VERY LOYAL FAN “Lurch is not a registered member of MBU, nor does he perform any official role for the club,” she said. “Lurch is just a very loyal fan of the club who chooses to wear his love for the club on his sleeve. So if in fact he issued threats, they should take that up with the man and not with MBU. He is really only a supporter,” she insisted. The club was also fined $100,000 for disregarding instructions on entering the field of play and $20,000 for entering the pitch area in garment or equipment bearing unauthorised slogans. They were also issued a $20,000 fine for failure to provide the team start list on match day in a set timeframe (as per event countdown) and $20,000 for failure to have the team’s change room prepared in set timeline (as per PFAJ advisory). In addition to contesting several of the fines by the PFAJ, Christie noted that MBU were yet to receive prize money for winning the 2015-16 RSPL title and warned that none of the fines should be deducted from that sum. “We have not yet gotten one red cent from the prize money we are due by virtue of winning the Premier League,” she noted. “We will hold up our end of the bargain as responsible practitioners of the beautiful game, even while we query the veracity of a few of the fines. But we hope likewise that our prize money be paid over and that none of the fines be deducted,” Christie warned. WESTERN BUREAU: Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) champions Montego Bay United have been slapped with hefty fines amounting to $275,000 by the Professional Football Association of Jamaica (PFAJ), arising from the club’s protest action leading up to the May 1 final against Portmore United. The club has accepted five of the nine charges laid against them and in return has emailed the PFAJ outlining their concerns on the matter, Sandra Christie, MBU’s operations manager told The Gleaner. “As expected, the PFAJ has made a ruling and has decided to fine us, citing nine breaches in the process. However, we at MBU, while accepting five, are certainly not accepting four others and have in turn responded by email for further dialogue on the issues,” Christie said. In a release yesterday, the PFAJ outlined the charges against the league champions, citing and fining the club $25,000 for failure to attend an official function (the RSPL press conference on April 21, 2016). They were also fined a further $25,000 for failure on the club’s part to once again attend an official function (media interview on April 28, 2016). MBU were also fined $25,000 for failure to attend the RSPL final match coordination meeting, which was held on April 29, 2016. In addition, they were fined $15,000 for reasons not acceptable by the PFAJ Operations Committee for arriving late for the final on May 1. “We are refuting some on the grounds that the PFAJ erred in their assessment. We are willing to pay the fines of five charges as laid out but not on the others because they are really outrageous,” Christie stated. “The PFAJ is within its rights to lay down fines as warranted, but a closer look at them suggests that they were not fully thought out,” she said. One such charge deemed ridiculous by Christie is the charge by the PFAJ of the club’s ‘unofficial mascot’, known as “Lurch”, for threats issued to match officials on final day. He has been suspended with immediate effect from all PFAJ-organised games and events until he appears before the PFAJ operations committee.
The A’s declined the $5.75 million option on left-handed reliever Jake Diekman. Diekman came to Oakland at the trade deadline from Kansas City with an 0-6 record and 4.75 ERA. He was sometimes unhittable, but inconsistent with walk issues in his time with the A’s, drawing up a 4.43 ERA in 28 games.The A’s now have five players on the books for 2020 (Petit, Joakim Soria, Khris Davis, Stephen Piscotty and Mike Fiers) totaling in $42 million committed money. There are 12 players eligible for arbitration.SEASON PASS DIGITAL OFFERIf you have not already, we strongly encourage you to sign up for a digital subscription, which gives you access to all content on the Mercury News and East Bay Times websites. With your support, we can continue bringing these stories — and much more — to your screens. Here’s where to sign up for the season pass: Mercury News, East Bay Times. The Oakland A’s exercised their $5.5 million option on right-handed reliever Yusmeiro Petit, in perhaps what was one of the easier decisions for the organization this offseason.Petit had a 2.71 ERA and and a .194 opponents batting average in 83.1 innings. Perhaps the most telling stat: Petit appeared in 80 games, which led the American League.He was manager Bob Melvin’s go-to guy, never wavering in his dominance and resilience even in the face of adversity. Petit’s father, Alberto, died in September. Complicated travel plans had Petit decide to forgo a trip to his hometown of Maracaibo, Venezuela, and stay with the team.He pitched five days later. His teammates constantly spoke of his leadership skills. MLB Winter Meetings: A’s trade for Phillies’ Rule 5 pick in transaction flurry Player to be named later in A’s Jurickson Profar trade revealed Former Oakland A’s lefty Brett Anderson finds new home with Brewers What A’s winter ball performances can tell us about the second base race MLB Winter Meetings: A’s lose All-Star closer, Coliseum to add more netting Related Articles
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Rain and thunderstorms are back today, as expected.The action will continue through most of tomorrow, and can lead to some good rain totals. Right now we are going to put combined rains today and tomorrow at half to 2”, with coverage at 90%. There could be some slightly better totals and coverage in southern parts of the state today, but not enough to really get too cute with our forecast.Dry weather is here for Sunday, and continues through Monday. Clouds will be on the increase Monday afternoon.Rain develop in west central and southwest Ohio between 8 pm and midnight Monday night, and from that point we see rain pick up in intensity as it sweeps across the rest of the state through midnight Tuesday. We still are looking for this system to be a significant rain maker, but the scope of the heaviest rains may not be quite as broad. We are keeping our rain totals at half to 2-inches for the event this morning but think the 2-inch part of the range will be somewhat limited. There will be several strong thunderstorms or lines of storms, but outside of those areas the rains look much more manageable. Rain coverage remains at 80% of the state or better. The map above shows combined potential rain totals through next TuesdayDry conditions will follow that system into the state for 5 days, from Wednesday through Sunday. In the extended period, we are trending a bit drier this morning. We see only one good rain threat now, as the early event has merged with a faster arriving second event. So, rains can develop around the 29th and 30th, and trigger .25”-.75” rains with 70% coverage.We see no reason to change our temperature outlook for the upcoming 10-day to 2-week period. We still think overall, we will have daytime highs near normal…perhaps slightly above to start the weekend, but then below during and behind the rains next week. Still, there is nothing really to talk about on the temperature side of the forecast.
PANAJI: The Goa Cabinet on Monday sought three months time to decide an alternative site for off-shore casinos in Mandovi river.Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told The Hindu that the State government had decided to explore alternative sites for relocation of the casinos but was restricted by the election code of conduct of the February 4 Assembly polls.“Now, the government will identify alternative sites in three months,” Mr. Parrikar said, adding that an extension of three more months has been kept aside, because “if the government needs 15-20 days more beyond three months, it need not rush to the Cabinet.”The casinos can operate in Mandovi river till the end of this month. Under pressure from women’s groups and civil society groups, Former CM Laxmikat Parsekar-led State government had been trying to find alternative location for the casinos, but attempts could not materialise as “people in the proposed areas opposed casinos”.As many as five casinos are operating in the river presently. Recently, an old license was renewed by the government after the operator paid huge revenue arrears to the State exchequer.
CEU halts Flying V’s perfect run, forces Game 3 Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ LATEST STORIES “It had a great effect on the morale of the team that’s why we wanted to move them out of Metro Manila for a change,” said Rueda in Filipino.The Philippines could only win a silver and a bronze two years ago in Singapore.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingBut this time the men’s team is shooting for two golds with the bulk of expectations on the shoulders of Emmanuel Escote, Rheyjey Ortouste, and Jason Huerte who won silver in team event in 2015.Also in the field are last SEA Games’ bronze winners like John Jeffrey Morcillos, Regie Reznan Pabriga, Rhemwil Catana, John-John Bobier, Ronsited Gabayeron, Alvin Pangan, Joeart Jumawan, John Carlo Lee and Mark Joseph Gonzales. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR FILE — Rheyjey Ortouste, Mark Gonzales and Jason Huerte celebrate their first international gold with Karen Tanchanco-Caballero (front row, left), president of the Philippine Amateur Sepak Takraw Association and vice president of the Asian Sepak Takraw Federation. —NONGLUCK MATVANGSAENG TITI TUKKUALA LUMPUR—The Philippines’ sepak takraw men’s team is shooting for two golds when competition starts Wednesday at Titiwangs A-indoor stadium here.The coaching staff, including Romulo Rueda, said the 17-member men’s and women’s teams are in high spirits after undergoing a two-month training camp in Iloilo City.ADVERTISEMENT The women’s team, which is hoping for at least a bronze finish, is composed of Kristel Carloman, Lhaina Lhiell Mangubat, Mary Ann Lopez, Rizzalyn Amolacion and Jean Marie Sucalit.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments MOST READ
Lead Generation This blog post was inspired by and partially excerpted from our latest ebook, How to Execute Inbound: Three Lead Generation Success Stories. For deeper dives into the real-life applications of inbound marketing and how they can solve common problems faced by marketers — Enterprise marketers, in particular — download your free copy of the ebook.Remember the last marketing revolution? A clever tagline, a catchy song, or a funny commercial could make or break your brand. Sure, consumers still appreciate these light-hearted things, but they’re simply not compelling enough to have prospects reaching for their wallets.No one wants to be the dinosaur that gets left behind as industry standards change. But 2013 just might be the year of the mass dino exodus, as marketing executives everywhere are realizing the importance of delivering targeted, personalized content through inbound marketing.The climate for marketing in the Enterprise arena, specifically, is changing rapidly; and the slew of traditional tactics like television advertising and trade shows aren’t jiving with changing buyer behaviors. Today’s buyers crave trust, relationships, and an exceptional customer experience from their providers. So in this post, we’ll tackle three of the biggest problems Enterprise marketers face (but really, I think a lot of us feel these pains), and how marketing tools like list segmentation, marketing automation, and social media analytics can help solve them.Common Problem #1: Abandoned LeadsLet’s face it, we’ve all had one before: a graveyard of abandoned leads. We remember a better time when our leads were engaged, and it seemed like a relationship between our company and this lead could blossom into something magical … like an actual purchase. Unfortunately, something changed. They stopped opening our emails, and never converted on anything after the initial offer. Into the graveyard they go — a bunch of abandoned leads. What a shame.Even if inbound marketing didn’t bring them to your database in the first place, doesn’t mean it can’t help to revitalize their interest in your company. If your contacts database is integrated with your website and analytics, you’ll be able to segment these abandoned leads based on all the information you have about them, and reach out to them again with targeted communications that are appropriate based on the history of their interactions with your organization.Enterprise business Ektron, for instance, identifies leads who have visited a landing page and not converted on the offer. They follow up with an email containing an offer that’s relevant to the lead based on all the information they have about the lead.When all of your marketing tools are integrated, you can target those abandoned lead communications based on information from every marketing channel, including the types of pages they’ve looked at on your website. For example, if they’ve looked at your pricing page five times and have stopped reading blog posts about your product releases, they may be questioning the worth of your product against its price. You could use marketing automation to send this segment an email announcing all of the recent additions to your offerings, direct them to some of your latest blog posts that demonstrate value, and even include a call-to-action to talk to one of your sales reps about payment plans.What would be even more effective is taking a look at the behaviors of these people. Do you have lots of abandoned leads who have viewed your blog posts on how to choose, say, a healthcare provider in the past? If so, it would be worth creating a content offer specifically for that segment that educates your potential customers and justifies the cost of a healthcare provider like yours. Remember, inbound marketing isn’t just about acquiring leads; it’s about delivering the right message, to the right person, at the right time. For this reason, it’s extremely valuable to provide these unique leads with the relevant information they need to justify their ongoing relationship with you.Common Problem #2: High Opportunity and Customer Acquisition CostsKeeping opportunity and customer acquisition costs low is extremely important for any business, but particularly so with Enterprise companies. With such a large customer base, it’s simply not sustainable to allow this metric to stay high — or worse — to grow over time. Inbound marketing, however, is an extremely cost-efficient way to acquire leads and customers. Here’s how inbound marketing, with a strong focus on content, could help alleviate the problem of high CAC and opportunity costs.Hire a Content CreatorBy producing educational content on your industry and offerings, you’re not only drawing people into your site, you’re helping to move customers along in their decision process to invest in your business. Instead of allocating your marketing budget toward tactics like ads and email list rentals (which stop being effective one you stop pumping money into them), you should be investing your money on a member of your team whose job description involves creating content (which continues to make money for you long after the initial investment to create it). Once you have a means of creating valuable content — blogs, ebooks, whitepapers, etc. — for your site visitors, marketing automation can help you drive them further down the funnel.Map Your Content to Personas and Lifecycle StagesYou can lower the cost of customer acquisition by making your content work harder for you — through segmentation, personalization, and targeting. Your content creation strategy should revolve around buyer personas and lifecycle stages.These personas are a sort of customer profile that outline exactly what a prospect’s pain points are, and developing them will help you create content that speaks to their needs. Lifecycle stages are just what they sound like — stages in the customer lifecycle that bring someone from a stranger, to your customer.By mapping content to these personas and stages, you can better guide your leads to the point of becoming a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) and ultimately, a customer.Enterprise business Mimio, a Rubbermaid company, uses closed-loop marketing software to execute their marketing automation — without the spammy side effects many marketers worry about. To ensure that leads are only receiving relevant content, they’ve revolved their lead nurturing strategy around lifecycle stages, and followed up with a custom lead scoring setup. That means they classify leads based on where they are in the buying cycle as a subscriber, lead, MQL, SQL, opportunity, or customer. Depending on which of these stages leads fall into, they’ll only receive communications from Mimio that are relevant to that stage.Segmenting your lists based on their personas and lifecycle stages means that you’re able to target content to these leads in a way that guides them toward making a decision. Think of your content as the gas that powers your marketing vehicle, and segmentation as the map that will get them to their destination — the end of your marketing funnel.Align Marketing and SalesThe last step to lowered opportunity and customer acquisition costs is ensuring Marketing and Sales are well aligned — and the best way to do this is to simply open the line of communication between your Sales and Marketing teams. When you’re using closed-loop software to track all of your marketing efforts, your sales reps have all the information they need to intelligently qualify leads.The first step is to have a conversation between Sales and Marketing to agree on what a qualified lead looks like. From there, communications can be easily streamlined by integrating your marketing channels with your CRM. This makes scoring leads simple, because the process can be customized to specifications laid out and agreed upon by the sales and marketing teams. The sales team can then view every action a lead has taken with any of their various marketing channels, along with that lead score, to ensure they’re working the hottest leads at all times.Common Problem #3: Developing a Social Media “Strategy”Some Enterprise businesses, especially those with lengthy sales cycles, assume that their target customer just isn’t using social media to consume information. But if the past five or so years have taught us anything, it’s that buyer behavior is changing. Not only do consumers expect an exceptional customer experience, they’re changing the mediums through which they expect to engage in this experience. Consumers have also become more vocal about their experiences with businesses, even before they’ve become actual customers. People go to Twitter to voice their opinions on pretty much anything, for instance — and that includes aggressive sales reps, annoying marketing communications, and poor customer service and support.That means to simply “do” social media isn’t enough. It’s great if your company is present on various social networks, but presence alone does not mean you’ve got a solid social media strategy.Social media analytics are essential for determining whether or not your efforts are actually working. You should be looking at the sources through which people are navigating to your site — are they actually coming to you through social media? If so, which networks are they finding you through? Let’s say that 70% of your social media traffic is coming to you through Twitter, 20% through Facebook, and 10% through LinkedIn. This information gives you clear, data-backed evidence on what social media efforts are actually working for you, and where you should be focusing your efforts.For instance, the Chromatography Division at Thermo Fisher Scientific used to think that social media would be a waste of time for their business. There was a common belief in their industry that scientists weren’t participating in social media. But using social media analytics, they were able to find that after posting their blogs to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, there was a huge bump in traffic coming to their site from social media — and that most of it was coming from Twitter and LinkedIn. They decided to take a step back, reevaluate their strategy, and focus efforts on those networks. As a result, they were able to grow their Twitter following by 154%.As marketers, we also know that we shouldn’t take everything at face value. It’s valuable to dig a little deeper into these social media analytics and see exactly what kind of traffic is coming to your site through these networks. You should be able to see not only which networks drive traffic, but which drive actual conversions and customers. For instance, it’s great that Twitter is driving 70% of your social media traffic, but if you know that LinkedIn visitors are converting into leads at a higher rate than your Twitter traffic, those analytics give you insight as to where your most qualified traffic is coming from. You should adjust your strategy accordingly to optimize LinkedIn for lead generation, and Twitter for reach and content evangelism.Finally, if all of your marketing tools are integrated, you can use your analytics to help you determine which of your offers are performing better on social media versus other mediums — like email, for instance. You can check out your landing page analytics to do this, and compare the various types of offers to see which topics hit home with social media contacts versus other channels. This allows a company to adjust their social media strategy to promote the offers where they perform best, instead of bombarding social media audiences with communications they’re just not interested in.What other marketing problems are plaguing Enterprise businesses out there?Image credit: Rhys Asplundh Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Originally published Mar 13, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated March 21 2013
Blog Optimization Topics: Attention all 30-Day Blog Challenge participants! It’s the day you’ve all been waiting for. We’re excited to announce our three 30-Day Blog Challenge winners.First off, let’s give a big round of applause to all of the participants. We had 1,062 companies participate in the challenge and saw some really phenomenal results from their blogging efforts. Even if you aren’t one of our winners, we’re thrilled to see your success in growing blog traffic and leads through this challenge.Now, without further ado, here are our blog challenge winners (in no particular order). Varonis: The Metadata EraThe Varonis blog is about big data, IT operations, security, and technology. It’s not easy to write engaging and exciting content about this industry — and yet, Varonis does a fantastic job at making the content interesting and easy to read for people who aren’t necessarily in or familiar with the industry.For instance, here are some examples of its blog posts:”Is 2014 the Year We Get Serious About Cyber Attacks?””Cryptography May Not Be Dead, but It Is on Life Support””My Credit Card Was Stolen (Again). It’s OK. Here’s Why.”Varonis’ blog post titles pull you in (I may not know what cryptography is, but I definitely want to know why it’s on life support), and the blog content itself keeps you engaged and interested.Oh, and did we mention Varonis’ blog saw amazing results from the challenge?:36% more leads168% increase in blog traffic to a total of 16,220 page viewsOver 6,000 page views for one blog postCongratulations, Varonis!Too Cool T-shirt Quilts: All About T-shirt Quilts BlogHow many topics do you think you could come up with about creating T-shirt quilts? Andrea Funk showed us she was more than capable of finding unique angles to cover on her blog, as she wrote one post every day during January as part of the Blog Challenge on her Too Cool T-shirt Quilts’ Blog. Andrea started off by using HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator but soon found that the more she blogged, the more topic ideas easily came to mind. And her content is fascinating.On the blog, Andrea covers everything from different types of T-shirt quilts (for example, “A His & Her Quilt and College Quilts”), to the history of T-shirt quilts, to what Miley Cyrus and T-shirt quilts have in common.Not bad for a one-person operation, right?Andrea told us, “My blog quality improved. As with anything, practice makes you better. Writing a blog a day did that for me. The time it takes to write a blog has been cut in half, while the quality has gone up.”In addition to improved quality, Andrea saw improved metrics:109% more leads388% increase in the number of blog posts written52% increase in blog trafficCongratulations, Andrea!Marketplicity: Web Design & Digital Marketing As its blog name denotes, Marketplicity’s blog focuses on web design and digital marketing — but the content isn’t just your regular design and marketing content.On the blog, you’ll find posts about eye-opening marketing experiments (“My Facebook Campaign got 28,000 Impressions – It was a Total Failure”), to in-depth survey results and commentary, to analysis of major studies.The results from Marketplicity’s blogging efforts? Pretty fantastic, if you ask us:80% increase in blog traffic (including 2,758 unique visitors)79% increase in page views to a total of 4,321 page views61% increase in organic search traffic20% increase in social traffic400% increase in email subscribersCheck out more of Marketplicity’s results by reading its 30-Day Blog Challenge Recap post.Congratulations, Marketplicity!To all three of our winners, look out for an email from me to award your free INBOUND ticket. If anyone else is interested in tickets for this year’s INBOUND conference, pre-order them for a discounted price before February 13!What did you learn from the 30-Day Blog Challenge? Share your takeaways with us in the comments. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Feb 7, 2014 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017
Topics: Originally published Dec 15, 2014 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Inbound Marketing Many things in life and business are misunderstood and under-appreciated. Professional athletes make playing a sport look easy but you don’t see the hundreds of hours of training that occurred behind the scenes. After all, it’s just putting a ball in a hoop, right? Attorneys often just get a few minutes to make their case in court but no one else sees all the behind the scenes work that goes into that short presentation.After all, it’s just asking a bunch of questions, right? Building an app can look simple but if you knew how much planning and coding occurred behind the scenes it would blow your mind. After all, it’s just putting a few screen together and writing a little bit of code, right?The point is, as an onlooker it can be easy to make snap judgments about professions or industries simply because we don’t know enough about them. Marketing is no exception and in fact it can be one of the most easily misunderstood areas of business.More specifically, inbound marketing is a frequently misunderstood area of business that has developed a few myths. These myths are often repeated by others without proper exploration or background information.So how do we clear up some of these myths? Let’s look at what they are…1) Inbound marketing is basically just putting white papers on your websiteI’ve often talked to well-meaning marketing directors and CEOs who think they are doing inbound marketing. When I ask them about it they say “yeah, we have some white papers on our website and we’re gathering email addresses with them. We’re doing inbound marketing!”Hold on there, sport. While publishing offers is one segment in a list of potential tactics, it is by far not the entire picture. There is research, SEO strategy, creative thinking, careful analysis of writing and content, lead scoring, CRM integration, sales process engineering, workflow analysis, design and usability decisions, a variety of content formats, social media placement, testing and metrics, and a whole slew of other things. It goes way beyond publishing a few white papers.2) Inbound marketing is the “new term” for SEOMarketing terminology can change a lot so it’s understandable that people might thing that inbound marketing is just a new way to say SEO. Actually, SEO is a component of inbound marketing.SEO involves bringing qualified visitors to your website through search. Inbound marketing is the holistic practice of earning traffic, turning that traffic into leads, and turning leads into sales. SEO is very important to the traffic part of the equation but it is not the same thing.3) Inbound marketing is a fad and will soon go awayIt’s easy to dismiss trends in marketing, technology, and business as “fads” and ignore them. However, did you know that inbound marketing is actually an evolved form of a marketing strategy that has been around for ages? Think of the core strategy of inbound marketing: provide value and utility to your prospects, make yourself visible, earn trust, and earn the sale. Does that sound like a form of marketing that has withstood the test of time? Inbound marketing simply a more scalable, efficient, and modern way of approaching the market with the same intent.4) Inbound marketing means my phone will be ringing off the hook with prospects wanting to buy thingsBecause marketers are an optimistic and enthusiastic bunch, some people (understandably) have a slightly unrealistic expectation of what inbound marketing can do. They think that it means they will never have to prospect or reach out to people. Sales teams have dreams of all prospects coming to them without any coaxing at all.What a dream world that would be! In reality, a well-planned and well-executed inbound marketing program brings in both active and passive leads. Active leads do tend to increase but the sales team still needs to reach out to passive leads to start a relationship. The good news is that these leads are much more qualified, much more engaged, and have a higher chance of closing. Sales teams also have a lot more data on these prospects which can help them be more efficient and effective.5) If I do inbound marketing I don’t need to do anything elseJust like in the previous myth, some people feel that inbound marketing should do everything for them. While it can be the most efficient and most significant part of your business growth strategy, we do recommend supplementing it with other methods as long as they are working.For example, we will network, ask existing clients for referrals, and do the occasional conference because we have a plan to tie them all into our inbound marketing program.6) Inbound marketing can be done by one person (like my marketing director)Oh boy. This one is big. We often see CEOs get really excited about the possibility of growing their business with inbound marketing (which is great!) but they end up having a somewhat unrealistic expectation of how to execute the program. They either want to hire a person to do it all or they dump the entire program on their marketing director (or manager/coordinator) and expect them to do it all.Truth: inbound marketing is many skill sets in one. It’s SEO, social media, content writing, design, development, strategy, project management, data analysis, business thinking, audio/video production, just to name a few. It’s virtually impossible for one person to have the time or the skill to handle everything.If you’re going to implement an inbound marketing program, you need a team. That team can either be in-house or it can be from an inbound marketing agency but it takes more than one person.7) Inbound marketing can be done without paying a lot for expensive softwareSome people hate paying for software fees. When we talk about the benefits of inbound marketing and the value that comes with it they get really excited but as soon as we talk about paying for software, they get really resistant.Can you execute an inbound marketing program without “expensive” software? Yes. But you will struggle to gain traction because there will be so much friction in the process. It might sound scary to commit to $1,000/month for software (like HubSpot) but when your results come faster and you’ve made six figures in sales as a result of the program, you won’t care how much the software costs.8) Inbound marketing works for every kind of businessYou might be surprised to hear that we don’t recommend inbound marketing for every type of organization. We are always looking for the right solution for the right organizations. We often refer people to other agencies or steer them toward other programs because we know that inbound marketing is not a fit for them.Since inbound marketing takes a lot of time, effort, and money, it is best suited for organizations that sell an expensive product or service. Some examples include health care, professional services, manufacturing, financial services, and software companies. These types of organizations can quickly see an ROI with just a few more sales. On the flip side, a local restaurant selling $25 dinner specials is probably never going to see ROI from inbound marketing.9) Inbound marketing is the same thing as content marketingJust as SEO is not the same thing as inbound marketing, neither is content marketing. Again, content marketing is a subset and a huge component but it is not everything. Content marketing means producing solution-oriented content for your audience, which can result in search and social media visibility. But inbound marketing goes deeper and is a comprehensive lead generation system.10) Inbound marketing is a formula to executeOur final myth may be the most important. Some people think that inbound marketing is a checklist of things to execute. Start a blog? Check! Post once a week? Check! Publish a white paper? Check! Call some leads? Check!Boring!While there is a general structure to this method of marketing and there are specific commonly-used tactics, it is far from formulaic. As the image earlier in this post says “inbound isn’t a product, inbound is a mindset.”It’s a cultural shift. It’s a commitment to focusing on your customer/client, not you. It’s a focus on creating a business that matters. It’s a decision to be a human business that shows personality. It’s the idea of being (sometimes frighteningly) transparent. It’s building your business around sincerely helping people. It’s about marketing with heart. When this is your mindset, the tactics become easy.What are your favorite inbound marketing myths? Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Topics: Time Management Ah, autonomy. Isn’t it grand? No defined time when you have to arrive at the office. No guilt over having to leave early for your kid’s recital. And if you’re not feeling well or the roads are bad, no problem — just work from home.But is it ever really that simple? After all, other things become more salient when you’re working from home, like that pile of laundry that needs to get done, or a plethora of mindless daytime TV viewing options. That’s one issue with autonomy — it’s entirely up to you to get your stuff done. You have to set your own deadlines and hold yourself accountable to deliverables, because no one is looking over your shoulder. Perhaps it’s just a mixed blessing. According to the National Workplace Flexibility Study, 98% of managers who implement a flexible work schedule see no negative drawbacks. Rather, they see results like better communication, interaction, and productivity. So, it’s not that simple — managing a flexible schedule requires a strong balance of managerial trust and personal accountability.But what does the latter look like? How can you still manage to get stuff done with the boundaries that many of us became accustomed to before we had this kind of autonomy? As it turns out, it’s more than possible — and we’ve got a few tips.(P.S. – Speaking of flexibility, we just launched our annual Year in Review, detailing a year of flexibility in our people, product, and place around the world. Check it out here.)The Art of Managing a Flexible Schedule1) Maintain a RoutineHere at HubSpot, our culture promotes a healthy dose of employee autonomy and flexibility. So when it came time to evaluate the best methods for managing a flexible schedule, my colleagues seemed like a good resource.Chelsea Hunersen, our social media marketing manager, emphasized the importance of having consistent daily habits. “Start every day at the same time, with the same routine, even if you have to do different things after that,” she explained. “For example, I start each day reading for 30 minutes.”People often allude to the benefit of having a routine, but little has been done to explain why it’s so good for us. According to psychologist Wendy Wood, there’s a reason why we form habits — “We find patterns of behavior that allow us to reach goals.” Maintaining a daily routine helps us to establish a foundation that helps us achieve productive goals, like getting our work done or started by a certain time. So even though my manager doesn’t have any specific parameters for what it means to get to work “on time,” I established my own and have a routine planned around it. That way, I can hold myself accountable to making sure I have enough time to get all of my tasks done, even without a schedule dictated by my employer.2) Treat It Like A “Real” Work DayHere’s another place where the benefits of a routine come in. As noted above, we form habits that will help us accomplish a goal — good or bad. When you have a flexible work schedule, treating it like anything other than a “real” work day can throw you off-course and cause you to send yourself the message that your deadlines don’t matter as much.So in addition to starting every day with the same routine, says Thinkgrowth.org Editor Janessa Lantz, treat every day with equal importance, even if your schedule varies.“If you’re working from home on a regular basis, it’s good to get into a habit of showering and getting dressed,” she says. “You’re really just doing it for yourself, and I’m not even sure that it makes you more productive, but it does provide some parameters that say, ‘work day has begun!’”As silly as it may sound, sending yourself these signals can accomplish a lot for your outlook and approach to your work. In fact, researchers have found that dressing formally correlates with a person’s ability to engage in abstract thought — that’s especially good for marketers and other creative professionals. That’s not to say you should sport full evening attire when you’re working from home, but you should still follow the steps that you would with a structured work schedule. You’ll probably find that it shifts your state of mind in a way that prepares you for and signals the work day ahead.3) Have a Hard Stop on the WorkdayBy that same account, you also need to know when to call it quits. Having an unconventional work schedule, especially a remote one, can often leave people without ambient signals — like people going home — that the work day is over.Just as getting dressed in the morning sends the internal message, “The work day has begun,” says Lantz, you also “put your pajamas to communicate, ‘work day is over!’ Otherwise, you will forget what time and eventually day it is, and that’s scary.”When working remotely, I’ve been known to keep plugging away long after dark when I’m really absorbed with my work. And with no other signal than the dog whining to be fed, I don’t have any parameters to indicate that it’s time for me to turn off my laptop and focus on my non-work life.So how do you implement a hard stop to the work day without set hours dictated by your employer? Well, one easy solution is to set an alarm. Just as you have one to wake you up, you can also use it to wind down. Set it for a time that allows you a few minutes to wrap up whatever you’re working on, so you don’t have to stop abruptly in the middle of a task.Also, remind yourself that a huge advantage to a flexible work schedule in the first place is the extra time it affords for your life outside of work. That could be why companies allowing this flexibility report an 11% decrease in the number of employees who feel obligated to work on nights and weekends, and an 8% decrease in those who think they’re expected to be available 24 hours each day. It’s designed to help you take care of yourself and your family — so use it accordingly.4) Use Your Calendar as a To-Do ListWhen you’re granted a high amount of autonomy, it’s also easy to lose track of the amount of time you spend on a single task. When your hours aren’t dictated by your employer, it can be easy to think, “Oh, I have plenty of time to work on this,” only to look at the clock and realize that the day is almost over. Trust me — I’ve been there.That’s why Hunersen suggests using your calendar as a to-do list. By creating calendar invites for the tasks you need to accomplish each day, you’re achieving two things:Being reminded of your tasks, especially if you schedule them with an alert.Managing your own time and dictating the amount of time you can allot to each task.We also suggest scheduling breaks and the aforementioned “hard stop” in the same way. I’ve written before about how I use this technique. It’s called “time blocking,” which means I put appointments in my calendar for practically everything — work projects, exercise, and even shutting down my electronics before bed. Do I always stick to that exact schedule? Of course not. But by having it right in front of me, it reinforces that those are things I need to do.5) Keep the Lines of Communication OpenIt’s been said that one of the biggest barriers to more employers providing a flexible work schedule is the hesitancy of management. Many believe that if they can’t actually see their employees, they’re not actually working.And even if that’s not the case, it doesn’t hurt to maintain good communication with your boss, even if you’re not in the same physical location. Keep her updated on your progress and deliverables — that will help to establish trust, and provide the reassurance that you’re not watching hours of Netflix when you should be working.That said, if you do need to pause at any point in the day for non-work obligations, like a doctor’s appointment, plan ahead for it, and let your manager ahead of time that you’ll be offline. And when you’re away from your desk for other activities, make sure you’re still reachable — even with a flexible schedule, it’s probably not a good idea to disappear for two hours to run errands and leave your team unable to contact you in case of emergency.6) Understand How Screwed You’ll Be If You Put Things Off“Procrastination” is a word that I’d be happy to never see or write again. But that won’t happen, because it’s such an epidemic that there’s now an entire academic research center dedicated to it.As we’ve covered in the tips above, when you have a flexible work schedule, it can be easy to feel somewhat immune to time. And without pre-established hours, thoughts like, “Sure, I can finish this project on Sunday,” start to occur naturally.It’s what the Procrastination Research Group calls “self-defeating behavior,” and yet, about 90% of us do it at least once a day. But not giving into the temptation to put things off, especially in a somewhat unique professional situation, is a challenge. It requires a lot of willpower, but it’s not impossible.First, remind yourself — again — about the purpose of this flexibility. It’s designed to allow you more time beyond nights and weekends to dedicate to self-care and family. So, do you really want to write that monthly report on a Sunday afternoon? If you’d really prefer to have a few extra hours on a Wednesday instead, go for it. But be honest with yourself, and genuinely evaluate how you want to allocate your free time.Also, ask yourself how often things really go according to plan. Between now and Sunday, for example, what are the chances that something is going to come up or get pushed aside, putting even more responsibilities on your to-do list? As I mentioned before, even when I use time blocking to schedule my week down to the minute, other things always come up. Therefore, when I put things off, I inevitably end up — for lack of a better word — screwed.So before you decide to procrastinate, carefully consider your priorities. Try not to give in — unless you’re putting something off for a remarkable obligation or event, you’ll probably be glad you didn’t.Flex Those Productivity MusclesIt’s true — you can still get stuff done with autonomy and flexibility. Managers and employees, take note: It can be accomplished, often to the benefit of you both.But as we’ve seen, without the right approach and protocols, it’s not something that can be perfectly executed. It requires mindfulness, communication, and the ability to prioritize strategically. That doesn’t mean it can’t or shouldn’t be granted. It just means that it requires good judgment.So if you don’t already have a flexible work schedule — but you want one — here’s some helpful information to present to your manager when making the case for this setup. Address her potential concerns and outline how you’ll mitigate them. And if you’re one of the lucky ones who already has this kind of autonomy, now you can even better use it to your advantage.How do you manage a flexible schedule? Let us know in the comments. Don’t forget to share this post! Originally published Feb 22, 2017 6:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017
According to the latest Top Agency Trends Report from Agency Spotter, marketers and brands search for different services depending on the time of the year. Knowing which services to offer and emphasize at different times of the year could help your agency stand above your competition. These search trends, based on seasonality, come down to a couple of different factors based on what companies are looking to accomplish at different times of the year.The report covers marketing services trends based on data from more than 120,000 unique users and three years, data on service seasonality, the top 25 agency services being searched, and the rise of project-based engagements.Let’s dig in.Marketing Services Searched More in the First Half of the YearAs companies begin the new year, they are looking to establish initiatives that are relatively quick fixes and do not take as much time to implement. Business leaders often take a look at their marketing data from the past year and see which areas need more attention or may have fallen down the to-do list.Looking at the Trends Report, we can see that services like content marketing, PR, SEO, data analytics, shopper marketing, and events all perform better in the first half of the year. From the top 25 agency services for 2016, content marketing took the 7th spot as the most searched service from marketers all year. Interestingly, if you divide the list into H1 and H2, you can see that content marketing was 9th in H1 but did not even make the Top 25 in H2.Content marketing is becoming increasingly important for all companies to utilize because it helps attract and inform customers and potential customers. But if you think about it, companies don’t generally set a content calendar at the end of the year — they tend to do that at the beginning of the year. Same thing goes for SEO and PR.Check out the list below to see which keywords fall off or perform better at a certain time of year, and then optimize your site accordingly.Agency Services Perform Better in H2Taking a look at the data, services like ecommerce, branding, UX design, email marketing, and CRM automation all perform better in the second half of the year. These align with initiatives that take more planning and are services that many companies want to have ready before the start of a new year.Design-based services like ecommerce, branding, and UX all have to do with experiences that directly interact with customers. A website redesign or branding makeover are usually planned in the middle of the year so that companies are ready to debut their new look in the new year.As you can see in the report, ecommerce went from 18th most searched in H1 to 5th in H2, branding from 12th to 6th, and UX took the 9th spot despite not even appearing on the H1 list.Services Shopped Consistently Year RoundThere are also agency services whose demand remains stable throughout the year.The big services like advertising, web design, digital, social media, and marketing perform all year. Use this data to better understand the behavior of your customers and when they are searching.Finally, here are the biggest shifts from 2015 to 2016:Knowing what services perform better throughout the year can help your agency strategically position business development, staffing, and other factors to help your agency rise above the competition. For more information about the marketing service industry, download the free Agency Spotter Agency Trends Report. Don’t forget to share this post! Topics: Originally published Apr 6, 2017 5:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Agency Marketing