Disney Cruise Line Preview — Week of March 10, 2018

first_imgSo while we are all still riding the high of those fantastic Summer 2019 itineraries, Disney goes and hits us with just a teensy bit more awesomeness – new. ship. rendering!!!! Ok, so it’s just one picture of the ship exterior, but oh my stars, can we say gorgeous! There are so many details about the three new ships that are yet to be revealed, but here’s what we know so far:Each of the three new ships will be approximately 140,000 gross tons (to compare, the Magic and Wonder are just under 85,000 gross tons, and the Dream and Fantasy are just about 130,000 gross tons).There will be about 1,250 guest staterooms (the Magic and Wonder have 875 staterooms, and the Dream and Fantasy have 1,250).The new ships will run on liquefied natural gas, one of the cleanest burning fuels.The three new ships will debut in 2021, 2022, and 2023.They are going to be crazy amazing (*maybe not an actual published fact, but a fact nonetheless).The new ships will be in the same gorgeous style as the current fleet, with some new touches – check out those bump outs above the lifeboats! We have sooooo long to wait until we get onboard, but until then, I’ll keep drooling and dreaming of what’s to come!Yesterday, the Disney Magic arrived in Miami, all clean and pretty and ready to embark on her first post-drydock cruise today. The Disney Cruise Line Blog pointed out some changes already made to the deck plans reflecting the new areas. I know I’m on pins and needles anticipating reviews on the updates to the Oceaneer Club, Cove Cafe, the Rainforest Room, but most of all, the total change from Carioca’s to Rapunzel’s Royal Table. Anyone reading going to be on the 5-night Bahamian cruise today?? And finally, this week’s special offers. Most every week of the year, Disney Cruise Line releases special offers for Florida Residents and U.S. Military Personnel.  There are also frequently IGT/OGT/VGT rates available for all guests to book.  These offers are extremely limited in availability, and all come with certain restrictions, but the prices are amazing! You can book these online, on the phone, or with your travel agent. These are the current offers available this week: Disney Cruise Line: In The News Upcoming EntertainmentThe following films are being shown aboard the Disney Cruise Line ships this month:Beauty and the BeastBorn In ChinaGuardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No TalesCars 3Doctor StrangeStar Wars: The Force AwakensThor: RagnarokCocoMoanaStar Wars: The Last JediBlack PantherFor future reference, films debut on Disney Cruise Line the same day of their initial release in the United States. Films do vary by ship. Show times are available in your Personal Navigator or the official Disney Cruise Line app.Captain’s Log: Important Tips and InformationExperienced cruisers know all about the award-winning entertainment onboard the Disney Cruise ships, but many first time cruisers have some questions about what’s offered. Here’s some commonly asked questions/answers about the evening shows:Do I need to reserve a showtime? Nope! Your showtime will be opposite of your dinner seating. So, if you are on main dining, you will attend the second show, and if you are on late dining you will attend the first show. No tickets are necessary.What types of shows are offered? Shows will vary by ship, but each will feature their own unique Broadway-style production, like Tangled on the Magic, Frozen on the Wonder, Beauty and the Beast on the Dream, and Aladdin on the Fantasy. There are also shows made just for DCL, like Disney’s Believe. Depending on the itinerary, you may also have other live entertainment like magicians or variety acts, and on occasion there will be a movie shown in the theater. Will my kids be able to sit through the show? Theoretically, yes! The shows are all done with families in mind, and typically run about 45-60 minutes long. If your little one needs an extra lift for a good view, there are booster seats available by the doors when you enter the theater.Can I bring snacks or drinks in with me? Yes! You can bring your own snacks in with you if you wish. You can also stop at Preludes outside the theater to purchase candy, popcorn, drinks, and cocktails. Preludes is on all four ships.Previous cruisers – what’s your favorite show onboard??Are you deciding whether to book a Disney Cruise but are having a tough time picking which ship fits all of your desires? Well, our own Laurel Stewart has put together a chart that makes it easy to compare all of the options in one place. Also available as a valuable planning and companion guide from authors Len Testa, Erin Foster, and Laurel Stewart is The Unofficial Guide to the Disney Cruise Line. The companion guide contains a complete overview of each Disney ship as well as Castaway Cay and includes valuable tips on how to save time and money during your cruise!Special thanks Scott Sanders of The DCL Blog for assistance on this article.Thanks for joining me again this week. “Sea” you next time!!The Disney Cruise Line Preview is brought to you by Storybook Destinations. Storybook Destinations specializes in Disney travel, is consistently highly rated by our readers, and is owned by our own blogger extraordinaire, Tammy Whiting. Storybook also offers free subscriptions to TouringPlans to clients with qualified bookings.center_img Share This!Sponsored by Storybook DestinationsAhoy, mateys! I’m Heather, and I’ll be bringing you the up and coming on all things Disney Cruise Line. Welcome back again this week. Let’s see what’s new in the DCL world.Ports of Calllast_img read more

Video Review of DJ Rex, the Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge Droid Toy

first_imgShare This!When the Droid Factory was announced, the immediate question was would this be the Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge answer to Pandoran banshees? After the price was announced, people were understandably skeptical. Here’s a first look at the DJ Rex Bluetooth Speaker toy so you can decide for yourself.What do you think? Is it worth the price or is it a hunk of space junk? Let us know what you think in the comments.last_img

6 Ways to Leverage the Long Tail in Your Marketing

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Blog Optimization The Long Tail is like the Force(Yes, as in Star Wars). It permeates everything you do online and binds all facets of your internet marketing. Well, perhaps that is a bit farfetched, but it is a very important concept and relevant for anyone trying to create an online presence for themselves or their business.For those who came in late, the term “long tail” was coined by Chris Anderson to describe the business strategy of e-Tailers such as Amazon.com that sell a high volume of say thousands of popular items (the head portion in the graph below, in red) and low volume of hundreds of thousands of niche or unique items (the mustard tail portion in the image below).According Anderson’s long tail blog, over the course of time if you grow the tail portion of graph “the potential aggregate size of the many small markets in goods that don’t individually sell well enough for traditional retail and broadcast distribution may someday rival that of the existing large market in goods that do cross that economic bar.” The tag line of his book is aptly termed “Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More.”Now that you know about a bit about the long tail here’s how you can leverage the long tail in various parts of your day-to-day marketing:1. Optimize Your Site for Tons of KeywordsSEO is an important part of your inbound marketing strategy and you should optimize your site for hundreds if not thousdands of keywords, especially long tail key phrases.  e.g. “internet marketing for lead generation” would be a good long tail key phrase, compared to just inbound marketing.  Long tail key phrases may drive a low volume of traffic but as you can see in the graph above, the combined traffic of all the keywords in the tail portion really matter.  Also, in my experience, visitors to your site from long tail key phrases tend to be better leads as they are searching for something very specific.Avinash Kaushik, an analytics guru, recommends that you use SEO to tackle keywords in the head of your long tail graph and use PPC to drive traffic for long tail keywords.  Here’s a gritty but awesome article by him.2. Create a lot of contentIs it a surprise that sites with the most content also attract the most visitors?  Craigslist.org, eBay.com, Amazon.com, etc. are great examples of sites providing a huge variety of content that helps them attract millions of visitors. What are some of the ways you are leveraging the long tail in your marketing?  Please share your thoughts in the comments!HubSpot Free Trial Above is a snapshot of popular pages from the HubSpot blog. The blog home page and a couple of articles that made it to the Digg and Reddit home pages continue to drive a lot of visitors.  But over time look at how many page views we get for all the other pages!  Even towards the far end of the long tail the last 20 or so content sources drove more than a 1000 page views.  That is serious business!3. Grow Your Followers and Fans BasePart of your strategy should be to gain more followers and fans on various social networks and sites.  In the example below, Dan Zarrella shows us this incredible distribution of retweets per follower.Here you can see that there’s a core group of most engaged followers (the head) that does a lot of retweeting. At the same time, the sum of the retweets by people who only retweet ocassionally is also a force to reckon with!  Please bear in mind that the key to getting retweets is more about engaging people on twitter and sharing valuable content and less about gaining sheer numbers of followers.4. Invest in a Link Building StrategyNow I don’t mean that you should go out and pay a bunch of people to link to your site.  What I sincerely wish is that everyone actively works on trying to pubish good content so other people link to your site. Some of those sites will drive you a lot of traffic and visitors.  But as you can see above there are scores of site that can drive you a little bit of traffic every day and if some of those sites drive quality leads … you can invest time and energy in building a relationship with them so you can grow that funnel. 5. Spread Your Content AroundIn the first graph below you can see the traffic HubSpot gets from all the social media sites where we actively share or upload content.  If we did not share content on all the sites to the right of LinkedIn our site stats would be lighter at least a few thousand visitors.Taking that a step further, below are the leads we generated from the above sources.  What would you give to get an extra few hundred leads?6. Maximize Your Website FootprintAt HubSpot we do a great job at offering a lot of free tools and growing the traffic on those sites.  It’s like investing in real estate for investment purposes and over time we grow our portfolio of web properties each growing in reach.Agreed, it is not easy for everyone to build lots of tools and manage multiple sites.  But you could invest in a blog and you could build micro sites that serve a similar purpose.  The result of such an activity is the graph below — each site driving qualified traffic and leads back to your main hub.The Take-Away From the Long Tail for MarketersMaximize your opportunity by investing in a multitude of niche areas and sharing your content widely.Diversify your keyword, content and web asset portfolios.  You yield better results and reduce the risks by not putting all your eggs in one basket.There is significant value in getting bite-sized results from many sources.  center_img Topics: Originally published May 5, 2009 7:44:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 Optimize your website to get found by more prospects and convert more of them into leads and paying customers with HubSpot’s inbound marketing system. Start your trial now!last_img read more

HubSpot TV – Vanity and Branding on Facebook with Special Guest Jeff Taylor

first_imgEpisode #44 – June 12th, 2009 (Episode Length: 32 minutes, 36 second) Blog article: http://itunes.hubspot.tv to learn how to create a thriving blog. @ Names based on your page or personal name, no “generic” words allowed ) : Get your darn Facebook URL tonight at midnight! Closing Coming Soon: Facebook Usernames Inbound Marketing University ! (Starts next Monday.) FAQ: Learn how to build your business blog into an inbound marketing machine. Facebook Goes In-Vain DJ on the side! Eons.com Marketing Takeaway Originally published Jun 13, 2009 9:15:00 AM, updated July 04 2013 Remember to subscribe in iTunes: Headlines Marketing Takeaway Doing It Right Blog article:  Many Twitter “accounts” are actually not that active: Inboundmarketing.com Announcing the June 2009 State of the Twittersphere Report Twitter Scavenger Hunt Meets Gossip Girl How to interact on Twitter: @ : New site where you can post questions, learn about inbound marketing, meet others, find and post jobs or sign up for World’s Largest Twitter Study by HubSpot Reports Over Half of Accounts Don’t Tweet Vacant Homes in Twitterville Contextweb Facebook (finally!) allows simple “vanity” URLs for profiles and pages (not groups) Download the free webinar Now at News release: asks, “How do you measure the effectiveness of public speaking engagements?  How do you measure an ROI?” , a social network for baby boomerscenter_img Facebook Usernames Coming Soon for Pages Announcement: Authenticity vs. Authority 55% of accounts are not following anyone Marketing Tip of the Week Battle of the Search Engine Marketing Fox Fever Forum Fodder : Publish interesting data in order to get PR. : Authenticity with gain you authority, which is what you need to worry about as a marketer. www.inboundmarketing.com/forum : Today’s big brands are being built with inbound marketing. The “buzz” has driven a lot of tire kickers to Twitter, more than passionate users. Google & Firefox have gone inbound with user generated content and creating a buzz: Intro mvolpe Bing is going outbound with the marketing blitz Special Guest: Jeff Taylor, Monster.com & Eons.com Mailbag Founder, CEO and Chief Monster of 55% of users have never tweeted Authenticity vs. Authority Nobody Recognizes The Chrome Icon, So Google Wants You To Make A Video About It (To ask a question that you’d like to appear in Forum Fodder, visit Lots of coverage in GigaOm, SF Chronicle, VentureBeat, NECN, Seattle Post Intelligencer, Monster.com Aquick question; if I embed a video from youtube on our website; do thewebsite video views get counted towards the youtube page total views? Marketing Takeaway 53% of users have no followers : Tonight at midnight, get your Facebook vanity URL! No cheating – business page must be from before May 31 and have 1,000+ fans Marketing Takeaway Webinar: Advanced Business Blogging Ken Lauher of karenrubin HubSpot released our second report on Twitter – “State of the Twittersphere – June 2009” SethGodin: “If it’s a word game, then authority wins, because authority isabout the perception of the consumer. If they believe you an authority,you are. In the long run, of course, authenticity will trump it,because your authority fades without it. The converse is not true. Andyes, it’s a word game.” 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

Improving Sales and Marketing Alignment: The Marketing and Sales SLA

first_img and lead quality b. What other interesting strategies have you implemented? d. Classify profitable lead segments as “workable leads”, which are ready for sales. Note: numbers are not actual HubSpot statistics Filter out and/or nurture “non-workable leads”. Sales becomes frustrated with all the time it takes to comb through dozens of unqualified leads to perhaps find one good one. Topics: Attempts per “workable lead” HubSpot has complied over 50 marketing charts and graphs on topics including Lead Generation, Blogging and Social Media, Marketing Budgets, Twitter and Facebook To address this issue, many companies on the edge of inbound marketing and sales 2.0 have introduced a marketing and sales SLA (service level agreement). The Problem To maximize accountability and empowerment, it is best define the SLA in a joint meeting between sales and marketing. This metric becomes your marketing SLA. Automate the daily monitoring of the process. 1. Define the number and frequency of attempts that sales will make against each “workable lead”. 3. lead. Calculate the profitability of each segment. The Solution 5 Steps to Establishing A Sales and Marketing SLA Determine the number of “workable leads” per sales rep per month that marketing is accountable for. Lead quality is de-prioritized and suffers. Download the ebook now! Marketing complains that sales is ignoring the leads that marketing worked hard to generate. As companies continue to increase the percentage of leads that originate from inbound marketing, effective alignment of sales and marketing becomes a critical area of organizational design. Free Download: Marketing Data: 50+ Marketing Charts and Graphscenter_img 4. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Key metrics to monitor are: a. The sales SLA defines the expectations that marketing has for sales on how deeply and frequently sales will pursue each This metric becomes your sales SLA. 5. qualified They stop paying attention to these leads and revert back to expensive, and often times unprofitable, cold calling. . For companies to achieve growth and become leaders in their industries, it is critical that these two group be properly integrated  to have access to these charts for use in your own presentations What issues do you have with sales and marketing alignment? “Workable leads” produced per sales rep, month to date Examples of Sales and Marketing SLA Charts: Run a closed loop analysis on your historical inbound lead segments. Marketing is measured against aggressive lead quantity goals. We use this technique at HubSpot ourselves. If the two departments are managed as separate silos, the system fails. Conversion rate to forecasted pipeline per “workable lead” Marketing and Sales Alignment c. Connect rate per “workable lead” 2. Originally published Apr 26, 2010 10:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 They scramble to meet these goals, focusing on campaigns that produce the most lead conversions. The marketing SLA defines the expectations that sales has for marketing with regards to lead quantitylast_img read more

How to Optimize Your Google+ Content for Lead Gen, From the Experts at Google

first_img Social Media 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: Pause for a moment to think. Are you really making the most of your Google+ presence? As in, are you leveraging Google+ for all its lead gen potential? The most organic way to use Google+ to generate leads is by posting compelling content updates that include links back to your website.And in order for this to work, you need marketing content that will interest your audience and capture their attention. This includes content such as blog posts, videos, webinars, ebooks and whitepapers, reports, and interviews. When you share compelling content on your Google+ business page, you’ll not only engage your audience and generate discussions, but you’ll also drive your followers back to your website where they can read/view the entire resource. And from there, you can convert them into leads!In this article, which is an excerpt from our new, free ebook, 6 Ways to Generate Leads From Google+, featuring insights and best practices from Google+’s team itself, we’ll walk you through the steps you should be taking to optimize your content updates and improve your organic lead generation from Google+.Share Compelling ContentFirst and foremost, give your followers a reason to visit your page! Share content that grabs their attention and fulfills a need/want, whether it be in their family, personal, or professional lives. A data-driven approach to identifying the types of content you should share is to look at your marketing analytics and identify the most popular pages on your website. For instance, in HubSpot’s software, we look at the Landing Page Analytics tool to figure out which marketing offers (e.g. ebooks, webinars, kits, presentations) are most popular. We sort these pages by views and check their conversion rates so we can easily pinpoint the type of content that our audience gravitates toward.If you haven’t created many marketing offers or you don’t have access to such comprehensive landing page analytics, you can also check out the analytics for your blog. That should give you a good idea of which topics are most popular to your audience. Once you have identified the content that drives the most traffic, use them as fodder to share on Google+. Through this data-driven approach for selecting content, you’ll increase the probability of grabbing the attention of your Google+ followers.Optimize the Timing & Frequency of Your UpdatesPosting all your updates at the same time isn’t going to do anyone any good. You need to space them out; otherwise, your followers’ Google+ feed will get overwhelmed with a sudden flow of content. If you intend to publish 3-4 posts per day, Google explains, make sure you stagger them throughout. This approach is very similar to a marketer’s behavior on other social channels, like Twitter and Facebook.While there are general industry suggestions for optimal time and frequency of posting, it’s important to test your timing and frequency with your particular audience. You might find that your followers are a bit different in the way they access and engage with information. Look at your target persona(s), and take into consideration their locations, lifestyle habits, and activities. This context will point you in the right direction for discovering when and how often you should be posting content to your Google+ business page.Google+ Tip: Create a posting schedule, and post an update at least once a day. (HubSpot has even created a customizable, free social media scheduling template to make this process very easy!) The best times to post are between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Remember to +mention (more on this later) others who you may add valuable commentary to your post so they feel the love and share your post with more people.Learn From Other Successful Companies on Google+Many companies, like the following two, are making a good use of Google+, using best practices like mentioning specific people in their updates and using hashtags.CadburyThe UK chocolate manufacturer Cadbury, which is liked by and in the Circles of close to 2 million people, presents a great case study for using Google+ effectively. Specifically, Cadbury is a good example of how to effectively incorporate hashtags in Google+ updates. You can easily create a hashtag — just start your keyword phrase with the # symbol and don’t use any spaces. While the post below is not designed to directly generate leads for the company, it certainly helps Cadbury increase its following on Google+. Just a few hours after going live, the update had generated more than 140 likes and 60 comments.SEOmozWith its nearly 18,000 +1s and more than 15,000 followers, SEOmoz is another company that shows us a great example of using Google+ updates the right way. SEOmoz is consistent with its use of Google+ mentions. In the example below, SEOmoz has tagged the author of a blog post featured on its website. This adds a layer of personalization, as Google+ followers can learn more about the authority and experts behind SEOmoz’s writing.Personalize Your PostsIt turns out that making your posts more personal is a best practice that Google strongly recommends. As we saw with SEOmoz, tagging other Google+ users in your updates is one way to achieve personalization. Let’s look at some other ways:Mention Other Google+ Users by Adding the + SignSimply add a + sign in front of the name of the person who you want to tag, and select the right user profile. By mentioning other Google+ users and pages in your posts, your update will appear in search results when people look for them on Google+. This gives your content even greater reach.Add Personal SignaturesAt HubSpot’s we’ve found that personalized signatures work great in our email marketing. So why don’t you try incorporating them in your Google+ updates? Signing your posts with your name gives your page more personality and enables the user to identify with the people behind your content.Use Your Own VoiceBe consistent in the language and tone you use across the various different social networks you participate in, as well as on your blog and other marketing assets. Make sure that your voice represents the identity of your company, and also engages your audience so it sparks discussions.Optimize Visual Content for Lead GenerationVisual content on Google+ can open up a lot of lead generation possibilities. Similar to Facebook’s new timeline design, on Google+, you have the ability to add a cover photo and a profile image to your business page. You can also create albums with visuals, and leverage the ‘Videos’ tab to add clips. The trick — for lead generation — is to always accompany your visual content with a link back to a landing page on your site.The important thing to remember with visual content and video, is that there are two pieces of real estate to which you can add your landing page link:Add a landing page link to the actual image/video.Add a landing page link to the description of the image/video.By adding links to both of these locations, you’ll increase the chances of Google+ users clicking on the link and visiting your landing page. In other words, you’ll drive more traffic to your website that you can then focus on converting into leads. To make this work, of course, you need to share compelling visual and video content. Google+ recommends sharing exclusive photos and videos with your fans and followers. Don’t forget that you can edit your photos directly in Google+ and can even share animated GIF images — a great way to draw attention to your page.Now let’s look at a few great examples of companies using the above mentioned lead generation tactics in their visual and video content. We will also cover a few companies that have compelling cover and profile photos to instantly capture the attention of their Google+ visitors.Adding Links to Image DescriptionsIn its public album ‘Trend Update, 2012,’ H&M took advantage of the best practice to include links in the descriptions of its featured photos. The fashion brand not only showcases some of its trendy recommendations, but also tells people where they can learn more about these items and potentially purchase them. “See our latest trend collection at http://bit.ly/OsL5bT,” reads one call-to-action in H&M’s photo album.Adding Links to Actual ImagesDon’t forget that your visuals themselves can feature links! If you think that the message you’re trying to convey can benefit from a reference to a specific page, then go ahead and feature a URL. This is especially easy to do if you’re using an image of your logo for brandingpurposes. Below, check out how The New York Times managed to incorporate a link right beneath its logo.Adding Links to Your VideosIn this example, General Electric is featuring a video on its Google+ page. The company is following best practices by including a hashtag in its update and even mentioning specific Google+ users in the comments section. If you play the video, you will see that it features a link to get further engaged with G E— this is their call-to-action. One recommendationwe have for GE is to also include its desired link in the description of the video as they post it on Google+. This would increase the chances of people clicking through and learning more about the stories behind GE.Etsy is another company that has shown us great use of video calls-to-action on Google+. In the example below, Etsy showcases its most recent product feature and also links to the page on its business’ website where users can get access to the feature.Surprise Users With Unique VisualsYou can also capture people’s attention with some creative and unorthodox visuals. Verizon, for instance, features five individual animated GIFs on its Google+ Page that come together to convey one message. Since this is something new and unexpected in this virtual environment, it grabs the attention of the user and directs them to take a specific action, which in this case would be to check out Verizon Wireless for faster movies, music, and apps.Forever 21 is another company that used animated GIFs to make its cover picture stand out.Are you effectively optimizing and leveraging your best content for maximum Google+ lead generation? center_img Lead Generation Originally published Jul 31, 2012 8:09:00 AM, updated March 21 2013last_img read more

The 10 Cutest Brand Mascots of All Time

first_img Topics: Brand Awareness 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 post is full of gratuitous cuteness. Here’s why.I’m looking into some flights to Ireland (I’m a sufferer of the most debilitating form of wanderlust), and I’m using the flight comparison engine Hipmunk to find a flight.I used to use a couple other ones, but the Hipmunk chipmunk is just so cute it’s paralyzing. Like, he shows up in my Facebook News Feed, and I stop scrolling and emit an audible “awww!” That kind of cute.(And by the way, I know two men who also admitted to being fans of Hipmunk on Facebook purely because “the little chipmunk’s so cute!” Both of them have since purchased multiple flights through them, as well. I rest my case.)What I’m trying to say is, sometimes being cute makes an impact. It taps into something that turns us all into big ‘ol softies. So this Friday afternoon, because our regular readers may remember that I tend to get a little distracted this day of the week, let’s just melt into big ‘ol softies for a minute and enjoy some of the cutest brand mascots of all time. All together now … awwwwww!!!The 10 Most Adorable Brand Mascots of All Time1) The Hipmunk ChipmunkI won’t belabor the Hipmunk chipmunk for too much longer, but before we move on, please enjoy this compilation of that buck-teethed, chubby-cheeked little rodent who thinks he’s a person, dressing up in some of his favorite outfits.Like a big punch of cute right in the gut.2) The Android RobotThere’s a reason Hipmunk robotified its chipmunk for the Hipmunk Android app (see above) … the Android robot is pretty adorable. I know, it seems strange that a piece of machinery could ever be cuddly, but that’s what makes it remarkable! You’ll also notice Android uses pretty adorable names for its platforms, like Jelly Bean, Gingerbread, and Ice Cream Sandwich. The robot is so cute, in fact, that people actually create their own “art” of sorts with the robot, putting him in cute scenarios like some you see here.Image credits: dullhunk, laihiu, victoria white20103) The SEOmoz RobotGuess robots are just inherently cute. The SEOmoz robot always makes me smile, and the copy they use around the robot gives him an even more adorable personality! Just goes to show B2B marketing doesn’t have to be totally devoid of the warm and fuzzy.4) The Dropbox BoxI’ve featured Dropbox on this blog a few times for their creative design. But their mascot — which is, quite logically, a box — always makes me smile. I think the cute comes in because … who the heck expects a box to be cute? I mean, it’s a folded piece of cardboard. Why is it smiling? Why is it wearing a party hat? Why is it in a pastel hilltop scene among happy little flowers? It’s the unexpected cute that gets me with this fellow, and has a lot to do with all the other cute “people” he hangs out with, too.Bonus: Dropbox will also throw in the occasional dinosaur. I’m a sucker for an inexplicable dinosaur.5) The Snuggle BearSnuggle Bear … the cuteness is kind of baked right in the name, eh? And if you mosey on over to Snuggle’s Facebook Page, you’ll notice Snuggle being adorable in many different scenarios, including as a stuffed animal being snuggled by cute little kids, and kids and animals giving each other big ol’ snuggly hugs. So they’ve basically decided the bear just wasn’t enough cute.6) The Pillsbury DoughboyThe Pillsbury Doughboy. So cute he has his own subdirectory on the Pillsbury site (on which you can make him dance, if you’re looking for a time waster). We all know and love him — he’s a chubby, squishy, round, soft, tiny, giggling pile of dough with a chef’s hat. That’s pretty much all the cute adjectives right in a row. And if you haven’t seen the latest co-marketing commercial with Geico in which he struggles to get through airport security (Spoiler Alert: The pat-down tickles and he can’t stop laughing), I recommend you mosey on over to YouTube stat. Oh heck, it’s quick, just watch it here:7) The HootSuite OwlI feel compelled to disclose that, originally, I wasn’t going to include HootSuite on this list. I mean, owls are generally pretty cute, but I didn’t think this one was any cuter than the next owl, until my coworker told me to Google images of it.I was wrong. Mea culpa. The HootSuite owl is all kinds of adorable.And I love how they put him in ridiculous costumes — it’s hard not to have an owl dressed as a journalist brighten your day. Those white glints in his eyes don’t hurt, either.8) The Tootsie Roll OwlDebuted in 1970, the Tootsie Roll owl is one of four animals in the iconic commercials that is asked “how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie pop?” When the boy in the commercial asks the owl, he licks the lollipop a couple times, and just bites right into that bad boy.Turns out, when you’re an owl, the answer’s three.The cutest part of all this is the owl’s goofy accent. If you don’t remember the way he counts, here, check out the commercial for yourself. It’s a classic, and it’s totally endearing.Since the commercial’s debut, the owl has gotten a bit of a facelift:9) Tux the Linux PenguinTux is a penguin (duh, his name is “Tux”) who officially represents the Linux operating system, and interestingly was chosen as the mascot via a Linux logo competition. So not only is he a cute little guy, he’s also user-generated content. Double whammy.Tux has a couple different variations, all of which are pretty darn snuggly:10) The Gerber BabyPshh … as if we would publish an adorable brand mascots post without babies! The Gerber Baby, introduced in 1928, is, in my opinion, the classic adorable brand mascot. Those chubby little cheeks have such staying power, Gerber still uses the Gerber Baby to this day, and even continues to carry on contests for the new Gerber Baby. Puppies and babies … no one can resist ’em.Alright, which adorable mascots did we miss? Share your awwww-inducing favorites in the comments!Image credit: Hipmunk Originally published May 17, 2013 4:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017last_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

My 15 Minutes of Social Media Shame

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Dec 17, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Social Media Marketing You know how they say, “everyone loves a pregnant woman”? Well for my sake, I really hope that’s true. Sunday night, I became the unfortunate victim of every marketer’s worst(ish) nightmare: I accidentally posted to HubSpot’s company Twitter account … thinking it was my personal one. This is my story.My Social Media Slip-Up I’m five months pregnant with my second kid, and I happen to have a baby blog I started when I was pregnant with my first son. To document my second pregnancy, Sunday night I posted a picture of my growing bump to a page on my blog. I also shared it on my Facebook Timeline as well as my personal Twitter account. Or so I thought … Yup … definitely not my personal Twitter account. The kicker is that I didn’t notice what I’d done right away. I sent the tweet, and then sat down to watch the season finale of Homeland with my husband. And did I mention HubSpot’s Twitter account has over 340,000 followers?#FacePalmAbout 15 minutes into the show, I happened to check my work email on my phone … and boy am I glad I did. Sure enough, I had an email from a colleague. The subject line read “Oops,” and within the email was the screenshot you see above. How it Happened As much as I’d like to blame technology for this one, it all boils down to good old-fashioned human error. Although in my case, I’m probably going to try to pass it off as “baby brain,” since I’m now more convinced than ever that it’s a real, legitimate thing.Here’s what happened: Last week, a helpful tool we use all the time on the HubSpot blog called ClickToTweet decided to stop offering its services for free. As a result, we set up a paid account for HubSpot. Because ClickToTweet requires you to log in using your Twitter credentials, last Friday I logged in as @HubSpot in order to use it … it never crossing my mind that doing so would log me in to Twitter.com as @HubSpot as well. But lo and behold, come Sunday night when I composed my tweet, I was still logged in as @HubSpot, and I hadn’t been careful enough to double check that before I tweeted.The Recovery After reading the “Oops” email and spewing out several expletives in a row, I quickly fired up my laptop to view the evidence. Then I immediately sprang into PR mode. Luckily, PR and social media management used to be my job at HubSpot, so after the initial shock wore off, I started realizing this wasn’t the end of the world. Worse comes to worst, I figured we could always just make fun of ourselves for the slip-up, and it would all boil over. There were definitely worse things I could’ve accidentally tweeted … and everyone loves a pregnant woman?After checking to see if anyone had tweeted at HubSpot to recognize my accidental tweet, I deleted it from our account. Luckily, it was a Sunday evening, and many of you were probably also enjoying the season finale of Homeland (just hopefully not live-tweeting it). To cover my bases, I also alerted our social media manager and our PR manager, and they both reassured me that no action was necessary on our part. This wasn’t exactly a “crisis” that needed to be addressed. Phew. We’re Only Human … and Humans Drive TechnologyHere’s the thing. While it’s so easy these days to blame technology for social media slip-ups such as this one (and many people often do), in this particular instance, only I was to blame. No software malfunction, no bug. Just my own carelessness (err … baby brain). No matter what tools and technology you use to power your marketing, don’t forget that humans are behind it. We’re the ones telling those tools what to tweet, who to email, what to publish. And … well … sh*t happens, guys. Because we’re only human after all. What to Do if This Happens to YouEvery scenario will be different, and much will depend on the context of the slip-up itself. In my case, my accidental tweet was pretty harmless. In fact, I consider myself lucky, since the whole scenario made for a perfect teaching moment on this blog. Some faux pas might require more PR muscle if something a little bit more scandalous gets posted, but most slip-ups are easy to recover from with a little bit of humor and grace. And you may be surprised at how forgiving people will be if you handle it right.Take the American Red Cross for example, whose rogue tweet back in 2011 is pictured below:After remaining on Red Cross’ Twitter account for about an hour, the tweet was deleted but followed up with some fun, lighthearted commentary:As a result, the Red Cross received an outpouring of support and sympathy from its followers. In fact, even Dogfish Head brewery got in on the action:And the Red Cross replied back with:The Red Cross also posted an apology to its blog, using the opportunity to thank those who saw the faux pas as an opportunity to donate blood, but cautioning them “to space out giving a pint of blood and drinking a pint of beer for health reasons.” Nice touch. Well done, Red Cross. Has anything like this ever happened to you? How did you recover from it?last_img read more

A Practical Guide to Planning a Successful Inbound Marketing Campaign

first_img Marketing Campaigns Topics: Originally published Jan 9, 2014 11:00:00 AM, updated August 29 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 HubSpotIf you’re a HubSpot customer, you can organize, execute, and measure your campaigns directly from the Campaign app. This will show you how many visits, contacts, and customers your campaign generated against your goals and how each promotion channel contributed to those outcomes.There it is folks — your recipe for an airtight marketing campaign. Want to remember this for next time? We made a simple, one-page checklist for you to hang at your desk or save to your computer.If you’re a HubSpot customer, there’s also an entire Campaign-in-a-Box kit, including 10 different planning worksheets and a guide to using the new Campaigns app in HubSpot.Now go out there and launch something remarkable!Got some advice on how to put together a comprehensive inbound marketing plan? Be sure to share your thoughts below! Here are a couple of examples of HubSpot’s goals from a recent product launch. The product we were launching was Social Inbox, a social monitoring and publishing tool. We wanted to generate a ton of activity around the topic of social media to establish our expertise and pull in a specific type of lead.”Generate 5,000 leads who are interested in social media marketing by June 30, 2013.””Improve rank for the keyword ‘social monitoring’ from 5th to 2nd on Google by June 30, 2013.”SMART goals for a campaign should fold-up into and support the SMART goals you’ve created for your marketing strategy as a whole.Jumpstart: SMART goal-setting templateChoose keywords and optimize for search.As part of your marketing plan, you’ll want to zero in on the keywords you want to rank for as a result of the campaign. These are the words you can prioritize in your headlines and across your content. The goal here is not to stuff keywords, but rather to be consistent in the terms you use to optimize for search. Jumpstart: 4 Helpful Tools for Identifying the Right KeywordsCreate a tracking URL.At the end of your campaign, you’re going to want to measure everything together to see how each of your campaign components contributed to the end-goals you set. To do this in a unified way, you’ll need to create a tracking URL for use across your campaign efforts. You can get a step-by-step guide of how to create a tracking URL here.Note: If you’re a HubSpot customer, you can actually skip this step and instead use the new Campaigns app in HubSpot. The Campaigns app enables you to plan, run, and measure a campaign in one place without needing to code up tracking URLs.Develop offers and landing pages.Now that you have all of the fundamentals of your marketing campaign down, you’ll want to create content offers to attract potential customers and landing pages to convert those visitors.Make sure your main landing page elements, like the headline and meta description, include the keywords that you decided to optimize for. Jumpstart: A collection of templates from HubSpot to help you create your offersChoose your promotion channels and get the word out.Send an email.If you’ve got an existing list of contacts who might be interested in the content, feature the content offer in a newsletter or create a dedicated email send for it. Include social share buttons in the email, and make sure to include your tracking URL when you link to the report (again, HubSpot customers, you don’t need to do this). Jumpstart: The Anatomy of a 5-Star EmailWrite related blog posts.Blogs are a great, search-friendly way to attract people to your offer. Repurpose part of your offer as a blog post and link to the landing page for the full content or write about similar topics to generate interest in the focus area. Jumpstart: How to Turn One Idea Into a Bottomless Backlog of Blog PostsShare content on social media.Schedule continuous social content about your offer throughout the length of your campaign. Don’t just post the same thing every day. Instead, mix it up and see which converts best. Remember: If you’re not using HubSpot, use a tracking URL.  Jumpstart: Social media publishing schedule templateConsider paid search and other channels. Other channels can be a part of your inbound campaign, too — just be sure you’re tracking them all together so you know how they are each contributing to your campaign.  Jumpstart: Template for managing your AdWords campaignNurture leads generated through your offers.Your campaign doesn’t end when leads convert on your landing page. To guide your new leads to a point at which they may be ready to talk to your sales team, attach a lead nurturing campaign or series of relevant follow-up emails to your offer. In a lead nurturing series, each email should helpfully nudge the lead to the next step of their decision process. Jumpstart: An Introduction to Lead NurturingReport on your results.Take a breath — your marketing plan is complete and your campaign is up and running. After it’s launched, go back to your original goals and use analytics to see how well you’re faring against them. Google AnalyticsIf you’ve set up your tracking URLs properly, you’ll be able to see how many visits your campaign generated in the acquisition menu of Google Analytics, as shown in the image below. Sign in to Google Analytics, click ‘Acquisition’ in the left column, and then click ‘Campaigns’ to see your campaign traffic.  Welcome to January — a time of new energy, new calendars, and lots and lots of planning. Whether you’re planning your marketing strategy as a whole or developing a specific marketing campaign to achieve a particular goal, a little structure can help to reduce a daunting task to a manageable one.Learn how to run more impactful, measurable marketing campaigns.You’ll find help with this structuring below, where I’ve outlined numerous steps we take when planning our own campaigns at HubSpot. So go on — use our outline below to get your marketing going strong to start 2014!Identify your audience.Whether you’re creating a marketing strategy for your entire company or developing a campaign for a particular product launch, defining your audience is the most fundamental step. It is the difference between a generic message that falls flat and a campaign that really resonates.When you’re building your marketing plan, start by developing the audience profile, often called a persona. Your profile should include the following components:DemographicsValuesBiggest challengesHow you solve those challengesCurrent perceptions of your company/productCommon objectionsJumpstart: 9 Questions You Need to Ask When Developing Buyer PersonasSet benchmarks and goals.You need to know where you are to get where you’re going. Before launching into a campaign, take stock of the current traffic to your site and the leads and customers generated by similar campaigns in the past. Use those as benchmarks to set goals for this campaign.Your goals should me more concrete than “raising awareness” and more achievable than “tripling sales in a month.” Aim to create what marketers call SMART goals — specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timebound. For example: “Generate [number] leads focused on [topic/product] by [date].”last_img read more