Category: bqwrsy

  • Self-Directed IRAs: Risks and Opportunities

    first_imgSelf-directed IRAs open up investment opportunities, but carry risks.  A wrong move can result in current taxation of IRA income, immediate taxation of all assets in the IRA, and a variety of penalties.Although the stakes are high, a self-directed IRA might be just the thing for the IRA owner with the time, energy and patience to take control.  In assessing the options, the key is to nail down what needs to be done and who will do it.What Custodians DoA custodian holds IRA assets in trust for the IRA owner under a custodial agreement.  Typically, it is the custodian’s job to identify a range of suitable investment options, manage the investments, and perform compliance due diligence.They also make sure IRS rules are followed for contributions, distributions, and reporting. They file Form 5498 IRA Contribution Information for each IRA account under their custody, and report the fair market value of IRA assets. They submit Form 1099-R Distributions From Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc., each year that an IRA withdrawal occurs and identify the total distributions from the account during the calendar year.Conventional AssetsMany custodians limit investment options to publicly traded funds, stocks or bonds. These are the conventional assets that form the vast bulk of IRA investments.These kinds of assets are fairly easy to administer.  Income consists of yearly dividends and interest, the fair market value is the market price, and reporting is straightforward.In general, the division of authority and obligations are clear.  The IRA owner chooses from among a range of investment options, and the custodian does the rest.Unconventional AssetsSome custodians allow their customers to invest in “unconventional” assets.  Popular unconventional assets include real estate, private equity and hedge funds. The list also includes promissory notes, equipment leases, energy investments, precious metals, agriculture-based assets, foreign-based assets, virtual currency, and tax liens. Some allow holding closely held businesses.Caution: IRAs are prohibited from owning life insurance contracts and collectibles. Collectibles for this purpose would include art, rugs, antiques, metal, gems, stamps, coins or alcoholic beverages.  Note that the IRS does not keep a list of permissible investments.IRA owners seeking unconventional assets are typically motivated to:avoid the stock market;diversify their retirement portfolio;invest in a kind of asset they know and understand; orinvest in a company that is not publicly traded.Self-Directed IRAsCustodians that allow unconventional assets do so by offering self-directed IRAs. These types of IRAs shift more of the day to day investment burden to the IRA owner.  Typically, it may be the owner’s responsibility to:identify and locate potential assets;assess investment suitability and risks;assess prohibited transaction risks;collect, review, and prepare all purchase documents for the custodian to execute;direct, manage and monitor the investments;hire necessary professional advisors such as attorneys, accountants, tax advisors or planners;decide whether to retain assets;direct custodian to make required minimum distributions; andassume the risk of noncompliance and the loss of their investment’s tax favored status.Self-directed IRAs still require the owner to act through the custodian.  Although many of the investment and compliance burdens are shifted to the owner, custodians may have to be more involved in managing the assets.  For example, a custodian that allows the IRA to own rental real estate has to pay all expenses from IRA funds, and add income to the IRA.  Of course, this extra work generates extra fees.Checkbook IRA LLCsCheckbook IRA LLCs allow the IRA owner to make investments directly without going through the custodian. The IRA owner sets up an LLC, and directs the IRA custodian to invest in it. The owner is named a nonsalaried manager of the LLC.  The owner opens a business checking account linked to IRA funds.  The owner can then act quickly to buy assets without having to wait for a custodian.Typically, checkbook control IRAs are marketed for investors who already have personal knowledge or expertise in a narrow investment area.  For example, real estate professionals might have a deep understanding of the opportunities and risks of investing in their local property markets.  They do not need a custodian to second guess them.Saving Custodial FeesCheckbook control also allows IRA owners to save some custodial fees by doing some of the investment management themselves. For example, an owner whose IRA LLC holds rental property can as manager of the LLC issue checks to pay bills. These might include bills for property taxes, insurance premiums, utilities, repairs and maintenance.For the owner to be so involved in managing the asset, it is crucial that the owner understand the effect of the rules regarding:prohibited transactions,unrelated business income, andthe tax rules on IRA contributions and distributions.Prohibited TransactionsThe prohibited transaction rules limit what an owner can do with IRA assets without risking penalties and current taxation of the entire IRA. The purpose of these rules is to prevent the retirement account own from benefiting from the IRA other than as a retirement asset.Prohibited transactions between a plan and a disqualified person include:sale, exchange or lease of property;lending money or extending credit;furnishing goods, services or facilities;transfer or use of plan income or assets;act by a disqualified person who is a fiduciary with respect to plan income or assets; andreceipt of consideration by disqualified person who is a fiduciary.A “disqualified person” can include the IRA owner, certain family members, and persons providing services to the plan.  Examples of a prohibited transaction include:buying property for the owner’s personal use;selling the owner’s property to the IRA;taking a salary; andborrowing money or using the IRA as security for a loan.Consequences of a Prohibited Transaction:If the IRA owner engages in a prohibited transaction, the IRA is treated as distributing all of its assets to the owner at the FMV on the first day of the year in which the transaction occurred.  The owner may also be subject to a 10 percent additional tax on early distributions unless an exception applies.  Separate prohibited transaction penalties may apply to disqualified persons.Prohibited transactions are more likely to arise with investments in promissory notes, private equity, and real estate because these investments can involve disqualified family members or other disqualified persons.  Disqualified family members include parents, children, and spouses.IRA investments in rental real estate, with its many transactions, can leave owners susceptible to a number of prohibited transactions, any one of which would result in the loss of the IRA’s tax-favored status. For example, an IRA owner cannot:live in any property owned by the IRA;rent to certain relatives;pay bills or deposit checks with their own account rather than through the IRA LLC account; or personally repair a rental home.Unrelated Business Income TaxesIRA earnings are typically reinvested with taxes deferred until distribution. However, two taxes may apply currently:Unrelated Business Taxable Income (UBTI); andUnrelated Debt-Financed Income (UDFI).UBTIUnrelated business taxable income is gross income generated from an ongoing trade or business (less allowable deductions) that is not related to the tax-deferred purposes of the IRA. An IRA that earns $1,000 or more of gross income from an unrelated business must file Form 990-T with IRS and pay related taxes.Caution: UBTI for a self-directed IRA is taxed at trust rates.  In 2019, the maximum rate is 37 percent that fully kicks in at just $12,501.Comment: Typically, IRA custodians require IRA owners to monitor their unconventional assets for taxable business income and Form 990-T filing requirements (including making quarterly estimated payments).  Note that the custodian must make the filings and pay the tax from the IRA.UDFIUnrelated debt-financed income is a form of UBTI. If an asset purchased by an IRA is debt-financed (e.g., a mortgage on a rental property), income produced by that asset could be subject to taxes.Comment: Rental income is generally excluded from UBIT as are property sale proceeds (as long as the property is not held in the normal course of business). However, the portion of gross income attributable to a mortgage loan would generate taxable UDFI.  Other income excluded from UBIT includes C corporation dividends, interest, and royalties.Investing in Someone Else’s BusinessAn IRA can buy equity in a non-publicly traded business.  The transaction should be an arm’s length purchase in a business operated by someone unrelated to the IRA owner.Caution: A risk is that the IRA owner will be deemed to own the assets of the business. The Department of Labor has lengthy “look through” regulations regarding under what circumstances an equity investment by IRA in corporation or partnership will be treated as direct ownership of the business’s assets.  Professional guidance is essential for this type of transaction.Comment: Custodians that only provide for publicly traded assets nevertheless sometimes allow the IRA owner to buy non-publicly traded stock for the IRA. In that case, the custodian would issue a check to the corporation on behalf of the IRA and the owner would deliver the check. Because this is not considered a distribution, the rollover rules do not apply. Accordingly, it does not matter if the stock is delivered more than 60 days after the check is delivered.Investing in the IRA Owner’s BusinessOperating one’s own business through an IRA is fraught with potential prohibited transactions.  It is hard to find anyone who recommends this course of action.As for using the IRA for financing, the rule is that an IRA cannot extend credit or be used as collateral for any loan.The safest way to use an IRA to support the owner’s business is to take taxable distributions on an as-needed basis.  A good time to take fully taxable distributions is during a business’s start-up years. Businesses typically generate losses in their early years, or at least minimal income.  This option is better for individuals who do not need to worry about early withdrawal 10 percent additional tax because they are at least age 59 ½, or come under some other exception.ConclusionThere are plenty of custodians eager to sell self-directed IRAs. The best advice is to investigate thoroughly.  A good custodian will make the risks and obligations clear up front.  Independent advice from a CPA, investment advisor, or attorney steeped in these matters is essential.In the end, however, it is up to the IRA owner to make it work. By James Solheim, J.D.Login to read more on CCHAnswerConnect.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.last_img read more

  • The Middle Ground: Ideal Shooting Conditions for Post Production

    first_imgIt’s important for production personnel to know how footage should best be readied for video editing and color grading. In this post, we share actionable tips for optimizing your shoots for post.When your crew is aware of the following production fundamentals it will lead to less headaches down the line. It will also optimizes other stops in the pipeline including, but not limited to, the color grading stage.Most of my best grading work has resulted from being handed a great starting point from production, where I can work freely with the image, not correct shooting errors. Let’s discuss the elements that produce an optimal canvas from which to accomplish beautiful grades.A Neutral LookUnless you’re going for an extreme look, the best place to position the image is in a place I call “the middle ground.” Colorists prefer for the image to sit in a neutral space so the image can be swung wherever the client desires. Placing an extreme look on the footage while in production can tie everyone’s hands, especially the colorist. For instance, if you shoot everything with a blue wash, there will be limits to how warm the image can become. Depending on the shooting medium, the footage may only be able to withstand a certain amount of tweaking before artifacts become noticeable.Log Mode, If PossibleThe RED, Alexa, and other camera models have the ability to shoot or later convert to a logarithmic (‘log’ for short) mode. Low-contrast log images may look ugly because they’re so flat, but they’re actually the best place for a colorist to start. In log mode, the largest range of data has been captured by the camera, allowing the colorist to grade with the most freedom.Log images can be treated with a Look Up Table (LUT) to recreate the look everyone saw on set with the ability to utilize the raw data underneath. Many LUTs are preinstalled in Resolve for use in these workflows.In Resolve right-click on a node and select an option from either the 1D or 3D LUT menu:HDRx: Icing on the CakeRED footage can be a bit unwieldy, but it’s a boon in post. On a recent RED job, the camera clipped out the highlights of the image, and the client wanted to bring them back. I lowered the clip’s ISO in the metadata to return the highlight information to the image. This would’ve been impossible on another format with no access to the metadata.A smorgasbord of metadata options is available when working with RED footage. Changing Color Space or ISO information is just a click away:It’s even better if HDRx mode is sustainable through your workflow. Using HDRx allows you to combine several additional stops of latitude on top of your original exposure, protecting your highlights against bright shooting days.LUTs for PostI wish I received LUTs from set more frequently. Aside from working with log images, LUTs can be used to transmit a stylized look from the creative team, leaving less guesswork in the session. LUTs are non-destructive and serve as a visual reference to dial in looks in-line with the client’s intent. There exists a world of nuance in the typical commercial directive of “brighten the image and make the colors pop.” Saturation amounts, the balance of cool versus warm, and amount of contrast are just several matters that require a fine attention to detail. LUTs can provide insight into the client’s vision for the look.Invest in GlassI would almost rather have a good lens on a lower-end camera than a bad lens on a great camera. While the image acquisition medium is important, the image is filtered first and foremost by the lens, and if you’re not working with a decent lens you’ll hit a ceiling in terms of what you can achieve.When video on DSLRs became prominent a few years ago, projects arrived in my color suite shot with the standard lens bundled with the camera all the time. The quality was lacking on the majority of these projects, but I remember a well-budgeted commercial that shot on DSLR. The director of photography opted to spend money on quality primes. The results were clear. While the camera was shooting to a compressed format which limited my ability to grade, the overall image came out looking better due to the production team’s lensing choices.Subject is in FocusThis might seem like an obvious one, but in session I’m asked to sharpen blurry footage all the time. Remember to keep checking your focus as setups change. Even in a controlled interview environment, the subject can move a couple of inches and leave the depth of field sweet spot. Digital sharpening can help, but in a blurry shot the information is just not there, and artificial sharpening will never, ever look as good as having razor-sharp focus.Visual ReferencesColorists appreciate visual references, like stills taken from print or web. Previous spot campaigns can help continue brand consistency throughout campaigns. Visuals serve as a talking point between the colorist and the creatives to determine what can and cannot be achieved. Some clients admit it’s difficult for them to speak the language of color, but most know what they like and what they don’t. For these clients stills are effective tools to express what they’re going for.Following these steps will better ensure that your next project is completed as close to your creative vision as possible. It’s far better to grade with creative freedom than to be stuck fixing production mistakes, isn’t it?last_img read more

  • State to pay tur farmers with ₹800 cr. NAFED loan

    first_imgThe State will soon pay farmers the pending ₹800 crore for the red gram (tur dal) it purchased from them last year.Minister for Cooperation, Marketing and Textiles Subhash Deshmukh said on Monday that the government has paid ₹36 crore so far, and has asked for a loan of ₹800 crore from the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED), a Union government agency. “NAFED has promised to process the loan in 15 days. We will make the payment as soon as that happens,” Mr. Deshmukh said in response to a question in the Legislative Council on why lakhs of farmers had not been paid. Opposition members raised the debate on the purchase of tur after a 65-year-old farmer died at Osmanabad last week while waiting in queue to claim the payment. “It is unfortunate the government has not made any payment so far this year. This has caused the death of an innocent farmer. Who is responsible for this death?” asked Nationalist Congress Party MLC Hemant Takle. There 89 tur kharedi kendra (tur purchase centres) in the State. The government procured 1,30,000 quintal of gram from 1,24,000 farmers through these designates centres last year.last_img read more

  • Rajeev Shukla, Arun Jaitley and Rajat Sharma join Hockey India League board

    first_imgIPL chairman Rajeev Shukla, BJP leader Arun Jaitley and renowned media personality Rajat Sharma have been named board members of Hockey India League(HIL) to be held across the country early next year.Hockey India secretary-general and HIL chairman Narinder Batra said the appointments of these personalities from outside the hockey circle would enhance the profile of the league.”We are honoured that Mr. Rajeev Shukla, Mr. Arun Jaitley and Mr. Rajat Sharma have accepted our invitation to be on the board of HIL,” he said.”We are sure that the Hockey India League will gain from Mr. Shukla’s knowledge as chairman of the Indian Premier League Governing Council and in public life, Mr. Jaitley’s vast experience as lawyer and sports administrator and Mr. Rajat Sharma’s experience as a media personality,?? Batra said.On his part, Shukla hoped the inaugural HIL will be a huge success.”I am glad to be given the opportunity to serve our national sport and I am sure that HIL will be an unqualified success,” Shukla said.”I believe everyone in our country loves hockey and hopes for it to return to the big league. As with IPL, I am sure players around the world will want to be a part of the Hockey India League,” he added.Jaitley said hockey in India is poised for a massive shot in the arm.last_img read more

  • Will a repaired super foe be OK with Pacquiao?

    first_imgHis credentials boldly paint WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman as a genuine world title owner.The unbeaten Thurman, 30, is listed as the WBA super welterweight titlist, with a 29-0 record, including 22 knockouts.ADVERTISEMENT Thurman, who had his last fight in January following a two-year layoff due to injuries (hand and elbow) was anything but super against the obscure Josesito Lopez, a 16-1 underdog who got off from a second-round knockdown to give Thurman hell—close to stopping the lethargic WBA super belt owner. Thurman was lucky to have survived and go home with a majority decision.Latest reports say a Thurman fight against eight-division world champ Manny Pacquiao is just waiting for the final details and signatures of the main protagonists.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsPacquiao is the regular WBA welterweight champion who also had his last bout in January.The Pacquiao-Thurman WBA unification fight is being calendared for July. Of course, Thurman continued to undergo repairs and remedies in his damaged system. (There was one report saying the most serious injuries were caused by a car crash).As expected, experts were one in saying mere patch-ups would be of no help if and when he ends up face-to-face with the perpetually fiery Manny Pacquiao.If anything, Thurman, once fabulously known as One Time, will definitely be no Adrien Broner, who made a fool of himself in his last pay-per-view clash with Pacquiao.Thurman, a cerebral warrior, should be able to pull some surprises.He’s young and there’s a whole world of prizefight possibilities awaiting him.Forget about the dreadful last fight, the dirty details have been aptly swept under the rug.Pacquiao should not be demeaned with a useless foe, or a shaky and rusty statue for an opponent.The boxing world—Pacquiao himself—wants to see a genuine new super WBA champ in Keith Thurman. PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess View comments Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Donaire faces eager Young after injury to original foe DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew LATEST STORIES MOST READ SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. It will be a pay-per-view event. Both Pacquiao and Thurman are now with the Premier Boxing Champions of the influential Al Haymon.Thurman was not figuring prominently in the derby to fight Pacquiao; but he suddenly sprinted up front and moved past Danny Garcia, who had a sensational previous stoppage victory.Thurman also happened to own a big tactical win over Garcia much earlier.Thurman, however, had a hard time figuring big in the race to fight Pacquiao, mainly because of his underwhelming performance against Lopez in January. In that bout, Thurman was hapless and unenthusiastic. He was hopelessly rusty, a shaky statue of his old combative self.After that bout, Bob Arum readily remarked that Thurman was totally through with serious prizefighting.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

  • Rohit Sharma signs as Brand Ambassador for Hublot watches

    first_img COMMENT Published on × Star Indian opener Rohit Sharma today became the ‘Brand Ambassador’ of world famous watch brand Hublot becoming second renowned cricketer after former Australian captain Michael Clarke to be associated with the brand.Rohit will be seen promoting the company’s signature ‘Classic Fusion Aerofusion Chronograph’ edition in the coming days. It has been created to celebrate the sport of cricket.“I have always been a watch fanatic; so being associated with a brand like Hublot is an absolute delight. They create some incredible timepieces, unique and different, so to be on their roster and them on mine is incredible. Their involvement in sport has been remarkable, so that makes our association even more exciting,” said Rohit.Hublot on their part expressed their excitement to be associated with the stylish Mumbai batsman who has the highest individual ODI score to his credit and is among the top-10 ODI batsmen in the ICC list.“Hublot sees a lot of common between the Brand and Rohit Sharma as he combines traditional batting technique with entertainment,” a press release stated. File Photo of Rohit Sharma   –  The Hindu Second renowned cricketer after former Australian captain Michael Clarke to be associated with the brand. SHARE SHARE EMAILcenter_img SHARE May 02, 2016 celebrity File Photo of Rohit Sharma   –  The Hindu COMMENTSlast_img read more

  • Pacers Bhuvneshwar, Shami outshine the spinners at Eden Gardens

    first_imgIt’s not too often that Indian cricket fans get to see their fast bowlers outperform the spinners in a Test match. The spin-friendly pitches in the sub-continent makes it very difficult for the pacers to restrict the flow of runs and pick up wickets on regular intervals. (Scorecard)But every once in a while when Indian curators do decide to make hard pitches and leave a tinge of grass on them, fast bowlers take over the job of taking wickets and outshine the spinners. (India vs New Zealand, 2nd Test, Day 3: Live Blog)The ongoing second Test in Kolkata is one such example where Indian pace bowlers picked up majority of the wickets to fall. The Eden Gardens track for the past few years has been more helpful for the fast bowlers. The newly-laid surface in the ongoing match between India and New Zealand has seen 15 wickets being taken by the fast bowlers in the first two innings. (Comeback-man Bhuvneshwar Kumar repays Virat Kohli’s faith again with five-wicket haul)Black Caps pacers Matt Henry, Trent Boult and Neil Wagner together dismissed seven Indian batsmen in the first innings while Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami ran through the opposition batting lineup on the second and the third day to hand India a big lead in match. (Ganguly credits Kumble, Kohli for including Bhuvneshwar Kumar for Kolkata Test)Bhuvneshwar, who replaced Umesh Yadav in the playing XI for this game, was the star performer for the hosts as he picked up five wickets for 48 runs, while Shami grabbed three for 70 as New Zealand got bowled out for 204 to hand India a 112-run first innings lead. This was Bhuvneshwar’s maiden five-wicket haul on home soil and his fourth overall in Test cricket. Spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja could only manage one wicket apiece. (Also read: Kolkata Test: Five-star Bhuvneshwar dismantles New Zealand after India’s 316)advertisementThere have been very few Tests played in India where pacers have got the better of the batsmen. Here is a list of the previous five instances:INDIA vs WEST INDIES, 1st TEST, EDEN GARDENS (NOVEMBER 2013)Sachin Tendulkar’s penultimate Test match was overshadowed by the debut of pace sensation Mohammed Shami at the Eden Gardens. Shami displayed an awesome exhibition of fast bowling and was specially lethal with the old ball as he finished the match with figures of 9/118. It was the best performance by an Indian fast bowler on debut, beating Munaf Patel’s 7/97 against England at Mohali in 2006. Shami got 4 wickets in the first innings and his maiden five-wicket haul in the second as India won the match by an innings and 51 runs. Shami and Bhuvneshwar clinched 11 of the 20 wickets in that Test match. (Also read: Bhuvneshwar Kumar rates Ross Taylor’s scalp as the best among five)INDIA vs WEST INDIES, 2nd TEST, EDEN GARDENS (NOVEMBER 2011)Once again Eden Gardens dished out a pace-friendly track and once again the opposition was the West Indies. Umesh Yadav, playing in just his second Test and comfortably India’s fastest bowler in the side, clinched three wickets in the first innings and four in the second to hand India a series clinching win by an innings and 15 runs.INDIA vs NEW ZEALAND, 3rd TEST, NAGPUR (NOVEMBER 2010)It was a series-deciding Test and both the teams had everything to play for after the first two matches ended in draws. A young Ishant Sharma and S Sreesanth stepped up for the hosts and destroyed the Black Caps to clinch an innings victory for India. Ishant finished with seven wickets in the match as India claimed the series at the VCA stadium in Jamtha.INDIA vs AUSTRALIA, 1st TEST, MOHALI (OCTOBER 2010)The Boder-Gavaskar Trophy consisted of just two Test matches in 2010 with India facing Australia in the first match at Mohali. This famous Test will be remembered for the 11-run partnership between VVS Laxman and Pragyan Ojha for the last wicket which got India over the line in chase of 215. The match was also one of those rare occasions were pace dominated spin and Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma picked up 11 wickets between them in the match. Zaheer got eight wickets in total including a five-for in the first innings as India took an unassailable lead in the series.INDIA vs AUSTRALIA, 1st TEST, M CHINNASWAMY STADIUM (OCTOBER 2008)Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma were in top form during the time and the Aussies bore the brunt of it as the duo picked up 13 wickets in the first match in Bangalore. Zaheer took a five-wicket haul in the first innings while Ishant clinched four wickets as Australia got bowled out for 430. Ishant then pipped his fast-bowling partner to take three wickets in the second innings, Zaheer scalped one as the match ended in a draw.advertisementlast_img read more

  • Yankee Nova Wipes Out Phils, 10-2

    first_imgNEW YORK — Ivan Nova stifled the Phillies on three hits over 6 2-3 scoreless innings in his first major league appearance in 14 months, leading the New York Yankees over Philadelphia and Cole Hamels 10-2 on June 24.A 28-year-old right-hander, Nova returned to a big league mound for the first time since April 19, 2014. He had Tommy John surgery 10 days later and the Yankees, seeking to stabilize an erratic rotation, activated him after just three minor league rehab outings.With a fastball that reached 95 mph, Nova walked two and struck out one. He threw 51 of 92 pitches for strikes and retired 11 batters on flyouts, including eight to center fielder Brett Gardner.Nova waved his cap and pointed it toward fans as he walked off to a standing ovation from the crowd of 45,877 on a sunny afternoon.He followed poor outings by Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda and CC Sabathia, who all failed to reach the sixth inning during defeats. Nova’s return could mean Adam Warren will eventually be dropped from the rotation, which began the day 23rd among the 30 teams in ERA.Hamels, who missed his previous turn because of a strained right hamstring, allowed five runs, eight hits and three walks in five innings. Signed at $22.5 million a season through 2018, Hamels is among the veterans the last-place Phillies may trade by the end of July.He was hurt by his defense, with third baseman Andres Blanco making a bad throw to the plate in New York’s two-run second.Blanco then allowed Chase Headley’s broken-bat grounder to glance off his glove for an RBI double in a three-run fourth that started with shortstop Freddy Galvis losing a popup in the sun.Philadelphia has failed to score while Hamels has been in the game in seven of 15 starts this year and has been shut out in 32 of his last 33 innings. The Phillies were blanked until scoring in the ninth against Diego Moreno.Hamels got in trouble in the second when Chris Young singled and John Ryan Murphy walked. Didi Gregorius hit a chopper off the plate, and catcher Carlos Ruiz, after waiting for the ball to drop, threw it late to first as Gregorius reached on an infield hit that loaded the bases.With the infield in, Jose Pirela hit a two-hopper to Blanco, who grabbed the ball with his bare hand and then bounced a one-hop throw off Ruiz’s mitt as two runs scored, one on the error.New York made it 5-0 in the fourth after Galvis allowed Gregorius’ popup to drop for a double. Pirela walked, Gardner singled in a run and Headley’s grounder over third base went down the left-field line.Mark Teixeira, back in the lineup after missing two games with neck stiffness that required an injection of painkiller, followed with a run-scoring single, the second of his three hits.Alex Rodriguez added a two-run single in the seventh off Justin De Fratus, moving past Al Kaline for sole possession of 27th place with his 3,008th hit. A-Rod has 44 RBIs this year in his return from a season-long drug suspension.(RONALD BLUM, AP Baseball Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

  • Emerging solutions enhance electric-vehicle power management

    first_imgElectric cars are becoming popular, with their environmentally-friendly characteristics in terms of qualities, functional simplicity, and above all, energy efficiency. The functional thrust is driven by the electric motor whose construction is simple if compared to the combustion engine. Concerning energy efficiency, the comparison between combustion cars and electric cars is emblematic: The combustion car has an energy efficiency of 16% while the electric one has an energy efficiency of 85%. The electrical nature of propulsion has an advantage over the one based on combustion — the regeneration of energy.Electricity offers a lot of flexibility, including the use of various forms of energy harvesting that help recharge the battery and therefore prolong the operation of the vehicle itself. Energy harvesting technologies are, therefore, in the foreground of the electric car research and development scenario.The autonomy of an electric car directly reflects the efficiency of its powertrain and its energy management system. Furthermore, the necessary infrastructure, such as the powerful fast-charging systems that now reach the power of several hundred kilowatts, are likewise required to comply with strictly pre-established size and efficiency limits. By its specific physical properties, silicon carbide (SiC) represents a valid response to these new market requirements.In hybrid and electric vehicles, the leading electronic power systems are the DC/DC boost converters and the DC/AC inverters. The electronic systems developed for e-mobility range from temperature, current, and voltage sensors to semiconductors based on SiC and gallium nitride (GaN).SiC PowerfulToday, autonomy and long charging times are significant obstacles to the spread of electric vehicles. For a quick recharge, more power is necessary to make recharging possible in a shorter time. Since the volume of space available inside the vehicle is limited, the battery charging system must offer high power density; only in this way, is it possible to integrate these systems into the vehicle.At the center of any electric vehicle (EV) or plug-in hybrid (HEV) we can find a high-voltage battery (200 to 450 VDC) and its charging system. The onboard charger (OBC) provides the means to recharge the battery from the AC mains at home or outlets found in public or private charging stations. From a three-phase high-power converter from 3.6 kW to 22 kW single-phase, today’s OBCs must have the highest possible efficiency and reliability to ensure fast charging times and meet limited space and weight requirements.The need to set up charging stations with a compact and efficient design is common to all fast charging systems, and the current SiC power modules allow the creation of systems with the required power density and efficiency. In order to achieve ambitious goals regarding power density and system efficiency, it is necessary to use SiC transistors and diodes.The superior electric field strength of the high hardness SiC substrate allows the use of thinner base structures. This makes it possible to reach a tenth of the thickness compared to the silicon epitaxial layers. The trend for batteries is to increase their capacity, and this feature is associated with shorter charging times. In turn, this requires an OBC characterized by high power and efficiency, for example, 11 kW and 22 kW.With the introduction of the SCT3xHR series, ROHM now offers the most extensive line in the field of AEC-Q101 qualified SiC MOSFETs, which guarantees the high reliability required for the onboard charger and DC/DC converters for automotive applications (Figure 1). STMicroelectronics also has a wide range of AEC-Q101 qualified MOSFETs, silicon and silicon carbide (SiC) diodes, as well as 32-bit SPC5 automotive microcontrollers to enable scalable, cost-effective, and energy-efficient solutions for implementing these demanding converters (Figure 2).Figure 1: Thermal characteristics of SCT3xHR. (Source: ROHM) Continue Reading Previous How flash memory can support functional safety requirementsNext Squeezing the value out of data for AI Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Automotive, Components Figure 2: Block diagram of an electric system for an EV. (Source: STMicroelectronics)Vehicle to GridThe expected arrival of millions of battery-powered electric vehicles on the road over the next ten years presents a significant challenge for the electricity grid. The need to balance the network is constantly increasing together with the spread of production from nonprogrammable renewable sources.The intelligent management of car batteries becomes extremely attractive when they are connected to the network through domestic recharging wall boxes, or corporate or public recharging stations. The car battery can be used to supply power to the network as well as to take it, depending on the immediate needs of absorbed power.The system provides for the return of the energy accumulated in the vehicle, or the withdrawal by the network (toward the batteries) using a remote control. The key technology for the realization of the system is a bidirectional power inverter that is coupled on the auto side directly to the high voltage battery (300 to 500 Volts) and on the low voltage network side (Figure 3). Figure 3: Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology.Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology has the potential to allow a more balanced and efficient electricity grid. It will be key to balance supply and demand that should accompany the increase in electricity demand.Wireless ChargingAn incredibly exciting area is that of wireless charging of electric vehicles, thanks to recharging points located in garages or public parking lots. The charging points do not necessarily have to be precisely aligned with the receiver under the car. In the long-term, an attempt will be made to develop a micro-loading version, which could make it possible to integrate long loading plates and public roads, so as to load EV/HEV vehicles even while they are in motion, but this will depend on the number of difficulties encountered both on the national and local administrative levels.In order for V2G technology to operate without interruption, to offer the advantages of network stabilization, and to allow vehicles to act as generators and data sources, wireless charging technology must be incorporated not only into the vehicles themselves but also into domestic and urban infrastructures where the vehicles are recharged. This would allow vehicles to be highly available if needed.Wireless charging based on magnetic resonance technology allows electric vehicles, regardless of type or size, to charge automatically and safely by placing flexible coil on a source pad, using materials such as concrete and asphalt. Wireless power will allow vehicles to recharge and implement V2G technology automatically, constantly allowing incentives and attenuations without the need for human intervention (Figure 4).Figure 4: Block diagram of wireless charging for EV.ConclusionWideband semiconductor technologies and fast charging stations, supported by digital network capabilities, will help speed the spread of electric cars. As global demand for electric vehicles increases, so will the need to support the charging infrastructure. The innovative charging technologies of electric vehicles can be a catalyst for change, helping to promote the adoption of e-mobility and do a lot to achieve the goal of reducing carbon emissions.The power electronics for EVs are enriched with SiC power devices that satisfy the need to improve: the energy efficiency of the systems; the strength and power density in electric vehicles; and the high-power applications where high voltage and high power are required — thus making an essential contribution to system performance and long-term reliability. SiC MOSFETs and SiC Schottky Barrier Diodes (SBDs) ensure maximum switching efficiency at high frequencies.>> This article was originally published on our sister site, EE Times: “High-Efficiency Power Management for Electric Vehicles.” last_img read more

  • How to Recruit & Evaluate Rockstar Marketing Interns

    first_img Recruiting Tips Originally published May 3, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated August 26 2017 Topics: Interns are good for more than just coffee runs. They can offer a fresh new perspective — not to mention an extra pair of hands — on marketing projects that are increasingly catering to a younger demographic’s natural talents. Think about it: marketers are being asked to adopt new technologies at a rapid rate, experiment with mobile apps, be active users on current and emerging social platforms, blog like they’ve never blogged before. You know who does those things a lot? College students looking for internships.Click here to download our free guide to hiring and training a team of all-stars.But the internship experience should be a learning experience for both parties, something many companies fail to deliver. A successful internship program sees the intern coming away with real-world experience, and your company reaping the benefits of a completed project, new insights, and feedback on how to run an even better internship program for your next round of recruits.Or hey, maybe you even decide to hire your intern! According to a 2012 NACE survey, an all-time-high of 58% of interns are hired full-time after the internship has ended. That means employers are taking the time to find the best possible recruits and integrate that young talent into the company culture. The problem is, if you’ve hired the wrong intern, you’re going to suffer lost resources and productivity on training and managing a new employee who will only leave you in 6-12 months. So to ensure you don’t suffer such a fate with your own marketing internship program, we’ve put together this guide to help you hire your next intern. Take a look at the evaluation process you should go through to recruit the best and brightest for your company!First, Should You Hire a Marketing Intern?Taking on an intern can be an asset, but it’s also a big responsibility. Not every business is ready to implement an internship program — and yes, it should be a full-fledged program as opposed to a one-off hire to fill a quick need. Rebecca Corliss has been the point-person at HubSpot to harness the power of the intern since she started our internship program that now extends across all departments in our company. “I wanted all marketing interns to have consistent training and mentoring during their time at HubSpot. Interns are an investment in the long-term growth of your team,” she says. But it’s not for every company, either. There are some factors that a company must possess in order to run a successful program.You should hire an intern if you:1) Want a fresh perspective on your marketing strategy, the marketplace, and your industry2) Have time to dedicate to training and nurturing the intern3) Can offer monetary compensation, college credit, or bothYou should not hire an intern if you:1) Only need extra help with administrative filing and paperwork2) Don’t have a set agenda or goals for the internship program3) Haven’t discussed and gotten buy-in for the internship program with your whole teamWhere to Find InternsIf you’ve decided an intern would be a good fit for your company, you need to find someone who thinks you’re a good fit for them. Oddly, this is an area many of the businesses who have expressed interest in intern programs express the most confusion. Where on earth do you find interns? In their natural environment — colleges, universities, and the internet! If you’re ready to start your internship program, here are the places you should start your recruiting efforts:College and university job boards – Most schools in your area will have online job boards set up. Sometimes the listings for internships are integrated with the employment listings, and sometimes schools maintain a separate job board just for intern listings. Either way, get your listing onto these boards stat! Some schools will require you to pay a small fee to list your position, while others will list it for free. As you establish a good relationship with the school, though, you’ll likely develop a point of contact who takes care of listing your positions for free (because you provide such awesome experience for their students).College and university job fairs – Your future intern should be a go-getter, and go-getters visit job fairs to network. Set up some space at a job fair to have the benefit of screening candidates face to face, and performing a little mini-interview before inviting them to your office.External job and intern sites – Students are using sites like Internships.com, SimplyHired.com, and Craigslist.org to find internships in their area. Your company should be visible on at least one of these sites, if not all. Make sure you indicate clearly whether your internship is paid, for credit, or both, and provide a clear description of the duties the intern will be responsible for — and remember, it shouldn’t be fetching coffee!Keep in mind that though timelines vary by school, most student interns expect to work part-time for a semester or two. If your internship takes place during the summer and you are paying, however, it’s more likely you will be able to get a full-time intern. If you are not paying for the summer internship, though, some students will need to spend hours at a paying job.What to Look for in a Marketing InternLike any legitimate internship program, HubSpot interns undergo an in-depth interview process from online applications to in-person interviews. While the internship requirements for different businesses will vary, there are a few traits that every marketing intern should possess in order to succeed and make a positive impact on your inbound marketing strategy. If you’re reviewing intern resumes or interviewing candidates, keep these 6 traits in mind, and reference these questions you should ask and red flags to look out for so you end up with the best intern for your marketing department.1) Advanced Writing SkillsIf you’re an inbound marketer, writing is no doubt a crucial part of your success. If a new marketer is joining your team, he or she better be able to contribute written content. So when interviewing for any marketing openings, ask for plenty of writing samples — press releases, blog posts, newsletter articles, anything! Ideally, your intern would maintain his or her own blog, even if it isn’t about your industry or marketing in general. Consistent writing habits make for strong writers who will likely produce valuable content for your company. Questions to Ask:1) Please send me 3-5 writing samples before our interview.2) Do you maintain your own blog, or regularly contribute to others?3) Point me to some examples of great writing online, and explain why they are great. Red Flags:1) Submitting outdated writing samples – Anything older than two years is an indication they haven’t published anything they’re proud of recently, thus they aren’t an avid content creator.2) Rampant grammatical and syntactical errors in the writing samples – While students may not have an editor over their shoulder and the occasional mistake will slip through, writing samples they submit should be almost clean as a whistle.3) Inability to pin point the qualities of great writing – It’s easy to find great writing, but it’s not as easy to explain why it’s great. Those who can, though, are able to replicate those qualities in their own content.2) Strong Social Media PresenceSocial media is as much a professional platform as it is a friendly one. If your intern prospect has pictures of themselves doing less-than-admirable activities on Facebook or hasn’t built up a LinkedIn profile, that’s a red flag. As an intern myself, I can assure you that 18-23-year olds have been warned over and over again that employers will Google them and peek at their social media presence before an interview. Assume that your intern prospects have been sufficiently warned, and that any questionable findings is a deliberate choice to ignore those warnings. Questions to Ask:1) Have you ever managed a company Facebook page or Twitter account? 2) What type of things would you tweet about for our company, and why?3) Why do you think businesses should maintain an active social media presence? Red Flags:1) A look of panic when you mention the prospective intern’s Facebook page, or excessive profanity and inappropriate images online – Remember, they’ve been warned!2) Freezing up when asked to generate social media status update ideas for your business – This is an indication that they either don’t understand your company (or haven’t done the research to do so), or they don’t see the immediate application of social media to your business. Either way, it’s short-sighted and is not a good quality for a marketing intern.3) A non-existent or outdated LinkedIn page – If a marketing intern fails to see the value of LinkedIn as a professional social network for their own purposes, you shouldn’t expect them to see the potential in social networks for your own business. 3) Confident and Professional PresenceIn-person interviews are crucial to evaluate how an intern will operate under pressure. But even if the interview is relaxed and friendly, you can bet the interviewee is nervous — and that’s okay! But they should be able to operate successfully even when under pressure or a tad uncomfortable. So look for eye contact, professional attire, and clear communication skills.As the interviewer, you set the tone of the interview. Decide on whether your interviewing style is more casual or more intense, and stick with that theme through all of your interviews. Every prospective intern should be subjected to a comparable amount of pressure and intensity. An intern’s actions under the pressure of an interview can be indicative of their behavior in high-pressure situations at work. Questions to Ask:1) Why are you the best person for me to hire for this internship? 2) What are you especially good at?3) Describe a time you’ve really screwed up, and what you did to fix it.Red Flags: 1) Little to no eye contact or intimidated body language – This may be a result of initial discomfort, but these behaviors should fade after the first few minutes of conversation.2) “I’m a student! I’m not really good at anything yet.” – While this may seem like a humble response, it is also the response of someone who is likely timid. You need an intern who is ready and raring to go, and not afraid to fail!3) Spinning the question to be a typical interview answer – You know what I mean, “My weakness is actually my strength!” Again, your prospective intern shouldn’t be afraid of (or immune to) failure, but should be able to bounce back from it.4) High ExpectationsFinding someone that is excited to work can be difficult, but those people do exist, especially among a younger demographic that’s hungry to prove their worth. Look for an intern that is excited about starting work in a real-world setting, wants to gain professional experience, and maybe already has some ideas of a project he or she could start right away. Obviously, you as the employer want to set high expectations for the program, but the best situation is one in which the intern has set the bar even higher. Questions to Ask:1) What do you hope to get from this internship?2) Where do you see yourself in five years?3) Why do you want to work at (insert your company name here)? Red Flags:1) No areas the intern hopes to improve upon – If your interviewee doesn’t have goals for this internship top of mind, he or she hasn’t put much thought into the opportunity. This might just be a resume builder.2) Lack of focused goals – If your prospective intern has no idea what he or she wants to do in the future, or alternately, his or her goals are all over the board, you might have a flake on your hands that isn’t ready to dedicate time and thought to your company.3) Knowing nothing about the company – If you’re met with a generic answer like “I think it’s a great opportunity to learn a lot and help you guys improve, too,” your prospect either doesn’t care about the internship, or hasn’t researched your company. What you should hear is something like “I love your focus on helping local businesses, but I think there’s opportunity to expand your reach. I would love to bring my expertise in international business to the internship to help get that started, maybe with social media!”5) General Knowledge of Inbound MarketingWhile the intern may not have years of experience, it’s important that they have some context in order to communicate clearly about marketing with the rest of your team. Interns will have a lot to learn, especially in the first few weeks, but they should not weigh down the progress of the department. Quite the opposite, in fact. After getting their footing, your interns should have enough knowledge to take the position to new levels and generate their own ideas and contributions. Questions to Ask:1) What marketing classes have you taken?2) What would you say is the difference between a lead and a prospect?3) What marketing publications do you read? Red Flags:1) No marketing background or interest – This means they don’t take marketing classes in school, haven’t worked at another job or internship doing marketing, or don’t read marketing industry publications.2) No understanding of typical marketing terms or ideas – Be aware that terms can differ by region and discipline, but with very minimal coaching your prospect should be able to gain a clear understanding of what terms mean — if they don’t know already.3) Unable to identify several marketing publications they read – If your candidate flounders at this question and then spits our one or two extremely popular trade magazines as a last ditch effort, they aren’t truly invested in learning about marketing.6) Leadership ExperienceWhile your intern won’t likely be managing anyone on the marketing team (though they might have to deal with vendors and contractors), it’s important that they demonstrate experience in teamwork and time management. A prospective intern with leadership experience, whether they hold a position on the student council, are captain of a sports team, or founded a nonprofit organization, is likely to be self-motivated and hard working.One of the most important internship traits for Rebecca at HubSpot is the ability for an intern to think on their feet. “It’s important to give an intern some room to mess up and learn for themselves,” she says, “because that will be a bigger learning moment, and you might learn something new from the way they handled the situation.” While the first few weeks are a learning process, it’s important to find a young person with ambition and self-direction so you’re not holding their hand throughout the semester. Questions to Ask:1) How do you manage working on a team? 2) When was a time that you had to step up and manage a group of people to get a job done? Red Flags:1) Appears to play a backseat role in past group projects – Interns are at the bottom rung, which unfortunately means they sometimes have to be scrappy to get the information and resources they need. Someone who takes a backseat role isn’t going to have the drive to get those resources to be successful.2) Has no extracurricular experience outside of the classroom – Everyone’s been placed in a group in class, but your intern should be involved in clubs, other internships, and jobs. It’s in these experiences that “real life” skills develop that will make for a great addition to your marketing team. It’s important that your intern leaves with a positive experience from their internship with you, because their recommendation will impact the success of your internship program in the future and, ultimately, your hiring process. Whether the goal is to train new talent for your company, have an impact on the success of a young professional, or increase productivity, be sure to take time and care when hiring your next marketing intern!What qualities do you value in a marketing intern? Share your hiring experiences and recommendations in the comments!Image credit: Vivianna_love 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

  • Features vs. Benefits: A Crash Course on Proper Messaging

    first_img Originally published Feb 21, 2014 11:00:00 AM, updated August 27 2017 Product Marketing Topics: We’ve all been involved in a purchasing decision that required upfront research. Sometimes we’re buying something we know a lot about, but more often than not, we are diving into some foreign territory.As a consultant, my clients often ask me, “How should I speak to my audience?” Well, first and foremost, my answer is always make sure you’re creating content that is valuable and helpful to your audience. But you’ve probably already heard that part. When we get into the nitty gritty details of that specific company’s goals, however, we start talking about the importance of speaking to the benefits their organization offers, instead of focusing on the features. Download Now: Free Product Marketing KitIf that doesn’t sound familiar — selling the benefit over the feature — this post will help you out with some reasons for doing this, and examples of how to do it properly.Don’t unnecessarily limit your audience.A common pitfall I see my clients run into when they begin creating marketing content is that they assume a certain level of knowledge for their audience. There’s a time and a place to do this, but remember, in the beginning phases of the buyer’s journey, we need to talk to everyone in the initial awareness and educational phase first. Consider this the lowest common denominator — or LCD.When you get too technical and advanced in your writing style, you’re potentially alienating a large portion of your audience. If you focus on highlighting the benefits of what you’re offering, you’ll naturally avoid this challenge.Here’s an example of what I’m talking about, using HubSpot’s Sources application as the subject matter:Features-heavy approach:HubSpot’s Sources application uses up to seven different original source types, and is flexible enough to let you isolate these different sources, and even view them using the time intervals of your choice.What’s wrong with this approach?We’re assuming a level of technical understanding. I’ve essentially removed the value of this snippet for anyone who doesn’t have a thorough understanding of what those sources may be, or why they should care about them.We’re jumping the gun and assuming the audience is already versed in online marketing. We’re not telling a good story, and storytelling is what makes your content meaningful at a visceral level.Benefits-centric approach:HubSpot’s Sources application allows you to see exactly where all of your website visitors are coming from, and more importantly, tells you exactly where all of your new online customers are coming from. So instead of spending time wondering what areas of your marketing are generating ROI, you can know for sure, and spend more hours in your day focusing on the important things like blogging, social media, or determining which leads you should be sending to your sales team.Why is this method so effective?Remember the LCD concept I talked about earlier? We’ve removed the assumption of technical knowledge here, and we’re talking to anyone who has any ideas spinning around in their head on how they can use the internet for marketing.Talking to the LCD doesn’t limit our audience, either. This statement is just as useful for people with high levels of technical or digital marketing knowledge.We’re telling a story that speaks to our audience’s pain points. Everyone could use more time freed up in their day, and any marketer would love to know which activities are delivering the greatest return on investment.Want some real life inspiration?For inspiration on benefits-centric messaging most readers can find as close as their local mall, I’d suggest visiting an Apple Store.From the most senior executive in Cupertino to the part time sales representatives in your local store, Apple has nailed benefits-centric messaging from the top down. Go in there and talk to anyone about any Apple product, ask why it’s fantastic, useful, or so popular. After reading this article, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised to pick up on some of their tactics on how they use this skill.Now go forth, tell a story, and talk about how you benefit your prospective customers! 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

  • There is some light at the end of the tunnel for this Australian team: Justin Langer

    first_imgAustralia head coach Justin Langer backed his young one-day side to learn from the mistakes they made against India during the three-match series which they lost 1-2 on Friday.Langer said his team will take confidence from the fact that they came close to winning the last two matches in Adelaide and Melbourne against a very strong Indian team filled with experienced superstars like Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni.”I honestly believe we should take great confidence out of this series. India are a gun side and we got very, very close to them. We could have won tonight if we’d taken our chances, we could have won the other night (in Adelaide). So we should take great confidence out of that.”I honestly think there’s some light at the end of the tunnel for this team, I really do,” he said after India’s seven-wicket win at the MCG secured a 2-1 series win for the tourists.Australia had won the first match in Sydney last Saturday by 34 runs, before Dhoni and skipper Virat Kholi combined to give the visitors a final-over six-wicket victory in Adelaide on Tuesday.Australia missed some key chances in the series decider, but there were still plenty of positives for coach Justin Langer #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/dYSaoOHU4acricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) January 18, 2019The Australians only had themselves to blame for their defeat on Friday as they had several opportunities to turn the game their way.Kohli (46) was dropped by Peter Handscomb at slip on 10, Dhoni was dropped by Glenn Maxwell at point on his first ball while both should have also been run out early in their partnership.advertisementDhoni was also dropped in the 48th over by Aaron Finch with India needing 27 runs from the final 18 deliveries.The Australian bowlers had kept their side in the match with some tight bowling, which frustrated Kohli and also made the finish tighter than it should have been.The ODI series loss came after India thrashed Australia in the Border-Gavaskar Tests and won 2-1. The latest series loss also stretched Australia’s streak without an ODI series win to more than two years.”We’ll take some great confidence out of not just this series, but the Test series, believe it or not. There’s been some real shining lights from this series. And hopefully we can keep finding some more shining lights over the next three or four months.”We’re very clear how we want to play our cricket, no doubt, and that’s a really good feeling,” he said.”We executed it really well in the first two games, we didn’t quite get it today.”We’re really clear how we want to play and we got really close this series. It came down to the last overs twice and we won the first one.”We know what we’re trying to do. We just need our guys to execute the plans. And we’ve done it pretty well in this series, I reckon,” Langer said.Also Read | MS Dhoni has gone from being a Lamborghini to an Aston Martin: Michael ClarkeAlso Read | Sakshi Dhoni’s message for Team India after historic series win: You fought like soldiersAlso Read | Virat Kohli in Australia 2018-19: Average as batsman, outstanding as captainAlso Read | India vs Australia: Ready to bat anywhere for Team India, says MS Dhonilast_img read more

  • Your Blog Posts Are Boring: 9 Tips for Making Your Writing More Interesting

    first_img Topics: Writing Skills Originally published Sep 24, 2015 6:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 If you’re a boring writer, you’ve got a tough road ahead. I hate to break it to you, but in today’s content-saturated world, people don’t have time to spend on content they don’t enjoy reading.Thankfully, there are some powerful antidotes to boring content. In this article, I’m dishing up some of my favorite.After you read this article, go write one of your own. If you follow these tips, your article will be at least 817% more interesting.That percentage was totally made up. But still, this stuff works.Download Now: 6 Free Blog Post Templates1) Tell a story.I have science on my side for this one.Stories produce instant brain activation. When the brain hears a story, it engages in neural coupling, a phenomenon that makes the brain actually experience the ideas being set forth in the story. Even the motor cortex, the part of the brain responsible for voluntary muscular motion, is activated by a story.The brain also releases dopamine, the “happy chemical,” at emotional high points in the story.Clearly, telling a story is a great way to be more interesting. Short, simple stories can be included in any article to up the interest factor.2) Write in the first person.Writing is the first person is natural. It’s the way that you talk.If you and I were going to go to lunch, I would say something like, “I know of a really good sushi place about five minutes away. I’ve eaten there a couple times, and they have great service. Want to go with me?”I used the first-person voice — the words I, I’ve, and me. It would sound really weird if I said to you, “Neil is aware of a good sushi place. He has eaten there a couple times with optimal results. He is inviting you to go with him.”Don’t be afraid of writing in the first person. The third person voice, in which you refer to “the author” or avoid all references to the self, is dry and awkward.3) Foreshadow.Good writers use a literary device known as “foreshadowing” to hint at what’s coming ahead in a story. They’re not giving away the plot. Instead, they’re setting the reader up for what’s going to come.Foreshadowing helps increase the excitement and anticipation in a story. In The Lord of the Rings, Gandalf foreshadows Gollum’s role in the narrative when he says, “My heart tells me that he has some part to play yet, for good or ill, before the end.”Readers will notice Gandalf’s prediction and think, “What’s going to happen? Will Gollum do good or will he do ill?” And so they keep turning the pages.I often foreshadow in my articles by previewing what I want to communicate and the outcome of the article. I foreshadowed the content to this article when I wrote “There are some powerful antidotes to boring content. In this article, I’m dishing up some of my favorite.”I even promised a benefit for good measure:  “After you read this article, go write one of your own. If you follow these tips, you’re article will be at least 817% more interesting.”Foreshadowing is nothing more complicated than pointing in the direction you’re taking your article. It helps to prevent boredom by promising the direction of the article.4) Transition.A transition is a signal that you’re about to switch directions.Sometimes, writers abruptly veer from one topic straight to another. The reader, unprepared for the transition, mentally falls off.Transitions keep this from happening.The easiest way to create a transition is through visual cues — big headlines, numbered lists, that sort of thing. My best transitions are created through header tags. However, you should also create some transitions in the copy itself, especially if you’re gearing up to make a new point.It can be as simple as something like this:We’ve dealt with the importance of transitions. Now, let me show you how clarity can also make you interesting.”Some publications don’t use headings. Writers for The Atlantic, for example, must use transitions in order to maintain the flow of their articles.The image below shows a transition paragraph in an article.Transitions are simple, easy, and a quick way to keep your readers interested and engaged throughout the course of the article.6) Be really, really clear.If I had to distill this entire article to one powerful point it would be this: Be clear.Many times, when writers try to “be more interesting,” they consider techniques like active verbs or sparkling vocabulary. I have nothing against active verbs or cool words, but that’s not the main way to become more interesting.You become interesting by being clear. Clarity is saying what you need to say — nothing less, nothing more. It’s about using the right words in the right place. It’s about cutting out stuff that distracts. It’s about being plain, not fancy.If you can be clear, you will be more interesting. It’s that simple.7) Don’t be longer than you need to be.Some people get way too worried about word count. Word count doesn’t matter as much as you think it does. The only people truly worried about word counts are people who get paid per word and some editors.You’re probably not going to copy/paste this article in wordcounter.net to find out how many words I wrote. Why would you care?You care whether or not this article is helpful. If it’s helpful, you’ll spend the seven or eight minutes reading it.If I needlessly make this article long, you’ll lose patience. I only need to make my point and stop in order to be interesting.Extra verbiage is boring. If you don’t need to say it, don’t.8) Don’t be shorter than you should.Content length is a two-edged sword. No, you shouldn’t be too long. But yes, you need to say enough.Brevity is a virtue in writing, but you still need some flow in your narrative. If you pare down the article to its bare bones, it becomes an outline, not an article.I don’t know about you, but I don’t find that outlines are particularly powerful reading material.9) Write short sentences.I try to write short sentences. Why? Because people get lost in long sentences. Try this one:Knowing that millions of people around the world would be watching in person and on television and expecting great things from him — at least one more gold medal for America, if not another world record — during this, his fourth and surely his last appearance in the World Olympics, and realizing that his legs could no longer carry him down the runway with the same blazing speed and confidence in making a huge, eye-popping leap that they were capable of a few years ago when he set world records in the 100-meter dash and in the 400-meter relay and won a silver medal in the long jump, the renowned sprinter and track-and-field personality Carl Lewis, who had known pressure from fans and media before but never, even as a professional runner, this kind of pressure, made only a few appearances in races during the few months before the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, partly because he was afraid of raising expectations even higher and he did not want to be distracted by interviews and adoring fans who would follow him into stores and restaurants demanding autographs and photo-opportunities, but mostly because he wanted to conserve his energies and concentrate, like a martial arts expert, on the job at hand: winning his favorite competition, the long jump, and bringing home another Gold Medal for the United States, the most fitting conclusion to his brilliant career in track and field.Did you get that? Sure you did. You probably remember the name of the runner — Carl Lewis. You probably got the idea that he competed in the Olympics.But what a sentence! After you read it, you find yourself panting with mental exhaustion.Reading a sentence is like holding your mental breath. You can only last so long before you start to pass out.Shorter sentences help readers take lots of breaths — and that keeps them interested.9) Break it up.Ever heard of the wall of text?If you’ve read this far, you’ve definitely seen one. Just look at that pull-quote above. Not only is it impossible to read, but it’s also immediately intimidating to look at just because of how many lines it occupies on this page.Don’t use a wall of text.You can write the most fascinating content on the planet, but if you don’t break it up into chunks, people will think it’s boring.Why? Because visual presentation matters. The brain process written information visually and spatially, not just textually.Font, kerning, line spacing, paragraphs, heading, numbers, bullets — all of these are part of being interesting. They help a user to absorb the information and stay connected.ConclusionGreat writing isn’t as much about your sizzling hot style as it is about simple technique and a natural approach.When you go to write your next article, just be natural. You’re not writing for your English teacher. You’re writing for me, for your user, for normal people who just want to read simple stuff.Don’t try to impress us. Just try to get your message across clearly.What do you do to create interesting blog articles? 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

  • The Marketer’s Guide to Developing a Strong Corporate and Brand Identity

    first_img383SaveHow to Translate Your Brand Identity Into Actual MarketingOnce your brand is defined and you’re ready to take that brand to market with inbound marketing, a new website, content, paid media, and any other element of outward-facing marketing, a creative brief will help you define the purpose of each particular piece of marketing communication underneath your brand umbrella. When writing a creative brief, these are the questions that need to be answered:1) Define the project deliverables.What will be the result of the brief? Will it be a video? A website? An infographic? A whitepaper? An email campaign?2) What is this effort expected to accomplish?What is the goal of this particular creative project? What do we want to happen after the intended audience sees this piece of creative? What action do we want people to take?3) Whom are we talking to?A clear description of the intended audience, which should include demographics, psychographics, as well as how the audience currently thinks and feels about the brand or product in question.4) What’s our message?This is derived from your brand position and should include a statement that encapsulates the single most persuasive or compelling product benefit.5) What do we want them to think or feel?This is derived from the “Essence” step of the corporate identity process, and should describe the emotion you want your audience to feel after seeing this work.6) What justification are we providing as support?Explain why the audience should believe your claims. Here, you can detail the benefits of your product or service, why your offering is better than your competitors, and how these benefits substitute the claim you made in #4 (“What’s our message?”).7) How is that different from other brands’ messaging?Here you want to set yourself apart from the competition by clearly pointing out why your offering better serves the needs of your audience. Are you faster? Are you less expensive? Are you easier to implement?8) How does this contribute to the brand’s positioning?Every piece of communication you create must tie back to your brand identity. Here you can explain how this singular effort supports the greater brand promise.9) Which practical considerations or restrictions are there?The nuts and bolts of your campaign are explained here. If it’s a video, are there length preferences? Are there words or phrases that must be said? Are there things that you absolutely can’t say? Are there cost considerations or time constraints?A creative brief becomes particularly handy when you’re working with an outside creative firm or ad agency. It concisely provides the direction needed to create the work, and it ensures everyone’s on the same page before resources are expended.When to Ask for Help Developing Your Corporate IdentityIf the above seems like a lot of work, it doesn’t have to be. The basic intent is to paint a clear picture of what your brand stands for and how you want it perceived by your customers. However, if the process seems daunting or you feel you could benefit from some professional help, then by all means reach out to a branding agency. Here are some considerations if that’s the route you’d like to take.Have a clear understanding of what you are hiring the agency for and the services you need.Do you have an in-house design staff, but just need help defining your brand? Have you tried to develop your brand identity on your own but are not confident it’s defined clearly enough? Does your research feel sub-standard?An agency will want to know where exactly you are in the process so they can properly focus their efforts on the areas of need. Here is an RFP (request for proposal) template you can use to formulate your thoughts if you choose to reach out to agencies.Can you afford a branding agency?Just like any professional service, a branding agency costs money. On the flip side, just like any professional service, you’re hiring experts with a ton of experience who know their craft and can provide expertise you either lack or don’t have time to learn. Through the RFP process, you’ll begin to get an understanding of what different agencies cost. Be as specific as possible when you detail the scope of the work you’re looking for.Match the size of your company to the size of the agency.If you’re a small or mid-sized business, you should seek out a small or mid-sized agency. While you might find a deeper service offering at a larger agency, you might not have access to the agency’s top talent as they will likely allocate it to their larger clients. With a small or mid-sized agency, you’re more likely to have direct access to the agency president if needed, as well as the agency’s top talent.Match the agency’s area of expertise to your industry.While any agency worth its salt can certainly learn the ins and outs of your industry segment, many agencies, by design, choose to focus on specific segments and hire personnel with deep experience in that field. Identify which agencies focus their business within your industry, and start there.Meet the agency principal and everyone who will work on your account.This is known as the “chemistry test.” Anyone can be the best in their field, but if personalities clash, it’s a recipe for disaster no matter how capable the agency may seem. An informal lunch, meeting at an industry event, or an after-work meetup are the best ways to get past the professional veneer and experience the true personality of the people you may end up doing business with.Tying the Branding BowRemember: Brand is an evolving asset. It’s one that requires continued attention. One that your customers will have a big role in shaping. One that you’ll need to foster. One that you’ll return to, make adjustments to as your business grows or changes.But overall, defining your brand identity is much like packaging and presenting a gift. You want the recipient to be pleased with the offering — and that includes everything from the outer wrapping, to the style of packaging inside, to the gift delivery, to the usefulness and appropriateness of the actual gift itself. You want the recipient to understand that forethought and heart went into the selection of the gift, and that it was chosen out of compassion and understanding. And you want it to represent the love you have for that person — in this case, your customers.Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2013 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness. Branding Topics: Originally published Oct 26, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated August 03 2017center_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 Chances are, if someone mentions GoPro, you think of a super-sturdy camera for the adventurous.Why’s that? Because GoPro has done a good job defining its brand. Great brands like GoPro are easy to recognize. Their missions are clear, and they foster that customer loyalty all businesses crave.A brand is one of the most valuable assets of a business, and it needs to be carefully crafted to ensure it properly and authentically represents the business.Crafting a brand is a shared endeavor, though. Customers, employees, blog readers (sound familiar?), and anyone who interacts with a business has a role in shaping the brand, which is why we’ve created a very short survey to see what HubSpot means to you. Because what it means to you will help us deliver on your expectations. (We’ll get to that a little later in the post.)Do you know how your brand is doing? Does your business have a brand identity?Click here to download our comprehensive guide to effective and measurable branding.If it doesn’t, or your brand isn’t as strong as it could be, follow along with this post. Branding may seem like a fluffy concept, but we’re going to try to put some structure around it so any marketing team can get started defining their brand strategy.What is brand identity?A brand is the “name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s goods or service as distinct from those of other sellers,” according the American Marketing Association. Your brand identity is the representation of your company’s reputation through the conveyance of attributes, values, purpose, strengths, and passions.It includes what your brand says, what its values are, how you communicate its concepts, and which emotions you want your customers to feel when they interact with your business. As Jeff Bezos says, “Branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”The Brand Identity PrismTo help illustrate brand identity with a more holistic view of a brand, an internationally recognized corporate branding specialist named Jean-Noel Kapferer created a model he called the “Brand Identity Prism.” The Brand Identity Prism illustrates six aspects of brand identity: physique, personality, culture, relationship, reflection, and self-image.Image Credit: Salman AbedinAccording to the model, the synthesis of each of these elements is what drives a brand’s success. Here’s what each of them means:1) Physique is the recognizable, physical aspect of the brand.It includes the logo, color scheme, packaging, and the online spaces and communities. If we’re talking about Coca-Cola, it’s stuff like the logo, the cursive font, the shape of its flagship glass bottle, and so on.2) Personality is the brand’s character.It’s how the brand communicates with the outside world. This might be expressed in a certain writing style or voice, design style, color scheme, and even by way of celebrity endorsements. Coca-Cola’s personality is happy, playful, refreshing, and all about sharing and having a good time.3) Culture is the value system and basic principles on which a brand bases its behavior.There is an intimate connection between a brand’s culture and its organization. Coca-Cola’s culture is based around socializing and sharing.4) Relationship refers to the relationship between people that a brand might symbolize.One example would be a relationship between a mother and child, or among friends. Coca-Cola symbolizes an equal and friendly relationship among people in a community.5) Reflection refers to the reflection of the consumer; in other words, the brand’s most stereotypical buyer.While a company might have multiple buyer personas, this is the “top” type of buyer. For Coca-Cola, this might be 15-18-year-olds who value fun, friendships, and sports, although Coca-Cola’s target audience is much broader.6) Self image is the consumer’s ideal self.It’s kind of like a mirror the target persona holds up to him or herself. Marketers and advertisers can draw on their target audience’s self image to direct their strategy and approach. A Coca-Cola drinker, for example, might see him or herself as social, communicative, and the type of person who seeks adventure and pushes boundaries.Now that you have a better idea of what brand identity is, let’s talk about how it applies to your branding strategy.Determine Where Your Company Sits in the MarketBefore you attempt to define your brand, you need to do some exploration. Take a long look at your company to get a clear picture of its purpose and place. The familiar SWOT analysis can help, actually. Here’s what each letter of the acronym stands for:Strengths: Characteristics of the business or project that give it an advantage over others.Weaknesses: Characteristics that place the team at a disadvantage relative to others.Opportunities: Elements that the project could exploit to its advantage.Threats: Elements in the environment that could cause trouble for the business or project.When you do a SWOT analysis, you should involve everyone in your company, as well as some of your best (and worst — yes, your worst!) customers. This can be done with a simple survey that asks questions that get at the four points in the SWOT analysis. Or if you prefer, it can be achieved with an in-depth research survey and audit that looks at your brand awareness, usage, attributes, and even purchase intent. They are typically performed by an outside firm … but more on that later. You can also download our SWOT analysis template.However you gather the information, once you get it, you should be able to sit down with your marketing team and clearly state your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Once you have a clear understand of your SWOT, it’s time to define your brand.The Steps to Corporate Identity Design & DevelopmentDeveloping or refining a corporate identity is a five-step process that aims to clearly define what your brand stands for: its goals, its personality, the emotions you want people to experience when they come into contact with your brand, and a clear conveyance of that identity through a positioning statement. Here’s what you’ll need to create to do that:Step 1: Vision StatementA vision statement describes what you want your company to become in the future. It should be aspirational and inspirational. Ideally, the statement should be one sentence in length and should not explain how the vision will be met. (Don’t worry, that’ll come later.)When developing your vision, keep these questions in mind:What are your most important products and services?What products and services will you never offer?What is unique about doing business with your brand?How would your customers describe your brand?Where do you want your company to be in five years?To give you an idea of what you should end up with, take a look at JetBlue’s vision statement:JetBlue Airways is dedicated to bringing humanity back to air travel.”Step 2: Mission StatementA mission statement defines the purpose of the company. It should be simple, straightforward, articulate, and consist of jargon-free language that’s easy to grasp. It should be motivational to both employees and customers. When crafting your mission statement, keep these tips in mind:What are the specific market needs the company exists to address?What does the company do to address these needs?What are the guiding principles that define the company’s approach?Why do customers buy from you and not your competition?To give you an idea of what a good mission statement looks like, take a look at The Walt Disney Company’s:The Walt Disney Company’s objective is to be one of the world’s leading producers and providers of entertainment and information, using its portfolio of brands to differentiate its content, services and consumer products. The company’s primary financial goals are to maximize earnings and cash flow, and to allocate capital toward growth initiatives that will drive long-term shareholder value.”Step 3: EssenceSay, what? That’s right, your essence. This sounds fluffy, but seriously, you need to develop an “essence.”The essence of the company speaks to the intangible emotions you want your customers to feel when they experience the brand. A brand’s essence is the representation of the company’s heart, soul, and spirit, and is best described with one word. When defining the essence of your brand, consider these points:When your customers experience your product or service, what emotions does the encounter elicit?If your brand were a person, how would you describe its personality?Check out this SlideShare: “The 9 Criteria for Brand Essence.”Read this blog post on cultural archetypes.Here are some great samples of brands’ essences:Volvo is “safe.”Disney is “magical.”Lamborghini is “exotic.”Step 4: PersonalityJust as with humans, a brand’s personality describes the way a brand speaks, behaves, thinks, acts, and reacts. It is the personification of the brand: the application of human characteristics to a business. For example, Apple is young and hip, whereas IBM is mature and set in its ways.What personality do you want to put forth when people experience your brand?Are you lighthearted and fun?Are you serious and all business?Are you down-to-earth?Are you playful or matter-of-fact?Step 5: Position or Value PropositionA brand positioning statement, or value proposition, is a one- or two-sentence statement that clearly articulates your product or service’s unique value, and how it benefits customers. It must define the audience, define the category in which the brand exists, cite a clear product or service benefit, set your brand apart from your competitors, and instill confidence the brand will deliver on its promise.When crafting a positioning statement, consider:To whom are you speaking? (Target market, demographic, and persona)Which market segment does your product or service serve?What is your brand promise? (Both rational and emotional)Why is your product or service different from the competition, and why should your customers care?For instance, Warby Parker has a great brand positioning statement:Warby Parker was founded with a rebellious spirit and a lofty objective: to offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price, while leading the way for socially conscious businesses.”(Read this blog post for more examples of inspiring company vision and mission statements.)To help make this easier for you, we condensed these questions into a checklist that you can reference during this process:383Save last_img read more

  • How to Spend Less Time on Email: 12 Tips for Keeping Your Inbox Under Control

    first_img Topics: Originally published Jan 14, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Email Inbox Tips Managing your email inbox can feel like playing a never-ending game of whack-a-mole. Just when you think you’ve gotten to inbox zero and start doing your little victory dance … up pops another email. And another one.What’s worse, the sheer volume of email we get often exceeds the time we can afford to deal with it. This becomes a bigger issue when we let our guilt get the better of us — the guilt that comes with not responding right away, responding curtly, or not responding at all.Download our free email productivity guide here for even more time-saving email management tips. But the fact is, there are more important things on our to-do lists than email. Want to spend less time living in your inbox, and more time doing the stuff that actually matters? Here are 12 tips to get you started.12 Tips For Better Email Management1) Unsubscribe. Ruthlessly.The easiest way to maintain inbox zero? Get less email. The very first step to achieve an emptier inbox is unsubscribing from every single email list that doesn’t provide you with value on a regular basis.In fact, my recommendation is to unsubscribe from everything. Take a few days to let it sink in, and then re-subscribe only to the newsletters you really, truly miss. In this step, you might consider converting any daily digests you used to follow to weekly ones.While unsubscribing manually from tens — hundreds? — of newsletters one by one sounds tedious, there are tools out there that can help you do it in just a few clicks. Unroll.me is my personal favorite: It’s a free tool that lets you mass unsubscribe from all the newsletters you don’t read. You can either unsubscribe from everything at once (my recommendation), or you can pick and choose. Read this blog post to learn more about how it works.2) Remove yourself from any internal company and business threads you don’t need to be on.Once you’ve unsubscribed from external newsletters, it’s time to evaluate the internal emails you receive on a regular basis. Do you really need to get email notifications every time the sales team closes or deal, or every time someone on the marketing team reports a bug?If the answer isn’t a definitive “yes,” do yourself a favor and remove yourself from whatever alias or list you’re on. If that makes you wildly uncomfortable, compromise by creating a folder in your email client and send those emails to that folder automatically. (To set at up, you can create filters in Gmail or rules in Outlook.)3) Understand — and embrace — that you can’t respond to everything.Part of maintaining a manageable inbox — and your sanity — is to change the way you think about email a little bit. Only you can decide what deserves your very limited time and attention. When it comes to email, understand that there’s simply no way you’ll be able to respond to every single email that arrives in your inbox, let alone read them all.I love the way Merlin Mann puts it: “Stop thinking of emails like precious family heirlooms, and start treating ’em like pints of milk. Perishable, time-stamped milk that becomes a little less fresh every day until it smells kind of funny and just needs to be dumped. Believe me, there will always be more coming.”So if you’re looking at an email and know in your heart of hearts you’re never going to respond to it, archive it. Better yet, delete it. As Mann says, “Trust your instincts, listen to them, and stop trying to be perfect.”4) Keep your replies brief whenever possible.When you do have to reply to an email, you’ll find that in most cases, you don’t need to craft the perfect response. Often, a few sentences will do; in some cases, a few words. If you let an email with an action item sit for a few days, a quick “Do you still need this?” email might end up saving you a lot of time.Don’t feel guilty about sending succinct emails. If you’re concerned your brevity will be taken the wrong way, give a heads-up to the folks you exchange emails with the most. Tell them that, in your effort to spend less time on email and more time on your actual work, you plan to cut down word count in your emails.The better you get at deleting emails you don’t need to read or respond to, the more time you’ll have to write the emails that warrant those long responses.5) Use pre-written replies.Which types of emails do you find yourself typing out over and over, without really needing to customize them?I, for example, often find myself referring people to HubSpot’s guest blogging guidelines page. I used to write one-off emails to folks, meaning I’d have to craft a few sentences, find and copy the link, and so on. Now, I give myself ten minutes back in my day by sending pre-written replies via Gmail’s “canned responses” feature.Gmail, Outlook, and other email clients offer canned responses. Below are instructions for setting up and using them in Gmail. To Set Up Canned Responses in Gmail:Click the gear icon in the upper right-hand corner and choose “Settings.”Click the “Labs” tab, find Canned Responses at the top, and click “Enable.” Scroll down and click “Save Changes.”To create a canned response, compose a new email and click the little arrow in the bottom right-hand corner of the new email. Choose “Canned responses,” and then “New canned response.” From there, you can name your new canned response, write it, and save it. Anytime you want to use it, simply go back to that little arrow, choose “Canned responses,” and click on the one you’d like to use. (Learn more on Google’s website.)To Set Up Canned Responses in Outlook:In Outlook, the best option I could find was to set up your canned responses as “Signatures.” That way, when you reply to an email, you can choose the appropriate “signature” and the whole canned reply will appear. Here’s how to do that:On the Outlook menu, click “Preferences.” Under “E-mail,” click “Signatures.”Click the plus icon to add a new signature.A new signature will appear under “Signature name” with the label “Untitled.” Double-click “Untitled,” and then type in a new name for your canned response.In the right pane, type the text that you want to include in the signature — in other words, type in your canned response.Once you create the canned response as a signature, you can add it to a new email by clicking in the message body, choosing the “Message” tab, clicking “Signatures,” and choosing a signature from the list. (Learn more on Outlook’s support page.)6) Employ a one-click rule.This rule might seem simplistic, but it’s a huge time-saver. The “one click” refers to a single click to open an email once. Once it’s open, decide exactly what you want to do with it right then and there: Reply, forward, send to a folder, archive, and/or delete.The point here is to not open an email, read it, and then decide to deal with it later and move on. That’s the bad habit that’ll guarantee you a clogged inbox and more stress down the road.7) Triage emails using “special stars” in Gmail.If you use Gmail and your goal is to get to inbox zero and maintain it, then I’d like to direct you to the email system that’s changed the way I do email. Here are the full instructions. This works great in conjunction with the one-click rule we just talked about.The premise is this: In Gmail, you’ll set up multiple inboxes and give each of them a name, like “Needs Action/Reply” and “Awaiting Response.” Your general inbox will then appear on the left, and your labeled inboxes (which Gmail calls “panes”) will appear on the right, like so:You’ll use what Gmail calls “special stars” — kind of like Gmail’s labels, but better — to categorize every single email that comes into your inbox.Every time you get a new email in your inbox, you’ll want to:Reply to the ones you can right away.Label the emails you need to deal with later by marking them with the appropriate special star.Archive or delete any emails you don’t need to deal with.In the end, you’ll archive everything. Your inbox will stay at zero, and everything else will either be in its designated pane, archived, or deleted.Use Outlook?SimplyFile is a free organizational tool that’ll help you categorize emails using folders. When an email comes in, all you have to do is drag it into the appropriate folder. You can organize both messages you’re receiving in your inbox, as well as messages you’re sending — which you can file as you send them.Image Credit: SimplyFile8) Delegate emails to others using a collaboration tool.Sometimes, you might find that you receive emails that are better handled by someone else. In these cases, you could either forward the email, or you can streamline the process by quickly sharing the email with someone on your team using an email collaboration tool.There are a number of email collaboration tools out there to choose from. If you use Gmail, Hiver is a great choice: It lets you share Gmail labels (and therefore share folders) with other users, which you can use to assign tasks, delegate emails, and even track their status if you want to. If you need to add a quick note explaining what’s going on in an email thread, you can do that right in the tool.Image Credit: Hiver9) Use the “yesterbox” approach.”Yesterbox” is a methodology for managing your inbox created by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. This approach is kind of like inbox zero, except you’re working off all the emails from yesterday and treating them like today’s to-do list.The basic premise is this: Every morning, you have a fixed number of emails to answer instead of an endless flood of new emails coming in. Once you finish dealing with yesterday’s emails, you’re done with email for the day. Here are the full instructions.Like Klinger’s methodology from #7, you’ll categorize incoming emails into folders labeled “Yesterbox,” “Today,” “Action Required,” “Awaiting Response,” and so on. As new emails come in, you’ll label them accordingly. But as for actually dealing with these emails — that’s left for a specific time on your calendar that you’ve designated for handling yesterday’s emails. In the end, your Yeseterbox is a to-do list with static tasks.It’s that freeing sense of completion that makes this method so appealing — but be wary that if your job requires you to tackle emails as they come in, this may not be the best method for you.10) Set up filters when you go on vacation.Vacations are awesome, but coming back to a jam-packed inbox is … not so awesome. One way to manage your email workflow while you’re gone for long periods of time is to set up filters.This is an approach HubSpot’s Director of Marketing Rebecca Corliss found worked really well for her when she went on her month-long sabbatical. Corliss was working in Gmail, but you can adapt this method for most email clients. In short, here’s what she did:She created a new folder for her vacation (“Spain Sabbatical 2015”).She set up a filter that recognized any emails being sent to *@hubspot.com. By putting the asterisk there instead of her actual email, she was able to capture not only emails that were sent to her work email address, but also emails sent to the company aliases she was on.She added a second filter that deleted irrelevant emails — for example, all the daily and weekly digests she expected to receive, like metrics updates.When she returned, she strategically handled all her unread emails. For example, she searched for emails she wanted to respond to first by conducting key searches for her manager’s email address.Once these more time-sensitive messages are addressed, she blocked time to go through the remaining emails and respond only to the ones that were absolutely necessary. Here are the full instructions.11) Block time to get back to inbox zero.Dedicating specific chunks of time to get back to inbox zero isn’t just for when you return from vacation. It should be something you tackle in short batches on a daily basis, and in larger chunks every week or so, depending how much new email you receive.The purpose of batching email? So you aren’t handling emails as they arrive. That can be a serious productivity killer, and can pull you away from projects and tasks that are more important than a perfectly clean inbox.On a daily basis, limit yourself to dealing with new emails during fixed periods each day. For example, HubSpot Demand Generation Manager Amanda Sibley physically blocks off an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening on her calendar for getting her inbox in order. Do what works for you. 12) Use keyboard shortcuts.To make the process of reading, replying to, archiving, and deleting emails a lot faster (and generally more enjoyable), take advantage of any keyboard shortcuts your email client offers. Here are tips for keyboard shortcuts in Gmail and Outlook. If you use a different email client, do a quick Google search for the name of your email client + “keyboard shortcuts.”Keyboard Shortcuts in Gmail:First thing’s first: You’ll need to activate keyboard shortcuts. To do this:Click the gear icon in the upper right-hand corner and choose “Settings.”Click the “General” tab, find “Keyboard shortcuts,” and select “Keyboard shortcuts on.” Scroll down and click “Save Changes.”Then, go back to “Settings” via that gear icon, click on the “Labs” tab, and find “Custom keyboard shortcuts” (by Alan S). Choose “Enable.” Scroll down and click “Save Changes.”Once custom keyboard shortcuts are turned on, a new tab will appear in your Settings called “Keyboard Shortcuts.” Head over there to learn the default keyboard shortcuts and customize them if you’d like.Keyboard Shortcuts in Outlook:Outlook doesn’t let you customize keyboard shortcuts, but they have a heck of a lot to choose from. Here’s the full list, and below are some favorites:Create a new message: ⌘ + N (Mac); Ctrl + N (PC)Send an open message: ⌘ + Return (Mac); Ctrl + Return (PC)Save an open message and store it in Drafts: ⌘ + S (Mac); Ctrl + S (PC)Forward a message: ⌘ + J (Mac); Ctrl + J (PC)Display the next message: Control + ]Display the previous message: Control + [Delete the selected message: DeleteMark selected messages as read: ⌘ + T (Mac); Ctrl + T (PC)Looking for more ideas for gaining and maintaining control of your email? Here are 11 inbox organization tools to try, as well as four solutions to getting “inbox zero” based on your personality.What other ways have you gotten to inbox zero? Share with us in the comments. 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

  • 19 Awesome SEO Blogs and Websites You’ll Want to Bookmark

    first_img Topics: Originally published Sep 19, 2018 8:00:00 PM, updated October 30 2019 SEO Don’t forget to share this post! Search engine optimization (SEO) standards are constantly changing. Like social media, email marketing, and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), search engines are improving the way in which they deliver results to users every day.To do this, they’re focusing on things like localization, page authority, click-through rate, and even searches that come from voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.Access Now: 22 SEO Myths to Leave Behind This YearAs a marketer, it is critical to keep up with all of this news. Here’s our reading list of the best SEO blogs on the internet today to help you become a better marketer.19 of the Best SEO Blogs on the Internet Today1. The Moz Blog Moz has become the gold standard for SEO solutions and how-to articles. The Moz Blog’s team of contributors offers an article per day to help expand your knowledge of search marketing.2. Neil PatelNeil Patel and his team of talented marketers break marketing news from every end of the spectrum — SEO being one of them. And their videos are just as intriguing as their blog posts.3. Search Engine LandSearch Engine Land is one of the best search engine blogs for in-depth news and analysis of the search marketing industry.4. Search Engine Journal From link building to the latest algorithm changes from Google, Search Engine Journal covers news and tactics related to the search engine marketing industry.5. Search Engine Roundtable For detailed discussion and explanations of the fine details of search engine marketing, Search Engine Roundtable has you covered.6. SEMrush BlogSEMrush’s blog is on the cutting edge of today’s SEO trends, offering advice on SEO through a variety of lenses — from app development, to social media, to voice search.7. SEO Book For reviews of the newest SEO tools to analysis of search engine changes, check out SEO Book.8. Tubular InsightsTubular Insights is a resource for marketers looking to learn more about online video’s impact on search engine marketing.9. Yoast Yoast is a training and website integration for those who want to learn how to optimize their website. Its blog covers tactics for improving SEO as well as user experience.10. Biznology This blog discusses many SEO-related issues, but has recently focused on content marketing and its connection to SEO.11. DailySEOBlogAre you a fan of sites that provide a tip per day? This might be the blog for you, offering tips and tricks to help support your search engine optimization strategy.12. Distilled Blog The team at Distilled provides insights and musings across digital marketing, using SEO as the vehicle for that conversation.13. GeoLocalSEO If local and mobile search is your interest, the GeoLocalSEO blog is a resource you should check out for tips and tricks related to the local and mobile search industry.14. Google Webmaster Central BlogWhen working in the search marketing industry, you must know what the search engines are doing. Google’s Webmaster Blog gives search marketers insights into the changes and updates to Google.15. John Battelle’s Search Blog A co-founder of WIRED Magazine and a search engine marketing pioneer, Battelle’s musings cover search and much more.16. Content Marketing InstituteContent marketing is critical to SEO success. The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) is a hub for content marketers to learn and share insight on SEO, storytelling, social media, and more.17. SEO Copywriting Copy is a critical part of SEO success. This blog goes into more detail than most about the best practices of SEO copywriting.18. Search Engine Watch This multi-author blog was recommended by several readers and covers a wide variety of search marketing issues.19. SEO by the SeaFounded by longtime marketer Bill Slawski, this SEO outlet digs deep into search engines’ own records to give you some of the meatiest news and analysis on the latest ranking criteria.Find a headline you like? Bookmark a few of these blogs and get out ahead of your industry — your content is counting on you.last_img read more

  • The Ultimate Guide to Integrated Marketing

    first_img Integrated Marketing Imagine discovering a new brand on Instagram and visiting the company’s website to purchase one of their products. If their website promoted a different message or campaign than the one you found on their Instagram account, you’d have a hard time understanding the gist of the brand, right?Integrated marketing exists to eliminate these disparities and differences regardless of how or when a customer interacts with your brand. It’s similar to multi-channel marketing, except integrated marketing is what aligns the message you’re sharing on all of those channels.Speaking of channels, integrated marketing doesn’t apply to just your inbound or digital marketing channels; traditional media channels are also included. Many of the integrated marketing examples we’ll review below incorporate traditional marketing channels such as print, radio, and TV ads.Now, let’s talk about integrated marketing campaigns.Why are integrated marketing campaigns effective?While integrated marketing campaigns can differ in their goals (e.g. converting views, building brand awareness, etc.), they should all have one component in common: to align your marketing channels to present a united marketing “front”.If your marketing channels are players, consider your integrated marketing campaign the coach in charge of running plays and helping your channels work as a unified system — not disparate ones.It’s also more effective to run integrated marketing campaigns as compared to campaigns on individual channels. Integrated marketing campaigns are impactful for a few reasons:They reach a wider audience than a single marketing channel.They have a greater chance of being seen on multiple channels, thus keeping your brand top-of-mind and pushing visitors closer to conversion.They build trust with visitors as they see a consistent message on multiple channels.They save you money since assets can be shared between and repurposed for different marketing channels and, depending on your campaign, customers can help you market your product or service for you. How to Build an Integrated Marketing Campaign So, how can you build your own integrated marketing campaign? Follow these steps to get started.1. Establish your overarching campaign goal.Before you consider what channels will be part of your integrated marketing campaign, you must consider the goal of the entire campaign.Maybe you’ve launched a new product, service, or initiative and want to get it in front of customers — like Southwest’s Transfarency. Maybe you’ve completely rebranded and want to broadcast your new message — like Old Spice’s Smell Like a Man, Man. Perhaps you’ve simply chosen a new positioning tagline and want your audience to start associating your brand with it — like Snickers’ You’re Not You When You’re Hungry.(Don’t worry, we’ll dig deeper into these examples later.)Whatever your campaign goal may be, always remember to make it SMART. This will help you stay focused, track your campaign success, and learn how to improve the next time around.These goals should also relate to at least one of the following key performance indicators (KPIs) and their subsequent metrics, which you can track when you launch your campaign. I don’t think I’m the only one who held this association, so it’s no surprise that, in 2010, Old Spice launched a major rebranding campaign to give its products a more youthful, playful feel — and ultimately attract a younger audience. Not only did Old Spice change the design of their packaging, but they also renamed their products and crafted a new tagline (“Smell Like a Man, Man”).The initial campaign launch featured one 30-second TV spot, The Man Your Man Could Smell Like, that was so beloved that Old Spice launched a handful of others. Integrated Marketing Examples Top (and falling) contentTop page views; top exits One reason for this is the campaign’s humor, but the other, more pertinent reason is that Snickers pasted this movement everywhere … on its website, social media, TV, print ads, and more, and they included plenty of celebrities to boot. By presenting an aligned, cohesive integrated marketing campaign, customers now think of Snickers when craving a sweet snack — and the company has benefitted as a result. You’re Not You When You’re Hungry by SnickersSnickers is one of my favorite chocolate bars, so I paid close attention when I started to see commercials for their You’re Not You When You’re Hungry advertisements. Launched at the 2010 Super Bowl, this Snickers campaign has remained top-of-mind for chocolate and candy lovers everywhere. Topics: SalesLead to marketing qualified lead (MQL); MQL to sales qualified lead (SQL); customer purchase/closed-won business What is Integrated Marketing? Establish your overarching campaign goal Choose your marketing channels and set goals for each one Define your buyer personas by channel Identify your channel managers Create adaptable marketing assets and messaging Establish your plan for collecting leads Launch, measure, and iterate your campaign Integrated Marketing Examples But Old Spice didn’t stop at the TV commercial. They also included their website, product pages, Instagram, YouTube, and other channels in their campaign. No, they don’t all feature the specific characters or taglines from the original TV spots (remember, the campaign launched almost 10 years ago), but they do reflect the same tone, theme, and brand, thus giving customers a consistent brand experience across all media. ImpactClick-throughs; conversions; backlinks I fly Southwest Airlines almost exclusively. They offer reasonable prices, make it easy to rack up points, and always have fun and kind flight attendants.One thing I’ve noticed about Southwest is their branding is on point. Whether I’m booking a flight on their mobile application, being served my go-to in-flight ginger ale, or walking through the terminal at Midway Airport, I’m surrounded by Southwest’s consistent brand colors, messaging, and imagery.This is an example of integrated marketing at work. If you’re interested in presenting a cohesive, consistent brand experience that leaves your products or services top-of-mind — like Southwest does — this guide is for you. Read on to learn more about integrated marketing and how to create a campaign of your own.Receive a 12-month marketing plan in less than 10 minutes with the help of our free generator.  EngagementBounce rate; average time on pagecenter_img Integrated Marketing Strategies and Best Practices Also, while increased engagement and new leads are always exciting, a multi-channel campaign should also consider the bigger picture: how your campaign impacts sales opportunities and business revenue. Take a moment to map out how you want your campaign to impact your bottom line, too.2. Choose your marketing channels and set goals for each one.Now that you know your overarching integrated marketing campaign goal, you probably have a better idea of what channels (if not all of them) can help you reach that goal.For example, if your goal is to roll out a new logo and branding suite, you don’t necessarily need to leverage radio ads. On the other hand, if you’re extending your audience to target a new geographic region or city, radio ads, billboard ads, TV ads, and other local channels may come in handy.When choosing your channel(s), it all boils down to what you’re trying to achieve through your integrated marketing campaign. There are 10 major marketing “channels” that you can use to distribute your campaign content.Advertising (both print and PPC)Direct marketingEmail marketingPRPersonal sellingSales promotionsDigital marketing (e.g. website, content marketing, and SEO)Social mediaEvents and sponsorshipsPackagingYour integrated marketing campaign should include a variety of marketing channels in order to reach the widest audience and drive home your campaign message. If you see one or more channels plateau, don’t hesitate to add, remove, or test new ones.3. Define your buyer personas by channel.Every marketing channel targets its own specific buyer persona. For this reason, instead of defining a broad persona for your campaign, you must define your audience by channel.There will inevitably be some overlap, but it’s wise to understand exactly who you’re talking to on each medium and how you can tailor those specific assets to be the most successful.Note: With some campaigns, you may be targeting a specific audience. In this case, steps 2 and 3 would be flipped — you’d define your buyer persona(s) first and then decide which channels can help you reach that audience.Download our free Persona Templates to easily organize your audience segments and make your marketing stronger.4. Identify your channel managers.Depending on the size of your marketing team, you may have different people (or entire teams) in charge of different channels. When running a multi-channel marketing campaign, you must determine who specifically will be in charge of ensuring their channel(s) is aligned with the campaign.This is important for two reasons: 1) that manager is the expert on their channel (e.g. audience, posting cadence, optimization tactics, reporting strategies, etc.) and will know how to tailor the campaign content to be the most successful; and 2) putting one person in charge of all channels may be overwhelming and will cause the content and campaign to suffer.Perhaps you have a smaller marketing team where one person handles multiple channels. Regardless of your team size, do your very best to share channel management responsibilities across a few people — ideally with one person handling one or two channels.5. Create adaptable marketing assets and messaging.At this point, you have your campaign goal, target audience(s), and marketing channels. It’s now time to create your integrated marketing campaign content. This stage is where copywriting, graphic design, and other creative processes come into play.Before I dive into how, let’s talk about an important component of integrated marketing content: adaptability. To keep your campaign consistent (and ease your workload), you should be able to repurpose any content to be used on different channels.For example, let’s say your integrated marketing campaign is focused on the launch of a new 3-minute brand video. You could repurpose this video into:30-second and one-minute “trailer” videosStill imagesQuotesGIFsHashtagsBlog postsSoundbitesAs you develop and repurpose these creative assets, keep them aligned with your brand guidelines and consistent with each other. In fact, it may be helpful to create your own set of brand guidelines for your integrated marketing campaign to share with your team and any channel managers.This documentation could include a few things:Visual guidelines (logo, color palette, typography, etc.)Any developed and repurposed assets in multiple file formatsVoice and tone guidelines (taglines, preferred language, words to avoid, etc.)Messaging guidelines (pain points, goals, types of content, resources, etc.)Buyer persona information and guidelinesIntegrated marketing is all about a consistent brand experience. Be sure your campaign assets reflect that, regardless of what channel your audience visits or sees.6. Establish your plan for collecting leads.Whether or not you intend your campaign to collect leads, you should always be prepared to receive them. You don’t want to leave this as an afterthought once you launch your campaign. Even if you’re simply campaigning to raise awareness of your brand, consider how your visitors might convert to leads — and, eventually, customers.First, consider how a visitor might convert to a lead. Would they subscribe to your newsletter? Input their information to download a content offer? Create an account on your website? Ensure these conversion aspects of your campaign are also on-brand with the rest of your visual and messaging assets.Next, consider how your leads will be nurtured once they convert. Would they roll into an automated email workflow? Would you pass them along to Sales? However you go about this step, make sure your leads aren’t forgotten once they willingly give over their information.As always, communicate with Sales to confirm that they’re aware of your campaign and on-board with your plan for new leads and customers.7. Launch, measure, and iterate your campaign.Ready to launch your integrated marketing campaign? It might be time to put your campaign to work … but it’s not time to rest just yet.Remember those KPIs and metrics from step one? Whichever KPIs relate to your overarching campaign goal (e.g. boosting brand awareness, rebranding, new product, etc.), start tracking those subsequent metrics each week, month, and quarter (depending on how long your campaign is running) to see how successful it is at reaching your goal.As always, take what you learn from each integrated marketing campaign and apply it to future campaigns. With the right strategies, managers, and tools in place, you can create a never-ending cycle of integrated marketing campaigns — and wins.Integrated Marketing Strategies and Best PracticesAs you construct your integrated marketing campaign, there are a few key strategies and best practices to keep in mind. We’ve detailed them here, and they apply regardless of what media, channels, or goals you’ve chosen.Align Behind the ScenesIn order for you to successfully implement an integrated marketing approach, it’s imperative that you not only choose marketing channel managers but that all your marketing managers also communicate often about projects and campaigns.While not every integrated marketing campaign or promotion needs to be on all of your channels, they should at least complement each other to avoid a fragmented brand experience for customers.Consider the Channel TransitionIntegrated campaigns receive traffic from a number of sources — and pass along those sources like a game of Hot Potato. Consider how a visitor may view/experience each marketing channel 1) if it was their first visit and 2) if they transitioned from another channel. Think about how each channel can help others convert.For example, say a customer saw your new billboard on their way to work and, once they arrived, visited the website that was on the billboard. Imagine if, on your website, the customer couldn’t easily find whatever your billboard was marketing. How confusing would that be? That customer would likely drop off immediately.Don’t Neglect the Small OverlapsWhen preparing to launch your integrated marketing campaign, it’s tempting to separately think about each channel and its respective media assets. But this thought process inherently goes against the ethos of integrated marketing. Integrated marketing exists to eradicate the silos of traditional marketing and bring together a cohesive campaign experience.For this reason, don’t neglect the places in which your campaign overlaps. Here are a few examples:Your email signature, where you can plug your social media handles, website URL, or video linksYour social media bios and posts, where you can include links to your website, blog posts, content offers, or other digital contentYour blog and website, where you can incorporate social sharing buttonsYour standalone landing pages, where you can optimize for relevant keywords and SEOYour PPC copy, where you can test subject lines to see what your audience responds toWhile these overlaps might not directly support your campaign goals, they help your audience transition seamlessly between channels, enjoy that consistent, cohesive brand experience, and ultimately find their way to a page that converts them. How to Build an Integrated Marketing Campaign Traffic/reachUnique page views by channel and source Every marketer knows just how much you can learn from those who’ve come before you. In this section, we’ve pulled together a handful of well-executed integrated marketing campaigns to give you an example of just how successful this tactic can be.Smell Like a Man, Man by Old SpiceFor years, I associated Old Spice with something only my dad or grandfather would wear. I can remember the old, white bottle of aftershave — the one with the faded pirate ship — that used to sit in my dad’s cabinet. KPIrelated Metrics Smell Like a Man, Man by Old Spice Transfarency by Southwest Airlines You’re Not You When You’re Hungry by Snickers Transfarency by Southwest AirlinesI discussed Southwest Airlines’ consistent branding at the beginning of this article. One campaign that stands out is their Transfarency movement, which introduced a brand new word that marketed Southwest as an airline with straightforward pricing and no hidden fees. The campaign originally launched in 2015, but Southwest has since been rolling out phases to release new elements and introduce more themes and stories. This tactic has helped elongate the campaign message and truly solidify the association between flying Southwest and saving money on fares.Southwest has used almost every possible marketing channel to broadcast this campaign: a dedicated landing page on which you can purchase tickets, print advertisements posted along airport walls and tucked behind airplane seats, a slew of video spots, and plenty of user-generated content on their social media. Lead generationTotal leads; total sessions; session to lead conversion rate What is integrated marketing? Integrated Marketing Helps You Grow BetterIntegrated marketing turns your marketing campaigns into multi-channel movements. In today’s omni-channel world — with consumers encountering your brand online, on social media, and on their daily commutes — integrated marketing is more important than ever to capture new customers and build brand recognition and loyalty. Implement these steps and strategies for your next integrated marketing campaign, and it will surely be a success. Originally published Oct 28, 2019 7:30:00 AM, updated October 28 2019 SentimentComments; social shares Don’t forget to share this post! Integrated marketing is the process of arranging your different marketing channels to work in tandem to promote your products or services, typically through a strategic campaign. Integrated marketing also works to align the primary brand message that’s being delivered through your marketing channels and assets.last_img read more

  • Rohit Sharma out for 0 in India Board President’s XI vs South Africa

    first_imgRohit Sharma suffered the ill-fate of being dismissed for a duck in his last outing before the 1st Test vs South Africa starts on October 2. During the ongoing tour match of the visiting South Africans against the Indian Board President’s XI being played at Vizianagaram, Rohit opened the BPXI innings with Mayank Agarwal after the tourists had declared their 1st innings on 279/6.But Rohit lasted just 2 balls as in the 2nd over of the innings bowled by fast bowler Vernon Philander, the batsman was caught by Heinrich Klaasen without scoring.Earlier the South Africans declared their 1st innings at 279/6 on the 3rd and final day of the match as soon as Philander fell 2 short of a well-deserved half-century. Temba Bavuma remained unbeaten on 87 off 127 balls and must be high on confidence ahead of the 3-Test series next month.For BPXI, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja was the pick of the bowlers, picking up 3 crucial wickets including that of SA captain Faf du Plessis (9). Umesh Yadav and Bengal pacer Ishan Porel were the only other successful bowlers for BPXI with one wicket apiece.At the time of writing, BPXI were 13/1 in 3.4 overs with Abhimanyu Easwaran having joined Agarwal in the middle.Earlier, Yuvraj Singh said Rohit Sharma should be given an extended run in Tests if India are considering to promote him to open the innings in the longest format of the game.The selection committee has dropped KL Rahul for the upcoming 3-Test series against South Africa, starting October 2. Rohit Sharma has got the backing of the team management and the selectors and is all set to open in whites as well.advertisement”If you ask me, Rohit Sharma should have opened in Tests from the beginning of his career. You play him one match and then drop him and say Rohit Sharma is not scoring runs in Test cricket. How can you expect someone to perform without giving him 10 Test?” Yuvraj Singh said.”Now if you are making Rohit Sharma open in Tests, you should give him 6 Tests and tell him Rohit, you have got 10-12 innings, go and play your game, nobody will say anything. You gave so many chances to KL Rahul, so whoever is your opener, give him those 6 Test matches so that he can go and express his game.”Also Read | Based on Virat Kohli’s workload, India can try a different captain for shorter formats: Yuvraj Singhlast_img read more

  • New Zealand vs England: Dawid Malan hits fastest T20I hundred for England, Eoin Morgan fastest fifty

    first_imgDawid Malan created history on Friday as he smashed the fastest hundred by an England batsman in T20Is in Napier.Dawid Malan got to the hundred in just 48 balls, breaking Alex Hales’s England record — 60 balls. Malan’s blitzkrieg helped England post 241 for 3 in their quota of 20 overs in the 4th T20I of the ongoing 5-match series.This was also England’s highest T20I total.Our highest IT20 total ever (241)Our highest IT20 partnership (182)Our fastest IT20 century (103* from 51 balls)Incredible.Scorecard: https://t.co/YMSCqqTiqX#NZvENG pic.twitter.com/aT0vmKdUJbEngland Cricket (@englandcricket) November 8, 2019Malan hit 9 boundaries and 6 sixes as the England batsmen went after the New Zealand bowling attack led by captain Tim Southee.Meanwhile, Dawid Malan also set the record for the highest partnership for any wicket for England in T20I cricket when he added 182 runs with captain Eoin Morgan.Notably, Eoin Morgan was on course to break Dawid Malan’s record but he was dismissed on 91 from just 41 balls. Morgan had hit 7 sixes and as many boundaries during his fiery knock.However, Eoin Morgan broke the record for the fastest fifty by an England batsman. He got to the landmark in just 21 balls, surpassing Jos Buttler’s 22-ball fifty against Australia from 2018.England lost its first two wickets with 58 runs on the board. Tom Banton scored 31 runs while Jonny Bairstow was dismissed after registering just 8 runs.However, after the dismissals of the openers, Morgan and Malan got together at the crease and wreaked havoc on the Kiwi bowling attack.advertisementCurrently, New Zealand is the leading the five-match series 2-1. England had won the first T20I at Christchurch but the Kiwis managed to bounce back in the next two games of the series.Also Read | India vs Bangladesh: Wanted to hit 6 sixes in Mosaddek’s over, says Rohit SharmaAlso see:last_img read more

  • Late Bobo equaliser helps Sky Blues break record

    first_imgA-League Sydney FC break record after late Bobo goal earns draw against Jets Goal Last updated 1 year ago 19:20 1/3/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Bobo Sydney FC A-League Newcastle Jets Sydney Sydney FC went a record 24 matches without defeat at home after fighting back for a 2-2 draw against Newcastle Jets at Allianz Stadium Click here for match report of Sydney FC v Newcastle Jets!last_img read more