Georgia Grants Hurricane Michael Tax Amnesty

first_imgFor Hurricane Michael victims, the Georgia DOR grants amnesty for taxes not administered by the IRS, like sales and use tax.Georgia Counties AffectedThe amnesty applies to taxpayers affected by the hurricane in the following Georgia counties declared part of the disaster area: Baker, Bleckley, Burke, Calhoun, Colquitt, Crisp, Decatur, Dodge, Dooly, Dougherty, Early, Emanuel, Grady, Houston, Jefferson, Jenkins, Johnson, Laurens, Lee, Macon, Miller, Mitchell, Pulaski, Seminole, Sumter, Terrell, Thomas, Treutlen, Turner, Wilcox, and Worth.Taxpayers in counties added to the disaster area later automatically receive the amnesty. Information on what Georgia counties are included in the disaster area can be found at irs.gov/newsroom/help-for-victims-of-hurricane-michael.Qualifying TaxpayersThe amnesty is offered to the following Georgia taxpayers:– people living in the specified counties, if affected by the disaster;– businesses whose principal place of business is in a specified county, if affected by the disaster;– taxpayers not in the disaster area but whose records are in the disaster area;– relief workers affiliated with recognized government or philanthropic organizations helping in relief activities in the disaster area; and– people visiting the disaster area who were injured or killed by the disaster.Deadlines AffectedThe amnesty applies to return filing, tax payment, and other time-sensitive acts specified by the IRS. It applies to:– original or extended due dates occurring on or after October 9, 2018, and before Feb. 28, 2019;– monthly sales tax returns originally due in the months of October 2018 through February 2019;– quarterly sales tax returns due in October 2018 and January 2019; and– annual sales tax returns due in January 2019.Taxpayers who had an extension to file their 2017 return that was set to expire on October 15, 2018, now have until February 28, 2019, to file. However, the payments associated with these extensions are not eligible for the amnesty.Excluded ReliefThe amnesty does not apply to:– International Fuel Tax Agreement interest,– scheduled payments resulting from a taxpayer entering an Installment Payment Agreement, or– payments under a 2017 return extension due to expire on October 15, 2018.Paper Return FilersIf an affected taxpayer files paper returns, they should write “2018 Hurricane Michael” across the top of any forms submitted to the DOR.QuestionsTaxpayers should call the DOR at (877) 423-6711 if they:– need assistance,– have questions, or– are assessed a penalty and believe they are entitled to the amnesty.Department of Revenue Extends Relief to Victims of Hurricane Michael, Georgia Department of Revenue, October 12, 2018, ¶201-222Login to read more tax news on CCH® AnswerConnect or CCH® Intelliconnect®.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.last_img read more

How do you record audits against software?

first_imgIn the world of effective software inventory management there are audits. Those audits are done comparing the software to physical installations or against budget. There are audits performed when a HFE (Human Factors Engineer) analyzes your usability or those done to ensure that you have sufficient disaster recovery elements in place.This happens every day against dozens of software applications and I have to ask the question — where do you record this data? Does everyone have individual approaches and simply has a spreadsheet containing the data? Is it recorded anywhere?I have to wonder where the value is in gathering data that has no reuse or exposure to the owners of the software solutions.So I’ve been bouncing around an enhancement to allow certain groups to register (and report) on audits. Internally some people hate it and some love it.What do you do?Do you have yet another application for capturing software audits?Do you do them at all?Let me know.Previous topics include Application inventory, what do you capture?,  Application inventory starts with a definition, Application inventory as a cost savings initiative, Application Inventory, the start of data sustainability? and How do you measure data quality in your Application Inventory?.last_img read more

IPL giants Mumbai Indians unveil Ricky Ponting as head coach

first_imgFormer Australian captain Ricky Ponting replaces John Wright as the new head coach of MumbaiMumbai Indians Wednesdayannounced the appointment of former Australia captain Ricky Ponting astheir head coach ahead of the eighth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).Ponting was earlier the captain of the team in IPL 6. Hereplaces former India coach John Wright who moved to a new role ofevaluating and establishing a youth development organisation and will be working closely with the management on talent scouting for the team.”We are delighted to have Ricky back with us and look forward to hiscontribution based on his experience and expertise,” former Indiacaptain, Anil Kumble, part of the Mumbai Indians think-tank said.”John Wright will continue his association with MI and will look after talent scouting and youth development, which is one of the areas that we would like to build a stronger base in years to come”.last_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

How to Write a Whitepaper That Will Capture Leads

first_img Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Content Types Originally published Sep 1, 2010 8:00:00 AM, updated August 26 2017 The following is a guest post by John McTigue, Executive Vice President and Co-Owner of Kuno Creative . Kuno Creative is a Certified HubSpot Partner Agency based in Avon, OH that specializes in building brands and capturing sales leads.Download our free marketing tool that helps you generate more leads and learn about website visitors.ScopeWhitepapers are usually in-depth reports on a specific topic, like a research paper intended for publication on the Web. Typically at least 10 pages in length with illustrations, charts and references, the average whitepaper is not designed for casual browsing and usually requires several readings to glean the full extent of its information. Readers expect a high degree of expertise backed by solid research that is fully documented by references. It can take weeks or even months to write and polish a good whitepaper.StyleWhitepapers are usually serious in tone and professional in appearance. You can expect your readers to include people who are considering purchasing your products or services, so you want to make sure your whitepapers are written well, edited well and formatted to represent your brand on the same level as your brochures and website. It’s a good idea to enlist the services of a graphic designer to layout your pages, images, fonts and colors for best results. Have at least two experienced writers review your document for grammar, spelling and accuracy. Make sure your management team has reviewed it to avoid possible problems with content or strategy.IntentBlogs are intended for reaching out to the general public, to update them on your ideas and strategies. More often than not, blogs are opinion-based. Usually blogs are informal and often playful. Whitepapers are for capturing leads – it’s all about business. You are providing something truly valuable for your target audience. Good information backed by well-documented research is worth its weight in gold. When someone signs up for your whitepaper on your landing page they are connecting with you and allowing you to connect with them further, i.e. move them further down the sales funnel. They will gladly do this if your whitepaper provides useful information and insight they can’t get elsewhere.So what constitutes a great lead-generating whitepaper? Find a topic that feeds a need . You must know your target market, what do they want to know and what’s already out there? You can explore topics in social media and community sites that generate a lot of comments. If you have expertise in one of those topics, get to work. Put your heart into it . Don’t just patch together a bunch of other peoples’ work. Analyze the data and add value by evaluating options and presenting them to your readers in an easy to understand way. Make it substantial . Cover the ground. Make an outline first, and organize it well into chapters or sections. It’s a good idea to make each section a “bite-sized” chunk, maybe one page with charts or graphics that covers a certain point. Make it authoritative . Do your homework and make sure you mention previous authoritative work on the subject. Your mission isn’t to be the only expert in the field – it’s to be the latest expert with the freshest insights. Create a great landing page . Include a summary and topics to let people know what the whitepaper’s about. Tell them why it’s important to them, and with time and exposure, include some snippets from comments and reviews. Here are some examples of whitepapers on inbound marketing: Inbound Marketing Blueprint for the C-Suite (Kuno Creative) Inbound Marketing Gameplan (PR2020) The 7 Universal Laws Of Pull Marketing (PullnotPush) Internet Marketing Whitepapers (HubSpot) Tell us about some great whitepapers you have downloaded and why you liked them.last_img read more

With 90 Million Google+ Users, Google Tries to Force Social Adoption

first_img Google Updates 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: In a press release distributed yesterday recapping Google’s fourth quarter, the search (and social?) giant revealed that Google+ has now racked up 90 million users.Sure, 90 million may seem like nothing compared to Facebook’s giant 800 million user base, but considering the new social network has only been around a mere 7 months, the growth isn’t easily ignored. In fact, the count has more than doubled since October, when Google’s official count stood at 40 million. And when you also factor in Experian Hitwise’s prediction that Google+ will amass 400 million users by the end of 2012, the power of Google+ is definitely not something to shrug off.Google Now Requiring New Gmail Signups to Also Create Google+ AccountsConsidering Google is now practically forcing new Google+ signups with its modified Google account registration form, we doubt it’ll have any trouble hitting that 400 million number.Previously, anyone who wished to register for YouTube, Gmail, or other Google products were only required to provide an existing email address or set up a Gmail account. Now, new Gmail registrants must also provide their name, birthday, and gender, and a Google+ account is automatically created with these other signups.The updated registration form even includes an opted-in checkbox that allows Google to use users’ account information for personalization purposes. After new users complete the form, they are then taken to a profile set-up page, which confirms that new users will also be added to the social network.While Google is guaranteeing an increase in registered Google+ users by this method, more users will really only be valuable if they’re active. I’d guess that many of these new signups won’t even really care that they’ve also been added to Google+. Google will have to do more than just drive registrations if they want to collect the valuable social data they’re after. Why Marketers Should Care About the Growth of Google+ But yes, you should care. Particularly if you’re a marketer. Especially still if you weigh in the fact that it’s not really about the individual power of Google+ as a social network. It’s about how Google can leverage the social data of Google+. As we discussed earlier this month, Google+ is changing the web, whether you like it or not. And the more users Google+ attracts, the more social data Google can collect.Not a believer? Consider the powerful changes we’ve already seen Google make since the dawn of Google+:July 2011: Google starts showing Google+ profile images alongside organic search results.November 2011: Google+ launches business pages.Early December 2011: Google integrates Google+ and Gmail.Mid-December 2011: Google+ enables multiple business page administrators.Late December 2011: Google starts pulling in Google+ status updates into organic search results.Early January 2012: Google launches ‘Search plus Your World,’ the controversial algorithm update that features content from Google+ and shows more personalized results for organic searches. Google+ is obviously impacting search, but it’s also giving Google the leverage it needs to dominate the web. Even if just for the search component, businesses can’t afford not to jump on the Google+ bandwagon. If you haven’t already done so, create your Google+ business page today and start optimizing your business’ Google+ presence.What do you think about the growth of Google+? Are you still putting off creating a Google+ business page?Image Credit: xkcd Originally published Jan 20, 2012 1:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016last_img read more

Why You Might Want to Be More Negative in Your Marketing

first_img Originally published Apr 3, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Marketing Strategy Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Ever wake up on the wrong side of the bed?Of course you have. We all have.Ever wake up on the wrong side of the bed, and then have to be cheery? Like, interact in social media? Write an engaging blog post? Put together a lovable email marketing campaign?Ugh. Those are the times you wish you could shut out the world, or at least channel a little of your inner snark. Well, the good news is you can do that once in a while, and your marketing results may even thank you for it! Sometimes, it’s good to embrace the negative — whether it’s shutting out audiences, casting a villain, or even just a less than cheerful attitude. (Trust me — this will all make sense in a second.)So, here we go … if you ever wake up wanting to shut out the world, here’s how you can take it out (positively!) in your marketing.Free Download: Marketing Editorial Calendar Template8 Opportunities to Be More Negative in Your Marketing1) Create Negative, or Exclusionary PersonasLet’s start with something a little bit easier to swallow than just being a total grumpy pants — exclusionary personas. Exclusionary personas, sometimes also referred to as negative personas, are kind of like the opposite of buyer personas — they’re the personas of the people you do not want to target in your marketing.This is about more than just recognizing that not everyone in the world is a potential future customer — it’s about recognizing that your marketing attracts certain types of people who totally clog up your funnel, waste your sales team’s time, and will never become customers. Why won’t they ever become a customer? Could be a lot of things — they don’t have the budget, or they’re just fans of your content or social media presence. Or maybe they do become customers, but they cost you a ton of money; for instance, they could have a high acquisition cost, or a high propensity to churn.In this case, it behooves you to identify who these folks are so you can ensure you either 1) stop creating content that draws in the wrong people, or 2) let them keep reading and engaging with your content to help you spread your reach, but keep them from getting rotated to sales reps using methods like assigning them a low lead score.2) Leverage ExclusivityThis is the VIP, red-carpet tactic we all know and love (or love to hate). When you tell someone they can’t have something, or what they want is scarce, it often makes them want it more. You know, the whole “playing hard to get” thing we’ve all either been victim of or practiced ourselves at one point or another in our love lives. This just so happens to be a common sales tactic, but marketers can use it, too. Tell prospects they can have an offer … but only for a limited time. Or only for the first 10 that respond in social media. Heck, you don’t even always have to tell them what it is. The 11K Club, which I wrote about in more detail in this post about leveraging exclusivity in your marketing, launched a campaign where they asked people to sign up for something — but they couldn’t tell you what.I totally signed up.This tactic is particularly popular with savvy ecommerce shops, too — ModCloth, for instance, frequently sends me emails letting me know that an item I like is so popular, it’s almost out of stock. “Oh no! Everyone else is snagging it! I have to get it before I’m left out!”The moral of the story? Leave people out once in a while. If everyone gets something, it’s not as special. And when you go VIP, the ones who do get it feel uber-special. (There … we just turned a negative into a positive. See?)3) Craft Negative Titles and HeadlinesI don’t know what this says about human nature, but there’s an undeniable correlation between page views and negativity. Consider these titles that showed up while scanning CNN’s homepage today:What you get wrong about BBQWorst U.S. cities for allergiesIvy leagues accepting fewer studentsCould our favorite flavorings be damaging our DNA?Beware the parental overshareThese are about clicks. No question about it. We all know the news has gone the negative route for years, and they do it because it works.Now, you shouldn’t throw out some inflammatory headline just to get clicks — if you’re going to get negative with your titles, you have to back it up with some solid content that actually merits that bombastic title of yours. Here are a few examples that worked out extremely well for us:15 Things People Absolutely Hate About Your Website13 Hilarious Examples of Truly Awful Stock PhotographyYour Mom Hates This Blog PostDoes Google Hate Small Businesses?4) Create a Bond Over a Shared Negative ExperienceAlright, now we’re getting warmed up! So you’re throwing out some negative titles, but have you considered drawing that negativity into your content? When you draw on a negative situation in your content — particularly right in the beginning — it can actually help reader retention and engagement. Some marketers are afraid to stir up negative feelings in their reader, but it can actually create a shared experience and tap into a level of emotion that some may not expect to get while reading marketing content, particularly if you’re a B2B marketer.I mean, that’s why I started this post the way I did — getting up on the wrong side of the bed is an experience everyone I know can relate to. And sometimes, it’s easier to form a bond with someone over a shared negative experience than something warm and fuzzy.But be forewarned — once you have a bond with the reader based on a shared negative experience, it’s crucial to shift the mood to something more positive and solution-oriented. People like to know they’re not alone (misery loves company), but most don’t like to dwell on the negativity.5) Cast Some VillainsJust like we can all bond over a shared negative experience, so too can we bond over a common enemy. Casting a villain has been a common marketing tactic for years, and I’m not just talking about the Hamburglar. Villains can take more subtle forms, playing on common tropes — the dopey husband, the nagging girlfriend, the jerk boss. These take common experiences and personify them in order to elicit a feeling in the consumer, and help tell the story you’re trying to tell. For a great example of using multiple villains in your marketing, just check out Career Builder’s 2009 Super Bowl commercial, brought to my attention via Graeme Newell and 602 Communications.6) Stir Up Some ControversyThis one’s not for the faint of heart, but if you feel confident about your brand, your PR team, and your position on an issue, you can take a controversial stance on a popular topic. This does a few things for your marketing:Positions yourself as a thought leader (only if your thought was a good one — so try to make sure it is)Sends a ton of traffic your wayHelps you define your brandDrives natural PRElicits strong emotions, both positive and negativeThat last one is what I want you to pay the most attention to. When you take a staunch position on a polarizing issue, you will have people that despise you for it. You will also generate some seriously ardent supporters. If you’re going to play the controversy game, be prepared to deal with both, because while some results could be really exciting for your brand, some backlash will inevitably come with it.7) Use Data to Build a Case Around Why Something StinksLet’s start this off with an example, since we did this just this morning in our blog post, “Why the Blog Post Is the New Ad Unit.” The beginning of the post included this data point:While clickthrough rates (CTR) are not the only metric by which you can measure a banner ad’s performance, typical online banner ad units achieve a CTR of 0.10% according to MediaMind’s Global Benchmarks Report, and that figure is on a downward spiral due to banner blindness, among other things.You build a case around why one thing stinks (banner ads) … so you can show why something else is awesome (blog posts). This can be made even more compelling if you have two data points that demonstrate a stark contrast; the juxtaposition of positive and negative paints a pretty dramatic picture in readers’ minds, and the succinct data points make it easy to quickly demonstrate the bad versus the good.8) Make Fun of YourselfFinally, turn that negativity inward. A little self-deprecation can be fun for others, makes you seem more human, and actually might make you feel better about your slip-ups. After all, we all have them, and it’s important to learn how to make light of your mistakes. For example, this very feeling was the impetus for a blog post we wrote several months ago: our very own Marketing Hall of Shame. In it, we detailed some of our dumbest marketing mistakes. It was helpful not only in the “being-the-first-to-laugh-at-yourself” way, but because people can learn from these mistakes, and hopefully not have to repeat them.When Negativity BackfiresAll this being said, it’s important to always consider whether your negativity is going to backfire. Are you being an unadulterated jerkface? Is this negativity going to be lost on your audience? Does your buyer persona really hate this kind of stuff?For instance, something that almost always comes off as totally petty and unnecessarily negative is bickering with competitors. I mean, think about how annoying political ads are; you certainly don’t want to come off like that. I think one piece of advice from my childhood can sum up how you should approach bickering with competitors:”If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”Yes, even if they started it.It’s also important to remember that any negativity you draw on needs to be tempered with some positivity. For instance, we learned this the hard way with a post we published a few months ago called, “101 Sure-Fire Ways to Make People Hate Your Marketing.” It was a snark fest, but it didn’t perform that well, and some readers thought it was just too much negativity. The lesson? If you’re going to get snarky, 101 doses of it may be too much. Furthermore, had the balance of the post been tipped more heavily toward positive things, like how to fix these 101 mistakes, the response may have been more positive.Finally, I think striving to be inspirational should always be an aspiration for marketers. There’s no question that marketers capable of inspiring people — take charity:water’s unbelievable case study videos, or even our own founder Dharmesh Shah’s deck on creating a company we love at HubSpot — see unbelievable success from their efforts. In fact, I think if you’re able to inspire people in your marketing, the effects last much longer, and are much stronger than any of these negative tactics.What do you think about getting a little negative in your marketing? Do you ever get a bit edgy, or do you keep it to more behind-the-scenes stuff, like exclusionary personas? Share your thought in the comments!last_img read more

Twitter’s New Profile Layout, Gmail’s Image-Heavy Inbox & More in HubSpot Content This Week

first_img Twitter Marketing Originally published Apr 13, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Our digital social tools are both a blessing and a curse. While they provide us with an unmatched way to interact with the modern consumer, keeping up with the never ending changes and updates can often feel like a full time job all on its own.This week, in HubSpot content, we covered a wide range of topics on this front — spanning everything from major layout changes to feature launches and even one high-powered marketer who may still not be on board with the whole idea of social monitoring tools.See all that and more in this week’s HubSpot content roundup.Twitter’s New Profile Layout Is Here: What You Need to KnowTwitter has officially confirmed rumors that began in February, announcing that in the next few weeks, users can expect to see major changes to their profile pages. In this blog post, you’ll learn all about the new layout and how you can prepare for the changes.9 Ways to Use Twitter’s New Photo Collages in Your MarketingTwitter recently introduced a new feature that enables users to include up to four images in a single tweet. This blog post will walk you through nine different ways you can capitalize on this new capability to attract visitors and convert your prospects into customers.How to Optimize Your Emails for Gmail’s New Image-Heavy InboxFor the past few weeks, Gmail has been testing a new look for the Promotions tab. The new, Pinterest-like layout is far more image-heavy than anything Gmail has done in the past. In this blog post, see what this will mean for your emails, as well as how can customize the logo and images that appear with your emails.What to Do When Your Twitter Account Gets HackedAll it takes is one click on the wrong link, or one seemingly harmless download, to give hackers everything they need to gain access to your Twitter account. This blog post outlines the best practices for protecting your account, as well as the steps you can take to recover your account after it has already been hacked.Apple Marketing Boss: We Don’t Need No Stinking Social Monitoring Tools!In early 2013, Apple’s senior vice president of marketing, Phil Schiller, harshly denounced the idea that Apple should start paying for social media monitoring tools. Check out this blog post  to learn more and to see highlights from the actual email discussion between Schiller and other members of his marketing team.What was the most interesting thing you learned this week on Inbound Hub? What do you want to see more of? Leave your feedback in the comments! 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

An 8-Step Plan for Migrating to a New Marketing Automation Program

first_img Marketing Automation Topics: How They Did ItOne challenge Freeman faced was that the people who had installed and configured the previous marketing automation system at ShoreTel were no longer at the company. And the software had been in place since around 2007. “I had to go in and figure out how the whole thing was set up by someone else, with very little documentation on the current setup,” he says.In any migration, there will be some translation required. How much depends on which applications are involved. Some have more in common than others.Freeman offered to walk me through the steps he followed in his migration. The main thing, he says, is to put in the time up front to make a realistic schedule and anticipate the steps that are going to be the most challenging. “Planning is the most important piece,” he says.Here are eight steps he recommends:1) Take inventory.Map out the workflows, lists, contact fields, and content such as landing pages, emails, blog posts and images that you have in your existing marketing automation program. “Just define what you have and what you need to bring over,” he says.2) Do a clean-up.As long as you’re in the middle of change, it’s a good opportunity to get rid of old offers and other assets you don’t need anymore. It’s also a good time to comb through your contacts database and get rid of some email addresses, for example ones that have bounced or ones that have not opened one of your emails in a long time. (For advice on how to scrub your list, see this story.) “Bottom line is, this is an opportunity for spring cleaning,” Freeman says.3) Figure out which assets need to be changed.Identify any adjustments that you need to make in workflows that are being carried over.4) Export your data.“Because it’s a moving target, I set up an auto download or auto data export that ran daily,” Freeman says.5) Put the pieces back together.Start with landing pages and emails. “We took landing pages we had from Eloqua and applied styling and template changes,” Freeman says. “We recreated them in HubSpot, but with a new look and feel.”6) Perform a sync.Sync your contacts with Salesforce.com, and start recreating workflows, lists, and forms.7) Test.“We tested a lot before going live, but we also spent three days after going live with HubSpot looking out for problems, and fixing problems and oversights,” Freeman says. “That’s inevitable. There are going to be little hiccups. But we worked them out and everything was golden after that.”According to folks at HubSpot, you might want to run the old and new systems in tandem for some period of time.8) Shut off the old system.Hey, you don’t need it anymore. You’re done. Congratulations.ShoreTel finished the migration a few months ago, and has had no problems since. “I always find things to tune or improve,” Freeman says, “but things have really gone smoothly.”The PayoffThe biggest benefit for ShoreTel is the new system is easier to use than the previous system. “I have seven people who are actively using this now,” he says. “Every time I do some training, people go, ‘Wow, that’s so easy!’”His one biggest piece of advice to others who are planning a migration is to hire a consultant to help guide you through the process. “You shouldn’t try to do this on your own,” he says. Nobody looks forward to software migration projects. But with the right planning, and realistic expectations, you can get to the promised land without too much damage to your psyche.If you want some advice on how to evaluate marketing automation software, check out this free Marketing Automation Starter Kit. And once you’ve decided to make a leap, you can use this free guide to help you learn how to create marketing automation RFP. Originally published Apr 21, 2014 5:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017center_img This post originally appeared on the Opinion section of Inbound Hub. To read more content like this, subscribe to Opinion.Michael Freeman wasn’t psyched about having to migrate from one marketing automation system to another. But it had to be done. Last year Freeman’s employer, a telecom company called ShoreTel, moved from Eloqua to HubSpot, and it fell to Freeman, the head of demand generation at ShoreTel, to oversee the project.Freeman says he wouldn’t want to go through it again — “I’ve been here for two years, and this was the first time I was ever unhappy,” he says. “Since finishing the migration I’m much, much happier, and if I can help someone else who is in that situation, then I’m happy to help.”Migrations are becoming more common in the marketing automation space. A few years ago that wasn’t the case. The field was so new that when most companies installed marketing automation programs they were starting with a clean slate.But as the marketing automation field matures, an increasing number of companies find themselves wanting or needing to migrate. That might be because they’re dissatisfied with a vendor. Or maybe a company is being acquired and must migrate to the marketing automation program that its new owner uses.Freeman says ShoreTel moved mostly because it wanted greater ease of use, but also wanted to rethink its approach to marketing. He explains his reasons for moving to HubSpot in this video: 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

Is Personalization Creepy? 6 Experts Weigh In

first_img Topics: Originally published Mar 7, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 This post originally appeared on Agency Post. To read more content like this, subscribe to Agency Post.You would think that personalization of content and ads would be a welcome tactic, considering how many people complain about irrelevant advertising.But many marketers are concerned about crossing the line; of being seen as “Big Brother.” And not all customers are comfortable brands using their information in this way. A study by Ipsos found that 68% of U.S. smartphone users are concerned about having their online activity tracked in order for advertisers to serve them more targeted ads. So, how do you combat the idea that personalization is creepy? How can you create content, emails, and advertising that aligns with and matches the visitor’s mindset?We asked a few advertising executives why marketers should reconsider personalization and how they can use it as a tool for relevance. Here’s what they had to say.Understand the Audience FirstMarketers today must understand whom their audience is to determine how personalized to get. Digital natives tend to be more open to personalization because they’re aware that online activity can be public knowledge. That being said, we are currently in a transition phase. When retargeting technology was created in 2007, people were surprised when a product they searched for showed up on other sites around the web. Now, this is much less surprising. In fact, a recent survey cited that about half of consumers wished ads were more tailored to their interests and more than half expected to see personalized ads. Today the difference between ‘creepy’ and ‘not creepy’ is if an ad is so personalized it can only be for you. For example, an ad telling you to ‘buy diapers now because you’re giving birth in two weeks’ is much too, but an ad for diapers isn’t. Drawing the line between each is an art, not a science, and marketers must be always be considerate of their audience.– James Green | MagneticAdd ValuePersonalization can mean a lot of things, so it’s important to understand what a marketer thinks it is and how it’s creepy. This can often clear up initial concerns. Then for us, the guiding personalization principle is to figure out if and how it adds value to the end user. Today personalization enables a range of new behaviors and there are a lot of untapped and exciting opportunities to weave it into experiences and products that may not seem like an immediate fit. In the coming months and years, we’re going to see it become a powerful tool for building relationships and creating better ways to do things. Personalization has already changed so many categories, so it’s really about understanding how to get the most out of it for your brand or product.– Paul Munkholm | Kettle Increase RelevanceTo marketers who argue that personalization is creepy, I ask: do you think Amazon is creepy?If so, I’m not sure you really understand why websites and marketers personalize. It’s all about creating a better user experience for your site’s visitors and providing relevant information to the right people at the right time, not showing off your ability to track every move someone has taken on your site.– Marc Herschberger | Revenue River MarketingMake Visitors Feel WelcomePersonalization is only creepy if you make it creepy. Only use personalization in areas where people expect it (after opting in, in emails, etc.). The goal of personalization is to make a lead or customer feel welcome. The moment they feel welcomed on your site you have succeeded with personalization. – Seth Fendley | ClearPivotCompare Tracking to In-Store BehaviorWhen talking to marketers who think tracking and personalization are creepy, I like to compare their website to a brick-and-mortar store. You know when someone is window shopping, who has come in, and what products they are looking at. Tracking and personalization provide this level of service for the digital world. – William McKee | KnowmadUse Personalization as a Greeting I will agree using personalization in the wrong way can be creepy as heck. However, thinking that all personalization is creepy is like saying knowing someone’s name is creepy. Can you imagine having a real-world conversation with someone who never used your name? Now that is creepy.In the real world, we can see they have brown hair, blue eyes, and walk with swag. Personalization done right let’s them know that we know who they are and that we dig their wicked swag.– George Thomas | The Sales Lion Personalization in Marketing 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