More price cuts for 2013?

first_img3 January 2013 Economists say motorists can expect a few more petrol price cuts during 2013.Last week, the Department of Energy announced that the price of petrol would drop by up to 15 cents a litre and the price of diesel by nearly 30 cents a litre from Wednesday, 2 January.Economist Dawie Roodt attributed the drop to a strong rand and said he wouldn’t be surprised if it happened again.“My suspicion is that the petrol price is likely to keep on falling over the next couple of months,” Roodt said. “I expect the rand to remain fairly stable over the next couple of months. I’m also not surprised to see the oil price coming down as well.”Economists say the drop will not impact spending, but will provide slight relief for motorists following the busy festive season. Sapalast_img read more

Southwest moves on Hawaii

first_imgSouthwest has big plans for lesisure routes Airline services to and within the Hawaiian Islands are set for major upheaval as Southwest, which starts services next year, signals that it is looking at more than mainland US flights to the holiday islands.Add to the mix the final withdrawal of ultra-low fare Allegiant which stopped its last Boeing 757 flights in October, and the demise of Island Air there are the ingredients for a fascinating competitive cocktail.Read: World’s Best Airlines 2018Southwest Airlines will use 737 MAX 8s on routes to Hawaii and tickets will go on sale early next year, although no dates have been set yet on when flights might begin, or on what specific routes.The 737-MAX8 has a nonstop range of 3,515 nautical mile / 6,510-kilometer range, which puts cities in the western U.S. as far away as Denver within range of the islands.Before flights can begin, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has to give the go-ahead for Southwest’s LEAP 1B-powered aircraft to ply the long overwater ETOPs (extended operations) routes.Southwest Chairman and CEO Gary Kelly says, “Hawaii is an important place for Southwest Airlines because so many people count on us to take them everywhere they want to go reliably and affordable. We’re ready and excited to address a request we’ve heard for years.”On the inter-island services, no final decisions have been made according to Mr Kelly.“Step one, of course, is getting from California to Hawaii,” Kelly said in a conference call with media and investors in October. “It [Inter-island service] has been down our priority list, but we will have serious consideration of that.”Southwest is the master of short flights and quick turn times – perfect for the inter-island flights and operating these flights would greatly strengthen the airline’s appeal.But Southwest will have plenty of competition from existing carriers.The Big Three legacy carriers—United, America, and Delta all have well-established service to Hawaii from their hub cities.United has been operating Mainline – Hawaii flights for 70 years and this past summer it upped the ante to 40 daily nonstops.Resurgent Hawaiian Airlines flies nonstop to 11 U.S. gateway cities, relying heavily on Honolulu as both an O&D (origin and destination) and a connection point for the state’s ‘Neighbor Islands.’Also making a strong bid for largely leisure business is Alaska Airlines, which operates ETOPs-certified Boeing 737NGs (next generation) aircraft from the West Coast to Hawaii.How long all of these airlines can continue to co-exist and make money flying from the Mainland to the islands is very much up in the air, especially given Hawaii’s history.In February 2000, Aloha began Mainland flying, helping pioneer the use of ETOPs-certified Boeing 737-700s from Honolulu, Kahului and Kona to a number of West Coast cities. Fuel prices, the September 11th attacks and SARS worked in concert to prompt Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2004. Aloha emerged from Chapter 11 protection in 2006, only to re-enter it two years later. This time the culprit was a withering fare war.last_img read more

Report Examines Rate and Focus of Google’s Acquisition Spree

first_imgaudrey watters 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Acquisition by a major company has become a common exit for many startups, with the first quarter of 2010 breaking records for M&A numbers. At the beginning of 2010, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said he anticipated his company would make one acquisition per month. And this week, private research firm CB Insights has released a report detailing Google’s acquisition activity over time and by sector, pointing to a rate for 2010 that exceeds Schmidt’s predictions.With still one quarter to go, Google has acquired 23 companies this year, a total that’s almost equivalent to the total number of acquisitions Google made from 2007 to 2009. Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Despite all the buzz about mobile technologies and Google’s growth with Android, the bulk of these acquisitions have not been in the mobile sector. Only 2 of the recently acquired companies were mobile, while 20 of the others were Internet software and services (there was a single chip manufacturing company in that list). Not surprisingly, considering speculation about Google’s move into “social”, that’s the industry, along with search, that dominated recent acquisitions. And despite buzz about gaming and music, any forays Google makes in that area don’t seem to be linked at this time to companies they’ve recently acquired.In an interview with Reuters, David Lawee, who heads up Google’s M&A group, says that “In almost every deal that we look at, there’s always someone or one of those companies interested.” Clearly Google is in competition with other major tech firms like Facebook and Apple to acquire new talent and new technologies, and according to Lawee the millions spent on acquisition are “paying off huge.” Tags:#Analysis#start A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more

Take the Inbound Marketing Personality Test

first_imgPopular in the field of psychology, the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) is the world’s most widely used personality assessment test. The questionnaire is designed to measure personality by evaluating preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions, and it is based on 4 scales: Extraversion/Introversion, Sensing/Intuition, Thinking/Feeling, and Judging/Perceiving. While some people fall at the extreme ends of these scales, it is also common to fall somewhere in the middle. Now, as an inbound marketer, is it better to have one personality type or another? Should you be more extraverted or introverted? Judging or perceiving?Well actually, a good inbound marketing strategy has at least one quality of each of these personality types. Let’s take a look at what each end of these scales contributes to a solid marketing personality. And when you’re done, take this quick quiz to determine whether you’re more of an introvert or extravert in your inbound marketing methods!ExtraversionExtraverts are action-oriented. They are often full of energy, and they use that energy to accomplish things. They are also very social and people-oriented.Marketing Lesson: You should always be injecting more energy into your campaigns. It’s important to keep your marketing efforts constantly active in order to keep driving more leads, but also to keep your fans and prospects excited. Be social! Engage your followers. Connect with your customers. Make your next email send a bit more personable. Your marketing will do a whole lot better if you let people really get to know your company.IntroversionIntroverts prefer more substantial interaction over more frequent interaction. In other words, quality over quantity.Marketing Lesson: You should be careful to maintain high-quality relationships with your prospects, leads, and customers. It’s easy to get caught up in the numbers, always looking to drive more Facebook fans, Twitter followers, and blog subscribers – and don’t get me wrong, you should definitely be doing that – but don’t let the quality of your posts, content, and engagement suffer. Focus on building deeper relationships, not just more of them.SensingSensing types look for details and facts. For them, the meaning is in the data.Marketing Lesson: As a marketer, data should be a critical component of every decision you make. You should always be measuring, analyzing, and optimizing your landing pages, keywords, paid search campaigns, and more.  It is essential to track the ROI of your marketing efforts, and in order to do that, you need to keep a sharp eye on the numbers.IntuitionIntuitive types look at the wider context or pattern and are more interested in future possibilities.Marketing Lesson: While analytics are crucial for informing your decisions, it is also important to zoom out and look at your strategy as a whole. Are you heading in the direction you want to be heading? Are your short-term plans aligned with your long-term goals? Don’t get too caught up in the weeds, or you might miss the big picture.ThinkingThinking types make decisions based on what is reasonable and logical, and they like to follow given sets of rules.Marketing Lesson: It’s always a good idea to do a little research before you try out something new, like customizing your fan page or setting up a Facebook contest. See how other companies have done it. Figure out what works and what doesn’t. Then use these guidelines to help you be more successful and effective when you try it.FeelingFeeling types make decisions based on what will achieve the greatest harmony, consensus, and fit. They consider the needs of the people involved.Marketing Lesson: As a marketer, you should always have your audience in mind. Consider their needs in conjunction with your own. Target your content more closely to your audience, and you’ll find that you can convert more prospects into leads and more leads into customers.JudgingJudging types enjoy structure, and they focus on making decisions.Marketing Lesson: Maintain an organized system that allows you to track your marketing efforts and access the information you need in order to make decisions going forward. Don’t leave major decisions open-ended or fluctuating for too long – stay focused on moving forward.PerceivingPerceiving types are curious and focus on taking in information.Marketing Lesson: While structure is important, a big part of marketing is being creative and thinking outside the box. Take what you know works, and build on it. Be innovative. Explore new territory. Being different will set you apart from other companies and give you a competitive edge.Is your marketing personality well-rounded? How would your marketing strategy score on the MBTI? Take this quick quiz to determine whether you’re more of an introvert or extravert in your inbound marketing methods! Personality Types Originally published Oct 13, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics:last_img read more

71% More Likely to Purchase Based on Social Media Referrals [Infographic]

first_img Originally published Jan 9, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated June 28 2019 Social Media Engagement 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 Ecommerce companies that invest in inbound marketing will greatly increase their opportunity to grow online sales, lower COCA (cost of customer acquisition), and increase new customer retention. Consumers connect, rate, discuss, and consume product information and reviews like never before, making a strong online presence paramount for all sizes of ecommerce businesses. Ecommerce inbound marketing makes it possible for online stores to take advantage of the emerging social revolution by gravitating consumers to their own brands and products, driving organic and social media traffic and sales, lowering COCA, and increasing the adoption of customer retention along the way.  Free Download: 45 Customer Referral TemplatesThe below infographic design from Killer Infographics is a great illustration of the importance of ecommerce inbound marketing. Feel free to use the embed code for this infographic below if you’d like to publish it to your website or blog and share your own analysis or discussion. Enjoy! Save Ecommerce Marketing Software – All-In-One Inbound Marketing SoftwareSaveTo learn more about ecommerce inbound marketing and the success businesses can achieve, be sure to check out the HubSpot case study about, which increased its social media traffic by 237% in just 4 months with ecommerce inbound marketing!last_img read more

How to Create Top-Notch Visual Content in PowerPoint [Tutorial]

first_imgStep 4: Add a logo.Just as we want to add text to ensure that any shares of the photo include the meaning behind the offer, you also want to brand the image with your logo. Remember, this image doesn’t live on a landing page or a blog post where it is clearly associated with your brand. As a social media post, this image becomes free for all to use and share, and you want all the people the image eventually reaches to recognize the image came from your brand. So, stamp on a logo!Step 5: Add a call-to-action (CTA).If you want to generate leads from this image, add some CTA copy to prompt readers to, well, act.In this case, our CTA is to download an ebook. But instead of just having dead white text on the image, I’m going to click “Format,” then “Image Fill,” and select the nice blue color I’ve been using elsewhere in the image. Now the text box I inserted has a blue background, and the CTA is more visible on the page. Step 2: Use shapes to build an image.Now I want something that illustrates the concept of “engaging.” The first thing to comes to my mind is an engagement ring — so … let’s make one!Start by inserting a circle. Then, set the circle’s fill to “No Fill,” and make the outline a fill color of your choice. Just make sure you adjust the line weight to be thicker so you can really see the outline. Next, I’m going to insert the diamond shape just as I did the circle shape — except this one will be much smaller, and on top of the circle! This time, I’ll make the fill a calm shade of blue, but keep the outline of the diamond the same as the ring to show the two elements are connected. I used the little green Rotate tool (you remember our friend, the Rotate tool, right?) to curve and place it on the ring nicely.To truly emphasize that this is an engagement ring, and not just some random ring, I’m going to add another circle with a thicker weight, and overlay it over the previously made ring to emphasize engagement between at least two people (your business and your fans, perhaps?).Now, just in case I want to move this around, I’m going to select every element of both rings, and group them together by right clicking, grouping, and selecting “Group.” With all the elements grouped, I can now use the Rotate tool to rotate the whole object at once.Step 3: Add visual copy.While this step exists in the blog visual example, it could be removed there — you don’t need text on a blog visual. But you do usually need copy on a social media visual. A blog visual becomes an image permanently associated with content, so people can discern its meaning with context. But with a social media visual, people share, re-pin, and re-post images all the time, during which your original accompanying update might be lost. Additionally, not everyone will click through your visual to read the content it is linked to.For this reason, you want the visual you create to explain everything the reader needs to know. Here’s an example of how we incorporated text into one of our social media visuals:To make the visual just a tad more interesting, I want to bold the word “engage.” But instead of merely using the bold font option, I’m going to add some color behind the word. I’ll do this by inserting a rectangle with the same color blue as the diamond ring. To make the text appear in front of it, simply click the text box, right click, and select “Bring to Front.” Step 4: Add elements that fill the visual.To fill the white space in the circle and complete the visual, I’m going to copy and paste the orange page I created, and make it smaller by clicking on one of the circles, clicking “Shift,” — this will help you maintain the aspect ratio so your images don’t get stretched and skewed –and using my mouse to adjust until it’s the size I desire.To make it pop, I’ll change the color from orange to white, and rotate it slightly the opposite direction of the larger, orange paper. Want to hear a secret? Almost every image associated with my recent blog posts has been made in PowerPoint.Yep, whether starting from scratch or purchasing a photo to build off of, PowerPoint is my secret design weapon. I’ve even used it to create, and write tutorials on traditionally “designed” things like CTAs and infographics. Even now, when I launch a new marketing offer, I create an accompanying visual — whether it’s an infographic or just a picture to post on Facebook — in PowerPoint to pair the campaign with visual content.Download 195+ visual marketing design templates to use for social media posts, infographics, and more. And while I can’t explain the creativity behind these visuals (though the end of this post will show you my thought process), we can certainly dive into some step-by-step explanations of how to produce two different types of visual content in PowerPoint. That should provide you with enough PowerPoint knowledge to start building your own images! Let’s get started.Visual 1: Creating a Landing Page VisualLet’s start with a simple visual. Typically at HubSpot, we use simpler visuals for promoting our marketing offers — ebooks, webinars, etc. We want the visual to capture a visitor’s attention, demonstrate the value of the offer, and influence them to download it. We don’t want it to overtake the corresponding landing page that it’s on. With that in mind, let’s build out an example for one of our recent offers on How to Determine Your 2013 Marketing Goals.Step 1: Pick a shape.First, pick a shape to be your base for the visual. There are a bunch of shapes you could choose, as you can see in the screenshot below.For this example, I’ll use a circle.Step 2: Use shapes to build other shapes.How meta, I know. But it’s true. Shapes are your secret weapon when it comes to visual content creation. Whether you’re using PowerPoint, Photoshop, or any other tool, you can create just about anything with the Shapes tool. In this example, I’m going to create a piece of paper (to illustrate a “template,” the hypothetical lead generation offer for which I’m creating our hypothetical landing page) using the square tool.To create the paper, I’m going to set the fill to “None,” and make a thick border.Now, I’m going to make a small triangle in the same color as the border of the rectangle, and place it in the upper left corner of the rectangle by using the green Rotate tool, which you’ll see when you click on the triangle.Next, I’m going to click on the triangle, hold the ‘Shift’ button, and then click on the rectangle, as well. With both objects clicked, I’m going to “group” the shapes together by right clicking,  grouping, and selecting “Group.”Then, turn that grouped object juuuust slightly to give it a nicer look within the circle. I use the up and down arrows on my keyboard to ensure it’s placed appropriately inside the circle’s border. Originally published Jan 9, 2013 5:00:00 PM, updated November 22 2017 Presentations Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Step 3: Add explanatory copy.To explain the image, add some text by clicking “Insert,” then “Text Box.” Choose a font of your choice — keep it simple — that’s easy to read. Ease in readability is better than a super fancy font that isn’t clear, especially when viewed on a mobile device, and when you’re trying to solve for conversions. Then, I’m going to use the same green Rotate tool mentioned before to rotate the text to be centered in the page image I made earlier. Step 5: Save your image.Now that I have every component I desire for the image created, I’m going to select all the components of it. Or, you could just hit “Control” and the “A” keys on your keyboard at the same time to perform a “Select All.” Once all is selected, right click and choose “Save as Picture…”Voila! We now have a simple, but descriptive image for our landing page that represents our template offer — a marketing goals template offer to help marketers set (and hit!) their monthly, quarterly, and annual goals.The best part of this visual is that you can repurpose it for your entire campaign surrounding that offer. That means this one visual is not only going to help you convert more visitors on your landing page, but it can be used in the call-to-action that leads visitors to that landing page, in your email used to promote the offer, and on your social media networks with a link to the landing page. That’s a quadruple whammy — not too shabby for a little dabbling in PowerPoint, eh?Visual 2: Creating a Blog Post VisualWhen it comes to blog posts, you want a captivating image to draw in readers. Blog posts are shared at rapid rates across the interwebs. People share it on social media platforms, in email attachments, and — our favorite — as inbound links. You want an awesome image that keeps people clicking and reading! In fact, studies show 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text. If you’re not using images, you’re losing out large amounts of potential traffic to your blog!With that, let’s recreate the image used in this blog post, “How to Create Professional-Looking CTAs in PowerPoint.” Step 1: Pick a free image to alter.First, think about the blog post at hand and what you want to communicate it. This is where shameless marketing tactics — such as babies and kittens — are allowed 😉 Search for the type of image you want on something like CreativeCommons (make sure you’re allowed to use it for commercial purposes, modify, and adapt it) or iStockphoto. For this offer, I’m going to search for “cat on computer” on CreativeCommons. I get the following image, which I insert into PowerPoint by clicking “Insert,” and then “Picture.” Step 5: Save your image.It’s that time again — time to save the image! Simply select all elements, right click, and click “Save as Picture.”Visual 3: Creating a Social Media VisualIn terms of creative angles and tools used, social media visuals include many of the components previously mentioned. So if you’ve made it this far, congratulations, this is the final flourish!But, there are particular aspects of a social media visual that need to be addressed. Let’s build an image that will help us promote one of our most recent ebooks, “How to Engage Fans on Facebook.”Step 1: Build a square or rectangle.Think about the way a place like Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest presents images — they always have four corners! Your images should, too. So for your social media image, select a rectangle or a square — I’m going to use a square. Step 2: Overlay a shape.I want this blog post to show that creating a compelling visual in PowerPoint is so simple, that even a cute kitten could do it! I’m going to insert a shape over the laptop screen and make the fill and outline white. That way, it kind of looks like a PowerPoint slide in presentation mode. Topics: Step 3: Add visual copy.To continue with that idea of making the image look like it’s part of a PowerPoint presentation, I’m going to treat the white square shape as a title slide and simply, well, put the title of the blog post that I am attempting to promote through this image. Step 6: Save as picture.Here we are again! Time to select all the elements, and them together as a picture — but at this point in the blog post, you probably know that whole process 😉 Here’s the final image we put together for social media:That’s way more interesting than just typing the question out on Facebook, isn’t it?5 More Examples of Marketing Visuals Made in PowerPointWhile the above three examples of building visual content in PowerPoint can help equip you with the basic tools needed to fill your design toolset, it can’t magically think of what the image will actually be for you. From here on out, it’s just about getting comfortable with using PowerPoint as your “design software,” and being open to playing around to create interesting images.But just because we can’t be creative for you, that doesn’t mean we can’t try to inspire you! Here are a few other images created in PowerPoint that might help get your creative juices flowing.1) 11 Types of Email Marketing You Could Be SendingThis photo followed the steps shown in visual two of this post. This is a picture of our blog manager’s son. It was too cute to not use, so I put a white rectangle shape over her computer screen, took screenshots of some of the various email templates we have been offering users for free, and used the rotate tool to place them in a cool format across the screen. His popping eyes are suggesting the email templates really are for YOU.2) How to Painlessly Transition Your Company to Inbound MarketingThis post focuses on being a little sneaky. Often, top management isn’t willing to hear about a new and modern way of doing business. So to help people transition their marketing to inbound marketing, we wrote a post, the image for which started as a purchased stock photo. Then, I used the speech bubble shape in PowerPoint to show how this employee is thinking about his sneaky method of attack …3) How to Create a Facebook Business Page in 5 Simple StepsWe have a tutorial on creating a business page with Facebook timeline. So, obviously, we decided to pretend it was a cat presenting on the subject matter. This image was built by taking this cat from a free meme on (all memes are publicly uploaded visuals meant for altering). Next to the cat, the presentation board was made with the square and line shapes in PowerPoint.4) Twitter & LinkedIn Break Up, Disabling Automatic Posting of TweetsWhen Twitter and LinkedIn ended their social relationship, we found a free image of a broken heart, and simply added each social platform’s logo onto each side of the heart. They were placed more snuggly in the heart by using the Rotate tool.5) If You Were a Social Network, Which Would You Be?For this image, I grabbed a free stock photo from by searching “pick one.” Yes, that’s what I started with. From there, I started to see spinning wheels, so I changed my search to “wheel to choose from.” This is how a lot of creativity sparks — just search for terms that describe what you’re trying to communicate, and based on what you see, you’ll get inspiration for other search terms! I ended up finding this wheel-of-fortune-esque photo. I then found the icon for every social network used in my post, made them all teeny tiny, and used the rotate tool all day long until I got each one snug in a part of the wheel.And there you have it, folks. Some tips on how to use PowerPoint to make visuals, as well as some PowerPoint-made visuals to inspire you!Want more? Read 20 Tools for Creating and Delivering Amazing Presentations. Step 4: Apply soft edges.As you may have noticed, the white shape we made doesn’t seamlessly fit in the computer screen size of our photo. While fancy editing tools in Photoshop can fix, we can make it work in PowerPoint, too. By going to “Format,” and then, “Soft Edges,” I can play with the Soft Edges tool and increase and decrease the extent to which the edges will be softened. Zero represents no soft edges, while 100 represents completely soft edges. A safe spot is usually under 15.last_img read more

Promoted Tweets Boost Offline Sales by 29%, and Other Inbound Stories of the Week

first_imgThis week in inbound marketing was kind of different than normal. Most weeks, there’s one or two new product announcements and cool case studies that marketers would want to hear about. This week, there wasn’t much of that — instead, there was lots of new data about Facebook, Twitter, and email, as well as some speculation around new features from Google and Facebook.So all in all, not a ton of actionable news this week, but more overarching trends in technology and consumer behavior that could definitely impact your job down the road. Here’s what happened this week in the world of inbound:Promoted Tweets Boost Offline Sales by 29%, Twitter Says (via VentureBeat)Though it can be easy to measure the ROI of Twitter online … measuring the ROI from Twitter offline is a whole other ball game. But Twitter and Datalogix supposedly have figured it out. In a recent study about promoted tweets, they found that people who engage with promoted tweets drive 12% more sales in-store. And even more impressive is that when a brand’s Twitter followers see the brand’s promoted tweets, they buy 29% more than other followers who simply see organic tweets.Whoa. ROI proven in Twitter offline sales? Pretty cool, but I’m not surprised. The moral of this story is that building a Twitter following doesn’t just help increase traffic and leads — it can even increase offline sales. As marketers, this is a sign that we’re on the right track building an organic Twitter following and potentially supplementing it with targeted, relevant ads. Bonus: The data’s also a great argument for the next time someone tells you that Twitter doesn’t work for business. Learn more about the study over at VentureBeat.Popularity Pays: People Are 32% More Likely to ‘Like’ if There Is a Preexisting Positive Vote (via Marketing Land)Apparently, most people still live their online lives like they’re in high school. According to a study by The American Association for the Advancement of Science, popularity has a huge effect on how people interact online. In the study, participants chatted in an online forum and were allowed to vote on existing comments and respond with their own. The findings were pretty conclusive. According to Marketing Land, “If users read a comment that had a previous positive score, they were 32% more likely to provide their own positive vote. Overall, those updates with an initial positive vote ended up with scores 25% higher than a control group.”All of this data boils down to one takeaway for marketers: Those first few positive — or negative — votes can have a big impact on the success of your social media content. For marketers, this is a call to make sure we’re always trying to engage our evangelists and community members — these are the folks who passionately love and promote your company. If you can engage them first when you post a social media update, they could help make the rest of your audience notice and love your content. Learn more about this study over at Marketing Land.17 Customizable Templates for Creating Shareable Graphics on Social Media (via HubSpot)One way to catch your evangelists’ attention — or anyone in your audience at all — is through visual content on social media. Even if you’re just sharing a link to your all-text blog post, you need to incorporate engaging visuals into your social media posts. Not sure you know where to start when creating or designing social media graphics? Get our 17 Completely Customizable Templates for Creating Shareable Graphics on Social Media.For Emails, Name Recognition Drives Opens (via eMarketer)This past month, email marketers have been freaking out about the whole new Gmail inbox layout, wondering how they could get noticed amongst the brand new Promotions tab. Well now, we have some data that can help. According to a study by Campaigner, familiarity with sender name is the number one influence on the open rate of marketing emails.For marketers who want to stand out in Gmail’s Promotions tab, there’s one big takeaway: If you aren’t already using real, human names in the “From” field of your email … test it out. It might help increase your familiarity with your subscribers — and thus, increase opens. While our own tests have found that including a real person’s name increases email opens, this might not work with your subscriber lists — so go ahead and run an A/B test of your own. The key here is to make sure your sender name is memorable. Read more about this data over at eMarketer.New Patent Hints at ‘Pay-Per-Gaze’ Advertising for Google Glass (via Mashable)Whether you think that people who wear Google Glass are Glassholes or the forerunners of some game changing technology, you’ve got to admit that if adopted, it would be the beginning of a new era of technology and marketing. This week, Google was granted a new patent that could start this new era — a patent for a tracking technique that’s called “pay-per-gaze.” Basically, with this new patent, Google’s “head mounted gaze tracking device” (aka, Google Glass), could track where you look — and if you look at an ad. Anyone else feeling a little like they’re living in Minority Report? On a personal level, I’m kinda creeped out. While this definitely could open up doors for relevant, contextual advertising, I can’t help but shake how intrusive this could be. Imagine pop-up ads that you see on the internet … but now it real life. You’re on a trip to Paris, staring up at the Eiffel Tower, and then boom — an ad for a French restaurant pops up in your vision, blocking your view. Ugh. This is all speculation, of course, but a very interesting trend to keep an eye on.If you want to learn more about Google’s new patent, read more at Mashable.Facebook Testing Option to Auto-Fill Billing Info for Mobile E-Commerce Payments (via TechCrunch)Facebook could be dipping its toe into ecommerce water with its newest mobile payment test. In the new experiment, Facebook will take credit card information you already had on file to purchase Facebook Gifts and App payments and auto-fill it into participating third-party mobile apps when you would like to make a purchase. While it’s not creating the actual payment system (a la PayPal), it is reducing friction to buy products while you’re shopping on your phone or tablet. This could be huge for ecommerce marketers — think about how easily people could purchase products if all they had to do is connect their Facebook account. Since this is still an experiment for Facebook, there’s no immediate action. But if this feature were integrated with some big box retailers and more people started to use it to purchase products, Facebook could be an even more valuable place for marketers to spend their time. Learn more about this new experiment at TechCrunch.What other inbound marketing stories did you hear about this week?Image credit: keiyac Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Aug 18, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Twitter Marketing Topics:last_img read more

How to Deliver the Perfect Sales Demo

first_img Sales Demo Originally published Jun 20, 2019 11:45:00 AM, updated June 20 2019 Topics: Sales Demo Steps A sales demonstration, or a sales demo, is when a sales rep delivers a presentation to a prospective customer to show them the features, capabilities, and value of the product or service. The purpose of a sales demo is to close a deal. Sales Demo Steps What is a sales demo? Sales Demo Best Practices Research your prospectConfirm the sales demoPlan your sales demo before the meetingHumanize the sales demoSet an agenda for the demoSummarize past conversationsProvide backgroundExplain the product or serviceAddress any questions the prospect hasSet expectations for next stepscenter_img Sales Demo Basics Before we dive into the sales demonstration process, let’s look at the difference between a sales demo and a product demo, as they’re often confused terms.Sales Demo vs. Product DemoTo reiterate, a sales demo is the process of providing a prospect with a demonstration of your product or service. A product demo is the same process but it involves a current customer.The point of a sales demo is to create a sale whereas the point of a product demo is to show an existing client how to use the product or service they already invested their time and money in.Sales Demo BasicsNow, let’s answer a few more questions that may come up as you begin thinking about your business’s process and as you prepare to start delivering demos to prospective customers.Use HubSpot’s Sales Hub to organize and manage all aspects of your sales processes including your demos. Who delivers a sales demo?At virtually every company, a sales rep will deliver a demo to the prospective customer.Why deliver a sales demo?You deliver a sales demo to close a deal. With a sales demo, you’re showing a prospect exactly how your product or service meets their specific needs and can mitigate any pain points and issues they’re experiencing. This makes your prospect want to buy your product or service (or at least want to learn more about it so they can convert later on).When do you deliver a sales demo?Sales demos typically occur after a visitor becomes a lead. Depending on where a prospect is in the buyer’s journey, there are a few specific points in time when you might deliver a sales demo (or ask if your prospect is interested in a demo).When a visitor completes a micro conversion (signs up for your newsletter or requests more information)When a lead contacts a member of your sales team to learn more about your product or serviceWhen a lead requests a consultationHow do you deliver a sales demo?There are a number of channels through which you can deliver your sales demos. You might offer your prospects different options to be flexible and meet their needs.Ensure you have all of the tools needed to offer these sales demo delivery methods. For example, if you decide to deliver a sales demo via video chat, make sure you have access to software like GoToMeeting or Zoom, which allow easy screen share, face-to-face video chat, messaging, call features, and more.Here are some more examples of common sales demo delivery channels:Phone callEmailIn-personAutomated/ pre-recorded videoLive video chatSince you now have a better understanding of the basics behind the sales demo process, let’s take a look at how to actually deliver a sales demo. 1. Research Your ProspectThe first step in the sales demo process is to research your prospect. As the rep who’s delivering the demo, you should have a deep understanding of the prospect’s needs and pain points as well as what it is the company they work for does.This will allow you to tailor and customize the demo to the prospect’s specific needs and situation, which is a critical component of a successful sales demo.2. Confirm the Sales DemoA sales demo is something that’s almost always planned in advance — so it’s important to remember to confirm the demo prior to it happening. Make sure the planned time of the demo still works for the prospect and give them a window to postpone if they’ve accidentally double-booked or if something else came up.Send a calendar invite as soon as you’ve confirmed the date and time of the demo (don’t forget to include any dial-in information if needed). Ask if anyone other than the person (or people) you listed on the invite will be attending so you can add them. Then, follow up with a confirmation email the day before, or a few hours prior to, the demo.Use free scheduling software to efficiently plan, organize, and manage all of your meetings.3. Plan Your Sales Demo Before the MeetingThere are many ways to plan your sales demo in a way that will enhance it and make it more engaging depending on the channel you choose to present through.For example, share your screen during the call with tools like the ones we mentioned above, create a personalized slide deck (with a tool like Canva), and have any relevant links loaded and ready to go in tabs on your browser to reference so you can easily incorporate them throughout the presentation. Examples of these resources include a customer case study, an informative infographic, and any other web pages, like your testimonial web page, you think may come in handy during the demo.You should also prepare statements around each tool or service you plan to show your prospects as well as any tie down questions — which spark agreement and invite the prospect to better define the value of a given tool or solution for their business — to ensure your prospect is following along and understanding the given information.Plan tie down questions for each tool or section in your demo to ensure your prospect is following along, understanding your descriptions, and grasping how these tools can help them solve their problems. You want to lay out a clear path from A to B so they can envision the way your product or service can resolve their challenge.4. Humanize the Sales DemoIf you start the demo with, “Hi. I’m Kristen … Let’s start the sales demo now!” you officially sound like a sales zombie.To avoid coming off as a pushy, untrustworthy, and possibly unpleasant, ensure you’re personable and show your caring, human side at the beginning of the call. After all, at this stage in the sales cycle, you and the prospect probably don’t know each other that well. You might ask the prospect how they’ve been, how their latest project went, if their dog is finally potty trained, whatever. Time is precious, but so is rapport.And rapport does not stop here. Build it at the beginning of the call and ensure it’s continually injected throughout all other parts of the sales demo as well to establish a human and trusting relationship.5. Set an Agenda for the DemoYour sales demos should always follow an agenda. Prospects should be informed of this agenda prior to the demo beginning and can also be reminded of which stage of the agenda they’re actually in throughout the demo. This sets expectations and keeps everyone organized and on task. Knowing what will happen during the demo will put the prospect at ease.Emphasize there will be time at the end of the demo for the prospect to ask detailed questions (but you can also stress questions are welcome at any time).6. Summarize Past ConversationsAs you begin presenting the demo, mention any past conversations you’ve had with this specific prospect. This will remind them why they needed your assistance to begin with, why they considered doing business with you in the past, and how you determined you can help them during any previous conversations.One way to neatly do this is by outlining the prospect’s goals, plans, challenges, and timeline (GPCT). Once they confirm this information is right, you can use this presentation slide (or brief discussion) as a springboard to jump into the meat of the demo.7. Provide BackgroundAs a rep, gaining the trust of the prospect is a critical component of closing any deal. To do this, provide some background information about your company. This will establish your company as a reputable and innovative potential partner for the prospect.The ticket here is avoiding generic babble and incorporating specific facts about your company and it’s products/ services that align with the needs of the prospect and their company.7. Explain the Product or ServiceNow, it’s time to explain your product or service. When doing this, you’ll want to ensure the explanation is both specific and tactful.Start with an overview or the product and it’s basic features. Explain why this product exists, and link it to the prospect’s needs (which you already confirmed with the GPCT). Each feature being presented in the demo should tie back to why the product is the best solution for the prospect’s challenge.Next, bring in the “wow” factors. This should answer the question, “What unique value does the product offer?”This is where personalization is key. For example, if a HubSpot prospect mentions they want to improve their blog’s SEO, you could feature the SEO, Content Strategy, and Keywords tool. You can also always refer back to any previous conversations and plans you worked on with the prospect during earlier conversations and ask a tie-down question to ensure you’re all on the same page at this time as well.Furthermore, if your company provides excellent customer service to help with the onboarding process and beyond, include that information in this part of the demo. Knowing help will be available when needed does wonders to reassure a doubtful prospect.9. Address Any Questions the Prospect HasAs mentioned, you’ll want to ensure every demo has time for Q&A at the end of the demo. Throughout the demo, try to anticipate possible objections the prospect might have by listening to their tone and even watching their facial expressions (if they’re on a video call or meeting in person).By picking up on these emotions and concerns, you can frame your responses and answers in a more personalized way. You can also determine whether or not you should pull out that extra infographic or show an example of a customer successfully solving the same problem using the tools being referenced. This builds social proof, credibility, and shows the prospect that others have succeeded by partnering with you.10. Set Expectations For Next StepsWhew! You’ve officially completed the delivery of the sales process. Now, the big question: Is the prospect interested in moving this conversation forward to possibly make a deal?Let the prospect know upfront what’s required on their end for the solution to be successful. For example, show a final slide to summarize the discussion in terms of the prospect’s necessary commitment, skills, time, willingness to learn, and budget for the solution to be a worthwhile investment for them.If they’re interested in learning more or keeping the conversation going, you can set up a follow-up conversation. Or — even better — if the demo was highly effective in convincing the prospect, it might be time to begin a closing sequence to complete the deal (yay!).Sales Demo Best PracticesThere are some best practices you’ll want to make sure you follow and consider while working on your sales demos to meet the needs of your clients and develop a consistent, effective, and repeatable process for you and your fellow reps.Personalize the Sales DemoPersonalize the sales demo to fit the needs of the specific prospect you’re speaking with. You always want to distill your demo down and customize it to your audience’s situation with only the essential information they need.To do this, make sure your demo demonstrates the ways your product is suited to address their pain points and meet their needs. Prospects and customers only care about the features that impact them in a positive way, so you’ll want your demo to highlight those.Always Explain “Why”With everything you present and share throughout the demo, you must explain the “why” behind it. Why is your product better than your competitor’s products? Why is your product or service ideal for managing the prospect’s issue? Why should your prospect want to do business with you? Why do your current customers love your product?These are the types of points and comments that may just move your prospect from an interested lead to a new and loyal customer — they differentiate you from other companies and make your demo significantly more convincing.Remember To Be AdaptableThe sales demo steps are a bit like an adaptable script you can refer to and pull from to ensure you’re providing all prospects with an on-brand, consistent, and professional experience.You can also make sure you run through various situations regarding the reasons why prospects might need your product or service and how it can help them with your sales manager so you’re ready for all scenarios. Additionally, you might choose to review some possible questions the majority of prospects currently ask the rest of your team so you’re ready to provide quick, helpful, and impactful responses on the fly.And remember, every interaction, prospect, company, and situation is unique, so prepared to adapt the demo as needed. Your job is to meet your prospect where they are to show your support, flexibility, and commitment to their success.ListenPrior to, during, and after the delivery of any sales demo, it’s critical you listen to both the prospect and your fellow reps.You need to listen to your prospect’s needs, pain points, concerns, questions, hesitations, and positive or negative feedback. This will allow you to customize the demo and all future conversations to fit their needs and tailor the points you make during the demo to highlight the ways your product can resolve their challenges.Additionally, you need to listen to your fellow reps. Your demo process is ever-changing and you’re the group people who are actually working with prospects, conversing with them about their issues and needs, and delivering the demos every day.So, who better to ask for feedback on the current demo process (what should stay the same and what could be improved) than the other members of your team? Because, maybe they’ve uncovered something you’ve never thought about or encountered (and vice versa).Include Real DataData speaks volumes about your products, services, and ability to positively impact your customers. As we mentioned earlier, in your demos, don’t be afraid to include real data about your company’s success, the percentage of current customers who have solved problems similar to those of your prospects with your product or service, and more.If a prospect asks for specific information about one of your product’s capabilities, you can also pull in real data about the ways in which your solution works and functions.Begin Creating Your Sales Demo ProcessThe demo is to sales what the climax is to a movie — this is the part where all the action has built up and resulted in one big moment where everything comes together.That’s why it’s so important to get the demo right. Take the time to prep, understand your prospects, and determine how to tie your product back to the prospect’s needs and challenges. This way, it’ll be smooth sailing and improve the likelihood of closing a deal. What Is a Sales Demo? That’s where a sales demonstration comes in handy. Have you ever considered buying a product or signing up for a service but felt you needed to see that product or service in action prior to making your decision? Maybe because you were unsure of how it actually worked or you didn’t know whether or not if would solve a challenge you were facing.Free Download: The Do’s and Don’ts Of Using Video For Sales 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