If Giants’ front office is convinced by team’s success, Zaidi can’t trade Bumgarner

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — If the Giants truly believe they can shock the rest of baseball and storm their way into the playoffs, then Madison Bumgarner isn’t going anywhere.There’s no doubting the significance of what Bumgarner means to the franchise, where he stands in the club’s storied history and how much his postseason performances resonate with Giants fans.But for the first two months of the season, there was concern over what type of value a free agent-to-be held on a team that appeared destined …last_img read more

Genes Attack the Trees

first_imgEvolutionary tree-building (11/14/2005) is a tangled business.  Now that scientists can compare genomes of diverse animals, they can compare the resulting molecular evolutionary trees with traditional ones – those produced by inferring relationships based on outward (morphological) characteristics of living or fossil organisms.  What happens when the trees don’t match?    Two recent studies, both reported by Science Daily, have demonstrated that molecular-based trees, to be believed, require uprooting long-standing morphologically-based evolutionary trees.Iguanas Promoted:  A “radical reorganization” of the tree of reptiles was reported by Science Daily based on work by two Penn State biologists.  Iguanas, for instance, had long been placed near the bottom of the tree due to their “primitive” appearance.  Now, the molecular tree graduates them to the top.  The new study compared 19 genomes from all the major reptile lineages.  So many anomalies were found, the researchers had to invent entirely new categories of classification.  In addition, most of the branches appeared to start early and remain relatively unchanged over vast periods of time.  Toxic venom, for example, was thought to be a recent innovation, but now appears rooted at the time of the earliest dinosaurs.  Reptiles with two egg teeth appear to precede those with one egg tooth – a step toward simplicity, not complexity.  These and other findings are inverting a family tree of reptiles accepted by evolutionary biologists for over a century.  One of the team members said, “If this new tree is correct, all the morphological characters that traditionally have been used to identify similarities between species will need to be reevaluated to understand how these traits evolved” (emphasis added in all quotes).Slow Humans:  Another startling finding reported in Science Daily started with the title, “Early Animals Had Human-Like Genes.”  If humans are the late-comers, why and how did early-Cambrian roundworms produce innovations that would persist unchanged for hundreds of millions of years?  The team compared human and fruit-fly introns with those of a roundworm thought to be 600 million years old, close to the period of the very first multicellular organisms.  Contrary to earlier expectations, introns – those spacers in the DNA cut out by the transcription machinery – were already present in the worms and have persisted all the way to the human line, while other branches, like insects, lost many of them quickly.  To save the evolutionary tree, researchers are speaking of “fast-evolving” and “slow-evolving” branches.  “The worm’s genes are very similar to human genes,” said one.  “That’s a much different picture than we’ve seen from the quickly-evolving species that have been studied so far.”  Another remarked, “Now we have direct evidence that genes were already quite complex in the first animals, and many invertebrates have reduced part of this complexity.”  Not only were the introns the same, but their positions within the genome “have been preserved over the last half a billion years.”Overall, the picture looks opposite what evolutionary biologists have expected: “this has shown us is that evolution is not always about gain; the loss of complexity can equally be an important player in evolution.”What’s most amazing about both these stories is not the genes.  It is the psychology of Darwinists.  They can hang on to a theory no matter how much contrary evidence comes to light.  Invented terms like “conserved genes” and “slow-evolving species” mask their desperation.  They are clinging to a dogmatic evolutionary position in spite of evidence that looks like creation: abrupt appearance, stasis, and loss of original complexity.  Simultaneously, they accuse creationists of accepting their view on “faith” while bluffing that “there is no controversy among scientists about evolution.”  Yet how would an impartial jury rule, based on the empirical evidence alone, with no evolutionary presuppositions?(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Break Media: Funny Videos Formula Still Works

first_imgrichard macmanus People who think that ‘America’s Funniest Home Videos’ is a media phenomenon that peaked in the television era, may be disappointed to know that the same formula is becoming increasingly popular on the Web. As of July 2009, Break Media was ranked the 35th most popular site in the U.S. – one year ago it wasn’t in the top 50. Break.com is an entertainment destination focused on “Funny Videos & Funny Pictures” (the company’s words). It targets a young male audience and makes no bones about going for the lowest common denominator. Some of the other big movers over the past year in comScore’s top 50 web properties in the U.S. list have been Demand Media at #36 and Answers.com at #26.A scan of the Break Media homepage headlines as of writing tells you all you need to know about the content on this site: ‘Eight Perfect Pogostick Backflips,’ ‘Mexico Versus Uruguay Basketball Fight,’ ‘Kid Hit in the Face by Field Goal Kick,’ ‘iPhone Commercial for Ex-Boyfriends,’ ‘Human Head Turntables and Drums,’ … you get the picture. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… I checked out a couple of videos from the site, purely for research purposes of course. And while I wasn’t game to watch the one where a gymnast “snaps neck on dismount,” (!!) I did watch and enjoy this one about a sports reporter in Prague dealing with drunken fans:It doesn’t take an in-depth analysis to figure out the appeal of Break Media – it’s entertaining, generally funny and not to be taken seriously at all. So it’s no surprise that Break Media is becoming one of America’s most popular websites. The appeal for viewers is very similar to that of YouTube – and look how that turned out.As well as a large monthly audience of 23.5 million unique users, Break Media has ‘stickiness.’ Break Media cites [PDF] a comScore report stating that viewers spend an average of 3.3 minutes watching a video, which the company claims is above average for video sites. Other than the flagship break.com, Break Media owns a range of niche sites targeted to men; including Cage Potato, MadeMan, Chickipedia, Holy Taco, Screen Junkies and All Left Turns.Is Break Media the future of Web entertainment? We sure hope not, but you can’t argue against its general appeal as a place to go to waste some time… and that Prague sports reporter video was funny! Tags:#Video Services#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

HubSpot TV – This Brand is My Brand with Chris Brogan

first_img Paid Search Traffic Down Sharply Marketing Takeaway 2: http://itunes.hubspot.tv Marketing Takeaway karenrubin Marketing Takeaway mvolpe Rich Snippets: More control over how your content is organized and viewed by Google user chrisbrogan Inbound Marketing Summit Google Search Evolves – But Has Google Finally Lost its Core Focus? to learn how to create a thriving blog. If you are an aggressive outbound marketer, be careful about what tactics you use because you may get in trouble! New Marketing Labs FTC is taking legal action and has filed suit again the telemarketing company and the promoter of the warranties Originally published May 16, 2009 4:34:00 PM, updated July 04 2013 Headlines How to interact on Twitter – @ Make sure to grab your brand on Twitter even if you aren’t ready to use it. Google beefs up Web services, search Intro Marketing cutbacks? Or are larger companies learning the value of organic search results? (Episode length: 31 minutes, 36 seconds) : Next event in Dallas on May 27-28th! : Industry trends are interesting, but whats most important is your trends and your data. Search Options: More options for how you look at search results Inbound Marketing Summit! “Shareof search traffic to websites generated from paid listings has droppedto about 7.25 percent over the last four weeks, down from 9.8 percentduring the same period a year ago.”Marketing cutbacks? Or are larger companies learning the value of organic search results? Tightereconomic times are increasing attacks on brands online through “graymarket knockoffs, phishing attacks, cyber squatting, e-mail scams,trademark abuse, and copyright and patent infringements” @ Readcenter_img CMO Council: Recession prompts more online brand attacks Chris Brogan The Evolution of Google Marketing Takeaway 1 : Maybe it’s more about quality then quantity and this is more a fad than anything else. In any case, see marketing takeaway 1. :Monitoring your brand online is a must. Use free tools such at Googlealerts, Twitter search, Backtype (for blog comments) and keep and eyeon them on a regular basis. HubSpot Software also automatically helpsyou monitor your brand and send you alerts. Chris Brogan’s blog Marketing Takeaway: and check out the @ :Search continues to evolve. Be conscious of the changes and how you canuse them to advance your website for the next generation of searchengines. Episode #40 – May 15th, 2009 (May 8, 2009)  HubSpot TV – Listen to Your Fans, Friends & Followers with Scott Kirsner Marketing Tip of the Week – Miss last week’s episode?: Computerized calls to cell phones and land lines (even those listed on the do not call registry) pitch extended auto warranties Paid Search Traffic Down 26% Twitter Surpasses New York Times and Wall Street Journal Webinar: Advanced Business Blogging Google Squared: Fetches and organized facts Closing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack HubSpot TV Guest: Learn how to build your business blog into an inbound marketing machine. Marketing Takeaway Download the free webinar Remember to subscribe in iTunes: FTC to announce lawsuits in car warranty robocallslast_img read more

What B2B Marketers Need to Know About Customer Retention

first_img Customer Retention Rate by Industry Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Customer Retention Why is Customer Retention Important? Topics: What’s the most effective way to grow a business?You might think that the answer is to sell to more customers, but that’s only one piece of the puzzle — in fact, it might not be the most important piece of the puzzle. That’s where customer retention comes in.Once you’ve created a killer product and have identified your target market, company growth can start taking off — and it’s important to dedicate just as many resources to retaining existing customers as to selling to new customers.And that’s what your customer success team is for — to help customers see value and achieve goals using your product or service. But there’s more to it than just answering their phone calls and helping them onboard with your software — it’s about creating a process from the very beginning that fosters communication, trust, and mutual growth.Start solving for the customer today with these 17 templates. Read this guide to learn all about customer retention — how to measure it, why it’s important, and how to foster it with every new customer you attract. Average Customer Retention Rate by Industry Retention Rate Formula Customer retention refers to the ability of a company to — you guessed it — retain customers. Customer retention is impacted by how many new customers are acquired, and how many existing customers churn — by canceling their subscription, not returning to buy, or closing a contract.Over the course of a given time period, customer retention is measured by customer retention rate — more on that below. Retention Rate Formula Customer Retention Definition Before you begin to even consider a retention strategy, you need to understand what your current customer retention rate is.You’ll first need to define a period of time — whether that’s quarterly or yearly. Then, follow this formula:Customer Retention Rate = ( (# Customers at End of Period – # Customers Acquired During Period) / # Customers at Start of Period) ) X 100For example: Imagine you start the year with 20 customers, gain five new customers in the first quarter, and have one customer churn.( (24 – 5) / 20 ) ) x 100 = 95% retentionHere’s another example: You have 44 customers, you gain 12 new customers, and 13 customers churn:( ( 43 – 12 ) / 44 ) x 100 = 70% retentionOnce you know your rate, you should consider doing an audit of your churned customers to determine similarities in reasons for leaving or types of customers that leave. You might find that customers with a certain budget or at a certain company size are more likely to churn than others. Consider if you can add qualifying questions to your sales process or revise your ideal buyer persona to better reflect the attributes of your most loyal customers.Why is customer retention important?Customer retention is important to any growing company because it measures not only how successful they are at acquiring new customers, but how successful they are at satisfying existing customers.It’s also easier and more cost-effective to retain customers than to acquire new ones, returning customers spend more and buy more often, and refer friends and family. Only a 5% increase in customer retention can increase company revenue by 25-95%.The numbers don’t lie: Retaining customers brings companies a ton of ROI.There are a few reasons why customer retention is critical to company growth and success:Affordability: It’s 5-25X more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing customer. (HBR)ROI: A 5% increase in customer retention can increase company revenue by 25-95%. (HBR)Loyalty: Retained customers buy more often and spend more than newer customers. They’ve learned the value of a product or service and keep coming back, again and again. (American Express)Referrals: Satisfied, loyal customers are more likely to sing a company’s praises and refer their friends and family — bringing in new customers, free of charge. (American Express)It might seem obvious — of course, companies should want to retain customers — but when companies start growing quickly and struggle to implement a solid customer support program, proactive customer support for existing customers can slip through the cracks. Average customer retention rate varies across industries. According to Mixpanel’s 2017 Product Benchmarks report, for most industries, the average customer retention rate was below 20%. In the media or finance industries, retention over 25% is considered above average, and in the SaaS industry, retention above 35 is considered above average. Customer Retention Definition But when companies dedicate time, resources, and creativity to improve customer retention, not only does it make customers happy, it brings the companies more success, too. We’ll review  strategies that will help you improve your increase customer retention next.Customer Retention Management StrategiesBefore diving into these customer retention management strategies you may implement and experiment with, let’s answer an important question first:What is customer retention management? Customer retention management is the process of maintaining relationships with your current customers to delight them long after they purchase your product of service. It requires you to encourage these customers to remain loyal to your business, continue paying for your product or service, and become and remain your brand advocates. Who manages customer retention?Customer retention is typically managed by customer success. The role of this team is to work with and delight your customers throughout the duration of their relationship with your company (no matter how long or short this timeframe may be).Customer success teams should not only work directly with your customers to improve and maintain retention, but work with other teams within your organization to do so as well. For example, customer success should help teams like sales or customer service and support — roles that have the potential to directly impact retention — organize, manage, and improve all aspects of the customer experience. This way, you entire business works together towards consistently improving customer retention. Now, let’s look at those strategies to help you with customer retention management. 1. Highlight case studies during the sales process.A significant portion of the sales process should be focused on determining if your company and the prospect are the right fit — from both a relationship standpoint, and how you will work together.Share previous case studies that reveal your company’s style of communication and collaboration with customers and the results you achieved for customers. You could also share testimonials from current customers to really bring it home for them just how much you partner with them.It’s similar to researching any big buying decision. You want to know if and how it will work before you make a purchase. If the customer truly understands this, they will be more likely to properly set expectations and be happier with their experience once they sign on.2. Set expectations early and often.If you don’t set expectations and communicate these clearly, customers can easily become upset. They might believe you can deliver on certain results, while in reality, those results are only seen in month six or with additional initiatives and work input.In addition, your customers are coming from very different businesses. One customer might feel that your prices are high, and therefore, they expect an extremely high amount of expertise and “white glove” customer service, while for another customer, you might be one of many different company partners, and the customer cares more about your ability to collaborate than care for their brand.Understanding these points of view and communicating deadlines, progress toward goals, what’s included in a project, your process, your communication style, etc., is essential for making sure expectations are met. This, in turn, will keep customers happy with the relationship, longer.3. Communicate results on a regular basis.Customers are more likely to stay with your company if your product or service is delivering results and ROI for them. If a customer can point to the fact that your company has influenced or increased leads, MQLs, SQLs, lifetime value, their own customer retention, etc., then it will be much more difficult for the customer to say goodbye.That means you need a good system for tracking and reporting on the metrics that really matter to the customer, which should relate to the goals you established together. Be transparent about the activities you executed on last month, the results you saw, where you see opportunities for improvements, and what you will work on next month. In addition, use a project management tool so that the customer can easily see how far along the team is in a project.4. Create a roadmap for the future of the relationship.Many people compare the customer-company relationship to dating — and this isn’t that far off. And it’s especially true when you consider the lifecycle of dating. At some point, one person in the relationship wants to know that this is “going somewhere.” He or she wants to know what the “plan” for the future looks like.This desire to know that you are working toward a “next step” can also be applied to business relationships. It can be easy for the customer-company relationship to fall victim to routine — everything is going great, you know what type of work the customer wants (and will approve), and you understand what works to reach their goals. That gets boring quickly though, and it’s easy for the customer to wake up one day and realize how uninspired and unmotivated the company team is.Your customer success managers should create and revise on a regular basis a relationship roadmap. Build in steps for initiatives and projects that both parties can look to and be excited about the current and next stage of the relationship.5. Make memories around your shared successes.According to research, people remember negative events more vividly than positive ones. Even if there are more positive events overall, the bad occurrences may be the longest lasting memories — which makes customers more likely to share those negative events on social media, too.So customer success teams need to consider how they can create better, more memorable experiences around positives and successes. When something negative occurs — a goal or deadline is missed for example — the company team overly communicates, discusses plans for fixing the issue, and apologizes. But when something truly great happens, how much of an emphasis do you place on the event?6. Ask for feedback and act on this information.You can’t improve customer retention without first understanding why customers leave your company. Once you know the reasons and the correlating signs, you can work to prevent customer churn by proactively dealing with issues.Ask for regular feedback from the entire customer team, including the decision-maker. Use a customer feedback tool to track trends by either the customer or the individual. For example: By tracking by project, you can identify customer happiness trends and work to improve processes or ask for more qualitative feedback on what exactly is contributing to the fall in customer satisfaction.Being able to identify and address these issues as early as possible will help you to prevent customers from leaving you in the first place. The voice of the customer is a powerful customer retention tool — so use it.7. Map out a consistent customer experience.Consistency builds trust with customers. They know what to expect and can rely on your team to get the work done and deliver the results they need.Without this, most interactions are a surprise, and in reality, customers don’t like surprises — even if they say they want to partner with a more “innovative, fun, risk-taking company.”Build out processes for onboarding new customers and kickoff meetings to create a smooth customer experience. Examples include setting agendas for meetings and building workflows around projects and sharing these with customers.By having a process for each of these activities, your team will be more efficient and customers will gain insight into what needs to be done, and when.8. Create a customer relationship marketing strategy.Have you considered what the communication from your company looks like once a customer signs on? Yes, she emails and works with her customer success manager, but how often does she hear from the new business director who convinced her to buy from you?Think about creating a newsletter sent from the company CEO for monthly or quarterly check-ins. Consider any education or training needs of the customer you should address. Come up with interesting, light touch ways to continue to build up the credibility of your company’s brand with the customer.9. Keep a record of communication and any past problems.Your company’s culture, leadership, and business practices all contribute to retention, but another way to prevent disruption in changes in personnel is by adopting a CRM where you can store notes from meetings and phone calls, ongoing issues, personal preferences of the customers, etc.With detailed notes and a complete history of the relationship recorded, a new customer success manager will be ready to be a true authority for the customer much more quickly.10. Make sure that the customer has a relationship with the entire team.Typically, customers mainly communicate with their primary customer success manager. These individuals form a bond during hundreds of meetings, phone calls, and emails. They know each other’s favorite restaurants, what sports their kids’ play, and other seemingly inconsequential details.But change puts these relationships at risk — and, in turn, your company’s customer retention rate. If the customer success manager leaves or is promoted, the relationship is at risk. If the relationship is extremely friendly, the customer might not be happy with anyone else. The bottom line is, if the customer’s sole connection to the company is based on one relationship, there’s a risk of churn during periods of employee turnover — a natural part of professional development within an organization that customers just aren’t always privy to.This is a risky place to be in terms of retention, so your company needs to make it a goal that customers build relationships with multiple members of the team for cases like these. Send the customer pictures of the entire team working on the latest project, or whenever there is a customer lunch, make sure there is another member of the team present.11. Use reciprocity to increase loyalty.Reciprocity is a social construct that has been found to increase loyalty. Acts of kindness create a feeling of obligation in the person who instinctively wants to repay the kindness.There are two types of reciprocity: surprise and trumpeted. Both of these can be used in customer service to increase loyalty.Surprise reciprocity is obviously a surprise gift or gesture. An example of this would be when your company sends over tickets for a game the day of or when a goal is achieved earlier than anticipated.Trumpeted reciprocity is when the person giving or doing something beneficial does so in a way that reveals that they are going above and beyond. It doesn’t mean you document and put all the great things you do in a monthly report, but it is obvious to the customer that what you are doing is outside the normal scope of the relationship. This could be as simple as taking behind-the-scenes photos at a video shoot and packaging them in a memorable way as a gift for the customer’s team.12. Build a customer loyalty program.One of the wisest ways to foster customer loyalty and retention is by providing even more value to them — and this can take the form of a customer loyalty or rewards program.User-generated content, loyalty bonuses, gamification, and rewards for customer referrals are simple customer retention tools that can go a long way towards fostering loyalty — read about more examples of successful customer loyalty programs in this blog post.13. Empower customers with the tools they need to succeed. Nobody likes to wait around for support or assistance. Nobody likes to sit around searching how to accomplish specific tasks on their own either. So, instead of creating long customer support and service waits for your customers (and creating more work for your support team), empower them with the tools and resources they need to succeed.There’s a wide range of ways you can empower your customers to help themselves and find the support they need individually. To do this, you might send emails or newsletters with tutorials that cover details about your company or your product/ service’s newest features. You may also share a list of your blog articles to help them accomplish their specific business goals. Improve Your Customer RetentionReady to get started making your customers happy to improve your company’s outcomes? Follow the customer retention management strategies we covered and consistently keep track of your business’s retention rates to keep an eye on how you’re doing. You can also read more about how real brands are using these customer retention strategies here.Editor’s note: This post was originally published in November, 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness. Originally published Oct 23, 2019 2:03:00 PM, updated October 30 2019 Customer retention is the ability of a company to retain its customers over a period of time. Customer retention a percentage that measures how many customers a company keeps at the end of a set time period, and the number impacted by the number of new customers acquired and the number of customers who churn. Customer retention rate is calculated using the following formula: Customer Retention Rate = ((# Customers at End of Period – # Customers Acquired During Period) / # Customers at Start of Period) X 100 Customer Retention Management Strategieslast_img read more

7 Shameless Tactics Marketers Use to Lure an Audience

first_imgSlow and steady wins the race. But sometimes, isn’t it kind of nice to burst through that finish line? That’s where shameless marketing tactics come into play.You know the ones — they grab your attention, pique your interest, make it so you can’t look away! It may make you feel a little grubby, but the fact is these things have worked for lots of brands, and when something works, it’s hard to knock it too hard.So here is a list of tried and true, totally shameless marketing tactics brands have applied to their marketing and advertising efforts to get visitors engaging with their content. I’m not saying you should implement all of these, but hey, next time your CMO gives you a tough traffic or leads goal … at least you’ll have some creative tricks in your back pocket!1) Cute AnimalsOne day, the option appeared in my Foursquare account to include a picture of a puppy in my weekly emails.I then started to receive emails from Foursquare with pictures of this nature at the end:And for the first time, I actually started reading through these emails from Foursquare, even though those puppies have absolutely nothing to do with the brand.Thing is, Foursquare started doing this because they picked up on a phenomenon that has worked well for many brands for some time — make em say, “aww!” Take a look at Geico, for example. Even though car insurance relates in no way to cute animals, Geico has a track record of finding success in using animals to promote their car insurance. The Geico Gecko has become renowned for his role in the marketing and advertising industry, and following in his tracks were other talking animals including woodchucks and pigs. These commercials have been watched over 25 million times, more than any other car insurance company.It extends beyond just cute brand mascots, too; laundry detergent brand Snuggle decided to not only name its product “Snuggle” (how cute is that?) but to create a fuzzy baby teddy bear, also named Snuggle, to represent its brand. The mascot was created in 1983 and has been used ever since to give its customers the message that by using the detergent, your clothing would be more comfortable. Snuggle is featured in all of their marketing and advertising campaigns and has proven to work for the company for almost 30 years.So to test our theory, here are some pictures of really cute puppies. …Did it work? ;-)2) Using Numbers to Shock PeopleUsing numbers in the headlines of your content is a tried and true way to get more clicks than the average snuggly bear. However, the numbers that really work are the ones that make your readers do a double take. Think about it — 75 ways to get leads from Twitter is much more appealing than 3 measly methods; I mean, who couldn’t come up with 3 ways to get leads on Twitter? Big whoop! Including adjectives like “shocking,” “unpredictable,” or “crazy” only help amplify this effect.We use this tactic in our blog posts all the time. Just take a look at one of our blog posts LinkedIn 277% More Effective for Lead Generation Than Facebook & Twitter [New Data].  Whoa, 277% more effective? That’s … a lot more effective. And you know what? That blog post has received over 33,000 views and triple digit inbound links. We use it in our ebooks, too, to show that we’re being comprehensive. Or look at our latest ebook, 55 Brands Rocking Social Media With Visual Content. In just one day it received over 2300 views … just one day! Think about if we’d just given you 5 or 10 brands that use visual content on social media; how inspirational would that really be?3) BabiesSimilar to cute animals, many brands have seen success using cute babies as a way to market themselves. Remember the Coppertone Water Babies? They put that baby on all of their products to appeal to mothers who loved their cuddly little buggers. And for the rest of us, it gives us a feeling a comfort that many marketers want their audience to feel.But the Coppertone association with babies makes sense; what about the brands that leverage cute little babies when it doesn’t directly relate to their product? Enter Evian! Take a llook at this video, which was viewed over 56 million times and became known as one of the most successful brand campaigns ever. Even though cute babies don’t correlate with water, they made sure that their brand was prominent throughout the commercial to retain brand awareness.In fact, a study was conducted by the Marketing Bulletin to see whether or not using a cute baby or cute animal would get more people to respond to a survey. The cute baby increased responses rates by 88%, and the cute animal increased response rates by 42%. They also noted that the cute pictures increased response rates while not drastically affecting other parts of the survey. Not a bad tradeoff!4) Berating Your AudienceIt’s kind of messed up, but when your headlines are a bit inflammatory, including words like “hate,” “fix,” and “mistakes,” people gravitate towards it. It’s a trick, of course — the premise is that when you publish a blog post like “15 Things People Absolutely Hate About Your Website,” the post isn’t directly attacking any specific reader’s website; it’s just a lens into the general public’s website pet peeves. But that headline sure does hit close to home, doesn’t it? That’s one of the reasons that blog post was so successful — there were over 1,500 Facebook likes, almost 2,000 tweets, close to 1,000 shares on LinkedIn, and 26,515 views (and counting).To help hammer home the point, take a look at some other headlines that take the same inflammatory approach that performed very well:”7 Sure-Fire Signs Your SEO Sucks,” coming in at 3,545 views”13 Sloppy Mistakes You’re Making With Your Calls-to-Action,” coming in at 6,901 views”10 Sloppy Social Media Mistakes to Fix NOW,” coming in at 9,005 viewsAll of these examples poke fun not at your reader specifically, but at all marketers (ourselves included) and toy with them in a way that makes them just want to click the link to find out what they might be doing wrong!5) Hyperbolic HeadlinesSimilar to berating your audience, a headline that exaggerates a situation will also get more clicks. Let’s take the story of Fleishman-Hillard, a PR agency, as an example. They tried their hand at newsjacking for a client (more on newsjacking later in this post!) to promote their client and received a lot of backlash for its inappropriate content. So PRNewser took this opportunity to write a story titled, “Fleishman-Hillard Canada Apologizes For ‘Tackiest Press Release in Human History.” By calling this press release the “tackiest press release in human history,” they got some serious media attention.Another article titled, “The Worst Thing Ever: Retina Display” gave a strong opinion of the new Mac laptop that is coming out in the next few months. By taking the title to extremes — the worst thing ever — journalists assert a strong opinion that challenges readers to vehemently agree or disagree with their assertion.6) Sex AppealYou didn’t think we’d forget about the advertising industry’s go-to tactic, did you? Nudity and sex appeal are common fall-back methods for garnering an audience’s attention. For decades, brands have tried to convince customers that if they use their products or services, they will look like the model in the magazine or have the confidence and attitude of a celebrity.Most recently, H&M produced a Super Bowl commercial with David Beckham almost completely nude to sell, ironically, their clothing. Ladies, you may recall this one. Within 45 minutes, the brand had 109,000 mentions on social media, more than any other commercial that was aired.7) NewsjackingIf you stay up to date on the news, there may be an opportunity to market your company with a story that already exists. Newsjacking proves highly successful because you are using an already popular story to give readers a reason to pay attention to your company.Our favorite example comes from David Meerman Scott’s book all about newsjacking in which he tells the story of the London Fire Brigade’s own attempt at newsjacking. They read the story about Kate Winslet saving Sir Richard Branson’s mother from a burning building, and immediately sent her an invitation to go through firefighter training. With minimal effort, time, and cost, the invitation garnered them tons of press and praise for their efforts.What shameless marketing tactic do you think works best? By the way, how many people clicked on the cute puppy link in the beginning?Image credit: jelene Marketing Advice Topics: Originally published Jun 7, 2012 4:45:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Your CEO Doubts You. Now What?

first_imgThis post originally appeared on Up & to the Right, a new section of Inbound Hub. To read more from UATTR, subscribe here.You run marketing. What’s the most important part of your job? Qualified lead flow? Cost per lead? Cost per sale? Return on marketing investment? Likes? Bzzzzt. Game’s over. Your ball flew wide of the hoop. If you weren’t thinking “keeping the wolves at bay,” you might want to keep reading.Recently I was engaged to run marketing for a funded startup. My team was doing all the right things, and by that I mean putting inbound and outbound programs in place to earn the trust of a challenging prospect in a brand new space. As Seth Godin frequently reminds us, trust is and has always been marketing’s currency.The thing about trust, of course, is that it takes quite a while to earn — especially if you’re starting from a place where your prospects don’t know who you are.Everyone’s a Marketing ExpertWith every month that passed after the launch of our marketing program, the CEO would inform me that we weren’t doing enough to drive leads into the sales funnel. Sales was feeling the same way. As time progressed, everyone became an armchair (marketing) quarterback: “Let’s hire outbound telemarketers,” “We’re not running enough campaigns,” “We have to change the value proposition,” “If only we had better sales support material,” “Let’s do this tradeshow,” “Let’s do that tradeshow,” “Let’s change the website.”I didn’t feel particularly singled-out by this kind of attempted intervention. In an often-quoted study by the Fournaise Marketing Group, 80% of CEOs are not impressed by the work done by marketing and believe they are poor business performers. Ouch.It became clear to me that the most important job I had was to give my team enough time to put the marketing programs into place, build awareness, get prospect relationships to take root and, finally, start filling funnels — a process that commonly takes 6-8 months until momentum builds, and 12 months until reliable lead flow is established. That said, the startup immune system generally kicks in at around 2 months or when cash starts running out, whichever comes first.Startup ImmunologyI set out to get control of the jittery, slightly paranoid immune system using the following weapons of choice. Some of these are offered to you via the rear-view mirror.1) Set expectations up front.Set expectations that effective marketing takes patience – like 6-8 month’s worth. That’s not marketing’s timetable. That’s the prospect’s timetable. Build the business plan to accommodate this reality.     2) In the meantime, sell opportunistically.There will always be exceptions to the 6-8 month rule, and the entire organization needs to be selling to get those early sales in the door. For this to work, marketing needs to lower the bar for what constitutes a “qualified sales lead” in the early months.     3) You have to have a marketing operating system.A marketing operating system uses technology to create a repeatable, measureable process for engaging, nurturing, and converting prospects to sales-ready leads. Most marketers still miss the finer points of implementing a system, leading to CEO distrust, and often a general belief that the software that powers the marketing system isn’t fulfilling on its promise.     4) Metrics have to be sold early.Early on in the marketing system’s implementation, the number of qualified engagements matter (prospect engagement rate). At about 6 months in, you want to see progress in the depth of engagements (marketing conversion rate), and between 8 and 12 months in, you want to demonstrate repeatable conversion to sales (sales conversion rate).Management’s focus needs to be on different sets of metrics, depending on how long the marketing system has been running. What’s more, all team members have to believe that a certain percentage of engaged prospects will later become customers. If your team has never been through such a cycle, you will have to sell them on it. Given immune systems and human nature, it’s often not an easy thing to do.A Wolf in CEO’s ClothingSo what happened to my startup? I’m pleased to report that I was working with a very smart CEO who, in spite of his instinct to wade in and take control of marketing, didn’t. The company is now on its fourth round of financing and sales have increased 40-fold from when we started. Mission accomplished. The wolves got the hang of waiting for the dinner bell.Marketing is hard. Systems have to be put in place, expectations have to be managed, and the value of patience has to be sold and then supported by the right results at the right time. All of this, in the end, is your job as a marketing leader.Drew Williams is a serial marketing entrepreneur and co-author of Feed the Startup Beast: A 7 Step Guide to Big, Hairy, Outrageous Sales Growth (McGraw-Hill 2013). Drew shares his beast-building ideas at FeedTheBeast.biz/blog and @FeedYourBeast. Topics: Originally published Nov 12, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Inbound Marketinglast_img read more

7 Facebook Marketing “Tips” and “Tricks” That Don’t Actually Work

first_img Facebook Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Mar 13, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 People will go to all sorts of lengths to get attention from a small subset of Facebook’s 1.23 billion monthly active users. Sometimes it’s good — people focus on creating more compelling content or integrating Facebook with the rest of their marketing strategy. Though it takes more time, their Facebook Page grows steadily and actually delivers results. Other times people want to take the “easy” way out. They hear of some hack that got one company thousands of followers/page views/comments in a day and think they should start doing the same. They don’t have the time to build a Facebook following — they need eyeballs on their content now.But there’s little evidence to support that these “tips” work. They’re like ads claiming to lose 20 pounds in a week. Bonus: some of these “hacks” could end up decreasing your Facebook performance.Yikes.So if you’re going to spend time on Facebook to build your business, steer clear of the following “tips” that could do you more harm than good … or could just do nothing at all.1) Including a Link in the First CommentThis was a pretty popular myth going around about a year ago. Folks claimed that including a link to your content in the first comments instead of in the post itself would increase your chance of appearing in the News Feed because a photo-only or text-only post would perform better than those with links. Here’s what that looks like:But this isn’t exactly true. In fact, Facebook’s algorithm has been promoting posts with links in them more recently and in the past, has favored photo updates. Only a few people have seen anecdotal evidence that this works — and some haven’t seen anything affected at all. Maybe trying this “trick” on your page boosts numbers for a while, but it’s actually a pretty terrible user experience. In the long run, you won’t be serving your Fans and Followers — the folks that you need to impress if you want to build your page — because it takes much more effort to find your link than a normal Facebook post. If you have a large fan base, your link could even get buried (which is completely counterproductive). Don’t get sucked into a fad for the sake of engagement — solve for your Followers and all else will follow. 2) Auto-Posting Tweets to FacebookWhen you first start out on Facebook or Twitter, you may hear that it’s best to just sync up your Facebook and Twitter accounts to automatically cross-publish your content. Anytime you post to Twitter, it also gets posted to Facebook and vice versa. After all, this’ll help you save time and still have a successful social media presence, right?Well, this “trick” might help you with the first part, but definitely won’t help with the second for two reasons. First, people who follow you on Facebook aren’t the same as those who follow you on Twitter. Facebook Fans and Followers may prefer different content in different formats delivered to them at different times of the day than people on Twitter. If you want to grow your audience, you need to post content that they care about, when they care about it.Second, when you link up your Facebook and Twitter accounts, your posts end up with really weird, Twitter-specific formats for your Facebook posts (and vice versa). It’s very obvious that you just synced up your accounts — your Facebook Page will have lots posts from the past day and zero engagement.Why? Because they look like they’re tweets, not Facebook posts. They don’t display links and pictures the same way because they’re pulled from Twitter. Facebook had even come out to say that they devalue updates like these.So don’t rely on thoughtless automation to do this for you — instead, create tailored posts for each platform. The extra time you put into to creating custom content will pay off.3) Buying Fans and FollowersThis is probably one of top “tricks” people recommend to “build a following” on Facebook. If by “building a following”, you mean “increasing number of Likes and Followers,” this trick works. You buy followers and see that little number next to your page go up …… But if you’re on Facebook to do anything else besides getting people to Like you, this is definitely a trick to ignore. If you want to grow an engaged audience that might eventually convert, buying Fans and Followers will actually harm your brand. Facebook will see that your percentage of your Fans engaging with your posts is suddenly way lower … and might not include your next update in your Fans’ feed. Before you know it, this “trick” could end up shooting your marketing in its proverbial foot. 4) Tagging Irrelevant People in Your PhotosWhen someone gets tagged in a photo on Facebook, they get a notification … so some people suggest doing this to get random people to notice your brand.Don’t do it. This is a tactic that spammers have used in the past, and people are pretty wise to this trick now. Unless you are tagging someone in your photo that is actually in the photo, stay away. It’s spammy and probably won’t work, anyway.5) Tagging Other Brands Recently, Facebook updated its News Feed algorithm to reward brands tagging other brands in their posts — but that doesn’t mean that you should start tagging brands in every single post. Facebook will surface content to Fans of tagged pages if it’s performing well in general and/or you also like the other page. They’re pretty vague on the mathematics behind it all, but the takeaway is clear: This tactic should only be used when you have strategic and relevant content for both audiences. Here’s an example of a post that strategically tags another brand:center_img 6) Trying Engagementbait  I made up the word “engagementbait” but I know you’ve seen posts like these in your News Feed. Usually it’s a picture with a caption like “We’re offering two types of ice cream today: Vanilla and Chocolate. Like if you prefer vanilla, comment if you prefer chocolate, and share if you like them both!!!!!!” Even if that post example were on Friendly’s Facebook page and getting lots of Likes, comments, and shares, what do you think it’s doing for the brand? Not much.If you wanted to be generous, it could help you generate awareness of new products and potentially help you get your next post into the News Feed (because the engagementbait post was highly engaged with). But it’s really not doing much to help your bottom line. And that’s most likely why you’re on Facebook. Instead, try posting content that doesn’t try to game the Facebook system — content people like just … because. This short term play may work for you, but in the long run, you’re not going to be able to grow your following with it. 7) Hashtagging EverythingBack when Facebook first launched hashtags, people were pumped. Everyone started incorporating them into their Facebook content — and heck, we even encouraged it. But since then, Edgerank Checker found that posts with hashtags have less Viral Reach than posts without hashtags. So in the future, use hashtags sparingly on Facebook — a good use case would be if you’re trying to promote a cross-platform campaign that has a hashtag.The moral of this all is that you really shouldn’t be trying to “game” any part of building a presence on Facebook. What may work one day could be detrimental another, and you could end up hurting yourself in the name of “growth hacking” your Facebook page. What other myths have you heard about growing your Facebook Page? Debunk them with us in the comments below.  Topics:last_img read more

What to Do When Leads Go Cold [Flowchart]

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Passing Leads to Sales Originally published Sep 5, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 This post originally appeared on HubSpot’s Sales Blog. To read more content like this, subscribe to Sales.”Hi, how are you today?””I’m great, and you?””I’m doing well. Crazy weather we’re having, huh?”[Silence.]”Um … I mean, snow in September is really unusual, right? Have you ever seen snow in September before?”[Silence.]”Err … it’s funny, I had to clear my driveway and I couldn’t even find my shovel! Do you, um, know where yours is?”[Silence.]”Well, good talking to you … I think.”I’m guessing you’ve never had someone go silent on you in person. Clamming up completely while someone is desperately trying to make conversation goes against sacred social and societal norms. Turning a cold shoulder to someone you’re standing face-to-face with isn’t just uncouth — it’s downright strange.But behind the safety of a keyboard? The rules are totally different. On social or through email, non-response is a perfectly acceptable response.Unfortunately, it’s not unusual for a salesperson to have a fantastic initial interaction with a prospect … only for the buyer to drop from the face of the earth immediately afterwards. No matter what messaging the rep tries or which contact channel they use, the result is the same: radio silence.Ever been confused as to how much effort you should expend on a prospect who’s gone quiet? How about the number of times you should follow up with a silent buyer before throwing in the towel? Allow the following flowchart from HouseHunt.com to help.According to the graphic, salespeople should consider the prospect’s level of qualification and what prevented them from converting in the first place to determine a follow up strategy. With these two nuggets of information, a clear action plan will emerge. 330Save center_img Topics: 330SaveHow do you follow up with a prospect gone quiet? Share your tips in the comments.last_img read more