Get casual and celebrate our differences

first_imgCasual Day ambassadors Benedictor Mokoena (front) and Adri Visser (back) with Alma School learner Angelique Bezuidenhout. Alma School is a school for learners with disabilities in Pretoria and one of the largest schools in the country catering to needs of disabled learners.As Disability Rights Awareness Month draws to a close, Casual Day nears the conclusion of its campaign for the year. But the work is not over, and the organisation is now setting its sights on launching its National Schools Programme for 2016.Schools across the country are encouraged to increase their involvement in the campaign by pairing up with mainstream schools in their area and pledge their support of the 2016 Casual Day campaign.Casual Day project leader Vanessa du Plessis has asked pupils, parents and teachers to make Casual Day one of the stand-out events on their calendars in 2016.Disability Rights Awareness Month began on 3 November and will run until 3 December. 3 December   is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities as well as South Africa’s National Disability Rights Awareness Day.“Disability Rights Awareness Month provides South Africa with an opportunity to inspire hope and confidence in the ability of communities and the state machinery to work together in addressing the common challenges facing persons with disabilities and society in general,” explained Du Plessis.She also urged governmental bodies to ensure all public and private schools across the country made it a point to celebrate Casual Day, stating that “schools are a significant aspect of government and schools are where values and morals are inculcated”.Tshilidzini Special School in Limpopo province is the top performer in the country in raising funds for persons with disabilities.CASUAL DAYEstablished in 1995, Casual Day is the flagship project of the National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in South Africa (NCPPDSA).Each year, the project invites all South Africans to dress differently and wear the specially designed Casual Day sticker on an allocated day (this year’s Casual Day took place on Friday, 4 September) in exchange for a R10 donation that goes towards supporting the many organisations relying on the project.Since its creation, Casual Day has grown into one of the country’s leading fundraisers in support of disability awareness and creating a fully accessible and inclusive society for all.With the help of the general public as well as a number of corporate sponsors, Casual Day had contributed more than R222-million to the funding of organisations providing education, assistive devices, shelter and employment to the nearly 15% of the population who had disabilities, Du Plessis said.The total sum of money raised this year will be announced in February 2016.“It is important to note that government funding for NGOs working in the sector is inadequate – and that most of them survive on private donations, which means Casual Day is vital to these services,” she said, highlighting the significance of the project in meeting the needs of people who had disabilities.TIMELY INTERVENTIONA series of studies, said the Casual Day organisers, conducted by the NCPPDSA, Mpumalanga’s Department of Social Development, Statistics South Africa and Casual Day participant Disabled Children’s Action Group (DICAG) revealed the following:Only 42% of the children with disabilities identified in Mpumalanga’s Ehlanzeni, Nkangala and Gert Sibande districts were receiving rehabilitation. (Mpumalanga’s Department of Social Development)Only 33% of these children had the assistive devices they required. (Mpumalanga’s Department of Social Development)Around 59% of these children reported that their caregivers did not know how to apply for an assistive device. (Mpumalanga’s Department of Social Development)Children with disabilities were substantially less likely to attend school than their non-disabled peers. (NCPPDSA)Drop-out rates among children with disabilities that did attend school were significantly higher than those of their peers who are not disabled. (NCPPDSA)There were significant gaps in the child justice system in dealing with cases that involved children with disabilities for a number of reasons, such as witnesses being incompetent because of a break-down in communication. (DICAG)“These figures are shocking and saddening,” said Du Plessis, “but Casual Day brings a huge ray of hope, because the awareness campaign around Casual Day puts a public focus on the needs of persons with disabilities.“We do not only focus on children, but provide funding to the entire age spectrum. For example, Alzheimer’s South Africa raises funds for its research and awareness campaigns through Casual Day.”Through its holistic approach, the Casual Day campaign supports a wide range of beneficiaries including the National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in South Africa, the Deaf Federation of South Africa and the South African Disability Alliance.By continuously raising awareness of the plight of people with disabilities, Casual Day has made strides in transforming our society into one that recognises the positive contributions made by people with disabilities to the country.last_img read more

5 Tips to Improve Channel Partner Lead Generation

first_img – Email is an important part of the lead generation mix. Create a great email marketing campaign with an offer that each partner can send to new leads. Maybe it is a free assessment of a website, or an opportunity to attend a free consulting session. This campaign is to help move leads further down the funnel and to help increase a partners lead-to-customer percentages. Often channel managers have the ability to give marketing funds for offers, so why not provide them the email message to use as well. In a recent conversation with a channel marketing manager I was asked, “What can I do now to get my partners and resellers found?” As with many channel marketing managers, their time is very constrained, but the need to do more lead generation for their resellers is ever present. Additionally, they often talk about how their resellers do a great job once someone is introduced to them, but often their own websites are not helping them bring in new leads. After asking me that question, she said, “I wish I could just give them a few tips to get them started in Inbound Marketing and getting website traction” 1. Identify Longtail Keywords Online marketing is unique for each business. For large businesses that rely on channel partners to sell and distribute products, the online marketing process can be a challenge. With many channel partners across multiple locations, how can a business make sure that partners have the leads they need to help grow the business? brackenb your partners or resellers can quickly optimize their pages . 2. Provide Partners with Lead Generation Offers –  Find 10 keywords that are in the longtail for your services or products and provide them to your resellers and partners to use.  Keywords need to be used in a consistent way on each webpage in the page title, the URL, the page headers and text. By doing the background research and providing a starting point, Photo Credit: 5 Tips For Channel Partner Lead Generation 3. Create a Landing Page Templatecenter_img –  Create an offer such as a ebook or webinar that can be downloaded or accessed from each partner’s website. Maybe your company provides security software and you have a tool that does a quick, free sweep of their network to test for vulnerability. Another option would be to offer a free assessment that will help prospect better understand which product offering best fits their needs. By creating these downloads, you are giving your reseller network an offer they can give visitors that come to their websites. 5. Share Partner Successes –   If one of your partners is finding an offer is converting leads well or a free assessment is leading to more business in the door, let the network know! Inbound marketing may be new, but closing a deal is well understood and anything that drives more business to one partner will help the overall brand and network as well. Share the success! What have you done to help improve inbound marketing for your channel partners? – Create a standard landing page that every reseller can put on their main page of their website to both capture lead data, and provide an offer. 70% of visitors to a website are in the “early stage” of buying. They are not ready to purchase, but are starting to investigate. Instead of having them visit your site and then “drive on”, give them an offer in exchange for collecting some of their information, even if it is just an email address. This will allow you to stay in touch with them via email offers or turn over the lead to your sales team for qualification and follow up. 4.  Develop An Email Template and Campaign Originally published Sep 2, 2010 2:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Topics: Lead Generation 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

34 Awesome Twitter Ideas for Engaging Your Prospects

first_img Social Media Engagement Topics: Originally published Sep 20, 2011 5:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 This is an excerpt from our new ebook, 100 Inbound Marketing Content Ideas. For more tips like these for your blog and Facebook page, download the ebook here.Engaging your community of prospects on Twitter is an essential way to show a human face behind your brand and let your customers know you care about them. Answer their questions and provide them with content they find useful, and you’ll build the trust you need for a loyal following. But how can you keep the relationship with your Twitter followers fresh?Here are 34 ideas and tips for you to use for your own Twitter community to keep them engaged and coming back for more.Responding to Followers1. Check your @replies regularly with a Twitter client. Reply to your users’ questions.2. Assign tweets to an appropriate team member who can answer followers’ question if you cannot.3. Offer to email with community members if they have further questions.4. Have a blog post answering FAQ’s that you can refer to. Link to it regularly.5. If you work in a regulated industry, pre-write 140-character responses to common questions that are pre-approved by stakeholders. This will enable you to still engage in real time with those who are asking questions.6. Use “@Reply” in the very beginning of a tweet to someone if you only want your followers who follow them to see the tweet. Add words or a character in front of the @reply if you want all of your followers to see the tweet.7. If a conversation turns into a heated debate, know when to take it off of @reply and use direct messages (DMs).8. Thank people who comment on and share your blog posts.9. Thank people who share your webinars and ebooks.10. Write as you would write in regular conversation. Use emoticons and exclamation points. Write in first person. (Examples: “I’m sorry.” “We’re excited.”) It shows that an actual human is behind the Twitter account.Twitter Tools11. Find and follow your competitors’ followers using FollowerWonk. Learn from them, and tweet the types of content and hashtags they care about.12. Use a separate Twitter app on your phone for your personal account and for your business’ account to avoid posting content meant for your personal account on your business account.13. Add UTM codes to your tweets to track your referring traffic from Twitter in Google Analytics.14. If you’re tweeting as part of a webinar or Twitter chat, kindly alert your followers and recommend that, if they don’t want to see your tweets, to use Proxlet to mute you.15. Use SocialBro to identify demographic information about your Twitter followers. Learn factors like nationality and gender, and participate in relevant holidays. (Example: Happy Boxing Day to our Canadian followers!)16. Measure your click-throughs on the links you share with bitly. Replicate the kind of language you use in those tweets to increase engagement from your followers.17. Don’t wait for Google Alerts. Maintain and monitor a Twitter list (in a Twitter client) of the actual publications and companies that matter most to your industry and community. When news breaks about your industry, you’ll be the first to share it. This builds authority.Sharing Your Content18. Post tweets of your blog posts. Use a variety of headlines, and test what drives the most click-throughs.19. Schedule tweets of blog posts on the weekends, as people read on the weekends, too. Also, post tweets of blog posts at night, as this targets people in other time zones.20. If your blog post is a list of tips, offer one tip with a link to the post as a “teaser.”21. If you feature tools or other companies in your blog posts, Cc them on the tweets to let them know so they retweet your content.22. If you have evergreen content on your blog, don’t be afraid to schedule tweets of those older blog posts. A few months later, they will still be valuable to your audience, and your readers may have missed them the first time.Incorporate Other Platforms23. Let your Twitter followers know about a great contest or discussion happening on your Facebook page or LinkedIn group, and invite them to be a part of it. Don’t beg for Likes and members, though. (It’s annoying.)24. Share your email newsletter on Twitter. Invite people to sign up for your newsletter by sharing a link to the landing page where they can sign up.25. Do a Twtpoll. Ask your followers a question, and use the results for blog content.26. Participate in relevant Twitter chats related to your community.27. Don’t cross-post your content to Facebook and LinkedIn. They are different platforms; treat them individually.28. If you’re working on a blog post, ask your community members for help. Reach out to them, and ask for their tips. It shows there’s a person behind the Twitter account.Create Original Tweets29. Offer a daily tip just for your Twitter followers.30. Tell a joke or a riddle.31. Use pictures. Show what you’re working on. Offer a behind-the-scenes look. Take a picture at a conference or event.32. Ask your followers a question or for their opinion on a relevant topic. Collect the tweets with Storify, and use them for a blog post.Follow Friday33. Use #FollowFriday to shine the light on your most engaged community members.34. Do a “special edition” #FollowFriday and give it a theme. Group special community members together for a specific reason, trait, or contribution to the community.How do you engage your audience with Twitter? Let us know in the comments! Don’t forget to share this post! 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Answers to 5 of Marketing’s Most Frequently Asked Questions #AskTheExpert

first_img— Jay Acunzo, Senior Content Manager (@Jay_Zo)Q: I have a pretty limited search budget — should I spend it on social PPC or Google PPC? Is one better than the other?This seems to be a big question among marketers who want to try out some paid campaigns but are constrained by budget. It’s tough to know right off the bat which network will be the best investment of your spend, so I’d recommend a few things.First and foremost, identify your goal and your metrics.Are you looking to run an awareness campaign and generate as many clicks to your page as possible? Are you focusing on generating leads and aiming to advertise at the lowest possible cost-per-lead? Or are you simply looking to build up your following on social media by increasing your engagement metrics? Once you’ve identified your goals and the metrics you’re solving for, see if you can rule out any ad platforms that may not be a good fit with your campaign or your audience.For example, if you’re trying to gain more followers for your t-shirt company, LinkedIn ads are probably not the best option, but Facebook and Twitter might do well. Or if you’re marketing to enterprise companies, maybe more of your prospects are on LinkedIn than on Twitter, and you want to focus your attention there.My best recommendation is to run a small test campaign on each of the platforms. If you don’t have enough budget to spread between them in one month, do one test each month for the next few months. Then do the math! My goal is to generate leads through paid advertising, and by testing each of these platforms, I’ve been able to optimize for the lowest cost-per-lead.Remember, though, there may be value in advertising on a certain platform even if it’s not your cheapest option. For example, paid search ads can help supplement your organic search rankings, making it more likely that you’ll get found by interested prospects on search engines. It’s up to you to determine what works best for your marketing!– Sarah Goliger, Head of Paid Marketing (@SarahBethGo)Q: What metrics should I be using to measure email effectiveness?When it comes to metrics for individual email sends and A/B tests, the open rate (OR) of an email send is a vital one to monitor. It’s the measurement of total emails opened divided by total emails delivered. Use ORs to A/B test best send times, reactions to the sender name and email, and subject lines.Benchmarks can vary depending on the segment you send the email to (if you send a relevant email to a few, very specific people, it will have a much higher open rate than if you send an email to a large audience).The clickthrough rate (CTR) of an email send measures total clicks in an email send divided by total emails delivered. Use the CTR as a way to gauge engagement of a particular email send as well as to A/B test the various components within your email: Was the call-to-action effective? Was the copy persuasive? Was plain-text more engaging than rich format? How did a particular type of content perform?Now, when it comes to metrics for discovering trends and monitoring collective effectiveness, that’s a different story.Keeping track of the deliverability rate (how many emails were delivered/how many emails were sent) will help you spot an unhealthy list that has old, unresponsive contacts. Prune your lists by excluding unengaged contacts (for example, anyone who hasn’t opened an email in over six months).Another metric, the lead-to-opportunity rate, will tell you how effective your emails are at moving a lead down the funnel. Divide the total number of new opportunities created (marketing-qualified leads, such as those who have signed up for a demo or reached a certain lead score) by the total number of new leads created during a certain time period, such as the last 30 days.Also, measure your unsubscribe rate (total unsubscribes/total contacts over a time period). A high unsubscribe rate should be a red flag that you need to change your email strategy, because you’re clearly not reaching the right audience with the right message. A good benchmark is 2%.– Niti Shah, Head of Email Conversions (@nitifromboston)Inbound Marketing doesn’t have to be a maze. You can use us as your expert marketing advisors by tweeting us your questions with the hashtag #AskAnExpert! And you can even go one step further and enter for the chance to win a 1-on-1 consultation with one of our marketers — you choose the expert, we’ll set it up. You can find the details here!What are some marketing questions you’ve been looking to get expert answers for? Tell us in the comment section below. We may even focus a future post around one of your questions or concerns! Trying out this whole inbound marketing thing? I bet you have some questions. Where do I start? What should I know? What are the best practices?If you could ask a top marketing expert any burning question you have, whether it’s about content creation or social media, or perhaps paid marketing or email — what would it be?Now, wouldn’t it be great if you could just ask a marketing expert and actually receive some … well … expert answers? Luckily, you can.Here at HubSpot, we’ve got an arsenal of experts at the cutting edge of inbound marketing, and we’re here to answer your detailed questions. It’s as simple as tweeting us your marketing questions with the hashtag #AskTheExpert. This is a great resource for marketers — whether you’re just starting out and learning more about inbound marketing or knee-deep in the most complicated (and cool) components (such as analytics or list segmentation).To get started, I asked our own inbound marketers to answer questions they’re often asked in their respective areas of expertise (and I even provided an answer to a question I often hear) — so check ’em out!5 Expert Answers to Your Inbound Marketing QuestionsQ: How often should I blog?As much as you can. (That sounds flippant, but it’s not meant to. Here’s what I mean.)Blogging must be done consistently and frequently to see results. But here’s the kicker: You must be able to sustain that frequency. In other words, if you set out to start blogging really great content five times a week, but that’s too high a frequency for you to sustain over a long period of time, you’re setting yourself up for failure. So, before you settle on a weekly or monthly number to hit, think about what frequency you can actually sustain based on the type of content you’re creating.Now, to come up with that magic number, I’d do a couple of things. First, take a look at what some of your competitors are doing with blogging. This includes not just your typical list of the people you sell against, but also search competitors — those who appear in SERPs for the terms for which you’d like to rank. See how often they’re blogging, and how good it is. If they’re blogging once a week or not at all, you can probably start off at a lower pace. If they’re blogging aggressively, you’re going to need to match or approach their pace.Usually after I get a question like this, the next item we discuss is content quality. To learn more about that, here are some resources that might help you out:On improving content qualityOn evaluating content qualityOn why quality matters– Corey Eridon, Senior Blog Editor (@Corey_bos)Q: How much of my own content should I tweet vs. content from other sources?The general rule of thumb is that you should tweet about your brand 20% of the time and about your industry 80% of the time.This 80% could include your own blog posts about the industry (not about your products/services), content from credible sources within your industry, user generated content, etc. The source of the content is up to you, as long as that 80% is helpful, educational, or entertaining for people in your industry (and not sales-y). The 20% includes more direct information about your products/services, which can be slightly more sales-focused.If you’re just getting started on Twitter, try focusing on following people in your industry and target audience first. Retweet their helpful and relevant content to build up your profile, and give your followers a feel for what type of content you’ll be providing.Once you feel more comfortable, start posting some of your own content, such as blog posts, infographics, or entertaining images and link back to your site. The goal here is to build your following first, gain trust, and make quality connections. Then, build up a solid Twitter content strategy once your social following starts snowballing to fuel your inbound marketing machine.– Brittany Leaning, Social Media Manager (@BLeaning)Q: How can a marketer or marketing team sustainably create content and with ROI in mind?Strategy and infrastructure. Without these, you’ll lose steam after awhile and never see results. So, resist the urge to sprint out of the gate and create content haphazardly. Pause enough to plan and be strategic, set your goals, learn what will actually attract the right buyer, and then start producing content. I promise you’ll run faster and longer if you plan first.In your planning, you first need a buyer persona. If you don’t know your ideal customer and what they are struggling with that you can help solve with your content (as well as your product and service), you don’t have product-market fit and will wind up creating content that falls flat. (If you don’t have a buyer persona yet, here’s a free template.)Once you have your persona built, open a free app like Evernote or Trello that syncs between mobile and desktop. This is your idea pipeline. Whenever ANYTHING hits you (a blog post idea, a stat you hear, a photo you take, anything at all that could be content), you want to save it immediately. This helps you avoid starting your next project from scratch. Finally, when you’re ready to create, start by producing a killer content offer — this not only ties to your funnel by requiring a business action of the reader, but it allows you to brainstorm tons more content all based from that one single work. Topics: Marketing Advicecenter_img Originally published Dec 17, 2013 12:30:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

From Punny to Just Plain Clever: 11 Hilarious Holiday Cards for Marketers

first_img10) #Presents, by NewtonAndTheAppleNo matter how you feel about a personal use of hashtags, there’s no denying their importance in marketing.The makers of this card leveraged that idea to capture a hightlight of the holidays: #presents.But if the marketers in your life are feeling a bit grinchy this season, fear not — there’s another version made just for them.There are also editions available for #lights, #Rudolph, and #tree. Might we submit a request for #cookies and #wine?11) Beyoncé Jingles, by NostalgiaCollectConsider this one our gift to you. I mean, Beyoncé and a pun? Nothing says “happy holidays” to our favorite marketers like a play on popular song lyrics.Happy Holidays From Our Marketers to YoursBetween all of the chaos and planning, it seems like there’s one big thing we forget to do during the holidays — laugh. That’s what the season’s greetings are for, after all. And if that festivity and joy happens to come with a good dose of marketing humor, we hope that makes you all the merrier.Have you come across some great holiday cards for marketers? Let us know in the comments. Originally published Dec 12, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Marketers work hard, amirite? But there are still some people in our lives — ahem, Mom — who seem to think that we just write stories and draw pictures on the internet all day.I mean, we don’t do that every day. We work hard, and we have a great appreciation for things that are creative and clever. It makes sense, then, that we also like our season’s greetings to share those traits. And when it comes to holiday cards, just make us laugh.But if you’ve been described as “impossible to please,” or having an “abnormal appreciation for puns,” have faith — you’re not alone. That’s why we put together this guide of great holiday cards for marketers.Download more holiday resources to help your business succeed this season from HubSpot’s #HolidayHubFrom punny to downright clever, these cards certainly have us in stitches — We hope you’ll enjoy them, too.11 Hilarious Holiday Cards for Marketers1) Thoughtful Tweets, by SomeecardsLeave it to Someecards to capture the holiday snark that lives in all of us, at least a little bit.Holidays are a busy time for marketers. We have to plan content for the season — which is remarkably easier with a social media content calendar — and make sure it continues to thrive, even if we’re elsewhere, donning ugly sweaters and drinking eggnog.Naturally, this fitting sentiment made us laugh.Someecards makes it super easy to send these greetings, too. Just visit the link, click on the picture, and choose when you want it to be delivered.2) CapterraGrams, by CapterraIn a past holiday season, Capterra compiled a list of 10 B2B holiday greetings that were so clever, we’re kind of jealous that we didn’t come up with them.It’s hard to pick just one, but here are a few of our favorites — like this one, which puts a marketing spin on the classic carol “Up on the Housetop.”Or this one, which turns social sharing buttons into dreidels.Of course, we couldn’t leave out a good CTA color pun, either.3) The Forgetful Marketer, by SadShopWe love all of SadShop’s holiday cards for their deadpan greetings, like “You are not bad” for Valentine’s Day, and “You are too old to say yolo” for birthdays.So when it came time to find the perfect holiday sentiment for the marketers in our lives, we knew that SadShop would have something fitting. And if you’re the type of marketer who works so hard before the holidays that perhaps you never quite make it to the “cards” line on your December to-do list, this one might be for you.4) Holiday Zen, by ThePaperArtShoppeThen, there are the marketers who do manage to get it all together — work, cards, and maybe even a box of homemade cookies — but you wish he or she would take a minute to breathe. (Or maybe, you know, that describes you. We can relate.)There’s nothing like some holiday yoga to keep calm and market on during this season. A little bit of laughter wouldn’t hurt, either — What better way to get a chuckle than with a tree-posing reindeer?5) Appy New Year, by nocturnalpaperAs marketers, we really love our apps, especially if they help us relax or become more productive. So when it comes to wishing us a happy holiday, it’s quite fitting to make it more of an “appy” holiday.This adorable card puts that pun to work by taking four app icons — weather, mail, messages, and music — and attaching tiny arms and legs to them. However, depending on who you ask, those arms might look like little reindeer antlers. Festivity is in the eye of the (appy) beholder. 6) For the Good-Humored Boss, by FINCHandHAREIf you’re as lucky as we are, your boss has a great sense of humor. In that case, he or she might appreciate this greeting — which is actually meant to be a birthday card, but still works as a holiday one — which simply reads, “You are terrifying.”Once the card is opened, the humor continues with, “You are a terrific boss. I am really enjoying the comfortable work environment you foster.” Be sure to add your own warm, hand-written greeting, though, to make sure it’s all in good fun. We suggest, “For one of the best marketers I know. Happy holidays,” or, “I mean it. Thanks for such a great year, and happy holidays.”7) Holiday Buzzwords, by SomeecardsSomeecards strikes again with this great greeting that calls out marketers on, well, the language we might throw around during the holidays.But hey, don’t fault us — we really do wish you hope, peace, joy, and successful marketing.8) #FFFFFF, by NerdyWordsGiftsWhere there’s marketing, there’s often branding. And where there’s branding, there’s a style guide. That usually comes equipped with official rules about which colors should be used in marketing collateral. Those colors usually have their own html codes that lead with the # symbol.As you probably guessed, #FFFFFF is the html color code for white. This card puts a branding and design spin on the famous carol lyrics, “May all your Christmases be white,” replacing the word “white” with the digital symbol. In that case, we hope your holidays are anything but #0468E0. 9) Holiday QR Code, by kissandpunchQR codes are hardly a new marketing concept, but when used correctly, they can still be effective. Case in point: this card with a QR code letterpress.But the greeting doesn’t end there. Once the code is scanned, the recipient is taken to this adorable video of a yorkie’s holiday adventures — and who doesn’t love marketing with a healthy dose of dogs?Warning: The video is a bit corny, but we can’t think of a better time than the holidays for some cheesy cheer.center_img Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more

8 of the Top Marketing Challenges Marketers Will Face This Year [New Data]

first_imgEvery marketer faces different challenges. Although we typically share similar goals, some teams are stuck on hiring top talent, while others are having trouble finding the right technology for their needs.Whatever the case may be, there’s always at least one area that you can stand to improve. In other words, there’s always room to optimize the various components of your strategy and turn your marketing into an even more effective revenue generator.Curious about what kinds of obstacles other marketers are up against?We polled thousands of marketers on the challenges they face, as well as the tactics they’ve used to meet those challenges head-on. Here are some of the most common challenges marketers reported struggling with … and their solutions. Don’t forget to share this post! The Most Common Marketing Problems We Face, According to the 2017 State of Inbound ReportAccording to our report, generating traffic and leads and proving ROI are the leading challenges marketers face. Here’s a look at this year’s data:Image Credit: The 2017 State of Inbound ReportLet’s go through each of these top challenges and how marketers can address them.1) Generating Traffic and LeadsWhy It’s a ChallengeGenerating enough traffic and leads was the top marketing challenge, according to the 2017 State of Inbound report. We started asking this question with this answer as a new option last year — and we’re glad we did.Clearly, marketers are struggling with producing enough demand for their content. And as the years progress and competition stiffens, this will only become truer. With so many options of platforms for marketers to publish their content and even more ways to promote it, it’s hard to know where to focus your efforts.What Can You Do?When it comes to creating content that produces enough traffic and leads, marketers should ask themselves two questions: Are you truly creating high-quality content — the type of content people would pay for? And, do you know the type of content your audience actually wants?For example, HubSpot Research has found that 53% of consumers want to see more video from marketers in the future, while only 14% want to see more blog posts. To learn more about how the way people are reading and interacting with content is changing, check out this HubSpot Research report.Once you know you’re creating the type of content your audience wants, the focus shifts to promoting it in a way that makes your audience take notice. More than ever before, people are being flooded with content. Consumers don’t have to use a search engine to find answers. Instead, articles fill their news feed or buzz in their pocket via mobile notification.Needless to say, the content promotion playbook is not the same as it was five years ago. To make sure your traffic and lead numbers continue to rise, check out this comprehensive guide to content promotion.2) Providing the ROI of Your Marketing ActivitiesWhy It’s a ChallengeMeasuring the ROI (return on investment) of your marketing activities has remained a top marketing challenge year-over-year. But, it also continues to be a vital way for marketers to understand the effectiveness of each particular marketing campaign, piece of content, etc.Plus, proving ROI often goes hand-in-hand with making an argument to increase budget: No ROI tracking, no demonstrable ROI. No ROI, no budget.But tracking the ROI of every single marketing activity isn’t always easy, especially if you don’t have two-way communication between your marketing activities and sales reports.What Can You Do?When it comes to providing ROI, there’s a strong case to be made for dedicating time and resources to establishing links between marketing activities and sales results. This means using both marketing software (like HubSpot) and a CRM solution (like HubSpot’s free CRM), and then tying them together to close the loop between your marketing and sales efforts with a service-level agreement (SLA). That way, you can directly see how many leads and customers are generated through your marketing activities.We’ve found there’s no better combination than having an SLA and doing inbound marketing. According to this year’s report, inbound organizations with SLAs are 3X more likely to rate their marketing strategy as effective compared to outbound organizations with misaligned marketing and sales teams.(Use this ROI calculator to simulate the potential ROI you could realize by conducting inbound marketing.)3) Securing Enough BudgetWhy It’s a ChallengeSecuring more budget is a pressing challenge for marketing globally. And often, getting more budget is easier said than done — especially for smaller organizations that aren’t working with sizable nor flexible marketing spend.But the key to securing more money for your team might not be that complex. Here’s what you can do.What Can You Do?The key to unlocking budget lies in being able to prove the ROI of your marketing efforts. According to our report, organizations that can calculate ROI are more likely to receive higher budgets.Again, success with inbound marketing also plays a large role in driving higher budgets. Effective strategies obviously produce results, and our data shows those who feel confident in their marketing strategy are more than 2X as likely to get higher budgets for their marketing teams. But remember, inbound marketing is a long game. If you get off to a slow start, you shouldn’t back off — in fact, you might consider doubling down.4) Managing Your WebsiteWhy It’s a ChallengeManaging a website was the fourth biggest challenge for marketers in 2017. And chances are, your website’s performance is high on your list of priorities. It’s an asset that works around the clock to draw in visitors, convert them, and help you hit your goals, after all.Issues with website management include a variety of different factors, from writing and optimizing the content to designing beautiful webpages. Here are a few things marketers can do to deal with this challenge.What Can You Do?First, read this report to see how your website stacks up against over 1 million other websites. It also includes a deep analysis on the four most critical elements of website performance and design, from average load time and website securityww to mobile friendliness and SEO.If your primary challenge with managing a website has to do with the skills and resources you have available, you aren’t alone. This is especially true for small companies who don’t have all the talent in-house required to cover content, optimization, design, and back-end website management.One solution? Hire freelancers and agency partners. To find freelancers, we recommend:Tapping into your personal and professional network by posting on LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social networks with a description of what you’re looking for.Browsing freelance writers and designers based on their portfolios and areas of interest. For writers, check out Zerys and Contently. For designers, check out Behance & Elance.Browsing HubSpot’s Services Marketplace, which lists a wide variety of designers from partner companies and agencies we’ve deemed credible.Overall, you can make website management easier on your team by hosting your website on a platform that integrates all your marketing channels like HubSpot’s COS.Finally, for the projects you want to keep in-house, here is a list of ebooks and guides that might be helpful to your team:Run a Website Grader reportEbook: Website Redesign GuideEbook: 50 Brilliant Homepage Design ExamplesEbook: How to Design and Optimize Landing PagesEbook: How to Increase Your Website SEO Traffic in 30 DaysEbook: The Ultimate Workbook for Redesigning Your WebsiteEbook: The Marketer’s Guide to Mobile5) Identifying the Right Technologies for Your NeedsWhy It’s a ChallengeFinding the right technologies was the fifth biggest concern for marketers this year. Oftentimes, this is because feedback on technology is scattered. Marketers might turn to colleagues, friends in the industry, and/or analyst reports to figure out which technologies best fit their needs — only to find that feedback is spread across emails, social media, and so on from people of varied reputability.When you’re looking for a tool, software, or piece of technology to solve a specific marketing problem, where do you go to find it?What Can You Do?For those of you looking for a tool, software, or piece of technology to solve a specific marketing problem, we recommend taking a look at Growthverse: a free, interactive, online visualization of the marketing technology landscape that focuses on the business problems marketers are trying to solve, and leads them to specific pieces of marketing technology that aim to solve those problems. We’ve found it to be a really well-visualized map of carefully curated marketing technology resources.It’s worth noting that the main tool in top marketers’ arsenals is a platform for automating their team’s marketing efforts. We found that although our respondents indicated using an array of specific products, the larger trend was telling: The top marketers use marketing automation software in some form or another. Meanwhile, 40% of marketers cite marketing automation as a top priority for the next year.6) Targeting Content for an International AudienceWhy It’s a ChallengeTargeting is a key component of all aspects of marketing. To be more effective at targeting, one of the first things any marketer needs do is identify their buyer personas to determine who it is they should be marketing to. If you’re expanding internationally, it can be a big challenge not only to figure out the best ways to market to an international audience but also to organize and optimize your site for different countries. HubSpot Research recently analyzed the difference in content preferences across the world.What Can You Do?Download our free ebook, The Global Marketing Playbook. There are some really helpful tips in there that’ll help give you some direction on global marketing, including how to identify your top three growth markets, how to explore local trends, and tips on choosing the best localization providers.Remember, your website visitors might speak a plethora of different languages and live in totally different time zones. To make your content appealing to a wide audience, you’ll need to keep your global visitors top-of-mind when creating all your content. This means being aware of seasonal references, translating units of measure and monetary references, and giving translators the tools and permissions to customize and adapt content for a specific audience when they need to.Finally, be sure you’re optimizing your website for international visitors, too. For more tips and resources on global marketing expansion, browse our international inbound marketing hub.7) Training Your TeamWhy It’s a ChallengeAs companies scale and technologies continue to evolve, training your team will become a greater challenge for marketers. Whether it’s training them on the concepts and tools they’ll be using every day or making sure they’re achieving their full potential, the struggle is real across the board.To combat this, I’ll share some tips I’ve used during my trainings to make sure the concepts and tool tips stick and have a lasting effect on your team and your marketing.What Can You Do?To get an overall idea of where your team stands, take a few minutes to assess each of your team members’ marketing strengths and weaknesses, levels of expertise, and passion/commitment to your company. Then, objectively rate the priority (or level of importance) of their expertise and their contribution to bottom line objectives (ROI) to date. Here’s a simple assessment tool from Lean Labs to help you evaluate your team so you can figure out who needs recognition and who needs coaching.Next, check out this awesome resource from HubSpot Academy, The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Training. It’s a guide that’ll help you navigate all the marketing training options you have, from quick daily habits to more rigorous, career-launching investments.You also might consider requiring your team members to rack up some online marketing certification. HubSpot Academy, for example, offers certifications, documentation, and training programs to help people master the basics of inbound marketing. Google also offers training and certifications on analytics with their online Analytics Academy.What about new hire training, specifically? We recommend creating a training plan for new team members. Here at HubSpot, each new marketer is given a 100-day plan like this one to lay out specific goals and help new hires demonstrate their effectiveness.8) Hiring Top TalentWhy It’s a ChallengeHiring top talent was the eighth biggest challenge marketers reported experiencing this year. Why? Many companies are shifting more resources to inbound marketing, which means higher and higher demand for top marketing talent. But supply simply isn’t keeping up. From sourcing the right candidates to evaluating for the right skills, finding the perfect person could take months … or more.What’s more, the type of marketing talent companies are looking for is changing, too. In Moz and Fractl’s analysis of thousands of job postings on, they concluded that employers are seeking marketers with technical and creative skill sets. And the quick rate at which the demand for these jobs are rising has caused a marketing skills gap, “making it difficult to find candidates with the technical, creative, and business proficiencies needed to succeed in digital marketing.”What Can You Do?Employers are looking for marketers with a diverse skill set that includes digital marketing, content marketing, SEO, and social media marketing. To find the best inbound marketer for your team, the first thing you should do is decide what that person needs to be able to achieve for your business.Ask yourself: What will the new marketer’s tasks and duties include? What skills do those tasks and duties require? What goals or challenges will the new marketer face? Use your answers to these questions to write a compelling job description. (Here are 37 pre-written marketing job descriptions to help you get started.)Next, post your jobs where talented inbound marketers will find them. While traditional job sites like,, or LinkedIn will help you cast a wide net, we recommend checking out, which is the only job listing service in the world that’s exclusively focused on inbound marketing and sales jobs.Finally, focus your job description and new hire 100-day plan what people value most in their careers. This year, the data shows that 58% of people consider opportunities for growth when looking for a new job, while 50% are looking for a good work/life balance.Does Your Company Face Any of These Marketing Issues?A thorough analysis of your marketing strategy and its current performance will help you discover where your biggest marketing opportunity lies. This will allow you to focus on improving the areas that need the most attention, so you can start making your marketing far more effective.If you’re faced with a challenge and want ideas on how to best tackle it, you can always consider getting some help by any of the various types of marketing training that are available. Learn more about what other organizations are prioritizing and tackling in the 2017 State of Inbound report.Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2012 and has been updated for freshness and comprehensiveness. Originally published May 26, 2017 8:00:00 AM, updated August 06 2019center_img Marketing Strategy Topics:last_img read more

Cathay Pacific a major Hong Kong based airlines suffer data breach affecting

first_imgA major Hong Kong based international airline, Cathay Pacific Airways Limited, revealed yesterday that it has discovered unauthorized access of data belonging to as many as 9.4 million Cathay passengers. This data includes the passenger name, nationality, date of birth, phone number, email address, passport number, identity card number, customer service remarks, and historical travel information. Moreover, 403 expired credit card numbers and 27 credit card numbers with no CVV were also accessed. Cathay Pacific has its head office and main hub located at Hong Kong International Airport and serves flights around North America, Europe, China, Taiwan, Japan, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. The company has taken immediate measures to investigate the data breach further. So far, Cathay hasn’t found any evidence of misuse of personal information. The airlines also mentioned that because of the recent data breach, part of the IT security processes have been affected, but and is the flight operations systems which are insulated from the IT security systems remain uncompromised. Cathay Pacific posted about the data breach on Twitter: “We are very sorry for any concern this data security event may cause our passengers. We acted immediately to contain the event, commence a thorough investigation with the assistance of a leading cybersecurity firm, and to further strengthen our IT security measures”, said Rupert Hogg, CEO, Cathay Pacific. Cathay is currently contacting the affected passengers, using multiple communications channels, and is providing them with information on steps that can be taken to protect users. “We have no evidence that any personal data has been misused. No-one’s travel or loyalty profile was accessed in full, and no passwords were compromised. Cathay Pacific has notified the Hong Kong Police and is notifying the relevant authorities. We want to reassure our passengers that we took and continue to take measures to enhance our IT security. The safety and security of our passengers remain our top priority”, said Hogg. Read Next Timehop suffers data breach; 21 million users’ data compromised Facebook’s largest security breach in its history leaves 50M user accounts compromised Facebook says only 29 million and not 50 million users were affected by last month’s security breachlast_img read more

Registration now open for 2018 Global Tourism Summit in Honolulu

first_img HONOLULU — The 2018 Global Tourism Summit, taking place this year in Honolulu from Oct. 1-3, is now open for early-bird registration.Presented by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) and formerly known as the Hawaii Tourism Conference, this year’s summit will focus on sustainability as a fundamental theme and how it is incorporated in the future of tourism. The significance of Hawaiian culture, global marketing, technology and innovation will also be highlighted in presentations and panel discussions at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu.Early-bird registration is available through July 31 for the following discounted rates:Individuals: Full Summit Registration, Oct.1-3: $325, a savings of $100 ($425 after July 31)Group Package (Min. of 8 people): Full Summit Registration, Oct. 1-3: $325 per person, a savings of $100 per individual. (Mix and match different attendees during the conference)Student and Faculty Members: Full Summit Registration, Oct. 1-3: $150Student: 1 Day Summit Registration, $50 (Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday)Individuals: 2 Day Summit Registration, Oct. 1-2: $315Individuals: 2 Day Summit Registration, Oct. 2-3: $295More news:  Can you guess the one and only hotel company to rank on Indeed’s Top Workplaces in Canada list?Participants can register for the summit via the dedicated website“The variety of registration options offers flexibility and provides interested attendees, especially those from Hawaii, several ways to participate in the summit based on their work schedule,” said George D. Szigeti, HTA president and CEO.This year, keynote speakers will include: Stephen England-Hall, chief executive of Tourism New Zealand; Chris Malone, managing partner of Fidelum Partners on the topic of ‘The HUMAN Brand’; and Mike Dominguez, senior vice president and chief sales officer for MGM Resorts International.“HTA is excited to present a powerful and relevant Global Tourism Summit again this year with the primary objective of building collaboration and dialogue on challenges and opportunities the Hawaiian Islands, and destinations around the globe, face in managing tourism responsibly into the future,” added Szigeti.Information on sessions, programs and speakers are available on the dedicated website, in addition to sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities. The summit schedule will continue to be updated as additional sessions and speakers are confirmed. Tags: Global Tourism Summit, Hawaii, HTA Travelweek Group Posted by Registration now open for 2018 Global Tourism Summit in Honolulucenter_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Share Friday, July 6, 2018 last_img read more

VoX update A new hire and a Sheridan Business Hall of Fame

first_img TORONTO — VoX International’s new hire will be responsible for managing the PR and media relations for the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau and Hawaii Tourism Canada accounts at VoX International.Shahfreen Elavia has joined the team at VoX in the role of Senior Public Relations Manager. Elavia recently managed the national PR and marketing activities in Canada for San Francisco, West Hollywood and Maryland. Before immigrating to Canada, Elavia was with Indiva Marketing in India where she managed luxury hotel clients including One and Only resorts, Atlantis The Palm Dubai and the Mandarin Oriental Group and St. Mortiz, Switzerland.In other news VoX International is also proud to announce that President Susan Webb is the 2019 inductee to the Sheridan Business Hall of Fame. She’s the first tourism leader inducted since the Hall of Fame started in 2006.Webb, an honours graduate of Sheridan College’s Travel and Hospitality program, has worked in the travel industry for over 40 years, holding positions in retail, tour operating, cruise line, incentive travel and the airline industry before founding VoX International with two colleagues. More news:  Flights cancelled as British Airways hit by computer problemActive in many industry organizations, Webb is currently the president of Skal Toronto, President of Discover America Canada and the past President of Skal Canada. Webb is also a member of SITE and sits on advisory boards for various tourism and hospitality programs in Canada.Susan Webb is the 2019 inductee to the Sheridan Business Hall of FameSpeaking at the induction ceremony in Toronto, Webb said: “Sheridan not only provided me with the skills I needed to launch my career, it also showed me the number of avenues I could pursue within the industry. My professors actually worked in the industry, and impressed on me the importance of good work ethic, as well as how impactful it is to form lasting industry relationships.” Travelweek Group Share VoX update: A new hire and a Sheridan Business Hall of Fame inductee Thursday, June 20, 2019 center_img Posted by Tags: Vox << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Rep Wozniak Raise the Age reforms approved by House committee

first_img Plan ends policy requiring 17-year-olds to be treated as adults in courtThe House Judiciary Committee today unanimously approved state Rep. Doug Wozniak’s plan to improve the way 17-year-olds are treated in Michigan’s criminal justice system.Wozniak, who sponsored the plan alongside a bipartisan group of his colleagues, said Michigan is one of just four states still requiring all 17-year-olds to be prosecuted as adults – even those who commit the most minor offenses. He said eliminating this outdated practice will help rehabilitate young offenders and reduce the likelihood of them breaking the law again in the future.“Seventeen-year-olds are not legal adults. They can’t vote, sign contracts or serve on juries in Michigan. And yet, we treat them like adults when it comes to our criminal justice system,” said Wozniak, of Shelby Township. “Ending this obsolete practice will ultimately make our neighborhoods safer and allow some of the taxpayer dollars currently spent on prisons to be invested in schools, roads and other critical services.”The proposal would raise the age at which individuals are considered adults for the purposes of prosecuting and adjudicating criminal offenses, allowing 17-year-olds to be treated as minors within the juvenile system in most circumstances beginning Oct. 1, 2021. Prosecutors would continue to have discretion, allowing them to waive minors who commit violent crimes into the adult system when appropriate.The measure also includes a funding plan to ensure local communities do not incur any additional costs associated with keeping 17-year-old offenders in the juvenile system, which is administered at the local level. Funding was the key sticking point that halted similar reform efforts in the past.Wozniak said the proposal is expected to save public tax dollars over time. Other states that have raised the age have downsized their juvenile justice systems and lowered both short-term and long-term costs. Including 17-year-olds in the juvenile system has been shown to reduce reoffending by 34 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control.House Bills 4133-46, 4443 and 4452 now move to the full House for consideration.### Categories: Wozniak News 16Apr Rep. Wozniak: ‘Raise the Age’ reforms approved by House committeelast_img read more