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  • Big Science Succumbs to Political Correctness

    first_imgIs science immune from cultural trends? In theory, hopefully; in practice, often not.The timing looks suspicious. Right when Obama pushed ahead on so-called “transgender rights” to appease LGBT activists, science news sources announced that transgender identity “is not a mental disorder” (Medical Xpress and Live Science). Till now, the World Health Organization listed it as such, but according to another post by Medical Xpress, the “findings” of a new “study” conducted in Mexico City interviewing 250 individuals purports to show that the distress and dysfunction are not caused by their alleged gender identity, but rather by their feelings of rejection by other people.This resembles the case where activists pressured a leading psychiatrist to de-list homosexuality as a mental disorder (1/10/16). Homosexual activists needed to dismantle that stigma, so that they could advertise themselves as just as normal as heterosexuals. Their political rise to power (despite the suspicious circumstances behind that psychiatrist’s change of opinion, and their small population size) has been legendary. Now that the T in LGBT is taking prominence, one can foresee the complete normalization of gender-identity politics as well. If they succeed, any fringe group could conceivably follow the same playbook to achieve political power.Science is not supposed to work this way. Researchers are supposed to base their findings on empirical evidence, making tentative conclusions that are reproducible. Surveys are notoriously subject to bias, as we saw in the Lacour fraud (12/12/14). Who knows what went on with the survey takers and questioners? We can guess from the result: the tables have turned, and the UN is now announcing that the real concern is “transphobia.” Normal people are the new mentally disordered for not accepting the trendy transgenders.Big Science continues to blatantly support the Democrat Party, seeing them as more likely to fund their pet projects. The UK-based journal Nature inserted itself into American politics again, comparing Trump and Clinton as being “worlds apart” on “science” priorities. Their partners in bias, the editors of New Scientist, don’t even pretend to give balanced coverage. To them, “Donald Trump is bending reality to get into the American psyche.” Apparently that’s not Hillary Clinton’s character defect. Where is their mention that she was caught in multiple lies by the FBI?Left-leaning Live Science, always glad to stick it to Republicans, gleefully showed that Barack Obama is listed as co-author on a journal paper. “In an unusual move for a sitting president, Barack Obama has published a scholarly paper in a scientific journal,” Rachael Rettner writes, even though the paper deals with his controversial health policy angrily rejected by Republicans. Is that what science journals should be doing? What does it tell you about the Journal of the American Medical Association? Would they give equal opportunity for a Milton Friedman to respond? Does the AMA stand to benefit in some way from Obamacare?Whenever there is a serious disagreement between scientists on a given issue, the journals of Big Science can be counted on to take the leftist side. Ironically, Nature is wringing its hands over the terrible situation for scientists in Venezuela—a once-prosperous market-based democracy—that has imploded under the socialist policies of former dictator Hugo Chavez and his successors. Inflation has skyrocketed, store shelves are empty, and hungry people are rioting in the streets. To what does Nature attribute this political disaster? Not to socialism, but to a drop in oil prices.When 1960s hippie radicals got clever, they stopped burning and rioting and turned to politics. They infiltrated the universities, the courts, and the labor unions. Now almost all the “Big” institutions—Big Labor, Big Education, Big Law, Big Hollywood, and Big Science—are firmly in their grasp. Big Business is falling in line now, too, as seen in corporate support for “transgender rights” at Target, and repudiation of North Carolina for having the audacity to state the obvious, that people should use the restroom matching their sex stated on their birth certificates.As western civilization commits suicide without help of IS beheaders, one thing will stand: reality. You can’t fight God’s moral order forever. Sooner or later, reality fights back. We just hope it won’t be too late. (Visited 41 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

  • Etihad offers a Flying Nanny service

    first_imgEtihad Airways has launched a dedicated in-flight child care assistance program for families, led by the introduction of a new Flying Nanny on board long haul flights. The Flying Nanny provides a ‘helping hand’ to families and unaccompanied minors. During the past two months, 300 Etihad Airways cabin crew members have completed enhanced training for the role. A further 60 will be trained in September and 500 Flying Nannies will be working on Etihad Airways long haul flights by the end of 2013.The course includes in-depth training, from the world renowned Norland College, focusing on child psychology and sociology.In addition, the course also covers many different creative ways the Flying Nanny can entertain and engage with children during flights.Aubrey Tiedt, Etihad Airways’ Vice President Guest Services, said: “Flying with a young family can be a daunting task, even for the most experienced travellers, and the Flying Nanny role demonstrates our understanding of our guests’ needs and our commitment to making the journey as relaxing and comfortable as possible.”“The Flying Nanny will liaise with parents and use their experience and knowledge to make the travel experience easier. This includes helping serve children’s meals early in the flight and offering activities and challenges to help entertain and occupy younger guests,” Ms Tiedt said. The Flying Nanny will also inform families transiting at Abu Dhabi about the various baby changing and child facilities at the airport, as well as advising them of the children’s play area in the premium lounges and at Gate 32 in Terminal 3.last_img read more

  • South Africa honours Rivonia trialists

    first_img12 July 2011 President Jacob Zuma has called on South Africans to ensure that the story of Liliesleaf Farm, where a key group of anti-apartheid activists was arrested in 1963, is told in full for the benefit of current and future generations. Speaking at a ceremony to remember the stalwarts in Johannesburg on Monday night, Zuma said the Liliesleaf Farm arrest was one of the important milestones in South Africa’s liberation struggle. Monday marked the 48th anniversary of the 1963 arrests at the farm, which led to eight of the 10 accused – including former President Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Andrew Mlangeni and Ahmed Kathrada – being sentenced to life imprisonment for sabotage. While Mandela was not at the house during the arrests, he subsequently became accused number one for his role in the formation of the ANC’s military wing, Umkhonto weSizwe (MK), which marks its 50th anniversary this year. Kathrada, Mlangeni, Denis Goldberg and Mandela are the only four surviving members of the group. Zuma said the events that followed the trial made South Africa what it is today. “Ours is a society which is a model for many countries, especially those in conflict … it is this society that those who used Liliesleaf Farm as a place for meetings and hide-out hoped to achieve. “We owe it to them and the many sacrifices they have made to preserve this heritage and ensure that it is used to heal our nation and bring unity and social cohesion.” Zuma said the Department of Arts and Culture had decided to declare the farm a national heritage site to make sure that it was properly preserved. “Those who worked and held meetings at the farm were convinced that the goal of a united, free and prosperous South Africa was possible, hence they took practical decisions to ensure that it was achieved,” added Zuma. Mandela, who could not attend Monday night’s ceremony, said through a written message that the anniversary should be used to honour and remember all those who laid down their lives in the fight against apartheid. “At that time, we were not the ones on trial by the system so we must honor and remember those who fought it,” Mandela said. Goldberg said the events of 1963 should always be used to build and unite the country. “We said we need unity and vision and we all decided to put our differences [aside] and I ask you Comrade President [Zuma] that in our fight against poverty today, we adhere to this vision of unity and building our country,” Goldberg said. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

  • HP’s webOS 3.0 Leaked: Updated Browser, Email, Maps & More

    first_imgThe bloggers over at PreCentral have gotten their hands on the new, unreleased version of HP’s webOS, the mobile operating system HP acquired through its purchase of Palm last year. The updated software, webOS 3.0, will soon power new HP Pre smartphones and a tablet computer called the TouchPad. The webOS SDK (software development kit) was released a few weeks ago to developers, allowing them to have an early hands-on with the software in order to begin building mobile apps. Although prohibited, an unknown developer has leaked the SDK to the media.In a comprehensive review, PreCentral has examined every aspect of the new software, noting updates to core apps like the Web browser, email client, maps and others. Most notably, HP has ditched Google Maps in this version, and is now using Microsoft’s Bing Maps instead.According to the site, the following features and/or applications are new:Launcher: An arrow/home button on the bottom right brings up a new tabbed launcher with tabs labeled “All” and “Favorites.” Rearranging apps: press and hold now launches an “edit mode” where apps can be moved, deleted, or removed from a customized launcher page. Press “done” to complete the process.Just Type: webOS’s universal search feature is now tabbed, like the launcher, and muted gray in appearance. Recent searches and the virtual keyboard appear when you tap the search bar. Virtual Keyboard: Text Predication has been added, not just to help you complete words (as with Text Assist introduced in webOS 2.0), but to predict what word you’ll type next. Notifications: Notifications are now at the top of the screen, next to the device menu. If you receive more than one notification from the same app, you can swipe through them and drill down into the message you’re interested in. This doesn’t delete or mark as “read” the other notifications you swiped through while doing so. Browser: Now called “Browser” not “Web,” the new browser has removed the grid of bookmark icons and replaced it with a Bookmarks/History button that slides out a panel with Bookmarks, History and Downloads buttons at the top. A bar at the bottom shows the progress of a loading webpage and disappears when the loading is complete. The navigation bar does not disappear as you scroll down on a webpage. Calendar: Now redesigned, the app shows your current calendar in the middle of the screen, with buttons for creating events, switching views, etc. at the bottom. Buttons at the top let you switch to other calendars. The design is new, but everything else here works the same as before.Contacts: No changes here besides slight tweaks to the lettering style.Email: Similar to email on the iPad, the folder list disappears in Portrait view, but is present in Landscape view. Buttons at the bottom lets you compose, refresh and now, mass edit (meaning select multiple messages at once to add flags, delete, move, etc.)Exhibition: The screen saver-like mode is now bigger, and more stretched out. Time, Agenda and Photo options are available, but only Time was functioning. Both an analog and flip clock are offered. Maps: The biggest update to webOS 3.0 is a switch from Google Maps to Bing. The new interface offers a search bar at the top, which also provides access to recent searches and favorites, a Directions mode, Suggested Searches (when it doesn’t understand your query), and more. You can drag and drop pins, turn on or off GPS, and switch between road, aerial and Bird’s Eye (3D) views.Memos: Cork pad and push pins are gone and memos are larger. You now press “edit” to move notes around, instead of press and hold. Messaging: Now two-paned, but functionality remains essentially the same. Music: The app has been overhauled, offering a two-paned view, with songs on the right and sort/filtering options on the left, plus a cover flow-like view of music, and a notification area mini-player with access to controls.Photos & Videos: The two apps are now one, and integrate device pictures with those from Facebook. Album, filmstrip and fullscreen views are available. Facebook comments are shown, too. sarah perez Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologycenter_img What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Tags:#mobile#news#NYT#web Related Posts last_img read more

  • Are Spin-Offs and Media Tie-Ins Changing The Summer Blockbuster?

    first_imgHollywood’s biggest franchises are increasingly creating offscreen media tie-ins. These extras can be great, but is this damaging the films themselves?There was a time when a film would end as soon the credits rolled. The characters had fulfilled their journey; the plot had come to its conclusion. The end. However, with the increase in studios pushing for franchises that share the “in-film universe,” and studios clamoring to produce more films spun from previous hits, we’re seeing an increase in film characters living off the screen in short films, novels, and comics. However, more worryingly, we’re also starting to see a shift of important onscreen information offscreen.What Is Canon?Before we break down how content delivery is evolving, we must first understand canon, because when we look at how spin-off media can get misused, we can see how studios are using canon to encourage consumers to purchase tie-in merchandise.Canon simply is a term that grants official merit from filmmakers or license holders to spin-off property. It’s a term you hear a lot in the science fiction and fantasy genres, and it’s no coincidence that we see spin-off and tie-in media predominantly from these genres.Nathan Ditum at Kotaku has a lengthy essay on “Why People Get So Worked Up About ‘Canon’,” which is a fascinating read in itself, but there’s a key area that Nathan touches upon:The reason this is such a compelling thing, despite the surface madness of it, is that love sends us crazy. When we love a world, we want to exist and revel in it. We want it to be true. And that truth is disrupted by inconsistency and contradiction. We need that integrity — our belief requires it. Canon is about neatness, and appreciation, and the urge to know and absorb everything about something you love. It’s about ownership and protectiveness. And it can also be unexpectedly damaging.Novels that expand a film’s story are not new — they’ve been around for quite some time, and film novelizations will often offer new perspectives you don’t see in the films that inspire them. For example, in E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial by William Kotzwinkle, we go into the mind of E.T. himself.However, the need to know everything has perhaps been used most efficiently by the Star Wars franchise. Since 1999’s Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, each film has inspired novels, comics, video games, and animated cartoons that expand the themes and characters in the movies. Since The Force Awakens, the media tie-in trend has continued, but we have also seen the franchise asking us to discover information elsewhere, instead of presenting it to us in the film itself.Negative Use of Spin-off Media“Goodness! Han Solo! It is I, C-3PO. You probably don’t recognize me . . . because of the red arm.”For the few who did not see Star Wars: The Force Awakens, that line was delivered by a robotic character who usually sports identical gold arms, and as you can tell from the quote, one arm is now red.That wasn’t just a quip to Han Solo to make the audience laugh (although the people in my theatre sure did), the golden droid was also inviting us to ask the same question: “How did you get that red arm?” The problem is, the movie doesn’t tell us. To find out, you have to purchase the $1.99 comic from Marvel.Image via Marvel.While you could easily read a summary of the story somewhere online, when we’re talking about canon (and that insufferable desire to know everything about the world you love), you might think you’re getting cheated out of a quick explanation — just so some fans will buy the information later. And the issue isn’t only about plot information. This trend can include characters, too.In 2017’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, we met the stuttering McGuffin character known as “DJ.” This character helped the protagonists get from point A to B — only to betray them in the end. Where this character came from, what his motives are, and why he works for the highest bidder are all mysteries. That is, unless you buy the tie-in comic. As one CinemaBlend reader commented, “I remember when characters in movies were written well enough that they didn’t need alternative methods of storytelling to make you care about them.”Changing the OutcomeIn 2013, Marvel released the hotly anticipated Iron Man 3. It opened to favorable reviews and broke a dozen box office records. However, hardcore fans of the property were disappointed at the twist reveal of the Mandarin — in that there wasn’t one. At least, not in the style the fans are used to. In brief, The Mandarin is to Iron Man what the Joker is to Batman, and viewers didn’t get this information in the movie.The studio heard the fans loud and clear. A year later, Marvel released a direct-to-video short film titled “All Hail The King,” which featured Trevor Slattery, the false Mandarin. In the short, we see that there is, in fact, a terrorist group led by the real Mandarin and that Slattery’s impersonation has displeased him.The short film is a quick bolt of energized fun that expands the Marvel universe beyond the feature films. But more importantly, it nullifies the villain’s journey in Iron Man 3. In one scene, the villain of the film, Aldrich Killian, shouts “No more false faces. You said you wanted ‘The Mandarin’ . . . you’re looking right at him. It was always me Tony, right from the start. I am the Mandarin!” Well, after the short film, not anymore — just as Trevor is no longer the fake Mandarin, Aldrich is no longer the real Mandarin.Speaking to UpRoxx, director Shane Black had the following to say:Marvel saw so many negative things they made a whole other movie just to apologize called [All] Hail the King. In which they said, ‘No, no, the Mandarin is still alive. That wasn’t him. There’s a real Mandarin.’ The only reason they made that was an apology to fans who were so angry . . . We didn’t know. We all thought they’d eat it up because it never occurred to us the Mandarin is as iconic to people as, say, the Joker in Batman.With one short film, the studio was able to hint at the existence of the beloved villain (although we’ve yet to see or hear about the Mandarin) and keep the peace with the fans. However, you have to ask about the integrity of the artistic vision when filmmakers can change elements of a story after the fact with a spin-off. Sure, we’re talking about a superhero blockbuster here, but still, when you walk out of a theater knowing that what you’ve just seen can change depending on the fans’ reactions, it can feel empty; nothing is complete.Tie-Ins Done WellIt’s easy to focus on the negatives aspects of tie-in media, but there are plenty examples of stand-alone material that enriches the lore of a film’s universe.When we watch a drama or thriller, the story may linger with us for a few days while digest what we’ve just watched and how it has positively or negatively affected us, but we don’t necessarily continue to wonder how that world, within that story, is still turning. It’s our world; we don’t need to.However, in genre films — mainly science fiction, and fantasy, where we are transported to thriving story universe with rich lore, history, and character mythos — there will always be an element of the untold. There is always an event before the storyline that led the characters to their current situations in the film. If you watch any sci-fi or fantasy film, within the first thirty minutes, you’ll often see plenty of plot history.In anticipation of the release of Blade Runner 2049, for example, Warner Brother’s released three short films set before the events in the film, featuring characters from the movie. One of these films covered the blackout event referenced in the film.Luv: “All our memory bearings from the time. They were all damaged in the Blackout. But there are, sometimes, fragments.”The preceding is a simple line of exposition that gives context to the data loss in the film. Warner Brothers also expanded on this event in the short anime film aptly named Blackout 2022.The short explores who caused the blackout, how it happened, and the circumstances surrounding it — and we also see an animated glimpse of the character Sapper, who appears in the feature. The most important thing to note: this short film works on its own. You do not have to watch it to understand a vital element of 2049, nor does it change the events of 2049 — it simply offers additional insight into a plot event. Further, it works as a stand-alone short film that someone without any knowledge of Blade Runner could appreciate. (Although, of course, watching both movies improves your experience of each.)A more modest example of tie-ins used correctly is Alien: Covenant’s Last Supper prologue. Although the prologue lacks a typical short film narrative and merely serves as a prologue to the feature, we’re get glimpse of the crew members and their characteristics, the ship design, and an updated version of the android portrayed by Michael Fasbender.As with the Blade Runner 2049 short films, you don’t have to see this sequence to appreciate the film itself. It’s an addition to the film. I think if studios want continue to use short films, comics, and novels to expand their film worlds, it should be in the vein of these examples: a promotional teaser like the Alien clip or an expanded event like Blackout 2022. It’s a method that adds integrity and adventure to a film’s premise, not something that asks you to devote more time and money after the experience for essential information about a character or plot event that should have appeared in the film itself.Interested in the filmmakers behind some of the industry’s leading movies? Check out these interviews:Behind The Scenes: Crafting The Stylized Naturalism of Bomb City with DP Jake WilganowskiThe Disaster Artist: Editing A Film About Making a FilmExclusive: Designing Wakanda and the Amazing Sets of Black PantherInterview: How the Editor Behind I, Tonya Recreated HistoryInterview: How This Oscar Nom Edited Downsizing While Directing His First Featurelast_img read more

  • 6 Tactics for Turning Trade Show Interactions Into On-Site Sales

    first_img Originally published Mar 5, 2012 6:00:00 AM, updated August 03 2017 Topics: When you attend a trade show or another live event on behalf of your business, it’s important to be able to show the rest of your company that the investment in sending you was worth it. Because it can be challenging to determine the ROI of your presence at live events, leaving the event with a closed sale or two under your belt can really help to immediately demonstrate the worth of your presence. On-site selling can be extremely difficult, so before you attend your next trade show or event, here are six steps you can take to increase your chances of successfully executing on-site sales.Download Our Guide to Increasing Sales at Events1) Reserve a Room at the EventThis is an important logistical detail that will make it much easier for you to sell your product or service. Trade shows and other events are very noisy. You may be able to rattle off to a potential customer exactly why they should buy your product, but to be able to answer questions thoroughly, limit distractions, and draw up contracts, you’ll need a quiet space and some privacy. In addition to your booth area, you should reserve a room that is near the trade show floor/event to answer any remaining questions, talk about prices, and ultimately close deals. This will give you a chance to talk one-on-one with the people who are really interested in your product or service and give them the attention they need for you to close deals.2) Refine Your 30-Second PitchAt trade shows, you really only have about 30 seconds before you lose the attention of the person you’re trying to sell to. That’s why it’s critically important to nail down your 30-second elevator pitch before you arrive at the event. An effective elevator pitch will include a short description of what your product or service is and concisely detail how it can help that individual or their business. For example, HubSpot’s elevator pitch may go along the lines of:HubSpot is all-in-one marketing software that helps businesses of all sizes increase the number of visitors to their website and convert more of those visitors into leads and customers. Other marketing software platforms do not allow users to do all their marketing in one place, but HubSpot integrates website management, blogging, search engine optimization, lead management, marketing analytics, email marketing, landing pages, and social media monitoring tools.3) Attract Trade Show Attendees With ContentAt any given event, there is always plenty of commotion. Every company there wants the spotlight, and many will spend thousands of dollars to achieve that. But in reality, you only have about 10 seconds to capture the attention of people passing by before they become uninterested in what you’re selling. When planning for the event, keep that in mind, and try to figure out what you can do to grab the attention of passersby. After all, the goal is to sell on site.For example, at Salesforce.com’s Dreamforce conference last year, HubSpot knew that we only had a few seconds to get people’s attention. There were hundreds of other companies at the trade show, so we needed to figure out a way to stand out from the rest. To do so, we displayed unicorns (which were connected to the theme of our campaign there) at our booths to interest passersby, and we also positioned large screens that displayed funny, high quality videos delivering our campaign’s message: marketing facts vs. fantasies. By initially pulling people in with these videos, we were able to get them to stop long enough to talk to one of our consultant about HubSpot’s software product.Making sure content leads to a sale is your next step. Once the content you used to initially draw people in — whether it be a video, unique signage, etc. — grabs the attention of your prospects, you need to be able to use that content as a segue into what your product or service does and how it can help them. This will also give you an excuse to provide other content that can pertain closely to the individual prospect’s industry/needs/problems. Bring with you content such as case studies, testimonials, product content, pricing information, etc. that will help show how your company and its resources will help the people you’re trying to sell to.4) Identify the Companies That Will Be in Attendance, and Leverage Your ResearchKnowing which companies are sending representatives to the event ahead of time can be very valuable. If the event has a public-facing RSVP page such as Eventbrite or Meetup, refer to that, or ask if the host of the event is willing to give you a list. If not, check the LinkedIn Events Directory to see if you can find out who has committed to attending the event. Then do something creative with that information. If you’re a B2B company that sells to various industries and you see that there is one industry dominating the attendee list, come up with something that will specifically capture the attention of people in that industry. If the event is more intimate, you can also conduct some competitive analysis on the attending companies’ competitors so you have the ability to, on a more personal level, show companies how they will be able to use your product to compete with their competitors.As an example, HubSpot used its free tool, Marketing Grader, to grade the marketing programs of companies we knew would be attending Dreamforce. At the conference, we created a leaderboard showing the top-ranked companies and displayed it on one of our television sets as people passed by. As a result, attendees got a glimpse into the power of our software and wanted to talk to someone about other ways they could improve their own marketing score, which our trade show representatives were well equipped to discuss.5) Use Calls-to-Action to Drive InteractionsIn your trade show marketing, you should always be prompting attendees to complete a certain action. So if you’re looking to increase on-site sales, you need to make sure you connect the call-to-action (CTA) in your marketing materials to something attendees can do at the event. Encouraging trade show attendees to sign up for a free product trial or to visit a dedicated, targeted landing page can be a great way to help you nurture trade show attendees after the event ends, but when it comes to generating on-site sales, these actions won’t really move the needle. Therefore, focus your calls-to-action on motivating interactions that can happen during the event.Using technology as part of your trade show/event marketing can make this easier to accomplish. Display QR codes (learn how to easily create a QR code here) accompanied by your CTA so people can easily take the next step. For example, you could include a CTA on your event signage/marketing collateral that explains the value of booking a one-on-one consultation with one of your trade show reps during the event and asks them to scan the QR code to schedule an appointment in the private meeting room you set up in step 1.6) Make Connections Before, During, and After EventsTo get the most out of your sales presence at an event, you’ll first need to promote that you’ll actually have a presence ahead of time. Leading up to the event, create content (e.g. blog posts, social media updates, emails) about the event and your presence there, and try to set up appointments with prospects who may be interested in your product or service and would benefit from meeting you in person at the event. If your goal is to generate as many on-site sales as possible, the people you connect with before and during the event are very important. The more you can educate yourself about prospects before the event, the more prepared you’ll be to make the sale, and the more effective your in-person sales pitch will be.During the event, you should also use social media and the event’s hashtag to let attendees know where to find you on either the trade show floor or at the event in general.While on-site sales may be your main goal, businesses with a longer sales cycle may find it challenging to close a deal with a prospect whose first interaction with their business/products is the event. But that doesn’t mean the sale has to be lost. Don’t be pushy with prospects who don’t seem ready to buy on site; after the event has come to an end, follow up with your leads, enter them into lead nurturing campaigns to make them readier to buy, and continue building the relationship with the contacts and leads you’ve interacted with on site.What other strategies do you use to close on-site sales at trade shows and live events?Photo Credit: AIGA Indy Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Selling at Trade Showslast_img read more

  • How a 24-Hour Marketing Push Could Transform Your Nonprofit’s Fundraising Strategy

    first_img Originally published Mar 22, 2013 4:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Nonprofit Fundraising Newsjacking may sound like a dirty word, but in these cases, it’s definitely being done for good. Being that today is World Water Day, we found it very relevant to highlight some nonprofits and companies that are trying something different to raise a ton of money, via one dedicated day of fundraising.These organizations are “newsjacking” one particular day in the calendar year to help catapult their cause to the forefront of their audiences to make a massive impact … in just 24 hours. Whether it’s leveraging a national holiday or dedicated day of awareness, or creating your own day to help support your cause, these organizations are finding ways to condense a whole lot of fundraising and awareness “oomph” into just one day. Whether you’re a nonprofit organization or not, maybe these campaigns will inspire you to do something similar in your marketing!charity: water’s World Water Day (Today!)charity: water launched their annual 2013 World Water Day campaign today, asking individuals of all ages to pledge their birthday to support ending the world water crisis. Quite the call-to-action, right? They leverage World Water Day to encourage individuals to pledge their birthday and fundraise on mycharitywater.org. While this is a year-long campaign, driving a large marketing campaign on World Water Day brings all the focus to charity: water for one entire day. The goal is to funnel a ton of energy into one short period of time, and see the amplification effects bring in more pledges through a very specific, clear call-to-action.Last year, they had 5,400 birthday pledges made on the actual day, and by the following week, they had over 12,000 pledges. This year they hope to get to over 15,000 pledges and have revamped their birthday page to highlight all the individuals who have pledged this year so far on their website, including some well-known celebrities:Pledge your birthday for World Water Day today.”The Great Minnesota Give Together” From Razoo GivingRazoo, an online fundraising platform, has designated November 16th as “Give to the Max” day. That’s right, they created their own day to help non-profit organizations raise more money.This day is focused on fundraising for a group of nonprofits in one specific state in the US. In 2012, November 16th was “The Great Minnesota Give Together,” which involved 3,972 nonprofits and over 47,000 donors. In one day, using Razoo’s fundraising platform, this large group of nonprofits raised over $13M.The local focus really drove interaction between individuals and the nonprofits. They offered donation matching, large donation prizes for chosen nonprofits and even a “golden ticket,” where they randomly choose a donor every hour during the day and added $1,000 added to their donation.The moral of the story here is that your own organization doesn’t have to work in a silo, and you don’t have to blanket the nation for this one-day approach to work. Consider a more localized approach, and partnering with another organization or donation enablement platform to help get your message out.Half the Sky’s “Game for Change” on International Women’s DayFour days before International Women’s Day on March 8th, Half the Sky, a women’s empowerment organization, launched a Facebook “Game for Change” that raises awareness and funds to empower women and girls across the country. Their sponsors donated $500,000 that was available to be unlocked by gamers completing specific quests within the game. The game also had the option for individuals to make personal donations to any of the game’s nonprofit partners.Half the Sky used gamification to educate, inspire, and raise money for their cause. And social media is a great place for this kind of activity to take place if you want to really amplify the effects of consolidating your fundraising into one day — Facebook supports gamification through app development, and the more personal nature of the network jives with the emotional connection to a cause that nonprofits need to foster. Nothing like EdgeRank to help you amplify, am I right?Groupon & Crowdrise’s Earth Day PartnershipGroupon partnered with Crowdrise, an online fundraising platform for 2012’s Earth Day on April 22nd, to offer green deals, as well as run an earth day online fundraising challenge. 70 teams fundraised on Crowdrise for various nonprofits to raise over $335,000 dollars in one day.Alongside the team challenge, Groupon launched 50 grassroots campaigns across the country. Supporters were able to rally together and impact their local communities in ways they couldn’t do alone. Groupon provided each campaign with a $1,000 grant to jump start their fundraising, totaling a $50,000 grant to support local organizations. The Charleston Waterkeeper in Charleston, South Carolina, for example, ran a campaign to have 40 people donate $10 so they could test 16 samples of local water for bacterial contamination. They had over 100 people donate $10 on the day of.Yet again, we see the power of localization, a condensed time frame, and partnering up to help a good cause; and it’s all under one theme — making the Earth a healthier planet on Earth Day.World AIDS Day Campaign From ONEBono’s organization ONE leveraged World AIDS Day on December 1st, 2012 to launch their “It Starts with Me” YouTube campaign. They had several individuals and celebrities record videos to encourage others to sign a petition to support the fight against AIDS. This campaign inspired hundreds of individuals to record and upload their own videos to encourage support for ONE, bringing their YouTube views to over 8 million.Allowing your supporter’s stories to become your stories can create an booming network of advocates that are all personally connected and making your cause’s story even stronger.Amplify Austin’s Local Fundraising FestivalAmplify Austin was a 24-hour festival across the city of Austin, Texas on March 4th, 2013. Hundreds of local businesses promoted kick-off parties, concerts, and donation stations at bars, clubs, stores, and coffees shops across the city. Through the one-day event, over $2.7M was raised for hundreds of nonprofits. There was also a central concert stage that kicked off the event to bring everyone together, and featured several local bands.The idea to rally a city around raising money for local organizations is something that can happen anywhere, and really impact your community immediately. It’s also a great way to leverage and show local support of philanthropy, as well as your small business community. This was a give-give, win-win for the city of Austin Texas, and shows that the in-person event still has a place in your marketing and fundraising activities — especially when you’re trying to condense it all into a one-day time span.Giving Tuesday From the 92nd Street YGiving Tuesday, which takes place on November 27th, has been deemed by the 92nd street Y as the unofficial day of giving. This annual day of giving, which started in 2012, leverages the hype around Black Friday and Cyber Monday, where people are more inclined to shop for the holiday season. Giving Tuesday asks these people to support an organization by making a donation.This campaign was very much driven by social media, especially with the #GivingTuesday hashtag, and was driven by both nonprofits and businesses across the globe. Over 1,500 partners pushed out the message to give on Giving Tuesday to their networks, and 2,500 nonprofits ran special fundraising campaigns. Skype, for instance, launched skypeforpeace.org to ask for donations to support the organization Peace One Day and help educate children around the world about world peace.Blackbaud reported that $10 million dollars was raised on Giving Tuesday 2012, and they saw a 53% increase in year-over-year donations made online on November 27th. Giving Tuesday was a great example of how to leverage social media, partners, and digital tactics to fundraise and bring awareness to a large number of causes, as well as encourage new individuals to give that might not have a personal connection with your organization otherwise. Everyone was inspired to give back and do good, not just go shopping.What other organizations do a great job at “newsjacking” a day of the year to amplify awareness of their cause and drive donations?Image credit: Derek Bridgeslast_img read more

  • The New Gmail Inbox: How It Works and Why Email Marketers Should Pay Attention

    first_img Originally published Jul 25, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Email Inbox Tips When I use my email, I’m a control freak. I label and color-code almost every email I get — for both personal and work email addresses. My inbox is regularly at zero — not because I don’t have emails to respond to, but because upon getting an email notification, I immediately file it away into my “Needs Response,” “To Remember,” or another descriptive label. I’ve even enabled Gmail’s “Multiple Inboxes” feature so that I can monitor labels on the side of my inbox and still see incoming emails. Is this a little neurotic? You betcha. But this obsession with filtering and control saves me a ton of time wading through the mess that is my email inbox.Download our free email productivity guide here for even more time-saving email management tips. Then, at the end of May, my beautiful inbox organization was needed no more. Gmail announced a new layout where email messages are automatically filtered into (at most) five different categories. Here’s what the inbox looks like in action:So you can imagine my reaction when I took the plunge with Gmail’s new inbox. Personally, I was a bit frustrated, but mostly pumped. Even though the labels I had worked so hard to create and maintain wouldn’t be relevant, I’d have a “smart” inbox that could learn which emails should go where — automatically. Automation and control, yay!But, as a marketer, I got nervous. Did this mean that I’m going to have to work doubly as hard to have my hard-earned leads see my emails?After a month and a half, the data is a still inconclusive. On the one hand, my fellow HubSpotter Evan Murphy looked at aggregate data from all our customers’ email sends and found one answer: HubSpot customers saw an average of 58.9% more email opens and 63% more unique email opens in June than May after the new feature was rolled out. On the other hand, MailChimp found that open rates decreased three weeks in a row after the new layout was launched … so it’s pretty much up in the air whether this new layout helps, hurts, or doesn’t affect email marketers at all.No matter what, marketers should pay attention. Gmail’s new inbox layout isn’t the only type available, but with the buzz it’s gained this past month it certainly should cross the minds of email marketers. Considering Gmail has more than 425 million active users, it’s incredibly important that inbound marketers know how the email service’s layout and functionality work and how they may affect how people see your email — especially if Google continues to iterate on the design and functionality of their inbox.How Does the New Inbox Work?Before we get into the nitty gritty of the marketing pros and cons of the new Gmail layout, let’s figure out how this darned thing works! To enable the new inbox you can do two things: 1) Wait for Gmail to automatically switch you (like some of my annoyed colleagues) or 2) If you’re impatient (like me), click “Configure Inbox” under the gear icon in the top right corner.Then, you can choose which tab categories you’d like to display. Here’s what appears in each category:Primary: Google gives this tab the highest priority in the inbox layout. Appearing first, it features messages from family, friends, and contacts that don’t appear in any other tab. It also can feature starred messages.Social: Messages from any sort of social site you use. Expect emails from social networks, dating websites, and gaming platforms to appear here.Promotions: Your marketing emails will most likely appear here. This is where any deals, offers, and any other promotional email will go. (If you’re a HubSpot blog subscriber, for instance, chances are your subscriptions will appear here.)Updates: Automatic notifications of bills, statements, and reminders. Most likely, your airline reservations and your monthly credit card statements will appear here.Forums: Messages from any forums or discussion groups you participate in will be featured here.And here’s what it looks like in action:Of course, when you first enable the inbox tabs, it won’t be perfect. Some messages will get put in the wrong bucket. Lucky for us, you just have to drag and drop a message to appear in another folder — and you can even tell Gmail to always send emails from that sender into another folder.With a little bit of direction, your Gmail inbox will learn which messages should appear where.Oh, and if you’re a label-freak like me, your messages will still get filtered into categories you have set up — you just can’t use one of the inbox tabs as a label anymore.All in all, pretty cool update, right? So … What’s in It for Marketers?You’ve already bought into the whole inbound marketing methodology, so you know that today’s buyer has all the power in the marketing relationship … but historically, email hasn’t made it easy for consumers to embrace their power. People had to manage the fire hose of information targeted at their inbox alone. Filters, labels, stars, reminders … you get the picture. With all of the information bombarding your email subscribers, chances are, they felt a little less powerful than before.With the new Gmail feature, the email control goes right back where it belongs — in the arms of your leads and customers. With only a little up-front work, they can start engaging with the emails that matter to them.If you’re doing lovable email marketing, that’s great news for you. When people choose to go to a certain tab, they’re already open to receiving your message. They are actively seeking that type of message out instead of wading through a billion irrelevant messages in the general inbox. Plus, you’re not trying to compete for attention with emails from your subscriber’s best friends, family, and social networks. Bonus: Gmail’s filtering is smart, so once your subscribers engage with your email, the more likely they are to appear in the coveted “Primary” tab. Also, if your email subscribers are into doing a little up-front work, they’ll never miss one of your emails again. All they have to do is click and drag your emails to the correct tab, and choose to always filter those messages in that folder. But, It’s Not Perfect So your email contacts have more control over their inbox clutter. No longer will they have to wade through their inbox to get your highly personalized, engaging emails, right? Basically, inbound marketing heaven.Not exactly. While you’re competing with less messages overall, you’ll most likely have more content to compete against in the “Promotions” tab because of the way Gmail’s new ads are being displayed. Before, Gmail’s ads were small text banners scattered around the inbox layout. Now, they look even more like emails — right at the top of your “Promotions” tab, you’ll sometimes see an email that’s highlighted in yellow and marked as an ad. Here’s what it looks like:Ads in GMAIL – sent as normal emails. Anyone else saw this? pic.twitter.com/oAgaT1mcAJ— antonio.gulli (@gulliantonio) July 18, 2013It’s not clear how people react to these ads since they are only rolled out to select users now. This ad layout reminds me of the current search PPC ads – and those, most people gloss right over. But I’m not convinced that people will do the same in the new Gmail “Promotions” inbox — they have at least four other filters they can visit to ignore the ads. Will people just stop going to the “Promotions” tab altogether to “opt-out” of a rather invasive ad experience? If so … your content could get ignored. No good.How You Can Make Sure Your Emails Get NoticedEven though we have data showing that this new inbox layout may be increasing email opens, I know you want to really make sure your emails aren’t getting lost in an inapplicable tab. These two tips are ALL up to your email subscribers to do, so you might want to let your subscribers know how they can stay up-to-date with your emails in Gmail. (Or, maybe forward this post via email to a colleague or tweet it to your followers ;-)If They Want to Make Sure Your New Emails Appear in a Certain TabLike we said earlier in this post, it’s easy to train Gmail to always put an email from a certain sender in a specific folder. Show them how easy it is — all you have do is click and drag the email to the correct folder and then be sure that you select that action for future messages:This works for any of the tabs selected (including Primary) — but it doesn’t work for past messages. If you need the step-by-step, feel free to point your subscribers to the screenshots above. If They Want to Organize Your New and Old Emails to Appear in Their “Primary” FolderIf your email subscribers want your emails to automatically appear in their primary tab as well, there’s a really quick hack you can do, courtesy of our aforementioned HubSpot email expert Evan. With a simple filter, you can automatically star messages from certain senders — which will automatically send them to your “Primary” tab if you follow the right steps. Here’s how you do it:1) Click the gear icon in the top right corner, select “Configure Inbox,” and then check the box “Include starred in Primary.” Then, click “Save.”2) Click the gear again, then choose “Settings.” Once you’re in Settings, select “Filters.” At the bottom, click “Create New Filter.”3) Type the email address of the sender you want to receive in your “Primary” inbox tab in the “From” box. Then, click “Create filter with this search.”4) Select “Star it” and “Also apply filter to matching conversations” to enable past and future emails to go to your “Primary” tab.Then, ta-da! Your emails will appear in the “Primary” inbox tab.So the moral of the story here is that the new Gmail inbox layout could help you engage your subscribers more than ever before … but, it’s still up to you to create amazing, engaging, and lovable email content. Have you switched over to the new Gmail inbox? Share your impressions with us — as a user and as an email marketer — in the comments. And don’t forget to add HubSpot blog updates to your “Primary” folder to always get our posts in your inbox. ;-)Image credit: opacitylast_img read more

  • 14 of the Best College Websites (And Why They’re So Awesome)

    first_img Education Marketing Topics: Think about the average college’s website for a second. Chances are, it feels a little out of date. You probably can’t even read its content on your phone without lots of pinching and zooming. Crazy right? It’s the virtual front door of the campus. This website needs to attract and inform current and prospective students, their families, alumni, professors, and donors. It has to be user-friendly, convey value to different personas, and guide visitors to other parts of the site. Oh, and it should also be visually pleasing. The good news is that not all colleges have this problem. There are quite a few schools with beautiful, helpful, and intuitive websites — you just have to know where to look. So we decided to showcase the best of the best U.S. college websites below. Check them out and learn what about their web design makes them so brilliant. (And if your alma mater is on the list, be sure to let us know!)Free Download: 77 Examples of Brilliant Web Design 14 of the Best College Websites1. University of MarylandWith a website as sleekly designed, interactive, and easy to navigate as UMD’s undergraduate admissions site, it’s no surprise they’ve already snagged one of the final five nomination spots for best admissions website this year. The website was designed by the communications firm Frause.There are a number of great design elements on their site, but we especially love the playful fonts — which DCInno pointed out are “seemingly similar to the type used for Where the Wild Things Are, reminiscent of those childhood years, but with a sophisticated flair.” Unique typography is an element of great modern web design, as it helps customers immediately identify them versus their competitors. For example, The New Yorker’s typography is recognized by consumers around the world because of its unique style and appearance.2. University of Notre DameNotre Dame’s website is beautiful on desktop: big, high definition images; cool, interactive portions; easy navigation. But what makes their website even more special is their use of responsive design. Now that Google’s algorithm awards mobile-friendly websites, it’s even more important for organizations to optimize their websites for visitors coming from desktop, tablets, and smartphones.Here’s what Notre Dame’s home page looks like on desktop:And here it is on mobile:Launched in 2012, the website was designed by an in-house team, and responsive design was among their top priorities. “We wanted to make the navigation as intuitive and simple as possible,” explained the team’s web designer Philip Zastrow. “In a lot of ways a homepage is a portal, but we want it to be a more experiential, informative portal.”3. Bucknell UniversityBucknell’s website, built by Fastspot and nominated for Best Website Redesign at the Webby’s in 2014, is a wonderful example of website personalization at work. The first time you visit their website, you’re met with the default, impersonal homepage — which, by the way, is beautifully designed with high-definition visuals, lots of negative space, and simple navigation. But you’ll notice that right below the image, users have the option of customizing the page. See it on the bottom there?When you click “Start Customizing,” you’re met with an option to turn off any section of the default homepage you’d like. Not interested in arts and culture updates, but want to keep the sports and recreation stuff? Simply turn Arts and Culture off. The next time you visit the website on the same device, you won’t see Arts and Culture — although you can turn it back on at any time.4. University of ChicagoUChicago’s website design was awarded with two high-profile Webby Awards in 2013: best overall best school/university website and the Webby People’s Voice Award. Check out how uncluttered the content is: Instead of putting paragraphs of information and updates everywhere, you’ll find large, high-definition images paired with bite-sized chunks of text. It was created in-house by the university’s IT and communication departments and launched in September 2012.5. University of MichiganUMichigan’s website got a Webby’s nomination for Best Website Redesign in 2014 — and for good reason. The newest version of their website is worlds better than it was before. Here’s what the redesign looks like:Compare that with how it looked before:The most noticeable difference? The huge images in the updated version, along the text boxes of quick, simple statistics reinforcing the school’s value, such as “19 Schools + Colleges” and “#1 Public University,” which users can click into for more details.6. Rhode Island School of DesignRISD’s entire mission is to educate and inspire the next generation of artists and designers. So why not use the school’s homepage to showcase student artwork? They nailed the execution here with big, crisp images users paired with short text that can scroll through. The website was created in-house and launched in 2011, and it was a Webby Award honoree in the School/University category in 2012.7. George Washington UniversityVisualizing what a college campus looks like, especially when it’s located in a busy city center, can be really difficult for anyone new visiting a campus. But GW found a way to make it easy — and even kind of fun.Their revolutionary virtual tour website, created by Campus Tours Inc., features interactive maps of their two main campuses, as well as one showing the main campus in the context of D.C. as a city. This way, visitors can get a better understanding of where it is in the context of city landmarks like the White House and the JFK Performance Center. You can hover your mouse over any building, street, green area, or body of water to see its name, and you can even “turn on” labels for shuttle stops and visitor parking areas. Overall, it’s both user-friendly and visually stunning.8. Middlebury CollegeMiddlebury’s website is unlike any college website I’ve seen before. Their homepage, designed by White Whale Web Services and launched in February 2010, features a number of colorful bars that act as a navigation system. Users can hover their mouse over each bar to see where clicking it would lead them — such as a video snapshot of the community, homecoming highlights, a news story about new funding, and so on. Hover effects like these are great tools to help with a user’s experience. The design isn’t intrusive, and yet it helps web visitors keep track of where they’re looking on a page.9. University of Nebraska-LincolnUNL’s website is a great example of simplicity in design. It limits its use of copy and visuals and embraces negative space, which can feel like a relief to users. Too many organizations try to cram a ton of visuals and text into a small space, whereas UNL’s design is given room to breathe and helps users find things better. The site focuses on two calls-to-action: “Play Video” and “Apply Now.” The use of video in the background instead of your typical, static background is visually stunning, too. 10. Virginia Commonwealth UniversitySpeaking of calls-to-action, VCU’s website does a wonderful job of using colorful, well-positioned CTA buttons to direct visitors to the next logical step. Their homepage design is an image carousel, and each one has a clear CTA encouraging users to “Read More,” and so on. Underneath these stories are more calls-to-action using actionable language like “Register for classes,” “Apply now,” and “Plan a visit,” accompanied by relevant icons. After all, the goal of the homepage is to compel visitors to dig deeper into your website. With clear CTAs, their homepage becomes a conversion engine, not just a brochure. 11. Bates CollegeWhen you look at the top of Bates’ homepage, you’ll notice there are fewer navigation options than many of these other websites. They’ve still included a dropdown menu at the top, but overall, they’ve reduced the number of links in the header and sidebar of the site. Although reducing users’ options may seem counterintuitive, it can actually help guide them to your most productive content. The designers of Bates’ website simplifies navigation by putting their most productive content — which are clearly labeled with identifiers like “Future Students,” “Parents,” and “Alumni” — at the bottom but above the fold. 12. Brown UniversityBrown’s website has lots of images, but they use a neat trick to make it not seem so overwhelming: Their background photos are all muted while their featured content (in the example below, stories about student research) are large and vivid. This helps reduce the visual clutter on the page and give emphasis the university’s prime focus: research. The website took two years to build from 2008 to 2010, with strategy and design by marketing and communications firm mStoner, Inc. in partnership with Brown’s in-house Computer Information Services team. Their goal was to showcase the university and improve user experience.13. Clemson UniversityIt’s not uncommon to hear Clemson students claiming they “bleed orange” — thanks to their university mascot, the Tigers. The designers of the university’s website successfully carried over that branding by including elements like a bright orange banner, an orange scroll bar, and other orange accents along the way. The tiger’s eyes in the header give the website some personality, too. The site was created in-house by Clemson’s Web Leadership Team and Communications Council and was launched in 2013 and was nominated for a Webby in the category of Best Website Redesign the following year.It’s also mobile responsive. Here’s what the website looks like on desktop:And here it is on mobile:14. Oberlin CollegeWhen we visited Oberlin’s website for the first time, we were blown away by the stunning homepage image — which, along with being visually pleasant to look at, also gave us a great idea of the school’s culture and values. Instead of news updates and blurbs about academic offerings, the folks at Oberlin chose to showcase their student life. “Oberlin is a place of intense energy and creativity, built on a foundation of academic, artistic & musical excellence,” the homepage reads. The emphasis on culture shows they’re catering content to prospective students above all.Which college websites are your favorites? 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 SlackSlack Originally published Jul 22, 2015 6:00:00 AM, updated November 13 2019last_img read more

  • How Your Agency Can Add Value and Minimize Risk for Small Businesses

    first_imgWhen it comes to marketing, small businesses need a lot of bang for their buck.Basedon on a recent Gartner CMO Spend Survey, marketing budgets now account for 12% of company revenue, a steady increase from 2010. For small businesses, this money is a precious chunk of change.If it’s spent without a commensurate increase in new customers, then it could lead to ruin. This makes SMBs understandably cautious when choosing a marketing agency—and creates challenges for the agencies themselves.Marketing agencies cannot guarantee ROI, and every marketing campaign carries with it the risk of underperformance. Over 80% of B2B marketers say that it’s a challenge to demonstrate how their work improves the bottom line—and 93% of CMOs agree.Instead of guaranteeing ROI, marketing agencies need to communicate how they can minimize risk for SMBs, while providing data-driven insights that illustrate the effectiveness of their approach.Start with Small BudgetsAlthough marketing agencies don’t have a crystal ball to forecast ROI with, they still have common sense. More than likely, the small business is starting their marketing department from scratch – or its still incredibly new/small. In this scenario, marketing agencies can become valuable by finding what works and iterating it to the SMB’s founding team.How does this work in practice? Let’s say that a client is running a business, but there’s no pre-existing marketing strategy in place. The business is moving product, however, and there’s a reliable record of who’s buying—age, gender, location, income level, and so on. Although it’s hard to know the best way to market this product, there are tried and proven ways to market to these demographics.Agencies can also come at this problem another way—by starting small and iterating. One of the best ways to work with a SMB is to determine the smallest amount of money required to obtain a new lead.Once that amount has been determined, it’s relatively easy/simple to come out with a plan that helps the client sacrifice the smallest amount of budget dollars in exchange for the largest number of manageable leads per month. This strategy dovetails with another good, commonsense tactic.Determine the Right Metrics for Success Returning to the Gartner survey, the role of marketing has changed dramatically over the course of a few short years. Nearly half of all marketing organizations have some aspect of sales hooked in, for example. IT and CX organizations are also being incorporated into the marketing machine.Marketing agencies may not be asked to shoulder these responsibilities in the same way a CMO might, but their clients are almost certainly changing their expectations of what an agency might deliver. Therefore, it’s truly important for agencies to discuss with their clients what constitutes a barometer of success. If an agency works with sales, then the agency needs to determine what that looks like for the sales team. Is it lead generation, closed opportunities, or something else?If there’s a CX partnership, how do they measure their customer retention statistics, and how does the agency prove its worth?Once again, the prevailing challenge in marketing is that most marketers have difficulty identifying the ways that their work affects the business.By setting benchmarks at the beginning of a customer relationship, marketing agencies can identify the targets that they’ll hit, and SMBs will know what they’re aiming for. With that in mind, here’s one concrete approach that marketers can take towards justifying their work.Create a Revenue Attribution ModelRevenue attribution is the meat and potatoes of the approach outlined above. Marketing agencies have limited means to predict the ROI of various projects, but there are a variety of methods that can track the success of a particular approach.For example, one might attempt a “first touch” methodology. Say that a lead views a blog, performs some other actions involving content, and then closes a deal—the entirety of that deal might then be attributed to that touch-point.Alternatively, agencies can use a linear attribution model.Let’s say that after viewing a blog post, the lead then downloads a white paper, and then closes a deal. The agency can take the final value of that deal, divide it by the number of touch-points, and then attribute an equal number to each piece of content.These are extremely simple models, and they’re not perfect—but without them, there’s really no way for an agency to identify which pieces of content lead to revenue generation. More to the point, research from the Aberdeen Group suggests that over one-third of marketers don’t perform revenue attribution of any kind, and nearly 20% don’t know if they have an attribution model or not.It’s also worth noting that “best-in-class” marketers are much more likely to use complex weighted attribution models that place different emphasis on different pieces of content. From related research, this practice translates to a substantial likelihood that a company will see strong positive correlations between their marketing efforts and sales growth.Encourage Some RiskWhile we mentioned earlier that it is beneficial for a marketing agency to start the SMB off small, it is equally important that the agency also challenges the SMB’s marketing team to push themselves into new and uncharted marketing territory. Again, going back to the Gartner report, there’s a clear connection between the marketing teams demonstrating accountability and assuming risk to the marketing teams that then go on to earn a bigger marketing budget.While it’s important that the agency works with the SMB to figure out the minimum amount of risk and money needed in order to acquire a new lead, it’s also the agency’s job to bring new ideas (perhaps a few far-fetched ones) to the SMB that will challenge their current marketing plan and urge them to dream a bit bigger.Create a Great Friendship Between Your Agency and SMBBeing a successful marketing agency doesn’t just mean serving your clients with slick, well-produced campaigns—it means doing so in an accountable and reproducible manner that complies with the changing priorities of the customer. This is a challenge that a lot of agencies still struggle with, but the techniques above provide a roadmap for customer trust.By creating this trust with the customer, and putting forth just as much effort into their overall marketing goals as their own internal team, you’ll be creating a long-lasting relationship with the client which leads to very positive word-of-mouth. In other words, when customers grow, agencies grow too. Topics: Originally published Apr 5, 2017 10:00:00 AM, updated April 05 2017 Agency Marketing Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more