Habitual Shoplifters are an International Concern

first_imgShoplifting and other forms of retail theft cost retailers tens of billions of dollars each year. As a result retail leadership has learned to recognize the value of a well-trained management staff and a professional loss prevention department. We have learned to drive operational efficiency, and ensure that controls are in place and adhered to throughout the organization. We have learned the value of deterrence, limiting the desires and the opportunities for theft and other losses by integrating loss prevention concepts with retail practices. We have embraced a belief in training and awareness as being at the heart of a successful loss prevention program.Despite our best efforts, there will always be those that will test our resolve. For those retail loss prevention professionals that must deal with shoplifters every day, we are trained to recognize that a shoplifter can look like anyone—shoplifters are not bound by gender, race, creed, or social standing. Professionals are trained to identify patterns of behavior and must follow strict protocols before shoplifting suspects can even be approached. There are well-defined principles that guide our decisions, and clear steps that must be followed before an apprehension is made.But there are times when specific individuals will draw our immediate attention. Based on well-established patterns of previous behavior, the habitual thief—those that are known to have stolen from us on multiple occasions in the past—deserve our efforts and focus. While not a definitive indicator of future intentions, their presence in the store warrants priority consideration.- Sponsor – These concepts have become international, and the basic principles and core competencies of loss prevention have become a shared approach across borders and oceans alike. Unfortunately, we also share some of the same problems. Shoplifting can take many forms, and is plagued by many different characters.Britain’s Most Prolific ShoplifterReporting on loss prevention issues worldwide, we have found that there appears to be a “competition” in the United Kingdom to identify “Britain’s most prolific shoplifter.” Each of the following individuals has been granted this dubious honor in previous months:Harry HankinsonHarry Hankinson has a criminal record which includes 523 offenses, 433 of those for theft and dishonesty. Hankinson has a criminal career dating back to 1970. His long suffering spouse has even admitted that she barely knows her husband he has spent that much time in and out of prison. In the latest spree, he was caught stealing goods worth £4,000 from upmarket stores. Hankinson was branded an “uninhibited thief and a pest” as he was incarcerated for his latest offense, adding another notch to an astonishing record.  “When he shoplifts he is almost on autopilot…He offers no excuses for these offences, only remorse and apologies,” reports noted. The court heard Hankinson blame his crimes on an accident in 1970 when he fell backwards out an open window during a family function. Glen StaceyIn his most recent arrest incident Glen Stacey, 56, bit the security tag off a leg of lamb and hid a magazine in his bag at a local supermarket. He had planned to give the magazine to his girlfriend as a gift and sell the meat.Stacey, who has a long history of pilfering low-value items, was issued a Criminal Anti-Social Behaviour Order (Crasbo) in February, barring him from shoppes in Lancashire. While police say the threat of jail does not stop Stacey, they feel the Crasbo provides the opportunity to at least arrest him before he causes any serious trouble.According to the Blackpool Centre Neighbourhood Policing Team, “It’s how prolific he is that’s the problem. Jail doesn’t stop him—being inside is just an occupational hazard.”Blackpool magistrates were told he had 281 previous convictions and that the latest theft marked the 400th time he had been caught shoplifting. Despite reaching the 400 offenses milestone, Stacey walked free from court.Robert KnowlesSerial shoplifter Robert Knowles first broke the law at age 13. He was sent to correctional school in 1959 and has been back in court charged with theft every year since—chalking up 183 court appearances in 54 years.Adding to a criminal career that has stretched over the past seven decades, Knowles was recently jailed for his 341st offense after pleading guilty to stealing a bottle of wine and some items of clothing. The court heard he had been released from prison just days before and had been living briefly in a city hostel before the thefts.“He usually survives for something between 24 and 72 hours before he is arrested again either for theft of clothes or theft of alcohol,” claims his long-time attorney. “Nobody knows whether he is effectively waiting to die in prison. He has no support in the community. He has put the barriers up. Nobody really knows why he does it.”Knowles has spent most of his adult life behind bars. There have been so many incidents that even prosecutors have lost track of his expansive rap sheet.David ArcherA week after spending two days in custody awaiting his appearance on offenses 338 and 339, David Archer face the same court in North Wales after he admitted to four more offenses, including theft from a charity shop— bringing his total to 343.Archer had previous convictions for shoplifting, burglary, and other thefts and burglary, along with previous convictions for breaching an order which bans him from all charity shops.Reports claim that Archer had begun to target charity shops more and more over the years, stealing money, clothing and other items. “He’d lean over the counters and literally feel the weight of the charity box and then if he was happy with the weight he would cut it,” according to reports.Archer’s offenses first began when he was ten years old and have stretched over the past 48 years. The magistrate overseeing the case said he “shuddered to think” what Archer must have cost his victims and the state over the years. He is currently serving an 18-month prison term.Who Holds the Crown?Clearly it is of little consequence which of these individuals carries the label of “Britain’s most prolific shoplifter” because the number of criminal events that these men are involved with only seem to be growing on a continuous basis. These four individuals alone are responsible for more than 1600 criminal offenses, with each involved in theft incidents spanning five decades or more. It’s hard to imagine what these individuals have actually cost the retailers, court systems, and communities where they live and steal. When we consider the lifetime of consequences, it’s quite clear that no one comes out on top.Shoplifting is a Shared ConcernLaws, cultures, and governments may be different, but shoplifting is an international concern that is shared by retail merchants everywhere. These individuals may stand out as exceptions, but similar exceptions can be found everywhere across the world. Often we limit our perspective to what is found in our own back yard. We may notice a million-dollar theft or an international crime spree in some other part of the planet, but it can be just as important to recognize the damage that can be done by a man biting the security tag off of a leg of lamb. Every step that we take to become more educated and aware; every gesture that we make to build our professional partnerships and business acumen; and every opportunity that we seize to learn and grow as professionals is a step in the right direction. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

Checkpoint Systems Adds Alpha OptiLok XD to Line of Specialized Anti-Theft Eyewear Tags for…

first_imgCheckpoint Systems has recently added the Alpha OptiLok XD to its line of specialized tags to protect against retail eyewear theft.The new hard tag follows the introduction of the OptiLok line earlier this year and offers optical retailers an extra-deep version of the same product for thick plastic eyewear frames.Key features of all OptiLok tags include:- Sponsor – Available in AM or RF technologyDurable constructionQuick application and removalEasy to recycle and reuseUnobtrusiveAvailability:OptiLok XD is available immediately. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

U.S. judge tosses climate lawsuits by California cities, but says science is sound

first_imgCities in the United States had taken oil companies to court, arguing that they should pay for climate-related problems caused by the burning of fossil fuels. U.S. judge tosses climate lawsuits by California cities, but says science is sound Read more… Originally published by E&E NewsA federal court judge yesterday threw out lawsuits from two California cities seeking to make oil companies pay for worsening sea-level rise and other climate change impacts.Judge William Alsup of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted the request from five oil companies seeking dismissal of the cases brought by San Francisco and Oakland. They were suing Chevron Corp., BP PLC, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell PLC, arguing that the companies make and sell products that when combusted create a public nuisance. The cities also contended that the companies knew the global dangers for decades and hid that information while protecting their assets.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) Alsup, a Clinton appointee who in March held a high-profile “tutorial” on climate science, said evaluating blame for warming impacts is a political issue and not one for the courts to decide.”This order accepts the science behind global warming,” Alsup said in his ruling. “So do both sides. The dangers raised in the complaints are very real. But those dangers are worldwide. Their causes are worldwide. The benefits of fossil fuels are worldwide. The problem deserves a solution on a more vast scale than can be supplied by a district judge or jury in a public nuisance case.”The decision marks a huge blow for climate change activists and other cities pursuing similar lawsuits. It’s a win, meanwhile, for the oil companies and other industry groups that opposed the lawsuit.John Coté, communications director for San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, said in an email that “this is obviously not the ruling we wanted, but this doesn’t mean the case is over.””We’re reviewing the order and will decide on our next steps shortly,” he added. “We’re pleased that the court recognized that the science of global warming is no longer in dispute. Our litigation forced a public court proceeding on climate science, and now these companies can no longer deny it is real and valid. Our belief remains that these companies are liable for the harm they’ve caused.”Oakland City Attorney Barbara Parker said that “we are carefully reviewing the order and considering all options, including an appeal.””We believe our lawsuit presents valid claims and these defendants must be held accountable for misleading the American people about the catastrophic risks to human beings and all forms of life on this planet caused by fossil fuel-driven global warming and sea-level rise,” she said.Alsup said the cities’ theory—that the combustion of fossil fuels created a nuisance—had a scope that was “breathtaking.””It would reach the sale of fossil fuels anywhere in the world, including all past and otherwise lawful sales, where the seller knew that the combustion of fossil fuels contributed to the phenomenon of global warming,” Alsup said in his order. “While these actions are brought against the first, second, fourth, sixth and ninth largest producers of fossil fuels, anyone who supplied fossil fuels with knowledge of the problem would be liable.”The cities originally filed the suits in state court. The oil companies moved the cases to federal court, and Alsup ruled that they belonged in his court because it was a federal issue. In that ruling, he appeared to indicate he did not believe that federal law and federal court precedents precluded the cities from seeking action. In his ruling yesterday, Alsup said there was no conflict between that decision and this one.”It remains proper for the scope of plaintiffs’ claims to be decided under federal law, given the international reach of the alleged wrong,” Alsup said. “Although the scope of plaintiffs’ claims is determined by federal law, there are sound reasons why regulation of the worldwide problem of global warming should be determined by our political branches, not by our judiciary.”The lawsuits by San Francisco and Oakland were the first to go forward among a growing group of similar cases. Also in California, Imperial Beach, San Mateo, Marin County, Richmond, Santa Cruz and Santa Cruz County are suing two dozen or more fossil fuel companies and trade associations in separate cases. A decision in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is pending on whether to uphold an order by federal Judge Vince Chhabria that moved those suits from federal to state court.The city of Boulder and the counties of San Miguel and Boulder in Colorado are suing Suncor Energy Inc. and Exxon Mobil, demanding “past and future damages” for climate impacts. King County, Wash., sued the same five companies named in the San Francisco and Oakland suits. New York City also filed a claim against the same oil companies named in those suits.National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons in a statement said this ruling could foreshadow what those cities are up against.”Other municipalities around the country who have filed similar lawsuits should take note as those complaints are likely to end the same way,” he said. “New York City, Boulder, and the other California municipalities should withdraw their complaints and follow the lead of others that are focused on meaningful solutions.”Related:In a San Francisco courtroom, climate science gets its day on the docketReprinted from Climatewire with permission from E&E News. Copyright 2018. E&E provides essential news for energy and environment professionals at www.eenews.net P. A. Lawrence, LLC/Alamy Stock Photo By Anne C. Mulkern, E&E NewsJun. 26, 2018 , 9:10 AMlast_img read more

HubSpot TV – Listen to Your Fans, Friends & Followers with Scott Kirsner

first_imgEpisode #39 – May 8th, 2009 Marketing Takeaway Intro How to interact on Twitter: @ Closing @ On next week’s episode (May 15th, 2009), Mailbag will be on HubSpot TV  http://itunes.hubspot.tv Originally published May 10, 2009 7:37:00 PM, updated July 04 2013 Boston Globe article: Products that might not be social at first glancemight be able to become social, giving them more inbound marketingpower. 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. Recent The Future of the Boston Globe and Content in General Start your trial now! Miss last week’s episode?: If Twitter indexes not only Tweets, but also links, would it have more real time news information than Google? Boston is the Hub of Inbound Marketing Richie Hawtin created a system to live post what he was playing to his Twitter stream which used Traktor Pros system Marketing Tip of the Week Marketing Takeaway Twitter Competing with Google? Scottsdale Police Department Tweets Bank Robber’s Picture on Twitter @ScottsdalePD Marketing Takeaway: Scott Kirsner HubSpot TV Guest: mvolpe Great example of innovation based on your top users as well as using inbound marketing within your productcenter_img HubSpot Free Trial : Produce more content and in multiple formats to suit all of the audiences you serve. Richie Hawtin launches Twitter app for Traktor Headlines Do Press Releases count as content creation? Remember to subscribe in iTunes: : Promote the content you publish in social media to attract more visitors and links. Make sure you are listen to your most sophisticatedcustomers and understand how they are pushing, adapting and enhancingyour product. Cinema Tech (May 1, 2009) Boston Globe Still Strong Online @scottkirsner Doing it Right Traktor Pro added the functionality into the next release of the product BonusMarketing Takeaway: Boston Globe Journalist New book: Make sure you are listening to your customers to find new product innovations. karenrubin Twitter Plans to Squash Google’s Spider? Innovation Economy HubSpot TV – Ahh Choo! Marketing and Swine Flu Scottsdale PD Tweets Bank Robbers photo: Chris Brogan Newspapers Use Kindle to Boost Subscribers (Length: 27 minutes, 59 seconds.) Fans, Friends & Followers DJing Social Media & Inbound Marketing From PRSA Conference: 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

Six Reasons Videos That Aren’t Viral Are Valuable

first_imgThat’s a mistake. Download the free video Of course, the chances of your companycreating a video that reaches 19 million people in three weeks areessentially zero. It’s not going to happen, so don’t bother. Videodoesn’t need to be viral to have an impact on your business. In fact,any robust inbound marketingcontent strategy should include a videocomponent, designed with assumption that none of the videos will “goviral.” Instead, businesses should put time into video for at least sixother reasons: The video was published July 19, and it already has over 15 millions views. Topics: (2) Videos Are Marketing Annuities– Like a blog post, videos are annuitites; once you’ve published yourvideo and it passes its intial burst of traffic, you’ll continue to get traffic and banding value indefinitely. Mostmarketers understand that truly viral videos are almost impossible tocreate — and they use this as a reason to abandon video altogether. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Aug 3, 2009 8:15:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 to become an online video marketing superstar. (5) Videos Are Easier to Produce Than YouThink –If your company is in a content mindset, videos will be easy to produce.  Don’t getsucked into production details. Just plan the video, schedule time to shoot it, and make sure the shooting doesn’t drag on. It doesn’t need to be perfect.center_img (6) More Video, More Likely to Have a Big Success– Justlike venture capital or movie production, onlinemarketing video is porfolio business.  No successful moviestudio bets their year on a single film. They spread their resourcesacross multiple films, and hope they’ll get one money-maker out oftheir portfolio. You should approach your marketing videos the same way. (1) Video Gives Your Company Voice –It’s onething to read a paragraph about a company, but it’s a completelydifferent thing to spend four minutes listening to a company’s founderexplain the vision and purpose of the company. Video adds a personaldimension to company websites, which are typically heavy on impersonaltext. Webinar: How to Use Online Video for Marketing Video: How to Use Online Video for Marketing Learn how to use online video and podcasts for promoting your brand and generating new business. (4) Video IsAnother Channel for Your Content– Effective inbound marketing contentstrategies need to be executed in multiple media types. Some forms ofinformation are best communicated in blog posts; some in photos orgraphics; some in webinars; others in video. If you’re not using oreven experimenting with any of one these channels, you’re missingpotential customers. When peopletalk about online video they typically talk about videos like this one,the Minnesota wedding entrance choreographed to the Chris BrownballadForever. Does your company use video for marketing? Why? What else should be on this list? That’swhat you call a viral video. It’s the stuff marketers dream of — 15million people reached with no money spent on distribution orproduction. Businesses that achieve that kind of reach profitenormously. If you have any doubts, checkout what it did to Forever’s itunessales. Video Marketing (3) Videos Build Company Culture– Videos are fun and they showthat your company can have fun. They serve as morale builders within thecompany, and recruiting tools outside the company.last_img read more

4 Tips to Increase eCommerce Holiday Sales

first_img Topics: Originally published Sep 20, 2010 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Holiday Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack The time for eCommerce holiday shopping is quickly approaching, and if you are not already developing your plan to maximize your return on the spike of online sales, you need to start now!!  According to a report provided from comScore , the 2009 eCo mmerce Holiday S pending reached $27 billion.   This year will be no different — and I am willing to bet that this number will rise even higher.  Are you prepared to take advantage? Be   Prepared for the Online Holiday Rush 1.  Write blog posts that are optimized for the long-tail of “holiday” centric keywords.  For example, if you sell shoes, you could write blog posts around the subject of holiday specials for your products.   “5 Reasons Ugg Boots and Slippers Will Dominate Holiday Gifts”    “3 Great Tennis Shoes for a Boy’s Christmas Present”   “Christmas Basketball Shoe Sales Will Be A Slamdunk in 2010” Writing content that includes your products and the holiday terms (Christmas, holiday presents, holiday gifts, Christmas ideas, boy holiday gifts, girl Christmas gifts, ect.) will help your website rank better for these longer-tail niche keywords.  Make sure that you have strong call-to-action buttons on each of your blog posts that link to landing pages explaining holiday promotions for specific products or product categories.   2.  Develop Promotional Landing Pages that are designed to target Holiday traffic.  Entice your visitors to buy from you by giving them time-sensitive pricing incentives that are only available during the holidays.  Showcase your top performing products on holiday themed landing page with great offers.  “20% off when purchasing $50 or more before X date.”  “Free t-shirt included when you purchase before X date.” Maybe your visitors are interested in your products, but not committed to purchasing immediately. Help convert these visitors to customers by giving them incentive to sign up for exclusive promotional offers.  “Sign up for exclusive holiday deals only available for existing or new subscribers.  This Special will expire on X Date.  Sign up now to secure your discount!”    3.  Send Holiday marketing emails and use lead nurturing.  Increase your holiday revenue by nurturing your visitors that haven’t committed to a purchase and rewarding your existing customers with exclusive offers.   Existing customers have already purchased from you and like your products — reward and entice them to buy more for their friends and family!  Send an email reminding your existing customers that the holidays are quickly approaching, and that you are offering them an exclusive, limited time offer.   Give a coupon code with a reminder that this code will expire by “X” date.  Make sure that this email includes links back to either your blog posts about your most popular seasonal items or landing pages designed to show additional value for shopping early.   Additionally, you should use lead nurturing emails to leverage the holiday season in your favor by placing new leads into campaigns designed entice earlier purchases.  Remembering to segment your lead nurturing campaigns is an important step.  If a visitor comes to your website and is interested in getting a special holiday deal on jackets, make sure that you send them emails designed to sell jackets, not shoes!   4.  Monitor and promote your brand and products in social media with holiday keywords.  Monitoring and promoting your most popular products is essential for eCommerce stores in 2010.  Tracking holiday centric keywords is an advanced skill that can help you sell more.  Instead of just tracking the keyword “Ugg boots” track “Ugg boots christmas” and “Ugg boats holiday present.”  Tracking these terms in Twitter will allow you to see tweets that say, “All I want for Christmas are Ugg Boots!” and “Are Ugg boots for my daughter for a good holiday present?”  You could then engage these tweeters to let them know about your new article “5 Reasons Ugg Boots and Slippers Will Dominate Holiday Gifts”.  Or you could send them links to a landing page that offers 20% Off Ugg Boots when signing up for promotional discount emails. Utilizing these inbound marketing tactics will ensure that your eCommerce site is prepared for the holiday rush.  Have you seen your favorite stores already using some of these tactics mentioned?  Do you have other suggestions?  I would love to hear your feedback! Photo curtesy of Luiz A. Villa last_img read more

What Topic Do You Want To Learn About in HubSpot’s Next Ebook?

first_img Loading… Originally published Jun 2, 2011 11:30:00 AM, updated July 19 2013 Go ahead … don’t be shy!center_img 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

How to Tailor Lead Nurturing Content to Suit Individual Personas

first_imgAccording to Forrester Research , companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at a 33% lower cost. If this is the case, then why are only 49% of marketers taking advantage of lead nurturing tools , as evident by Loopfuse’s Marketing Automation Study ?One of the main reasons marketers fail to adopt lead nurturing as part of their marketing mix is a lack of content. To effectively execute a lead nurturing program, you can’t exactly have a deficiency in content. You need enough of it in order to keep your lead nurturing emails interesting and relevant at every stage in the sales and marketing funnel, from a lead’s initial discovery of your business all the way through to purchase-readiness.Furthermore, while many of the more basic lead nurturing campaigns focus on delivering content solely by leads’ stage in the sales cycle, the most successful lead nurturing campaigns deploy content specifically tailored to the needs of different marketing personas, too. According to the Aberdeen Group , personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14% , and conversion rates by 10% . But this also translates to a whole lotta content, so it’s no wonder many marketers are hesitant to get started with lead nurturing.But here’s a little secret: you don’t need to create all this content from scratch. If you have even just a general baseline of marketing offers, you can re-work this very content to suit the needs of your various marketing personas and segments, saving you a lot more time and effort than crafting brand new content from scratch. Here’s how to do it right… Identify Your Personas The first thing you’ll need to do is identify your various buyer personas, which serve as detailed profiles of the people who are most likely to make great customers for the products and services you sell. If you don’t already have well-defined personas for your business, that’s where you’ll need to start. Ask yourself the following 9 questions when developing your personas ( we elaborate on them here ):What is their demographic information?What is their job and level of seniority?What does a day in their life look like?What are their pain points?What do they value most? What are their goals?Where do they go for information?What experience are they looking for when shopping for your products and services?What are their most common objections to your product or service?How do I identify this persona?As you’re thinking about these questions, you’ll identify clear distinctions between each persona, and you’ll begin to understand why it’s important to treat each differently in the content/offers you provide them through your lead nurturing campaigns. Using these questions as your guide, create detailed profiles for each of the personas you’ve identified. These profiles will be helpful to reference as you start tailoring the content you have to suit each persona.Depending on your business, industry, and how many different products/services you sell, you may find that you have 1, 2, or 10+ personas (or anywhere in between). Businesses that sell a lot of different products for various target audiences, for example, may identify several very unique personas. And the more personas you identify, the more content you’ll need (sigh).As you complete this exercise, you may even start finding that you can nest specific groups of personas under broader persona categories. But when you’re first getting started targeting your lead nurturing content so you can base campaigns on personas as well as stage in the sales cycle, we recommend you start catering to broader groups of personas first. You can always get more granular as you build up your content arsenal , and it’ll get easier and easier to more closely tailor existing content once you get started. Select Your Best Marketing Offers for Each Stage of the Sales Cycle Lead Nurturing As I mentioned earlier, most of the more basic lead nurturing campaigns are based solely around stages in the sales cycle. The process sounds kind of like this: A lead converts on a top-of-the-funnel offer like an educational ebook , so they get nurtured with similar top-of-the-funnel content. Then, once they’re ready, they convert on a more middle-of-the-funnel offer like a product demonstration, a consultation, or a free trial, thus getting removed from the top-of-the-funnel nurturing campaign and swapped into the middle-of-the funnel campaign to get nurtured by content/offers more appropriate to that stage in the buying cycle. And so on and so forth. Make sense?Most sales cycles can universally be boiled down to 3 distinct stages in the sales cycle: awareness , evaluation , and purchase . You can learn more about each of these stages and how to appropriately map types of lead nurturing content/offers to these stages in this post , but here is a brief rundown:So, in order to have content for each persona to nurture leads in each stage in the sales cycle, you’ll need to identify 3 of your best generally targeted offers for each stage: 1) your best top-of-the-funnel offer (which caters to leads in the awareness stage ), 2) your best middle-of-the-funnel offer (which caters to leads in the evaluation stage ), and 3) your best bottom-of-the-funnel offer (which caters to leads in the purchase stage ).And by “best,” we mean top-performing, so consult your marketing analytics to determine which offer you have for each of these 3 stages has the best conversion rate . For top-of-the-funnel offers, you should be looking at visitor-to-lead conversion rate; for middle-of-the-funnel offers, look at lead re-conversions; and for bottom-of-the-funnel offers, look at lead-to-customer conversion rate. Tweak Content to Cater to Each Persona Once you’ve chosen your 3 general offers, it’s time to tweak them to suit each of your personas. So if you’ve identified 2 personas to start out with, you’ll need to tweak each of your 3 offers for each persona, meaning you’ll end up with 6 separate offers. Whether you’re tweaking a top-of-the-funnel ebook, a middle-of-the-funnel product webinar, or a bottom-of-the-funnel live demo, the following tips as well as the detailed persona profiles you created earlier will help you tailor your offers to suit these individual personas. Cater to the Persona’s Individual Needs, Problems, and Interests Think about that persona’s individual needs, problems, and interests. Is there anything specific they might care about or need a solution for that your offer doesn’t address because it was meant for a more general audience? If so, work these concepts into the content.For example, if you’re a school that provides horseback riding lessons to learners with a variety of skill levels, you may have 3 different types of students — beginner riders, intermediate-level riders, and more advanced riders. If these are your three personas and you’ve identified that your best top-of-the-funnel offer is your ebook on  The 10 Skills Every Horseback Rider Needs , you’ll probably want to tweak this content to cater to the 3 skill levels of your students. If this is the case, the skills that advanced riders need probably aren’t very applicable to skills needed by beginner riders (and vice versa).  Adjust Formatting, Depth, and Length To piggyback off my last point, because different personas will likely have varying interests, the way you present certain information may need to vary. For example, if you’re catering to an advanced horseback rider in your ebook compared to a beginner, that content might lend itself to more in-depth explanation of certain topics than content suitable for a beginner, who may prefer bullet point summaries of the topic. In other words, the way you present your content — in format, depth, and length — may vary depending on the individual persona you’re targeting. Keep this in mind. Modify Language and Tone Another modification you’ll want to make involves changes to the language and tone used in the offer. Do your different personas respond to the same type of language, or do they prefer to be communicated with differently? Do they prefer language that is more formal and professional, or a more informal and casual tone? Are there any variations of the jargon these different groups use to describe similar things?Sticking with our horseback riding school example, let’s say you were tweaking your bottom-of-the-funnel offer, which is a free-20 minute horseback riding lesson. In your lead nurturing email to promote this offer, you’d likely want to tailor your language based on the skill-level of that prospective student. An advanced student, for instance, would probably have a wider knowledge of advanced horseback riding terminology, so it’d be suitable to use this jargon in your email. The language used to promote the lesson to a beginner-level student, on the other hand, who probably isn’t familiar with advanced terminology, would need to be much more basic and novice. Incorporate Industry/Persona-Specific Examples Another thing you’ll want to do is make sure your content/offer is as specifically relatable to each persona as possible. A great way to do this is to incorporate examples that resonate with that particular persona. Does that persona correlate to a specific industry? If so, replace general examples with industry-specific ones to illustrate your points in a more targeted way (or add these examples where there are none). This makes it so the content is even more personalized to the needs, interests, and problems of that particular persona.Let’s refer to our horseback riding school example one last time. If you were creating a middle-of-the-funnel webinar discussing the teaching methodology your horseback riding school follows, and you were targeting an intermediate-level rider, you could include a case study of an intermediate rider who came to your school and, as a result of your methodology and training, became one of the top riders in their division and moved on to compete with more advanced-level horseback riders. Modify Your Lead Nurturing Campaigns Once you’ve tweaked your content/offers based on persona, then you’re ready to start incorporating them into your lead nurturing campaigns! Using your marketing analytics and lead intelligence, determine which characteristics to use to categorize individual leads by persona. By identifying which leads correlate with what personas, you can then use your lead management system to segment them into different lead nurturing campaigns based on their stage in the sales cycle as well as their persona. Congratulations! You now have much more segmented, personalized, and effective lead nurturing campaigns set up. Let us know how they perform! In what other ways can you tailor your lead nurturing content and offers to better suit your individual marketing personas? Image Credit: Hello Turkey Toe Originally published Mar 14, 2012 3:30:00 PM, updated February 01 2017center_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 Topics:last_img read more

Dear HubSpot: I Have to Market My New Business. Where Do I Start?

first_img Business Blogging Dear HubSpot is a weekly column that we do to answer people’s most burning questions about inbound. If you want to submit a question to be answered, click here. This week, we hear from an entrepreneur who is just starting his own company and wondering where to focus his marketing efforts in the very beginning. Dear HubSpot,I’ve got an excellent business idea for a career consulting service. I’ve already set up a webpage and social media profiles, but how do I ACTUALLY start marketing it? With only one Like on Facebook and two followers on Twitter, do I need to buy advertisements? If so, which ones? It’s just me and my buddy running the company so far, and we’re not sure which steps to take first to gain some traction online. We need a little direction because we don’t know where to start. We’d appreciate your help!Sincerely,Starting From Scratch in San AntonioHey SSSA,First of all, great job taking initiative on your business idea by setting up your website and social media accounts. Execution is what differentiates a great thinker from an entrepreneur. We’re hoping your two Twitter followers aren’t your parents ;). I’m kidding, but even if they were, everyone starts somewhere — and you’re right in saying your top priority right now should be building and growing your online presence.To help you get your marketing efforts off the ground, I’ve written up a short to-do list for you. Each step is in order. You mentioned advertising, for example — you’ll soon notice that advertising is step three in your to-do list, so don’t be tempted to jump right in to that right now. Without further ado …Your to-do list, in order:Step 1: Make a list of relevant keywords.Before you build the house, you need to lay the foundation — and for your brand, that foundation is the keyword list that you’ll use to write the content of your website, blog, and social media posts. It’s important that you come up with these keywords first so you don’t find yourself stuffing your content with keywords later, which can look forced and unnatural, and even get you penalized by search engines.The best search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is to focus the copy of your website on key phrases or topics that are important to people who will end up buying from you and relevant to what you are selling. Start with a topic close to the core of your business that you really want to rank well for on search engines — for you, it might be “career development.” Then, put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers. What would they search for on Google, Bing, or Yelp that would bring them to your website? What questions or challenges might they have that you can help address? Some ideas that come to mind are “resume examples,” “how to get a promotion,” or “how to get a job in new york city.” As you can see, keywords can be words, phrases, sentences, and partial sentences — it’s basically anything someone might type into a search engine. Brainstorm a list of 40-50 keywords and phrases to start.Once you have these keywords, it’s time to start creating content for your website based on those keywords to increase the likelihood of potential customers finding you on search. Which brings me to Step 2 …Step 2: Set up a blog and start writing blog posts.Once you’ve researched the keywords that are important to your audience, create a blog and write blog posts based on those keywords. This will help you increase the odds of getting found on search engines because each new post you create gives you another opportunity to be indexed. For your audience, blog post topics could be “8 Myths About Cover Letters Every College Graduate Should Know” or “How To Get Into Finance Without a Business Degree.” (Get blog post topic ideas from our Blog Topic Generator.)Over time, your blog will drive traffic to your website, help you convert traffic into leads (if you’ve placed calls-to-action on your blog posts — which you should do), help you establish authority, and drive long-term business results. (You can learn more about the benefits of business blogging here.)But slow and steady wins the race — and blogging does require patience. Don’t expect to see success overnight since you’re just starting out. Did you know that HubSpot started blogging before we even had a product? It took 12 to 18 months for us to see results from our blogging efforts, but it’s definitely paid off in the long term. As long as you blog consistently (at least twice per week, but the more the better), you will see that long-term payout. When you’re ready to set up your blog, this post on how to set up business blogs will be a great resource.Step 3: Use PPC advertising as a supplement.Notice that PPC (pay-per-click) advertising is #3 on the list, not #1. No matter how big your budget is, you should focus on content creation and SEO first, and then start using PPC to amplify those efforts. PPC will help you much get quicker returns on your blogging efforts, but those quick returns cost money and you have to keep paying for them to keep seeing the returns (unlike blogging itself, where your finished posts keep working for you over time).But a little PPC is good for getting some traffic to your website and blog right away when no one really knows who you are — it might even help you rank a little bit faster on search engines.To create your PPC advertising plan, follow the five steps in our introductory guide to PPC for startup marketers. When you’re ready to make PPC ads, check out this post on how to make PPC ads people will actually click on.Step 4: Use social media as a distribution channel.Working on your social media strategy is the next step, and it looks like you’ve already created those accounts. The first question you should ask yourself is, which social networking sites do your potential customers spend time? If you want to market to college students or recent college graduates, you might spend more time on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If you want to market to older professionals with 10+ years experience, you should focus on LinkedIn and Twitter first.Once you’ve picked two or three channels to focus your social media marketing efforts, optimize those profiles. Include a short bio and a link in your profile, find influencers and follow and engage with them, reply to other users, and start sharing that awesome content you created in step two. Do not buy random followers or Likes! It won’t help your business and it’s a waste of time. Your social media accounts are only valuable if your followers are actually interested in you.Finally, don’t make the common startup mistake of promoting your consulting service too much. Remember, people don’t know about your product or service at this point — but they do have career problems they want to solve. Offer what people are interested in, and they’re more likely to click on and engage with your posts. The 80/20 rule is a great way start: 80% of the content you post to social media should be helpful and valuable to your audience, and 20% can be self-promotional.One last word of wisdom: Move and learn quickly. Experiment a lot — do more of what works, and eliminate what doesn’t. Remember that everything can change on a dime.Best of luck with your business!Sincerely,Got a specific question about inbound you’d like answered? Submit it here. You may be featured in a future blog post (complete with your special pen name, of course).  Originally published Jun 20, 2014 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! 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The World’s Worst Business Babble Translated Into Human Speak

first_imgCross-pollinate. Best-in-class. Thought leader.A couple years ago, my colleague Shannon and I were so tired of hearing those kinds of business babble words that we created an informal game of Business Babble Bingo. It was a subtle plea to end the ridiculous business babble that infects corporate-speak in meetings, presentations, and worst of all, on our websites. Even now, we still see business babble infecting corporate communications. So, I thought it’d be fun to take some of the business babble I’ve stumbled across and translate it into human speak. Everyone loves a little before and after, plus, demonstration is a great educational tool. Take a look.Download 6 Free Blog Post Templates NowAwful Corporate Business Babble — And What to Say Instead1) Thought LeaderA recognized authority in a certain subject matter is often called a “thought leader.” However, you could also call them an “expert,” “authority,” or just … their name.For Example:I just got back from coffee with a thought leader. >> I just got back from coffee with Seth Godin.2) Opened the KimonoAn incredibly creepy way of saying someone shared information, “opened the kimono” might be better replaced with such simple phrases as “told,” “shared,” “revealed,” or even the plain ‘ol boring “said.”For Example:He opened the kimono about his new book. >> He shared some information about his new book.3) Core CompetencyTechnically, this is expertise that offers a competitive advantage, though it’s often just used to indicate expertise. You could call this, well, “expertise” — or perhaps a “unique skill” or “differentiator” if you’re going for the original definition.For Example:As you know, unicorns are his core competency. >> He knows a lot about unicorns.4) Coming Down the PikeAnother way of saying something’s going to happen in the future, you might find it easier to just tell someone something is going to happen. “Expect X” or “You’ll hear about Y soon” are also perfectly acceptable, boring as they may be.For Example:There are some new unicorn advancements coming down the pike. >> You’ll hear about some new unicorn advancements soon.5) Start a DialogueThe implication here is that you’ll start an ongoing discussion that’s a two-way street, instead of offering a directive with no opportunity for discussion. However, there are simple phrases like “ask,” “talk to,” and “meet” that work just as well.For Example:My team should start a dialogue with your team. >> Our teams should talk.6) UtilizeThe word every editor changes to “use.” Just say “use.”For Example:Let’s utilize all our resources. >> Let’s use all our resources.7) LeverageIf you’re in finance or work with heavy objects for a living, you get a pass on this. People in business, however, tend to use this to mean they’re making use of a good resource, even though “make use of,” “use,” “help,” and “rely on” do the trick quite nicely.For Example:We have a lot of strengths we can leverage. >> We have a lot of good resources that can help.8) Whiteboard ItIf anyone ever says “let’s whiteboard it,” they’re about to hold the meeting hostage with a dry erase board and a marker. If, however, they ask people to “brainstorm,” “think through,” “lay out,” or “talk out,” an idea, things should be alright. For Example:We need to whiteboard our presentation’s agenda. >> Let’s think through our presentation’s agenda.9) IdeateSomeone once asked me my biggest regret. My answer was using the word “ideate” in a blog post. Just say “think of,” or “come up with ideas.”For Example:Our teams need to meet for an ideation session. >> Our teams should meet to come up with some ideas.10) Take It to the Next LevelA generic phrase used when we aren’t sure what the “next level” actually is. Sometimes, we’re not even sure what “it” is. Instead, say “improve X by 10%” or “make Y better by changing the copy” — being specific about what you want changed, and what exactly constitutes an improvement.For Example:We should talk to Andrea about how to take this idea to the next level. >> We should talk to Andrea about how to make the homepage a better destination for customers.11) LearningsI think learnings are the things you learn after you learn something. You could just say “I learned,” or “the takeaways were.”For Example:Let’s put our learnings together after the meeting and share with Andrea. >> Let’s tell Andrea what we learned.12) Best-in-BreedA phrase that simply means you want to be the best has turned business into the Westminster Dog Show. Consider alternates like “standout,” “top,” or, simply, “best.”For Example:She wants to remain a best-in-breed company. >> She wants our company to remain the best in the industry.13) Shifting ParadigmsCalling something a paradigm shift is not babbly in and of itself. The problem is that it’s usually used to describe things that aren’t actually paradigm shifts. So the phrase has lost all meaning. Unless something is actually changing the most basic assumptions off of which we base our decisions, maybe just call it a “big change.”For Example:Our industry is facing critical paradigm shifts. >> There are some big changes coming in our industry.14) Boil the OceanA cute way of saying you’re taking on too much, this phrase might be better replaced with a straightforward saying like ‘taking on too much” or “impossible.”For Example:I think we’re boiling the ocean in this email, maybe we should meet in person. >> I think we’re taking on too much for an email, let’s meet in person. 15) Move the NeedleJust as adorable as ocean boiling, needle moving is all about showing more of those ROIs. Except it might be better to say you’re trying to improve a specific, measurable amount.For Example:Our team doesn’t have enough budget to really move the needle on this initiative. >> Our team doesn’t have enough budget to increase conversions by 10%.16) Out of PocketThe phrase I find most inane, “out of pocket” is a way of saying you’ll be unreachable. Of course, my recommendation would be to say you are “unreachable.” No need to bring your pockets into this.For Example:I’m out of pocket for the next two weeks. >> I’m unreachable for the next to weeks.17) Noodle on ItNoodling something can be less creepily described by phrases such as “I’ll think about it,” or “Let me think of some more ideas.” (Please don’t use this as an opportunity to bring back “ideate.”)For Example:Noodle on it while I’m gone. >> Think about it while I’m gone.18) PuntAh, another office sports analogy. If you “punt” an idea, you might consider just “postponing,” or “putting it off.”For Example:Let’s punt this until I get back from vacation. >> Let’s talk about this after I get back from vacation.19) PingIf you want to “ping” somebody, it means you’re looking to “talk to” them, or “contact” them. Maybe via an “IM” or a “call.”For Example:I’ll ping you when I return. >> I’ll email you when I return.20) Circle BackWant to meet about something again at a later date? Talk later? Reconnect? All better options than the babbly “circle back.”For Example:We should circle back on this once we’ve talked to John. >> We should meet about this again after we talk to John.These may all sound like nit-picky things — and on a one-off basis, maybe they are. But when you hear one piece of babble after another, it starts to sound a little like this …What We Sound Like When We BabbleI just got back from coffee with a thought leader. He was kind enough to open the kimono a bit about his new book. As you know, unicorns are his core competency, and he seems to think there are some new things coming down the pike. I think my team should start a dialogue with your team about it. I want to make sure we can utilize both our strengths to address the changes since we both have a lot we can leverage. It might even be good to get in a room and whiteboard it all out so we both have a chance to ideate together. If we really want to take it to the next level, we could put our learnings together into a presentation for the CEO so we can stay a best-in-breed company amid our industry’s shifting paradigms.Anyway, don’t want to boil the ocean here, just want to set us up to move the needle. I’m out of pocket the next two weeks, but feel free to noodle on it while I’m gone. We’ll punt it until I get back and I’ll just ping you then so we can circle back on all this.The Human We Could Sound LikeI just got back from coffee with John, who was kind enough to give me a sneak peek of his new book. He wrote about an upcoming change in unicorns that I think our teams should be prepared for. Between the two of us, I think we have the resources we need to address it, but if not we could put together a presentation for Andrea on what we’ll need — I know she’s concerned about staying ahead of unicorn trends.I’m going on vacation for the next two weeks, so I’ll set up a meeting with you for when I get back. If you think of anything while I’m gone, feel free to put it on the meeting agenda. Originally published Jul 9, 2014 6:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Marketing Resources Topics: 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