A CHARMED LIFE
Book review & Insights from the Autobiography of paul Hauck, phd
Generally, a lot of the posts on my blog fall into the topics of business, sales, marketing or management. I have not touched too much on any personal aspects of my life, quite frankly, because I don't think that many people would be interested in reading about that. However, as I have gotten older and now have not only become responsible for the well-being of myself, but also my family, including a direct influence over the actions of my son, Sebastian, I am realizing that often a lot of lessons in life and business are intertwined. Having a blog can also be a great way of chronicling some of the events throughout your life so other generations of your friends or family can enjoy them in the future.
I enjoy reading books and one that has been on my shelf for awhile that I have been meaning to get around to was an autobiography from my great uncle, Paul Hauck. With the birth of my son in June, 2013, most of the novels I have read in the past year and a half have been geared towards toddlers with titles such as Chika Chika Boom Boom, The Pout Pout Fish, The Little Engine That Could, Thomas the Train and Moo Baa La La La. Needless to say, I have been ready to dive into something new to stimulate some thoughts.
There are many good reasons why a company should seriously consider hiring interim managers on a temporary basis. While such managers will probably not stay with the company long-term (unless you offer them full-time employment) they bring a lot to the table and can help to make your company significantly more effective and efficient than before. Following are the five main benefits of hiring an interim (aka temporary) manager.
Hiring an interim manager is cost effective, as companies do not have to offer temporary managers benefits such as health care, paid leave, paid vacation and the like. What is more, the average salary for an interim manager is significantly lower than it would be for a full time manager or executive.
There’s a famous slogan from Samuel Beckett’s Worstward Ho that every new start-up company should consider making its private mantra: Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.
Sound pessimistic? Maybe a little. But unfortunately, in the world of startup businesses, it’s realistic. Not only do startups have to compete with one another - they have to compete with older, stronger, longer businesses that have been playing in the arena a lot longer, and with far more loyal fans than a startup can pull off. Over fifty percent of startups fail in the beginning. It’s important not to get discouraged by potential roadblocks, but rather, to learn to fail again, and fail better. Sounds pretty awful, huh?
It’s important to remember that not every startup fails, and that every major company, even the big sharks like Google or Apple, had to start somewhere. Here are some important tips to keep in mind as you brave it out there in the open water.
Check out "Smooth Scaling" Infographic below to learn how to keep your business startup afloat and learn to sail the open waters against even the top competitors.
No matter what career you are in or what point you are at in your career, there will always come a time when a new barrier or challenge presents itself to you. Big or small we all faces challenges on a daily basis and how we respond to them will often decide the future outcome. The key when facing any challenge, hurdle or barrier is to know what direction you want to go and taking small steps each day to overcome your barriers to continue heading in the right direction.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Understanding yourself and knowing your strengths and weaknesses is a great tool to fall back on in times of adversity. When looking at a challenge, start to understand why it is challenging to you? Ask yourself the really tough questions and be humble. Could this task or challenge be accomplished easier if you ask someone for help in area where they are strong and you are weak? Beginning to understand the challenge and why you find it difficult will begin to uncover different strategies for tackling the problem. Another question that is often pertinent in this day and age is - impatience. Often we want everything to be accomplished quickly and do not have any tolerance for delays or minor set backs. This attitude can cause the problem, barrier or challenge to snowball and can cause some individuals to give up altogether. The key is to go with the flow and understand that everything is not supposed to go smoothly in life, but it can still go well depending on how you decide to handle the situation. There is no reality except the one that is contained within us. So stop worrying and begin to tackle the problem one day at a time.
Realize That It Will Never Be Enough
A/B testing is the most efficient means of predicting the value of website conversion measures and WhichTestWon.com explains the strengths and weaknesses of particular tests and the companies conducting the tests. They have over 350 case studies and tests on file from a variety of industries & businesses of all sizes. By having access to review some of these tests that have already been conducted and seeing the outcomes can give you great insights into what converts well, what sells and better ideas for testing going forward for your website.
Just imagine all the time, effort and money it would take to conduct all these tests on your own. WhichTestWon.com can help you with predictive modeling and give you a better understanding of all the elements that go into conversion rate optimization. It may not be the crystal ball you were looking for that sees into the future, but it is probably the next best thing when it comes to website testing & optimization. After all, most statisticians or analysts use data from the past to help build predictive modeling for the future.
What is A/B Testing
Like many other digital marketing terms, "native advertising" may just sound like an empty buzzword to the uninitiated, but the term does have a true meaning, and it's one that marketers and business leaders alike need to know. Read on to learn what native advertising is, how it benefits brands, and what challenges brands, companies or products need to overcome in order to use native advertising effectively.
What is Native Advertising?
Native advertising simply refers to brand advertisements that are provided in the form of content that users will want to consume and share with others. Many view native advertising as a subset of content marketing, and this definition is apt, as content marketing could be distributed to users over any variety of digital platforms.
The "native" in native advertising indicates the ads are provided alongside editorial content or in-stream on websites that users are already visiting; as a result, it's easy to make the argument that all native advertising is content marketing, but not all content marketing is native advertising.
If your company is involved in digital marketing to bring attention to a product or service and has used the Internet and social media websites to do so, you are most likely familiar with PPC marketing, even if you did not know what the acronym stood for. PPC, or Pay-Per-Click marketing is a way that companies can advertise on a multitude of websites or search engines and only pay if there ad is clicked and a visitor arrives at their website.
If a consumer does not actually click on their banner, sidebar ad or paid search keyword ad, then they don’t have to pay a dime. This method is very targeted and can provide cost savings to the original marketing method that was popular on the Internet years ago, which was CPM. CPM advertising is basically paying one cost for 1,000 impressions whether the ads are clicked on or not. Ads in the form of banners were also hard coded onto websites and generated a monthly fee purely because they were featured on the website as opposed to charging per click.
Large companies, Big Digital Advertising Budgets, PPC Marketing and Programmatic Advertising is Beginning to change the Landscape.
Organizing and Managing PPC Marketing Accounts for Success
Important: The more specific and finely tuned you make your account structure, the more relevant your ads will be and the better your quality scores will be. The better your Quality Scores, the greater the discount and Ad Rank you receive on your advertising. High spend, high volume campaigns should especially have tightly themed, narrow ad groups with focused keyword themes so ads can be highly relevant to each individual search query. The graphic on the left conveys all the main elements that go into calculating a Quality Score. Then Google takes your cost per click multiplied by your quality score to give you an ultimate Ad Rank for every keyword auction you enter to determine what position your ad will show up in on the search results page. With the new Ad Rank formula, you can actual pay less for being in the number 1 advertising position if your ad is more relevant, has a higher quality score and ultimately a much better Ad Rank than the other advertisers competing against you or your company.
Ad Groups and Keywords:
- Very specific targeted Ad Groups & Keyword phrases allow you to narrow your focus and remove any clutter. The idea is to carry the relevant keyword themes from the original keyword search – through to Ad copy – to the Landing Page.
Marketing automation is the term for software platforms that simplify and automate repetitive tasks within marketing departments of businesses. These services provide a way for businesses to retain customers, streamline sales operations, increase conversions and reduce marketing costs. That’s why marketing automation matters for small businesses, large businesses, B2B and B2C businesses on the web.
The most common features in a marketing automation platform include CRM integration, web analytics, lead nurturing, lead scoring, email marketing, list management and analytical reporting. These are the necessary features to achieve a successful closed-loop marketing process.
Easily move beyond the guesswork of an effective website to the firm knowledge stage by using A/B testing. Simple to use, and quick to deliver results, A/B testing gets to the heart of the matter: what appeals to visitors when they land on a particular website or page.
Simply put, A/B testing is releasing two different versions of your website to a similar group of visitors, collecting data about their usage patterns, then analyzing that data in order to make the website more appealing and efficient to those people you are trying to reach and improving upon your marketing goals. While just about everyone today understands the need and importance of having a website for their business, the concept does not stop there. Once the website is created, it is easy to assume that it is doing the job you set it up to do: entice visitors to click on the link to enter the site, stay for awhile and click around before making a purchase or contacting you for more information.
It is all too easy to simply assume your website is appealing to those people that you want to land there. Without performing the necessary testing, such as A/B testing, early in the process, you may stand to lose out on potential sales and conversions, both now and in the future. A/B testing offers a number of advantages as outlined below and it is critical to any digital marketing campaign.
Does your website provide lackluster conversion rates? According to Google, only 2 – 4 percent of visits to a website result in a transaction. Remarketing lists for search ads promises to change all that.
Remarketing lists for search ads, or RLSA for short, lets you target your search ad campaigns towards people who have visited your site before and customize your ads to those visitors while they search on Google. RLSA helps you stay connected to people who left your site before buying anything as they continue Google searching.
With conventional search campaign platforms, you use the same bids, ads and keywords in an attempt to cover every search and reach every searcher. However, if you had the advantage of knowing which searchers were higher value prospects, you might want to increase your bid, use different keywords, or show different ads to these potential clients to improve your website’s conversion rates.
Remarketing lists help you do just that.
Do you know when and how PPC advertising was first introduced? Were you aware that Google AdWords hasn't always been the leader in PPC? Let's take a look at the milestones of PPC advertising history - with an eye toward what may be around the corner.
The 1990s and the first PPC platform
It all began with the Planet Oasis website and an interface representing a virtual city. The buildings on that image linked to websites, and the brand owners were charged to get a spot on the graphic. That was in 1996.
Planet Oasis proposed changing to a pay-per-click advertising basis (signifying the first use of the term) in the subsequent edition, but advertisers didn't like the idea.
1998 marked the appearance of paid search advertising. And it wasn’t Google who introduced it, but a search engine called GoTo.com. Later GoTo.com was renamed Overture and acquired by Yahoo.
Building a modern business requires using online tools and a variety of digital media venues, but without knowing if those efforts are successful, you are at the least, wasting time and resources and at the worst, setting your momentum up for failure. Benchmarks, goals and targets are especially useful in the digital age, as numbers and data are far easier to access and examine than they would be for a brick-and-mortar counterpart.
While no metric is a proverbial island in digital marketing goal plans, thinking of your goals in separate sections will help with visualization and implementation on the whole. Here are a few guidance suggestions that will help you form and follow goals that will ultimately support the rise of your business.
If it is a metric that currently “lives” on your site or shortly will be, it’s considered an on-site goal. Your site’s navigation, checkout page and visitor behavior would all be examples of on-site goals that can be tracked and improved upon.
Statisticians look for clarity in numbers. Artists understand how color and shape appeal to, and influence, people. Marketing professionals can combine the clarity of numbers with the appeal of graphics, using data visualization (DV) tools.
If you’ve ever used a spreadsheet or presentation program, you’re probably familiar with the simple graphic tools they contain for creating line graphs, bar charts or pie charts. DV tools combine that simple approach with the power of graphics software to create much more sophisticated displays. By mixing data with charts, maps or pictures, and allowing the variables in the data to be changed, DV tools create powerful narratives that can show success stories, highlight customer attitudes, reveal gaps in sales penetration, show trends and much more. In short, DV tools provide structure by turning data sets into stories, tales that help people to gain an intuitive grasp of the underlying statistics or theme of the presentation or report.
A wide range of DV tools are now available for use. Most business intelligence and analytics packages will contain some ability to present and report on data in a visual format. In addition, there are stand-alone DV software offerings that provide additional graphics options (such as maps and word tables), and also offer interactive options for changing variables during a presentation.
Data Visualization presentations can meet a wide variety of marketing needs
The internet is becoming one of the primary sources of information for people around the world. Users prefer doing a quick online search for anything they want, instead of turning the pages of directories and newspapers. If you are an online business, you must be aware of the significance and profit of having an online presence. However, with so much competition prevailing in the online market, it can become a bit difficult for businesses to survive in the industry too.
Apparently, the web can be used as a powerful internet marketing tool in a number of different ways to promote online businesses and reach target audience across the globe. There are several types of internet marketing strategies used by online marketers and many of them are simple and effective. Here is a list of some highly effective and most popular types of internet marketing techniques:
Search Engine Marketing
Search engine optimization has become a crucial part of web commerce. Without the right use of SEO techniques and strategies, a business or a website may not be able to acquire good ranking on popular search engines, particularly Google. Due to continuous manipulation of SEO techniques in the last few years, many online directories and search engines have made several modifications in their search algorithms to provide best results to users, looking for relevant information for their query.
The main focus of search engine marketing strategies is to place certain highly searched keywords in particular places of several web pages of a website. It aims at providing relevant and useful content to your target market, while improving the overall rank of the website on search engines.
Social Media Marketing
Jeff Shjarback, MBA
Small Business Digital Marketing