Tag Archive | "Helps"

10 Ways Specificity Helps You Build a Profitable Audience

If you’re building a business with content marketing, you’ve probably noticed that the attention span of your audience is shrinking…

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Our Machine Learning Platform Helps Brands Retain Their Customers, Says Medallia CEO

“We’re a platform that helps some of the biggest brands in the world really understand their customers in live time and communicate with them while they’re in an experience,” says Medallia CEO Leslie Stretch. “Instead of a survey after they’ve left a hotel, they communicate them while they’re there, check in on the experience and improve it. This helps them retain their customer and perhaps sell them another experience. It’s this machine learning platform that does that.”

Leslie Stretch, President and CEO of Medallia, discusses the company’s IPO and how the company uses machine learning to react to customer signals in real-time rather than after they leave an experience in an interview on CNBC:

Our Machine Learning Platform Helps Brands Retain Their Customers

We’re a Silicon Valley tech company. We’re a platform that helps some of the biggest brands in the world really understand their customers in live time and communicate with them while they’re in an experience. So instead of a survey after they’ve left a hotel, they communicate them while they’re there, check in on the experience and improve it. This helps them retain their customer and perhaps sell them another experience. It’s this machine learning platform that does that.

Anything is a signal to us, a survey, an IOT signal, a transaction, somebody buys something, they have a bad experience at the pool, or they’re on an airline and they don’t quite like the service that they’re getting, they can feed that back immediately instead of waiting until the experience is finished. We’re all about platform and signal. We’re very different from the survey companies, the feedback companies, which are the old experience economy companies. It’s the application of deep Silicon Valley technology to the problem.

The Customer Is At the Center of Every Digital Transformation

Customer experience has become really a major theme for every big brand in the world today. I also think that our technology is innovative and very different. The application of machine learning and the platform and just the operationalization of a private Silicon Valley company are really what I’ve done in the past. Just bringing basic blocking and tackling to go to market and marketing and building up the salesforce. So very simple and taking the story out to a bigger market.

We actually just signed a revenue share partnership with Salesforce. We have a partnership for Marketing Cloud with Adobe. They’re great alliances for us. We can present our machine learning, our unstructured data, into their Marketing Cloud, Sales Cloud, and Service Cloud. That’s brand new for us this year. It’s great to go to market with leaders like that. Both Adobe and Salesforce completely understand the customer is at the center of every digital transformation and we are at the center of that.

It’s Not For the Faint-Hearted, But We Invested a Ton In It

We spent more than a half a billion dollars building this plot platform. That sets us apart from the traditional simple survey vendor. We’ve spent a ton of money on the privacy layer and on the security layer. We’ve worked already for a decade with some of the biggest brands in the world whose customer information is precious. We’re HIPAA certified for healthcare as well. So we take that very seriously. It’s not for the faint-hearted, but we invested a ton in it and it’s worth it.

Our Machine Learning Platform Helps Brands Retain Their Customers, Says Medallia CEO Leslie Stretch

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Google Calendar’s New ‘Out of Office’ Mode Helps Improve Your Work-Life Balance

Google has finally taken steps to make their Calendar more flexible. The company has rolled out two new features that will allow users to customize their schedules on a daily basis and mark events as “out of office.”

Our lives do not run on a fixed schedule, so it only makes sense that Google Calendar should also allow for some flexibility. Let’s say you prefer to have a late start on Mondays and will just make up for it by working longer the following day. A new set of controls in Calendar will make it easier for you to adjust your availability and limitations on a daily basis.

This means you can adjust it so that your work hours on Mondays can start at 10 am while you can extend your Tuesday schedule until 8 pm. When someone sends an invitation to a meeting and it falls beyond your work schedule, they will receive a notification stating that you might decline.

At the moment, Google users can set up only a single default working schedule from Monday to Friday. But with this new tool, you can be as specific as possible.

Another new feature headed to Google Calendar is the “out of office” mode. It also works in a similar manner, but instead of blocking off their schedule with a random event, users can set it up as an “out of office” entry. So people who invite you to an event during this scheduled timeout duration will automatically receive a message declining the invitation. The message can also be personalized as you see fit.

The updates are Google’s way of assisting its users to have a healthier “digital well-being.” After all, something as simple as setting up flexible work hours or scheduling time to be out of the office can have a big impact on your work-life balance.

The new features are expected to be available on all G Suite editions in the next few days.

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Facebook’s Creative Hub Helps Businesses Make Effective Ads

Facebook has launched Creative Hub, a platform for its mobile advertisers to learn, create and share ad media. Creative Hub is billed as “a new way to create mockups for ads, share them with anyone and experience your work as though it’s live.”

Creative Hub is already getting rave reviews from advertisers and agencies. “I am in no way exaggerating when I say that when I first used it, I sent an internal email to the whole department declaring (and I quote) ‘it is sick… IT WILL CHANGE OUR LIVES’,” exclaimed Ben Shaw, Head of BBH Live at BBH London.

“We designed Creative Hub to be a faster, easier way to produce ideas that capture attention and delight people where they’re spending their time—on mobile,” noted the Facebook ad team in a recent blog post. “Today, the Creative Hub is available to the entire global advertising and marketing community.”

Facebook has been testing Creative Hub since June with selected ad agencies and is just now making it available for all advertisers. They have since added a new Inspiration Gallery showcasing examples of inspiring mobile creative across Facebook and Instagram.

“We developed Creative Hub in response to the needs we heard from the creative community, who told us they needed a tool to help them experiment with content creation on Facebook and Instagram—including trying new formats, previewing ideas on mobile screens, collaborating internally and sharing mock-ups with stakeholders,” noted Facebook.

With Facebook Creative Hub advertisers can be inspired by a gallery of creatives from various brands and agencies in all available formats including 360 video, carousel, canvas and video. You can even mock up your own ideas within the various ad formats and save your work to view later, or even share and collaborate on your creative work with your team.

Once you have mock-ups, you can preview your ad as though it’s live in a mobile feed, and you can also see how it might look on Facebook News Feed or Instagram feed, according to Facebook. The Hub will provide you with a URL of your work to share with staff and clients as well.

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Technology Helps Salespeople and the Customer Connect

Technology is impacting sales in a way never seen before as evidenced by Salesforce’s massive integration of artificial intelligence into all of their various clouds and products. At the Salesforce Dreamforce event much of the discussion is about how technology is changing the sales landscape requiring salespeople to adapt or fail.

There are so many trends really impacting sales right now,” says Tim Clarke, Director of Product Marketing at Salesforce. “You can’t lead with products anymore, as Brent Adamson of CEB said, 57% of the buying process is completed before they engage the salesperson. We know that with a lot of the purchasing decisions that we make we’ll just do our research online, so the professional sales person now needs to truly add value.”

He noted what we all know, that the most effective sales strategy relies on having the right conversation at the right time, at the right place and on the right channel. However, it’s really more than that, it’s about standing out knowing everything there is to know. “We’ve probably all received those prospecting emails which are just generic, and then you get the second one saying, I didn’t hear from you and then the third one asking, did you get hit by a car?” said Clarke. “Clearly, prospecting and sales development is really an exciting area right now and there’s so much technology that really can support sales professionals to be successful.”

Salespeople Must Stand Out From the Herd

An extreme depth of knowledge about the customer is becoming more important. “First, the customer is obviously much more educated today than they were even 5 or 10 years ago,” said Will Anastas, SVP of Enterprise Corporate Sales at Salesforce. “The proliferation of technology that enables customers to be smart is also at our disposal as well in sales.”

He noted that it is key for salespeople to “stand out from the herd of salespeople” that literally have the same information as we do. “So how do we change our perspective and how do we do discovery so that we can show up literally like your customers customer?” Anastas asks. “By providing that point of view that is authentic, genuine and empathetic that will help you break through and separate yourself from really everyone that is trying to sell to this individual. I think it’s a challenging time, but I think it is full of opportunity.”

Try Different Things to Get in Front of Your Prospects

“We launched a project with a company called Somersault Innovation which is led by Ashley Welch and her co-founder Justin Jones,” said Anastas. “What they did was take the principals of design thinking and applied it to a sales process, a sales discovery methodology. There were 3 main components of it, empathy, customer centricity and curiosity.”

Salesforce rolled out their program internally in order to improve their own sales. “What I’ve noticed is that as we’ve rolled out this training to our salespeople they have found themselves in situations that they didn’t expect to find themselves in,” noted Anastas. “For instance, one of my executives has Greyhound as a prospect account and we been trying to get into Greyhound for years, doing the same thing over and over again, looking at LinkedIn and looking at the available information on the web.

“Finally, after we did this training, our account executive just went and got on a bus,” he said. “Instead of flying to LA for the weekend, he took a Greyhound from San Francisco to LA, he talked to a bunch of people at Greyhound and he figured out a bunch of insights that he would never have gotten by sitting at his desk and looking at the web.”

Later, Anastas said that when the salesperson phoned up Greyhound he was able to talk about his personal experience of the bus ride and as their customer. “That warm, empathetic intro has taken him all the way to the office of the CEO at Greyhound in a very short period of time.”

“So to me, it’s really about separating yourself out and trying different things to get you in front of your prospects faster.”

The Personal Connection is Also Important

The CEO of CCI Global Holdings, Walter Rogers, says that technology has become available that really allows a seller to become much more knowledgable about their buyer, their buyers customers, their buyers needs, both personal and professional. However, he says making a personal connection with these individuals and leveraging all of this information enables the salesperson to make an “impact” on the potential customer.

“We talked a lot about the impact of technology on sales,” he said. “I want to sidestep and talk about the personal connection with a human being. That’s something that I personally experienced working in partnership with Amazon Web Services. I’ve actually gone deep into their sales cycles as they try to convince customers to move from on premises to a cloud based infrastructure.”

“There was one customer that we were working with that just did not want to move,” Rogers said. “They were very efficient in how they were running their operation and they felt they would not save any money. However, when we dug really really deep, his personal motivator was impacting the public education system.”

He said that showing the customer that moving their data from to the cloud, would allow them to correlate information across many other databases and build out a predictive analytics model. “This let them spot students before they got in trouble, by looking at various trends, such as did the parents just go on welfare, those types of things,” says Rogers. “Because we are able to make that human personal connection, this company is beginning to make a migration across the AWS infrastructure.”

“We can’t ever overlook the impact of the human connection,” he said. “You’d be amazed at what a difference it can make in getting email response when you take the words me, I and we out of your emails completely and focus them all on the word you and what’s important to the other person. The response rates will go up about 50%.”

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Lauren Shuttleworth: How This Stationery Entrepreneur Educates Girls, Helps The Environment & Makes A Profit At The Same Time

[ Download MP3 | Transcript | iTunes | Soundcloud | Raw RSS ] Like many entrepreneurs I’ve always had a strong urge to help other people, not just directly helping customers with my business, but in a broader social sense too. Donating to charities is great, but I’ve never felt…

The post Lauren Shuttleworth: How This Stationery Entrepreneur Educates Girls, Helps The Environment & Makes A Profit At The Same Time appeared first on Entrepreneurs-Journey.com.

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How Switching to Solar Power Helps the Environment

A lot of people switch to solar energy in an attempt to help their wallet and while it is a cost effective transition to make, it also has a noticeably positive impact on the environment and the owner’s carbon footprint. A properly set up solar panel grid can eliminate over three tonnes of greenhouse emissions every single year per household. Since solar panels are durable enough to last multiple decades, an investment in green electricity isn’t only beneficial to your wallet but also to the environment. For people considering making the change to solar power system as their primary electrical source it is important to ensure that their system is properly set up to get the maximum efficiency out of them.

Most power grids rely on inefficient fossil fuels in order to provide power are responsible for a majority of the current emissions crisis, solar power avoid harming the environment by harvesting all of their electricity from abundant rays of photons from the sun. Since the sun is producing energy regardless if it is being used as an electrical source, this means there is very little pollution being produced in the process.

Smaller startup solar panels still require assistance from the power company’s grid in order to ensure a constant supply of power but larger panels are able to be completely self-sufficient by storing excess electricity in batteries. In fact larger solar panels that produce more electricity than can be stored in reserve are able to sell back the electricity to the power company which means that less of their energy comes from harmful sources helping their pollution output as well.

A common concern with the environmental impact of solar power is that they are produced in a way that negates any potential ecological benefits. Luckily solar panels are made of silicon, which is one of the most abundant resources on the planet and require very few harmful chemicals in order to be processed. While the manufacturing of solar panels does produce a small amount of emissions, these are very insignificant when compared against the alternative of using fossils fuels as a primary energy source. Also most companies who specialize in solar power system have environmental impact in mind, and do their best to produce them in the cleanest way possible. Since a good system will last for a couple of decades, any negative effects of their creation gets negated by the abundant clean electricity they provide for the coming years.

While other forms of green energy are obtainable at an industrial level, for residential and small business use, solar power is the only viable option. For environmentally conscious consumers looking to reduce their carbon footprint, making the switch to solar power system is the best way to do your part in preserving our planet for future generations.

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An Advocate Who Helps People Change the World with Content Marketing

Hero's Journey - helping make change happen with content

There’s a certain type of client who’s naturally drawn to Amy Butcher’s work. And there’s a certain type of client Amy Butcher is naturally drawn to.

The common thread?

Amy helps nonprofits, research institutes, and public sector agencies craft ultra-effective content. Her words help them get more support and more donations.

Her words help them change the world.

Once a month here on Copyblogger, we tap the collective wisdom of our community members to bring you reports from the front lines of the content marketing world.

For this month’s Hero’s Journey feature, I asked Amy to remove her superhero cape momentarily to tell us more about her business — who she helps, and how she helps them.

Here are her answers in her own words.

The universal theme that ties her clients together

Amy Butcher: I’m a translator, writer, content marketing consultant, and editor. I help organizations use content to get more support.

And I help self-published authors take their memoirs, business books, and novels to the next level to drive book sales.

Overall, I tend to connect with people who are passionate about helping others and changing the world.



Solid content and a dash of spice

Amy Butcher: I offer my clients both structure and style. I help them organize their content in clear ways while adding a dash of ye’ old razzmatazz.

I don’t sit around talking about content problems. I get on with hunting them down and fixing them with my trusty utility belt, courtesy of Copyblogger.

The content I create serves as a vital bridge between my clients’ visions and their audience’s needs. This can be so hard for people to build themselves.

A content marketer who’s a word nerd at heart

Amy Butcher: I’m a translator and editor by trade, and I started my career in communications, so my freelance business started from those contacts and grew by word of mouth.

When I was but a wee lass, I pictured myself becoming a writer who would teach grammar at a university, but my love of French led to a career path in translation and editing. I went that way because I thought that was what any self-respecting language nerd should do.

A few years ago, I had that look-in-the-mirror moment and said, ‘Is this it?’

I had chosen the easier way to make a living, but the writer in me finally woke up from her coma and seal-slapped me across the face.

Then I found Copyblogger and discovered content marketing and content strategy. I was able to shift gears and provide more value than just your average bilingual comma jockey. And this approach is working for me.

How even a superhero sometimes gets in her own way

Amy Butcher: The problem with being a superhero? With great power comes an even greater superhero complex.

My penchant for self-reliance has led to not only burnout but also hair-pulling, jaw-grinding, and a deep despair that they don’t sell parts to my Self-Cloner 3000.

I always felt that I had to go it alone.

But a while back, I listened to an Unemployable with Brian Clark webinar featuring Chris Ducker about this very topic.

I came to the hard realization that the problem isn’t other people: it’s me. I’m the one who hasn’t taken the time to truly explain to assistants or subcontractors what I need them to do.

That’s a bitter pill to swallow but also a wake-up call, and I’ve been thinking about processes to hire people to help my business.

Right now, I have help for a website coding job that I used to try to solve myself, so that is at least a step in the right direction.

As a small business owner, putting on the big-league jersey and claiming your rightful place on the field means understanding the value of a team. I’m still learning that.



The unsexy secret to a superhero’s success

Amy Butcher: My writing work and guest blogging are going well. Although I’m just starting out with guest blogging, I can already see its power in getting the word out about my business.

Also, for all clients, I try to communicate an extreme passion for what I do and figure out how to “wow” them and exceed their expectations.

These basic principles should surprise no one, but it’s amazing how far simple things like a solid work ethic, intense discipline, and respect for others can take you.

Which Rainmaker Digital products do you use, and how do you use them?

Amy Butcher: I’m a Certified Content Marketer, so I’m a member of Authority. With the Teaching Sells course, I built a new site for my nonprofit clients that I’m really proud of and has received a great response, and I’m going to use this as a platform for future educational products.

Some of the greatest value I’ve gotten from Copyblogger are the monthly Content Marketer Certification calls, which have given me a direct line to Sonia Simone and Brian Clark. They solved problems for my business in two minutes that I would agonize over for months!

My advice to anyone in a similar situation is don’t waste time agonizing. Just get over yourself, fork over the cash to talk to an expert, and then just do whatever the heck they say.

Don’t hem and haw. Don’t give excuses about why it won’t work for you. Just get in the damn ring.

Building a media empire, one baby step at a time

Amy Butcher: Even as a one-person operation, I’m bent on developing my own little media empire, even if it’s somewhat dollhouse in size.

And my initial idea of teaching is now something I can easily do, and I don’t have to wait around for a university to hire me or (even better) conform to their ideas of what a curriculum is supposed to be.

Why you should “think like an author”

Amy Butcher: I get really jazzed about helping clients figure out what they want to say or helping them shape a creative vision into something logical and structured.

Sometimes I have to rein people in from going off the deep end, but I mostly have to push them to develop their ideas.

We all have to combat “first draft syndrome” — that’s when you fall in love with your initial ideas, as though every single word or thought from your head is dripping with honey and gold.

Big-time authors rewrite their work dozens — if not hundreds — of times.

Content marketers often say that you have to ‘think like a publisher.’ But I personally don’t give that advice, as many publishers are actually not very successful and don’t make a lot of money!

Instead, my advice to any client — whether they’re a writer, small business, or nonprofit — is to “think like a bestselling author,” which means gaining a deep understanding of your own “genre” so that you understand the obligatory conventions while giving your prospects a new experience within those constraints.

As business owners, we have to understand the genre in which we’ve decided to produce value. And in business, our genre is made of the real needs of real people.


Find Amy Butcher online

Thanks to Amy for appearing in our Hero’s Journey series.

We’ll be back next month with another story to teach, inspire, and encourage you along your journey.

About the author

Pamela Wilson

Pamela Wilson is Executive Vice President of Educational Content at Rainmaker Digital. Follow her on Twitter, and find more from her at BigBrandSystem.com.

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Lauren Shuttleworth: How This Stationery Entrepreneur Educates Girls, Helps The Environment & Makes A Profit At The Same Time

[ Download MP3 | Transcript | iTunes | Soundcloud | Raw RSS ] Like many entrepreneurs I’ve always had a strong urge to help other people, not just directly helping customers with my business, but in a broader social sense too. Donating to charities is great, but I’ve never felt…

The post Lauren Shuttleworth: How This Stationery Entrepreneur Educates Girls, Helps The Environment & Makes A Profit At The Same Time appeared first on Entrepreneurs-Journey.com.

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Mobile helps boost Christmas Day sales by 8.3 percent

Amazon appHoliday shopping is like driving down a steep hill in a car with no brakes. Once you start, it’s hard to stop. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Free Shipping Day, last minute markdowns, post holiday sales — the dollars keep flying out the window as we grab first gifts for others then gifts for ourselves.

And believe it or not, some people use those after Christmas sales to start buying gifts for next year!

The fact that most stores are closed on Christmas Day didn’t stop shoppers from spending. According to the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark, online sales were up 8.3% over Christmas Day 2013.

More than 50% of online traffic on Christmas Day came from mobile, that’s an increase of 18.6% YoY.

Mobile also accounted for 34.8% of online sales on December 25th. That’s up 20.4% over 2013.

40% of mobile traffic came from smartphones but tablet users did more shopping. (18.4% vs 16.3)

That means that the desktop still ruled for both traffic and sales:

Desktop PC traffic represented 42.6 percent of all online traffic, and 65.2 percent of all online sales. Further, consumers spent more money on their desktops with an average order value of $ 107.72 compared to their mobile devices at $ 88.70 a difference of 21.4 percent.

Here’s an interesting note: on Christmas Day 2014, online shoppers bought fewer items per order but their average order value was up 6.2% over the prior year. That’s an average of 3.5 items totally just over $ 100.

And another:

Facebook referrals drove an average of $ 89.80 per order, while Pinterest referrals averaged $ 99.86 per order.

That’s another reason why you should look seriously at Pinterest’s new Promoted Pins program.

Amazon Says Records Were Broken

Amazon says they had a record breaking holiday season but they aren’t offering up any dollar amounts as proof. They did say that 10 million new people tried their Prime service over the holidays and that customers ordered 10 times the number of “same day delivery” items as last year.

And since I know you’re dying to hear about the last package that was sent out in time for Christmas, I have that information for you:

The last Prime One-Day Shipping order on Amazon.com delivered in time for Christmas was placed on December 23, 2014 at 2:55 p.m. EST and shipped to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The order included Nature’s Miracle No More Marking, 24-ounce spray and a men’s Champion Evo Fleece Full Zip Hoodie.

Here are a few more crazy facts:

  • Amazon customers purchased enough Elsa dolls to reach the top of Cinderella’s castle 855 times.
  • Amazon customers purchased enough Sophie the Giraffe teethers to equal the height of 788 real giraffes.
  • If every Amazon customer who purchased a copy of Pokémon Alpha Sapphire or Pokémon Omega Ruby this holiday season caught every species of monster in the game, they would have collected more Pokémon than the entire population of the US.
  • If every shoe from each pair of pumps Amazon Fashion customers purchased this holiday season were stacked on top of each other they would equal 52 times the Empire State Building.
  • The total length of Duck Brand Disney Frozen duct tape purchased by Amazon customers this holiday season could stretch to the top of Disneyland’s Matterhorn more than 729 times.
  • Amazon customers purchased enough Rubbermaid storage containers to pack a lunch for the entire population of Montana.

Memorize the list and use it to dazzle your co-workers at lunch. They’ll be impressed, I promise.

 

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