Category: bpafdk

  • Illinois Governor Proposes New Tax Revenues

    first_imgIllinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s first budget address proposed new tax revenues that include:– replacing the flat personal income tax rate with a graduated rate structure;– legalizing and taxing recreational cannabis;– legalizing and taxing sports betting; and– enacting a managed care organization assessment on insurance companies to cover Medicaid costs.Fair Tax ProposalPritzker acknowledged that it will take at least 18 months to implement his graduated income tax or “fair tax” proposal. The governor said he intends to immediately begin negotiations over the proposal with Illinois legislative leaders. The Illinois Constitution requires a flat income tax rate. So, any graduated rate legislation will also need approval by Illinois voters.Other Tax OptionsThe governor does not favor other tax options for additional revenue, including:– sales taxes on services;– a tax on retirement income; or– an increase in the current income tax rate by about 20%.He said these regressive tax options fall disproportionately on the working poor and the middle class.Subscribers can view the budget address.2019 Budget Address, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, February 20, 2019Login to read more on CCHAnswerConnect.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.last_img read more

  • Kiddie Tax Problems Affecting Scholarships Recipients and Native Americans

    first_imgRecipients of taxable scholarships and Native American per capita distributions have been surprised with higher tax liabilities due to changes in the kiddie tax rules. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TJCA) amended the kiddie tax rules to make it easier for taxpayers to calculate beginning in 2018. However, an unintended consequence was to create higher tax liabilities for low- and middle-income families since the change affects all unearned income of a child. Most notably has been the affect on families of military members who received survivor benefits (Gold Star families) but the changes have also affected recipients of taxable scholarships and Native Americans.What is the Kiddie Tax?A child’s income tax liability is generally computed in the same manner as for any other individual. However, a child’s unearned income is subject to the kiddie tax if it exceeds a threshold amount ($2,200 for 2019).Prior to TJCA, a child’s unearned income was taxed at his or her parents’ tax if it resulted in a higher tax liability. This involved calculating the child’s ‘allocable parental tax’ depending on the parents’ taxable income and if there were other children in the family. The TJCA attempted to simplify the kiddie tax calculation by taxing the child’s net unearned income using the same tax rates as used for trusts and estates.Child’s Unearned IncomeA child’s unearned income for purposes of the kiddie tax is any income other than from wages, salaries, or other payments received for work. Examples of unearned income include interest, dividends, capital gains, and any other amount not received for personal services.The effect of using the tax rates for trusts and estates can result in a higher tax liability for a child, as compared to before TJCA. This is because the income thresholds for applying trust and estate tax rates are much lower than for an individual (i.e., the child’s parents).For example, the taxable income threshold in 2018 for the top 37% tax rates is only $12,500 for trusts and estates. In contrast, the taxable income threshold for the top 37% for an individual (i.e., child’s parent) in 2018 is $300,000 if married filing separately, $500,000 if single or head of household, and $600,000 if married filing separately.Scholarship and Aid Used for Nontuition ExpensesOne group of taxpayers who have seen their taxes significantly increase due to the kiddie tax changes are students with large financial-aide packages. Scholarships and other financial aid that is used for tuition and fees generally may be excluded from gross income.Any other portion of the aid is taxable, such as room and board, research, or equipment not required for enrollment. The taxable portion of any scholarship is not generated from the performance of personal services and therefore is unearned income for kiddie tax purposes.Taxable scholarships are often awarded to students of lower- and middle-income families. This may especially true for athletic scholarships. As a result, the kiddie tax changes have resulted in much higher taxes for these individuals for their nontuition assistance. Items such as room and board could be taxed at the 37% rate even if tax rates for the family may be much lower.Native Americans Per Capita DistributionsA similar situation occurs with per capita distributions to Native Americans. A member of federally recognized Indian tribe may receive a per capita distribution from the tribal government of tribal revenue. This includes revenue from gaming, sale of natural resources, allotted tribal lands, and rents or royalties.The per capita distributions are taxable to the recipients and therefore are unearned income for kiddie tax purposes. Like taxable scholarships, the recipients of the per capita distribution can often be in lower- or middle-income families. The changes in the kiddie tax under TJCA have resulted in this income now being taxed at a much higher rate than before 2018.Legislation Proposed to Fix Kiddie Tax ProblemsMany families and tax practitioners were caught unaware of the kiddie tax rules and could not plan accordingly. Members of Congress who helped pass the TJCA have stated that they were surprised as well, and that higher tax liability for those affected by the kiddie was not intended.There a couple of bipartisan legislative proposals to fix the problem and help families out in these situations. One proposal one amend the kiddie tax rules to exclude certain items from the definition of unearned income, including:military survivor benefits,distributions from qualified disability trusts,taxable scholarships,Indian tribal payments, andAlaska Permanent Fund dividend.A broader proposal would simply repeal the TJCA changes to the kiddie tax. It would restore the kiddie tax calculation to the pre-2018 rules and depend on the tax rate of a child’s parents. There is currently no timetable if either of these legislative proposals will be enacted.By John Buchanan, JD, LLMLogin to read more on CCHAnswerConnect.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.last_img read more

  • BMW rolls out new models at Geneva Motor Show

    first_imgBMW’s CEO introduced new versions of the company’s big luxury sedan at the Geneva International Motor Show and cautioned that sales growth in Europe and China will only be modest this year.ALSO READ: BMW launches X5 xDrive30d M Sport priced at Rs 75.90 lakhHarald Krueger showed off a new plug-in hybrid of the 7-Series, saying customers who wanted to set an example were asking for a low-emissions vehicle.For those wanting top performance, the company is rolling out a version with a 12-cylinder, 610 horsepower engine that can accelerate to 100 kph (62 mph) in just 3.9 seconds.Krueger said Tuesday the company expected “moderate sales growth” this year after a record year in which the company sold 2.2 million cars.ALSO READ:BMW launches 7 series, X1 in Indian marketHe said he expected sales growth in Europe and China only in the lower single digit percent range.last_img read more

  • Amit Mishra, batsmen shine in India’s first tour game in West Indies

    first_imgPaceman Bhuvneshwar Kumar removed opener Leon Johnson cheaply but India could not make much inroads into the rival batting line-up after initial success as the West Indies Board’s President XI reached 281/7 on the second and final day of the first practise game.The lean Indian paceman struck in the seventh over of the day, getting the scalp of the rival captain Johnson (2) but Rajendra Chandrika (67) and Shai Hope (118) denied India further success with their cautious batting effort.India skipper Virat Kohli handed the ball to leg-spinner Amit Mishra after letting his four pacemen test the home batsmen. Mishra repaid the faith his skipper showed in him and ended the day with four wickets in his bag. (Also read: Kohli flops, KL Rahul makes it count in India’s first tour game of West Indies) ROHIT, RAHUL SHINE On the first day, India had ambled to 258 for six as half centuries by the opening duo of Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul were followed by an unbeaten fifty from Rohit Sharma.Opting to bat after winning the toss, India were provided a solid start by Dhawan (51) and Rahul (50), with the two putting on 93 runs for the first wicket before the left-handed Delhi dazzler was retired out.At the end of a slow first day during which 93 overs were bowled at the Warner Park wicket, Sharma remained not out on 54 with the help of eight boundaries and a six.Mishra (18) was giving the Mumbaikar company when the stumps were drawn.Kohli (14) and Ajinkya Rahane (5) failed to get what would have been some valuable batting practice before the start of the four-match Test series. The Indians, though, is slated to play another three-day warm-up game before the Test series gets going from July 21 at Antigua.advertisementLike Dhawan, who struck seven boundaries during his 90-ball knock, Rahul was also called back after the batsman found the fence five times and cleared it once.Sharma added 47 runs for the sixth wicket with Wriddhiman Saha (22) before putting on 45 runs for an unbroken seventh- wicket stand with Mishra.(With PTI inputs)last_img read more

  • Firmino: I was scared of going blind!

    first_imgLiverpool attacker Roberto Firmino admits he was scared of losing his sight in one eye after a nasty clash with Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen.The Brazil international scored the decisive goal as the Reds ran out 2-1 winners at Wembley, but was forced off after Vertonghen, while attempting to shield the ball, poked him in the eye.He recovered quickly, however, and was able to feature in his side’s thrilling 3-2 Champions League victory over PSG later that week. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Nevertheless, Firmino says he was terrified he might go blind.”I was scared of going blind in one eye and not being able to see again,” he told Sky Sports.”Thank God nothing like that happened and it gradually improved day after day.”Of course, I’ve been taking my medication and looking after it. Your eyes are very important as a professional footballer. Thank God everything is OK now.”I was frightened, but the pain gradually passed after the doctor gave me a painkiller and it got better.”When the incident happened, everything was blurry and I couldn’t see out of my left eye.”It’s much better. The pain has gone and I can’t feel anything anymore. It’s still a bit red, but I hope that clears up over time.”Firmino will hope to feature against Manchester City this weekend as Jurgen Klopp’s side look to leapfrog Pep Guardiola’s men at the top of the table. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more

  • Resurgent Rising Pune Supergiant have task cut out against Kolkata Knight Riders

    first_imgOn a roll after three back-to-back wins, the resurgent Rising Pune Supergiant will have their task cut out when they take on high-flying Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in an Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter here on Wednesday.After languishing in the bottom-half of the table initially, Pune chalked up up three successive wins to grab the fourth place. (More difficult to maintain intensity from last match: Gambhir)On Monday, Pune registered a three-run victory over Mumbai Indians in a thrilling encounter, thanks to some effective bowling by pacers Ben Stokes and Jaydev Unadkat at the death.Opener Rahul Tripathi’s gritty 45 also boosted their campaign. The 26-year-old from Maharashtra came up with scores of 31 and 59 before Monday and his form also augurs well for the Steve Smith-led franchise.Off-colour former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni too roared back to form with a sparkling 61 not out against Sunrisers Hyderabad. (Dhoni will become a better player post captaincy: Ganguly to India Today)Smith and Ajinkya Rahane have also contributed from time to time and Manoj Tiwary has also played a few useful cameos.Coming to the bowlers, South African spinner Imran Tahir has taken 10 wickets to emerge as the best bowler for Pune. Stokes and Unadkat have snapped up six and five wickets respectively.KKR, on the other hand, are still basking in the glory of their resounding 82-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the Eden Gardens on Sunday.Their bowlers produced a fantastic show to bundle out RCB for 49 runs — the lowest score in IPL history.advertisementChris Woakes has taken 10 wickets in the seven matches he has played, while fellow pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile has scalped eight after featuring in only three games for Kolkata. KKR, however, will be without Coulter-Nile for this clash as he has been rested.Fast bowler Umesh Yadav too has seven wickets from five outings.The twice IPL champions have been pretty consistent this season and are placed second in the points table with two losses and five wins in seven matches.Squads:Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (C), Darren Bravo, Trent Boult, Piyush Chawla, Nathan Coulter Nile, Colin De Grandhomme, Rishi Dhawan, Sayan Ghosh, Shaikb-Al-Hasan, Sheldon Jackson, Ishank Jaggi, Kuldeep Yadav, Chris Woakes, Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Ankit Rajpoot, Suryakumar Yadav, Robin Uthappa and Umesh Yadav.Rising Pune Supergiant: Steve Smith (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (WK), Ashok Dinda, Faf du Plessis, Mayank Agarwal, Ankit Sharma, Baba Aparajith, Ankush Bains, Rajat Bhatia, Deepak Chahar, Rahul Chahar, Dan Christian, Lockie Ferguson, Imran Tahir, Jaskaran Singh, Usman Khawaja, Saurabh Kumar, Ben Stokes, Washington Sundar, Milind Tandon, Manoj Tiwary, Adam Zampa, Jaydev Unadkat, Ishwar Pandey, Rahul Tripathi, Shardul Thakur.last_img read more

  • Junior National Rugby in Chennai from tomorrow

    first_imgChennai, Jun 9 (PTI) The two-day Junior National Rugby Sevens Championship 2017 will get underway at the Nehru stadium here tomorrow. Boys and girls teams from 21 states will be taking part in the under-18 tournament, Tamil Nadu Rugby Football Union Secretary General Senthil Thiyagarajan told reporters here today. Defending champion Odisha will look to retain its title and will face stiff competition from Tamil Nadu, the runner-up from last years edition. The tournament will serve as a platform for selection for the Indian national Under-17 and Under-18 teams that will compete in international tournaments later this year. The national Under-18 girls team will participate in the World Games ? Rugby Sevens in Paris, France on July 8 and 9. According to Rugby India and Asia Rugby vice-president Aga Hussain, “Rugby is growing at a rapid rate across Asia and in particular across India. We will largely focus on increasing national age-grade tournaments and participation in international age-grade Rugby tournaments, which will help popularise the sport.” The tournament is organised by the Indian Rugby Football Union (IRFU), also known as Rugby India, in association with Societe Generale, Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT) and Tamil Nadu Rugby Football Union (TNRFU). PTI SS APR APRlast_img read more

  • California Chrome Races For History

    first_imgNEW YORK — So far, so smooth for California Chrome. It has been fairly clear sailing for the chestnut colt through the first two legs of the Triple Crown.He parlayed trouble-free trips in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness into victories, setting the stage for a possible Triple Crown sweep on June 7 in the Belmont Stakes.The 1 1/2-mile Belmont, known as “The Test of a Champion,” is the longest of the three races in the series. And, in many respects, the cruelest.Only 11 horses have swept the three races, Affirmed the most recent in 1978. Since then, 12 horses have captured the first two legs without completing the equine hat trick.There is a quiet confidence in the California Chrome camp that they possess the long-awaited Triple Crown champion.“The horse is doing great, I couldn’t ask anything more from him,” said Alan Sherman, the assistant trainer to his father Art Sherman. “I’m looking forward to the race. I think if he runs his race, he’s going to be pretty solid.”By all outward indications, they have every reason to feel that way. Since the Preakness, California Chrome has not missed a beat. His one workout was terrific, the morning gallops strong and steady, the appetite hardy.That continues the pattern for California Chrome throughout this Triple Crown attempt.Of course, there were some minor glitches, like a mild throat irritation that produced a couple of coughs before the Preakness. And, the brief flap surrounding California Chrome’s nasal strips. The Belmont Park stewards quickly reversed their ban on the strips, ending the threat California Chrome would skip the Belmont.Aside from that, it’s been all business.The day before the Belmont was a typical morning for California Chrome, another day without a hitch. He visited the paddock, getting acquainted with the area and the stall where he will be saddled. Then, it was out to the track for a leg-stretching gallop.“He’s training outstanding,” Sherman said. “Nothing seems to bother him too much. He’s pretty cool.”Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito, an objective observer, echoes that sentiment. “That horse is as smooth as can be, when he works, when he gallops,” Zito said. A two-time Belmont winner, Zito does not have a horse in this year’s race.California Chrome and his 10 rivals will run the longest race of their lives, one lap around Big Sandy, Belmont’s deep and often tiring track.“I feel more confident coming into this race than I did any race,” said Art Sherman, who at 77 is overseeing the best horse of his career. “I’m getting pumped up.”The Belmont could be a redemptive moment for jockey Victor Espinoza, who saw his bid for a Triple Crown aboard War Emblem end in defeat at the 2002 Belmont after a stumble at the start.“It has to be a super horse to win that,” Espinoza said.Weather should not be a factor. The forecast calls for sunny skies with temperatures in the low 80s at the expected 6:52 p.m. Eastern post time. A crowd of around 100,000 is expected to pack the expansive grandstand for a chance to see history, and an end to the longest Triple Crown drought.There are 10 other horses in the race itching to play spoiler.Commanding Curve, for one, will be looking to close the gap. He rallied from 18th in the Kentucky Derby for finish second, only 1 3/4-length behind California Chrome.Commanding Curve skipped the Preakness, getting an additional two weeks of rest for the Belmont. He is owned by West Point Thoroughbreds, a partnership headed by Terry Finley.While everyone wants to win, deep down most wouldn’t be too upset seeing a Triple Crown winner.  “Sure, we’d love to win,” Finley said. “We’re like most of the other connections, we want California Chrome to win if we don’t.”(MIKE FARRELL)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

  • Woods Posts Video to Rebut Rumors

    first_imgPALM BEACH GARDENS, FL— Tiger Woods posted a video of him swinging a 9-iron in a golf simulator on Wednesday to shoot down rumors on social media that suggested his recovery from back surgeries had worsened to the point he could not even sit in a chair.The 13-second video Woods posted on Twitter shows him dressed in shorts and golf shoes, and he takes a smooth swing on a golf simulator.“Progressing nicely,” Woods wrote.The video (http://bit.ly/1oHi2If ) had a time stamp of Wednesday.If nothing else, it provided the first update on Woods since he spoke at the Hero World Challenge the first week of December. This was intended primarily, however, because of the social media storm that began over the weekend with a Twitter account called “Secret Tour Pro.”Mark Steinberg, Woods’ agent at Excel Sports Management, released a statement Monday that said the rumors were “ridiculous and absolutely false.”“With everything that went on this weekend with Twitter exploding and the ridiculous and erroneous discussions — I don’t even want to call it reporting — we were inundated with fans saying: ‘Wow. How can this be true?’ Clearly, it wasn’t true,” Steinberg said Wednesday.“If I picked up the phone and called you and said he’s doing some chipping and putting and making some swings up to a 9-iron — and that’s what the club was — is that impactful or a visual evidence of that?” he said. “We felt that was a more appropriate way to go.”Woods first had a microdiscectomy a week before the 2014 Masters, which kept him out nearly three months. He took off another three months to get stronger, but then announced another back surgery in September, and a third one at the end of October.He has not played since August. He has not won since August 2013.The tweet Sunday from “Secret Tour Pro” — who claims to be a tour player, though it has never been verified — said that Woods’ condition had worsened since Christmas and that he has to ride in a car with the seat full reclined. The tweet also said Woods has to lay down for the majority of the time and sitting in chair is no longer possible.Robert Lusetich, who wrote a book about Woods’ 2009 season after returning from knee surgery, tweeted similar information the next day that he attributed to his sources, and talked about it on a national radio show.Steinberg could not say if Woods would have posted the video without the rumors.“He does want to keep people in the loop to some degree,” he said.Missing from the update was anything beyond “progressing nicely.” Woods said in December that he misses competing and wants to return, though he does not appear to be in any rush this time. He has said he tried to come back too early from the first back surgery.“He’s going to learn from the past,” Steinberg said. “We don’t want to put a timetable on it. He’ll come back when he’s ready.”DOUG FERGUSON, AP Golf WriterTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

  • The Top 8 Priorities for Any One-Man Marketing Team

    first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Apr 5, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated June 27 2019 Topics: Marketing Advice When you’re the Jack or Jill of all trades at your company, it’s hard to always follow every piece of inbound marketing advice you read. You know you could follow it if you had a dedicated team to support you, a million-dollar budget to play with, and 48 hours in a day — but that’s not how real life works. Especially for a small business.It’s easy to get into the “if only” mindset when you’re the only marketer at your company, but if you want to grow your business, it’s important to shake it off and get solution-oriented. Instead of having an all-or-nothing attitude, try to focus on getting the most bang for your buck from every marketing activity you can muster the time and resources to execute. That means recognizing that not all marketing tactics are equal — some may take you forever to execute and have little reward, while others, with a small tweak, could have a huge payout.Learn how to run more impactful, measurable marketing campaigns.To help you get on the path of agile marketing for your business, we’ve compiled eight incredibly important marketing activities that a one-man or one-woman team can and should execute that will also start moving key metrics. No more dilly dallying around with things that don’t move the needle.1) Set strategic and measurable marketing goals.Before you start posting blog posts, sending emails or scheduling tweets, you’ll find you’re more effective in the future if you’ve properly set goals for your marketing. Think of your marketing like a road trip — you wouldn’t start driving until you’ve found your destination, and mapped out the most effective route to get there. In the same way, you should always make sure your activities and goals help you drive your business forward.For example, you wouldn’t want to set a goal of converting more leads to customers if you didn’t have any visitors converting to leads in the first place — you can’t pull people through the funnel until you’ve gotten them there in the first place. If you need help determining which goals are right for your business, check out our guide to setting SMART marketing goals.Download your free marketing goal-setting template here. And of course, ensure the goals you set are measurable, For instance, if your goal is to increase visitor-to-lead conversion rate, think about whether you have the tools in place to measure whether you’re doing that. HubSpot customers can easily do that with our closed-loop software, but if you’re not using HubSpot software, see how your marketing tools work to measure this and other goals you set.2) Establish exactly who your audience is.With only so much time in the day to devote to marketing, you want to make sure that every piece of content you produce — whether an ebook, landing page, blog post, or email — is on-target and effective. Wouldn’t it be frustrating to spend a ton of time creating content that falls on deaf ears? The best way to guard against wasting your time creating content is to create and use buyer personas.If you’re not familiar with buyer personas, they’re models for what your ideal customers are like. You can have one persona, five personas, whatever – as many as you need to bucket your target customers. Here at HubSpot, for instance, we have five core personas!A persona includes information such as what sort of person they are (education, income level, or job, for example) as well as what’s important to them (saving time or money, for example). If you haven’t developed them yet, or you think you could put a little more elbow grease into ones you already have, here’s a free template to help you put together your buyer personas. If you put together buyer personas now, and then create every piece of content with a persona in mind, your content will work harder for you — in fact, you may find persona-driven content results in your audience marketing your content for you!3) Focus on the right social media platforms.Now that we have some important baselines established that will make your subsequent marketing efforts pack a more powerful punch, let’s figure out the right places to spend your time (so it’s not wasted in the wrong ones). And if there’s one area rife with opportunities for misspent time, it’s on social media.It’s tempting to try to be on all of the social media platforms because everyone else is doing it, and it feels like that’s what good marketers do. Fortunately for you, they are most definitely wrong. Instead of wasting your time engaging on social networks that won’t help you achieve your SMART goals, strategically choose one or two platforms to be on and knock them out of the park.To find out which social networks you should spend your time on, check out your analytics. In your sources report Identify which social networks are already sending you the most traffic, and then capitalize on them. If you have closed-loop analytics, I also recommend drilling down further to see which networks are sending you the most leads and customers. Have access to all of this information will help you make better decisions on which social networks you spend your marketing time.Download Now: Free Social Media Calendar TemplateBe prepared to be surprised, by the way — you may find that a top social network for you isn’t Facebook or Twitter, but rather a niche social network specific to your industry. Many B2B marketers, for instance, have found that LinkedIn and Quora actually bring in far more relevant traffic and leads than, say, Twitter. Instead of wasting time on a big social network because it’s something you’re just “supposed” to do, switch your efforts to social networks that will pay off big time for your business.4) Schedule out social media updates.Now that you know where to spend your time on social media, let’s make your time spend on it both efficient, and effective.First, let’s talk about scheduling your content in advance. Instead of freaking out every day trying to find something amazing to post to social media, sit down once a week to think of all of the subsequent week’s social media content. While you may have a couple things come up that warrant posting – like breaking industry news, for example – bucketing your time like this will make you more efficient. It might also help to download this free social media publishing template, which lets you customize for your publishing frequency, and across social networks.Alright, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s make your time on social media more effective by thinking about the best times of day to publish your content. While this may differ for your audience, our recent webinar, The Science of Marketing Automation, unearthed some guidelines that might help. For example, did you know that Twitter accounts with the most followers tweet around 22 times per day? That makes a good case for charting out that content beforehand, eh? Schedule those bad boys out using automation, and enjoy more efficient and effective Twitter marketing.I encourage you to look for timing trends for your own social media presences — but if you want a little guidance on where to start, check out The Science of Timing.5) Create evergreen content to reap short- and long-term benefits.Since content creation can get pretty time consuming, focus on creating evergreen content – content that stays relevant over a long period of time — to pack the biggest punch. This type of content pays for itself over and over again. Because it’s not time-sensitive, search engines will continue to drive traffic to evergreen posts, helping to drive leads long after you hit publish. We’ve used this technique on our blog before — take the post “How to Retweet the Right Way in 4 Steps” as an example. Even though it was written in 2011, we continue to get traffic and leads from it today since it answers a very common question that plagues a lot of people.If you’re having trouble finding an evergreen topic to write about on your company’s blog, try focusing on long-tail keywords that answer common problems. Not only do long-tail keywords tend to be a bit more problem-oriented, but because you’re not trying to rank for extremely competitive keywords, you’ll be much more likely to be found by visitors in the SERPs.6) Lean heavily on calls-to-action (CTAs) to pull people through the funnel.A colleague of mine told me a story that I want to relay to you:A friend and small business owner had just got into inbound marketing. He was really excited about a blog post he wrote that was a huge hit. When he showed it to me, beaming at how much traffic he got, I was really excited for him too. Then I asked him how many leads he got from it, and he looked a little baffled. When I scrolled up and down the screen, I saw there was no call-to-action in the post. I felt like I rained on his parade – he did a great job writing a big hit blog post, but it wasn’t working for him as hard as it could have, because there was no way for all that traffic to turn into a lead.I told you that to tell you this: If you’re not putting calls-to-action in your blog posts, start doing it today. In fact, go back to any blog posts you’ve published, particularly the ones still driving traffic, and put a lead generation call-to-action somewhere in the post.If you’re already using CTAs in your blog content, step your lead generation up a notch by including CTAs 1) in more places on your site, and 2) that address all areas of the funnel. To put it plainly, the more CTAs you have out there, the more opportunities for conversion. By putting CTAs on, say, your homepage, your product pages, your FAQ pages, your About Us page, and your Resource pages, you could be generating tens of hundreds of thousands of leads you weren’t capturing before.It’s also important to select the right CTAs for each placement. Consider the stage in the sales cycle visitors are most likely to be in. For instance, visitors on a product page are more likely to be in a buying frame of mind than someone visiting an educational blog post, so consider putting a more middle- or bottom-of the funnel CTA there. This ensures you’re not only generating leads that fill the top of your funnel, but leads that are further along in the buying process and are likely to have a shorter time to close.(Tip: You don’t have to be a mind reader to figure out what stage of the buying cycle site visitors are in. You can use dynamic, or smart CTAs that display CTAs based on the lifecycle stage a visitor is in.)7) Set up a few automatic workflows and let them work their magic.A little bit goes a long way with automatic workflows. Like dominoes, automated workflows set a process in motion after people complete certain tasks or exhibit a certain behavior on your website, blog, social media accounts, or email. For example, you could set up an automated workflow for people who sign up for your blog — any time someone subscribes, they are automatically sent an email welcoming them, and maybe also asking them to connect with you on social media.Automated workflows are a great tool to help pull people through your marketing funnel with minimal work on your part. With a simple workflow, there’s hardly any legwork you need to do besides set it up, leaving you free to focus on the rest of your business’ needs. Like scheduling your social media updates, having automated workflows will put your marketing to work for you while you’re checking off other items on your to-do list.8) Use A/B tests to help drive intelligent marketing decisions.You don’t have the time or money (or heck, the patience) to guess what landing page layouts, copy, and CTAs work best for your audience. If you guess wrong, you’ve wasted valuable resources your business desperately needs. Instead of relying on intuition or what the latest marketing “guru” says is best, take some time to execute a few A/B tests. To run an A/B test (also known as a split test), you take two versions of one piece of content (like an email, landing page, or CTA) and test them with two similarly sized audiences to see which version performs better.Like setting goals and establishing buyer personas, there’s some initial time investment into A/B testing, but the payout can be huge. Actually, A/B testing has been shown to generate up to 30-40% more leads for B2B sites, and 20-25% more leads for ecommerce sites – think about what an incredible difference that could make for your business. When you have limited time and resources, A/B testing cuts out the guesswork to maximize your marketing efforts.Free Download: A/B Testing Guide and KitThere’s no way you can be doing every single best practice ever if you’re a one-person marketing team. When you have limited time and resources, it’s absolutely essential to spend your time doing marketing activities that will pay off for you tenfold. Once these activities have helped you grow your business to the point of having a larger, dedicated marketing team, you can focus on nailing the smaller stuff.last_img read more

  • How to Add Alt Text to Your Email Images [Quick Tip]

    first_img Images Originally published Jul 15, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated August 25 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Once you hit ‘send’ on an email, its fate is in the hands of the email gods. In other words, things like recipients’ email clients, the devices they’re using to open it, and their browsers. Your recipients could see an email that’s beautifully designed, perfectly aligned, and the optimal size … or those graphical elements might not even show up at all.The point is, all that time you spent designing beautiful graphics for your email goes down the drain if images aren’t enabled in a certain email client. But you can still get your message across — and maybe even get more clicks on your calls-to-action (CTAs) — if you add custom alt text to your emails.Click here to download our free beginner’s guide to email marketing.What is alt text, you ask? When an image isn’t able to load in an email, website, or blog post, the “alternative text” (AKA alt text) is displayed. Often, it’s simply the file name of the image — which may or may not be relevant to the person seeing the alt text. Instead of being hit with random file names, you should make sure your recipients will see relevant, clickable text — especially if you’re using images as CTAs.Let’s take a look to see what this would look like in real life in Quartz’s email below. I’m a huge fan of the publication’s morning roundups, but I don’t always have images enabled. Here’s what I got in my inbox last week:Because Quartz included alt text, I knew who was sending me the email and who sponsored it — something Adobe would probably be really happy about. Bottom line: Alt text isn’t something you should forget about when designing emails. But how do you go about adding alt text to your emails?How to Add Alt Text to Your Images in EmailsNote: Other email service provider will have very similar processes, but we’re going to use HubSpot’s Email tool for tutorial purposes. If you’re using a different email tool, keep an eye out for the alt text tag when you’re uploading and formatting an image to customize it.Step 1: In an email, click the ‘Insert Image’ icon in the rich text editor.Step 2: Select which folder you’d like to add the image to.Step 3: Upload the image you’d like to use (either click and drag, or click ‘Upload a File’).Step 4: Click on the image you just uploaded, then select ‘Use Image.’Step 5: Click on the image within the text of your email, and an options box will pop up. Within the options box, select ‘Edit Image.’Step 6: Add the text you’d like to display as alt text, then click ‘OK.’If you need help writing effective alt text, check out this post.Step 7: Boom! You’re done. This is what it will look like in your email.For images that are serving as CTAs, make sure your alt text is actionable, like “Download Now!” — and hyperlink the image so the alt text is clickable. This way, your alt text will act like a text-based CTA and may still result in clickthroughs…. And that’s it! Now, let’s get creative. How could you use alt text to make your emails stand out? Share your ideas with us in the comments.Image credit: CarbonNYClast_img read more

  • A 3-Step Guide to Performing Prospect Research (Before You Pick Up the Phone)

    first_img Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Passing Leads to Sales What’s the difference between a poor first-time connect and a successful one? One word: context.Researching potential prospects before you first email or call them can make a world of difference between a deal or a bust. By understanding the background of a company and the person you’re trying to speak to, you can better frame a conversation.And just like no two prospects are the same, no two prospects’ interactions with you should be the same. It’s important Sales take the time to collect information and then create more tailored experience from first touch. By creating relevancy, you’re much more likely to engage a prospect and have a positive, meaningful conversation.Download 37 Tips for Social Selling on LinkedInBut we also know that time is precious. While there’s a lot to gather from your research, ultimately it’s important to train yourself to spend no more than around five minutes researching potential prospects. With practice, you can start to develop a sixth sense for knowing what to look for — here’s a guide to start you off.Step 1: Learn About the CompanyVisit the company website. Make note of its mission and vision. At the end of the day, this company wants to be great at what it does, and if you can identify how your products or services can help it achieve its vision, you can paint a more meaningful picture for your prospect.Some basic information you should quickly gauge include:Company SizeNumber of EmployeesProduct or Service OfferingsTypical Sale SizeYou should also do some more in-depth sleuthing that gives context to that information. Search for any recent third-party publications mentioning the prospective company — is an industry blog talking about struggles that company is facing, or something the company is doing really well? Who are its competitors? Does this company have its own blog? Do they use social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn? What are they talking about there? Has the company just published a post about a new product they’ve released, or about an event they were a part of? Knowing this type of information can add relevancy when you reach out to start a conversation, and allow you to send relevant information their way.If you’re looking to learn more about how Sales can use social media to close business, check out this free ebook. (Bonus Tip: What is the company tweeting about? Does it seem to be trying to push one or two types of content — maybe ebooks for a specific product or service, or a thought leadership piece? You might be able to discern some top priorities based on what’s being communicated in their own lead generation content.)Step 2: Do a Background CheckIt’s incredibly important not only that you reach out to the right company, but also to the right person at that company. Are you talking to an influencer, a decision-maker, or someone who has no reason to ever talk to you about your product or service? For example, HubSpot sells software for marketers — so reaching out to someone on the R&D team of a company would result in either no connection, or a much longer sales process as they forward a representative onto someone else.First, look at the company website’s “About” and “Contact” pages. Does it list bios of employees? Do they have contact information for certain areas, such as “please contact amy@company.com for all marketing inquiries”? LinkedIn should also become your best friend. Do some digging around people listing your company of interest as their employer. Look for information such as recent job changes, their job function, and their education. What’s their role? How long have they been at the current company? Someone who has only recently started may not have enough context about the company’s needs or may have less influence in the decision-making process. Build a persona in your head of who this person is, and think over how you’d address him or her if you were face to face. Step 3: Hypothesize Pain PointsTry to find out what a company is doing to address their problems relevant to your product or service offerings, already.If you’re selling an inbound marketing platform like HubSpot, for instance, you’d look at how a company is currently trying to drive traffic to its website. Perhaps the company’s using banner ads and paid search, which can be costly. Your “in” here would be to bring up these points in the initial conversation – “I noticed that you’ve been using paid advertising. How well has this been working? Have you been able to hit your traffic goals? Why, or why not?”.The information gleaned before even reaching out can turn you from a salesperson into a consultant. Instead of talking at a prospect, you’re starting a problem-solving process that you both have a stake in.Since you’ve already narrowed down your list of potential people to reach out to, you should also look at these people’s personal channels. What are they tweeting about? Are they part of a special-interest group on LinkedIn? It’s all about relevancy — build an idea of who this person is, and what that person’s pain points are within the context of their company’s goals, before you reach out to them.Remember, Don’t Judge a Book By Its CoverMethodology for pre-qualifying prospects differs from salesperson to salesperson, but one important rule of thumb is to never rule out a prospect if you can come up with even one reason they might buy your product. As you research, hypothesize different scenarios a potential prospect might be facing so you can be prepared to address it. Is there any reason they wouldn’t buy your product or service? Is there any reason they couldn’t be a potential customer?There are some cases where, as someone familiar with your industry, you just know a prospect is not workable. Other times, you can prioritize prospects based on likeliness of converting them into a customer. Assign them with a high/medium/low value and organize your time accordingly. Go with your gut on these, but err on the side of caution — it’s better to send an email and make a call and not have anything come of it than lose a good opportunity. Most of the time you simply cannot know what is going on in a prospect’s head, and the only way to find out is to get him or her on the phone and ask them.In short — don’t judge a book by its cover, but make sure to read and analyze what’s right in front of you, too. Knowing as much as you can about a potential prospect before you reach out can save you time and energy by reaching out to the right prospect, with the right message that is tailored to them, at the right time. We are living in the age of context, and using relevant information to create a unique experience for each prospect will yield a more fruitful start to the sales process.What are some pre-connect researching tips you have when prospecting?Image credit: Rev Dan Catt Originally published Aug 6, 2013 12:30:00 PM, updated August 26 2017last_img read more

  • BANT Isn’t Enough Anymore: A New Framework for Qualifying Prospects

    first_img Topics: Sales Qualification A long time ago, IBM revolutionized sales with the introduction of BANT. The mantra is familiar to any salesperson: qualify your prospects based on their Budget, Authority, Needs, and Timeline.This used to work well.In a world where prospects didn’t know and could not figure out solutions to their own problems via a simple Google search, their favorite blogs, or by posting a question on a social media site, they were reliant on salespeople. Salespeople could quickly identify a problem through a good well-delivered positioning statement, confirm the prospect’s interest in fixing it, qualify on BANT, and schedule a presentation.Today, prospects are much more informed about you and your competitor’s products and services, have identified their own needs, and started to design their own solutions — all before even thinking about talking to a salesperson.While new research from RAIN has debunked the myth buyers are 57% of the way toward a buying decision when they first make contact with a salesperson, reps still have less control over the prospect’s decision making process than ever before. Put simply, BANT isn’t good enough anymore.One sales qualification process we’ve developed internally to best qualify whether a prospect truly could benefit from our products and services is a three-part framework called GPCTBA/C&I that we go through during an exploratory call.Yes, we totally agree this is the longest string of acronyms in sales, ever, but it works. Here’s a breakdown of each part of this sales qualifying process.Free Download: 101 Sales Qualification Questions1. GPCT (Goals, Plans, Challenges, Timeline)Ask questions and listen to your prospect:What are your prospect’s goals?What are their company’s goals?Are these goals something your product can help them achieve?What are your prospect’s plans to achieve his or her goals, and the company’s goals?Based on your experience helping hundreds of people in their situation, do you think their plan will get them to their goals? Is there a better way?Does their current plan require a product like yours?What challenges are your prospects facing, or do they anticipate facing, as they implement their plan?Can your product help the prospect overcome or avoid these challenges?What is the timeline for implementing their plan and achieving their goals?Based on your experience and their situation, is that timeline reasonable?GoalsThe goals you want to identify are quantifiable goals your prospect wants or needs to hit. There are really only a few reasons to buy any product: to make more money, save money, or avoid some risk of losing money.Sometimes, companies haven’t defined or quantified these goals very effectively or they haven’t determined how their high-level goals relate to their day-to-day metrics or milestones. This is opportunity number one for salespeople to establish themselves as an advisor by beginning to help prospects reset or quantify their goals.When discussing goals, salespeople can often help prospects think even bigger or more realistically based on their experience helping others in similar situations. For example, at HubSpot, we often help marketers determine lead generation goals based on their company’s sales targets.Many times, we have to revise lead generation goals down based on the marketer’s bandwidth. More often than not, though, we can help a marketer figure out how to more predictably hit their target with less effort or expense than they thought. Some qualification questions you can ask include:What is your top priority in 2013?Do you have specific company goals?Do you have published revenue goals for this upcoming quarter/year?Are there any other company goals that are important?Do you have personal goals that go along with these?PlansNow that you have a sense of what the prospect’s individual and company goals are, you want to find out what their current plans are that they will implement in order to achieve these goals.You want to really nail down whether they tried this before and how it worked. You want to know why they think their plan will succeed or fail, what changes they’ve made along the way in their plan and why, as well as what their backup plans are if their current plans don’t work out.During this process, you want to begin making your own assessment of whether you think their plan will get them to their goal. Listen for excuses such as “the economy was bad last year, we should do better with reaching goals this year” — that might tip you off to the fact that they aren’t really in control and confident that their plan will work without a little intervention from a higher being … or someone like you.You’re also listening for good plans such as “We plan to do X, Y, and Z to grow our revenue by 25%.” Usually, as you poke holes, your prospect will admit that they aren’t 100% certain their plan will work perfectly to help them achieve their goals. At this point, you should get permission to suggest new and better ways that they can get where they need to go. Ask questions such as:What did you do last year? What worked and what didn’t? What are you going to do differently this year?Do you think xyz might make it hard to implement your plan?Do you anticipate that implementing this plan will go smoothly?Do you have the right resources available to implement this plan?Would you like to hear about how other people I’ve worked with have implemented plans like these?Are you open to thinking differently this year about how to reach your goals?ChallengesThe most important moment in any sale is determining whether you can help a prospect overcome their and their company’s challenges; ones they’re dealing with as well as ones they (or you) anticipate.Most companies don’t invest money just to achieve a goal. They’ll prefer to just do more of what they’re already doing, and will resist change until they really need to make change. That usually happens because what they’ve done just isn’t working or they ran into a challenge they simply can’t overcome. The trick is getting prospects to admit that they are stuck.Questions you can use to establish challenges are:Why do you think you’ll be able to eliminate this challenge now, even though you’ve tried in the past and you’re still dealing with it?Do you think you have the internal expertise to deal with these challenges?What are specific hurdles that you think may stop you from reaching your goals?How are you addressing these challenges in your plan?If you realize early enough in the year that this plan isn’t fixing this challenge, how will you shift gears?TimelineIt’s all about timing. When do they need to achieve their goal? When can they implement their plan? When do they need to eliminate this challenge?If your prospect doesn’t have bandwidth to deal with these issues or has more important goals that take precedence, their timeline might be “in the future” and you have to make the decision whether to invest time now or not. Determine whether you can help them at this time or not by asking questions such as:How quickly do these results need to be achieved?When will you begin implementing this plan?Is hitting this goal a priority right now?What else is a priority right now?What other complementary (or competitive) solutions are you evaluating?Do you have bandwidth and resources to implement this plan now?Would you like help thinking through the steps involved in executing this plan, so you can figure out when you should implement each piece?Is it more likely that you will revise the goals, or revise the timeline, if they aren’t realistic?2. BA (Budget and Authority)If you’ve determined that you can help your prospect achieve their goals, implement their plan, overcome their challenges — all within their required timeline — it’s time to start talking about how they’ll make the decision and where the funding is coming from.BudgetIt’s critical to establish what your prospect’s budget is. After all, you can’t help them if they can’t invest in your solution. Assuming you’ve done a good job quantifying their goals and challenges, now’s the time to remind them of the upside and confirm that they agree on the potential ROI.Next, you should find out what else they’re spending money on. If they’re investing elsewhere to solve the same problems and it’s not working, and you have a solution that can do it more effectively and within budget, you can say something like:”We’ve established that your goal is X and that you’re spending Y now to try and achieve X. But it’s not working. In order to hire us, you will need to invest Z. Since Z is pretty similar to Y and you’re more confident that our solution will get you to your goal, do you believe it makes sense to invest Z to hire us?”AuthorityIn a world where prospects are busy, buying committees are formed to find solutions and lower level non-budget-wielding, non-people-managing employees are sent to search the internet for the latest and greatest goal-achieving, challenge-overcoming solutions.As a result, salespeople often don’t get to talk to the economic decision maker until later in the process, if ever. Yes, great salespeople still call higher-ups. But realistic salespeople are willing to try and turn influencers into champions.A mistake many buyers and sellers make is thinking that the right way to sell internally is to make it an internal conversation. Make sure to stay involved by guiding the process with the influencer:Are the goals we’ve discussed important to the economic buyer?Amongst their priorities, where does this fall?Do they have ways they’d like you to overcome challenges?What concerns do you anticipate they’ll raise?How should we go about getting the economic buyer on board with our plan?What if they have concerns you haven’t considered and we haven’t discussed yet? How will you handle those?Does it make sense for us to have this call together? How should we prepare? What role do you play versus what I play?When you do get the decision-maker involved, you should start from the beginning of the process. Don’t assume that the goals you’ve uncovered in their organization based on prior calls are their top priorities. Go over GPCTBA with them and confirm that you understand their world. Emphasize the ROI of your product.3. C&I (Negative Consequences and Positive Implications)What are the negative consequences if your prospect does not achieve their goal? What are the positive implications if your prospect reaches their desired goal? Can your product help the prospect mitigate the risk of not achieving his or her goals and further increase the chances of achieving them?If your product can significantly help them avoid consequences and further aid in achieving even bigger follow-up goals, you’ve got a very strong value proposition. Questions that can help you determine C&I include:What happens if you reach your goals? Does this affect you on a personal level?What happens if you don’t hit the goal? Does this affect you on a personal level?What great things will you do next when you achieve this goal?When you overcome this challenge, what will you guys do next?Do you get bonuses, stand to get promoted, or get more resources if you can achieve this goal? Would you get fired, lose responsibility, or be demoted if you can’t figure this out?Embracing GPCTBA/C&I has helped our sales team spend time wisely, so that they have more time to spend helping more people. We’re on a mission to inspire marketers to make marketing people love. We can’t do that without a lovable sales process, too.Want to learn more? Check out 38 sales questions to quickly identify your customers’ core needs.  Originally published Jun 12, 2018 7:30:00 AM, updated October 30 2019 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 Secrets to Writing an Attention-Grabbing Blog Post [Infographic]

    first_img Originally published Apr 3, 2014 2:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Save What other tips do you have for writing top-notch blog posts? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.  Whether it’s the first or the billionth blog post you’ve ever written, blogging can sometimes feel like you’re shouting in a crowded arena. No matter how loud you scream, you feel drowned out by the crowd. You want people to find, engage, and convert on your content, but it seems like it’s lost in the sea of content that’s out there on the web. So how do you cultivate an engaged readership with so much competition? The infographic below from WhoIsHostingThis.com walks you through the essential elements of a post that’ll get your reader to pay attention — and maybe eventually become a lead or customer. If you’re looking to spruce up your blog posts and grow your reader base, keep on reading. The Secrets of a Killer Blog Posts: How to Get Your Reader’s AttentionSave Topics:center_img How to Write a Blog Post 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

  • World Cup 2019: Recapping some of the greatest upsets in World Cup history

    first_imgUpsets. Heartbreaks. The triumph of David over Goliath. Jubilation. Nothing charms sports aficionados like a good underdogs story. Days away from the 12th edition of the Cricket World Cup, the lesser fancied teams in England will look to what lesser fancied teams in the past have done – shock and awe.Cricket history is littered with the conquest of the greats by the minnows. Back in 1983, who would have backed India to beat the powerful West Indies? How many thought Sri Lanka could stun Australia to win the World Cup in 1996?These are stories of endurance. These are stories that allow subsequent generations to dream.As the 2019 Cricket World Cup draws closer, it is as good a time as ever to look back at some of the greatest stories in cricket. How many do you remember? How many do you cherish?We walk down memory lane to bring together some of the finest instances in the history of the World Cup.1983: When India beat world power West IndiesIn the first two editions of the cricket World Cup, West Indies had set a reputation for themselves. They had announced themselves as undefeatable on the world stage with 1975 and 1979 win. That changed in 1983.Until 1983, there was a reason India were called the ‘underdogs’. They had not made it to the knockout round before and thus a World Cup win looked a distant dream for them.Losing the toss, India were asked to bat first, and proving worthy of everyone’s expectations, couldn’t stand the wind against the West Indies bowlers and were all out for 183 in 54.4 overs. K Srikanth became the highest scorer for the side with his 36 runs.advertisementBut then, Gordon Greenidge was bowled by Balwinder Sandhu and a little later Desmond Haynes was caught out by Roger Binny. Then Vivian Richards came into attack and just when it all started to look in favour of West Indies, millions of Indians were deprived of a live telecast of what happened next as the Doordarshan lost its signal from London.But those with a radio handy knew Viv was caught out by Kapil Dev. Then fell Larry Gomes, was followed by a limping Clive Lyod and Faoud Bacchus. Jeff Dujon and Malcolm Marshall batted bravely but Amarnath had picked his men.West Indies were all out for 140. India had won the World Cup.1996: Kenya beat West IndiesTo figure out the magnitude of what happened in Pune on February 29, 1996, Banconsider this: West Indies were two-time champions and three-time finalists, while Kenya ODI run had begun only in the 1996 World Cup.When West Indies restricted Kenya to a mere total of 166 runs, a win looked certain for them.Going in to defend the below-par total, West Indies posed the likes of Sherwin Campbell, Richie Richardson and the great Brian Lara, who could make the run-chase look like a child’s play. But such is not the case always.Lara came in to bat at 22 for 2 but looked much out of his groove. Medium pacer Rajab Ali bowled an outside off and Lara tried to play a back-foot drive, without juding the swing in the ball, and got a thick edge to wicketkeeper Tariq Iqbal.Out went Lara, in came the signs of win. Rajab Ali and Maurice Odumbe shared 3 wickets apiece to emerge the unlikely heroes as West Indies scattered for 93 and suffered a 73-run defeatThis is how Kenya’s Aasif Karim recalled the night before the huge victory: “We were playing West Indies, so we thought it would be nice to have some photographs for our memory. It would be good to play against them and hopefully one of us would get Brian Lara’s wicket and we could tell our grandsons. 1996: Sri Lanka beat Australia to lift the trophyThe 1996 World Cup was co-hosted by Sri Lanka and Pakistan.In Sri Lanka’s first group match, they were scheduled to play Australia, but that didn’t happen as Mark Taylor’s men preferrred forfeiting 2 points than playing in Colombo due to security reasons after a terrorist attack just before the World Cup.Reacting to that, then Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga said, “We want the Australians in the final.” Rest was destiny and history.Sri Lanka qualified for the finals from World Cup’s first default win following the ruckus created by a disappointed Indian crowd.Aravinda de Silva outshined with 3 for 42 to restrict Australia for 241 and then smashed an unbeaten 107 to take Ranatunga’s revenge from Australia.Not only did Sri Lanka won the trophy that year, but also redefined Powerplay. At a time when teams scored mere 50-60 runs during the field-restricted overs, Sri Lanka scored 117 runs in those overs against India, 123 against Kenya, and 121 against England in the quarter-final.advertisement2007: When Ireland showed the door to Pakistan With Pakistan’s complacent and impatient batting, they managed to put up a target of 133 runs against Ireland. But what Pakistan had always boasted off was their fast bowlers, who failed to limit Ireland on a St Patrick’s Day.A classic knock from wicket-keeper Niall O’Brien sent Pakistan crashing out of the World Cup, while Ireland in their debut at the cricket’s most biggest stage, qualfied to the Super Eights.Chasing 133 runs on a difficult pitch, O’Brien led Ireland’s response with his superb 72 runs in a rain altered game. Once O’Brien left the crease, finishing half the work for Ireland, in came his brother Kevin, who picked up the game just where O’Brien left.O’Brien smashed crucial 16 runs to hand Ireland their first win in a World Cup, while Paksitan packed their bags to airport. 2011: Bangladesh defeated IndiaA confident Rahul Dravid opted to bat first against ‘minnows’ Bangladesh. Going into the World Cup, India boasted a strong batting line-up, arguably one of the best on papers.They had likes of Sourav Ganguly, Virendra Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni. But Mashrafe Mortaza, Abdur Razzak and Mohammad Rafique dismissed India for a paltry 191.After showing their beauty on the bowling part, Bangaldesh followed it by even a greater show at batting. A 17-year-old Tamim Iqbal (51), left Zaheer Khan out of bowling options.Mushfiqur Rahim (56*), Shakib Al Hasan (53) gave Iqbal’s knock a strong thrust.In that match, Bangladesh showed what they had build upon slowly and steadily in all those years. They had defeated India by 5 wickets with 9 balls remaining. And the jubilant Bangladesh fans celebrated the staggering victory by defying a government ban on public gatherings.In other group matches, India went on to win against Bermuda but lost to Sri Lanka and left the World Cup after the first round.2015: Kevin O’Brien’s onslaught against EnglandUntil 2015, Kevin O’Brien was mostly known for his pink hair. After March 2, 2011, he was known for hitting the second-fastest century in the history of World Cup.Ater posting 327 runs on board, England thought they had done a reasonable job with the bat and a win against Ireland with such a target would be a walk in the park. But what they hadn’t thought was about the hulk power of kiren O Brien.Everything went according to England’s plan when Ireland were 111 for 5 halfway through the chase. But then came the big man and played the innings of his life.O’Brien hit the then fastest hundred in World Cup history with his 113 off 63 deliveries. He added match-changing 162 with Alex Cusack while John Mooney later helped the man in charge to earn Ireland the highest World Cup run-chase with four balls to spare and script a beautiful chapter in Irish sport.Also Read | Such losses are irreparable: Sachin Tendulkar condoles Asif Ali daughter’s demiseAlso Read | Every captain would lose a left leg to reach World Cup 2019 final: Eoin MorganAlso Seeadvertisementlast_img read more

  • 4 Ecommerce Pricing Strategies You May Not Have Considered

    first_img Topics: Originally published Aug 3, 2015 10:30:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack When determining prices for your ecommerce store, you’re likely to consider traditional methods: markup, anchor, and luxury pricing. There is absolutely nothing wrong with these strategies, especially if you’re hoping to set it and forget it—until sale time, of course. However, these three traditional methods aren’t the only strategies you can employ. If you’re willing to shake things up a little, consider some of these edgy techniques that have seen success.Free What? Free isn’t a price. How could anyone make money by offering products for free in their online store? Well, let’s look at the pragmatic side of offering free products on your ecommerce site. People will definitely show up to see the free stuff, won’t they? Even buyers who have never heard of your store and have no intention of making a purchase from you—they’ll stop by for at least a few minutes to browse through the free stuff. In other words, “free” is a great way to get eyes on your brand and your products.Now, offering everything for free all the time would just be pointless. There must be a method to your madness. Use those free products as the hook and then reel them in. Once those buyers get to your site, dazzle them with everything else you sell. Then go for the upsell or cross-sell. Even if they take the free item and run, you can be sure they’ll be back to see what you’re offering later down the line. At some point, you’ll get them on the hook for an actual purchase.What can you use for your free hook? Here are some ideas: Small samplesSoftwareAccessories for larger productsBasic servicesPay-What-You-WantAlso seen as PWYW, the Pay-What-You-Want strategy might sound just as daft as offering free products. After all, won’t customers take advantage of the pricing structure to walk away with products at ridiculously low prices? In short: yes. You will encounter consumers who’ll take advantage of your pricing strategy, no matter what you do.If that’s the case, what benefit do you have in offering a PWYW pricing model? Believe it or not, your strongest brand allies and supporters will more than make up for those that take advantage of your generosity. In fact, studies have actually shown that profits remain on par with those companies that set a price and demand it.With no real benefit in revenue, why would a company choose to allow buyers to pay what they want for products? Those same studies show this particular pricing model does result in a lot of free marketing through word-of-mouth. Free marketing? That’s an excellent reason to give this model a try.Products that work with this strategy include:MusicMoviesBooksAppsSoftwareMake an OfferMaking an offer probably sounds a lot like PWYW, which in turn sounds like “take it for free.” There really is a difference, and that difference is probably enough to give you a little peace of mind. As with an auction where buyers make bids for products, the Make-an-Offer model builds in a reserve price. In other words, buyers are free to offer well under market value for your products, but that doesn’t mean they’ll get to take them home. You control the smallest amount you’ll take and let buyers pay much more if they want to.This particular model also tends to gain a lot of ground through word-of-mouth marketing. Even when buyers meet your price expectations, they feel like they got a great deal because they had a say in what they were willing to pay. That kind of power doesn’t happen very often.Works well for:AntiquesFine artCollectiblesFirst-edition booksFlat Pricing What if you sold everything on your ecommerce site for the exact same price? Obviously this can’t happen if you sell T-shirts and diamond earrings. What if you only sold T-shirts, though? With one stated price for everything on your site, buyers never get overwhelmed or confused.As an added bonus, your work in setting up the shopping carts is easy. With only one price for everything, you really can just set it and forget it. This model works well with:Similar productsProducts of similar valueSubscription servicesHave you seen any of these tactics used well? Maybe one has worked beautifully for your ecommerce company.  Ecommerce Marketinglast_img read more

  • How 8 Agencies Are Building Their Brands on Snapchat

    first_img Originally published Aug 22, 2016 5:00:00 AM, updated March 31 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Snapchat Marketing When Snapchat first emerged on the scene back in 2011, it was excusable to dismiss the ephemeral photo-sharing platform as just another shiny piece of millennial bait.But things have changed.The once niche app has grown into one of the least ignorable social media forces in the industry, wooing marketers with its command of more daily active users than Twitter. But does any of that matter for agencies? For agencies looking to diversify their reach and prove their digital dexterity in a competitive field, Snapchat marketing has proven to be an unexpectedly valuable tool. Here we’ll show you how eight marketing agencies are using Snapchat to grow their brands, recruit new talent, and connect with their audiences in a whole new way. 8 of the Best Agency Snapchat Accounts 1) Marcel WorldwideUsername: @marcelagencyWhen they’re not working on ad campaigns for Uber, Ray-Ban, and Instagram, this Paris-based ad agency can be found snapping up a storm. Their creative use of filters, emojis, and cameos from team members portray their daily office life as anything but dull. Marcel is perfect proof that running an agency Snapchat account doesn’t require a huge time commitment or tediously polished design. In fact, it’s the playful, behind-the-scenes vibe of their team’s snaps that make them come across as charming and genuine.  2) Giant SpoonUsername: @giant_spoonRecently named creative agency of the year by MediaPost, it’s no surprise that this marketing strategy team has been a quick and enthusiastic adopter of Snapchat. On their website, they invite fans to follow their account for an eclectic assortment of “intel, faves, trends, rants, and other surprises.” Since Snapchat’s content isn’t permanent past 24-hours, there’s no need to carefully curate a particular aesthetic. As Giant Spoon shows us, Snapchat is a chance to experiment with odds-and-ends content that might not fit well on any other channel. Here are a few screen shots of their intern giving a presentation called Millennials: A New Political Paradigm Shift. (Yes, we zoomed in a lot). 3) RPAUsername: @rpa.advertisingRPA’s Snapchat feed pulls back the curtain on a top marketing agency to reveal the heart and soul of the team behind the scenes. Their feed lets followers experience the daily grind of the creative team — a low-investment way to show off their agency’s culture and generate interest from job-seekers.  4) ClearPivotUsername: @clearpivotClearPivot, a Denver-based inbound marketing agency, takes a decidedly unique approach to Snapchat. Instead of merely sharing glimpses into their office life and culture, they treat the platform like a micro video blog, addressing their audience directly to discuss the latest marketing news and social media hot topics. It’s like having an inbound marketer in your pocket.4) VaynerMediaUsername: @vaynermediaThis digital agency has made Snapchat central to their social recruiting strategy. They use the platform to highlight their unique culture and draw in potential employees with their commitment to transparency. “As a company, we’re constantly storytelling for our clients and we mirror that same approach on Snapchat by showcasing what individual employees’ days look like,” said Chief Heart Officer Claude Silver in an interview with Recruiting Social. Not only does the agency compose compelling snaps of daily life at VaynerMedia, they also directly respond to their followers’ questions for a more engaging experience.  Image via Recruiting Social5) HugeUsername: @hugesnapsDigital agency Huge lets followers tag along for everything from high-profile events to the daily office grind at any of their 14 offices worldwide.In contrast to the agency’s meticulously polished and curated Instagram presence, their Snapchat Stories feel like a backstage pass to the real action. Other digital agencies should take note: You can’t claim to fully understand a social platform until you’ve proven you can use it effectively yourself.  6) FRED & FARIDUsername: @fredfaridgroupFRED & FARID, the marketing agency behind major campaigns for HP and Balmain, lets employees from their Paris, Shanghai, Beijing, and New York offices share vignettes of their creative endeavors. Their Snapchat presence gives the big agency a personal touch, inviting followers to experience all the work that goes into an ad campaign first-hand.  7) DigitasLBiUsername: @digitaslbiHow do you make an agency with 40 global offices seem less intimidating and more accessible? Start with a group selfie.DigitasLBi has found success with their Snapchat account, sharing videos and pictures of daily life to show followers what it’s really like to work at the agency. An added bonus? Letting multiple offices participate in the platform can help boost moral and foster a sense of community. 8) ExtrêmeSensioUsername: @extremesensioAs this French agency proves, you don’t have to be constantly attending events or rubbing shoulders with celebrities to produce an interesting and worthwhile Snapchat presence . Extrême Sensio’s snaps offer simple, personal glimpses into the agency’s world.  Is your agency on Snapchat? How do you use the social platform to engage your audience and highlight your company? Topics:last_img read more

  • Everything You Need to Know About Starting a Podcast in 2019

    first_img Originally published Dec 22, 2017 6:00:00 AM, updated December 22 2017 How to Podcast Don’t forget to share this post! Topics: I’ve become a morning walking companion to people I may never meet.How is this possible? They take me along in their earbuds as they stream my podcast, Build a Better AgencyIt’s a wonderful sign of things to come for marketers willing to venture into the podcasting universe.Once a fringe platform, podcasts are now surprisingly mainstream. According to Nielsen, six out of 10 people understand what they are, and 112 million Americans — 40 percent of the nation’s population — have listened to at least one. Though podcast listeners lean male, it isn’t by much: 56 percent are men, while 44 percent are women.Learn everything you need to know to get a podcast up and running.Marketing professionals must not only be aware of these statistics, but they must also leverage them in their own campaigns. When 67 million men and women are monthly podcast consumers, it’s a niche that deserves serious contemplation. Add to that fact the amazing statistic that 63 percent of podcast listeners made a purchase based on something the host recommended, and you have yourself a veritable gold mine.Of course, you have to crawl, then walk, then break into a steady trot to glean the benefits.A no-nonsense primer from a podcast experimenter.In my case, I’d written blog posts, conducted webinars, and published articles in places like Forbes and Fast Company for some time. These content producers worked, but I felt a different portal would help connect with more agencies and leaders in an accessible, easy to find, on-demand format.As a longtime podcast listener myself, I recognized that the podcasting platform was the next logical step for me — especially if I wanted to reach a narrow audience of mid-sized agency owners and leaders as an authority in my field for more than 23 years. And as a long-time professional, I hired Predictive ROI, an Agency Management Institute agency, to produce the podcast so I wouldn’t make as many rookie technical mistakes.Still, opening yourself up to podcasting is a little like breaking the lid on Pandora’s box. Until you do it, you have no idea what to expect. Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t head off issues before you go live.Expect a certain amount of learning as you go, but be ready to explore the technology before fully launching your podcast. You wouldn’t open a bakery with your very first pie, so don’t hit “publish” until you get the lay of the land and make a plan. (Being a podcast guest prior to launching your own is a smart idea, too.)Podcasting in the beginner’s circle.Even if you’ve never been in front of a mic before, you can map out the first phase of a solid podcast schedule. From there, you’ll be able to branch out.1. Create a checklist to keep yourself on task.I asked myself tons of questions repeatedly before committing to podcasting. They included everything from the niche audience I wanted to reach to whether being the host of a podcast was a short-term fad or a long-term interest. I also considered what podcast style I preferred to offer the public, including a show prep and publishing schedule.Obviously, your checklist will be individualized, but be sure it includes a section on technical elements. Setting up audio, iTunes, accounts, and interviews can be tricky if you haven’t done your homework.2. Set up your basic show format.Every interviewer prefers to run his or her podcast in a particular way. Many podcasters ask guests the same questions, but as a listener, I find that gets stale in a hurry. Sure, it’s less prep work, but it makes the host look lazy. I preferred interviewing subject matter experts but wanted to occasionally keep the door open to produce a solocast. My compromise was a 4–1 ratio of interviews to solocasts.I was reasonably confident that I could have a few questions on hand and then launch into a conversation on the fly from there. A big risk? Maybe. But I believed I could pull off a 45-minute to 60-minute conversation without a safety net.3. Leverage the heck out of your network.The first 10 episodes set the tone for any podcast launch, so make sure you line up high-profile, interesting, engaging guests who won’t be turned off if you have very few — or no — listeners. My friends came through in a big way for me, offering me rock stars from day one. Not only did they help publicize the podcast, but they also generously allowed me to ride on their social media coattails.4. Track your downloads.Rob Walch was one of my recent podcast guests who offered an important consideration for any podcasters: You have to stay on top of your downloads. Rob’s suggestion is to hit at least 500 downloads an episode to feel sure you’ve broken the cycle of only having people in your inner circle tune in.What’s a reasonable download number for your, quote, “success”? Only you can determine this, but it helps to keep a steady eye on the numbers. Starting to see a downward trend in listenership? Go back to square one and ask those tough questions again so you can pivot before your podcast loses traction.5. Produce great content consistently.Does everyone have a bad episode once in a while? Sure. And if you’ve planned in advance and have great content in the bag, you can simply not release it in lieu of a better one. Before you release your podcasts publicly, try to have several on hand. That way, you get the relief of a buffer zone.Don’t try to start too quickly. You can always ramp up your delivery later. With my travel schedule that sees me on no fewer than 200 planes a year, I decided to get 10 episodes in before I proved to myself I could sustain the effort. August and September 2015 were a flurry of set-up and recordings, and we opened our podcast doors — virtually — in October 2015. Since then, we’ve published a new episode weekly without fail.6. Prepare to become a podcast promoter.Your target personas won’t find your podcast without a little help, so promote it like your life depends on it. I utilized our company’s email list, my personal social channels, and myriad other platforms. In addition, I requested that each guest promote his or her episode.We were fortunate to get on iTunes New and Noteworthy, landing us in the top five of several of its subject-specific lists during our first month.7. Learn how to monetize your podcast.Finally, it’s important to figure out how to earn an income based on your podcasting. One way is to promote your book, workshop, or online course, creating thought leadership at the same time.If you have a narrow audience lacking depth or width and you just can’t sell advertisements or sponsorships, you can still make numbers work in your favor.Sound like hard work? It is, but it’s totally worth it if you strategize. Two years after unveiling my first episode, we have 110 five-star reviews, and episodes are downloaded in more than 125 countries. I’m pleased to say we’ve also earned a presenting sponsorship from HubSpot. Podcasting hasn’t just been a feeder for the business, but a phenomenal marketing opportunity as well.Have you thought about taking the podcasting plunge? The water’s a bit choppy at first, but there’s plenty of room for another swimmer!last_img read more

  • Virat Kohli ends West Indies tour with his 4th first-ball duck in Test cricket

    first_imgIndia captain Virat Kohli registered his fourth golden duck in Test cricket on Sunday during the ongoing second Test against West Indies at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica.Kohli got out off the first ball to Kemar Roach, who got rid of the India skipper and KL Rahul before that in successive deliveries. Both were identical deliveries, pitching just outside off-stump before moving slightly away to take the edge.But Roach missed out on his maiden hat-trick, failing to dislodge Ajinkya Rahane on the hat-trick ball. Roach also moved to 9th position on the list of bowlers with the most wickets in Test cricket for the Windies with 193 wickets and counting.v #WIvIND Kemar Roach moves to #9 on the all time Most Test Wicket list for the West Indies surpassing Wes Hall.8) Andy Roberts 2029) Kemar Roach 193*10) West Hall 192#MenInMaroon #ItsOurGame #WTC pic.twitter.com/Mb7NEfkLceWindies Cricket (@windiescricket) September 1, 2019It was Kohli’s fourth first-ball duck in Tests and the first since the Oval Test against England in 2018. Before that he had managed golden ducks against England at Lord’s in 2014 and against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 2011.Overall, the number-one ranked batsman in Test cricket has been dismissed 9 times on a duck in red-ball international cricket. Kohli finished the Test series with 136 runs from four innings at an average of 34 with two fifties. He is currently the third highest run-scorer in the series.Incidentally, Kohli was also the sixth batsman to get out on a first-ball duck in world cricket on September 1.advertisementvKohli gone 1st ball and a whisker away from the off stump to Rahane to almost take a Hat Trick!!Roach is on fire!#WIvIND #MenInMaroon #ItsOurGameIND 41/3 (21)Live Scorecardhttps://t.co/VqaQSVQlls pic.twitter.com/ib3LiflCnmWindies Cricket (@windiescricket) September 1, 2019New Zealand opener Colin Munro, who was playing against Sri Lanka in the 1st T20I at Pallekele, got out for a duck while Smriti Mandhana, Sophie Luff, Lucy Higham and Kirstie Gordon also managed the same in the Women’s Cricket Super League T20 tournament being held in England.Kohli’s dismissal saw India being reduced to 36 for 3 in their second innings on Day 3. India were ahead by 335 runs at the time after they bowled the West Indies out for 117 in the first session.India decided not to enforce the follow-on despite taking a first-innings lead of 299 runs as they wanted to give some rest to their bowlers. West Indies, resuming the day at a dismal 87 for seven, batted for 14.1 overs and added 30 runs to their overnight total before getting all out in 47.1 overs.Also Read | Mohammed Shami becomes 3rd fastest Indian pacer to 150 Test wicketsAlso Read | Ishant Sharma goes past Kapil Dev’s record with 156th Test wicket outside AsiaAlso Read | People should get a life: Gavaskar blasts critics for questioning Bumrah’s bowling actionAlso Read | I owe the hat-trick to captain: Jasprit Bumrah tells Virat Kohli after Jamaica heroicslast_img read more

  • Sachin Tendulkar reveals how he had to beg and plead for a chance to open the innings for India

    first_imgBatting great Sachin Tendulkar says he had to “beg and plead” to open the innings for India in an ODI against New Zealand in 1994, recalling a major turning point of his career.The switch from middle-order to opening the innings proved to be a masterstroke as Tendulkar finished with a world record 49 hundreds in the 50-over format.Sharing a video on LinkedIn, Tendulkar recollected the moments leading up to that one-dayer against New Zealand at Auckland.”In 1994, when I started opening the batting for India, the strategy used by all teams was to save wickets. What I tried to do was slightly out of the box,” he said.”I thought I could go upfront and take the opposition bowlers on. But I had to beg and plead to please give me a chance. If I fail, I won’t come after you again,” he added.Using that move as an example, the prolific former batsman urged his fans to never shy away from taking risks because of the fear of failure.”In that first match (against New Zealand at Auckland), I scored 82 off 49 balls, so I didn’t have to ask again if I would get another chance. They were keen for me to open. But what I’m trying to say here is, don’t be afraid of failure,” the 46-year-old Tendulkar said.While he may have ended with 49 ODI centuries, Tendulkar’s first ton in the format came after a long wait of five years.It was in September 1994 that he hit his first ODI hundred, against Australia in Colombo, having made the switch from the middle-order to opening the innings.advertisementHe recorded scores of 82, 63, 40, 63 and 73 in his first five innings as an opening batsman.Tendulkar finished his ODI career with 18426 runs in 463 matches — the most by any in the history of the format.Also Read | Am I there only to play tabla? Ravi Shastri defends pulling up Rishabh PantAlso Read | South Africa not going harp on about conditions in India: Aiden Markramlast_img read more