Combo's Kelley Korbin wonders what she's missing as she considers these successful products that consistently disappoint.Read More
Maplewood site launches & Combo's likin' the small-business-website-development grooveRead More
The negatives outweigh the positives, but this aging medium is still good for a few things.Read More
Technically I guess these are ads, although each tells a compelling story, and they take beyond 60 seconds to do so. But so worth it.
I was bawling by the end. Such good storytelling, and for a social cause like transgender rights in India to boot. Go, VICKS.
An homage to Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Cute.
Really moving. Quite relevant these days.
There is so much crap going on in the world right now and it is stressing me out. So I'm choosing to bring you some uncrap this afternoon. Sure, they're ads, but dang if they don't make you smile or well up.
Lots of hype and buzz, but is marketing automation software all it's cracked up to be?Read More
I’m awkward at ending conversations. If I’m talking to someone in person or over the phone, rather than saying, “So long,” I usually veer wildly off topic. If it’s an email, I’m compulsive about sending a “thanks” for information. (While it seems the polite thing to do, why am I making someone open an email when all it says is “thanks”? Yes, I agonize over this stuff.)
I’m pleased to report, though, that I’ve figured out how to exit gracefully from a text conversation.
I have an emoji to thank for that. When I want to end a conversation, I text the “thumb’s up” character. It has so many meanings: “got it,” “I’ll take care of it,” “you take care of it,” “for sure,” “yup.”
Anyone who works with me also knows that this emoji is shortcut for, “This conversation is over. You in no way have to text me back and I for sure won’t be texting you back.”
This little symbol packs a big punch.
I’m giving it two thumbs up.
The desire for instant gratification is part of human nature. Delaying rewards, even if they are greater in the longer term, takes will power and focus. Just ask a child at the dinner table feigning torture while forcing down Brussels sprouts for the promise of an ice cream sundae.
Often when we tell new clients that we’re going to begin their project with the critical step of developing a marketing strategy we get an underwhelming response. A comprehensive marketing strategy includes industry, market and competitive analyses; definition of key target audiences; definition of brand; a SWOT analysis; confirmation of marketing goals and objectives; outline of tactics; budget; timelines and a plan for measurement and evaluation. Most people know they should do all of this for the sake of their company’s health, but would prefer to go straight to the bells and whistles of a new website or the oohs and aahs of fancy swag.
But fear not! Developing a strategic marketing plan is not akin to plugging your nose and guzzling kale ginger juice. Instead, it’s more like taking the time to prepare tasty, healthy entrees to earn the rewards of a sweet dessert.
Chatting with clients who have not prepared a strategic marketing plan in advance of tactical execution, we hear common complaints. Most begin with, “I spent a lot of money on…,” and then end in ways such as:
- “…webinars, and they don’t work.”
- “…giving roadshow presentations in six cities, and I didn’t see any ROI.”
- “…having a company manage our social media, and they got our brand all wrong.”
- “…redeveloping our website, and we’re still not getting any leads from it.”
- “…tradeshows, and we didn’t stand out.”
- “…a newsletter, and nobody read it.”
All of the above can and should be avoided with proper planning at the outset of a project. A well-crafted strategic marketing plan ensures you know exactly why you have selected particular tactics or campaigns, how each should be executed to guarantee success and how each should be measured and evaluated.
Which is our way of saying that you don’t necessarily have to like Brussels sprouts to have your cake and eat it, too.
In mountain biking culture there is an oft-used phrase, “set it and forget it.” To the mechanically challenged like me, this means don’t bother trying to figure out the intricacies of the various dials and settings of your front shock (the bouncy part of your bike above the front wheel that compresses when you do drops and saves your upper body from jarring pain). Instead, I trust the gnarly dudes from the bike shop to set my shock to roughly where it should be and ride away.
I’ve been reminded of this expression a lot lately when speaking to clients about Google Analytics. Most have this set up but aren’t maximizing its potential, if using it at all. This is understandable given the endless number of settings, dashboards, charts, reports, drill-downs, metrics, data sets and everything else available to help you understand who is visiting your website and what they are doing there. It can make your head spin.
But the power of Google Analytics to help you gain insights on your website is worth the time and aggravation it takes to learn how to use it and to leverage all it has to offer. Here are some great sources to help you get started, or take you to the next level:
- How to Create a Basic Google Analytics Custom Report
- 7 essential Google Analytics reports every marketer must know
- Google Analytics Solutions Gallery
Once you have mastered the above, don’t walk away! Commit to reviewing Google Analytics on a regular basis. I recommend daily. Are certain pages you thought were packed with brilliance not getting any visitors? Why not? Are visitors leaving your site after landing on a particular page? Why? Are some sources not referring any traffic? Why not? What key search terms are delivering and which are not? The list of questions and valuable answers could go on (and should).
It’s critical that you analyze this information and do something about it. Make sure you’re attracting visitors, keeping them and directing them to the right course of action. Re-evaluate and adjust the information architecture of your site if users aren’t finding what they need. Rewrite or redisplay content that isn’t impacting users. Use the boundless insights Google Analytics provides to improve your website and ensure it’s delivering business value for you.
While I’m keen to dig into the inner workings of Google Analytics to improve our Combo website, I should really apply similar advice to understanding how to dial in my mountain bike suspension. For now, I’m just going to enjoy the ride.
by Sarah Gayda
Did you know that an infographic is 30 times more likely to be read than a text article? That’s because it’s a format that allows readers to consume a lot of information quickly and easily. Infographics, or information graphics, are visually appealing representations of data or knowledge. They make complex topics easy to understand and provide a more enjoyable learning experience than examining pages of dense text.
Marketers caught on to infographics several years ago and use them frequently. Aside from being easy to digest, infographics have a high rate of social sharing and drive website traffic. In fact, publishers who use infographics grow an average of 12% more in traffic than those who don’t.
Businesses in any and all industries can benefit from using infographics. The key is ensuring you have compelling, high-quality data and design. Check out 11 of the Best Infographic Designs of 2015 for some great examples. Also, Hubspot and others offer free customizable templates, so you can save time on design by not starting from scratch.
I view infographics multiple times per day now in blogs, on websites, in reports and everywhere else. So I got to wondering—what’s the science behind this phenomenon? What is it about the human brain that draws us to this content form? Well, it turns out there’s an infographic for that.