and mentally. In this article, we will explore the importance of dental health and why it should be a priority for everyone.

1. Oral Health and Overall Health

Did you know that your oral health can significantly impact your overall health? Poor dental hygiene can lead to various health issues, including cardiovascular diseases, respiratory infections, diabetes, and even complications during pregnancy. Maintaining good oral health practices, such as regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups, can help prevent these problems and promote overall well-being.

2. Preventing Tooth Decay and Gum Disease

Tooth decay and gum disease are two common dental problems that can be easily prevented with proper oral care. Neglecting your dental health can lead to cavities, tooth loss, and painful gum infections. Regular brushing, flossing, and professional cleanings can help remove plaque and tartar, reducing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

3. Boosting Self-Confidence

A healthy smile can do wonders for your self-confidence. When you have good dental health, you are more likely to smile and interact with others without hesitation. On the other hand, dental problems such as missing teeth, bad breath, or discolored teeth can affect your self-esteem and social interactions. Taking care of your dental health can give you the confidence to showcase your smile and make a positive impression on others.

4. Proper Nutrition and Digestion

Having a healthy set of teeth enables you to chew food properly, which is essential for proper digestion. Poor dental health can lead to difficulties in chewing and swallowing, limiting your food choices and impacting your nutrition. Maintaining good dental hygiene allows you to enjoy a wide variety of foods, ensuring a balanced diet and better overall health.

FAQs about Dental Health

Q: How often should I visit the dentist?

A: It is recommended to visit the dentist at least twice a year for regular check-ups and cleanings. However, individuals with specific dental conditions may require more frequent visits as advised by their dentist.

Q: What can I do to maintain good dental health?

A: To maintain good dental health, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, floss daily, eat a balanced diet, limit sugary snacks and beverages, and visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and professional cleanings.

Q: Are there any natural remedies for dental problems?

A: While natural remedies may provide temporary relief for minor dental problems, it is important to consult a dentist for proper diagnosis and treatment. Professional dental care is necessary to address the root cause of any dental issue effectively.

For more information on the importance of dental health and how to maintain a healthy smile, you can visit How To Start Break Tracking (+ How To Navigate Break Waiving) article on the same topic.

The Future of Automobiles: A Glimpse into the World of Self-Driving Cars

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The Future of Automobiles: A Glimpse into the World of Self-Driving Cars

Introduction

 

The automotive industry has been experiencing a rapid transformation in recent years, and one of the most significant developments is the emergence of self-driving cars. These autonomous vehicles, equipped with advanced sensors and artificial intelligence, have the potential to revolutionize transportation as we know it. In this article, we will explore the future of automobiles and delve into the world of self-driving cars, shedding light on their benefits, challenges, and what lies ahead.

Benefits of Self-Driving Cars

 

Self-driving cars offer a myriad of benefits that can significantly improve our daily lives. Firstly, they have the potential to enhance road safety by minimizing human error, which is responsible for the majority of accidents on the road. With advanced sensors and AI algorithms, self-driving cars can detect obstacles, pedestrians, and other vehicles more accurately and react swiftly to avoid collisions. This technology has the potential to save countless lives and reduce the number of injuries caused by accidents.

 

Secondly, self-driving cars can vastly improve traffic efficiency. Through their ability to communicate with each other and coordinate movements, these vehicles can optimize routes, reduce congestion, and ultimately reduce travel time. This will not only save valuable time for commuters but also reduce fuel consumption and emissions, leading to a greener and more sustainable future for transportation.

 

Additionally, self-driving cars can provide newfound mobility for individuals who are unable to drive due to age, disability, or other constraints. These autonomous vehicles offer a level of independence and freedom to those who may have previously relied on others for transportation. This inclusivity can revolutionize the way we think about mobility and ensure that everyone has access to safe and reliable transportation options.

Challenges and Concerns

 

Despite the numerous benefits, the widespread adoption of self-driving cars does come with its fair share of challenges and concerns. One of the main concerns revolves around the ethical dilemmas that arise when programming these vehicles. For example, in a situation where an accident is unavoidable, how should the car prioritize the safety of its occupants versus the safety of pedestrians or other vehicles? Addressing these ethical challenges requires careful consideration and collaboration between policymakers, manufacturers, and society as a whole.

 

Another significant challenge is the integration of self-driving cars with existing infrastructure. The roadways, traffic signals, and other elements of our current transportation system were not designed with autonomous vehicles in mind. Updating and adapting the infrastructure to accommodate self-driving cars will require substantial investments and planning. Additionally, ensuring the security and reliability of the complex systems that control these vehicles is of utmost importance to prevent potential cyber-attacks or malfunctions.

The Future of Self-Driving Cars

 

The future of self-driving cars holds immense potential. As technology continues to advance, we can expect to see more sophisticated autonomous vehicles on our roads. These cars will become smarter, more intuitive, and seamlessly integrated into our daily lives. They will be able to navigate complex urban environments, handle adverse weather conditions, and even communicate with pedestrians and cyclists to ensure safe interactions.

 

Furthermore, self-driving cars will likely pave the way for shared mobility services. With the rise of ride-hailing platforms, autonomous vehicles can be utilized more efficiently, reducing the need for individual car ownership. This shift towards shared mobility holds the promise of reducing traffic congestion, freeing up parking spaces, and minimizing the environmental impact of transportation.

FAQs about Self-Driving Cars

1. Are self-driving cars safer than human-driven cars?

 

Self-driving cars have the potential to be safer than human-driven cars. By eliminating human error, which is responsible for the majority of accidents, self-driving cars can significantly reduce the risk of collisions. However, it is important to note that the technology is still evolving, and further advancements and rigorous testing are needed to ensure their safety in all scenarios.

2. Will self-driving cars eliminate the need for car ownership?

 

The rise of self-driving cars is likely to lead to a shift towards shared mobility services, reducing the need for individual car ownership. With the convenience of on-demand transportation, individuals may opt for ride-hailing services rather than owning a personal vehicle. However, it is unlikely that car ownership will be completely eliminated, as certain individuals may still prefer the convenience and privacy of owning their own car.

3. How will self-driving cars impact the job market?

 

The widespread adoption of self-driving cars may disrupt certain job sectors, particularly those involving transportation. For example, taxi and truck drivers may face challenges as autonomous vehicles become more prevalent. However, new job opportunities will likely arise in areas such as vehicle maintenance, software development, and customer support for self-driving car services. The transition will require reskilling and adaptation to the changing job landscape.

4. Are self-driving cars legal?

 

The legality of self-driving cars varies across different jurisdictions. Some countries and regions have implemented regulations and frameworks to facilitate the testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles, while others are still in the process of developing guidelines. It is crucial for policymakers to establish clear and comprehensive regulations to ensure the safe and responsible integration of self-driving cars into society.

Conclusion

 

The future of automobiles lies in the realm of self-driving cars. With their potential to enhance road safety, improve traffic efficiency, and provide newfound mobility, autonomous vehicles have the power to transform transportation as we know it. However, challenges such as ethical considerations, infrastructure integration, and security must be addressed for a smooth transition. As technology advances and society adapts, self-driving cars will undoubtedly shape the future of mobility, creating a safer, more efficient, and inclusive transportation system.

For more information on the future of self-driving cars, please check out these external resources:

You might also like : Car vouchers for low-income families – what you need to know.

Branch Achieves the new AWS Advertising and Marketing Technology Competency

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Branch Achieves the new AWS Advertising and Marketing Technology Competency

PALO ALTO, Calif., Nov. 30, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Branch, the industry leading mobile linking and measurement platform, announced today that it has achieved the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Advertising and Marketing Technology Competency in the category of Advertising Intelligence and Measurement. This achievement recognizes Branch for its expertise in providing customers with both professional services and software solutions that empower advertisers and marketers to reinvent workloads with solutions and services that offer enhanced user experience and attribution across devices, platforms and channels.

As advertisers and marketers look to leverage the cloud to innovate and lean into digital transformation, they are increasingly looking for partners with services and solutions purpose-built to meet their needs. AWS Advertising and Marketing Technology Competency Partners like Branch provide customers such as advertising agencies, marketers, publishers, advertising or marketing technology providers and analytics service providers with AWS validated solutions and services that help accelerate their advertising and marketing transformation. An added benefit for customers migrating or building advertising and marketing workloads on AWS is the number of integrations and distribution channels connecting shared data with flexibility and interoperability. Branch is powered by AWS to support use cases in this industry.

  • No matter the channel – apps, email, paid ads, social media, influencers, CTV, QR codes, mobile web or desktop – Branch’s continued investment in linking technology ensures an adaptable, fully-featured solution that covers even the most complex customer journeys.
  • Branch provides crucial visibility into what works and what doesn’t, so growth-focused teams can direct spend and efforts for the highest ROI.
  • With best practices honed in partnership with hundreds of world-class brands, Branch’s expertise enables us to react quickly to industry changes, so marketers and advertisers don’t have to choose between performance and compliance.

Achieving the AWS Advertising and Marketing Technology Competency differentiates Branch as an AWS Partner Network (APN) member with demonstrated technical proficiency and proven customer success in running cloud solutions on AWS for the advertising and marketing industry. This program showcases advertising and marketing technology consulting and software AWS Partners who have domain knowledge and are providing cloud services powered by AWS. To receive the designation, AWS Partners must undergo a rigorous technical validation by AWS solution architects and have verified customer references.

“Branch is extremely proud to achieve the AWS Advertising and Marketing Technology Competency in Advertising Intelligence and Measurement,” said Michelle Geltman, Senior Director Business Development at Branch. “By leveraging the agility, breadth of services and pace of innovation that AWS provides, our team is dedicated to helping maximize the value of evolving digital strategies so growth-oriented teams can acquire users, retain customers and drive higher conversions.”

“Our partnership with Branch has been a game-changer for Jersey Mike’s. With their insights, we’ve gained a deeper understanding of our customer journey, attributing revenue to specific channels like push and text messages. Branch has not only improved our overall customer experience but also helped us connect the dots between downloads, sales, and our digital marketing efforts, paving the way for a more successful and streamlined strategy,” said Kelly McGee, Director of Digital Marketing at Jersey Mike’s.

AWS is enabling scalable, flexible and cost-effective solutions from startups to global enterprises. To support the seamless integration and deployment of these solutions, the AWS Competency Program helps customers identify which AWS Partner solutions and services are powered by AWS for specific industry use cases. For a specific industry solution to meet a need, explore the AWS Partner solutions and/or services offered in AWS Marketplace or APN Partners, including Branch.

About Branch
Branch is the linking and measurement partner for growth-focused teams, trusted to maximize the value of their evolving digital strategies. World-class brands like Instacart, Western Union, NBCUniversal, ZocDoc and Sephora rely on Branch to acquire users, retain customers and drive more conversions.

SOURCE Branch Metrics

U of A launches new dental assisting program

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U of A launches new dental assisting program

A new dental assisting certificate offered at the University of Alberta will help address a shortage of trained professionals in the industry and improve care for patients. 

The Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry is set to welcome its inaugural class of dental assisting students next April, through a 10-month, direct-entry program.

“I’m excited to see what we can bring to dental assisting and how we can provide opportunities to prepare dental assistants to graduate and confidently enter the dental workforce,” says Carla Clarke, director of the dental assisting program.

Dental assistants are in high demand across Canada, according to the Canadian Dental Association, with more than one-third of dental practices reporting unfilled positions. Clarke expects that with a certification from the U of A, graduates will be highly sought after to help fill that need.

“Our mission in the College of Health Sciences is to advance the full spectrum of health in the communities we serve by training the next generation of health-care providers. Creating this program is part of our commitment to responding to the workforce needs of the province and beyond,” says Brenda Hemmelgarn, college dean and vice-provost.

Dental assistants play a crucial role in the operation of a dental practice, says Clarke, taking on a variety of tasks including preparing equipment, assisting in dental procedures, infection control, taking X-rays and providing patient care and education.

“Knowing you’re contributing to the patient’s overall health, helping to prevent dental issues and making a difference in their lives can be very personally rewarding,” says Clarke, who has worked in the field for 30 years, first as a dental assistant, then an instructor.

Along with classroom studies, students in the dental assisting program will gain hands-on experience in labs and in clinical settings. Part of that involves working alongside dentistry and dental hygiene students at the School of Dentistry’s Oral Health Clinic, which offers dental services to the public.

“Early on in the program, they get exposed to that team environment and collaborative practice. So once they graduate, they have (already) worked with future colleagues, they’ve worked with the various team members, they’ve worked with patients,” Clarke says. She notes the small class size — a maximum of 26 students will be accepted for each intake — will enhance the learning experience.

Students are also required to complete a two-week practicum at a dental practice in the community before graduating. 

Clarke says studying dental assisting at the School of Dentistry gives students a major advantage, noting they will have access to the latest equipment and technology, as well as instruction from experienced faculty. Students will also make valuable connections with future colleagues before they enter the workforce, she adds.

Blaine AuCoin, clinical associate professor with the School of Dentistry, says all students at the school — whether dental, dental hygiene or dental assisting — will benefit by working together to provide patient care at the Oral Health Clinic.

“They will get an incredible amount of exposure to working in a team environment,” says AuCoin. “The dental assisting students will also be exposed to many aspects of oral health care, which they may not see in other programs.”

A practising dentist in Alberta for nearly 35 years, AuCoin says dental assistants are valued members of a dental team, ensuring clinics run smoothly and efficiently, and playing a key role in patient care and comfort.

“It is impossible to run a dental clinic without the knowledge and skills of a dental assistant,” he says.

Students can apply for the inaugural class until Dec. 1. Previous post-secondary education is not needed but certain prerequisites are required.

Hear From India’s Top Experts

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Hear From India’s Top Experts

May I have a few minutes of your time?

The Most Popular Halloween Costume of All Time? Hint: It’s Not Barbie.

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The Most Popular Halloween Costume of All Time? Hint: It’s Not Barbie.

Some families dress up for Halloween as characters from a shared universe. Elsa, Anna, and Olaf. Black Widow, Captain America, and Ironman. This year, my kids’ costumes could not be more different: my youngest child is going as a manga superhero, my oldest child is too cool to dress up, and my middle child is going as a duck. Not exactly cohesive! 

Jokes aside, Halloween costumes have become a kind of cultural index for us in the United States. What our children dress up as reflects the themes, trends, characters, and historical moments of the year. 

This month, we’re analyzing the top Halloween costumes by year—not exactly scientific, but seasonal and fun. Enjoy! 

 

First, we loaded five “top Halloween costumes” lists into Domo. 

 

To measure costume popularity, we found five lists of top Halloween costumes by birth year and pulled them into Domo. We sourced lists from Reader’s Digest, Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, POPSUGAR, and Give it Love. The year I was born, Reader’s Digest says the top Halloween costume was Michael Myers…the serial killer.  

Then we categorized the data to see which spheres have influenced costumes the most. The characters on these lists came from movies, toys, Broadway, comic books, and the music world. Even politics—Richard Nixon was apparently a top costume in 1974, the year he resigned the presidency.  

Looking at our categories, we see that movie-based costumes are by far the most popular. Politicians are least popular, with only three entries.  

Next, we looked at brands or themes of costumes. 

 

Knowing that the costumes we choose suggest something about the culture at large, we decided to zoom out and consider the most popular themes represented. Superheroes, Batman, Disney, and Star Wars come to the top. To create this visual, we used a new bubble chart that was part of Domo’s October 2023 feature release. 

We’ll note that, although Disney now owns both Indiana Jones and Star Wars, the Disney category refers to characters from the main franchise: Mickey Mouse, Elsa, Princess Tiana, etc.  

If you’re wondering, the “Brady Bunch” theme refers to specifically Marcia and Jan. Sorry, Cindy.  

We also looked at repeats of the same costumes across lists and across years.

 

We had to do a little data cleaning, of course, to align with how each list names things. For example, Cosmopolitan listed “Tony Manero from Saturday Night Fever” and Reader’s Digest listed “John Travolta (well, sort of)” in 1978. These are essentially the same costume, so we labeled them collectively as “Tony Manero (John Travolta) from Saturday Night Fever.” Garbage in, garbage out, as they say.  

Here’s what we found: Spider-Man was the most-repeated costume, showing up five different times across our lists. Captain Jack Sparrow also had a strong showing, as did Ghostface, Batman, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Big props for longevity to Morticia Addams, who showed up in 1967 and 1991.  

See every top Halloween costume—by year, theme, category, and frequency. 

 

Lastly, here is a detailed compilation of all the rankings. We’ve also included a little picture thumbnail, too, since a picture tells a thousand words. You can filter, search, and export.  




How To Start Break Tracking (+ How To Navigate Break Waiving)

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How To Start Break Tracking (+ How To Navigate Break Waiving)

Our friends at KitKat may have been on to something. Because let’s be real, we all love a good break. It’s the perfect way to reset, recharge, and become a better version of ourselves. Your employees are no exception. 

The best way to make sure you’re making the most of employee breaks? By implementing a break tracking solution.

Keep reading as we dive into the world of break tracking and break down how you can start tracking breaks in your small business—pun intended.

Reduce stress with automated break tracking for your team during every shift with Homebase.



What is break tracking?

Break tracking is the process of documenting when employees take breaks during their work shifts. 

It can refer to tracking breaks for each employee or the team as a whole. Typically with break tracking, you record details such as what time an employee starts and ends their break, the duration of their break, whether it paid or unpaid, and any other shift-related information that might impact the break.

Breaks at work often fall into one of two categories; rest breaks and meal breaks.

  • Rest breaks: Rest breaks are shorter breaks that are designed to help employees regroup and recharge while on the job. Employees might use this time to grab a cup of coffee, catch up on their social media feed, or even just do absolutely nothing. Rest breaks typically range anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes. 
  • Meal breaks: These are typically longer breaks that are designed for employees to enjoy a meal and refuel for the rest of their shift. Most of us might equate meal breaks to lunch breaks, but they can happen at any time of day—especially for shift workers. Meal breaks are often 30 minutes but can sometimes be even longer.

What are the benefits of break tracking?

As a small business, you likely have a to-do list that feels like it’s a mile long (we can relate). Break tracking might feel like an unnecessary task to add to your daily to-do list. But in reality, break tracking can actually save you time, money, and even strengthen the trust and relationship with your team.

Here are a few reasons you’ll want to prioritize employee breaks and break tracking.

Better compliance with break-related labor laws

Break tracking can help you follow the rules in more ways than one.

Whether or not you have to provide your employees with breaks will depend on your local labor laws. Some industries and regulatory bodies may also have additional rules around breaks, for example, for drivers carrying passengers or property. Break tracking can help make sure employees get the breaks they’re entitled to.

For example, in California, you’re required to provide a 30-minute break if a shift lasts over 5 hours. Meanwhile, Maryland’s Shift Break law for retail businesses says that a 15-minute break is required for a shift lasting 4-6 hours. You’ll need to provide a 30-minute break for shifts lasting more than 6 consecutive hours and a second break if the shift lasts longer than 8 hours. 

While there are no federal laws around providing breaks, there are important rules when it comes to paying (or not paying) for them. 

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, shorter breaks under 20 minutes are considered compensable work hours, which means employees need to be paid for that time. But longer breaks and meal times are not considered work hours and employees don’t need to be paid for longer breaks.

By break tracking, you’ll know exactly how long each break is, so you can pay your team properly. Plus, you’ll be following the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) rules, which require you to store time cards—including breaks—for up to 4 years.

Break breakdown: This handy chart from the U.S. Department of Labor breaks down the mealtime and break rules by state.

Faster and stress-free payroll

Payroll can feel like a bit of a headache even in the best of circumstances. Toss in a bunch of paid and unpaid breaks and you might find yourself needing to take your own break.

33% of employers make payroll errors every year. And error-prone manual calculations are a surefire way to become a part of that statistic. When you’re not tracking breaks, you’re left guesstimating or manually calculating the unpaid and paid break hours for each of your employees. Or even worse, you might find yourself accidentally paying employees for unpaid breaks which can cost you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars every year.

By tracking breaks with an online time clock, you can automatically calculate the exact number of working hours, paid breaks, and unpaid breaks—no math required. So when payday rolls around, paying your team is easy and stress-free.

Less surprise labor costs

Labor costs are often one of the biggest expenses for small businesses. Staying on top of your labor costs is key, and that includes—you guessed it—tracking employee breaks.

Breaks might feel like a small part of your payroll expenses, but even a few minutes here or there can add up quickly. The last thing you want is to realize that you’ve racked up hundreds of dollars in missed unpaid breaks, accidentally overpaid for a break, or employees have accidentally gone into overtime. Break tracking eliminates these less-than-ideal surprises on payday. 

You’ll also have a record of exactly when each employee clocks in and out for their breaks. So you can easily catch intentional and accidental time theft, like extra-long paid breaks or unauthorized skipped breaks.

Breaks made simple: Easily store time card data and track paid and unpaid breaks with Homebase breaks.

Improved employee experience and productivity

Paid and even unpaid breaks can feel like a dent in your bottom line. But breaks are actually a win-win for both you and your team.

A survey found that 88% of employees say they return to work feeling refreshed and energized after a break. Even if breaks aren’t mandated in your area, regular employee breaks can go a long way in improving employee happiness and productivity. And of course, we know that happy employees are more likely to stick around, reducing employee turnover

Implementing break tracking makes sure that employees never miss a hard-earned break and are getting paid properly for their time. It’s also a great way to keep your employees accountable for their working hours and build trust within your team.

What is break waiving or break waivers?

Break waiving is when an employee chooses to waive or not take a break—even when they’re entitled to one. 

Employees may choose to skip a break themselves or they might do so at the request of their employer. Break waiving can happen for many reasons. An employee may want to skip a meal break so they can earn an extra 30 minutes of wages. Or an employer may request an employee skip their break to cover an unexpectedly busy shift. 

Each state has different rules regarding break waivers. For example, according to the California Labor Code, breaks can only be waived if the work period is shorter than 6 hours. They can also only be waived if you and your employee both agree, AKA you can ask an employee to waive their break, but you can’t force them to.

Just make sure to document all instances of break waiving, just in case you’re ever audited. It’s a simple step to help you stay compliant. Documented break waivers serve as a paper trail proving that you’ve offered mandatory breaks and the instances where you’ve mutually agreed to waive them.

How to track employee breaks

Break tracking is a no-brainer for most businesses. So how can you get you and your team started?

Here are some steps to help you get started with tracking breaks.

1. Implement a break tracking system

Break tracking is simple—if you have the tools to do it. And while you could go old-school and manually track breaks with a time-tracking spreadsheet, we know you can do better.

One of the best ways to do this is by using a time clock. Time clock apps, like Homebase, make it easy for employees to track their breaks and for you to review them. All your team needs to do is punch in when they start and finish their breaks and the software does the rest!

The best time clocks can even help you automate employee schedules and breaks. Some can even help you set break rules, so you can calculate paid and unpaid breaks automatically. 

2.  Create an employee break policy

Creating new employee policies can feel a bit like you’re being the work police. But it’s less about rules and more about keeping everyone on the same page. 

Your break policy should include details such as:

  • When employees are entitled to breaks
  • When breaks are optional or mandatory
  • Which breaks are paid or unpaid
  • How breaks are scheduled
  • How employees are expected to track their breaks
  • How employees should communicate when they’re taking their breaks
  • Rules for waiving breaks

But don’t just stick a copy of the policies on the wall and call it a day. Make sure to take the time to clearly communicate the benefits of break tracking with your team, so everyone is on board.

3. Create employee break schedules

Scheduling employee breaks ahead of time isn’t always necessary, but it can go a long way in making sure that you have the right coverage and that everyone gets a chance to take their break. 

The last thing you want is to have everyone on break at the same time, or worse—run out of time to give employees their breaks.

4. Review breaks and employee hours

Once you have your team on the break-tracking train, it’s time to keep an eye on the reports. Are employees taking their breaks? Are they taking breaks when they’re supposed to? 

Are there better times for employees to take breaks based on your sales forecasts?

If you set it and forget it, you won’t reap all the rewards of break tracking. Reviewing employee breaks from time to time can help you make sure employees are following policies and optimize them.

Reviewing your employee breaks can help with workforce planning, managing labor costs, and even improving the customer experience.

Break tracking done right with Homebase

Ready to start tracking break time better? Homebase’s all-in-one employee management software and time clock can help you track breaks with ease.

  • Track breaks from (almost) any device: Homebase’s mobile time clock app means employees can clock in and out from their breaks with almost any iOS, Android, or POS device.
  • Create employee schedules in just a few clicks: Auto-schedule employee working hours and breaks based on their availability, sales forecasts, and labor costs.
  • Turn breaks into timesheets and payroll: Automatically turn breaks and hours worked into timesheets, so running (accurate) payroll is a breeze.
  • Stay compliant with break laws: Break waivers are available on the Homebase Plus and All-in-one plans. Set break rules right within the app so your team never misses a break—and you never break the law. Homebase tracks all taken and waived breaks, so you have documentation and never are at risk for compliance issues.

Reduce stress with automated break tracking for your team every shift with Homebase.

 

Autumn Statement 2023: What it means for your business

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Autumn Statement 2023: What it means for your business

The 2023 Autumn Statement contained a slew of measures to support businesses, and even claimed “the biggest business tax cut in history”.

But the measures provoked mixed reactions from small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) owners and advisers, who feel the government should do more to support small firms.

In this article, we talk about the measures announced by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and what they mean for your business.

Here’s what we cover:

Full expensing made permanent

At the Spring Budget 2023, the government introduced two temporary first-year allowances, enabling businesses to offset investment in items such as equipment and machinery against tax at a higher than usual rate.

For qualifying expenditure incurred between April 2023 and‌ April‌‌‌ 2026, companies can claim a 100% first-year allowance for main rate expenditure – known as full expensing – and 50% for special rate expenditure.

These allowances are in addition to the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA), set at £1m. The Autumn Statement made both first-year allowances permanent from 2026/27.

The chancellor hailed this as the biggest business tax cut in modern history, adding that his complete package of measures will help increase business investment by around 1% of gross domestic product (GDP).

Most commentators agree this change will give companies greater confidence to invest.

Adrian Young, a tax partner at accounting and business advisory firm Hurst, says: “Making full relief for capital expenditure permanent is welcome.

“It will help businesses plan for capital investment, and offset that cost against their tax quickly.”

However, Adam Owens, director of tax advisory at Xeinadin Group, says full expensing predominantly favours larger corporations as the AIA already covers most small businesses.

He says: “This ignores the specific needs of small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy and a major catalyst for growth and innovation.”

Chris Denning, corporate and international tax partner at MHA, adds: “The UK’s business investment is low compared to the G7. The Super Deduction, a similar measure to full capital expensing, has not done much to revive this investment.

“We need to fix this investment level and full capital expensing is not a silver bullet, so it needs to form part of a long-term plan for business taxation.”

Chris Campbell, head of tax at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), says it’s a complex area of tax planning.

He says businesses should seek advice immediately when planning capital expenditures rather than waiting until the end of the tax year, as tax factors may affect the decision.

For example, full expensing is only available on new items. If you bought a new truck but had to wait several weeks for it to arrive, it may not be worth the tax relief compared to the business benefits of getting a used truck that’s on the road immediately, says Chris.

R&D reforms

The system of corporation tax reliefs for research and development (R&D) will simplify and change from April 2024. The R&D Expenditure Credit and R&D Tax Relief for SMEs schemes will merge.

Plus, the threshold in additional support for R&D intensive loss-making SMEs will also reduce from 40% to 30%, bringing around 5,000 more businesses into scope for this relief.

Susan Cattell, head of tax technical policy at ICAS, welcomes the merged scheme.

She says: “A simpler, single scheme will be easier for companies to deal with, reducing the scope for error and, alongside other compliance measures, limiting opportunities for abuse.

“But the start date of April 2024 is too soon. We would have preferred more time for consultation.

“There will also be complexity arising from the additional relief for R&D intensive SMEs, which was only introduced from April 2023, but will change from April 2024.”

Jay Bhatti, R&D senior tax manager at MHA, says this reform has “short-changed SMEs”.

He says the unified scheme does nothing to fix critical flaws with the UK’s system, especially for SMEs who find gaining the relief not worth the effort involved.

Also many complain it is skewed towards financial technology firms in the South East, says Jay.

Chris Campbell says this is another complex area, so SMEs wishing to claim R&D relief should take appropriate advice.

“[The] measures are just one step in the journey,” says Chris. “For example, there are some other recent changes to the R&D regime.

“And there may be more to come in the Spring Budget. There’s a lot to think about.”

Business rates

To support small businesses and the high street, for 2024/25 the government will freeze the small business multiplier in England on business rates for a fourth consecutive year.

It will also extend the current Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Relief for eligible businesses.

Tina McKenzie says: “Business rates are one of the worst taxes small firms face. Thousands of pubs, cafes and small shops in high streets will be pleased with this support.”

Cash basis changes for self-employed and partnerships

Cash basis will become the default accounting practice for those who are self-employed along with partnerships, rather than accrual accounting for 2024/25 onwards. This will begin from 6 April 2024,

The move follows a consultation first announced during the 2023 Spring Budget, which closed earlier in the year. The outcome promises to make it “easier for small businesses as they set up and grow”.

Cash basis will be the default option for calculating taxable profit (this is currently the accrual basis). If they wish to adopt the accrual method, partnerships and those who are self-employed will have to opt-out of using cash basis.

As well as this, the limits for applying cash basis will be completely abolished.

Currently there’s an ‘entry threshold’ of £150,000, i.e. turnover must be below £150,000 in order to join the scheme, and an ‘exit threshold’ of £300,000, i.e. once the business hits £300,000 turnover it must stop using the scheme.

From April 2024, these limits will no longer exist, meaning the self-employed and partners can use cash basis regardless of their turnover.

The chancellor added that the changes will be “included in the Autumn Finance Bill 2023”.

Making Tax Digital updates

The chancellor confirmed that those who are self-employed and on lower incomes won’t have to adhere to Making Tax Digital for Income Tax Self Assessment (MTD for ITSA) rules in the near future.

The legislation comes into effect from April 2026 for the self-employed and landlords whose income is more than £50k, and April 2027 for those earning more than £30k. However, anyone earning less than £30k will remain exempt from MTD for ITSA.

But this could change in the future.

The requirement to complete an End of Period Statement as part of MTD for ITSA is being removed as a separate requirement. Instead, it will be incorporated into the Final Declaration process.

In addition:

  • Foster carers and those who can’t get a National Insurance number will be exempt from MTD
  • The government will seek to find a solution for any taxpayers who are represented by more than one tax agent
  • Joint landlords won’t have to submit quarterly updates of their expenses
  • The design of quarterly updates will be improved by making them cumulative in nature – that means taxpayers won’t be required to make amends to previous quarters.

The chancellor added: “The government is also legislating in the Autumn Finance Bill 2023 to ensure taxpayers, who join MTD from 6 April 2024, are subject to the government’s new, fairer penalty regime for the late filing of tax returns and late payment of tax.”

Construction Industry Scheme reform

Following a consultation earlier in 2023, the government is introducing reforms to the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS).

This includes:

  • Adding VAT as part of the Gross Payment Scheme (GPS) compliance test
  • Providing more power to HMRC to remove GPS where there are cases of fraud
  • Simplifications to other areas of the CIS, “subject to technical consultation”.

National Insurance changes

The chancellor announced that from 6 January 2024, Class 1 employee National Insurance contributions (NICs) will be cut from 12% to 10%.

Meanwhile, Class 2 self-employed NICs are to be abolished altogether and Class 4 NICs cut from 9% to 8%. Both come into effect from April 2024.

This simplifies NICs for the self-employed and will benefit two million people, with an average saving of more than £350 a year.

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) welcomes these changes. But they may not be enough to regain support from the self-employed after support gaps during Covid and implementation of the off-payroll working rules, which negatively impacted hundreds of thousands, it says.

Adam Owens, director of tax advisory at Xeinadin Group, adds that the NIC savings “sound great” but the government is continuing to freeze income tax personal thresholds until 2027/28.

He adds that with high inflation, that freeze has caused an effective tax hike for self-employed people, so the chancellor is “robbing Peter to pay Paul”.

Analysis shows the cuts to employed and self-employed NICs will cost the government £9bn annually, compared to the £50bn a year it’s expected to make from freezing income tax and NIC thresholds.

HMRC says you should start preparing for the changes to NICs with your payroll software provider now.

Minimum wage increases

From 1‌‌‌ April‌‌‌ 2024, the National Living Wage will increase by 9.8%, from £10.42 to £11.44 an hour for eligible workers aged 21 and over. This minimum wage will apply to those aged 21 and 22 for the first time.

Young people and apprentices on the National Minimum Wage will also receive an increase to £6.40 an hour.

Adrian Owens highlights that National Minimum Wage levels have doubled in cash terms since 2010. This is a positive move but, as it’s wholly employer-funded, it will add pressure on businesses struggling with other inflationary issues, he says.

Rob Jones, founder of RJF Accounting, says: “The rise in the National Living Wage is substantial and necessitates a closer look at your cost structures and budgeting for potential increases in labour expenses.”

Tackling late payments

Alongside actions to tackle late payments through the Prompt Payment and Cash Flow Review, the government will now require more stringent payment times for firms bidding on large government contracts.

The chancellor said: “From April 2024, firms bidding for government contracts over £5m will have to demonstrate they pay their own invoices within an average of 55 days, tightening to 45 days in April 2025, and to 30 days in the coming years.”

Tina McKenzie, policy chair at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), says: “The chancellor is right to condemn the scourge of late payments.

“Driving out the worst payers from government contracts and increasing the reputational risk faced by large corporates who use small suppliers for free credit will lessen the stress so many business owners face.

“It will also increase the working capital they can use to grow.”

Funding support measures

The chancellor announced several funding support measures for business, including:

  • £4.5bn for auto, aerospace, life sciences and clean energy manufacturing from 2025/26 for five years
  • £16m more for Made Smarter Adoption, which supports manufacturing SMEs using advanced digital technologies
  • £500m over the next two years to the AI compute capacity programme
  • £50m for a two-year apprenticeship pilot.

Investment zones and freeports

The government extended tax reliefs available in freeports and in its investment zones programme from five years to 10 years.

It announced four new investment zones in West Midlands, East Midlands, Greater Manchester, and Wrexham and Flintshire.

There will also be a £150m Investment Opportunity Fund to support investment zones and freeports.

Business advisers broadly welcomed these initiatives and encouraged SMEs to assess how you could use them to foster growth and innovation.

Extension of Enterprise Investment Schemes and Venture Capital Trusts

The government will extend the existing sunset clauses for the Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS) and Venture Capital Trusts (VCT) from 6 April 2025 to 6 April 2035.

Nicholas Hyett, investment manager at Wealth Club, says: “The extension of the VCT and EIS sunset clauses is good news for two schemes that have supported billions of pounds worth of investment into UK startups.

“It removes uncertainty that has been lingering over the sector for some time, potentially putting off new entrants and new investors.

“It is a shame the sunset clause hasn’t been abolished altogether – which would have avoided more uncertainty in a decade’s time.”

Final thoughts on the 2023 Autumn Statement

Some last-minute positive news on the economy gave the chancellor more room for manoeuvre in this statement than many expected.

So some measures surprised on the upside, but the statement still left the SME sector wanting more overall.

With so many changes, and potentially more to come in spring 2024, you need to analyse the impact on your business carefully and take prompt action where necessary.

This should enable you to plan to benefit from some of the more positive measures, and mitigate the less welcome ones.

NomuPay, formed out of Wirecard’s ashes, acquires Total Processing for tooling and customer service

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NomuPay, formed out of Wirecard’s ashes, acquires Total Processing for tooling and customer service

NomuPay — the payments startup that was formed out of some of the healthier pieces of the dramatically failed fintech Wirecard — has made an acquisition as it continues on its trajectory of better economies of scale. It has picked up Total Processing, a startup out of Manchester that builds payment processing solutions for functions like recurring payments, risk management, PCI (data security) compliance and payment integrations.

NomuPay is paying around $35 million for Total Processing, and says that the total value of the company is now $135 million.

For some context on that number, Total Processing appears not to have disclosed any outside funding since being founded in 2015.

Dublin-based NomuPay announced earlier this year that it had raised $53.6 million in funding, and PitchBook estimated that the startup was valued at just under $172 million in September 2022. NomuPay says PitchBook’s estimate is inaccurate and that “valuation has consistently been on the up,” according to NomuPay’s CEO Peter Burridge.

That is an important point, given how many down-rounds and write downs there have been in the tech industry in the last year.

NomuPay up to now has been focusing on acquiring or buying licenses to manage payments in Southeast Asia, Europe, Turkey and longer term the Middle East. But Burridge told TechCrunch that he sees Total Processing as an opportunity to add in more tooling around that basic payments feature, as well as customer services for its business users.

“No one drives a car without a spare tire,” he said of the deal and how it widens the funnel for what NomuPay can offer to its customers. “The value proposition is that Total Processing has this tech stack that is all about solving merchant pain. And it’s a consultative sell as well. You will never get an answer from a real person at Stripe or Adyen. You don’t talk to anyone.”

The plan will be to continue scaling Total Processing now to expand into more markets, starting with Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. Total Processing itself was most active in the UK and United Arab Emirates and so NomuPay will be leveraging that to expand its own footprint. Neither company has disclosed how many customers they have, nor turnover (that is, revenues).

M&A is coming up as a very viable option for a number of startups that might have interesting underlying business and technology, but are struggling to close rounds at terms that make sense to them yet might need more runway to operate or grow. It’s a buyers and backers market right now.

Consolidation also has been a longstanding theme in fintech that precedes the current funding downturn. Margins remain thin for many digital payments services — not least because of the many stakeholders involved looking for a cut — and so combining forces for better economies of scale over wider geographies, or by offering a fuller stack of services to customers, is a no-brainer.

Omega Seiki Mobility Opens Service Centre In Delhi-NCR

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Omega Seiki Mobility Opens Service Centre In Delhi-NCR

EV maker Omega Seiki Mobility on Thursday announced the setting up of its first company-owned-company-operated service centre in Delhi-NCR and said it is looking to have a total of four such facilities by 2025 with an investment of Rs 40 crore.

The 24/7 facility, which will cater to all types of OSM vehicles — passenger as well commercial — is aimed at addressing the urgent service needs of EVs, especially during night hours, the company said.

OSM said it has 190 dealerships across India, which besides sales also offer service support to its EVs and the COCO facility will help these dealerships as well.

This state-of-the-art service centre will also be a training ground for the existing 15 dealerships across the National Capital Region to improve the service infrastructure in accordance with the increasing product line-up every year.

“We have inaugurated our first company-owned-company-operated service centre in Delhi NCR. The facility will not only focus on repairs but also on training, development of engineers, and educating customers about EVs. We intend to enhance the overall image of the EV industry and build a positive ecosystem,” Omega Seiki Mobility Chairman and Managing Director Uday Narang told PTI.

Initially these facilities, Narang said, are planned for major cities like Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai as well and then expanding to more cities based on the response and needs, he said, adding, “we are expecting to have around four service centres by 2025.”

The company has invested Rs 10 crore in the COCO service centre in Delhi-NCR and similar investments will be made in each of the upcoming centres, he said.

Spread across 30,000 square feet, the facility is equipped with seven service bays with capacity to service over 3,000 vehicles annually, the company said.

The service centre takes a sustainable approach by being green energy-powered, OSM said, adding that this eco-friendly initiative aligns with the global push towards sustainability.

39 Emotions Digital Marketers Can Use In Advertising

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39 Emotions Digital Marketers Can Use In Advertising

In a previous article, How To Make A Video Go Viral, I mentioned research that shows videos that evoked the emotion of hilarity, inspiration, astonishment, and exhilaration tended to be shared the most. People shared videos that elicited “high-arousal” or intense emotions twice as much as ones that elicited “low-arousal” or moderate emotions.”

For the past few months, I’ve been searching for a new way to categorize emotions and I stumbled across a post on LinkedIn that said, “Here it is! The DAIVID Field Guide to Emotions in Advertising with each of the DAIVID 39 emotions.”

The LinkedIn post said,

“As every good creative knows, make people feel something and it will have an effect on brand and sales.”

So, I downloaded their field guide and read all 56 pages in one sitting – like a whodunit. It even opens with a killer quotation by Jonathan Haidt,

“The rational mind thinks it’s the Oval Office when actually it’s the press office.”

The field guide draws from research conducted at the University of California, Berkeley; Stanford University; and the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science at the University of South Australia.

The field guide categorizes 39 emotions into 6 “emotional cohorts”  and acknowledges,

“Emotions in advertising are nothing new. Intuitively, gifted storytellers have taken us through lows and highs to make us feel good and well disposed towards brands through the years.”

It explains, “What we have lacked up to this point though, is a clear codification. Whether something is ’emotional’ or not has often been decided subjectively and with the poor emotional lexicon that we humans have.”

And it concludes, “That’s why we have the DAIVID 39, which gives us a common language to communicate this through the advertising process and brief with feeling.”

So, here is the all-important language that digital marketers can use to define and, therefore, replicate advertising success through emotion.

39 Emotions Digital Marketer’s Can Use In Advertising

Empathy

According to the DAIVID Field Guide to Emotions in Advertising, there are 11 emotions in the Empathy cohort that digital marketers can put on their palette when creating a campaign:

  • Admiration: A feeling of profound respect or approval.
  • Calmness: To be free from agitation, excitement, or disturbance.
  • Empathetic pain: A specific variant of empathy that involves recognizing and understanding another person’s pain.
  • Gratitude: an expression of grateful thanks and appreciation for benefits received.
  • Hope: An audacious desire accompanied by the expectation of, or belief in, fulfilling it.
  • Pride: Complex with definitions such as self-esteem and satisfaction in oneself, pleasure that comes from an association, relationship, or achievement, or a feeling of solidarity.
  • Relief: The removal or alleviation of something oppressive, painful, or distressing.
  • Sadness: An expression of grief or unhappiness.
  • Satisfaction: The fulfillment of a strongly desired need or want.
  • Trust: The extent to which a person or thing is accurate, honest, safe, and dependable.
  • Warmth: The quality or state of being warm in feeling.

The field guide includes a link to a video, “seen in the wild,” for each emotion. And that will certainly help if digital marketers are unclear about the definition of an emotion.

But I looked for videos that I’d seen, which I could use to illustrate the creative effectiveness of “Empathy.” And I didn’t need binoculars.

In Google Analytics 4 Should Trigger Reorganizations & Agency Reviews, near the end of the article, I said digital marketers could use YouTube’s Director Mix to create customized videos at scale, swapping out different elements to tailor content to specific audiences.

As an example, I mentioned that Mondelēz India had designed its Not Just a Cadbury Ad Campaign Video employing YouTube Pin Code Targeting, YouTube Director’s Mix, and Google Maps API.

This enabled the brand to produce thousands of customized AI-generated ads for 270 pin codes across 8 cities. This hyper-localized campaign helped 1,800 local retailers grab business during Diwali in a global pandemic.

The campaign delivered incredible business results, including doubling the sales for the retailers featured in the ads and over 32% more business growth than they’d forecast.

What I didn’t mention back then was the name of Mondelēz International’s strategy: “Empathy at scale.”

So, “Empathy” made people feel something, which influenced branding and sales.

Approach

According to the field guide, there are 11 emotions in the Approach cohort:

  • Adoration: A state of deep love and respect.
  • Aesthetic appreciation: The enjoyment of something because of its beauty or some other factor associated with aesthetic preference.
  • Amusement: Something pleasantly entertaining or diverting.
  • Entrancement: The feeling of being carried away with delight, wonder, or rapture.
  • Craving: An intense, urgent, or abnormal desire or longing.
  • Inspiration: The state or power of moving the intellect or emotions.
  • Interest: A feeling that accompanies special attention to a person or thing. It engages attention and stimulates further observation.
  • Joy: To experience intense pleasure or delight evoked by well-being, good fortune, or by the prospect of owning what one desires.
  • Knowledge: The condition of knowing something gained through experience.
  • Nostalgia: A sentimental longing or wistful affection for some past period or irrecoverable condition.
  • Romance: A feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love.

Yes, there’s a link to a video, “seen in the wild,” for each of these emotions.

However, I didn’t need a spotting scope to find examples of different approaches that have generated measurable outcomes. Let me highlight a recent one.

In 10 YouTube Marketing Strategies & Tips (With Examples), I included an example of inspiring video content of the UAE’s tourist experiences, cultural events, and enjoyable adventures.

It was created for the second season of the World’s Coolest Winter campaign and entitled A Winter Through My Eyes.

The short documentary film asks, “Can a country be truly enjoyed by someone who cannot see?” It tells the story of Clara, an 11-year-old Lebanese girl who has been visually impaired since birth.

Now, this award-winning video got 8.9 million views, which is remarkable – because the World’s Coolest Winter is primarily a domestic tourism campaign, and the UAE has a population of about 10 million, which is equivalent to the population of Michigan.

But it’s worth noting that the campaign helped to:

  • Increase hotel revenues in the UAE to AED1.5 billion, a 50% upsurge over the previous year.
  • Boost the number of domestic tourists to 1.3 million, a 36% jump over the campaign’s first season.
  • Raise hotel occupancy rates to 73% in 2022, a 7% gain over 66% in 2021.

So, this “Approach” not only made people feel something, but it also influenced branding and sales.

Positive Adrenaline

According to the field guide, there are four emotions in the Positive Adrenaline cohort:

  • Awe: Variously combines dread, veneration, and wonder that authority, the sacred, or sublime inspires.
  • Excitement: A feeling of great enthusiasm, eagerness, or thrill.
  • Sexual Desire: A physical attraction and desire for physical intimacy.
  • Surprise: The response to an unexpected or astonishing event.

I haven’t written about the following case study before, but I’ve used it in the class I teach on “Engaging Audiences Through Content” at the New Media Academy in Dubai. It consists of two videos.

The first is entitled, See you at Dubai Expo | Emirates and now has 5.3 million views and 87,800 engagements.

The second video is entitled We did it again | Emirates. This video takes a behind-the-scenes look at how Emirates took its A380 for a spin around the Burj Khalifa for the making of its new advertisement.

This video now has 13.9 million views and 211,000 engagements.

So, these videos made people feel something. But did they also influence branding and sales?

Well, Expo Dubai, the first event of its size and scale held since the start of the global pandemic, recorded over 24 million visits and was hailed as a tremendous success.

A couple of months after its videos went viral, Emirates Group announced that revenue increased by 86% over the previous year, with strong customer demand as worldwide travel restrictions eased.

Correlation or causation? You be the judge.

Negative Adrenaline, Primal Urges, And Rejection

Now, you may not want to put the last 13 emotions on your palette when creating a campaign, but you should be able to identify them if you see them in the wild:

  • Fear: An unpleasant, often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger.
  • Horror: A painful and intense dread, fear, or repugnance.
  • Anger: A strong feeling of displeasure and usually of antagonism.
  • Awkwardness: A feeling of discomfort or being out of place in response to a situation.
  • Disgust: A strong feeling of dislike aroused by something highly distasteful.
  • Embarrassment: A feeling of shame, self-consciousness, or awkwardness.
  • Guilt: A feeling of deserving blame for offenses committed by yourself or others.
  • Shame: An uncomfortable feeling of guilt because of your own or someone else’s immoral behavior.
  • Anxiety: An apprehensive uneasiness over an impending or anticipated harm.
  • Boredom: Being weary and restless through lack of interest.
  • Confusion: Uncertainty about what is happening, intended, or required.
  • Contempt: Despising someone or something.
  • Distrust: To doubt the honesty or reliability of a person or thing.

Yes, I know that Halloween has just been held again, and some people enjoy watching horror movies.

But you should think twice before using any of the negative emotions in these last three emotional cohorts.

Why? There are three key reasons:

  • The field guide says, “Generally, it’s advisable for … brands to leave us with a positive emotion.”
  • According to a recent article in Think with Google, 7 in 10 people say they try to be optimistic despite the latest political, ecological, and economic news.
  • As Yoda says, “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

So, there you have it: A digital marketer’s palette of 39 emotions to use – or avoid using – in advertising.

Disclaimer: All statistics not linked are from a gated Tubular Labs report.

More resources: 


Featured Image: Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock

Amazon Takes On Microsoft And Google With James Bond-Inspired AI Chatbot ‘Q’ – Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN)

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Amazon Takes On Microsoft And Google With James Bond-Inspired AI Chatbot ‘Q’ – Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN)

In a move aimed at revolutionizing business operations and challenging tech giants like Microsoft and Google in the productivity software domain, Amazon AMZN has introduced a new artificial intelligence chatbot named Q.

Amazon announced the launch of Q, an artificial intelligence chatbot for businesses, at the company’s Web Services’ Reinvent conference in Las Vegas, according to a CNBC report. Named after a popular character from the James Bond movies and the Star Trek series, Q is currently available in a preview version, with several features accessible free of charge.

Following the preview period, Amazon will offer a business tier of the software costing $20 per user per month. A version with additional features tailored for developers and IT workers will be available at $25 per user per month. Initially, the chatbot will assist users in understanding the capabilities of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and troubleshooting issues.

See Also: How To Take The Perfect Moon Shot Using An iPhone 15

Users can communicate with Q through apps like Salesforce‘s Slack and software developers’ text-editing applications, according to Adam Selipsky, CEO of AWS. Q will also be incorporated into AWS’s online Management Console.

Steven Dickens, vice president and practice leader at the Futurum Group, remarked, “AWS Q will be a game changer for AWS customers who have a plethora of service options, oftentimes overlapping to navigate.”

Read Next: Apple Calls Off Credit Card Tie-Up With Goldman Sachs, Sets 12-15 Month Timeline For Split: WSJ

Image via Shutterstock


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