What Does the Popcorn of Pandora Taste Like?

first_imgShare This!Earth popcorn is so terrestrial! With Kat Saka’s Kettle coming soon to Disney’s Hollywood Studios to serve the popcorn of Batuu, it’s no surprise that Pandora has also decided to get in on the popcorn action. At Windtraders, the retail establishment in Pandora at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you can find Pandora-themed prepackaged popcorn. And yes, it’s Na’vi Blue.As alien as the popcorn looks, the flavors sound pretty tasty if you’re a fan of sweet, flavored popcorn: blueberry-almond. Although I personally prefer the blending of cherry-almond, this flavor combination also makes for a great blend, and the popcorn includes dried blueberries and almonds. Each bag is $7.Is this a flavor of popcorn you’d want to try, or would you want to stick with the other flavors of prepackaged popcorn found at Walt Disney World? Let us know in the comments.last_img read more

IDC boost for goat farming

first_img20 March 2008The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has given the Northern Cape goat farming industry a R15-million capital injection, to help transform local herders into commercial farmers.Unveiling the Goat Commercialisation Programme in Grobblershoop on Tuesday, Northern Cape Premier Dipuo Peters said the joint initiative between the IDC, the Department of Agriculture and the Kalahari Kid Corporation would enable locals to engage more actively in the economy.“Today’s launch is a moment in which we are saying the playing fields for the diversification of the province’s goat farming are being levelled,” Peters said. “Our emergent goat farmers now have the opportunity to capture their share of the spoils in the goat value-chain.”She added that the programme would expand the goat population in the province beyond the current 700 000, helping to develop the live goat market, increase supply of meat to retailers and allow for the further processing of goat meat for exporting and goatskin for leather.The agriculture department, through Kalahari Kid Corporation, has to date procured 2 000 goats for the two production farms and a further 900 goats from individual emerging farmers and cooperatives.Peters explained that Kalahari Kid had in turn partnered with LAW Abattoir, an European Union approved abattoir, for the slaughtering and processing of goats for both national and international markets.“These two entities will ensure that all offshore and local logistics that include traceability of the product are met,” she said.The department also donated a total of 300 female goats and nine bucks to three cooperatives, including Kagisanong Women Dipudi in Kuruman, Britstown Small Farmers and Chevon Youth in Globblershoop.To ensuring that the province meets the required demands of the local and international markets, two farms in Rooisand and Boegoeberg have been acquired at a cost of R19-million to be used as production farms.Since 2003 the department has spent an average of R6-million per year on commercialising goat farming.“The intervention of this programme encapsulates research, training, marketing, traceability and production that speaks into the immediate objectives of Asgi-SA and the provincial growth and development strategy,” she said.Asgi-SA – the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa – seeks to halve unemployment and poverty in the country by 2014, and increase economic growth to 6%.SAinfo reporter and BuaNews Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Are you a “people developer” or just a “red pen”?

first_imgMichael was a Director at a medium-sized company. A self-proclaimed perfectionist, he had equally high expectations of his direct reports. He began with the company when they were first formed and had the luxury of hiring and training his own team. Like so many young leaders, he struggled with delegation. Michael was a work horse. He could crank out work like nobody’s business, and many times, found it easier to do things himself rather than engage the team he had hired. His team of professionals was relegated to less than fulfilling work for much of the time. When he did let go and assign a project to his capable team, they were thrilled. The team would fly into a flurry of activity and enthusiastically complete the assignment. Michael would review their work and the “red pen” would come out. He wasn’t pleased with their staff work, so he would grab a red pen and begin to edit and edit and edit and edit. He would share with me how shocked he was with the “quality of their work “and comment this was precisely the reason he preferred to do all of the project work himself. Once Michael finished with his editing, he’d hand the work back to the team. Completely demoralized, they would make the necessary “corrections” and return the product to Michael. Now, he was satisfied. So, what’s wrong with providing your team constructive feedback? Nothing, if it is done well. You see, Michael wouldn’t give much in the way of guidance when he’d give an assignment to his employees. Instead, he would communicate just enough to give the team the sense they understood what was being asked of them; however, never enough for them to be successful. What was always interesting was the fact Michael thought he was a very strong communicator. He’d make reference to his communication skills quite often, in fact.  To Michael, he provided more than sufficient guidance. In addition to a lack of communication, Michael had difficulty realizing that no one on his team was going to be a miniature version of him. I find it interesting, just how many leaders struggle in this area. He expected a work product that looked exactly what he would have put together, rather than stepping back to consider whether the end goal was accomplished.  Did it really matter how his team got there? To Michael, the answer to that question was “yes”. So, how do you ensure that you’re providing your team sufficient information to be successful and yet giving them creative license to learn and grow? Does the path the team chooses to take as they successfully complete a project have to be yours or one they are comfortable with? Are you offering a safe environment or one where it is only safe to take on projects in the manner in which they believe you would have done it? My advice to you is that you take your team’s training wheels off and watch how far they can go.last_img read more

Cloud Storage: Popular with SMBs, Ignored by Corporate Giants

first_imgA couple of recent surveys show a split in thinking among companies about migrating to Cloud Computing.  Small and Medium sized companies are moving towards the cloud at a rapid clip, but much larget companies are much more risk adverse towards using the public cloud.The Spiceworks survey found that 28 percent of Small and Medium Sized companies are using the public cloud, and that the current rate of adoption is so high that by the end of the next six months 42 percent of SMBs will be using the Cloud.  The report quotes Cisco vice president of small business technology Susan Scheer Aoki as saying “The cloud has enabled a lot of new technologies and capabilities that can be delivered to small business at a price point that makes sense for them.”A similar report by Microsoft also found that about 29 percent of SMBs are using the public cloud for at least one service, but they predict a slower growth rate, and don’t expect the rate of cloud usage by SMBs to reach 40 percent until 2014.  Marco Limena, vice president of Business Channels at Microsoft, said that “Cloud adoption will be gradual, and SMBs will continue to operate in a hybrid model with an increasing blend between off-premises and traditional on-premises infrastructure, for the foreseeable future “.Given the background of hype around the cloud and reports like these from Microsoft and Spiceworks, it comes as a bit of a surprise to see a different set of conclusions announced by the research group called theInfoPro.  The report survey 247 Fortune 1000 companies and found that 87 percent did not even consider the public cloud as a viable option for them for data storage, not even for low level data backups and archival.Marco Coulter, managing director of theInfoPro, said that “it doesn’t make sense to separate their computers and storage, and have the computers internally and storage externally.  Even for archiving data they were concerned they couldn’t retrieve their data in time… The problem is when you need the data back … there isn’t a high level of confidence that they can do that through an external system.”One of the survey respondents wrote that their  “archive is tape. I don’t think we’ll be able to take advantage of the cloud.  The cost (of cloud storage) seems to keep going up. We priced Amazon, and the cost to send the data there and maintain it over time was less than putting up a new silo internally.”InformationWeek speculated that this lack of interest in storage as a service by large companies is what prompted vendors like Iron Mountain, EMC, and Vaultscape to recently shut down their cloud operations.last_img read more

Top 5 Inbound Marketing Articles to Start the Week: Social Media & Sales

first_imgIn an inbound marketing world, the careful alignment of sales and marketing Marketing Takeaway: Social media guru Chris Brogan explains how to demonstrate the value of social media marketing. on Social Media B2B Marketing Takeaway: 1. link building Marketing and Sales Alignment Adam Holden-Bache Author: Use similes and analogies. to learn how to get your company started with social media. Author: conversion. Keeping in line with his belief that reading a blog post should provide a similar experience to the indulgence of an ice cream cone on a hot day or the thrill of a roller coaster ride, Bamboo Forest reveals five search engine optimization 2. Should Your Content Aim for Traffic or Conversion? Marketing Takeaway: Sean D’Souza Create the unexpected. can be tremendously beneficial to business success. But are enough companies taking steps in the right direction to facilitate the collaboration between these two departments? Topics: 4. : content that attracts and content that converts. Julie Joyce’s article suggests several ways to think outside the box and shake up your different types of blog content Author: While both offer different advantages for your blog and its readers, Sean emphasizes the fact that each style can (and should) live on your blog. There’s no need to choose just one strategy, and a mixture of both types of articles will not only attract a larger number of prospects but will also afford you better Author: The New Yorker Marketing Takeaway: 5. techniques 3. Feed your blog promotion in social media There are risks associated with incorporating social sharing elements in B2B email marketing? You betcha, says Social Media B2B, whose article discusses the fact that certain content included in email marketing campaigns may not be suitable for social sharing (e.g. proprietary information). Using magazines with a balance of different types of articles to attract new readers and convert more customers. Social Media and the Sales Team Cosmopolitan sales and marketing alignment bloggers can use to create a truly unforgettable, great experience for their readers: While Todd’s article focuses on the disconnect between sales and marketing for companies mainly in the retail industry, the overall theme of Before you jump on the social sharing bandwagon, review and evaluate content in individual emails prior to delivery. Use humor. on Search Engine Journal Download the free webinar Risk and Reward of Social Sharing in B2B Email Marketing Most internet marketers are aware that generating inbound links is invaluable to Todd Defren Originally published Oct 25, 2010 8:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 on Copyblogger efforts by searching differently, reaching out in a new way, realizing that less is sometimes more, brainstorming, thinking in a different place, getting a second opinion, and persisting in your efforts. Webinar: How to Sell Social Media to Your Boss Julie Joyce If your tried and true link building efforts start to fail, try something new! . But what do you do when your go-to link building efforts are no longer returning the results you used to rely on? Search Engine Journal suggests you try something totally different. Photo Credit: Keep your blog’s readers coming back for more by creating for them an unforgettable experience at every blog visit. Bamboo Forest In this week’s top inbound marketing article, Todd Defren discusses the problematic disconnect between many businesses’ sales and marketing teams in terms of social media engagement.  Marketing Takeaway: on Problogger Author: Be a contrarian. as analogies, Sean stresses the importance of and describes two very is one that can be applied to businesses in any industry. and social sharing of email content Todd specifically focuses on how the disconnect applies to social media engagement, highlighting a great point about how marketing and customer service teams seem to be experiencing congruency, yet marketing and sales teams are still struggling to find the proper balance when it comes to Use quotes. Shake Up Your Link Building Efforts on PR-Squared What other great inbound marketing blog articles have you come across in the past week? Align your sales and marketing teams and determine a mutually beneficial approach to social media involvement. Holden-Bache highlights a short list of email content safe for sharing and reinforces the rewards that can come from enabling the . Tim Parkinson 5 Techniques to Make Your Next Post Unforgettable . However, he raises an important point that email marketers should proceed with caution and evaluate emails on a content-by-content basis to determine if social sharing links are appropriate. business blogging 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

What Is the Future of Social Media Marketing? [Marketing Cast]

first_img Social Media Inbound Marketing , David Meerman Scott shares his thoughts on the topic. Forget about the Notion of De-Marketization Weekly Marketing Cast Topics: In the future, David argues, the notion of demarketization will disappear, thus closing the gap between social media marketing and just marketing. “The sooner people realize that what we are talking about is marketing and communications; that what we are talking about is reaching people in the ways that they want to be reached, using these sorts of networks that they are already on, then the faster they can become successful at using those new tools,” David explains. The only way to prepare adequately for the future is by looking back at history. As David mentions, exploring the evolution of e-business, for example, can help today’s marketers better understand the evolution of social media marketing. “Nobody talks about e-business anymore because it is just business,” he says. We are now observing the same type of dynamic we witnessed ten years ago, and we should be able to recognize these familiar patterns. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Dec 27, 2010 1:01:00 PM, updated July 08 2013 Learn from Previous Innovations In order to leverage technologies for their business needs, marketers should stay up-to-date with latest trends. That’s why many wonder what the future holds for social media marketing. In today’s episode of the A couple of years ago, Twitter didn’t exist and Facebook was limited to students only. A few years from now, new tools will populate the online landscape. But don’t think of them as completley new—they simply reinforce some fundamentals of marketing. While they will provide new channels for doing marketing, they will also sustain the methodology of understanding your audience, creating something of value and providing it for free. The Tools Will Keep Changing (But Not the Methodology) In what ways do you think social media marketing will change? Should we even call it social media marketing anymore?last_img read more

4 Reasons Your Store Needs an eCommerce Website to Grow

first_img E-Commerce Websites Originally published Jan 12, 2011 1:30:00 PM, updated August 09 2019 For a business to grow it must consistently reach new customers and communicate effectively with existing ones. If you have a physical storefront you’ve probably realized these two requirements for growth are not easily achieved.  Creating an eCommerce website allows a retail store to break-through the limitations a physical location presents, while increasing sales of its products.Download Now: Ecommerce Marketing Plan Template4 Reasons an eCommerce Website is Necessary to Grow Your Store: 1. Collect lead and customer data for email marketing.We know it’s tough to collect email addresses and other useful information during checkout in your store. Shoppers at the finish line of making a purchase will normally decide not to extend the process by providing info for the clerk to plug-in regardless of the offer. Gathering information online is much more effective as website visitors can do this on their own time.Take into consideration the fact that you only have the opportunity to speak to someone making a purchase, leaving out all prospective customers who leave without a bag in their hand – collecting leads online is a more effective method.Email marketing gives you the ability to increase new and repeat business by strategically and continuously re-engaging prospective customers. This opportunity doesn’t exist for businesses strictly running a physical storefront. You’ll also need to develop ways to capture email addresses with various offers your website can provide.2. Reach new prospective customers through search engines.A large factor in a physical store’s success derives from location. If you’re not in a good one the visibility of the store is lessened. Having an eCommerce website levels the playing field between prime locations and less trafficked areas. Instead of your physical address determining your business’s location, your ability to rank in searches engines determines how visible you are. Potential customers who haven’t driven past your stores or heard about your from someone else, have the ability to find you online. Everyday someone is searching for something relevant to your stores products and eCommerce site gives you the ability to get found by and sell your products to them directly through the web.3. Increase visibility of store promotions.Every store has certain promotions and are always looking for ways to spread the word about their newest deals.  Your eCommerce store is another avenue to market your special promotions. These promotions are also a great way to execute on the first point of this post, collecting email addresses.  Visitors to either one of your stores (online and offline) should be exposed to these promotions so they can take advantage of them. Promotions help the business grow shor- term with increased sales and long-term since promotions typically include a sign-up step – giving you the ability to reach out to these people later for repeat business.4. Allow prospective customers to shop where, how, and when they want.If you only have one way people can shop for your products you’re missing out on the percentage of shoppers who prefer to (and sometimes are only willing to) shop the alternate way.Many people like to shop online to avoid traveling time and traffic while enjoying the comfort of their own home. Shopping online also gives them the ability to shop when they want; including times that your store is closed. Remember, your eCommerce store is ALWAYS open. Regardless of an individual’s reasons, more and more people are turning online to get shopping done.Others prefer to drive to the physical store so they can touch and examine the products. Even if they found your store online and researched your products in more detail, they may decide to make the commute to the store in order to make the purchase.The advantages of one store will counter the disadvantages of the other which allows store owners to cover all of their bases and eliminate the possibility of these disadvantages affecting their sales numbers.To learn more about the benefits of have both an online and offline location, also known as “click and mortar”, and how the two can work together please register for our “click and mortar” webinar .Photo credit: aota.org Topics: 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

7 Google Tools Every Marketer Ought to Know [New Ebook!]

first_imgWe know that Google’s marketing power stretches far beyond the search engine land. The 3. About Google’s Keyword Tool Grab your Google Places listing as soon as possible. It’s a free way for you to get listed on the first page of Google and level the playing field. When creating the listing, optimize for the right keywords and feature images and videos relevant to your business. 7. About Google Places beyond search engine optimization with . This is called contextual targeting. , you’ll see that after we cover each tool in greater detail and offer next steps to make the knowledge you gain really actionable. . From Google Places to Google Reader, our free ebook walks you through 7 tools that will help you become a better marketer. As part of the Google Display Network, Google partners with hundreds of websites, news pages, and blogs that can feature your ads. “And similar to how it works with Google Search, your keywords determine where your ads are shown on the Display Network,” Topics: . When you create a specific ad, Google can match it to a website it relates to. For example, if you’re a bakery and your ad is about a cake, it will fit in well with the Dining and Wine section of 2. About Google Docs 4. About Google Alerts Google News provides you with a great platform to find news relevant to your industry and generate content ideas from the results you see. Take advantage of a story’s timeliness and piggyback on its newsworthiness. new ebook HubSpot’s newest ebook Google Docs helps with brainstorming new content ideas and collaborating within the actual creation process. Maintaining these docs, you can eliminate unnecessary meeting time and be much more efficient. . In both formats, we saw that the demand to learn more about Google’s marketing assets was strong. Here are some highlights from the ebook: Ready to take advantage of these tools in your day-to-day marketing activities? In our You can learn Originally published Jul 7, 2011 1:45:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 how to unlock the power of Google tools 1. About Google AdWords The inspiration for this ebook came from a more Google Alerts enable you to easily monitor the web for desired keywords, sending you email messages when these terms are being used. For example, we use Google Alerts to monitor the word “HubSpot” along with “inbound marketing” and “internet marketing.” It’s one way to stay on top of news related to our industry and brand. 5. About Google News as well as a recent release of Google+ In today’s attention economy, time is our scarcest resource. That’s why we value most the tools that save us time.  Google Reader does exactly that—saves you time by allowing you to quickly filter through news stories, blog posts, videos, and other content relevant to your industry. Subscribe to websites, blogs, industry leaders, and get notifications on their updates. In addition to suggesting keyword ideas, Google’s Keyword Tool will also tell you how competitive these phrases are. Generally, you don’t want to choose highly competitive keywords, but you want to focus on the ones you can realistically start ranking for. The New York Times SEO Resources Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack 6. About Google Reader Hope you enjoy the read and become a better marketer by using these helpful tools! webinar on the same topic extensive blog post about Google’s tools Google’s Step-by-Step guide reads makes us even more acutely aware of this reality. But let’s take a step back and look at some of Google’s other assets that have, over time, become marketers’ best friends.last_img read more

5 Misconceptions About the Mobile Web

first_img Mobile Marketing Topics: Originally published Jul 15, 2011 11:30:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack This is a guest blog post written by Adrian Mendoza.  As co-founder of Marlin Mobile , he  helps businesses create and deliver a winning mobile user experience by understanding and overcoming the fragmentation in the mobile market.  The mobile web is growing faster than we can imagine.  I compared it last year to where the web was in 1998, but this year we leap forward to roughly the state of the Internet in 2001.  Standards are coming into place with HTML5, adoption is growing faster on the mobile web than the desktop web, and companies are starting to do real business off of mobile devices.  Despite all the growth, major misconceptions exist among businesses about how to effectively use the mobile web to best serve their customers and support their business. Misconception #1:  The Mobile Web Screen Is Small, So Designing For It Must Be Easier. The mobile web browsers you find on your smartphone are far less forgiving than desktop browsers.  Your Google Analytics code, all those style sheets, and a portion of the HTML code on your website are not mobile optimized.  Don’t forget that Flash does not work on the iPhone either.  You might think, “I don’t have or need a mobile site”.  However, your customers are already visiting your page on their mobile devices.  Guess what?  You own a mobile experience, whether or not you decide to be!The amount of content you place on your mobile website can make the difference in whether it loads in two seconds or ten seconds, winning or losing customers and sales. A mobile web site requires you to reconsider your content, resize your graphics, and rethink how your customers view your experience on a mobile device.  Remember your web strategy is NOT your mobile strategy.  Mobile does not not just mean a smaller experience, it is a more complex equation. Misconception #2:  It Is Easy To Copy and Paste Mobile Apps From Platform To Platform. An iPhone is an iPhone, and a Android is an Android – their users are different and so are their habits.  Don’t think that every smartphone and their users are the same.  For example, Android users are accustomed to a menu button, but iPhone users have no idea what that concept even means.  iPhone users spend twice as many hours playing games as compared to android users 1 , while Android users are the largest consumers of data compared to the other smartphone platforms 2 .  Asides from usage, the iPhone now sports 4 different models (not including iTouch and iPads), while over 50 different carrier and phone combinations (and growing) exist on the Android platform in the US!Not only are the physical experiences different, but the performance of different phones and tablets is also an issue.  Even though a Motorola i1 performs slower than an Evo 4G by a factor of 10 3 , your brand is still impacted by the experience across both.  You must make optimize your mobile experience across multiple operating system, smartphones, tablets, and even carriers. One solution will not cut it. Misconception #3:  It Is Best Yo Fit Everything On One Screen. Amongst mobile devices, different screen sizes, proportions, and even screen types exist. Forget about designing for 1024 pixels or 320 pixels wide.  You must think about making a fluid design that fits across all phones and tablets.  Your customers are accessing the web on all kinds of devices, and your brand must be well presented across all screens.  Create a strategy for what you want your page to look like on tablets and phones.  Ask yourself these questions:  Do you deliver a different experience for Android and iPhones?  Do you want tablets to open your full site?  Do you want to deliver different versions of your mobile site based on a device’s performance?Once you have chosen a mobile strategy for delivering your site across the different platforms, now is the time to think about what you place on the pages.  Forget about cramming all of your existing content into this one screen.  Your mobile site is not your desktop site, so not everything needs to come over.  Be clear, clean, and make sure the important content is on top. Misconception #4:  Businesses Determine The User Experience. Your customer determines the user experience.  Your customers’ needs are unique on mobile.  Whether they are comparison shopping, checking their bank balance, or reading highlights from news stories, the mobile experience is different in nature.  The mobile experience is about information at the tip of the user’s fingertips (literally!).  Mobile users will NOT navigate through a four screen registration process or a complicated user experience on their small device.  Spend the time to survey your customers and ask for their feedback on what they want to experience on their phones and tablets.  By conducting research and soliciting customer feedback, you make sure that you deliver the optimal use cases.  Better to take the time to find out what your users want and give them that, rather than dictating what you think they want.  Again, copying what your desktop site is NOT the solution. Misconception #5:  Buttons Are Still For Clicks. Design using your finger, a small button does not cut it anymore.  The iPhone introduced us to the swipe, the tap, the double tap, and the pinch.  The “tap” is now part of the vocabulary across all smartphones.  Whether they are left handed or right handed, your customers use their phones leveraging these gestures by using both hands and multiple fingers.  Gone are the days of the mouse.  You do not have the luxury of such precision any more.  Your mobile site must be both friendly and accessible to the fingertips.  Buttons must be bigger and require more space around them to make sure fingers tap on the correct option.  Flustered fingers mean frustrated customers.These five misconceptions are just the starting point to understanding and embracing a mobile strategy.  As daunting as the task may seem, tools are available to help.  Your mobile success is contingent on how well your experience performs for your customers across the multitude of smartphones and tablets, bearing in mind factors like carrier, location, and signal strength all have an impact. What would you add to this list?  Image credit: mikeburns last_img read more

3 Advantages of Creating Marketing Personas Non Gratas

first_img Are you thinking about compiling a large industry report (or something equally as labor intensive) for lead generation on your site? Consider something easier on the billable hours (but still true to the topic) before you do. Maybe put something thinner together, like a stat sheet or a 30-minute webinar highlighting several trends you’re seeing. Then pay close attention to who downloads or signs up. Are they Dianas or Ernies? If Diana dominates, then you’ve probably justified the time and effort creating your report will take. If Ernie dominates the downloads, it might be time for plan B. 2. It Will Help You Tune Your Lead Scoring & Prospecting Processes ? 1. It Will You Help Test Potential New Campaigns How do you use your marketing personas? In what other ways can you use your marketing personas non gratas to persona non grata to learn more! Use what you know about the worst case scenario to inform how you think about the best case scenario. Mark fields in your CRM to carry more value if the lead drops a title that Diana usually lists. Also, what irritates you most about Ernie? Call out these characteristics. Craft screener questions for the front end of your sales process so Sales will know Ernie when they see him and can disqualify him early. Making sure people know Ernie as well as Diana will save time and make your marketing-to-sales handoff smooth and efficient. create “personas” for your ideal customers improve your sales and marketing efforts and the But don’t stop there. As important as it is to understand who your dream customer is, knowing your customer’s evil twin is equally important. For each persona you come up with, also think about all the traits opposite of what makes him or her perfect. Who can’t your sales reps stand? Who leaves their sales funnels bone dry? Chances are, the better you know your worst customer, who we’ll call Evil Ernie, the easier it will be to build strategies to attract a continuous stream of Dianas. Here are three additional ways building your dream customer’s evil twin (or marketing lead generation efforts , if you will), will help you improve your sales and marketing efforts. Sign up nowcenter_img Originally published Aug 11, 2011 5:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 HubSpot’s inbound marketing experts will be diving deep into the topic of marketing personas at using the common attributes and needs they all share. Doing so will allow your marketing team to better focus content creation and HUGS Inbound Marketing Summit . on a specific target. No more throwing things at the wall to see what sticks. If you know that your ideal customer, Dreamy Diana as we’ll call her, loves educational material around use-cases at the top of the funnel and craves pricing guides and demos after that, then that’s what she’ll get!  Who is your ideal customer? What do you know about them? Hopefully a lot! To help you better target your marketing efforts, it’s a good idea to Creating an evil twin persona will put Ernie on an island alone. We hope. But he’ll still need things. The by-product of all this “exclusion” will most likely be a healthy list of adjectives and need states. You will likely know as much about him and what he wants as you will know about Diana. Put what you’ve learned to good use. Ernies are usually made distinct by an outlying characteristic or two. Feed those outliers to the folks in product or business development. Get them thinking about what a solution for him would look like and if it would be worth building into your product or service offering. Avoid him, yes, but don’t ignore him. His wants, needs, and peculiarities could lead to business opportunities in the future.  Topics: 3. It Will Help You Identify Future Opportunities Marketing and Sales Alignment 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