The Rs 35 crore Suresh Raina would never have

first_imgSomewhere in the middle of 2015 Suresh Raina had announced to the world that his stocks had sky rocketed and he would be taking home Rs 35 crore in the next three years courtesy his new brand managers, IOS Sports and Entertainment. The deal was projected as Raina’s coming out of the shadows’ moment having moved on from previous managers Rhiti Sports.Rhiti Sports manage MS Dhoni and around that time cricketers had begun to speak in hushed tones of how Rhiti could never do justice to anyone beyond Dhoni. Raina would get another crack to move out of Dhoni’s shadows with the Chennai Super Kings suspension from IPL and the southpaw getting a leadership opportunity with new franchise Gujarat Lions in 2016. The stage was set for the underperformer to pack punches and become a mega brand on and off the pitch.Unfortunately for Raina his form deserted him when he needed it the most and some believe he also ran out of luck. The first ODI series that Raina played under his new managers against South Africa in India was a disaster where he managed just 68 runs from five matches at an average of 14. He went on to lose his place from the Indian ODI team and was slotted as a mere T20 specialist. The unprecedented 13-Test long home season did not help where Suresh Raina did not feature. Raina has a century on Test debut to show but averaging 26 in 18 Tests for a career spanning more than a decade, chances of a revival there were remote.advertisementThe IOS-Raina relationship did not last the distance and the projected Rs 35 crore fizzled away quicker than cola would.”It was a two plus one-year deal. After two years, both sides decided to move on,” Neerav Tomar, MD, IOS told India Today.When quizzed further how the Rs 35 crore promise could not be met, Neerav shared some hard facts. “Look we had foreseen what we had based on performance. Him being in and out of the Indian team, the expectations did not match on both the sides. The athlete has to go out and perform at certain levels to get those numbers. We have parted amicably and wish Suresh the best,” he said.Industry insiders evaluating the Raina-IOS deal say the cricketer got just what he deserved. “I think he came to them without any major deal in the bag. His Adidas deal had expired and the new managers got him a three-year Ceat deal. A couple of other contracts and few appearances are just fine for someone who had moderate performances during that period. His visibility wasn’t the best and that will always become an overriding factor,” said an insider on condition of anonymity.The minimum guarantee projections have been long abused in the Indian sports marketing space. In the final contract, a number of these projections are heavily ambitious and subject to numerous clauses which can rarely be met. “These may be something like a brand asking for a discount if the player misses out on two India series or being out of the team for a certain span of time. Visibility is the most important and that can be maximized in cricket only if a player plays in all forms of the game,” said another seasoned brand manager.Raina’s new managers Laqshya media group are new entrants in the sports marketing space. Getting a cricketer on board works well for them. With the IPL in progress and Suresh Raina being one of the captains it’s an opportunate time to make the announcement. “It’s a 3 year deal and we hope we can continue longer. We hope to position Suresh in the right manner and be able to create a decent market for him,” Laqshya MD, Anil Jalan told India Today.Raina ticks most boxes when it comes to T20 cricket. IPL is his domain where he only in the other game beat Virat Kohli to become the all time highest run scorer. Market experts however contend that IPL is only a two month business. How a cricketer does in India colours for the rest of the year not only defines his overall brand value but also impacts his clout in IPL.  Does that worry Raina’s new managers? “Everybody has gone through lean phases from Sachin to Yuvraj. Yuvraj was out of the team and has made a good comeback. I feel post IPL, Suresh will be able to make a comeback. He is captain of Gujarat Lions and this performance will be good enough to comeback,” Jalan hoped.advertisementThe rules in the ruthless celebrity marketing space are clear. You are identified with your last performance; film-stars and directors by their last two films and cricketers by their previous two series.Raina no longer a contracted India cricketer and having lost his ODI place, chance of him reclaiming it during the prestigious Champions Trophy to follow the IPL are slim. Both the cricketer and his brand managers may sound upbeat in a press release marking the new association but deep down, Raina knows he has turbulence to overcome.last_img read more

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2 Huge Mistakes by 2008 Presidential Candidates

first_img Originally published Oct 31, 2007 9:30:00 AM, updated October 01 2019 Today we released a 2008 Presidential Candidates Internet Marketing Report, which analyzes how the major candidates in the upcoming election are using Internet marketing to promote themselves. Nothing in this report or post is meant to be a political statement, so please keep the comments on marketing related issues. Below are some of the findings from the report that I thought were surprising.2008 Presidential Candidates Internet Marketing Report – 2 Mistakes the Candidates are Making Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Blogging – Most of the candidates websites have blogs, usually written by staffers who talk about the campaign in general terms. But blogging is a lot more about a personal connection and discussion than preaching from the safety of an ivory tower. Only Mitt Romney uses blogging to create a personal connection with the audience. Mitt’s wife and sons frequently post to the blog, and Mitt himself even writes some entires. John Edwards and his wife and daughter do have “diaries” but the posts are very infrequent. All the other candidates are missing out on a huge opportunity to personally connect with voters – which is important.SEO – The search engine optimization performance of the candidates is pretty weak if you ask me. They have tons of inbound links, lots of people in the blogosphere who love them, and they are just not doing the things they should do to get qualified traffic from search engines. How cool of a PR stunt would it be for one of the candidates to dominate the first page of google for “President” or “Best President”. Plus, if someone is researching “war in Iraq new policy” and I were running for president, I would be pretty pissed if I was not mentioned in the search results.If you want to see an older post I wrote that inspired some of this analysis, you can read Presidential Internet Marketing – Data Comparing Obama, Clinton, Edwards, Romney, Giuliani and McCain. And again, here is a link to the full Presidential Candidate Internet Marketing Report and the Press Release about the Internet Marketing Report announcing the report and results. Did you like what you read? Want more? Get automatic updates by subscribing to our RSS Feed or Email List (top right hand side of this page). last_img read more

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Are You Tuned In? Marketing Insights From An Amazon Bestseller

first_img do Originally published Jul 2, 2008 9:13:00 AM, updated July 11 2013 on September 8 in Cambridge, MA. :  Uncover the Extraordinary Opportunities That Lead to Business Breakthroughs Seems I’m not the only one that liked the book.  “Tuned In” climbed the charts to #1 last week and is New Rules of Marketing and PR .  That’s impressive. David recently co-authored a new book: 16.  Ask yourself:  Is the problem you are solving urgent?  Is it pervasive in the market?  Are buyers willing to pay to have this problem solved? For those that follow this blog, you know we’re big fans of David Meerman Scott.  We think his best-selling book ” David Meerman Scott useful 12.  Nothing important happens in the office; the answer you’re looking for is outside your building.  Go talk to potential buyers. you increase your chances of building a runaway success of a business?  in the Amazon Top 100 bestsellers.  Not in the business category, but 15.  Data trumps opinion every time. 1.  The tuned in company constantly listens, observes, and understands the problems that buyers are willing to pay money to solve. So, my advice is to go read ” 13.  Don’t use your salespeople for conducting buyer interviews.  Great sales people are great at sales — not necessarily figuring out what How In the meantime, I have captured some of the key points from the book that I found particularly useful.  Apologies if some of them don’t make the most sense out of context (did the best I could while still being reasonably pithy). 6.  Your opinion, although interesting, is irrelevant.  8.  Communicate directly with your potential customers.  It’s hard to get “tuned in” if there’s someone in the middle. .  And, it addresses a question I have struggled with for years:  will Tuned In 5.  Existing customers frame their view of your future based on incremental improvements to their 2.  From the makers of the market-leading “Victor” brand of mouse-trap on the failure of a new “better mouse-trap” they launched to beat the Victor:  “We should have spent more time researching housewives, and less time researching mice.” Tuned In Building A “Tuned In” Business 18.  Tuned in companies think like a publisher and create compelling online content. speak live at the Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Inbound Marketing Summit 11.  Semantics can make a difference.  Disney does not build rides, it “creates adventures”.  It calls employees “cast members”.  They wear “costumes”, not uniforms.  They serve “guests”, not customers.  3.  Focusing on your competitors is a tit-for-tat game that rarely produces a market leader.  4.  Your existing customers represent a small percentage of your opportunity, they have different market problems than non-customers.  “. sell.  14.  Absent any real data, conference rooms are just full of opinions. experiences. You can see still 7.  Don’t assume that because you’re an expert in a market or industry you know more than your buyers about how your product can solve their problems. overall 10.  You don’t have to be the first to identify a market opportunity.  The founders of Intuit (makers of Quicken) joke about having had the 47th mover advantage. 17.  It is too easy to build marketing programs around what the organization wants to say rather than what the buyer wants to hear. If you’ve read the book or have comments on some of the above points, please leave a comment and extend the conversation.  — ” is a must-read for all modern marketing mavens.  past I had the opportunity to review an early draft of the book several months ago (I read it on my last trip to Mumbai, India).  It was riveting.  And, I’m not just saying that because David is an advisor to HubSpot (which he is) or because he mentioned HubSpot in the book (which he did — thanks David!) but because the book is insightful and 9.  Most businesses try to buy their way in with expensive advertising or beg their way in by convincing media to write about them.  Be different.  Say something useful and interesting.last_img read more

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Why Marketers Should Mix Content on a Small Business Blog

first_imgWhen I started writing frequently for this blog, I thought most posts would be pretty much the same: Concise, concrete tips about how to do You’d expect the articles that got the most traffic to also get the most inbound links. But that’s only true in one case. Both metrics are important, so you need to create different types of content. Eric Hamilton to learn how to create a thriving inbound marketing blog. Post small business blog. small business blog Top Posts by Page Views (Last 3 Months) small business blog The takeaway here is clear: Just like a venture capitalist or a movie studio executive, you never know which projects will be most successful on your medium or , this blog thrives on a healthy mix of content. Photo:  Forget Community. Forget Conversation. Business Blogging Is About SEO. and how companies can use it to market their medium and . They thrive on their mix. Their homepages are grab-bags of news, features, videos, pictures, graphics and who-knows-what-else. Even if you have a small team working on your Twitter in Real Life: The Follow Back [cartoon] blog analytics tool WSJ.com Did You Graduate From Link Building High School Yet 6 Tips for Making a Business Marketing Video Page Views , you can post multiple types of content for your readers. All Hail The (New) Twitter Elite List State of the Twittersphere – Q4 2008 Report small business blog Inbound Links 11,270 8,768 .) . The only way to deal with such uncertainty is to create a portfolio of different posts — you gotta mix it up! Top Posts by Inbound Links (Last 3 Months) The report, the video and the cartoons are not surprising, but the others are. It’s hard to tell how these posts are any different from the dozens of others like them that we ran over the past three months. Topics:center_img 20 Post 33 Webinar: Blogging for Business 8 Marketing Tips From An Olympic Gold Medalist Want to learn more about publishing a small business blog on your business website? There are cartoons, a big report, a viral video, how-to stories and some bigger thought pieces. Social Media Marketing Madness [cartoon] 6 Tips for Making a Business Marketing Video You can also see this by looking at the posts that succeed on this blog. Below I’ve listed our top articles over the past three months, sorted by inbound links and page views. (I pulled this data from HubSpot’s 4,137  Looking at this data, three things jump out: 21 Originally published Jan 19, 2009 8:23:00 AM, updated October 18 2015 Inbound Marketing While that may be a consistent theme of posts on this blog, there is no single type of post that succeeds. Like any medium or You can see the importance of varied content on large news sites like You Oughta Know Inbound Marketing NYTimes.com (1) Lots of different types of articles. Download the free webinar 7,498 4,211 27 (3) Lots of surprises. or  (2) Little overlap between the two lists. I was wrong. inbound marketing 23 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

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Best Way to Kill Creative B2B Marketing? Focus Only on B2B Marketing.

first_imgQuick! What are the four most frequently used words by B2B marketers?  What are the sources of your new B2B marketing ideas? What inspires you? Do you use exclusively B2B marketing examples, or do you look to a wider range of sources? Join this live webinar How many times have you heard that refrain? Inspired by a great marketing campaign, you come up with a way to adapt it to your B2B marketing mix — except when you pitch the idea to your boss, a horse with blinders on, she objects: “But we’re a B2B company — that won’t work for us!” ZipCar Facebook is a robust, flexible platform. If you’re having success, take it a step further. new-car naming contests , they had a contests to pick their holiday card and they’ve given away gift certificates.  Have fun. Experiment. Give up? Here’s the answer: B2B Lessons? (>100,000 fans) — Threadless is a community-powered online t-shirt store. Like many of the examples here, they have an active community on their page, where they share a lot of content. However, Threadless does more than the typical page — it makes it possible for people to actually purchase shirts on their Facebook page, and share their purchase history. Topics: B2B Lessons? Nick Kristoff B2B Lessons? How are you leveraging Facebook to foster community and build your brand? Engage with your community, enable them to create content. (>1,200 fans) — Logan is Boston’s main airport. Among other things, the airport posts weather updates, delay information, security announcements and airline promotions. A handful of threads on the page have produced comments criticizing the airport management, but that’s actually a good thing for the airport. They responded, and showed that instead of operating behind closed doors, they’re trying to be transparent and engage with their customers. December 22, 2009 at 2:00pm (>140,400 fans) — Nick is a New York Times columnist. He posts his articles on his Facebook page, but instead of just posting the headline, he posts each with with a sentence or two providing some context. The effect is a more conversational, intimate page, with more engagement. All Things Jeep Share content, have opinions and give people a reason to be passionate about your page. Boston Logan International Airport B2B Lessons? Originally published Dec 28, 2009 8:30:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 to see the latest data on how companies in your industry are using Facebook to grow their business. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack How lame. Don’t just run contests and share content. Use Facebook pages increase transparency and provide practical information, too. Photo: beketchai on Flickr Live Webinar: How Businesses Are Using Facebook – With New Data & Case Studies (30 minutes Marketing today requires creativity, and creativity requires creative stimuli. If you’re trying to come up with new ways to do B2B marketing, but only follow B2B marketing examples, you’ll find yourself stuck in the same old B2B rut. Date & Time: “But I’m a B2B Marketer.” In order to do remarkable work, you need to draw on a range of different media and marketing campaigns. This is particularly true of social media applications like Facebook. For example, here are five Facebook pages that aren’t run by B2B companies, but that are still highly instructive to B2B marketers. Threadless B2B Content Marketing ) (>27,500 fans) — ZipCar is an urban car-sharing service. They have a lot of fun with their page and experiment with different ways of engaging people. They put a particular emphasis on contests. They hold (>2,300 fans) — All Things Jeep is an online store for Jeep clothing, jewelry and all other things. It’s a small business with a very active community of fans. Their page puts particular emphasis on photos. They have a fantastic fan photos section. They’re also very active in the comments of the page. In fact, their engagement might be part of the reason the community is so willing to share photos. B2B Lessons?last_img read more

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6 Ways to Establish Yourself as an Industry Thought Leader

first_img Leadership ? Launching a blog Publishing longer form content such as ebooks, whitepapers, and even webinars shows prospects and customers that your knowledge about given topics expands beyond 600-word blog posts. By publishing well-crafted, educational ebooks or other downloadable content, you’ll demonstrate that you’re capable of thought leadership on an even higher scale. 5. Speak at Conferences/Events: 6 Ways to Become an Industry Thought Leader I’ve said it a few times throughout this blog post, but it’s important to emphasize that one of the keys to becoming an authentic thought leader in your industry is to leave promotion at the door. Even the tiniest inkling of being too overly promotional can seriously undermine your credibility as an industry expert. … that covers important topics relating to the industry in which you’re selling is perhaps the best way to establish and uphold your image as a thought leader. A well-written blog will make prospects and current customers confident that the products and services they buy from you are created using industry expertise. Not only will maintaining an active business blog reward you with a more credible industry presence, but when done right, it will also afford you additional business benefits such as In what other ways can you and a boost in search engine optimization. 2. Contribute Guest Blog Posts: gain credibility as an industry thought leader 4. Launch Your Own Podcast: content creation Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack 1. Maintain an Active Business Blog: 3. Publish Long-Form Content: Your thought leadership doesn’t have to be limited to the web. Live, in-person conferences and events are valuable marketing assets, and a presence at these gatherings can be valuable to any business’ marketing efforts. Apply to speak at these types of industry events. Start with smaller events to introduce yourself into your industry’s speaking circuit, and work your way up to larger, more prestigious events once you’ve gained more experience and respect as a speaker. Once you’ve secured speaking engagements, always be sure to make your presentations as educational and non-promotional as possible to achieve maximum credibility. is the perfect platform for this, allowing you to search users’ questions by industry and topic. Also consider using Twitter Search to find users’ questions on Twitter. Quora and Facebook are also great places to search. Once you’ve identified questions for which you can provide a helpful response, answer it in an informative, non-promotional way. (Bonus points if you can link to a blog post you’ve written that expands on the topic in question!) This is perhaps one of the easiest thought leadership tactics to keep up with on an ongoing basis. Social media is littered with people trying to learn more or find answers to questions they have. LinkedIn Answers improved lead generation Photo Credit: An alternative or complement to blogging, launching a regularly scheduled audio or video podcast is another great way to exhibit thought leadership. Consider discussing important industry-related topics or news and inviting other industry experts to join you as guests to create an even deeper level of credibility. Leave Promotion at the Door So how exactly do you ? Here are 6 things you can do to start establishing yourself as a trusted expert in your industry. It’s no surprise that they all have to do with Once you start gaining traction as a credible business blogger using your own blog, it’s also a great idea to seek opportunities to contribute guest articles to the blogs of other industry thought leaders. Being recognized by already-established thought leaders as a credible source and contributor will further legitimize your industry expertise. Originally published Aug 9, 2011 3:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 6. Answer Questions in Social Media: exhibit your industry thought leadership On the other hand, if people start to trust you and respect you as an industry thought leader, the indirect result will be greater trust in the products and services you have to offer, and ultimately, more business! sites for industry-related questions can help you identify opportunities to share your expertise. Topics: Monitoring social media Jacob Boetterlast_img read more

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6 Compelling Social Media Stats Marketers Should Know [Data]

first_img 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 Social Media Analytics Originally published Sep 14, 2011 5:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 This week, the media research firm Nielsen released its Q3 report on the state of social media. Unsurprisingly, social network usage is up, and the findings showed that nearly 80% of US internet users spend time on blogs and sites like Facebook and Twitter.Here were 6 of the most interesting facts from the report and what each means for marketers as they look ahead to Q4.1. 37% of consumers access their social media networks through their phone. (Tweet This Stat!)As a marketer, this means that any landing pages, blog posts, or ebooks you link to on Facebook or Twitter accounts should be optimized for mobile devices. It could mean the difference between a new lead and a lost opportunity.2. During May 2011, over 31 million people in the U.S. watched video content on social networks and blogs.(Tweet This Stat!)Providing a rich media experience for your company can increase engagement on your website. Video content is a great way to bolster your inbound marketing efforts.3. Tumblr nearly tripled its unique US audience over the last year.(Tweet This Stat!)As a marketer, it’s important to keep your eyes open to new online tools and forms of media and determine if you can use them to deliver your message. In May alone, Tumblr generated over 21,000 messages and links a day to the site. The amount of traffic you could leverage from a new medium like Tumblr should never be overlooked.4. 56% of mobile users most value the GPS capabilities of their smartphone.(Tweet This Stat!)In today’s world, geo-marketing is a powerful opportunity that both small and medium-sized businesses can leverage. Leveraging location-based applications and social media platforms can be a great way to engage with and capture a mobile audience of prospects.5. 53% of active social networkers follow a brand.(Tweet This Stat!)As a marketer, it’s important to engage with your users in social media, and make sure you’re providing them with valuable content. These active social networkers don’t just follow brands. According to the report, they’re also 60% more likely to write reviews about brands’ products or services as well.6. In May, internet users spent more time on Facebook than Yahoo, Google, AOL, and MSN combined.(Tweet This Stat!)With 53.5 billion minutes spent on Facebook, the site continues to prove the value of being “Liked.” While Google and other search engine rankings are extremely crucial for a company to get found, Facebook and other social media sites are also as important for companies to engage with their customers as well as prospects who can potentially be converted into sales.have you come across any other interesting facts from the report you think marketers should be aware of? Let us know!last_img read more

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New Social Media Image Templates, #INBOUND13 Wrap-Up, and More in HubSpot Content This Week

first_img Topics: It’s no secret: We produce and publish a lot of content here at HubSpot. 20+ blog posts a week. Nearly 10 free ebooks, downloads, and webinars a month. And don’t forget the couple SlideShares we put together every week or so. Yup, we have kind of a “content machine” thing going on.But producing all of this content means that it’s easy for some blog posts to get lost in the sauce. So we’re going to try something a little different for these Sunday roundups to help solve this problem — each week, we’ll resurface some HubSpot content from the past week that you may have missed. This is a little experiment we want to try, so definitely let us know if you’re digging the new format or not. So without any further ado, here are five pieces of content we put out this past week that you may not have read yet.  1) The #INBOUND13 Experience: Inspiring Insights From Exceptional Keynotes (Plus a Bonus SlideShare)Have you heard? INBOUND 2013 happened. It was an exciting four days packed to the brim with marketing takeaways.Whether you’re reeling from all the craziness after attending the conference or you’re bummed because you wish you could have attended, you’re in luck. My fellow HubSpotter Katie Burke put together a recap of our five keynote presentations, complete with an interactive SlideShare that I’ve embedded below. Check out Katie’s post to hear what Seth Godin, Arianna Huffington, Nate Silver, Scott Harrison, Brian Halligan, and Dharmesh Shah spoke about at INBOUND this year. Originally published Aug 25, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Inbound Marketingcenter_img INBOUND 2013 Keynote Takeaways from HubSpot All-in-one Marketing Software2) Free Download: The 7 Elements of Context MarketingOn the heels of the announcement of our brand new Content Optimization System, we released an ebook all about delivering the right marketing messages to the right person at the right time … what we call context marketing. In the ebook, we’ll walk you through what context marketing actually means, give you examples of companies that are already using context marketing, and then explain how you can get started with it in your own marketing strategy. Download our ebook here to get the rundown on all things context marketing.3) Make Images for Social Media Images in Just a Few MinutesYou know visual content is hot on Facebook, but not all of us were born to be designers. Or have large budgets to hire one. So what’s a marketer to do?Lucky for us, there are some free templates that can help you design images for social media in just a few minutes. Earlier this week, we showed the step-by-step process for making social media images from free downloadable templates. Check out the post, download the templates, and you’ll be posting original images to social media in no time. 4) How to Increase Blog Email Subscribers by 128% in 3 MonthsDon’t you just love when you can make one little change to your marketing — but get huge results? That little change for us was the result of a “duh” moment — we added a new check box field to all our landing page forms so people could subscribe to our blog with just one click. Here’s what it looks like:We were pretty pumped about this small change (and the big results it generated), so we had to share how to implement this on your own site if you’re using the new HubSpot COS. Check out the step-by-step guide to setting it up, and then watch your subscriber base skyrocket.5) What Is CRM?Sometimes you need to take a step back from your day-to-day job and get back to the basics. With your head down in projects and the inbound marketing industry flying by at a crazy pace, you’ve got to make sure you have a solid inbound foundation set. On Tuesday, we did just that by explaining what a CRM is on the blog. (Spoiler alert: The acronym does not stand for Crazy Red Monkey). So head over to the blog post to make sure you’ve got one of your marketing basics covered. And that’s it for this week’s HubSpot content roundup. What did you think? Let us know in the comments.Image credit: tallkev Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

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Help! Our VP of Sales Wants My Job

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Twitter Marketing Topics: If you had access to 373K new followers for a day, what would you say?That’s a question that HubSpot’s Phil Harrell, VP Corporate Division, is currently contemplating as he prepares to take on an entirely new role here: Social Media Manager.Yeah, you heard me right.On Monday, March 3rd, Phil Harrell will be taking over my job as Social Media Manager in addition to the job of HubSpot CMO, Mike Volpe. Why? He won it. During HubSpot’s 4th Annual Charity Auction, Phil purchased “@HubSpot for a day” and “CMO for a day” for a grand total of $875. This money went to Read to a Child, Phil’s charity of choice.In preparation for the big day, Phil and I sat down to go over the protocol for running HubSpot’s Twitter account. As it turns out, there’s a lot to think about (and a lot to be careful about) when you’re speaking in front of 373K people, on behalf of a company. Here’s some tangible advice I gave to Phil on ways he could be most successful:Have a Goal In Mind … And Stick to ItTo get an idea of Phil’s goals, I asked him why he chose to bid on @HubSpot for a day. He said:If you ask me, he’s already off to a great start simply because he has a clear goal in mind. This goal is not only helpful to him as the Corporate Divisions VP, but it’s also helpful to the company as a whole.Compile Great Content … And Schedule ItSince Phil’s ultimate goal is to build awareness around enterprise sales and marketing, I suggested he tap the resources he likes to read first. If he’s interested in the content, surely someone else at his level would be interested in that content, too.Next, since Phil actually paid good money to get access to HubSpot’s Twitter followers, I suggested that he promote himself in some way. Not tweet selfies and start bragging about how great he is, but I did advise that he share his knowledge with others. He’ll be doing this through his personal blog, SlideShare presentations, and general Q&A on HubSpot’s Twitter account.Finally, once Phil compiles all the content he wants to share, I told him to schedule it through HubSpot’s Social Inbox. This way Phil can participate in impromptu engagement during the day and worry less about the stuff that he can prep ahead of time. The @HubSpot account gets over 1,000 mentions per day, so he’ll need all hands on deck for interacting and responding.Add Value … And Align It With Your Buyer PersonasAs a Social Media Manager, one question I ask myself every day is: “Will this tweet/post add some kind of value to our audience’s life?”Value could mean many different things — including entertainment or education — and it’ll certainly change depending on your goals and buyer personas. But if the answer to this question is “yes,” then I proceed with scheduling the tweet or post. If the answer isn’t clear, I usually end up nixing it … because if I’m not clear about the value, our audience won’t be clear about it, either.Optimize Your Tweets … And Be Mindful of Your MessagingSince the average shelf life of a tweet is only 3 hours, I wanted Phil to be mindful of his messaging so he could get the biggest bang for his buck. I suggested he should optimize for clicks from the audience he’s trying to reach, which means he needs to think about writing his tweets differently than if he were optimizing for retweets.Something that works really well for HubSpot normally is asking a question, then following up with an action statement and a link. To use a very general example, a highly clickable tweet might say “Is your marketing stale? Read this ebook to find out: [link]” Nobody wants to think their marketing is going stale, so they’ll click the link just to make sure. ;-)Add Personality … But Not Too MuchOther messaging tips I gave Phil were related to tone. As a brand, it’s important to be professional, but it’s equally as important to have a touch of personality. The last thing someone wants is to talk to a wall that won’t talk back. People like talking to other people, so brands need to show that real human beings are there on the other end.Have a Sense of Humor … You Might Get Picked On ;-)Last year, our CEO and Co-founder, Brian Halligan, donated $600 to the Animal Rescue League of Boston to run HubSpot’s Twitter account. He was heckled by @DunkinDonuts and @BostonVC (in a loving kinda way) during his time running the account. I was proud to see that he stayed strong and came out of it with a smile on his face.The moral of the story here is that you never know who will mention you; you have to be prepared for absolutely anything. The happy, the sad, and the trolls. Just remember that on top of it all, you’re a human and it’s okay to act that way.I’m really excited to have some fresh new perspective on the HubSpot Twitter account, and I think Phil Harrell will be a great source of quality content for anyone who wants to come hang out with us on Twitter on Monday. Be sure to follow him at @HubSpot on Monday, March 3rd, so you can join in on the fun! Originally published Feb 28, 2014 3:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more

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5 Need-to-Measure Ecommerce Metrics to Scale Like the Big Box Retailers

first_img Originally published Apr 16, 2015 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 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 Metrics The internet has an infinite amount of benefits, but one in particular that has wholly disrupted business operations. See, the world wide web allows for equal and fair access to websites, which means that startups and small businesses are essentially on an equal playing field with their big box competitors when it comes to ecommerce.This makes for a monumental advantage when it comes to smaller ecommerce shops. Through an easy checkout process, excellent customer service and a smooth delivery experience, startups and small businesses can oust competitors who have long been household names.This is exactly what Warby Parker did, ousting Luxottica, or what Rent the Runway did, ousting David’s Bridal, among others.Of course, as legacy brands become more and more educated to the power of ecommerce, their large budgets follow. And, more often than not, those budgets are going toward analytics platforms that help these brands optimize for repeat customers and quickly notify them to what is working on their sites and what is just sitting in inventory.In other words, legacy brands do have a leg up on smaller retailers when it comes to ecommerce and it’s in the amount of intelligence they are using to drive conversions and increase revenue.That said, data and analytics should be democratized throughout the ecommerce space, and no, Google Analytics isn’t enough. Your big box competitors aren’t simply monitoring new and repeat visitors, or from where their web traffic comes. No, they are using enhanced ecommerce analytics to push visitors down a purchase funnel from the moment they land on the site.Below, the top metrics these retailers are using and how you should be using them, too.Cost of Acquiring a Customer (CAC)Before customers can begin purchasing on your site, you need to get them there first. Big box brands have an advantage here in that they have marketplace name recognition. In other words, people will simply type their name into Google and land on their page.For smaller retailers, you’ll likely need to spend some cash to get your target customers to your site. The cost of acquiring a customer metrics, or CAC, reveals how much money you spend throughout the acquisition funnel, from creating an ebook or promoting a post on Facebook, to having a visitor come to your site because of the ebook or promotion, all the way through to their finding a product they like and finally checking out.The cost of customer acquisition is the amount of money you have to spend to get one customer. The lower the cost of acquisition, the better: i.e., you always want your cost of acquisition to go down. As a quick example, your CAC is $40 if you need to spend $200 to get five visitors to buy on your store.You may employ different techniques to bring in those visitors — SEO, paid ad campaigns, high-quality content, social media — but all of them cost you either in terms of money or time.There are a lot of factors that affect your cost of customer acquisition, but it is important to get an accurate number here. As a best practice, you should always try to find marketing outlets that lower your CAC valuation.Conversion RateOnce your store gets traffic, you need to see how many visitors are buying. Conversion rate reveals just that.Conversion rate is defined as the percentage of visitors who end up buying from your store. The higher the conversion rate, the better. When it comes to conversion rate, you always want it to be going up. As a quick example, your conversion rate is 2% if 2 out of 100 visitors buy from your store. According to this recent Marketing Land article, one way to improve conversion rate is to add video to a majority of your product pages; retailers adding video reported conversion rates close to 9%.There are hundreds of articles out there on how to improve conversion rates –– because it is just that important. There’s so much emphasis on conversion rate because it directly affects your business’s bottom line. Regardless of how much effort you spend on driving traffic to your store, if most visitors don’t end up buying, it’s all wasted. That said, it’s really important to make sure you know what your conversion rate is at all times and keep tabs on whether it’s improving and if you should stay the course or not.Shopping Cart AbandonmentWhen your conversion rate is low, you need to understand how many visitors had an inclination to buy. To do this, you’ll want to examine your store’s cart abandonment. This metric indicates the percentage of visitors who added products to their shopping cart but did not complete the checkout process. The lower your cart abandonment rate, the better. As a quick example, your shopping cart abandonment is 75% if 75 out of 100 visitors with a cart leave without buying.Cart abandonment is the closest you come to earning real customers before they leave your site. Adding to the cart typically indicates an intent to purchase. The fact that they leave without buying means you lost potential customers. It gets especially bad if you paid a lot of money to get these visitors to your store. Making sure your cart abandonment is low is key to improving your conversion rate.Average Order ValueYou should monitor how much money each order brings in to see how much revenue you can generate. That’s what AOV tells you.This is the average size of an order on your store. The higher the average order value, the better. For example, your AOV is $35 per order if you made $140 from 4 orders.By monitoring AOV, you can figure out how much revenue you can generate from your current traffic and conversion rate. Being able to predict revenue is a big deal for any business. If most of your orders are really small, that means you have to get a lot more people to buy in order to achieve your target. It’s important to have at least a few high value orders so that your overall average is on the higher side.ChurnIf your LTV is low, it could be that many of your customers buy once and never return. This is measured by what is referred to as “churn.”Churn is the percentage of your customers who do not come back to your site. The lower the churn, the better. For example, a churn rate of 80% means 80 out of 100 customers do not come back to buy from your store.As we have seen, to ensure a high profit, it’s important to influence your customers to keep coming back to purchase. That means you want your churn to be low so that once you acquire a customer, they continue to come back and purchase again and again. Lower churn means higher LTV and a healthier business overall.Once you start measuring your ecommerce store performance and using data to drive your business decisions and strategies, you’ll be well on the way to enterprise-level success! No big box retailer takes action without measuring the impact and neither should you. Monitor your metrics, pivot when and where necessary and make the most of your both your time and money in order to build a successful brand.last_img read more

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Design Disruptors: The Story Behind One Startup’s Decision to Produce a Feature-Length Documentary

first_imgMany a marketing team, big and small, has gathered around a conference table to brainstorm a list of crazy ideas. You know what I’m talking about — those “big, hairy, audacious goals” discussed so often that they’ve earned a place in the business lexicon.Much more rarely, though, do teams actually execute on these crazy ideas.David Malpass and the folks at InVision are the exception. Not only did the small marketing team from the growing startup take on the challenge of creating a feature-length documentary, but they managed to release a trailer in less than a year’s time. A trailer that has garnered international attention, might we add. Why take on something so ambitious? Quite simply, they have a story to tell that they want to get out to as many people as humanly possible. Their documentary, Design Disruptors, will be released for free in early 2016. And as for the story they’re so keen on telling? Well, spoiler alert: It’s about design. With no forced connection to the InVision brand, the documentary will explore how design has risen to become one of the most important roles in modern business. So much so that companies like Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, AirBNB, Spotify have all prevailed in a world rife with pop-up competitors — all because they’ve placed an emphasis on a top-notch user experience and great aesthetics from the very beginning.To uncover more about idea’s inception, the company’s intentions, and how this project has taken shape over the past year, we took some time to chat about the upcoming documentary with Mallpass, InVision’s VP of Marketing. Planting the SeedWhen Malpass joined InVision as their VP of Marketing in July 2014, it became instantly apparent that, across the company, InVision innovates by doing the unexpected.For the InVision team, the film was a powerful, long-term project that could happen in the background. In other words, they’d outsource the filming, editing, and so on, while focusing their efforts on constructing the narrative and planning promotion for the release.”Our content is the backbone of our marketing,” Malpass told me.”We’re always ambitious and innovative with the content we’re putting out there — whether it’s blog content, ebooks, webinars, and so on. We never sacrifice quality for quantity, so this [documentary] is the ultimate example of the team going big, doing something very ambitious, and setting the tone for the content we put out in the future,” he went on to explain. InVision has always encouraged these big ideas. Companies may not do big things like this because there’s risk involved — but if you’re comfortable with introducing a bit of risk into the equation, you can often achieve exponentially greater results.Image Credit: Design DisruptorsIs This a Marketing Play?Going into the conversation with Malpass, I was fascinated with the concept of creating a documentary to market your company and your product. How was the film was connected with the InVision brand? How are they using it to sell their product? Where are all the calls-to-action going to be?I quickly found out that the film isn’t actually connected with InVision in any overt way. Nothing in the film or the trailer or the website directly promotes the InVision brand. It lives on its own URL, where the only clues that it’s linked to InVision are a subtle mention on the page and the shortened URL in the click-to-tweet buttons. The Design Disruptors URL isn’t linked to anywhere on the InVision website, either. In fact, the company isn’t even mentioned in the film itself.Why did the folks at InVision choose to spend so much time and so many resources on a documentary if they weren’t going to use it to market their company? Why wouldn’t they just write an ebook or something?”We’re not trying to sell our product. We’re trying to bring attention to the increased importance of design in a company’s success,” Malpass explained. “A lot of our work is based on doing things that’ll create a positive effect on the design community and that will elevate the role of the designer within their organization.”They are, after all, giving this documentary away for free. When it’s released in early 2016, it’ll be shown for free online at the Design Disruptors website, at movie theatres, and on Netflix.That’s not to say the documentary won’t benefit InVision in any way. Given that their community is comprised of smart, passionate designers, this documentary serves as a great opportunity for them to educate their audience by showcasing some of the industry’s most talented minds. He added it’s also positive for InVision because they’re the platform that most of the companies in the film go to for their design process, of course.As for why they didn’t write an ebook instead, Malpass says the goal is to get this story in front of an audience that expands beyond designers and businesspeople. While an ebook or a webinar would reach InVision’s target audience, they wanted to break out of those limits to reach people who wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to that content.”A designer came to me and said, ‘My mom saw the trailer and she called me and asked me if that’s what I do,'” Malpass told me.In other words, Design Disruptor’s target audience includes designers and their moms.Measuring SuccessThe great thing about ebooks and webinars is that people sign up to see the content, so marketers can collect email addresses and capture leads. When you’re giving away a film for free, how do you measure its success?Since releasing the trailer in early October, InVision’s growing marketing team — which has gone from three to twenty-five since Malpass joined — has already seen an overwhelmingly positive response.”Design Disruptors” was trending on Twitter for three days, and at one point, it was the fourth most tweeted thing in the world. However, other than social shares, site visits, and articles written about the film, most of the film’s success is intangible.”We want designers to feel empowered to share this film with their organization, and for non-designers to recognize their success and elevate them,” explained Malpass.”Oh, and it’s got to have a good score on IMDB,” he joked. “No one wants to look back in ten years and have made a bad film.”For a sneak peek at the documentary, you can watch the trailer here.  Entrepreneurship Topics: Design Trendscenter_img Don’t forget to share this post! Originally published Oct 21, 2015 6:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017last_img read more

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2 Simple Frameworks That Will Make You a Better Storyteller

first_img Originally published Jan 31, 2018 6:00:00 AM, updated July 17 2018 As content strategists, we spend a lot of time talking to business people about the importance of storytelling to their business. When the subject comes up, a lot of folks get nervous. They say things like, “Well, I’m no Hemingway!” or some other nervous response.The pressure of storytelling can keep a lot of people from even trying.But here’s the thing: we don’t have to be Hemingway to be good at stories. Storytelling is part of what makes us human. If you have human DNA, you’re built to tell a story. Unfortunately, some of us give up on our storytelling ability too early.But even if you’re not a professional storyteller, there are a couple of storytelling frameworks that can help you bridge the gap. The two frameworks discussed below will help you regain some storytelling confidence, and start telling engaging stories in business and in life.Free Download: Marketing Editorial Calendar TemplateThe Hero’s JourneySee if you can guess what story this is.We have a hero who starts in humble beginnings and answers the call of adventure. She leaves home, gets out of her comfort zone, receives training from a wise old mentor, and then goes on a great journey. On this quest, she faces a bad guy, almost loses everything, but eventually succeeds and returns home having changed for the better.What story are we talking about?Is this Star Wars? Harry Potter? The Hunger Games? The Odyssey? The Matrix?It’s actually all of them.This is a template for storytelling called The Hero’s Journey. It comes from author Joseph Campbell, and it’s everywhere. It’s one of the most relatable storylines because it basically mirrors the journeys of our own lives. Understanding The Hero’s Journey can give you insight into how to frame your own stories, whether it’s the true story about your company or a fictional story that stirs your imagination.The following diagram breaks down this Hero’s Journey template, step by step.We start in an ordinary world. A humble character gets called to adventure and initially refuses, but meets a wise mentor who trains them and convinces them to go on said adventure. They’re then tested. They meet allies, and they make enemies. They approach a final battle and almost lose but, eventually, find it within themselves to succeed. They return home to an appropriate hero’s welcome, transformed by the journey.Let’s walk through this from the lens of the greatest story ever told.Yes, we’re talking about Star Wars. Let’s step through a crude synopsis to see how well it matches Campbell’s pattern:In the first Star Wars film, we begin with the rather ordinary Luke Skywalker. He lives on a farm on a desert planet. One day he meets some robots who need help. They need to find a local hermit named Obi-Wan Kenobi. So Luke takes the robots to Obi-Wan, who basically says, “Luke, you need to go out and help save the universe.” Luke initially says, “No, I have all this stuff going on,” but Kenobi, who becomes Luke’s mentor, convinces Luke that he should go. Kenobi trains him how to use a lightsaber, and Luke goes on an epic space adventure.On the journey, Luke meets the villain, Darth Vader. He battles evil stormtroopers. He makes friends: Han Solo, Chewbacca, Princess Leia. And then he has to help defeat the super-weapon, the Death Star. Nearly everything goes wrong, but in the end, Luke succeeds in blowing up the Death Star. The last scene of the movie is of Luke getting a metal put over his neck by the princess, who kisses him on the cheek. Now he is in his new home, a changed man, emboldened by the great power of the Force, which he can use on future adventures.This is the Hero’s Journey, which—modified in various ways—we see repeated in stories throughout history. The simple version of this is that pattern of tension that we learned from Aristotle. We have an ordinary person (what is), and we have adventure that lies ahead (what could be). The transference from one to the other is the journey.In business, the case study is a rather common way marketers use this kind of story to sell a product or service. (Most of them are a little less entertaining stories than Star Wars, unfortunately.) A case study is the story of where a customer was, where they wanted to be—the tension!—and how they overcame that gap.If you listen to podcasts, you’ll hear this story told in most every ad. One of the most common ads is for Harry’s razors, which tells the story of “Jeff and Andy, two ordinary guys who got fed up with paying way too much for razors at the pharmacy and decided to buy their own warehouse to sell affordable razors.”The problem with most brands’ stories is they either don’t fully utilize the four elements of great storytelling, or they don’t walk us through enough of the steps of the Hero’s Journey to capture our attention.That’s why these frameworks are so useful. They’re a really easy way to ensure that we’re more creative when we’re coming up with stories or trying to convey information.It’s sort of like a haiku: If we told you right now to come up with a poem on the spot, you would probably have a tough time. But if we told you to come up with a haiku about Star Wars, you’d likely be able to do it. This framework helps you focus your creativity.Another great story template comes from comedy writing. It starts similarly: A character is in a zone of comfort. But they want something, so they enter into an unfamiliar situation. They adapt, and eventually get what they’re looking for but end up paying a heavy price for it. In the end, they return to their old situation having changed.This is the plot of pretty much every episode of Seinfeld.For example: During the sixth season of the show, George gets a toupee. This new situation is unfamiliar, but he likes it and quickly adapts to it. Once he has what he wants, though, he starts getting cocky. He goes on a date with a woman and behaves like a haughty jerk.It turns out that his date, under her hat, is actually bald, too. When George is rude about this, she gets mad. His friends also get mad at him. “Do you see the irony here?” Elaine screams at him. “You’re rejecting somebody because they’re bald! You’re bald!” She then grabs George’s toupee and throws it out the window. A homeless man picks it up and puts it on.The next day, George feels like himself again. “I tell you, when she threw that toupee out the window, it was the best thing that ever happened to me,” he tells Jerry. “I feel like my old self again. Totally inadequate, completely insecure, paranoid, neurotic, it’s a pleasure.”He also announces that he’s going to keep seeing the bald woman. He returns to apologize to the woman, only for her to tell him that she only dates skinny guys.So then George goes back home, having changed. He has his regular bald head now, but he’s learned a lesson. (But because it’s Seinfeld, he goes back to his old habits by the next episode.)Both of these types of journeys are the journeys that we all go through in our lives, our businesses, and our families. As a storyteller, you can rely on these journey templates to shape your plots so you can fully unleash your creativity within.The Ben Franklin MethodWhen Benjamin Franklin was a boy, he yearned for a life at sea. This worried his father, so the two toured Boston, evaluating various eighteenth-century trades that didn’t involve getting shipwrecked. Soon, young Ben found something he liked: books. Eagerly, Ben’s father set his son up as an apprentice at a print shop.Ben went on to become a revered statesman, a prolific inventor, and one of the most influential thinkers in American history. He owed most of that to his early years of voracious reading and meticulous writing—skills he honed while at the print shop.Franklin wasn’t born an academic savant. In fact, in his autobiography, he bemoans his subpar teenage writing skills and terrible math skills. To succeed at “letters,” Franklin devised a system for mastering the writer’s craft without the help of a tutor. To do so, he collected issues of the British culture and politics magazine, The Spectator, which contained some of the best writing of his day, and reverse engineered the prose.He writes:I took some of the papers, and, making short hints of the sentiment in each sentence, laid them by a few days, and then, without looking at the book, try’d to compleat [sic] the papers again, by expressing each hinted sentiment at length, and as fully as it had been expressed before, in any suitable words that should come to hand.Basically, he took notes at a sentence level, sat on them for a while, and tried to recreate the sentences from his own head, without looking at the originals.Then I compared my Spectator with the original, discovered some of my faults, and corrected them. But I found I wanted a stock of words, or a readiness in recollecting and using them.Upon comparison, he found that his vocabulary was lacking, and his prose was light on variety. So he tried the same exercise, only instead of taking straightforward notes on the articles he was imitating, he turned them into poems. I took some of the tales and turned them into verse; and, after a time, when I had pretty well forgotten the prose, turned them back again.As his skill at imitating Spectator-style writing improved, he upped the challenge: I also sometimes jumbled my collections of hints into confusion, and after some weeks endeavored to reduce them into the best order, before I began to form the full sentences and compleat [sic] the paper. This was to teach me method in the arrangement of thoughts.He did this over and over. Unlike the more passive method most writers use to improve their work (reading a lot), this exercise forced Franklin to pay attention to the tiny details that made the difference between decent writing and great writing:By comparing my work afterwards with the original, I discovered many faults and amended them; but I sometimes had the pleasure of fancying that, in certain particulars of small import, I had been lucky enough to improve the method or the language, and this encouraged me to think I might possibly in time come to be a tolerable English writer.When he says a “tolerable English writer,” he’s being humble. In a trivial amount of time, teenage Franklin became one of the best writers in New England and, shortly after that, a prodigious publisher.But more importantly, being a better writer and a student of good writing helped Franklin become a better student of everything. Good reading and writing ability helps you to be more persuasive, learn other disciplines, and apply critical feedback more effectively to any kind of work. When we’re hiring for Contently, our first impression of a candidate is dramatically impacted by the clarity of their emails.After building his writing muscles through his Spectator exercises, Franklin reported that he was finally able to teach himself mathematics:And now it was that, being on some occasion made asham’d [sic] of my ignorance in figures, which I had twice failed in learning when at school, I took Cocker’s book of Arithmetick [sic], and went through the whole by myself with great ease.6Perhaps Ben’s little secret for learning to write isn’t so dissimilar from what MIT professor Seymour Papert’s research has famously revealed: that children learn more effectively by building with LEGO bricks than they do by listening to lectures about architecture. It’s not just the study of tiny details that accelerates learning; the act of assembling those details yourself makes a difference.This is an excerpt from the Amazon #1 New Release, The Storytelling Edge: How to Transform Your Business, Stop Screaming Into the Void, and Make People Love You by Joe Lazauskas and Shane Snow. Order it today to take advantage of some awesome pre-order bonuses. Don’t forget to share this post! Topics: Storytellinglast_img read more

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Track and compare year-end giving

first_imgNetwork for Good is once again providing year-end giving data for The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s 2013 Year-End Online Giving Tracker. You can use this resource to see how online giving is stacking up each day of December and to compare those numbers with the last few years. To supply the data for the tracker, we looked at a set of 14,300 charities who received donations through Network for Good’s online giving platform. You can view this data by month, by week, or look at the entire span of information from November 1st through the end of the year. Check it out by visiting The Chronicle’s site, and let us know how the trends compare to your own year-end fundraising results.last_img

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5 Ways to Use Email to Drive Participation at Your Next Fundraiser

first_imgRunning a successful fundraising event is easier said than done.You put in weeks of planning with the ultimate goal of getting as many people as involved as possible, and you want to make sure your hard work pays off.One of the most important tools you have to promote your next fundraising event is email marketing.With email campaigns, you can reach your audience members directly and send targeted messages that build enthusiasm and provide the information they need to get involved.Here are 5 ways you can use email to drive participation at your next fundraiser:1. Save-the-dateA successful event relies on advanced planning. Once you have a date nailed down for your event, make sure you get the word out so your guests can add it to their calendars ahead of time.This initial email doesn’t have to include all the details — the point is to give some notice and get your audience excited early so you can build on that interest in the weeks ahead.If the event is open to the public, you can also post about the date on your social media accounts. Encourage your social media fans to join your mailing list so they won’t miss any future details.2. Send a formal invitationAs more of the specifics come together, you’re ready to let your contacts know all about the great things you have planned.The more personalized you can make your invitation the better. For example, if your fundraiser is an annual event, start by following up with last year’s attendees with a “Hope to see you again this year!” themed message.Or, if you’re sending the event to media contacts, consider sending them a press release rather than a general email invite. Think about how you can deliver the right message to the right people for best results.Make sure all the information is clear, concise, and easy to read from a mobile device. Your invitation should also link to a landing page for more extensive details. This landing page can be hosted on your website, or you can build one through your Constant Contact account.3. Make your emails socialEmail and social media marketing work best when they’re working together. Each email you send out should include social share buttons that make it easy for your contacts to share your email and invite others.You should also encourage your contacts to forward your email to anyone they think might be interested in attending.4. Send last-minute remindersEven if you feel like you’ve been building up your event for weeks, don’t underestimate the power of a last-minute reminder. Even an email 24-48 hours in advance can drive some last-minute registrants.Make sure you’re subject line reflects the timeliness of the message by adding the event date or a countdown.This is also a good time to remind people that there’s more than one way to support your event. You can add a line to your email like: Can’t make the event? We’ll miss you! Consider supporting our event goal by making an online donation.”Hopefully some of your audience members that have a scheduling conflict will take you up on your offer!5. Follow up after the eventDon’t let the momentum of a successful event end when the event is over. Sending a thank you email or a quick recap will extend the life of all your hard work.If you didn’t quite hit your fundraising goal, this is also a good time to encourage contacts to help you out.Try to include multimedia in this email where you can. If you took pictures during the event, link off to an album. You want your registrants to relive the good times, and motivate those who didn’t attend to make it a priority the next time around!Incorporating these 5 tips into your email marketing strategy will ensure your fundraising event generates real results.Add these ideas to your calendar when promoting your next fundraiser and see which emails receive the highest opens, clicks, and registrations for you.Have any advice we didn’t cover? Let us know how email boosts event involvement for your organization by Tweeting to us: @Network4Good and @ConstantContactlast_img read more

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PLOS Medicine Editorial Spotlights Access to Health Information as Central to Human Right to Health

first_imgPosted on May 2, 2013March 13, 2017By: Sarah Blake, MHTF consultantClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)In an editorial published this week in PLOS Medicine, the editors discuss the critical need for improved health information, particularly clear, accessible reference materials that enable health care providers to put the best evidence into practice and bolster health care in low and middle income countries. In their discussion of the critical need for high quality reference and educational materials, the authors single out the issue of postpartum hemorrhage.From the editorial: It is in the poorest settings where basic health information may prove most valuable. For example, postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is a leading cause of maternal death worldwide; yet despite being recommended by the WHO and other professional bodies, active management of the third stage of labor to prevent PPH was found to be correctly used in only 0.5% to 32% of observed deliveries in seven developing countries . Worryingly, six of the seven countries were found to have multiple guidelines and conflicting recommendations for active management of the third stage of labor.The authors go on to point out that while important sources of knowledge, expanding dissemination of the sort of evidence published in medical journals alone is not sufficient. Instead, the most critical resources may be those that translate evidence into forms that can be readily applied:Medical journals remain a key part of the knowledge translation process, almost exclusively dealing with the final stages of knowledge creation (primary research), distillation (systematic reviews and guidelines), and commentary (editorializing and contextualizing by experts) via peer review and finally dissemination. Although making research openly available to be both read and reused is an essential step toward a vision of wider access to healthcare knowledge, disseminating information on its own is not enough to ensure evidence is used in decision-making. In many settings it is access to secondary reference and educational materials based on the best available evidence that is severely lacking yet probably more crucial for clinical practice than the most recent observational study or clinical trial findings.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

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New Research: Examining Maternal Health in the Context of Women’s Health Throughout the Lifespan

first_imgPosted on October 16, 2013February 2, 2017By: Kate Mitchell, Manager of the MHTF Knowledge Management System, Women and Health InitiativeClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Each year, the Maternal Health Task Force and PLOS Medicine work together to organize an open access collection of research and commentary on maternal health. The two organizations team up to identify a specific and critical theme that merits further exploration within the broader context of maternal health. The Year 2 Collection, titled ‘Maternal Health is Women’s Health‘, launched in November and focuses on establishing a stronger understanding of how the health of women and girls before pregnancy influences maternal health—and also considers the impact of maternal health on women’s health more broadly even beyond the reproductive years. Today, the MHTF and PLOS Medicine are delighted to announce the addition of 12  articles to the Year 2 collection. The articles include research on the effect of prophylactic oxytocin for postpartum hemorrhage delivered by peripheral health workers in Ghana, a commentary that calls for the prioritization of cervical cancer in the post-2015 era, as well as an article that explores the impact of maternal deaths on living children in Tanzania, and much more. Our colleagues at PLOS Medicine shared a blog post on their blog, Speaking of Medicine, about the additions to the collection. In this excerpt, they describe in more detail the theme for the Year 2 collection:This theme was created to highlight the need to consider maternal health in the context of a women’s health throughout her lifespan. While pregnancy is limited to women of reproductive age, maternal health is influenced by the health of women and girls before pregnancy. The effects of key health issues such as the impact of poor nutrition, poverty, lack of available quality healthcare and low socioeconomic status can occur during childhood, adolescence, throughout the pregnancy and beyond. These issues can heavily influence a woman’s maternal health, heightening the risk of complications in pregnancy, such as obstructed labour in adolescent girls or increasing the likelihood of HIV infections due to a woman’s physical susceptibility and her relative disempowerment.Read the post on Speaking of Medicine.The following new articles from PLOS Medicine and PLOS ONE have been added to the MHTF-PLOS collection on maternal health:Preconception Care in Low and Middle Income Countries:  new opportunities and a new metric by Joel G. Ray and colleagues.Reproductive and maternal health in the post-2015 era: cervical cancer must be a priority by Ruby Singhrao and colleaguesEffect on postpartum hemorrhage of prophylactic oxytocin by peripheral health personnel in Ghana: a community-based, cluster-randomized trial by Cynthia K. Stanton and colleaguesSetting Research Priorities for Preconception Care in Low-and Middle-income Countries: Aiming to Reduce Maternal and Child Mortality and Morbidity by Sohni Dean and colleaguesFactors Affecting the Delivery, Access, and Use of Interventions to Prevent Malaria in Pregnancy in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis by Jenny Hill and colleaguesHIV and the Risk of Direct Obstetric Complications: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis by Clara Calvert and Carine RonsmansAntenatal depression in Sri Lanka and the factor structure of the Sinhalese version of Edinburgh Post Partum Depression Scale among pregnant women by Suneth Buddhika Agampodi and Thilini Chanchala AgampodiComorbidities and Lack of Blood Transfusion May Negatively Affect Maternal Outcomes of Women with Obstetric Hemorrhage Treated with NASG by Alison El Ayadi and colleaguesCosts of Inaction on Maternal Mortality: Qualitative Evidence of the Impacts of Maternal Deaths on Living Children in Tanzania by Alicia Ely Yamin and colleaguesAcute Maternal Infection and Risk of Pre-eclampsia: a Population-Based Case-Control Study by Caroline Minassian and colleaguesRepresentation of women and pregnant women in HIV research: a systematic review by Daniel Westreich and colleaguesAttitudes Toward Family Planning Among HIV-Positive Pregnant Women Enrolled in a Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission Study in Kisumu, Kenya by Shirley Lee Lecher and colleaguesCommunity Health Workers and Health Care Delivery: Evaluation of a Women’s Reproductive Health Care Project in a Developing Country by Abdul Wajid and colleaguesAnalysis of the Maternal and Child Health Care Status in Suizhou City, Hubei Province, China, from 2005 to 2011 by Hui-Ping Zhang and colleaguesWhen Women Deliver with No One Present in Nigeria: Who, What, Where and So What? by Bolaji M. Fapohunda and Nosakhare G. OrobatonTo learn more about the MHTF-PLOS Collection on Maternal Health, contact Kate Mitchell.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

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Making Real Change for Maternal Health Through Advocacy in Uganda

first_imgPosted on May 15, 2014November 4, 2016By: Robina Biteyi, National Coordinator, White Ribbon Alliance UgandaClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)In Uganda we are witnessing a recent increase in maternal deaths . We once reported that 16 women die every day in our country, but that number has now increased to 17. White Ribbon Alliance is tackling this trend by pushing the government to invest adequately in Emergency Live Saving Care. Ugandan citizens are stepping up and demanding that action should be taken. Together, we pushed the government to make a commitment to the UN Secretary General’s Global Strategy for Women and Children to save maternal and child lives. That commitment was made, and the real work has begun in making sure the Ugandan government follows through with their commitment.We know our women and their babies are dying due to lack of emergency obstetric and newborn care (EmONC). This is why we pushed the government to commit to provide this care, and they did. In 2011, the Government of Uganda stated that all health centres would provide basic emergency obstetric and newborn care (BEmONC) and 50% would provide comprehensive obstetric and newborn care (CEmONC).As White Ribbon Alliance, we campaign for this promise to be delivered. We carried out assessments and collected evidence on the provision of care, and we brought together many different leaders in our society for us to collectively decide what the focus needed to be of our campaign and how we would achieve our goals.Our assessments in 43 health centres across three very diverse districts have shown us that not one of the three districts is currently meeting the minimum requirement for BEmONC nor CEmONC. We collected the stories of the challenges people were facing to try to access the care they needed and made a film to show our policy makers.The assessments carried out to assess maternal health service delivery have brought both anticipated and unexpected successes. As expected, they allowed us to bring real evidence into discussions and campaigns. Also, as we engaged with health workers, district officials and community leaders to complete the assessment, it was reported that this process broke down some of the communication barriers that existed before the assessment. The communication facilitated by the assessment process has led to local actions now being taken to make improvements.As we moved through the districts, people voiced their experiences and we recorded them and connected with local media to document what was happening. We petitioned the district leadership based on the evidence collected and they addressed the petitions in their meetings. Since this engagement with the district leaders, we have already seen real increase in budget allocation for these essential services. Without our evidence and campaigning, the facts would not be known.We are also bridging the gaps between national administration and district councils. The provision of equipment and supplies are critical components of EmONC. To address bottlenecks in these supply chains, we are in discussions with the National Medical Stores and district teams. In addition to addressing the supply chain, we are amplifying the district demands for an increased budget commitment at the national level. We are doing this by pushing through our national networks and media so that emergency care gets the focus it needs in the national budget priorities.We know that if we work together to link citizens’ demands with national leaders, we can save mothers and babies lives. Nobody wants to lose a mother, and no couple wants to lose their baby. We know what works and we know with the right investment in emergency care, we can make the same progress that is happening in other countries around the world. We are calling on all partners in Uganda and beyond to join us in advocating for this government commitment. Please track our progress and get in touch with us through our blog page and Facebook. Please join us to #ACTNOWTOSAVEMOTHERS.If you would like to share your in-country story with us, please email Natalie Ramm or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

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Women in Philanthropy Profile: Kim O’Brien

first_imgKim O’Brien, Executive Director of Network for Good customer, Nonprofit Leadership Initiative, works with nonprofit leaders in the Fox Valley area of Wisconsin to provide opportunities ​for leadership development and learning to ​better achieve their missions. Like most executive directors, O’Brien has 100 balls in the air on any given day, meeting with new executive directors and board members about the tools and resources NPLI provides.Building Stronger Nonprofits“I do a lot of connecting the dots. My work is about connecting nonprofit leaders to the resources in the community that can help them with whatever they’re working on at the time.”What does the NPLI do?We provide different programs for the nonprofits in our community, including Leadership Forums, a Leadership Institute, Board Effectiveness, and a quarterly Join a Board event.The centerpiece of our programs is our Leadership Institute, a year-long series of seminars equivalent to a master’s degree in nonprofit management. Each cohort consists of 14 people—a combination of executive directors and senior leaders such as development directors or program managers—who spend a full year together learning nonprofit leadership best practices. We start with a DiSC assessment to determine their individual leadership style. Throughout the year, an expert in the field is hired for each session, ranging from the role of nonprofit boards to finance to human resources and much more. The Institute creates a tight cohort among the 14 participants. When they leave the program, they have someone to call and talk to about similar programs or issues. There’s a lot of sharing in the class.In addition to the Institute, our Leadership Forums offer executives and board members expert training on everything from aligning human resources with their mission to leadership skills to board roles and responsibilities. Our Board Effectiveness program consists of small, facilitated group discussions with board chairs and vice chairs about their role and responsibilities—what a board is supposed to look like, self-assessments, hands on training, etc. Finally, our Join a Board program brings the whole community together on a quarterly basis to learn about what it means to be on a nonprofit board or committee. Our corporate partners—large companies in the area—send their employees to us to learn about board service. Employees who are engaged in the community, stay in the community. Plus, board or committee service helps grow their leadership skills by helping expand critical thinking and communications skills and improving the ability to work collaboratively and within a team. It benefits everyone.All of our trainings route leaders back to our Nonprofit Next platform. This is an information rich website offering tools, tips, templates, and local resources in one location. Nonprofit Next is hosted by the New Hampshire Center for Nonprofits and available to the nonprofits in our service area.For each program, our goal is to provide nonprofit leaders and board members a place to be in a room together, face to face, to build trust and relationships. They share their best practices and successes so other leaders can learn from them. It’s inspiring. Even though they’re competing for donor dollars, they’re sharing with each other quite a bit and building a trusting, collaborative relationship. Nothing builds up a community better than when the nonprofits take hold of this collaborative mindframe.How did the NPLI start?This work all came out of a group of funders in our local community who approached the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region to profess, “We are tired of funding failing nonprofits. What can you do to help?” United Way, the Community Foundation, Thrivent, and Community First Credit Union put together some money in the beginning to start us off. And now we’re coming up on three years in June. We’re an integral part of the community, helping to build stronger nonprofits and stronger leaders. Most of our nonprofits staff under 10 employees and they don’t put dollars aside for leadership or technology, so this helps them think a little differently about how they approach running their business.How long have you been with the organization?My background is in HR. I started in 2015 on a three-month part-time project, and a year later I was still a part-time employee. I wrote a job description in that first year for an executive director position. At the time I wasn’t interested in the job, but when they finally posted it I thought, “I have to apply for this. I really love this work.” And I got the job!What attracts you to nonprofit work?My mother started the Meals on Wheels program in my hometown and pulled us all in as kids to help. She instilled in me a belief in helping the community by helping the people who live and work in your neighborhood.  And according to my mother, everyone lives in our neighborhood. I volunteered for a nonprofit in college and then my first job was with a nonprofit, and it stuck. I’ve always worked for a nonprofit and can’t imagine myself in any other setting.The people I work with in the nonprofit community are highly passionate. Every day, we help our community by helping these leaders who are improving everyone around us and building a stronger community for all. I cannot advocate for them enough. The nonprofit leaders that I work with drive my own passion for this work.What advice do you have for other nonprofit leaders or aspiring leaders?It takes a village to make this work. I get to be collaborative and have conversations and bring the work of these nonprofits forward in a lot of different ways. I never turn down a coffee or a lunch request because you never know where it’s going to lead. In this industry, you need to stay open to collaboration in whatever form you can find it. The Fox Valley is a special place as it allows for the collaborative work we do as a community every day. That way we all succeed in the long run. Thus, my advice to nonprofit leaders is, “Everyone leads, so build strong relationships around you with everyone and anyone you can.”Women in Philanthropy is an ongoing blog series in celebration of Women’s History Month, featuring some of the incredible women Network for Good has the pleasure to work with. Read more on The Nonprofit Bloglast_img read more

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Video: Segmenting Donors for Better Engagement

first_imgIf you’re just getting started with donor segmentation, or need new ideas on how to segment donors for better outreach, our Donor Segmentation Cheat Sheet offers great tips on how to generate donor lists by giving level, donation date, and campaign fund. Use the template to record your donor totals, date of list, and any notes for data analysis. Getting to know your donors takes a little extra effort; but you’ll see the benefits in engagement levels, donor retention, and ROI. Donor segmentation is an essential part of every fundraiser’s work. Segmenting is the first step to knowing your donors better. Grouping donors by certain criteria or segments gives you a better idea of who is in your donor management system based on giving habits, location, involvement, and more.Segmentation not only tells you who is in your system, but also helps you send relevant, personal communications to each group of donors. From your e-newsletter to your direct mail appeals, you can never segment your audience too much. The more personal you can make your outreach, the more your supporters will feel connected to your work.At Network for Good, we encourage the same approach in getting to know your donors, volunteers, and other supporters. Network for Good’s donor management system helps nonprofits quickly and confidently target their donors with the right appeal, and send it out at the right time. Read more on The Nonprofit Bloglast_img read more

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Maternity Waiting Homes: A Viable Solution for Rural Women?

first_imgPosted on November 8, 2017November 13, 2017By: Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)A brief historyDistance to a health facility has long been discussed as a key barrier to maternal health care utilization in rural areas, and researchers have explored innovative models for improving access. One of these models is the use of maternity waiting homes (MWHs), residential facilities located near a maternity clinic where pregnant women—often those at high risk of developing obstetric complications—can go during their third trimester and await labor and delivery. MWHs existed in rural areas of Northern Europe, Canada and the United States in the early 20th century and were introduced soon thereafter in other areas including Cuba, Nigeria and Uganda.Since then, MWHs have been established all over the world to increase skilled attendance at birth and improve maternal and newborn health outcomes.“The distance, it’s difficult for the woman to walk when she feels the labor pains from home coming here. It’s better for her to come here and stay.” [MWH user, Zambia]The use of MWHs has been linked to reductions in maternal and perinatal mortality in Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Liberia and Zimbabwe. However, due to a lack of strong evidence in this area, researchers have not been able to conclude definitively that MWHs lead to fewer maternal deaths. Furthermore, some studies have found that MWHs did not result in a higher proportion of facility-based deliveries, indicating that the success of MWHs often depends on the local context.Barriers to utilizationThere are several challenges that can limit the effectiveness of MWHs including:No knowledge that MWH existsFood insecurity at MWHsHigh cost of traveling to MWHLack of culturally appropriate careLow decision-making autonomy and dependence on family supportInability to leave children at homeLimited space at MWHsConfusion about estimated delivery datePoor health worker attitudesRoom for improvementSeveral factors contribute to the successful implementation of MWHs, such as male involvement, financial sustainability, strong management, standardized indications for MWH admission, community engagement, functioning referral systems and, above all, the quality of the services provided. An adequate supply of essential resources and a properly-trained health workforce are critical to ensuring that women receive high quality, respectful maternity care once they arrive at the facility from the MWH.When possible, communities should be involved in the design, implementation and monitoring of MWHs. With careful consideration of these factors as well as the barriers to utilization outlined above, MWHs have the potential to reduce inequities in access to skilled birth attendance. Additional research to evaluate the effects of MHWs in rural areas is needed to assess whether they can result in better outcomes for moms and babies.—Check out a presentation from the 2015 Global Maternal Newborn Health Conference, “Developing Sustainable Maternity Homes in Zambia: Formative Research With Women, Communities and Stakeholders in Luapula Province.”Learn more about distance as a barrier to maternal health on the Maternal Health Task Force blog.Read the World Health Organization’s “Recommendations on Health Promotion Interventions for Maternal and Newborn Health,” which include MWHs.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

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