Archive for the ‘Expense’ tag
A big win for healthcare expense-tracking platform Simplee, fresh off its $6 million Series A from earlier this month: the company is now announcing a partnership with top HSA provider in the U.S. ACS (a Xerox company). This is the first major HSA partner for Simpleee, which now introduces its service to ACS|BNY Mellon’s The HSA Solution’s 800,000 members.
While perhaps not as exciting as a brand-new, Instagram-like Facebook Photos app (I’m so downloading that), Simplee is one of those companies solving a real-world challenge that has a big impact on our lives: health care expense management. The company takes a consumer-friendly angle to the problem with its service, which helps patients track their bills and payments, while also visualizing, in something of a Mint.com-like style, what their current situation looks like.
The dashboard shows things like total costs, how much you’ve paid out-of-pocket, your deductible, how many doctor visits you’ve had, and more.
For doctors and insurance companies, the service also helps them get paid faster, because it integrates bill payment on the site itself. A forthcoming feature will automatically spot billing errors, too, which will further reduce issues surrounding the bill payment process.
As for ACS’ The HSA Solution, it’s the most frequently selected HSA product in the U.S. by employers and individuals, and is now the largest administrator of HSAs in the country, based on the number of consumer accounts. Members on The HSA Solution will be able to review, track and pay their medical claims and bills from all insurance providers, including health, PBMs (pharmacy benefit management), dental, and vision insurance carriers, through a co-branded single sign-on portal. As with Simplee’s direct solution, things are simplified (get it? Simplee?) for end users, allowing them to read plain language benefits and claims explanations, get notifications about their deductible usage, track their historical spending and very soon, be alerted to billing errors, as noted above.
This partnership is going to allow Simplee to scale its service significantly, and is the first of many still in the pipeline. Stay tuned.
"But I am never going to optimize short-term revenue at the expense of user experience or long-term…"
“But I am never going to optimize short-term revenue at the expense of user experience or long-term goals. If people think we are going about this too cautiously, they can think that and I don’t care.” - Dick Costolo, Twitter CEO, cited by Michael Copeland via Wired love @dickc’s clarity about what’s important (via bijan)
- Dick Costolo, Twitter CEO, cited by Michael Copeland via Wired
love @dickc’s clarity about what’s important
When I was growing up, my dad had this yellow legal pad that sat right by the door. When he walked in at night, he wrote down numbers and codes.
JCF – $12
JSM – $42
CCCl – $37
I didn’t understand at the time, but the numbers were daily expenses (rounded up to the nearest dollar), and the codes were tags for which member of the family he was spending on, and the type of spending he was doing. Try as he might to teach me the way of the budget code, I just can’t get in the habit. But you know what I’m in the habit of doing every day (no matter how grudgingly)?
And that’s exactly what expense-tracking webapp The Birdy is banking on.
TheBirdy sends you an email a day, to which you reply with a list of your daily expenses with tags (#lunch, #clothes, #date, etc.) and it does the rest for you. All your spending is tracked and recorded, and most importantly, organized for you.
The service is also integrated with text messaging if email grates away at your will to live like it does me.
The only issue is having to remember your purchases. Obviously, offerings like Mint take care of that for you by doing everything automatically, but not everyone is comfortable letting a third-party into the back-end of their financial services.
A free membership will get you expense tracking and recording, along with fancy graphs. $5/month or $39.95/year gets you budgets, income tracking, and recurring events.
Telecom expense management (TEM) solutions company Xigo, which Greg likened to a Billshrink for large companies, has been acquired by one of its partners, IT services and solutions provider Dimension Data for an undisclosed sum.
Dimension Data says the acquisition of Xigo, formerly known as Invoice Insight, will enable them to offer enterprise customers an integrated cost optimization solution for spend analysis, sourcing, provisioning and invoice processing.
The company adds that it will focus on increasing Xigo’s market share in the United States and roll out the services to other countries “over time”.
Dave Spofford, CEO of Xigo, will continue to lead the Xigo team and report to Dimension Data’s Americas CEO Jere Brown.
Marketing is a powerful tool to building business. It can warm up cold calls, inform potential customers, persuade clients to take action and grab attention of prospects.
But marketing, without measurement, has no accountablity.
- Do you track leads? Great. But what about the quality of the leads?
- Do you track conversions? Great. But what about the time it takes for a conversion?
Today’s infographic, from Marketo.com, provides some do’s and don’ts for measurement.
Hat tip: Dialing 8 project
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In her decision not to grant Apple a preliminary injunction against Samsung, US judge Lucy Koh stated that her decision was grounded in part on the fact that Samsung’s sales were unlikely to tempt Apple’s customers and instead come at the expense of other Android makers.
Jim Burns from Avitage recently asked me a question.
The answer is no…no almost across the board. Marketers view spending on content marketing as an expense. This is something we as marketing professionals have to change.
First some questions.
What Is an Asset?
According to Investopedia, an asset is “a resource with economic value that …a corporation… owns or controls with the expectation that it will provide future benefit.”
Assets, like a house or a stock investment, is a purchase that can increase in value over time.
Traditionally, marketing spend has been viewed as an expense. Take advertising for example: We create the ad and distribute it over a fixed time, then it’s over. Hopefully that expense has been transferred into some brand value or direct sales exchange, but the event itself is over.
Content marketing is different and needs to be viewed and treated differently.
Acquiring the Asset of Content
For whatever your goals, whether they be direct sales goals, lead generation goals, search engine optimization tactics or social media tactics, you are spending more money on content acquisition and distribution. In our soon-to-be-released content marketing study, six of 10 marketing professionals are increasing their investment in content marketing (less than 5% are decreasing investment).
For that reason alone, we need to think differently about acquiring content assets.
Yes, you are not acquiring content expenses.
Thinking Like a Publisher
We are all publishers, and that means thinking differently about content.
When you invest in a video, a podcast, or a white paper, those pieces of content create value for you in a couple ways.
- The finished content can be engaged in over a long period of time. It has shelf life. That means the content creates value long after the investment is paid off (fitting the definition of an asset). The easiest example is for search engine optimization. One blog post can deliver returns for years after production.
- Content can and should be reimagined/repurposed. You may start by investing in a video, but at the end of the year, that one video may result in 10 videos, five blog posts, two podcasts and 30 sales tools fit for different levels of buying cycle.
How Does This Thinking Help?
Thinking in these terms will help you in a couple ways:
- If you treat content in this way, the executives in your organization will stop treating content as that “soft, fluffy thing” that they can take or leave. Every meeting or conversation you have, use the word “asset”. Live it. It will start to rub off and will gain importance in the company.
- By thinking this way, you will be more active in marketing the asset. I heard a story recently about a company that invested $30,000 USD in a white paper and received one download. Sounds like a marketing problem, not necessarily a content problem. Would you plan to sell your house but not tell anyone about it? A lot of organizations do that with their content. Make sure it’s not you.
We need to elevate the practice of content marketing. This will help get us there. Please do your part!
Image courtesy of Shutterstock
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