For this year’s recycling drive, Brightwater Commons is encouraging the public to donate household and office goods that they no longer have use for.(Image: Brightwater Commons) MEDIA CONTACTS • Candice de Carvalho, Brightwater Commons +27 11 789 5052 RELATED ARTICLES • Recycled corks, safer communities • New way to build green homes • Bank’s green building looks ahead • Plastic recycling major job spinner • Scrapping the scrap tyre stockpilesCadine Pillay Often when one speaks of recycling, the first image that comes to mind is that of commonly recycled materials like beverage cans. According to Collect-a-Can, which has been in operation since 1993, beverage cans are the most recycled material in South Africa, with 70% of used cans recovered every year.There are, however, more materials that can be recycled than members of the general public are aware of.With its annual Recycling Week initiative, Johannesburg shopping and entertainment centre Brightwater Commons aims to educate people on the benefits of recycling and make the activity a part of their daily lives.For this year’s event, the public is being encouraged to donate household and office goods that they no longer have use for, and according to the centre’s marketing manager Francois du Buisson, just about everything on that list can be recycled.Recycling Week takes place from 30 August to 2 September in Randburg and between 8am and 5pm every day for that week; patrons of the centre can dispose of their old items on the premises.Why recycle?Many people are concerned about the manner in which goods are recycled, said du Buisson.“It is a major worry that these goods may just end up going to a landfill, and that is exactly what we are focused on avoiding,” he said.“With a new approach involving donating and up-cycling, we hope to encourage the reuse of materials before recycling.”Du Buisson added that reusing is just as responsible as recycling, if not more. After all, he said, if people reuse products their overall consumption requirements decrease.Materials that can be recycled include anything in the household that is made of tin, cans, glass, plastic and paper. Old appliances that are no longer used, such as old irons, hair-dryers, microwaves and kettles will be sorted and recycled at the end of the drive by partners sourced by Brightwater Commons.Waste Bank, an organisation that specialises in collecting and sorting recycled materials, will be on hand to help sort the donated goods so that they will be ready to be recycled correctly and efficiently.“The Spring Clean and Recycling could benefit not just your household, but also another in need. What may be old and boring to one could be new and exciting to someone else,” said Du Buisson.More to it than recyclingElectronic-based refuse such as old computer hard-drives, keyboards, printers, walkmans, phones, game consoles and CDs is generally referred to as e-waste. This and any other waste associated with electronic equipment can be brought to the centre during Recycling Week.On the final day of the drive, motorsport enthusiasts can take part in what Du Buisson calls the auto-jumble – an exchange or sale of historic racing cars among those who share an interest in them.Charities will also benefit from the activities of the drive. Windsor East Recreation Centre, Babies Behind Bars and Hospice are some of the organisations that have been earmarked to receive donated goods relevant to their needs and services.Everything from baby clothes and toys to blankets, fabric and curtains, as well as furniture usually makes it to the designated donation areas, and centre management is able to give the items that are in good shape to the charities involved.The green factorThroughout the week, the Green Living Expo will take place in the centre’s promotions court, with electronics retailer Stax on hand to showcase the latest energy saving gadgets and appliances to shoppers.Research done by Collect-a-Can shows that South Africans generate approximately 50 cubic metres of waste per annum, and this is before the consideration of other sources in the industrial field like mining, agriculture and forestry.The government’s National Waste Management Strategy, developed in 2011, stipulates plans to help promote waste management, reuse and recycling among the country’s citizens. Equally important, according to the document, is the efficient delivery of waste services by government organs.With a deadline of 2016 in mind, the Department of Environmental Affairs aims to achieve an annual recovery of 25% of all recyclable material that would otherwise have ended up in landfills.A Johannesburg-based organisation, Delta Environmental Centre, runs educational recycling programmes for schools with separate activities for the different phases. They also act as facilitators for companies or schools that wish to take part in programmes related to recycling.
18 March 2014Earl Grainger, South Africa’s newly appointed Fed Cup captain, is on a mission to improve women’s tennis in the country. On Monday, Grainger, together with Tennis South Africa, announced a complete overhaul of the Fed Cup system in the country.A Fed Cup squad comprising of 15 of the country’s top senior and junior players has been confirmed for 2014, and for the first time in years it includes South Africa’s highest ranked women’s singles player, Chani Scheepers, who last made herself available for Fed Cup duty in 2005.Grainger said that he had held long discussions with Scheepers, who was very excited by the new plans.‘Totally committed’“Chani assured me that she is totally committed to South African tennis,” Grainger said in a statement.“We spoke about her not being available for Fed Cup in the past and we discussed the future. Chani wants to help us in every possible way and I was delighted that she agreed to be part of the Fed Cup squad.”SquadTwelve of the 15 squad members were announced on Monday. They are: Chani Scheepers; Chanel Simmonds; Natasha Fourouclas; Madrie Le Roux; Natalie Grandin; Ilze Hattingh; Michelle Sammons; Lynn Kiro; Zani Barnard; Lee Barnard; Theresa Van Zyl; and Janet Koch. Three more players will be added to the squad shortly.The players in the squad were selected according to their world rankings and participation on the WTA Tour. Juniors with potential were also considered and players that supported the TSA tournament programme were given added consideration.Euro Africa Group 2 tournamentGrainger said that he would announce his Fed Cup team on Friday to play in the Euro Africa Group 2 tournament in Lithuania from 16 to 19 April.“I will be monitoring the players, their progress and their schedules at all times,” Grainger explained. “I will also be at all major local and international tournaments to watch the players compete and be on hand at these events to offer them advice.”ConsultantsTennis South Africa also confirmed that two consultants – seasoned doubles specialist Natalie Grandin of Durban and leading coach Allan Karam of Pretoria – would work with Grainger on the Fed Cup project. Grandin and Karam would be on hand not only to advise Grainger but also to work with the players in the squad.Karam said that the aim was to build for the future. “Let’s not be fooled, there is plenty of talent in our country. All we need to do is identify players, nurture and develop their skills, and look at long term success for our country.“I am optimistic about this new look Fed Cup project. As long as we give the girls every opportunity available to enable them to progress and develop, this added support will for sure assist them in becoming successful professional players, which will in turn be good for our Fed Cup hopes,” Karam added.He warned, however, that the road ahead would be a big challenge. “It’s not going to be easy, but Earl has some really great and positive vision, and Natalie and I look forward to the challenge.”‘This is a great idea’Grandin shared a similar view to Karam, and was feeling positive about her involvement with the project. “I am and have always been happy to help Tennis South Africa,” she said. “I think this is a great idea and I am sure that with all my years of experience playing in the Fed Cup team, and on the pro tour, I will be able to help South Africa move up to Group 1. The team definitely has enough talent to move up and be a strong contender in years to come.”Free of charge training squads for the players are planned to be held at least four times a year, with the players in the squad being given top class technical, physical and mental training to prepare them for the professional tour.‘Hard, dedicated work’“Hard, dedicated work will enable the girls to earn a place in the squad. My plan is to give the girls something that they have never experienced before and after each squad session I really want the girls to have gained enormously from the technical, physical and mental sessions we will offer them,” Grainger said.He warned, though, that the players would have to work hard and win matches to keep their spots in the squad. “I need a hard working bunch of players that are totally committed to their game, to Tennis South Africa and the country as a whole. If they are not committed and show signs of poor performance they will stand a chance of losing their spot in the squad,” he said.The first squad session will be held at Johannesburg’s Bedfordview Tennis Club from 9 to 12 April.SAinfo reporter
, The top 100 averaged a grade of 70. Nova Datacom Inc. 500 list with HubSpot’s Successful companies today are realizing the importance of having an . Originally published Aug 23, 2011 8:00:00 PM, updated July 11 2013 SevOne ymarketing The top 50 on the list averaged a grade of 67. today to find out! , What’s even more interesting is that HubSpot customers who made the list — Here are some specific data points: , — received an average score of 91. Marketing Takeaway that HubSpot made it onto the Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Companies List. Because data and analytics are in our blood, we thought it would be interesting to see what would happen when we analyzed the companies on the Grade your website Source Consulting As a marketer, UnitedLex , , and , Overall the average of companies on the list is 70, which means that, on average, this year’s Inc. 500 companies score better than 70% of all websites scored by Website Grader. , TicketLeap ServiceNow Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack need to be leveraging inbound marketing, too. How does your company fare? you Website Grader We came up with some interesting results. Overall, the main takeaway from the data is that the companies on the list score better than companies in general. we announced effective web presence Neutron Interactive AppAssure Software , 160 of the 500 companies (32%) scored in the top 10% of all websites. They earned a Website Grade over 90. This morning, that takes advantage of inbound marketing strategies such as SEO, blogging and content creation, social media, landing pages, etc. From our analysis of the data we’ve gathered from Website Grader, it’s obvious that the companies on the Inc. 500 list understand the importance of inbound marketing as well. (Note: The websites for highlighted companies did not return a report in Website Grader.)
Originally published Dec 30, 2011 11:30:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Social Media Strategy Topics: Homepage feeds now have a Twitteresque feel with live updates from friends, otherwise known as the Ticker. The most recent posts that appear on a Facebook feed are now a direct result of the latest content being published. And of course, this all led us to where we are now with the somewhat controversial new change, Facebook Timeline.Now that the complete rollout of Timeline to all Facebook users is nearly complete, the change means one crucial thing for Facebook marketers: The life of a status update is diminishing. Fast.That means it’s time marketers recognize that since Timeline is altering the shelf-life of Facebook content, we must now change the way we use Facebook.Enhanced User News Feed Calls for Strategic PostingFormerly, users’ homepage News Feeds offered two options for viewing: ‘Top Stories,’ meaning posts with the most likes and comments from your friends, or ‘Most Recent,’ which was simply the most recent updates regardless of response rates. The majority of users (many without even knowing) had theirs set to ‘Top Stories’ so they could see which stories were most popular and getting discussed by their friends.Then Facebook aggregated these two features into one through its EdgeRank algorithm. In short, this algorithm decides what is most important on Facebook for a specific user by taking into account which pages/profiles that user frequents, the popularity of it, and most importantly, how recent the post is.According to URL shortening service bitly, the mean half life (the time it takes a link to receive half the clicks it will ever receive after it’s reached its peak) of a link on Facebook is 3.2 hours. There’s a good chance this number will go down with the Timeline rollout, too. Marketing Takeaway: Test the waters by posting your content at a different time every day for one week to identify at what hour your post performed the best. Check your Facebook Insights to analyze when you had the most success, and post at those times. According to AddThis, a bookmarking and sharing service, most users click on content two minutes after content is shared. If users are clicking that rapidly and you only have about a 3-hour time frame to garner attention, you have to ensure you’re posting exactly when your audience is on Facebook. Otherwise, they’ll likely never see your content.Throw Out the “Post Once a Day” RuleThe old rule of thumb for Facebook was to post regularly, but not more than once a day so that each update received proper attention while simultaneously not being spammy. Well folks, today we’re here to say that this rule should no longer apply. Posting once a day in conjunction with the Ticker and EdgeRank algorithm means that your post only has a short span of time during which people will likely see it. Once those three hours are up–your status is old news (pun intended). And if you think you’re going to be spamming users by posting more than once, think again! Your post will be quickly overridden by the hordes of other updates becoming the top stories in a user’s News Feed.However, don’t let this lower the quality of your updates. When a user sees you in their News Feed or Ticker and navigates to your page, they’re likely to see all of your other content. On the HubSpot Facebook page, I tested the waters by posting every hour. That’s right, every hour. Each hour, a completely different group of users liked, commented on, and shared the content. Furthermore, because each post appeared in a users’ Feeds at different times, I was able to attract a more diverse set of users because each group logged onto Facebook at a different time. Not only did we not experience a decrease in fans, but our strategy also brought fans to the latest update and got them liking even more content that was also on the wall — content they may have never seen otherwise (see image at right)! While we don’t necessarily recommend posting every hour unless you have a large fanbase on Facebook and are creating high volumes of content, the point is, once a day isn’t going to cut it anymore.Furthermore, the high number of posts per day was not taken as spammy. Instead of backlash, we received positive feedback in regard to all the valuable information we were posting. This means that people truly do hold access to valuable content in high regard. Whether it’s keeping them in suspense for the next episode in a television series, sharing the latest remedy your researchers have discovered for the flu, or simply educating marketers on how to be inbound rock stars, content is key. And if it’s written and presented in a way that is appealing to your specific demographic, you will see positive results.Marketing Takeaway: You need quality content, and you need time. If the new Facebook is calling for more updates a day, you need valuable content that is worth posting. Simply updating for the sake of infiltrating feeds won’t cut it–that’s when users will mark you as spam. But if you’re strategically posting remarkable content, then they’ll like, comment, share, and love you for it. You also need to allocate more time to posting and monitoring the content than before to make this happen effectively. Consider investing in some social media marketing automation to make the most of your time.Recent Activity Is More Apparent and More Important Than EverFurthermore, the moment someone clicks ‘like,’ it will appear in their friends’ Tickers instantly. In fact, Facebook slipped in a new data point to their analytics that is literally called ‘Timeline,’ which indicates the number of fans who ‘liked’ your page by seeing it in someone’s Timeline! So quantity (and quality, as always) does matter. The argument that 7,000 die-hard fans is better than 14,000 regular fans is not sound. If you have twice the fanship, you have double the reach and two times the opportunity to get your message sent and your brand heard. When you successfully gain a new like on Facebook, it’s far clearer to friends of those fans. This will truly help you grow your Facebook presence in a much faster way than ever before on Facebook. But to do so, you’ll have to follow the aforementioned tips to gain those initial ‘likes’ that will hopefully catapult your Facebook marketing.Do you see any other ways Timeline is changing Facebook marketing? What do you think of the idea of posting more than once a day on Facebook?Image Credit: Aloha Sweets; Captivation Media
How powerful is your sales and marketing machine? If you’re like most businesses, chances are, that machine could be a bit stronger. That’s why HubSpot and Salesforce.com have been teaming up to emphasize the power of social enterprises using inbound marketing to create powerful sales and marketing machines.Think about it — the core of inbound marketing is making marketing that people love, or marketing to people the way they want to be marketed to. Social enterprises, or companies leveraging social, mobile, and open cloud technologies to revolutionize their relationships with their customers, build customer profiles to better understand their customers’ interests and needs. When combined, the result is a powerful machine that thrives by getting to know your best leads and customers inside and out, and marketing and selling to them on their terms.What’s why we worked with Salesforce on the following infographic to explain how these pieces fit together to enhance a business’ sales and marketing machine. For a better look at this horizontally aligned infographic, click on the image to enlarge to learn more about why your business should build a sales and marketing machine of the future by practicing inbound marketing, creating customer profiles, building better employee collaboration, and driving social ROI. And to learn more about how to create a more closely aligned sales and marketing machine, check out our joint webinar with Salesforce, “5 Steps to Establishing an Effective Sales & Marketing Methodology,” now available on demand. (Download it Here!) You can also follow the conversation using the hashtag #salesmktg. Topics: Marketing and Sales Alignment (Click the infographic for a full-sized version.)How powerful is your sales and marketing machine? 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 Aug 14, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016
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 May 15, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 We’re big followers of Net Promoter Score (NPS) at HubSpot. In fact, we track the NPS of our customers, our employees, people who contact our support team, and even our INBOUND conference attendees. If you’re unfamiliar with NPS, it’s a customer loyalty framework that evaluates, on a scale of 0-10, the degree to which people would recommend your company/product to others. If you’re curious about the basics of NPS, check out, “How the Net Promoter Score Helps You Benchmark Customer Loyalty.”Recently, I had a chance to speak with the creator of the Net Promoter® system of management, Fred Reichheld. Fred is a Bain Fellow and founder of Bain & Company’s Loyalty Practice, which helps companies achieve results through customer and employee loyalty. I asked him a few questions that I thought would be of interest to marketing professionals (because these are the questions I personally had about NPS). Here’s what Fred had to say …Is NPS for any company, or just big consumer brands?One of the most important decisions I made in creating NPS was to make it an open-source movement. As a result, there has been an explosion of creativity from the NPS user community around how the metric and system can be applied.We know that quite a few big consumer brands have adopted NPS as a quick test for their traditional brand equity studies and have been quite pleased because it is so fast, cheap, and accurate. In these days of web-based communication, it turns out that NPS enables big brands to focus in quickly on promoters or detractors to test which communications are having the desired effect. But the NPS revolution extends far beyond the big consumer brands. Industrial powerhouses like GE, retailers like Apple, and web stars such as Zappos and eBay are all using NPS extensively.Are there any differences in how B2B vs. B2C should use NPS?We are finding that NPS is equally relevant in B2B and B2C. The only substantial difference is that in B2B, you need to be thoughtful about which individuals in an account (decision makers, influencers, users) should be surveyed, how frequently, and then integrate their feedback rhythm into the sales and service process. We recommend that NPS practitioners contact 100% of detractors and a sample of passives/promoters within 24-48 hours of receiving survey feedback. We find that B2B respondents have even less tolerance than consumers when they observe no response to their feedback — and they will refuse to invest time on subsequent surveys if there is no closing of the loop.Has anything changed about consumers since you created NPS? Is NPS more or less important today?Consumers have begun to expect that companies close the loop when they provide detractor feedback. They tend to share their opinions much more widely via social media tools — and they are relying on recommendations of peers as the most reliable source for choosing new suppliers.I think Brad Smith, CEO of Intuit, said it best: “In today’s social media world, the ultimate question is becoming even more important.” Turning customers into promoters is surely more important as the reach and effectiveness of web-based social tools continues to expand.Should NPS be a metric Marketing cares about? How should marketers use NPS?Most marketers recognize how relevant NPS can make their function. It links their world to the world of the CFO and finance — because it is possible to calculate the economic value of a promoter, passive, or detractor in each customer segment.I see the best marketers utilizing NPS to extend their influence across all the other functions or their organizations. It seems that every silo in the company finds it to be a personal insult when a customer decides they would not recommend that product/service to a friend — and that personal indignation sets the stage for action and results. NPS lets smart marketers refocus the innovative energy of their company on delighting customers (profitably) rather than simply meeting quarterly cost and revenue goals.Can poor or annoying marketing lower your company’s NPS?Absolutely — ineffective, misleading, or annoying advertising will diminish the firm’s ability to create and sustain promoters.What’s your most important piece of advice for marketers related to NPS?Don’t fall into the trap of thinking of NPS only as a metric. The NPS community has quickly morphed this framework into an entire system of management that enables companies to refocus their energies on the right goal: profitably delighting more customers.CEOs recognize that NPS is a measure of their personal reputation and legacy — so use that intuitive connection to make marketing more relevant. Everyone in the company cares about their reputation — and can relate to the need to create more promoters and fewer detractors. Use this universal appeal to get the rest of the organization pulling in the direction that you, the marketer, sees as the right path.Where do you see the greatest advances taking place in the NPS movement over the next few years?More companies are recognizing that they can’t deliver a great customer experience unless front line employees are fully engaged in the process. The leading NPS practitioners are unleashing the power of NPS to employee and team management. In fact, I am creating a software-as-a-system tool that incorporates the best practices of NPS superstar companies and makes them available to every firm. Check out NetPromoterSystem.com and VoteTru.com for more details.Have you used NPS in your business? In what ways are you using it creatively within your organization? Topics: Customer Success
If there was a magic wand you could wave to suddenly make your Twitter presence more successful, I’d bet that most people on the platform would do it. More followers? More clicks? More retweets? All without any work? Sounds like a marketer’s fantasy. Well, I hate to break it to you, but there’s no magic wand … though we now have the next best thing. Yesterday, Twitter unveiled a brand new analytics dashboard for Twitter Cards — you know, those rich media attachments you see at the bottom of tweets like these: Blogging Myth #7: “You can’t write a blog post in an hour.” http://t.co/02AEOurs7O #blogfor30— HubSpot (@HubSpot) January 24, 2014So it’s not quite a magic wand, but these new analytics can give you great insight into your Twitter presence and tips for making it even better. It still requires hard work, but at least you’ll have the information you need to optimize your presence.If you have Twitter Cards implemented (if you need help with that, here’s a quick tutorial for you), you can access your new analytics dashbord at analytics.twitter.com, sign in, then choose “Twitter Cards” in the top navigation. There are quite a few new metrics you can measure with this dashboard, but we’re here to help in whichever format you prefer to learn in: Twitter’s put together a quick tutorial video and we’ve also decoded all of the metrics in the dashboard in the post below (along with a few key insights on what this dashboard means for your marketing).So if you want to be walked through the dashboard step by step, keep on reading — I’ll explain every part of the Twitter Card analytics dashboard so you’ll be an old pro by the end of this post.Ready? Let’s do this.Twitter Card Metrics: 3 High-Level Metrics to TrackWhen you first click through to the Twitter Card analytics dashboard, you’ll see the three basic metrics you can track at the top of the page:These metrics capture traffic and activity to your site from tweets and interactions from any Twitter user, not just your company’s account. So this means that in our account, URL clicks, install attempts, and retweets don’t just measure the success of HubSpot tweets — it measures the success of almost all tweets about our website’s content from any Twitter account. All of the data collected in these reports is for actions taken on Twitter clients only, which include Twitter.com, mobile.twitter.com, Twitter for iPhone, Twitter for iPad, and Twitter for Android. You will not be able to track any of these actions people take through a third-party Twitter client like TweetDeck.Here’s a quick breakdown of what each of those metrics means. URL ClicksAccording to Twitter’s glossary, URL clicks measure clicks on a URL in a tweet or a Card that points to your website content — not clicks to any URL you tweet.Install AttemptsThis metric only matters if you have a mobile app — otherwise, the data won’t populate. This is how many people clicked the install app link while on mobile. Keep in mind that an app install link only shows on Twitter for iPhone, iPad, and Android if the user doesn’t already have your app installed. If they have already installed the app, there is no link, thus it won’t be included in this metric.RetweetsJust like URL Clicks, Retweets only measures retweets that include URLs to your site.Within each of these top-line metrics, there are seven reports you can investigate further. Let’s check ’em out!Twitter Card Reports: A Deep DiveThese reports are the same across these three metrics — though they populate with different data — so we’ll just go over them in general. Each metric will populate different data and actionable tips in each report, so definitely click through your own account to test it out.For any of these reports, you can choose the date range you’d like to investigate. We’re going to look at everything from the past 28 days, but you can choose time ranges of “Yesterday,” “Last 7 Days,” or “Custom Dates.” Here are the different reports you can investigate.SnapshotThis is supposed to be a quick look at how your Twitter Cards are driving traffic to your website. You can see the overall pie and the slice your account contributes toward three different metrics: tweets, impressions, and whichever top-line metric you’re investigating. There are two important things that need to be clarified with this report:Impressions: Each one is counted every time a person — in one of the Twitter clients mentioned above — views a Tweet in their home timeline. This does not count people viewing tweets on your profile page.The Multiplier and Conversion Rate Percentages: Those numbers are for all of the tweets — not only those for your account. If you want metrics for just your account, you’ll have to do the math yourself.If you’re a HubSpot customer, you should be able to easily track the success of URL clicks within Reports — the rest of the information in Twitter Card analytics Snapshot report can give you additional context.Change Over TimeIn the next report, Twitter graphs those Snapshot metrics against each other over time to see how they’ve grown in comparison to each other. Keep in mind that the y-axis shows percentage growth — so that’s why the URL clicks line might be above impressions (which is actually impossible). Card TypesNext, you can dive into the types of cards you are using to see how successful they are. Compare your own card formats against each other and see how you stack up against other Twitter Accounts. Don’t get too discouraged by the latter, however — they aren’t segmented by industry or number of followers. Take it with a grain of salt to help you optimize your Twitter Cards.Influencers This is one of my favorite reports — you can see the top accounts that drove URL clicks, app install attempts, and/or retweets to your content. These are the folks you should be tapping into to grow your Twitter account. Now that you know their name, try making a Twitter list to follow and engage with them all.For HubSpot customers, you can take this information to the next level with Social Inbox. Create a stream of that Twitter list, and you can see exactly where these influencers are in your marketing funnel. Depending on which stage they’re in, you can nurture them with valuable content to be even more connected with you.TweetsIn this report, you can drill down to see which specific tweets (not just from your account) drove the most URL clicks, install attempts, and retweets. I’d view each tweet individually to see if you can notice any trends — were these all sent at a certain time of day? Are they about specific topics? Do they all fall under a certain number of characters? This report can give you some nice information to inform the rest of your marketing strategy.SourcesLast is the Sources report — basically detailing which apps, widgets, and websites your influencers are using to send you traffic. Not my favorite report in the bunch, but it could be helpful in some technical instances. If you’re a HubSpot customer, you should be able to see all of this information as well in your HubSpot Sources report in addition to the rest of your social media traffic data.And that’s pretty much it! These reports give you some great basic data to optimize your Twitter presence, but there are a few key areas where you’re going to need more helpful data if you want to grow your business through Twitter.Why You Need More Than Twitter Card AnalyticsThese Twitter Card analytics are great for one thing: gauging some very specific Twitter metrics that may have impact on your business’ bottom line. Sure, they can be indicative of other metrics like leads and customers, but you really need an integrated marketing platform with closed-loop analytics to track that. Because these metrics aren’t integrated with a contact database, you have no idea what happens after people click and if the people who click would be valuable to your business. It’s incredibly helpful to have Twitter-specific data, but in the end, you’ll need more data to make more strategic (and smart) decisions about your social media and marketing strategy. Do you use Twitter Cards in your marketing? Will you use this new analytics dashboard? Share your thoughts with us in the comments! Topics: Twitter Marketing Data Originally published Jan 24, 2014 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Marketing Metrics Topics: A version of this post originally appeared on the Opinion section of Inbound Hub. For more content like this, subscribe to Opinion.The Verge is one of the biggest and most influential technology news sites in the world, with 8.6 million monthly unique visitors and a staff of top-notch tech reporters. These are some internet-savvy editors and writers who probably know as much if not more about how to build an audience online than anyone in the business.Yet the editors at The Verge have a policy that seems a little bit odd and anachronistic: They don’t let writers see how much traffic their stories generate. Ever.As the American Journalism Review reported, in a piece called “No Analytics for You: Why The Verge Declines To Share Detailed Metrics With Reporters,” the editors at The Verge simply don’t want their writers thinking about traffic.What’s more, The Verge is not alone in this practice. Re/code, a tech site run by Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, the longtime Wall Street Journal tech columnist, also won’t share traffic stats with writers. MIT Technology Review holds numbers back, too.”We used to show the writers and editors traffic, and told them to grow it; but it had the wrong effect. So we stopped,” says Jason Pontin, CEO, editor in chief, and publisher of MIT Technology Review. “The unintended consequence of showing them traffic, and encouraging them to work to grow total audience, is that they became traffic whores. Whereas I really wanted them to focus on insight, storytelling, and scoops: quality.”That phrase — “traffic whore” — tells you everything you need to know about why some journalists have an aversion to chasing traffic. They fear it creates an incentive to do the wrong things.“As a general rule, we do not judge writers by numbers,” says Kara Swisher, the co-executive editor at Re/code, the new name for the former AllThingsD team. “In fact, we discourage it and urge them to cover what they think is right. We do not ignore traffic — we pay attention to what works in headlines — but we don’t put press on reporters to hit numbers.”The sentiment holds across a lot of other places, at least according to an informal poll of journalist friends:Quentin Hardy, deputy tech editor at the New York Times notes, via email, that reporters can find traffic data if they do some digging, but “the real question is how it drives thinking. Here it would not be considered something useful to over-obsess about. I have certainly never seen anyone write a story strictly because of the traffic it would get. To do so might arguably seem corrosive. We are much more focused on securing and growing a certain type of readership, usually educated and curious, which values accuracy, depth of knowledge, and reliability as much as speed.”Bruce Upbin, the managing editor at Forbes, says traffic info “is instructive but it shouldn’t override taste.”A reporter at a leading business newspaper says her editor stopped providing traffic stats, and she’s glad. She can tell which stories resonate based on comments and social shares. But “very rarely” does anyone in editorial actually talk about traffic.Those Who LookNot everyone in the media business agrees. Sites like Gawker and Business Insider measure everything, and argue that to do otherwise would be either naive or ridiculous or both.Gawker founder Nick Denton displays traffic info on the wall of the Gawker newsroom showing Chartbeat info for the whole Gawker network as well as data on individual writers. Denton knows that most newspapers still keep writers in the dark about traffic, but “I don’t really care what they do. We find that numbers keeps a writer conscious of an audience; and managers alert to the motivation of the writer.”Also, Denton points out, “Not every reader is created equal. Some are worth 100x or 1000x as much, if they also contribute, for instance, or promote us on social media or the traditional press. So we’re working to improve our measure of readership, to weight certain readers more heavily.”Henry Blodget, CEO and editor of Business Insider, says: “We write for our readers, and our analytics allow us to do a much better job serving them. We cover what we think is important. And the moment we hit ‘publish,’ we get to see whether our readers agree that it’s important.”If they don’t — if they’re not reading or sharing our stories — we ask ourselves whether they’re not reading or sharing them because we’ve done a bad job explaining why they’re important, or whether we were just wrong and they actually aren’t that important.“On a personal note, not knowing or caring about readership just seems bizarre to me,” Blodget adds. “After a decade of working in this medium, I could not imagine writing without knowing how well I was connecting with my readers. That’s one of the joys of digital — the fact that you know that instantly. Back when I was writing for magazines, I had no idea how many people read my stories or whether they liked them or found them helpful or meaningful. I can’t imagine going back to that.”The Rush When I worked at Forbes and Newsweek we could see the numbers on our stories if we wanted to see them. Most of the time I didn’t ask, but if something was really taking off I’d check in to see what the total was. Even when I ran my own blog, The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs, I didn’t obsess about traffic. Sometimes I had advertisers, so I needed to tell them how many people they were reaching. But I never set out to “get traffic.” I just wrote what I wanted to write. Whatever happened, happened.That said, I’ll be honest — when something really does take off, it’s exhilarating. And it’s addictive. You get that rush, and you want it again and again. I agree with Henry Blodget that one of the best things about writing for the web rather than writing for print is that you can actually see a story taking off. It’s a rush watching those numbers skyrocket. Any writer who says he or she doesn’t get off on that is just flat-out lying.What About Marketers?Some of my colleagues on the HubSpot blogging team were shocked by the story about The Verge and almost couldn’t believe it was true. “This just seems CRAZY,” one wrote on email.Of course at HubSpot we measure everything. There’s a relentless focus on numbers. This is our gospel, after all. This one thing HubSpot’s product helps you do; it lets you publish content and track how well that content is performing.Our bloggers don’t just look at traffic data; they study that data (and plenty of other data), and analyze it, and slice and dice it, and pore through it. We even have someone whose main job is to stay on top of the analytics around our blog.Moreover, and most important: Unlike journalists, our bloggers absolutely set out to get traffic and openly cop to doing so, without apology and without any sense of stigma. We consciously set out to create blog posts that we think will capture lots of views.We have to watch the numbers. We’re under pressure to hit our traffic and leads numbers every month. We have an SLA with our sales department, a number of leads we’ve committed to deliver every month. And we’re expected to keep those numbers going up.When you’re operating a lead gen blog, content is a means to an end, not an end in itself. A “win” for us is totally different than a “win” for the New York Times. In our world, the idea of never looking at traffic numbers seems quaint, or snooty, or maybe even hopelessly outdated, a sign that you’ve lost touch with reality.A Middle GroundIt seems to me that even in a marketing setting, even if the goal is lead generation, there may be something to be learned from those snooty editors who keep their writers in the dark. Maybe it’s just because I’ve been a journalist all my life, and I can’t get those old values out of my bloodstream. But I believe that there may be a middle ground, one where you watch the numbers and are aware of them without becoming a slave to them.Oddly enough when I did the reporting for a recent ebook titled The CMO’s Guide to Brand Journalism, most of the brand journalists I spoke to said they keep an eye on traffic stats, but aren’t driven by them and don’t feel any pressure to boost uniques and page views from month to month.These were people working at IBM, GE, and Intel, among other places. Of course they’re not trying to sell ads, and they’re not trying to generate leads, so raw traffic doesn’t matter much to them.But also they are betting that they are better off trying to focus on doing quality work, because quality is what will enable content to stand out in a world that gets noisier every day.There’s another reason that some journalists don’t get obsessed with traffic, and it has nothing to do with snobbery and everything to do with business. It’s that they’ve learned that chasing traffic for the sake of traffic can be a fool’s errand.Finally, in case you’re wondering: Yes, I wrote this story hoping that it would get a lot of traffic. How does your organization look at traffic? What kind of pressure are you under? Let me know what you think in the comments below, and we can continue the conversation. 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 Mar 31, 2014 4:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017
Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Jan 21, 2015 6:00:00 AM, updated September 05 2017 Slogans & Taglines Topics: Logo Design ProcessGood logos convey the core tenets of an organization and what that organization does. Professional logo designers will perform industry and client research, brainstorm ideas, and create sketches with their client while following principles of good logo design.Even though they’re often just small images, logos carry a whole lot of meaning — and designing one comes with a whole lot of responsibility, too. Logos are usually the most recognizable representation of a company or organization. And with more information available to the average consumer today, logos also have to quickly and effectively communicate on behalf of their brand.To tackle such a complex challenge, many brands choose to hire outside help. But for those of us who are brand new to the logo design process, working with freelancers to design a logo can be a challenge in itself.Free Workbook: How to Plan a Successful Website RedesignWe thought it’d be interesting to talk to a few of these designers who know what it’s like to create logos from scratch. From the concept stage to the final product, what goes into designing a logo? How are designers able to capture an organization’s mission and personality into a single, simple image, especially when they aren’t a part of the organization themselves? Read on to find out.What’s in a Logo?When a designer first takes on a new logo project, he spends a lot of time trying to understand both the organization and its audience. We’ll get to the process of learning what a logo needs to “say” later, but first, let’s talk about what makes a great logo in the first place.Most logo designers follow some iteration of these principles of great logo design:Simplicity: Is the design simple and clean enough to be flexible and easily recognizable? Is it not too busy, distracting, or confusing?Memorability: Is it quickly recognizable? Will people only have to spend a second or two thinking about it to get it?Timelessness: Will it still be a great logo in 10, 20, or even 50 years? Versatility: Does it scale to different sizes without losing quality? Will it work across various media and within different contexts?Appropriateness: Does it resonate with the desired audience?Graphic Designer Tyler Littwin, who creates logos for HubSpot and other organizations, says these five principles are great for keeping designers from going too crazy when designing a new logo.”Designers have a tendency to get excited about the prospect of designing stuff that looks cool and uses cool, new styles,” Tyler told me. “But when you’re designing a logo, you’re ultimately solving for a problem. You’re trying to convey something simply that gets across the core tenets of an organization and what that organization does. Keeping these five things in mind prevents you from getting carried away with the flash of what you’re doing. It keeps you honest.”Before we get to the design process, let’s dissect two examples of great logos.Example 1: EvernoteEvernote’s logo is a great example of a logo that follows all five of these principles. It’s an elephant, which is a reference to the well-known saying, “An elephant never forgets.” The elephant’s folded ear cleverly resembles the popular document icon.Image Credit: Graham SmithNot only is the logo simple, memorable, and appropriate for its audience, its physical and digital attributes work perfectly across different media variations and usages. “There is not one application I have seen where the logo fails to fit perfectly, all the way from the 16px favicon, the browser extension icons in both colour and mono, the iOS icons, Macintosh dock icon, and so on,” writes Graham Smith, a freelance designer of logos and brand identities. Plus, elephants will never go out of style.But it took six weeks of concepting to come up with the simple elephant logo. Here are other initial ideas that were produced before the elephant was chosen.Image Credit: Graham SmithOnce the elephant was chosen, it went through another series of iterations before the final design was chosen. The whole process took six weeks, and it’s become one of the most compelling logos today.Example 2: Icon SnowskatesOn a smaller scale, we have Icon Snowskates, a small snow skateboard company operated by a son and his father in Massachusetts. (Full disclosure: The son in this father-son duo happens to be Matt Plays, who also works on video and design projects at HubSpot.) Seven years ago, he set out to create a logo for his young company that had to look good on a website, but that could also work when stretched across a 33-inch, snowboard-like base.”I was inspired by brands like Element Skateboards and Plan B Skateboards whose logos are geometric and fare well on boards and on the web,” Matt told me. “I chose to use a tightly tracked Century Gothic for the type, and paired it with a slightly abstract, inverse water droplet logo mark.” Here’s the iteration that appears on the website:Why the water droplet? “While rain and other precipitation usually means bad news for snowboarding, that’s not the case for snow-skateboarding,” says Matt. In other words, the water droplet is exactly what differentiates his snow-skateboarding company from snowboarding companies that have a similar vibe and audience.Plus, the tightly tracked type and geometric logo work well at different sizes and in various applications — especially the bottom of a snowskate. “It holds up when screen-printed, die-cut, or simply saved for web, all of which are crucial for our brand,” says Matt. Here it is on the bottom of a snowskate:The folks at both Evernote and Icon were able to come up with logos that keep the cornerstones of logo design top-of-mind. Now, let’s delve a little more into the design process itself.Designing a Logo: The ProcessWhile the design process can vary from designer to designer, Tyler Littwin shared his process with me. Here’s how he does it.Step 1: Research the field/industry.Before a designer like Tyler even thinks about putting pen to paper, he has to do his research. “Researching the field or industry helps designers get a sense of the environment the logo’s going to live in,” said Tyler. This is especially true for designers who haven’t done prior work in that field or industry. “You need to know the trends and what’s appropriate.”The appropriate look and feel of a real estate logo, for example, is going to be different than those of a restaurant or band logo. “You’ve got to see what’s out there,” he says. “Which conventions are worth keeping? From there, you can start thinking about how to differentiate the new logo will from the tons of pre-existing ones.”How different the new logo will be from the others depends on the context. In some cases, the logo shouldn’t be radically different because you don’t want to put people off. For example, in the health services industry, customers are looking for a certain level of comfort and familiarity; but in the concert industry, you might want to go with something more innovative and crazy. It varies wildly from field to field.Step 2: Get to know the client.Once the designer has a solid, objective understanding of the field or industry, it’s time to get the best possible understand of what the client does and who their target audience is.There are two parts of this step, says Tyler. First, there’s the information you’re trying to glean from them: what they do, what they think about themselves, and who they sell to. Then, there’s the translation process. “If your client is a construction company but they talk a lot about how they’re really family-based, the challenge is translating that ephemeral idea into something concrete. How do you capture the essence of that company?”When this part of the process is done right, it involves a lot of back and forth, asking questions, and pushing the client to articulate and deeply explain their value proposition. For newer companies, these discussions can actually be really eye opening. “A lot of companies aren’t aware of how they’re different — especially smaller companies. These logo design discussions can even help them think more about what differentiates themselves from their competitors.”Step 3: Sketch, present, and iterate on initial ideas.”I usually try to present the client with between two and three possibilities,” says Tyler. “Any more than that and you might find yourself doing revisions on all of your ideas, which sets you up with a lot more work and them up with a much higher bill.”For example, when Tyler designed the logo for Inbound Marketing Week 2015, here are the initial ideas and explorations he presented:Step 4: Revise.Sometimes, this step is only one little tweak. Other times, it’s a series of longer revisions. Tyler says he usually specifies in the original contract how many revisions he’s willing to do, which forces the client to be more thoughtful about each revision request. “Sometimes, clients ask you to start over from scratch,” he says. “You can avoid this by doing your due diligence when creating the original contract.”Here is the final revision for Inbound Marketing Week’s logo, along with secondary versions used on the website, lanyards, signs, and other various paraphernalia.Step 5: Organize the final deliverable.Once the logo’s finished, Tyler will sort out with his client which file formats and other iterations they need that the logo might live on. For example, Icon needed their logo to fit on the bottom of a snowskate. A restaurant might need menus, signage, and t-shirts designed.Designing a logo from scratch is a difficult creative process that takes a lot of research, knowledge of a business and its audience, and a deep consideration for the principles of logo design. But if you partner with the right designers and have a solid process in place, you should end up with something your company loves (and people can understand).
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 Marketing and Sales Alignment It sounds so promising. Create compelling content (consistently). Share and promote the content. Prospects engage, download stuff and become qualified leads.Those leads are passed on to the sales team, who instantaneously reach out and are immediately welcomed into the prospect’s world. The meeting quickly turns into a bona fide sales opportunity. Proposals are requested, immediately acted upon and sales are made.Sure, that scenario may be a little bit overstated, but isn’t this story the fundamental promise of inbound marketing? All of the data and statistics shared by inbound marketing practitioners talk of increased lead generation, lower costs per lead and higherROIs.The answer to the question is a qualified, “Yes.” Inbound marketing is instrumental in building predictable, sustainable and scalable sales growth, but it does not solve the entire problem.The Chasm Between Leads and SalesThere’s a chasm that exists between sales and marketing. While effective inbound marketing does drive a higher volume of leads and qualified leads, that doesn’t mean that these leads are sales ready when they’re created.Additionally, the very nature of inbound means that many of the leads you create, while qualified, won’t naturally move into a buying cycle with you. Gleastner Research identified that as many as 80% of the leads you create are caused because someone was looking for valuable content to answer a question or to solve a problem… not because they wanted to buy something.What makes the chasm so nasty is that unless you have the right tools in place to manage and measure it, it is invisible to most executives. They can see that leads are being created, and they can see that the investment isn’t translating into high volume sales success. The phenomena is the primary reason that research done by CEB found that 87% of the words used by sales and marketing professionals in one discipline to describe the other are negative.This chasm has two adverse consequences:The marketing function is often undervalued (or even overlooked), put off to the side to work on case studies, trade shows and “arts and crafts.”Far too much of the weight and pressure falls on the sales team. This was fine years ago when prospects needed to talk with sales people, differences between offers were clear and life was much simpler. Today, the world of sales is simply too complex to be left to the sales team alone.Sales Development Is The AnswerHere’s the truth about inbound leads: they’re not ready to buy. I recently heard someone describe the value of inbound marketing as:Rather than you having to go out and interrupt people with your message, the people who you want to do business with will find you. Because they download something you know they’re interested and they’re highly likely to buy from you.The only truthful part of that statement is the first sentence. Inbound means you can stop using interruption as your primary lead generation tactic. But, the vast majority of inbound leads are not ready to buy, and when they get turned over to the sales team as if they are, bad things happen.Sales development is the discipline that ensures that leads (of all types) are managed effectively. Your sales team stays focused on their highest value actions – managing and winning new sales.What is sales development? Trish Bertuzzi, found of The Bridge Group, defines it as the combination of data analysis tools, email nurturing and phone prospecting teams in a specialized role that is exclusively focused on creating sales qualified leads and preparing them for new sales people.The sales development discipline is the missing piece that ensures alignment between marketing and sales. By properly managing marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and giving the personalized attention to move prospects through the funnel to maximize conversion opportunities, sales development bridges the chasm.The Need for a Third DisciplineSales Development and Inbound Marketing are (or should be) kindred spirits. They both rely on data, process and clarity to be successful. They’re designed to work the way customers manage decisions today and reinforce one another.I’m often asked which function should be in charge of sales development and my answer is neither sales nor marketing. Instead the third discipline of Sales Development should get its own leader.In my experience, the challenge is that both the inbound and sales development functions fall between the disciplines of sales and marketing. What typically happens is that inbound falls under the marketing department because it has the word “marketing” in it, and sales development falls under sales’ umbrella for the same reason.The trouble is that the very alignment that was supposed to be created falls apart with the split, and in most organizations the functions take a secondary role to “core” marketing or sales issues.Certainly both marketing and sales have responsibility for revenue growth. However they approach the issue from very different mindsets. Marketing tends to view things from a long-term, rules driven mindset; while sales tends to view the world from a shorter-term, opportunistic perspective. Managed effectively, this creates great opportunity.The sales development perspective (of which I think inbound is a subset of) creates a completely different mindset. The sole focus of sales development is generating an increasing flow of qualified leads, and nurturing and preparing those leads for sales as quickly and effectively as possible. Marketing has more on its plate than just generating leads, and sales must be maniacally focused on “hitting the number.”Companies that raise the sales development discipline to the same level as marketing and sales gain a tremendous advantage over those companies that don’t. They gain greater traction, learn and evolve faster and sustain faster growth rates. Originally published Apr 21, 2015 11:00:00 AM, updated April 21 2015