Marketers understand the need to integrate social media into the overall marketing strategy, but many are still working hard to figure it out. They are feeling the pressure of establishing ROI for social media. Today, that task has become much easier as HubSpot launches Social Inbox, a tool that can streamline and simplify social media monitoring.
What is Social Inbox and How Can You Use It?
Social Inbox brings together the power of your social and email channels. Email marketing has already introduced the functionality that allows you to create targeted segments, and send specific emails based on a potential customer’s stage in the purchase process. With Social Inbox, the internal alerts and CRM integration allows for personal responses – anyone in the loop from a marketing manager, sales person or customer service rep will have the context and can respond in an appropriate way. This personal attention can positively impact the bottom line.
With HubSpot Social Inbox, you have one less tool you need to access – you can do social media monitoring and communications with your prospects, all from your HubSpot dashboard.
Using Social Inbox to Enhance Your Events Participation
Here’s an example of how you can use Social Inbox to amplify your company’s impact at live events.
Using Social Inbox, create a stream for the search on the event hashtag (example #WinterOlympics). This stream lets you monitor activity for the event from your social media dashboard. Event influencers can be quickly spotted. You’ll know if they are following you, you can follow them, retweet their tweets and engage with them. If any of the tweets are crucial for members of the team to see, you can email the tweet right from the inbox. The email contains links to reply, view or forward.
Now you have a relevant stream to monitor for the event every time you are in HubSpot. Next you’ll want set up a daily email of the event activity to be sent to the team member in charge of the social media campaign. As the event approaches and chatter picks up, change the notifications to twice a day to stay on top of the conversation and be able to respond quickly, establishing your brand as one to watch during the event.
If your client has a special offer available at the show, set up a campaign to promote it. Build a landing page for the offer (for example, sign up for free tickets, enter to win a giveaway, or set up an in-person meeting with experts). Write your compelling Calls to Action and start broadcasting your offer on Twitter with the event hashtag to drive people to your landing page – all from HubSpot, of course.
HubSpot takes the concept of the social dashboard one big step further in establishing the ROI of social networking. In the example above, visitors who come to your landing page from your tweets and sign up on your site are entered into your leads database.
But wait, there’s more! When this lead (or any of your leads) tweets about the event, the lead is now easily visible due to the color coded sidebar, available in Social Inbox. You can also see the lifecycle stage of the lead by color. How crazy useful is that? Opportunities to engage with your new lead on social are much less likely to be missed and by the time you meet them at the event, you’ve already established a relationship.
We’ve observed that one of the most powerful uses of social media is in combination with physical networking, and this tool paves the way for just that.
How Social Inbox Supercharges HubSpot Social Media
- Better monitoring of keywords and twitter lists.
- New: Monitor your smart lists. For example, you can get a view of just your qualified leads on twitter.
- New: Get email alerts for when a lead, customer or other targeted contact mentions a certain keyword or a competitor.
- New: "Contact match" search to help you find the twitter handles of more contacts.
- New: Assign or forward a tweet for response. And see a history of responses.
- New: See lifecycle stage and sales force owner of each social contact then click through to see the full profile.
- New: Social Media Monitoring and Publishing in the iPhone and Android App
Do you use social media to amplify your visibility at events? Share your tips in the comments below.
Get Found, Get a Job, Get Ahead of the Competition
HubSpot, creator of the inbound marketing and lovable marketing revolutions is saying "Yes, you can!" with its new Inbound Marketing Certification Program. No school loans are needed to become a Certified Marketing Pro. The program is free and open to everyone, not just marketing professionals.
The Inbound Marketing Certification program is a series of nine classes based on the framework of the inbound marketing methodology. Inbound Marketing Certification teaches marketers the purpose of and tactics for successfully attracting, converting, closing, and delighting customers.
Marketers can go through the training program to increase their skills and acquire the certification badge with code to embed on a web page. Heads up: Inbound marketing has been proven to increase ROI for clients. The certification is only for individuals, not companies, but having certified individuals benefits agencies. HubSpot Partner agencies (Value Added Resellers) will find access to the program in their HubSpot dashboard, as will HubSpot users.
Business owners or in-house marketing managers can equally learn how to increase the impact of marketing efforts. Businesses who use HubSpot, like our Kennedy Garceau whose site we built in HubSpot, will benefit from having the training accessible right within their own portal and can immediately apply what they learn.
The success of inbound marketing has created a demand for individuals with the skills and knowledge this training offers.
Classes cover nine topics. The first set of classes deals with attracting the audience; starting with learning the latest best practices in the ever-evolving world of website optimization.
Next you will learn blogging best practices. Blogging increases both traffic and influence when done correctly. Blogging can be your ultimate optimization tool.
Social media is the last of the first three classes and it is the counterweight to search optimization through its power of human networking.
The second group of classes moves on to converting the audience you've attracted into leads and customers. With inbound marketing, advertising content is not about assaulting the audience but attracting them.
After gaining an understanding about crafting content, there is a class about constructing the place for it. Participants will learn the 10:4:1 rule (you"ll have to take the course if you want to find out what the 10:4:1 rule is).
The third class in conversions takes a deep dive into really making your content work for you. It's not enough to excel at content, there is also making the process your audience follows productive.
From the Certification FAQ:
The questions are tough. What gives?
Each test question is designed to test your knowledge of inbound marketing methodology. Topics are pulled directly from the key points laid out in each of our nine preparatory classes. Yes, they're tough. But that certificate means something special, so it ought to be hard to get one.
The third group has two classes dealing with the final phase of winning customers, including Smarketing. Aligning the marketing and sales teams can be a major hurdle to increasing ROI, especially if sales is used to considering leads from the website "unqualified" for the time investment a sales person puts into leads.
The curriculum for smarketing starts with the point that:
Eighty-seven percent of the terms sales and marketing teams use to describe each other are negative. Not only does that make for a negative work experience, it means you miss out on significant revenue growth. Learn how to align your marketing and sales departments by goal and by persona - get on the same team!
My favorite part of the HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certification is the final class on cultivating happy customers, or HubSpot's mandate to make marketing lovable.
The certification requires a time commitment of about 15 hours. The test is 60 minutes long with 50 questions and three chances to pass. Once you pass you can rest on your laurels for a year but you will need to retake the exam annually since the world of inbound marketing, the Internet, social media, and the way we connect is evolving so rapidly right now. Here is your opportunity to be part of the change.
HubSpot says: As the tools marketers have available in their toolboxes change, so does how we go about doing inbound marketing. We'll be updating our classes and exam to keep up with these changes, so you'll need to get re-certified to demonstrate that you know just what inbound marketing is all about on a yearly basis.
Photos courtesy of HubSpot.
Top photo credit Bigstockphoto.com.
To telecommute or not to telecommute? That seems to be the big question on the minds of many companies these days, especially after Yahoo's new CEO Marissa Mayer and Best Buy both nixed their telecommuting practice from company policies.
Some companies are enthusiastically embracing telecommuting or "distributed work styles." Others have shied away out of fear of losing the all-important Human Factor. Independent research firm ORC recently conducted a telecommuting survey, which found that 65 percent of respondents believe that those working at home are being productive and 29 percent believe they spend most of their time "goofing off." Furthermore, 43 percent believed telecommuting provided a better work/life balance, while 19 percent said it made the work/life balance worse.
With 11 percent of Americans now telecommuting, it's a trend that is getting more and more attention. Let's take a quick look at the positive results of telecommuting.
The Positives of Telecommuting
1. Savings: Cutting costs by replacing travel with telepresence creates astounding results. Kate Lister of the Telework Research Network recently estimated that employers could save up to $10,000 a year in operating costs per employee. Multiplied out across the U.S. economy (for the 40 percent of the workforce who could function remotely), "workshifting" - a term coined by Citrix Online, which also funded Lister's research - could save employers over $650 billion dollars per year.
2. Increase Flexibility and Productivity: Today's technologies enable people to work from anywhere, anytime improving focus, group collaboration and innovation, not to mention morale. The technology is now here to give people access to high-definition group video with just a computer, a webcam and a regular Internet connection. Visual communication enables less travel and fewer commutes, which leads to happier employees. Happier employees are more productive employees.
At Hoi Moon Marketing, my colleagues and I ~ located in Paris, France; Mendocino, CA; Oakland, CA and Toronto, Canada ~ hold all of our meetings utilizing video conferencing tools. We conduct weekly status meetings, marketing brainstorming sessions, partner meetings with Hubspot, prospective client interviews and daily editorial meetings over video, email and Skype. Effective and daily collaboration and communication are key to Hoi Moon's Marketing success.
3. Environmental Impact: Flexible work policies can also have a very powerful and positive effect on an organization's carbon footprint. According to a telecommuting manager of a large global organization:
"Our telecommuting program is delivering significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. In 2009, a study of our telecommuting population revealed that our telecommuters avoided over 100 million commute miles per year, with annual fuel savings of at least five million gallons and a net reduction of 50,000+ metric tons of CO2-equivalents emissions per year."
4. Ensure Business Continuity: With telepresence, business carries on even when blizzards close down roads and ground flights and flu pandemics force people to stay home to avoid exposure and contamination. Most large organizations have expanded their business continuity plans in light of external risks such as natural disasters, terrorist attacks or pandemics like Swine Flu. A formal, distributed work program dramatically lowers the risk of operational disruption.
The Core Best Practices
Regardless of how or why organizations develop formal distributed work programs, those that do it successfully invariably follow these core best practices:
Set a Policy. Institute a formal system to ensure that your employees are still managing their time well and producing what the company needs. Make sure the system is sponsored by senior management and what specific outcomes it is intended to help achieve. The goal is not to have your staff working from home all the time, but to have a policy in place in case it is needed. If a blizzard happens and telecommuting is the only option for delivering work on time, have the tools necessary to support your team. As business strategist Shawn Graham writes in Fast Company, "Videoconferencing and other technologies are only going to get better, and commuting times are only going to get longer. That means it's going to be up to you, as a manager, to make sure your team is engaged in something more than sitting on their living room couch."
Use the Correct Tools. "Going mobile" almost always requires some fundamental changes in how work gets done. It almost always includes redesigning core business processes, employing different technologies, and adjusting the way mangers operate and communicate. Distributed work essentially forces organizations to measure and reward work outcomes instead of just monitoring employees' activities. In addition, syncing employees' phone, email and chat systems and providing videoconferencing tools helps telecommuters provide the output they are expected to deliver. KBZ Communications' blog "We're Not In the Conference Room Anymore" shares how their team uses videoconferencing for telework.
Training and Trust are Key. Training programs include both managers of remote workers and the individual remote worker. The most critical skil, however, in a distributed work environment is the ability to establish trust, which in many ways translates into employee enagagement. If you send the message that you trust your employees to deliver their work on time, they are more likely to do so.
The telecommuting changes to policy made by Yahoo and Best Buy have been met with criticism and complaints, yet regardless of their reasons, telecommuting is not going away. According to Cisco Techwatch 2013, 76 percent of companies expect to move to next generation workspace structure within just three years. The question shouldn't be "to telecommute or not," but rather how to effectively manage your distributed work styles once your company adopts them.
Telecommuters often put in more hours than they did at the office. Remember to take a break.
According to Google, 40 percent of mobile searches are local in origin. Combine that statistic with the projection that by 2014, mobile Internet use will overtake desktop use and it makes sense to bring marketing down to the local level.
Rather than the distant, mass marketing from big corporations, your small business can connect and speak directly to the consumer instantly. The customer-based brand of local marketing is intimate and personal, as opposed to slick and impersonal mass media marketing. These days, consumers are much less interested in being sold; they are looking for useful information and, if you have some to offer, you have the opportunity to build a relationship with them.
Definition of Local Marketing
Local marketing generally refers to any marketing techniques a localized business, in any industry, uses to market itself to the area it operates in. Local social media marketing means targeting close to home and marketing directly to consumers in your area. Something as simple as adding a local coupon to your website can draw people to your business.
Local Marketing Techniques
Local marketing includes a vast array of techniques utilized by businesses everywhere. Some of these techniques include: promotion of business in a local chamber of commerce, personalized direct mail or correspondence to local customers, issuing local press releases, hosting local events, sponsoring promotions, purchasing ad space in print, outdoor or local television, using festivals, holidays, historical events, and more as opportunities for traditional promotion, and combining all of these with the power of social media marketing today.
Before All Else, Know Your Audience
As with any marketing initiative, it's always important to evaluate your target audience. If your small business marketing strategy already includes a focus on local optimization, leverage your customer database to mine data and potentially uncover new opportunities. For example, if you can export a list of all customers from the last 12 months and then sort by zip code, is there a concentration of customers from a certain area of the city?
If so, this can help guide your local optimization efforts to include information relevant to that part of the city and ultimately cultivate new clients.
The Latest Trend: Nano-Markets
The latest trend is to bring marketing down to the neighborhood level and make it personal to the customer. Many businesses are beginning to think small, going after nano-markets using hyper-local social media marketing tools. A nano-market is a group of people with a very specific set of interests in your 'hood.
In the past, these consumers were hard to find, and communicating with them was costly. Today, however, local search and social media have made it easier to target nano-markets, and most of the tools required to be successful are either free or almost free. There are many local social media tools and tips that can help you do this. Let's look at some of our favorites.
Currently, Google+ has half the users of Facebook and more than Twitter and it is growing quickly. Google+ still corners the market in influencing search results. There are many reasons you should use Google+, such as the fact that local businesses that might not normally show up on the first page of results will have a better chance, thanks to having the correct Google+ connections.
Optimizing Your Google+ Profile for Local
If you want your Google+ profile to appear in search recommendations for local searches, be sure to include your current location in your Google+ profile under the Places Lived section. Also be sure to add locally optimized keyword phrases in your profile's headline, introduction and occupation. This should help people find you both on Google's main search and Google+'s internal search.
Optimizing Your Google+ Page for Local
For Google+ pages, be sure to set up your page as a local business from the start. You can even use your Google Places information to populate your page's data. This is especially important now that Google mixes people and pages in their main search results and within Google+'s internal search.
Connecting With a Local Audience on Google+
Here's how you can grow a local audience on Google+:
- Make Sure Your Google+ Profile is Publicly Visible - Click on your profile's Edit Profile button and check to make sure each section of your Google+ profile is publicly visible. if your profile is not set to public, it will not show up in search results.
- Add Local Google+ Users to Circles - Use the Google+ internal search to find local Google+ users that might be interested in your business and connect with them by adding them to circles using your personal profile. Be sure to create a seperate circle for local users so you can target status updates directly to them.
- Interact With Local Connections - Interact with your local connections regularly. For those that share their public updates and allow everyone to comment on them, this is a great way to gain additional exposure with a local audience.
- Suggest Your Google+ Business Page to Local Followers - Once you've built up a good local following, you can suggest your Google+ business page to them through a status update targeted to your local connections' circle.
- Follow Your Local Connections Back on Your Business Page - Show your local connections that you value them on Google+ by following them back as your page. One of the perks to Google+ pages over Facebook pages is that you interact with personal Google+ profiles as your business page once people are following your page. Be sure to use this to gain even more exposure for your business to a local audience.
While Google+ is one of the most important places to get listed on, you have to also build profiles on other sites to build citations for local SEO. The more consistent listings you have on additional local search directories, the better your local rankings will be. Let's take a quick look at some of these other directories.
Yahoo Local should be next on your local search listings and citations quest. You can add or claim a basic listing for free which includes the vital information (contact information, link to your website, hours, payment options, email address, products and services) or you can choose the enhanced listing for $9.95 per month which allows you to add photos, coupons, a 3,000 character company description, and a 150 character company tagline. You can also run a report to see the number of impressions and clicks you have received with an enhanced listing.
Yelp is one of the most well-known local search directories. You can add or claim your business listing for free and add photos and additional details beyond just your contact information. Business owners can respond to reviews on their page, which is a plus for demonstrating customer service skills. Yelp also offers "pay per click" advertising within their network so you can get your business listing in front of more people.
Merchant Circle is another popular local directory that allows businesses to add or claim free listings with an extended description, profile picture, and link to your website. They also offer free basic statistics about your listing, including keywords driving traffic to your listing and the amount of visitors your listing has received in the last thirty days compared to average businesses and the top business on Merchant Circle in your category. You can click on the "who is this" link to find out who the leader in your category is to learn more about your competitors' local marketing strategy.
Other Tips for Local Marketing
- Check business data aggregators for accuracy and consistency - Google, as well as most every local search platform and directory uses business data from one or more of these data aggregators: Localeze, Acxiom, and InfoGroup. Don't forget to check for any mistakes as they would be duplicated across the Internet.
- Don't forget other local directories - You may think you will not get any business from YellowPages.com or Local.com, but you are probably wrong. There are dozens of sites like these with hundreds of thousands of visitors. Some, like InsiderPages.com, have millions of visitors per month.
- Get reviewed in as many websites as possible - Integrate the "review process" into your daily business operations by including a message that asks for public feedback in your email signature. You can also make sure you get reviewed in websites other than Google. This will provide you with additional credibility and a ranking boost in Google+ Local.
With mobile searches increasing and search engines making a more concerted effort to deliver local results across a wide spectrum of intent-based phrases, there's no time like the present to start optimizing for local audiences.
If you are a business or an agency using HubSpot, you may have developed a new set of needs arising from all the leads your lovable marketing is bringing in. Like hiring more people.
The LinkedIn Apply for jobs button streamlines the recruiting process for you and for job seekers, helping attract passive candidates. There's a discussion about the passive candidate, why they are so valuable to employers and some lively debate about what recruiters think of the LinkedIn Apply button here: http://www.ere.net (a recruiting community).
Many laborious steps are reduced to one simple button placed where you want on your site, allowing applicants to send their details in a click. As noted in a Recruiter.com article, the Apply button simplifies the recruitement process and could ultimately transform it by packaging social graph information with profile information. It makes it much more important for candidates to keep their profiles up to date since the button uses this information in the response.
Compelling, isn't it? They must have gone to Pantone and asked for a beckoning blue palette.
If you want to reap the benefits, here's how to get the button working without wasting time finding several crucial missing pieces for non-developers that LinkedIn left out. They are included in the button set-up steps below.
Add a LinkedIn Apply button to your site
Step #1 Timesaver: Start at the Apply button generator page: http://developer.linkedin.com/plugins/apply
Tip: If at any point you are asked to "take an action based on the status of your ATS, an ATS is an Applicant Tracking System. If you did not know, you will probably choose "I DO NOT use an Applicant Tracking System".
Step #2: Fill out the form and get the code.
Timesaver: If you want a specific color, be sure you have the hex value ready at hand.
Click "Get the Code"
If you think nothing happened, scroll down. The code box appears farther down after you press "get the code". You are instructed to copy and paste the code into your website. But don't do that yet, it won't work, just save it in a text document for now.
Here's a sample of the generated code:
<script type="IN/Apply" data-companyname="Hoi Moon" data-jobtitle="Editor" data-joblocation="Paris" data-email="firstname.lastname@example.org"></script>
LinkedIn make it appear easy for those who have, prior to this, only gone as far with 3rd party buttons as putting Twitter and Facebook buttons on their sites. But there is a part of the code that requires additional action!
Step #3 SUPER Timesaver: Before the code will work on your site, you must put in YOUR API KEY where it says "YOUR_API_KEY".
That means you will have to sign up for an API key if you don't happen to have one.
The link is found on the "Learn more about configuring this plugin" page and is aptly called "Create an API key".
You will be asked to login to LinkedIn and you should be taken to an "Add New Application" page with a form to fill out.
- Your company should have a page in LinkedIn.
- You are the main administrator. Don't worry, this does not require you to do IT type things.
- You don't have to add anyone else.
- Call your application something like "xyz company apply button 1"
- "The website" is the website URL where you want to put the button.
- Only the required fields are required fields...
- You don't need developers if you just want the basic button.
- Contact info for the developer is your contact info.
- Make the status live or you may not get job submissions.
- Put your info in the developer contact fields.
- The OAuth information is not necessary for the Apply button.
Push "Add Application" at the end and you will get your API key. Although the documentation says it is a very long number, it is not that long. The documentation appears to be out of date.
Go back to your code and fill in your API KEY.
SUPER Timesaver: There is an error in the generated code at this writing. Check the URL in the first line of the code. You must complete the LinkedIn URL by adding the http: if it is missing.
<script type="IN/Apply" data-companyname="Hoi Moon" data-jobtitle="Editor" data-joblocation="Paris" data-email="email@example.com"></script>
TIP: It is not indicated in the documentation, but you should place the first three lines of the above code within your web page HEAD tag.
HUBSPOT users: If your pages are in HubSpot, go into "Page Properties", "Advanced" and add the code in the header field they provide.
Place the last two lines of code where you want the button to appear.
<script type="IN/Apply" data-companyname="Hoi Moon" data-jobtitle="Editor" data-joblocation="Paris" data-email="firstname.lastname@example.org"></script>
If you would like to change the look of the button, see this page:http://developer.linkedin.com/apply-visual-display-options
To add fields such as a unique job ID, tracking text, ask a question, ask for a cover letter, see http://developer.linkedin.com/apply-functional-options
Kudos to Tim Dineen and Eugene O'Neill for essential, helpful comments on the developer forum thread about problems with the button: https://developer.linkedin.com/forum/apply-linkedin-button-doesnt-appear
The Birth of Dog Blogging
Dog lovers everywhere ~ we have just coined a new Urban Dictionary definition for you:
Dog Blogging ~ Blogging under the direct influence of a canine; to be a canine blogger.
Guy: "Dude, did you read that gnarly blog about the contents of most pet food?"
Other Guy: "Yeah dude, paws down, those dogs are the best dog bloggers around!"
Meet Mendocino's Own "Dog Blogger Duo"
With that said, let us introduce ourselves: The newest and most sensational dog blogging team on the Western Coast, Lulu and Maisie, better known as the "Dog Blogger Duo." We not only are the fortunate owners of foodie-type human parents, but we write to you from our idyllic (and wildlife abundant, which enthuses us to no end) home of Mendocino, California. We are both Golden Retrievers, Maisie being the youngest and most agile of our duo and Lulu being the older and more dignified.
Our story starts one Thanksgiving not so long ago when our parents treated us to a bag of Newman's Own Sweet Potato Treats for dogs (our parents are pretty cool in the snack department, being foodies). Well, we were so excited about these incredible treats, we decided to put our paws together to write a thank you note to Newman's Own Organics.
We ranted and raved about how scrumptious and crunchy the treats are, "...they crunch so we don't scarf them down as fast (Mom gets unhappy when we do that) and they smartly break in two, which we don't like as much as Mom does, but still, we split them even steven if we have to. And we like the locking bag, too, so our biscuits stay fresh." "Being dogs in a foodie family holds certain responsibilities," we noted.
With those responsibilities in mind, and being the socially responsible bloggers that we are, we researched the pet services industry and share here some startling facts with you, our loyal readers.
The Pet Services Industry
Americans spent $50.84 billion dollars in pet expenditures in 2011 ~ more than Americans spend on movies, music and video games combined. According to consumer research company Packaged Facts, as cited by Forbes Magazine, "an astounding 92% of pet owners spent the same or more on their pets during the most recent recession period." Indeed, the pet industry is the seventh largest retail industry in the U.S., exceeding the jewelry, candy, toy and hardware industries and seems to be recession-proof.
The 2011-2012 American Pet Products Association National Pet Owners Survey reveals that spending on treats, toys and accessories for dogs was up 30% in 2010, from $56 million to $73 million, and 10% of dog owners reported having hosted parties for their dogs. "The pet industry continues to see unprecedented growth," said the APPA President Bob Vetere. "The survey reveals pet owners are willing to spend money on their pets despite a downturn in the economy."
Now, these numbers may shock our readers, but think about how much joy and companionship we, being the loyal and cuddly pets that we are, bring to the lives of you, our human families. It's not easy being so cute and loving 24/7, so a little enticement goes a long way for those of us with the canine persuasion (or feline, if you're into furballs....er, we meant cats).
Not all treats are created equal, however, and since our parents care about what goes into our sleek bodies, we thought we would share with you what makes Newman's Own Organics premium pet food our number one pick, paws down.
Read on and notice how Newman's Own Organics expresses great brand value and see if it doesn't make your tail wag like it does ours. They really have pet-bound marketing down!
Newman's Own Organics is Truly Organic
All of Newman's Own Organic premium pet foods contain certified organic vegetables and grains. The products do not contain antibiotics, hormones, chemical ingredients, or artificial preservatives, colors or additives. Who needs them?
Long term daily administration of antibiotics and steroids often result in compromised immune systems, muscle wasting, and destruction of the friendly bacteria that lives in our intestines which aid in the digestion of food and assimilation of nutrients.
In addition, chemical antioxidants, such as ethoxyquin, BHT or BHA, that were designed to extend the shelf life and reduce fat spoilage (rancidity) of pet foods may cause allergic reactions and affect our liver and kidney functions.
Feeding us, your loving pets, organic foods eliminates the buildup of residues of chemical additives, preservatives, pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides which have been clinically proven to have adverse health affects on all animals, including you, our humans.
In addition, Newman's Own Organics pet foods, which use only whole ingredients, make it much more nutrient dense than most pet foods. They contain no fillers, by-products, processed grains or indigestible plant or animal fiber and therefore less food is required to meet our nutritional needs. Our Dad especially likes that part, since he has to shop for our food.
Newman's Own Organics Benefits Those Less Fortunate
Now, being raised in Mendocino, CA goes hand in hand with being socially aware dog bloggers. Don't let our beauty fool you; we are truly entrepeneurial, socially conscious dogs trapped in model-sleek bodies.
The sale of Newman's Own Organics products generates money for the Newman's Own Foundation to give away as they see fit. Since 1982, Paul Newman and the Newman's Own Foundation have donated more than $350 million dollars to educational and charitable organizations worldwide. Way to go, Newman's!
"Pets have always been a part of our family life," says Nell Newman, cofounder and President of Newman's Own Organics. "With the rise in the number of dog and cat problems directly related to poor nutrition, we want to offer pets the same high quality food we buy for ourselves. We're excited that we have come up with an organic formula that is nutritious and great-tasting for our four-footed friends, while also helping those not so fortunate." Now there's one smart human!
Train Your Humans
Since we are fairly new dog bloggers, we understand that you might want to read the opinions of other enlightened dogs and cats that swear by Newman's Own premium pet food. You can peruse their comments here: http://www.newmansownorganics.com/pet/customercomments/ or check them out on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/newmansown. Take it from us, the Dog Blogger Duo: Train your human family to feed you the best organic treats and food possible because when we're happy, you're happy.
How many times have the holidays descended upon you faster than you anticipated? This is a common pitfall for all but the most disciplined planners.
Last year, inspired visions of a beautiful newsletter or a "wow" holiday offering danced before your eyes with oodles of time to put everything in place, right? Then those pesky unexpected details arose - the designer is booked, last year's holiday card software no longer exists, your contact list is a mess...
Making sure to take the time to create something to the best of your abilities is a part of doing lovable marketing. HubSpot marketing software, which powers the web site cited here, teaches that marketing can add value, be useful and appreciated. A holiday message sent with lovable marketing methods will have a better chance of success.
January is a great time to make note of holiday messaging you admired while they are still fresh in your memory, and plan your approach for next year. Here's a breakdown of a custom holiday newsletter and followup social sent by Kennedy Garceau, experts in international mobility. Every year, they send a beautiful card in an email whose open rates are stellar.
September 1 or earlier: Choose an appropriate designer
Good designers book up quickly for the holidays. Kennedy Garceau used a designer they had worked with before with these attributes:
- understanding of your brand
If it will be your first time working with a designer, allot extra time to move past these unknowns.
October 1: Know the goal
Decide if you want to offer a giveaway, run a contest, or what your core message will be. Kennedy Garceau chose to give a gift of their expertise for the 2012 holiday season.
Their goal needed attractive, timely content that would be findable and useful to people who international mobility issues would be relevant to.
This particular goal did not require people to join/follow/like/fill out anything but it was easy to join/follow/like/contact if someone wanted to do so.
They brainstormed based on their demographics, common issues and needs and decided to do a newsletter followed by a useful international mobility tip each day until New Year's Day. The daily tips would be sent out over social media and posted to the web site home page. All the tips would be listed on their blog on the new year.
October 15: Provide the content, specifications and materials to the designers/developers
If you are offering a giveaway or anything involving new functionality add on time to complete and test additional tasks.
Kennedy Garceau's audience is both English and in French. They needed to prepare 13 holiday wishes in each language. These changing wishes had to be in editable text so the daily web site updates could be done by staff. Graphics had to meet certain specifications for the email newsletter template, the web site and social messages.
Here's the English version of the email. The ability to become an audience member is easy, with social links in both icon and text. The header logo is linked to the web site.
Graphic designer Sarah St-Germain worked with owner Marilène Garceau to create the images. Marilène put the call to action in readable text and the social links in icons and a second time in text (fyi, the text links were clicked on more than the icons). Marilène wanted to keep the message simple since her contacts are familiar with her services and receive her holiday card every year.
For the 1000= emails sent the open rate was 43%, reflecting the effort the company has put into providing a personal, professional level of quality service.
The graphical elements for each part of the messaging were provided in the appropriate size and format for the web.
November 1: Make sure everything works. If needed, correct any issues
You and your designer should be in the home stretch by now, with mock-ups you can test for size and display issues (social networks are constantly changing the size requirements for banners, background images, etc.) Your web developer should have all the functionality needed working. Design samples should be integrated into any templates for your newsletter, email, web pages, etc.
Graphic and web designer Thierry Cantius provided the code and banner images for the web site so that the Kennedy Garceau team could update their HubSpot-driven home page daily. The holiday banner was in a module (html, no title) below the navigation and above the main sliding services banner. It was easy to update the banner, taking the code for each day from a non-public page in their HubSpot file manager. This hidden page had all 13 wishes ready to paste to the home page including the background image and readable text.
The banner itself, separate from the web page, before the label and text were added:
November 15: Final graphics and any other functionality should be delivered and tested
Decide on your send date. Be sure to choose some back-up dates. Breaking news, weather, politics can hijack the attention and diminish the impact of your communication -- so build in flexibility and alternatives up to a week later than planned.
November 16 - December 1: Enjoy Thanksgiving Holiday with peace of mind
You should have your final drafts ready to go, scheduled with a back-up plan in place and any responsibilities during the campaign assigned.
Finally, here's the Kennedy Garceau blog, which uses the HubSpot blogging platform, with all the wishes in one place:
2013 holiday messages key dates
September 1: Confirm your designer. Start envisioning the fabulous potential campaigns you might create
October 1: Decide on your goal
October 15: Provide the needed specifications to the designer and developers
November 1: Test with the draft materials you should have by now - graphics, software
November 15: Final graphics, templates, systems should be ready to go
November 16 -- December 1: Launch date is set with a back-up plan and responsibilities have been assigned for the event
December: Launch your optimal holiday message, bravo!
This article provides a good list of additional tips for new Pinterest business users: 6 Ways to Market Your Business on Pinterest by Adhere Creative and here are some more good tips from Bill Crosby's Social Media Marketing Tips and Tricks: http://billcrosby.com/socialmedia/top-10-ways-to-use-pinterest-for-business/
If you aren't sure if Pinterest is for you, learn more about their audience in this article from econsultancy: http://econsultancy.com/fr/blog/10945-pinterest-stats-does-it-really-drive-more-sales-than-facebook
If you learn best visually, then check out this Pinterest for Business video:
5 Ways We Multitask on Mobile Devices
Mobile devices can greatly facilitate social and collaborative activities such as sharing knowledge, publishing lessons learned, and getting immediate feedback from personal knowledge networks. They can also foster more dynamic Communities of Practice through the rapid exchange of documentation and resources.
In her article, "Knowledge Building and Enhancement Through Multitasking Mobile Devices" Mayra Aixa Villar defined mobile learning as a limitless knowledge-building enabler." She goes on to explore that concept a bit further by referring to the built-in capabilities of mobile devices and the multiple interaction types as well as learning activities they can promote, information that business and marketing need to understand in order to engage with today's audience.
- Communication Enablers: The learner uses a portable device to communicate with others. Communication is now possible anytime, anywhere and the content can be shared in the form of presentations, videos, images, sketches, mind maps, and so on. Many people who are connecting on devices are willing to trade apps and social networks the usefulness they provide for information on their personal behavior like location and who your friends are. Facebook, for example, can recognize you are in a sporting good store and display likes for sports-related products your friends have indicated. This might prompt a "communication enabled" user to connect with a friend who has some knowledge that might help with a buying decision.
- Personal Information Repositories: “Mobile learning supports learning that recognizes the context and history of each individual learner” (Traxler, 2007). As learning designers, we can profit from this invaluable resource to adjust, select, and deliver content according to specific learner profiles. The latest Google Android devices with their "Jelly Bean" operating system, has a "smart assistant" that will actually use this stored information and past behavior to make helpful suggestions, like asking if you are going to pick up your child at school today as usual, because there is traffic on your usual route and so you might want to leave early! Examples:http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/gadgetbox/google-now-smart-assistant-could-rival-siri-848809
- Information Decoders: QR codes can be read by the camera in most mobile phones. The video camera scans and captures the visually encrypted information on a marker and the AR software deciphers that information to initiate a response. As this allows for an easier and faster access to information, QR codes have been applied in different fields from product marketing to higher education.
In Lauren Johnson's article, "Applebee's Franchise Increases Lunch Sales by 9.8% with QR Codes" she shows the advantage of using QR code-enabled displays.
“The goal of the campaign is to play on consumers’ interest while sitting at lunch to enhance the guest experience and to create content they will share with their friends and family to build awareness around the restaurant’s current campaign,” said David Coomer, chief creative officer of Cornet Integrated Marketing Solutions, Lexington, KY.
Mobile bar codes are being used at 89 restaurants as part of Applebee’s larger “14-minute guarantee” campaign. The campaign promotes a special lunch-time menu that promises meals will be served in 14 minutes or less or it is free.
Two different QR code-enabled displays are being used in the restaurants. The ads feature either a cat or a man with a QR code plastered over their mouths. Consumers can then scan the bar codes to reveal the mouths and interact with the campaign’s YouTube channel. Consumers are also directed to the campaign’s Facebook page, which has generated 5,900 “likes.”
Applebee’s claims that the QR codes have been scanned more than 55,000 times.
Here is the cat-themed QR code that is being used at Applebee’s
The QR codes featuring the cat have been the most popular video, which has led Applebee’s to create additional YouTube videos.
“The campaign leverages how consumers are interacting with their mobile devices at restaurants,” Mr. Coomer said. “Everyone pulls out their phone at lunch because it’s just the way consumers work today,” he said.
- Performance and Procedure Guides: Mobile devices help the learner find and filter information in the same environment in which he is acting. The learning experience is therefore closely linked to an authentic activity and context and the learner can monitor his own progress and get relevant study or job aids in a specific location and at the moment of need. A marketing method promoted by HubSpot and other digital marketers today emphasizes being useful to your potential customers and giving away helpful information. Providing free guides and how-to's has proven extremely effective in helping businesses succeed.
The increase in multi-tasking that technology has facilitated is having a profound impact on modern life. As we adapt to functioning with its benefits (and downsides), marketers can also benefit by paying attention to the new ways to connect with their audience to build win-win business-customer relationships.
Our Multitasking World
My 16-year-old son swears he is unable to study effectively without his iPod or Pandora blaring country music. Meanwhile his smartphone sits near at hand, enabling him to keep connected to his hundreds of Facebook friends and quickly look up the price of a new motorcycle part he's pining for.
In the November 5th, 2012 edition of the Writer's Almanac, in "My son calls me while I'm in line at the Stop & Shop" Kathe L. Palka describes her son: "Born into this expanding, more connected universe, he can't imagine why anyone would want to be out of reach, my child who wears new technology like a second skin and for whom the whole world is an easy touch away and should be."
Walking has become a complicated task as we learn to text and read while navigating busy city streets. Millions of viewers have laughed, via YouTube, as we watched a woman walk into a fountain in a mall while texting on her cellphone. Laws have been enacted to urge us to resist the magnetic pull of social media as we operate our vehicles. Is all this multitasking via mobile technology a good thing?
Humans and Multitasking
Multitasking, once seen as something of a hindrance rather than a help, has been recast, once again, as a virtue. Educational experts have gone as far as to say that multitasking is the crucial skill for successful students in the digital culture. ("The Skill of the Future," PBS). Yet when psychologists study multitasking, they find multitaskers do not perform well on any of the tasks they are attempting ("Cognitive control in media multitaskers," in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences).
But multitasking feels good; we feel we are being especially productive and our body rewards us by sending out neurochemicals that induce a multitasking "high." In order to feel the "high" again, we must do more.
Humans are multitasking creatures. We get involved in many activities simultaneously: listening to music, browsing the web, holding conversations, taking notes, staying on the alert for interruptions… so shouldn’t our mobile devices support this model of working? ("The mobile multitasking advantage" DW2).
Multitasking and Mothers
Working with Nielsen, BabyCenter released a study on Thursday (April 19) boasting data indicating that mothers are spending an eye-opening amount of their daily time with media and are among the earliest adopters of new technology platforms.
The study, comprised of in-home interviews with over 2,500 surveyed mothers, shows an increased rate of smartphone adoption with 65 percent of moms navigating their busy lives on the mobile Web. There appears to be no exceptions to the mom-early-adoption trends either, as mothers are 38 percent more likely to own an Internet TV device and 28 percent more likely to own a tablet. However, more intriguing than their propensity to buy new technology is how moms are using their devices.
For most moms, multitasking is a mastered skill as old as motherhood itself, and BabyCenter’s study reveals that when it comes to media, multitasking is a must. One in four moms admitted to talking on the phone while watching TV or online and confessed to shuffling through social media sites while watching online video.
From teenagers to moms, everyone is adopting multitasking as a part of their daily life. How do businesses respond to this new behavior in ways that will help them connect with their increasingly busy audiences at the right time?
In our next article "5 Ways We Multitask on Mobile Devices", we will cover how mobile devices support our multitasking culture and five ways people multitask that can have an impact on how to reach them.