14 February 2014 The recent upsurge in service delivery protests in South Africa had as much to do with the country’s service delivery successes as with its failures, President Jacob Zuma told Parliament on Thursday. Delivering his State of the Nation address in Cape Town, Zuma said the dominant narrative in the case of the protests “has been to attribute them to alleged failures of government. However, the protests are not simply the result of ‘failures’ of government but also of the success in delivering basic services”. When 95% of the country’s households had access to water, he said, the 5% who still need to be provided for felt they could not wait a moment longer. “Success is also the breeding ground of rising expectations.” Zuma expressed concern with the manifestation of violence in some of the protests taking place in the country. “Also worrying is what appears to be premeditated violence, as is the case with the use of petrol bombs and other weapons during protests.” He said the governmented supports the right of citizens to express themselves. “The right to protest, peacefully and unarmed, is enshrined in the Constitution.” However, when protests threatened lives and property and destroyed valuable infrastructure intended to serve the community, they undermined the very democracy that upheld the right to protest.Loss of life during protests President Zuma said any loss of life at the hands of the police in the course of dealing with protests could not be overlooked or condoned. “Loss of life is not a small matter. We need to know what happened, why it happened. Any wrongdoing must be dealt with and corrective action must be taken. Police must act within the ambit of the law at all times.” At the same time, he said: “As we hold the police to account, we should be careful not to end up delegitimising them and glorify anarchy in our society.” Zuma said while the culture of violence originated from the country’s apartheid past, South African leaders had to reflect on what they were doing or failing to do to root out the violence that surfaced during protests. Acts of violence, intimidation and destruction of property were criminal offences, and the police would arrest and prosecute those who commited such acts.Interventions in place In Gauteng province, Premier Nomvula Mokonyane has established a high-level task team to probe the violent service delivery protests. Earlier this week, North West Premier Thandi Modise placed the embattled Madibeng municipality under administration following several service delivery protests in Mothotlung, Majakaneng and Hebron. To address issues of service delivery, from 2011, teams from the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation have visited areas around the country to assess and promote service delivery. The government has also been clear that South Africans themselves should participate actively in local decision-making and interact with the government through the available structures in order to fast-track service delivery.Achievements in service delivery Zuma said the government had made remarkable achievements in increasing access to services such as water, sanitation and electricity over the past 20 years. As part of this, the government had begun an intensive programme to eliminate the bucket sewage system countrywide. “Phase one of the programme will eradicate buckets in formalised townships of the Free State, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape. Phase two will eradicate buckets in informal settlements in all provinces.” Regarding housing, Zuma said the next administration would focus on promoting better-located mixed-income housing projects. “In housing, about three-million housing units and more than 855 000 serviced sites were delivered since 1994. Nearly 500 informal settlements have been replaced with quality housing and basic services over the past five years.” Some communities still did not have these services, especially in informal settlements and rural areas, he said. However, all spheres of government were working to ensure the provision of these services, especially in the 23 municipalities identified as having the greatest number of backlogs. Source: SAnews.gov.za
The Railway administration on Wednesday terminated the services of 13 railway employees of the Khatauli station for the derailment of Utkal Express on August 19. More than 24 people were killed and 154 injured during the derailment which happened when Utkal Express was allowed to cross the track even when the track was being repaired. The local track men and railway engineers allowed repair work without taking the prior permission of senior officials. Superintendent of Khatauli railway station Rajendra Singh told The Hindu that the tracks were being repaired without informing senior officials. Those who were removed include 11 trackmen, 1 junior engineer and 1 hammer man. They were found to have committed “serious lapse during duty.” Neeraj Sharma, the chief spokesperson of the Northern Railway told The Hindu, “In connection with Khatauli train accident, 13 Railway employee including 11 trackmen, 1 Junior engineer, 1 hammer man, have been removed from service by Railway administration. They were involved in serious lapse during duty.”The termination of services of employees comes in a series of major reshuffle in the administrative set up of the railways following the derailment.
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar will continue in his post, Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah said on September 23, as he announced that a reshuffle of the State’s Ministers would soon take place.The BJP chief said so in a tweet following a discussion with the Bharatiya Janata Party’s core group team from Goa.“It has been decided during a discussion with the Goa BJP core team that Manohar Parrikar will continue to lead the Goa government. There will soon be a reshuffle of Ministers and their portfolios,” he said.Mr. Parrikar’s poor health has sparked speculation over his continuation as the Chief Minister of Goa, and Mr. Shah had recently sent a central party leaders team to the coastal State to speak to allies and take stock of the political situation.The opposition Congress, which is the single-largest party in the State, has also staked a claim to form government. The BJP has asserted that its government continues to have the support of a majority of MLAs.Mr. Parrikar is at present admitted at the AIIMS and undergoing treatment for a pancreas-related ailment.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has welcomed the creation of a Chief of the Defence Staff post as a vital step in strengthening and streamlining the command structure of the country’s defence services.Hailing the Union government’s decision as the fulfilment of a long-pending demand, first mooted by the then UPA government in the wake of the Kargil war, the Chief Minister said the move would go a long way in improving the command and control system of the Indian armed forces.Capt. Amarinder said that a CDS was suggested back in 2009 by the Naresh Chandra committee under the United Progressive Alliance, as the permanent chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC). The decision, however, then could not be implemented though it was felt that such a post would bring in more effective coordination and cohesiveness in the armed forces.“With the CDS to coordinate them, the three defence services, viz the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, the Indian armed forces would become more integrated, thus enhancing their effectiveness,” the Chief Minister said in a statement.
Regardless of all these Celtics-Cavaliers fireworks, it’s still Golden State’s world and probably will be for a long time. This deal didn’t change that.The Warriors will still be the favorites to win the last game of next season.The first game of next season, as luck would have it, just happens to be Boston at Cleveland.And just like that, the NBA has drama again.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ All good things, all edge to Cleveland.Give the Celtics credit for being bold. Danny Ainge knew winning the Eastern Conference’s regular-season crown last season was meaningless, so he completely blew up a team that was a No. 1 seed and got hammered by the Cavaliers in the East finals. Sure, the Celtics played most of that series without Thomas, but that wasn’t going to matter. The Cavs weren’t losing that series.So Ainge goes out and gets an All-Star point guard in Irving, after he hauls in Gordon Hayward during free agency and adds probable rookie of the year front-runner Jayson Tatum to the mix in the draft — plus gets another draft pick in either 2018 or 2019 for his trouble.It’s not a bad deal for the Celtics. They get Irving. It’s his team. A storied franchise is in his hands and he will savor that.It’s just a better deal for Cleveland, at least right now.ADVERTISEMENT Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim There are many ways to claim victory in the deal made Tuesday night. Kyrie Irving wanted his own team and got it, so he wins. Isaiah Thomas gets to play with LeBron James, so he wins. The Cavaliers got rid of a supposedly disgruntled star, so they won. The Celtics now won’t have to decide if Thomas is worth something like a $180 million deal next summer, so they won. It’s all semantics.But look past all that.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingIn the end, Cleveland won. James won, too.Here’s a few reasons why James will be celebrating this deal: He’ll still have a high-octane point guard; he’s getting an absurdly good defender in Jae Crowder (he could have helped the Cavs’ cause against Golden State in The Finals); he won’t be going into the season dealing with drama about Irving’s Cleveland future; this trade might even reap the Cavaliers the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft. NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul FILE – In this June 7, 2017, file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving (2) is guarded by Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) during the first half of Game 3 of basketball’s NBA Finals in Cleveland. Irving gets his new address and Isaiah Thomas gets to play with LeBron. They both can say they won in this Celtics-Cavs blockbuster deal. But the sum of the parts says Cleveland got the better of Boston in this swap of All-Star point guards. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane, File)MIAMI— It’s not the principals that will define the blockbuster trade between Cleveland and Boston. Great point guard leaves one city for another. That seems fair.All the other parts, they will tell the story.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ LATEST STORIES Minnesota never offered Andrew Wiggins. Miami never offered half its roster. Portland wasn’t giving up Damian Lillard. In the end the Cavs still got a star for a star, and since Thomas is only making about $6.3 million next season they got plenty of bonus parts as well to make the trade work.It also solved one big Cleveland problem.James’ only motivation is rings, and this move gives him just that.He will be looking to go to the Finals for the eighth consecutive year. Only three teams in NBA history have been to four straight finals — the Lakers, the Celtics, and the Miami Heat when James was with them. Golden State will be heavy favorites to join that club next June. The Cavaliers won’t surprise many if they join them.James will show up at camp in a couple of months and begin plotting ways to get his team back to the Finals. Had Irving still been there, James surely would have been wondering if they could make it work again. With Thomas, there won’t be a question. James and Thomas already have great respect for one another, and Thomas runs on the same prove-people-wrong gasoline that James uses.Cleveland has been through the free-agency-is-looming dance with James before, of course. If the Cavs want to keep him next summer, they simply have to go all-in to make him as happy as possible. This trade probably wasn’t a bad start on that front.In Boston, the Celtics will look very different this season.Irving and Hayward are in; Thomas, Crowder, Avery Bradley, Kelly Olynyk and Amir Johnson are out — meaning five of Boston’s seven top scorers from a No. 1 seed now play elsewhere.The Cavs weren’t overhauled; Irving is gone, Thomas, Derrick Rose and Jeff Green arrived.From a continuity standpoint, obvious edge to Cleveland as well. Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side View comments LeBron James heads to Manila again on September 2 Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.
the Wikipedia entry go read it now Most blogs put comments right below their articles. That encourages participation because readers see them after they finish, and dive in. That’s not the case on The Journal’s site. After the article all you see are ads. If you want to comment on the piece, you have to go back to a comment tab at the top of the page. The authors encourage marketers to “Resist the temptation to sell, sell, sell,” yet by placing ads where most sites put the comments, The Journal is doing just that. (3) Ads Take Up Space Most Sites Devote to Comments — and Here’s what I mean: colleges after dozens of interviews with executives and managers. (whatever you say about Wikipedia, it is certainly a conversation). , written by professors from — “Don’t just talk at consumers — work with them throughout the marketing process.” That’s another one of the article’s excellent morsels of advice. Yet the authors fail to follow it. As of late Monday night, they weren’t participating in the comments, which means they’re talking at their readers. There is just one problem with the article: The authors and The Journal aren’t following their own advice. Bentley (1) Very Few Links What do you think? Does the WSJ practice what it preaches? Does HubSpot? Topics: , or, at the very least, Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack . inbound marketing If you haven’t read today’s piece in The Wall Street Journal about marketing on the social web, you should Inbound Marketing — The authors urge marketers to “Listen to — and join — the conversation outside your site.” Yet their entire article includes only two links, and even then they’re not links to related conversations. For example, since they offer a definition of Web 2.0, they should link to Babson Originally published Dec 15, 2008 9:02:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 Tim O’Reilly’s seminal post on the topic (2) The Authors Aren’t Participating in the Comments It’s a great summary of many of the principles of
As with the headline, it’s important not to be too pushy. Avoid statements that command visitors to “download now”. Instead, focus on the value to the visitor, such as “gain immediate access” or a “free download”. 2. Clearly & Honestly State the Value Proposition Topics: 1. Headlines are Like Pickup Lines. Don’t be arrogant! The idea here is to start a conversation with your website visitors without sounding pretentious or arrogant. You don’t want to be “that guy”. You know the one – the guy who loves to tell girls the joke about the gun show. When a visitor arrives on your page, you have only a short period of time to convince them not to press the “Back” button on their browser. If your headlines have too much hype (e.g. “An Event You Can’t Afford To Miss!!”), it will turn people off. Headlines play a critical role in convincing a visitor that it is worthwhile for them to stick around and get to know you better. A good headline clearly and honestly states the value of your offer. cacophonyx download a free chapter I recently attended MECLAB’s Landing Page Optimization Summit where Dr. Flint McGlaughlin presented his research to a sold-out audience. Through colorful analogies and real-world examples, McGlaughlin explained a series of lessons around 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 Jun 7, 2011 5:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 of your offer will not only guide the reader’s eyes, it will also demonstrate the tangible value of your offer. This is even more effective if you can state them with numbers. Quantified proof gives you credibility. Many of your visitors are probably already jaded from seeing too many false promises and exaggerated claims online. If you can provide them with concrete numbers supporting your value proposition, it will be easier for them to trust you. features you’re offering, they won’t care enough to continue reading, much less convert on your landing page. Landing Page Copy and The more specific you can be about why your offer is valuable, the better. Bulleted lists of the 3. Be Specific what landing page optimization If the visitor doesn’t know For more advice on optimizating your landing pages, Photo Credit: from MarketingSherpa’s latest report on the key components to a successful landing page optimization strategy. and writing highly effective copy. Among the laundry list of insights I recorded in my notes, here are the most memorable: benefits Your web page should clearly state 1) where they are on your site so they know they are in the right place, 2) what they can do on that page, and 3) why should they should care about what is on that page. It sounds simple, but it’s surprising how many landing pages do not clearly communicate these points.
The following article is an excerpt from our newest ebook, 25 Website ‘Must Haves’ for Driving Traffic, Leads & Sales. You can download the complete, free ebook here.Landing pages are one of the most important elements of lead generation, yet most companies don’t use them enough — or at all. It’s common to give more attention to a website’s homepage instead. After all, it is the first room in your virtual storefront when visitors “walk” through the door.Surprisingly, studies show that the average conversion rate for a website is between 1% and 3%, which means it’s only converting a teeny tiny portion of site traffic. With such a poor outcome, why do businesses still rely on the homepage to do the heavy lifting?A landing page (also referred to as a lead-capture page) is a crucial must-have for any website because it provides a targeted platform for converting higher percentages of visitors into leads. In fact, landing pages have a 5-15% conversion rate on average. Yet they are often overshadowed by a homepage or other product pages.This is because, for years, marketers have focused on driving people to a company website without a clear idea of how visitors got there and where to take them next. Today, we now use email marketing, social media, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and other online channels that empower marketers to send traffic to specific locations (landing pages) containing the right messages for each audience.The job of a landing page is to tell your visitors exactly what you want them to do and why they should do it. Homepages, while still an important element of a website, are typically less focused on a particular task because they are serving the masses. Homepages are great for direct traffic, but when you can control how visitors arrive on your site, a landing page is the best place to send them. When done right, landing pages can have a very positive impact on your lead generation.While landing pages perform better than main site pages at a 5-15% conversion rate, they can do much better if using the best practices explained below. In fact, many of HubSpot’s customers who have implemented these tips are experiencing a 30-45% conversion rate! That’s insanely above the average!To put this into perspective, if you drove 10,000 visitors to your homepage, you’d receive an estimated 300 leads. If you instead sent them to a targeted landing page with an average 30% conversion rate, you could generate 3,000 leads. Which one would you rather have?Wondering what it takes to get a stellar landing page conversion rate? Check out the tips below for creating the perfect landing page.1. Never Use Your Homepage as a Landing PageAs mentioned above, homepages typically have too much messaging, making visitors feel lost. We’d also recommend not using a main site product page either. Even if your homepage and sub-pages are awesome, a dedicated landing page (using these tips) will perform better at converting visitors into leads because they are focused on one task.2. Landing Pages Must Contain the Following ElementsA headline and (optional) sub-headlineA brief description of the what is being offeredAt least one supporting image or short video(Optional) supporting proof elements such as testimonials, customer logos, or security badgesMost importantly, a form on the landing page itself to capture information. If for some reason you can’t include a form on the landing page, use a large call-to-action (CTA) button to direct visitors to the next step. 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: Originally published Oct 11, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Landing Page Design 3. Remove or Limit Extra NavigationA landing page is used for one purpose and one purpose alone – to encourage a visitor to take one specific action. When visitors land on a page, we want to keep them there until they perform that action. Leaving the navigation might induce them to continue wandering. Remove main site navigation from the page so they don’t move off your landing page.4. Keep the Objective Simple and ClearDon’t try to stuff too much information on your landing pages. Make it clear what the page is about and what you want the visitor to do. Limit the amount of copy, images, media, and links to only what’s necessary, and organize your content in a proper structure so objects are in logical order. It’s especially important that the call-to-action (CTA) is as crystal clear as possible for the visitor.Example of a landing page that could improve the CTA:5. Match the Content to a Visitor’s Previous SourceWhether a visitor comes from a PPC ad, email, or call-to-action from another source, ensure the messaging matches throughout the entire conversion path. If your PPC ad says “Download our Marketing Ebook,” your landing page should say the exact same thing — or similar. If there is a disconnect in your messaging, visitors will feel as if they are in the wrong place and will likely hit the ‘Back’ button.6. Reduce FrictionFriction is caused by objects (or missing objects) on a page that inhibit a visitor from taking action. This can include providing too much information (adding complexity), animation that is distracting, lack of customer proof or security, etc. Make your visitors feel confident in their choice to provide their information. To reduce friction, keep the page simple (don’t require visitors to read too much), include proof elements such as customer testimonials, number of downloads/sales (to indicate acceptance from others), security badges (if you’re dealing with sensitive data such as credit card information), and as mentioned above, make sure messaging matches throughout their conversion path.7. Focus on VALUEDon’t create a landing page to download a fact sheet (never put these behind a form). Do create a landing page for a valuable whitepaper. Don’t use a landing page for “Contact Us,” but do use one for a valuable guide, free trial, demonstration, or evaluation. Offering something of value will enable you to generate more leads so you can nurture them over time until they are ‘ready to buy.’Example of a great landing page providing value:8. Only Ask for What You NeedWhen it comes to web forms, there is no magic answer for the number of form fields that should be required. But here is one simple rule of thumb: only ask for what you or your sales team really needs. If you don’t need their hair color, don’t ask for it. Try to stay away from sensitive or confidential information, too. And never, ever use the word “Submit” on the form button. Always use language for what they are getting in return. For example, use “Download Now,” “Get your Free Evaluation,” or “Join our Mailing List.”9. Create a Lot of Landing PagesFor every new campaign or offer, create a new landing page. The more landing pages you have, the more opportunities for converting more traffic into leads.BONUS: Make Your Landing Pages ShareableThis is optional, but it’s another great way to drive more visitors to your landing pages. Include social media sharing links or a social sharing widget on your landing pages so visitors can easily share that content with their own personal networks, and in turn, drive more opportunities for converting leads.Evaluate your landing pages, and use these best practices as a checklist for setting up the perfect page. Effective landing pages are what will turn your website into a lead generating machine. And don’t forget to test your landing pages to see which ones work best for you!What other landing page best practices would you recommend?
Google+ is chock full of hidden gems. The problem is, most marketers regard Google+ as a social platform that isn’t delivering significant social media marketing results. Unfortunately, this perception usually inhibits their ability to see all the cool things Google+ has to offer: the little features, functionalities, and tools it provides to improve the way your business functions. Boy, are you in for a treat!So let’s stop viewing Google+ as just another social network and instead put it to good use as a business tool, particularly through the use of Google+ Hangouts. Hangouts is one of the most versatile Google+ tools available to you, especially when you find it difficult to assemble your entire team for in-person meetings. With Google+, you can give internal communication a boost and increase efficiency … all for free!Google+ Hangouts … With Extras!If you’re not in the know, Google+ Hangouts is a live group video chat feature that enables you to video chat with up to nine other people. But that’s not all! Google+ Hangouts are also available “with extras” — extra features that you can use within your Google+ Hangout sessions. By hosting a virtual meeting through Hangouts with Extras, you can get so much more out of your Hangout sessions. Here are three ways you can use Google+ Hangouts, including the key “extra” features that amplify their impact.Host Virtual MeetingsScreenshareWell-run marketing meetings include a presentation or slide deck of some sort with key metrics, goals, and progress toward those goals to share with the team. But for those members joining in remotely, your marketing manager running the meeting and projecting slides can open up a Google+ Hangout with the remote attendees and do a simple screenshare. This way, everyone in the meeting can easily pay attention while also keeping those teammates who are off-site well informed. Or, if your CEO or colleague is on a business trip, you can still have one-on-one meetings to show them presentations or other projects you’re working on by starting a Hangout and sharing your screen!Google DocsAs we mentioned in our recent post, “How to Run Marketing Team Meetings That Don’t Suck,” an effective marketing meeting needs an agenda. But you know the one flaw about those perfected agendas? People forget about them. Once you’re even 5 or 10 minutes into a meeting, everyone forgets there was a certain schedule to stick to. That’s why the Hangouts sync with Google Docs is so valuable. Google+ Hangouts are automatically connected to your Google Docs, allowing you to open documents, spreadsheets, presentations, etc., and showcase them on the screen as you video chat. Having the agenda in sight reminds members that there is a certain schedule of topics to adhere to and review, keeping them on their toes. Users can also see the meeting notes as they are typed, and can also contribute to them if necessary.In addition to making your team more aware of your meeting’s agenda, Hangouts can help you present certain analytics you continuously track using a spreadsheet (such as your finances or month-to-date progress toward your leads goal), and enable you to review those numbers together. Or, if you’re simply working with someone else on a presentation for an upcoming meeting or event, you can build it collaboratively via Google Presentations and then transfer the documents to your preferred presentation software such as PowerPoint or Keynote later. That way, if either of you has an idea to add to or alter the presentation, you can make the change or add a note right then and there rather than taking the risk of forgetting about it later. This eliminates time-wasting back-and-forth and lets group members work together efficiently!Improve CommunicationGroup ChatDon’t you hate when you’re in a meeting, someone needs to leave, so she interrupts the speaker to excuse herself? Me too. Instead, keep your meeting’s Google+ Hangout open whether the meeting is virtual or in-person. That way, attendees can easily excuse themselves by leaving a note in the chat pane, and exiting without interruption. This tool can also come in handy if you want to direct meeting attendees to a specific link, or if the meeting you need them to send you any piece of information, such as a phone number or address.If you’re team is hosting a guest or speaker, either at an event or in-person, you can also use Google+ Hangouts so people not attending in person hear and see what’s going on, and communicate via chat.YouTubeWatching videos of cats running into walls is funny — but it’s even funnier when you do it with others! But on a more serious note, video marketing is still alive and well. If someone on your team has been working on your next case study, product video, or music video, but has the video unlisted to the public for the purpose of continued editing, he/she can share progress with other members of your team by easily connecting to YouTube. (Of course, if the video hasn’t reached this stage, you could always use screenshare to show what you have saved on your computer).Another benefit of the YouTube sync in Google+ Hangouts is, when you’re browsing YouTube, you sometimes stumble upon a video that either inspires you or illustrates a message in a compelling way. Instead of trying to describe this to your colleague later or trying to convince your videographer how awesome it was, you can use the Hangout button under “share” right from within YouTube to easily watch the video with another person virtually.Have FunGoogle EffectsSometimes a meeting can be enhanced by just a bit of FUN! At HubSpot, our marketeering team (marketing + engineering) has members who sit in all different parts of the office, work on different schedules, and some who even work off-site — in other countries! Thus, they host their daily team update using Google+ Hangouts and have a whole lot of fun with the seasonal effects. Sometimes mustaches make an appearance, and sometimes they sport reindeer antlers and noses! While these silly effects hardly serve any “business” value, who doesn’t benefit from a little fun at work now and again? While chatting using these effects, why not take screenshots and share them on your social media platforms? It shows off your brand’s personality, and hey — nothing bad can come from showcasing how happy your company’s employees are. Video Marketing Additional AppsThe “Extras” we mentioned above aren’t the only apps you can add to your Google+ Hangouts. There is also a doodle screen (for design brainstorms?), a SlideShare app (for showing final projects?), and many others. Google+ gives you quite a few options, so be sure to customize your Hangouts for your company’s optimal use.Are you using Google+ Hangouts for your business? If so, how? Image Credit: Womenofhr Originally published Aug 13, 2012 12:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! 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Topics: Marketing Reporting Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Now what do I do?Pulling this report on a monthly basis can give you insight into how your campaigns affected new contacts by persona — and might even shed light into an imbalance in resources dedicated to certain personas.Did you run a marketing campaign around a particular topic? Or did you focus on promoting your content through specific channels? What did you do that led to an increase or decrease in persona acquisition? Digging into this report can help you allocate resources more wisely to grow different segments of your business.Contacts by Lifecycle StageWhat is it?Another way to segment your database is to look at how they appear by lifecycle stage. This will give you a sense of how many leads, subscribers, customers, opportunities, etc. you have in your database in a certain time period. This data will help you understand if you need to generate more leads or if you should be more focused on closing your current leads. It will also give you a general understanding of the quality of your database.Simply choose if you want daily, weekly, or monthly data, plot your contacts by their “Create Date,” and break the report down by their lifecycle stage so you can see a report like the one below.Now what do I do?This report will give you an overview of how many leads you’re generating by each lifecycle stage. It will also give you a visual overview so you can see how these leads are moving through your funnel.Use this report to see what areas of your funnel you need to address for greater funnel efficiency — no one likes a clogged funnel, least of all Sales. If you see there are not a lot of marketing qualified leads in your system, for instance, you may want to create a report that digs into the reasons why. Pulling reports of the first conversion date, days to close, and content offers can help you uncover why the contacts in different lifecycle stages may be high or low.Leads Broken Down by OfferWhat is it?If your company does inbound marketing, chances are you’re going to have a lot of content on your website. Figuring out what content performs the best is important as you plan out your content strategy. Maybe certain types of offers like whitepapers are more popular than webinars, for instance. Or certain topics could resonate better with your audience than others. Understanding your audience’s content preferences is very valuable information to have so you cater to their interests.Using HubSpot, you can pull data to show which offers generate the most leads. Let’s take ebooks as an example. Create a custom property for ebook source. Then go to your ebook landing page forms, and put a hidden field with the customer property you created for ebook source. Under default value, write the name of your ebook so your contact’s record indicates that they downloaded that particular offer.Now what do I do?After your ebook has been live for a couple of weeks, take a look at its performance in comparison to some of your other ebooks. See if you can see trends between the different ebooks. Does a certain topic consistently perform well? Did an ebook perform better on social media than via email marketing? Try to find those trends based on the data to figure out which ones you can promote more and which ones should take the back burner.Alright marketers, what other reports do you think are important to run? Share with us in the comments. Now what do I do?Take a look to see how people are finding your blog content. Did you run an email campaign that put the content in their hands? Are you doing a lot of promotion on social media? Or are people organically finding your content?Based on what you uncover from this initial assessment, you can figure out your best channels for promoting your content. In the example above, it’s clear that my strongest channel is organic search while email marketing is one of my weaker channels. That tells a resource-strapped marketer to invest more in optimizing my content for search than spending time creating emails.Take it a step further and look at how many leads you’re generating from your blog over a set period of time. If you see spikes in leads generated, you know to dig into your content to see if you’re more successful generating leads with certain topics over others. The more you can dig into these reports to figure out what works and what doesn’t work, the better off your marketing will be.This type of data should be pulled on a weekly basis to help you adjust your content strategy for the coming weeks.All New Contacts by PersonaWhat is it?Every marketer needs a good hang of their buyer personas — but you need to do more than just understand them. It’s important to track how many new contacts you’re actually adding to your database based on that persona.To report on this in HubSpot, plot your contacts by create date, which will show the date on which you added a new contact to your database. Then break down your report by persona. Originally published Apr 24, 2014 2:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 There are hundreds of reports that you can run to dig into your marketing. But the question is often where to start — what are those basic reports you can run to help get you comfortable digging into the copious amounts of data at your fingertips?Some important metrics that you should track are traffic, leads, and customers — all of these are important to get the full picture of your marketing funnel. But you probably already look at that stuff. Having the ability to dig in even further to see where your traffic and leads are coming from, what content they interacted with, when they converted, and how long it took to close are important to really uncover meaningful, actionable data. This post will help you get at that — it compiles some of the reports that can get you started on some of the basics in marketing reporting. Note that you will need some type of marketing software to do this. You should also be able to export the data from your software and manipulate it in Excel using pivot tables and other functions. (If you need help using Excel, download this offer to teach you some of the basics.)Since we use HubSpot for our reporting needs, I’ll show you how to compile these reports using HubSpot. (Bear in mind that the data below is sample data only, and does not represent actual HubSpot marketing data).Revenue ReportingWhat is it?It may be helpful for marketers to be able to tie their marketing efforts back to the amount of revenue their marketing generates from that particular channel. That way marketers can look at the success of certain channels over others and make smarter investments based on what channels generated the most revenue. Note that if you’re a B2B business, it may be more important for you to create your reports based on company data instead of individual contact data., so you may use a companies report instead of a contacts report.HubSpot customers can pull revenue data based on any contact properties they have in HubSpot using the new Companies Report. So if you wanted to pull it based on source, you’d simply select the date range that you want to analyze, choose “Original Source Type” to make up your bar graph, and select “Salesforce Total Revenue” as the last field.Note: Enterprise HubSpot customers can do this in their software if they have their Salesforce integration set up with Account Sync turned on. Now what do I do?Look at the revenue results of different channels, and see where you had the most success. You can use this information to decide what marketing efforts to invest in going forward. For instance, in the example above, offline sources are clearly generating a lot more revenue than direct traffic — we can make actionable marketing and budget decisions with that knowledge going forward. If you’re looking at revenue by source, it’s also important to keep in mind other factors that may have contributed to the success or failure of a channel. The source is a person’s first conversion on your site. But if someone converted on offline sources, and then eventually buys your product as a result of direct traffic or other channels, those other channels or the combination of channels may be the reason for your customer acquisition. This is all to say that revenue reporting is important, but you should dig into some of your other metrics, as well, for a more complete picture.Channel-Specific TrafficWhat is it?Understanding where your traffic is coming from will help you make strategic decisions as you choose to invest in different channels. In some cases, if you see strong performance from one particular source, you may want to invest more resources in it. On the other hand, you may actually want to invest in some of the weaker channels to get them on pace with some of your other channels. Whatever you decide, the sources data will help you figure that out.HubSpot customers are probably familiar with the Sources graph to get at this information, but you can actually customize it more. For instance, you could pull a report based on the number of visits coming to the site, you could pull number of visits from a particular list instead of your entire database with the Contacts or Companies Report, and you can (of course) customize those views by date ranges that matter for your reporting.Now what do I do?After you pull the data, take a look at what channels are performing well. Based on your goals, that could mean looking at the visitor data, or focusing on the visit-to-lead and lead-to-customer conversion rates. Here are a couple different ways to think about your data:If you get a lot of traffic to your site from a certain channel, but the channel is not necessarily helping your visitors move down the funnel, it may mean that you should invest more in other channels or dig into ways to improve your conversion rates.Think about ways you can invest resources in your strongest channels. Did you run a campaign that helped the channel perform well? Was there a piece of content you created that set it off? Consider how you can replicate your past success.If you haven’t worked on a particular channel, this could be a good time to test it out. Think about how you can incorporate multiple channels into the same campaign.Pulling this data weekly will allow you to stay up-to-date on how the channels are performing. If a channel took a turn for the worse, you’ll have enough time to remedy the situation before it gets out of control. Pulling the report daily may be a bit overboard since some channels take multiple days to be effective, but pulling it monthly will not help you respond with agility.Blog Leads ReportWhat is it?Blogs have become a marketer’s best friend. There is a direct correlation between the number of times a company blogs and not just the amount of traffic they drive, but the number of leads they generate. So it’s critical you keep an eye on how well your blog is helping you grow that critical metric.A blog leads report is a quick way to see how many leads you’re generating on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis — and by what channel. This report is a great way to dig into what channels are strongest for your blog, where you should spend more promotion time, and how well your content is performing over time.If you’re using HubSpot, create a list to gather all of the leads for your blog. The list should have the “Contact Property of First Referring Site,” “First Page Seen,” and “Original Source” equal to your blog URL, and then use the list to create your contact report. Break down your report by the “Became a Lead Date,” and break down the contact properties by “Original Source” if you would like to see the channel they’re coming from, not just the leads number.