Tag: 上海水磨娱乐会所

Complex at the Beginning: Distant Galaxy Cluster Highly Developed

first_imgObservations from the European Southern Observatory have pointed to a “surprise” discovery: a cluster of galaxies 9 billion light-years away that is “in a very advanced state of development.”    The press release points to just how surprising is this find: “The discovery of such a complex and mature structure so early in the history of the Universe is highly surprising,” it says (emphasis added).  “Indeed, until recently it would even have been deemed impossible.”The evolutionist’s impossibility can be the creationist’s certainty, and vice versa.  Things creationists consider impossible (such as the origin of life by chance – see online book) are routinely assumed by evolutionists.  The surprise effect can help distinguish the validity of the two worldviews.  Why are evolutionists so often surprised by what they find?  Judeo-Christian creationists see this as congruent with the statement In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth.(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

New curriculum in full effect

first_img13 February 2008In 2008, for the first time, scholars across South Africa will be on the same national school curriculum, with the completion of the curriculum change that was introduced in 1998, says Education Minister Naledi Pandor.With all learners from grade R through grade 12 now learning under the outcomes-based national curriculum statement, the “class of 2008” will be the first to be awarded the new National Senior Certificate, a qualification that significantly raises the bar from previous ones.“This year students will sit for a new matric exam, with a reduced number of subject offerings, but with substantial cognitive demands,” Pandor told journalists at a briefing in Cape Town on Tuesday. “All exams will now be set at a national level, and the results will give us a good measure of the effectiveness of the new curriculum.”For example, either mathematics or maths literacy is now a compulsory subject, as is life orientation, with Pandor stating the effect on the matric pass rates of these compulsory subjects was yet to be seen, and that schools needed to implement ways to aid students.Second chanceThe “Second Chance” programme for students who failed matric in 2007 – the last class of the old curriculum – has so far had a promising start, with over 100 000 students registering for the supplementary exam in May and June this year.Pandor said that provincial education departments would be responsible for ensuring that these students were provided with extra-tuition at various venues, which the national department would support through the electronic and print media.DinalediPandor added that the number of Dinaledi schools, which offer mathematics and science at higher grade level and have qualified teachers involved in the project, had been increased to over 500, and that these schools had all been targeted for extra support.“We hope to see 50 000 maths passes from these schools at the end of this year,” she said.The Dinaledi schools initiative was launched in 2001 to address the urgent need to equip learners with mathematics and science skills, after the government identified it as essential to contributing to the country’s economic growth.The project aims to increase access to mathematics, science and technology and to promote and improve results for these subjects in underprivileged communities.An additional 800 maths and science teachers were recruited and have been appointed to these schools, and additional textbooks and other resources have been provided.“The private sector has been hugely supportive of these schools, and numerous donations and incentives have been provided,” Pandor said.National qualifications framework She added that the National Qualifications Framework Bill, together with consequential amendments to the Higher Education and General and Further Education Acts, would be gazetted for comment this week.The Skills Development Amendment Bill 2008 was also well advanced and would shortly be tabled by the Department of Labour for engagement with the social partners at National Economic Development and Labour Council.Pandor pointed out that the National Qualifications Framework would now consist of three distinct but closely inter-related qualification sub-frameworks under the South African Qualifications Authority.“These are the Higher Education Qualification Framework, the General and Further Education Qualifications Framework and the Trades and Occupations Qualifications Framework,” she said. “This underscores the belief that we learn throughout our life, and that this needs a structured framework to support and assist learners wherever they are.”Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Solar schoolbag lights up homework for rural kids

first_imgTo make Repurpose Schoolbags, waste plastic is cleaned, debranded and ironed and then creatively sewed into stylish designs by the team of seven full-time employees at the Rethaka Trading warehouseA schoolbag that, at night, turns on the lights for rural kids to do their homework. This is the innovative brainchild of power team Rea Ngwane (22) and Thato Kgatlhanye (21) who, after four years of work, have developed and successfully launched a community-driven business producing Repurpose Schoolbags.Friends from childhood, growing up in the rural North West village of Mogwase, the pair now run their company Rethaka Trading from Rustenburg. For years the two entrepreneurs had wanted to start their own company, and got the chance when Kgatlhanye entered a competition run by SAB.The task was to create an organic product that mimicked the beautiful design of nature. Kgatlhanye’s entry was a handbag that resembled a bird’s nest, for which she won third place – and R300 000 of seed money to start her own business.The result was Rethaka Trading, a for-profit women-owned company she set up with her friend Ngwane with the purpose of combining business with social good. The company’s main product is their Repurpose Schoolbags innovation, an ingenious idea that does a lot more with less. The bags are designed for schoolchildren from underprivileged communities with little or no electricity. They are made entirely from recycled plastic, and have embedded in them solar panels which charge a lantern during the child’s walk to school. After dark, this provides a light for doing homework, with enough power for 12 hours.The waste plastic is harvested from landfills and plastic recycling bins the duo have set up outside schools and churches. This plastic then goes through an intensive process of cleaning, debranding and ironing before it is creatively sewed into a stylish design by the team of seven full-time employees at their warehouse in Tlhabane, Rustenburg.SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURIn addition to running her own business, Ngwane is studying a bachelor of commerce degree in marketing management at the University of Johannesburg. She describes herself as a forward-thinker, someone who always has a curiosity about the “other”, the “what else?”As the operations and financial manager of Rethaka, Ngwane’s role is to cost-effectively and efficiently run the process from acquiring material to manufacturing, final product and inventory control. Ngwane says she is playing her part by being a social entrepreneur, one who mixes business with bettering the lives of others.‘STRUGGLING BILLIONAIRE’Her colleague Kgatlhanye, who refers laughingly to herself as a “struggling billionaire”, is a young South African who believes in second chances. This is the philosophy behind a book she co-authored in 27 days called “Start an empire with a brand”, and in the work she does for school kids who need a second chance at their education.As the brand and marketing manager of Rethaka, Kgatlhanye ensures that she effectively communicates the company’s green innovations and how they can turn social problems into solutions. She believes she is one of a new generation of leaders, working for change.Kgatlhanye’s remarkable career includes interning in New York with marketing guru Seth Godin. She was also selected as one of 18 South African social entrepreneurs to attend the 10 day Red Bull Amaphiko Academy in 2013, and is a recent graduate from the Vega school of branding.Plans for the future include developing a subsidiary luxury brand called Purpo, a range of fashion bags for professional woman marketed as both fashionable and concerned for the environment. The pair are also designing corporate bags for laptops, iPads and notebooks. Ten percent of the sale of these items will go towards manufacturing the solar schoolbags.Kgatlhanye says the change she wants to see in South Africa is “youth dreaming audaciously”, and the problem of funding for education being eradicated. Ngwane dreams of the day when South Africans will stop seeing differences between themselves, stop defining each other by race. Until then, these women say, they will continue to uncovering opportunities for change.last_img read more

Inbound Marketing at a Maasai Village in Kenya

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Jun 17, 2008 10:38:00 AM, updated October 01 2019 Don’t advertise. All the safari guides know that there are a number of native villages that will accept outside guests, but you will not find any advertisements to tour the villages or any promotion of it as an activity. The only way we knew about it is that we have friends who have gone on safari before and the sent us pictures of their visit to a village and told us about it. If you think about it, advertising would probably have a negative effect on “business” since the village might feel a lot less “authentic” if there were pamphlets about it at the concierge desk including a $2 off coupon.Encourage user participation. Right from the first few minutes of our visit, the Maasai were asking us to join them in a number of activities, including dancing the “welcome dance” like in the photo above with me in the white t-shirt. (Yes, there is actually video of me dancing with the Maasai. No, you will not get to see it.)  Encouraging feedback, comments and interactions with your users or customers is an important part of inbound marketing because the company no longer controls or owns the market – the customers are in charge now, and you really want to give them a voice and listen to it.Generate lots of content. One fundamental principle of inbound marketing is that companies should act more like publishers, because publishing lots of content relevant to your market creates a magnetic effect of drawing more people toward your content and your company website. The Maasai have embraced this concept. Though they do not create much content themselves – they embrace user generated content because they were always encouraging us to take more and more photos.  Literally, every three stpes in the village, they asked us to take more and more photos.  The marketing benefit of this is that the more photos people take the more likely there will be good an interesting photos that people will share on photo sharing sites like Flickr, continuing to spread the word about visiting a Maasai village.Gather customer feedback. Our guide asked us twice during the visit if we were enjoying ourselves and what they could do differently. At the end he specifically asked a couple questions about certain parts of the visit and if a couple of the other villagers had been helpful or not.  If you are an inbound marketing guru, you know that only if you have a remarkable product will others spread your message for you.  Our guide was very interested in making sure we had a remarkable experience and were more likely to tell others.Ask for recommendations. Finally, if you have a remarkable product, there is something you can do to encourage your customers to spread your message even more.  Ask them.  After we had given some feedback to our guide and said our visit was enjoyable, he asked us to tell our friends to come to Kenya and visit a Maasai village during their trip.Note: I know that it is highly unlikely that someone from a Maasai village in Amboseli, Kenya is reading blog articles and books from places like HubSpot, David Meerman Scott and Seth Godin and then devising an inbound marketing strategy based on that information.  The likely scenario is that all of this just evolved.  However, it is still interesting to me the way that it evolved, and that their strategy embraces inbound marketing so much.What do you think?  Have you seen other interesting and unexpected examples of inbound marketing? Topics:center_img I recently returned from a safari in Kenya (it was a great trip and I recommend it to everyone).  On one of the days, we visited a village of Maasai, which are a semi-nomadic indigenous people.  I wasn’t expecting to pick up any interesting marketing tidbits that day, but on the drive back to where we were staying, I realized that maybe there were some relevant inbound marketing takeaways… Inbound Marketinglast_img read more

5 Steps for Successful Social Media Marketing

first_img If you’re one of the lucky companies who only has enthusiastic and happy customers, recognize their desire to interact with you and be generous with your time. Be open to engaging with them on their turf. They’ll reward your brand with greater enthusiasm – which is a message that spreads through social networks like wildfire, and solidifies your brand. your site is designed well to convert visitors into leads The first step to measuring success in social media marketing is proper scope. There are new social networks popping up each week. It’s a waste of resources to join every new social network only to find you have no time to manage them. Find out where your most active customers & influencers spend time online – then listen and take notes. – Visitors (first-time and repeat) Topics: In fact, the lack of good metrics is cited as the biggest barrier to marketers’ adoption of social media. Particularly in this shaky financial climate, measuring impact is one of the definitive measures of a marketing strategy’s value. If you want to skip the blind experimentation, particularly in view of our current global financial crisis, we’ve assembled a list of 5 tips to help you start leveraging social media with minimal investment and with strong systems in place to measure success. , – Inbound links The end goals is lead generation and sales. But, there are plenty of leading indicators as you ramp up your efforts.  – Social networking connections , Social Media Marketing For instance, on Twitter both Starbucks and Whole Foods share customer comments, local specials, and ask customers what their favorite items are. It’s casual and open, yet subtly appeals to the attractiveness of the brand. Check out some of the Twitter Search Bloglines Peter Caputa IV Step #1: Identify Your Target Market and Listen to Them – Search engine ranking , Photo Step #2: Get Involved in Conversations AideRSS here , The second step towards success is consistently utilizing social media to engage prospective customers. When you start listening to conversations, you might hear some things about your company that aren’t very complimentary. That’s ok. Your job now is to engage these customers and find a way to help. Be willing to acknowledge mistakes when they happen. Customers are surprisingly forgiving if a company engages in an honest and egoless manner.  . – Mentions of your brand , It’s critical to tie your business strategy to your social media strategy. However, without a knowledge of what social media and social networking sites enable you to do, it’s hard to know how to do that. It’s important to establish a blog as your home base. Then, learn the capabilities of each site to help you interact. For example, Twitter provides an almost unfettered ability to connect with your prospective clients. But, it only allows you to type 140 characters at a time. So, maybe a video posted to youtube would be a better way to publish a “how-to”. Linkedin & Facebook let you see who your contacts know. But, facebook makes it much easier to connect with them. LinkedIn Answers is a much better place to answer business focussed questions than any other social network. from HubSpot & How involved is your team in communicating with prospective customers, influencers and current customers on social networking sites? How often are you publishing great content that helps your prospects do their jobs? How often do you blog, Tweet, post photos on Flickr, comment on other blogs, Podcast, upload videos, etc? The more content that you produce and publish on social media sites, the more traffic you can attract back to your website. If Let’s say you’ve gotten the approval to get your company involved in social media marketing and are ready to launch your efforts. How will you define success? This is an important question, because a large number of companies have jumped into social media without any clear business strategy. Before the financial meltdown of the last few weeks, some companies had the resources to experiment with social media without worrying about financial accountability. But now, most businesses must demonstrate an ROI on any new effort.  This article was co-authored by – Number of times people search for your brand Use tracking codes, a solid analytics package and closed loop marketing , and implement some of their conversation techniques. It’s important to learn how to use these sites in order to get business value out of your social media activity. Talk to an expert to determine where to spend your time to get the best return.  Socialized PR – RSS subscriptions 4_EveR_YounG. Ice Rocket Step #5: Use Website Analytics Software to Measure Leads and Sales. – Video/podcast views/listens .  Many experts agree that social media will affect the next generation of search engine optimization techniques as search engines start to use the signals we collectively leave as we network and share media online. Even today, social media activity affects the success of many other inbound marketing techniques:  Ghennipher Step #3: Give! Give! Give!  Google Blog Search in order to track the visits, leads and sales that occurr as a result of your social media activities. Techrigy and  – Comments on your blog Here’s some tools you can use to tune into the conversation: and – Leads & Customers! brands on Twitter , these activities will help you increase sales. Radian6 , a 10 year veteran of the Internet Marketing world. Ghennipher is an independent Social Media Marketing consultant and writes on Social Media’s effect on business. Subscribe to her blog “Social media strategy should tie to business and communication strategy, rather than being based on the available tools. But it is not possible to develop a social media strategy without at least having an understanding of the various tools that are available, their functionality and purposes, and the kinds of audiences and conversations for which they might be best suited.” – Joel Postman, Principal Originally published Nov 3, 2008 9:26:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Technorati by Step #4: Master the Tools of the Trade . More advanced social media monitoring tools include HubSpot’s HubFeed – Social bookmarking activity 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

How to Make Customer Experience the Heart of Your Internet Marketing Strategy

first_img Originally published Aug 8, 2012 12:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Marketing Strategy Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Here’s a question for you: How much does customer experience factor into your marketing strategy?If customer experience (CX) is a new concept for you as a marketer, think of it as the overall experience a customer has with a partciular business, from their discovery and awareness of the brand, all the way through their interaction, purchase, use, and even advocacy of that brand. In today’s wired world, chances are good that the relationship you have with your customers is going to include one or more digital channels — your website, landing pages, email communications, mobile interactions, social media participation, etc. That’s the increasingly important subset of CXM, something called “Digital Experience Management.” In other words, customer experience is way more than just a friendly voice on the phone.To deliver an excellent customer experience, you have to think like a customer, or better think about being the customer. But how do you “be” the customer when you’re, well, not? There are three “Be’s” to consider that will help you deliver a superior digital customer experience: 1) Being relevant, 2) Being consistent, and 3) Being iterative. Let’s learn more, shall we?How Marketers Can “Be” Their Customers1) Be Relevant: Creating relevant marketing requires an understanding of your customers so that you can present them with the right content, at the right time, so they convert and take the next step with your company. And being relevant requires a deep understanding of not just your buyer personas, but the customer journey — from how future customers find you, to how you sell and market to them, to how you support and service them when they’re finally a customer of yours. Relevancy is the backbone of any successful company.2) Be Consistent: Today, most marketing is organized around specific digital channels — web marketing, email marketing, social media marketing. But your customers don’t see these as marketing channels like you do; they only see your company. Marketers must put the customer at the center of their focus, designing a consistent experience for them that bridges across channels.3) Be Iterative:  Focusing on customer experience means putting the right processes in place to understand customer behavior, and make improvements to digital channels through constant optimization.Now that we understand how to put ourselves in our customers’ shoes to create a better experience, let’s take a look at how to apply these concepts to our critical digital channels. Let’s learn how to be relevant, consistent, and iterative so we can deliver a memorable customer experience!Creating an Excellent Customer Experience on Your WebsiteWebsites have evolved far beyond being an online company brochure. Your website serves as the central hub for all your sales, marketing, and customer support efforts, and must address the needs of all audiences accordingly. It should help advance a visitor from lead, to customer, to happy and dedicated customer by providing every visitor with the right content at the right time to incite the proper action. And here’s how to do it.1) Be Relevant: Throughout the digital customer journey, you learn lots of implicit (learned) and explicit (stated) data that can help you deliver more relevant content on your site. In fact, you start learning about your customers from their first visit to your site! Here are some of the ways you can deliver relevant content on your website:Site behavior: What your customers do while on your website e.g. how often they visit, previous conversions, and top pages.Visit Source: How, where, and when someone got to your website e.g. referring domain, search term, location, time of day, etc.Social graph: Behavior on social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn.  In fact, according to eConsultancy research, 88% of companies say social graph personalization generates results.Customer data: This includes data from your sales and marketing databases, like HubSpot and Salesforce.com — just take a look at all the rich data you can see from integrating your marketing software and CRM!2) Be Consistent: For companies to provide a consistent experience on their website, they must stop organizing marketing into functional silos like web, email, and social media, and instead embrace the fact that the customer journey weaves its way in and out of all of them.  So keep your website in sync with the messages being presented across all channels. For example, HubSpot recently hosted #PinterestDay, which as you can imagine by the hashtag and theme of the day, occurred largely on social media. But the website wasn’t ignored — if you visited their blog, you would have found Pinterest-related content that aligns with that theme. Oh, and it was in your inboxes, too, as they coordinated an email marketing campaign for the day, too.3) Be Iterative:  When marketers think about analytics, they most often think about web analytics, which provides a high level view of website performance against general metrics like page views, unique visitors, and bounce rates. But marketers thinking about digital customer experience need to be more focused on measuring and optimizing business outcomes, like leads, donations, downloads, and registrations. Marketing analytics provides insight into the metrics that move the needle on the website and tie investments to the ultimate goal for most companies — generating revenue.  Creating an Excellent Customer Experience on Your Landing PagesLanding pages are a great way to convert visitors to leads, because they have a higher conversion rate than the homepage. Makes sense, since they serve a focused message targeted towards a specific audience, right? Let’s apply our three “Be’s” to landing pages, too, since they’re such a critical part of our marketing.1) Be Relevant: For landing pages, being relevant means delivering the content that a visitor expected to get upon arrival. Whether they came to that landing page from a paid search ad, an email offer, or a call-to-action at the end of your blog post, the copy that got them there promised something. Are you holding up your end of the bargain? Or are you pulling a bait and switch? If the content on a landing page doesn’t match the original offer that drove the click, it’s likely that your visitor will navigate away.2) Be Consistent: Consider how a visitor arrived on your landing page. Did they come from email, for example? Then they might be trying to convert on your landing page on a mobile device. Is your landing page optimized to provide an equally excellent user experience from inbox to landing page? Consider not just whether your landing page fits on a smaller screen without making scrolling necessary, but how long your landing page form really needs to be to get the information you need.3) Be Iterative: Landing pages are perfect candidates for iteration through A/B testing. Also called split testing, A/B testing provides a way for marketers to test different ideas about content, design, form fields, CTAs, and more to see if they improve conversion rates. And instead of making those changes based on hunches, A/B testing uses a scientific approach to ensure your changes are based on data — you know, what your leads and customers really want.Creating an Excellent Mobile Customer ExperienceIt isn’t enough for your digital marketing to be “mobile friendly.”  Instead, you must deliver experiences that are best suited to the way visitors use different devices and screen sizes.1) Be Relevant: Creating a relevant mobile experience isn’t much different than creating a relevant web experience … except that you have to create it on a tiny little screen. Mobile optimization is becoming more and more critical for marketers to prioritize in their marketing strategy, but it’s also just one more thing to worry about on an already long to-do list for marketers. So if you’re struggling to prioritize how to optimize your company’s presence for mobile devices, start by optimizing for the devices your audience uses the most to consume your content. And remember that mobile optimization extends beyond just your website, but to your email marketing messages, too.2) Be Consistent: Try to create a mobile experience that’s similar to your desktop experience. Don’t consider this a time to try out designs out of left-field. You’ll have to make some tough choices about what to eliminate (or in some cases, what to add) considering the mobile browsing experience doesn’t afford the level of detail the desktop experience does, but any changes you make should never interfere with the user understanding that they are, in fact, on your company’s website.3) Be Iterative: As you’re designing a mobile site or optimizing your emails for mobile, it only affords more opportunities for A/B testing to make improvements. Mobile marketing is relatively new ground, so best practices are still burgeoning. If your emails are suffering poor click-through rates from mobile readers, consider testing a new layout. If your landing pages are suffering poor conversions from mobile visitors, perhaps you need a shorter form.Creating an Excellent Customer Experience in Your Email MarketingSpeaking of email marketing, any marketer worth his or her salt knows that it sure ain’t dead … it’s alive and kicking! And considering how protective we all are over our inboxes, it’s more important than ever to create a stellar email marketing experience for our readers. Here’s how.1) Be Relevant: The MarketingSherpa Email Marketing Benchmark Report indicates that 65% of respondents find the delivery of highly relevant content to be a very significant challenge, and another 30% find it somewhat significant. That’s not good. Delivering highly relevant content to email inboxes is critical for high click-through rates, high delivery rates, and low unsubscribe rates, so if you can do one thing for your email marketing today … it’s to segment those lists! Once you’ve segmented your email lists, start mapping relevant content to each list segment so your contacts are getting the best content for them and the best time they can receive it.2) Be Consistent: When generating your opt-in list, ensure that you clearly state how, when, and what your contact is signing up for upon subscription. This will not only set proper expectations — expectations that can be reaffirmed in a welcome email that also serves as a double opt-in opportunity — but decreases the chance that you’ll be marked as SPAM later down the road or suffer an unsubscribe because readers didn’t understand what content you’d be sending, and at what frequency. And most importantly, you have to actually maintain that type of content and sending frequency!3) Be Iterative: Like landing pages, marketers must build a continuous optimization plan into their email marketing. If you think A/B testing is reserved for pages on your website, you’re missing a huge opportunity to improve your email marketing results! Start testing your email’s layout, length, messaging, subject lines, sender name, call-to-action, and more to find the secret sauce that works for you.Creating an Excellent Customer Experience on Social MediaIf you build it, they will come. Except with social media, they’ll come whether you’ve built it or not. That’s why smart marketers are taking control of their social media presence, and finding exciting new ways to engage with prospects and customers. Here’s how you can always keep the customer in mind when managing your social media presence.1) Be Relevant: Stephen Covey once said, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”  This is especially true in social media, where to be relevant you must first find the places where conversations are happening about your company or solution. Then, you can engage by providing relevant content. In other words, don’t spend your time on Facebook if your audience is on Quora and LinkedIn. And once you find that audience, take the time to listen to what they want and become a trusted member of the community — and that can only happen by providing relevant, helpful content on a consistent basis.2) Be Consistent: Integrate your social media presence across all your marketing channels. If someone’s following your company on Facebook, for example, there’s a good chance they already are, or will soon be, opted in to receive email communications from you. Or read your blog. Or follow your company on LinkedIn. That means if you’re not including social share and follow buttons across all of your marketing channels — even your other social media channels to promote your other accounts — you’re missing a huge opportunity to create an integrated experience for your customers.3) Be Iterative: Close the loop on social media marketing by monitoring the ROI around your social media activities. Most marketers know they “should” be on social media … they’re just not totally sure what they’re doing there. If you use closed-loop marketing software, however, you can see exactly how effective your efforts are, by tracking what content on which social networks drives traffic, leads, and customers.Be Relevant, Consistent, and Iterative with Hubspot and Ektron. Today, Ektron and HubSpot are partnering to deliver a Digital Experience Management solution, which combines Ektron Web Content Management with HubSpot’s all-in-one marketing product. The new solution was built on the HubSpot API, and combines the best of Ektron and HubSpot.This guest post was written by Tom Wentworth. Tom is the chief marketing officer at Ektron, a provider of web content management software. You can follow him on his blog, or on Twitter @twentworth12. Image credit: ganesha.isislast_img read more

30-Day Challenge: 8 Little Changes to Your Marketing That’ll Make a Big Impact

first_img Topics: You’ve all heard of TED Talks, right? Their tagline is “Ideas Worth Spreading,” and some colleagues of mine have surfaced one of their talks that I think has an idea worth spreading to a lot of our readers.So, I’m blogging about it. Like bloggers do.The TED Talk is from Google’s Matt Cutts, and the central idea is that you can do anything for 30 days. “Think about something you’ve always wanted to add to your life, and try it for the next 30 days,” Cutts says. “If you really want something badly enough, you can do anything for 30 days.”The 30-day timeline seems, to Matt, to be the perfect amount of time to add a good habit to your daily repertoire — or subtract a harmful one. I think this is a fantastic challenge for anyone on a personal level, but I also thought maybe inbound marketers could take on the challenge in an attempt to improve their marketing.In our office, some of us have taken on our own personal 30-day challenges (which I’ll share with you at the end of the post) but I wanted to put forth both the video that explains the challenge, as well as some ideas that inbound marketers could possibly try out for the next 30 days. Monday is the start of a new month, after all, so I thought this would be a good time to noodle over what we could do every day for the next month to improve our marketing.Here is the video clip (it’s short, just a couple minutes), and some possible 30-day inbound marketing challenges we could take on below it.The 30-Day Challenge: What Could You Do in 30 Days?Some 30-Day Challenges for Inbound Marketers1) Write 500 WordsMany inbound marketers cite content creation as a challenge, which is why I was immediately struck by an example Matt gave in his TED talk:”Have you ever wanted to write a novel? Every November, tens of thousands of people try to write their own fifty thousand-word novel from scratch in 30 days. It turns out, all you have to do is write 1,667 words a day, for a month. So I did. By the way, the secret is not to go to sleep until you’ve written your words for the day. You might be sleep deprived, but you’ll finish your novel.”This really resonated with me as a content creator, because when you’re suffering from writer’s block (or just really don’t want to write), the best solution truly is to just do it. So, consider writing 500 words a day for one month. You could use the content for an ebook, blog post, whitepaper — whatever. Heck, some of it might be total rubbish that you never even publish. But you’ll get used to writing content, and after 30 days, I have a hunch you’ll feel a lot less intimidated about content creation, and be much better and faster with it, too.2) Learn a New Tool in Photoshop… or another visual content editing or creation tool, if Photoshop isn’t your jam. We all know visual content is hot, but we don’t all know how to take advantage of it in a practical way — because we’re not all designers, and we can’t all afford to hire one. At the end of this post is a free visual design crash course. That’s a good place to start if you’re looking to up your design chops, and maybe center your 30-day challenge around improving your ability to create visual content.3) Learn a New Excel FunctionEffective inbound marketers make data-driven decisions. If you’re comfortable using Excel, you can do a lot of really cool number crunching that sheds remarkable insights on your marketing activities. Spend 30 days trying to learn new Excel functions — you can start simple, and as you get more comfortable crunching numbers, experiment with weirder and geekier functions. Your marketing will certainly thank you.4) Call One CustomerMarketers are typically pretty closely aligned with their sales organization — or at least they strive to be — but its easy to forget about leads once they become customers. But if you’re truly practicing inbound marketing, you’re trying to solve for the customer, not just the close. So perhaps a month of talking to customers could help you get back in touch with what it’s really like to use your product or service, if you feel out of the loop. For instance, our CEO Brian Halligan makes it a habit to speak to at least three customers every week. It’s an invaluable source of feedback that can help you make better Marketing and Sales decisions.5) Sit on a Sales CallOr perhaps you don’t feel as connected to your sales organization as you wish. Spending a little time every day listening in on a sales call is an excellent use of time to get some insight into the kinds of questions Sales is fielding. You could use the information to guide your content creation, SEO, and sales enablement strategies.6) Use a New Social NetworkSometimes people give up on those things too fast. We just don’t have the time, you know? It might be time to give one of those new social networks the old college try, though. See if Pinterest really could work for you. Or Twitter. Or LinkedIn. Or Quora. If you don’t put in a concerted effort on a consistent basis, it’s really hard to make anything work well.7) Run a New A/B TestA/B tests help inbound marketers make incremental improvements to their marketing — backed by data, not feelings. Imagine if you ran a new test every day for a month. The impact on your marketing would be huge! If it seems insane to run that many A/B tests, just check out this blog post — there are 25 experiments in there that you can run on your email marketing alone.8) Read for 30 MinutesIt’s so easy to get into work, open your email, and dive into your work — tasks, calls, meetings, etc. Before you know it, your day’s over, and you start it all over the next day. When do you have time to actually learn new things, though? Challenge yourself to spend 30 minutes a day just … reading. Industry news, inbound marketing news, a book, or even brand new sites you’ve never heard of before. I even recommend reading stuff that has nothing to do with marketing or your industry at all. It gives you perspective that helps you do your job better, spurs ideas for new types of content, and keeps you sharp when you’re working with people outside the four walls of your company.And, If You’re Curious What We’re Doing …A group of us are supporting our fundraising campaign for our partner, charity: water. We’re taking on more personal challenges — things like no sugar or no coffee (aaah!), or adding in things like reading 20 pages or working out every day. Any day we fail to live up to the challenge, we’re donating a dollar to our #failwhale jar, which you can see to the right. So, you know, it makes failure a little less dire. 😉 I, personally, am taking on a 30-day challenge to not slouch, and a marketing challenge to not leave work until my inbox is under 20 emails (when you work in editorial for an inbound marketing department, that is a very real marketing-related challenge).Whether you choose to do a personal challenge or marketing-related one, take one last piece of Matt Cutts’ advice to heart:”When I made small sustainable changes, things I could keep doing, they were more likely to stick. There’s nothing wrong with big crazy challenges — in fact, they’re a ton of fun — but they’re less likely to stick … The next 30 days are going to pass, whether you like it or not. So why not think about something you have always wanted to try, and give it a shot for the next 30 days?”So, what will you try? Share your ideas in the comments — or, if you’ve already done this challenge in the past, share what you did, and whether you stuck with it after the 30 days were up!Image credit: Moyan_Brenn 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 Jun 28, 2013 3:30:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Marketing Strategylast_img read more

What Are Psychographics? [FAQs]

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack You probably know a lot about who buys from you. Their gender, geographic location, marital status — it’s all part of developing buyer personas. These data points make up the demographics of your personas, help inform your marketing strategy, and paint a picture of who your buyers are.But there’s another component needed to really understand your buyer.Download our free guide to marketing psychology here for more tips on how to use psychology in your marketing.What’s their lifestyle like? What are their daily habits or hobbies? What kind of values and opinions do they have?The answers to these questions are the psychographics of your customer base, and you need to know this information to truly understand who’s buying what you’re selling.Psycho-what?Think about the information you already know about your buyers. Psychographics is about using the demographic information you have for your buyer persona to figure out more about their lifestyle, their behaviors and their habits.Here’s one way to look at it: Demographics explain “who” your buyer is, while psychographics explain “why” they buy. Knowing what the day in the life of your buyer persona looks like is undoubtedly valuable when creating an integrated marketing strategy.Using psychographic data in marketing isn’t a brand-new concept, especially in outbound marketing methods. Think about the direct mailings you get. I bet you’ve actually checked out a sentence or two on some of that mail, because marketers use web tools like Nielsen’s PRIZM segmentation system to figure out to whom to send mailings.And don’t forget about TV advertisements. Networks determine the demographics and psychographics of segments that watch certain shows and channels, and products advertise accordingly. For example, you can assume that most of the commercials on the Women’s Entertainment (WE tv) channel are slanted towards female viewers.How to Find Psychographic DataThink about the last time you saw a company’s marketing campaign and thought, “Yep, that’s me. I’m gettin’ that!” (iPad Air, anyone?) That company absolutely nailed the messaging to their target audience (you), and they did it by understanding both the demographics and psychographics of their target buyer. You can do that, too. Practicing inbound marketing provides a great platform to learn about the psychographics of your buyer personas. All you need to get started is a desire to really understand your customers. Here are some places you can start looking for psychographic data.Marketing DataThis time, it’s not just about the numbers. Take the marketing data you have and look at the data from the perspective of “what.”What types of offers get downloaded the most? What styles of blog posts get the most interaction? What times do emails get opened most often?You might look at your data often, but approaching it with this mindset will pull some psychographic data out you may not have seen before.Sales and Customer Service TeamsYour day-to-day interaction with these teams might be minimal, but it’s time to make friends with those who talk to your prospects and customers all day.Cozy up to a few friendly folks and ask them questions about what they’re hearing from customers or listen in on calls to get info straight from the horse’s mouth.Feeling fancy? Build fields into your CRM to store this information, or start collecting it via progressive profiling, so you can export that data to look for trends.SurveysSurveys are a good method for finding out the psychographics of your buyer persona — but only if you have an idea of what you want to know about them.You may consider a survey after doing some in-house data analysis that provokes some follow-up questions on the data you analyzed.Check out this blog post on how to design a marketing survey that will actually give you the results you’re looking for.Social MediaI don’t know about you, but you can find out a lot about me if you took 5 minutes and looked at my Instagram or Twitter profile. So, if you know who your buyer is, turn to social networks to see what you can find.People tend to be more honest and open when unprovoked, and the social profiles of your buyers might give you some insight into their likes and dislikes.Focus Groups or Group InterviewsYou may not have the luxury of bringing your customers into your office for a face-to-face discussion, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be talking directly to your buyers to figure out some of the psychographic data you need.Get on the phone or in a room with a few customers that really represent your buyer persona and find out more about their life. (If it’s face-to-face, don’t forget the coffee and doughnuts. Seriously.)Most importantly, going beyond the demographics of your buyer persona and really understanding their psychographics will provide you with valuable data that can differentiate your marketing from your competitors. It’ll also help create a deeper connection with your target market. They’ll think, “Hey, that company really gets me.”And that’s how you convert leads into customers and keep delighting your customers with your marketing.How do you find out the details about your customer base? Through social? From your analytics? Feel free to share your methods with us below!Image credit: Michele Ursino Originally published Oct 28, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: Buyer Personaslast_img read more

The No B.S. Guide to Reducing Your Website’s Bounce Rate

first_img Topics: Ever gone into your analytics and seen your bounce rate hovering around or above 90%? If so, you’re in trouble. That is a high bounce rate. And it’s very, very bad.Bounce rates are website killers. The problem is, many webmasters simply expect bounce rates to stay at high levels. I’m convinced it doesn’t have to be this way. You can bring your bounce rate down as long as you know what to do. I’m tired of reading the same hackneyed information about “reducing your bounce rate,” so I decided to stop looking for the advice that doesn’t exist and create some of my own — a list of not stupid ways to crush your bounce rate. 5 Quick Facts About Bounce RateFirst, let’s just run through a few quick facts about bounce rate to make sure we’re all on the same page about what it is. A high bounce rate is bad. You will not be able to win any arguments with me on this one. A high bounce rate is a very bad thing, and it causes other bad things to happen, too. If your bounce rate is high, it may have a negative impact on your rankings. Some bounce is inevitable. You’re not going to eliminate all bounce. Accept some of it as human fate — the destiny of the web. Bounce rate is not exit rate (but it’s related). Exit rate is the percentage of visitors who left the site from a certain page. Don’t confuse the two.Reducing bounce rate is site-specific. There’s no such thing as a set of rules that is guaranteed to reduce your bounce rate. My article is tactical, but I’m not giving you a list of design techniques or wonder-hacks that will automatically slash bounce rates. I’m giving you strategic ammunition that you have to load and fire. So far, we’re in SEO kindergarten still. This is just preparation for the solid and strategic advice that I want to share with you in the next section.How to Crush Your Bounce RateLet’s nail it. How do you crush your bounce rate? Follow these steps, and I guarantee that your bounce rate will begin to fall. 1) Know who’s visiting your site.Here’s the big problem about the conventional pabulum on bounce rate reduction: It doesn’t get at the root problem. Immediately, such advice launches into tips like redesign your website! Or add more pictures! Those are not true bounce rate solutions, though. You want pictures? This website has them, but you can bet I’m going to bounce as soon as possible. Such design advice doesn’t cut it. You need a more fundamental approach to crushing your bounce rate. You need to know your visitor.To find out who’s visiting your site and what kind of content they like, check out your analytics. Take a look at how many of your visitors are new vs. returning, for example. That single data point alone helps you understand how to structure your page, what type of messages to put in place, and how to create your copy. Knowing what language your users read, their demographics, and what they’re interested in is also incredibly important. Understand your audience before you change anything. Know what language they speak, where they live, what they search for, and why they visit your site. You won’t be able to take any real bounce-rate crushing action unless you first understand your visitor. 2) Know what your visitors want. Once you’ve gotten to know who your user is, you need to know what they want. Attracting the right user to your website is all about targeting the right keywords. Ideally, you’ve done some keyword research and have identified the keywords that you need to be ranking for. You should already be ranking for branded keywords, and comprehensively covering other niche keywords. Keep in mind that, depending on the nature of your site, your bounce rate may vary. Here is the information that I presented in my infographic guide to decreasing bounce rate. The chart below displays Google Analytics benchmark averages for bounce rate across different types of websites.If you know exactly what your visitor wants and give it to them, then they have virtually no reason to bounce. The only way you’ll be able to do this is through successful content marketing. 3) Pour everything you’ve got in to UX.By now, you’ve gotten two things straight: You need to know your visitor.You need to give them what they want.By this point, you’re well on your way to getting rid of sky-high bounce rates. What else could possibly cause a visitor to bounce? One of the main things is the site’s usability. User experience is everything. The user must feel comfortable, confident, and clear when they’re on your website. This article isn’t a design tutorial, but let me give you a few specific points:Put the good stuff above the fold. If the user doesn’t see what they’re looking for above the fold, they are more likely to bounce. If your content is relevant to the user’s query, make that obvious by displaying it above the fold. Make your navigation intuitive. If the user wants to navigate — i.e., not bounce — make it easy. Place navigation where it’s expected, and make navigation choices obvious.Look professional. Good design is a marker of a good website. Savvy web users can distinguish a shoddy website from a professional one simply from a quick glance at the overall design. In a Search Engine Watch article, Nick Eubanks makes the point that “design has become a legitimacy signal.” In other words, poor design means that you look illegitimate or unprofessional in the eyes of your visitors. Their response is to bounce. One of the strongest defenses against high bounce rate is to make a website so awesomely functional and beautiful that it makes people stay and click.4) Make them click. Just about everyone misses this one. We blather endlessly on about killer headlines, and the right keywords, and more pictures, and engaging design, and ad nauseum. But we forget to talk about this one thing: You’ve got to make them click. In order to explain it to you, I’m going to circle back to Google’s definition of bounce rate: “Bounce Rate [=] … single-page visits.”A bounce happens when a visitor goes to your page, then leaves your page. That’s it. If the user is not clicking anywhere else on the page, the visit will most likely become a bounce.Here’s the kicker. Your site could be so good that bounce rate goes higher. How the heck does that happen? If you 1) know your user, and 2) give them what they want, and 3) have sick UX, then you could have successfully created a bounceable page. Why? It may very well be that you’ve created a page that is so successful that the user doesn’t need to go anywhere else. She has the information she needs, and she’s done. She bounces. Goodbye.And so your bounce rate goes up, much to your chagrin. So, here’s where real bounce rate reduction starts to happen. You’ve got to make the user click — to perform some action or some movement on the site. Let me explain how you can do this:Add conversion paths from every page on your website. Perhaps it is a blog subscription or a “read more,” or a CTA. Whatever the case, optimize every page for conversions. This is what I do on my personal website, with very high success. Make “hot” zones clickable. If there’s a place that people tend to hover over and it can be clickable, add a link it to make it clickable. I suggest using CrazyEgg to conduct heatmapping for this purpose. A good page not only gives users the information they need, but it also asks them to act on that information. That action — compelled by a CTA — is going to involve a click.The moment your visitor clicks, they are no longer part of the bounce rate statistic. That’s what you want. 5) Go beyond mobile friendly.Here’s another point that everyone is missing: Mobile usability. Designers and webmasters have been singing the praises of responsive design long enough. It’s a great song, and I appreciate all the responsive sites that are out there. If your site is not responsive, pardon my bluntness, but you just need to get with the program. Get responsive or you will die. (End of rant.)But a responsive site isn’t enough. Your site should be usable on a mobile device. I’ve seen plenty of great responsive sites that still don’t have mobile usability going for them. Though site isn’t trying to crush a 1,200 pixel width into a 300 pixel screen, it’s still not good enough. The site must be brilliantly intuitive and beautifully usable on a mobile device if you want to avoid mobile bounce rates.If your website has mobile traffic — and I will be shocked to death if you don’t — then you need to think about more than just mobile friendliness. You need to think about mobile usability. Your mobile users are a growing segment of your traffic, and if they aren’t getting the site usability they need, they will bounce. And your bounce rate will reach those agonizing highs. ConclusionThis has not been your typical reduce-your-bounce-rate post. This is more strategic, high-level, and hopefully helpful. Don’t be content with industry average bounce rates. Defy the bounce rate benchmarks for the type of website you have. Even though there will always be some bounce rate, I think you can get it lower. Here’s the great thing about reducing your bounce rate: Once you get your bounce rate lower, your conversion rate goes up. Your SEO goes up. Your CTR goes up. Your rankings go up. Bounce rate is a powerful metric — it actually shapes the way that a site ranks, because it’s one of the few user-dependent features of a website’s ranking. By reducing your bounce rate, you are paving the way for success in so many other areas.What tips do you have for reducing your bounce rate?  Definition: Bounce rate is the number of visitors who left your site without visiting any other pages on the site. Google, ever so careful about metrical nuances, puts it this way: “Bounce Rate is the percentage of single-page visits (i.e. visits in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page).”  Originally published Aug 11, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated August 28 2017 Web Analytics 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