So long and good riddance? One Black Hole fan’s final game at the Coliseum

first_img Raiders Straight Talk: Derek Carr speculation won’t stop any time soon Fittingly, the Raiders came to a crashing halt in their farewell game in Oakland — much to the bitter disappointment of the Black Hole denizens.That’s the place Jackson had invested 14 years of her life.Hundreds of face-painted, costume-wearing fans crammed into one of the most notorious and colorful seating sections in American sports for a gathering that was part family reunion, part wake.Mostly it was a teary-eyed, beer-soaked going-away party for this small segment of the 52,788 fans in attendance Sunday.As they’ve done so many times before, the Raiders left fans reeling in a second-half collapse that led to a 20-16 defeat. Soon they depart for Las Vegas and a modern, glitzy $1.9 billion stadium expected to open next summer. A more accurate reply, she admits, would’ve been “Maybe.”“I’ll have to see how I feel,” she said later. “I’ll always follow the Raiders.”Standing by her car hours later in the December twilight, Jackson kept repeating that she thinks the Raiders will play a few games in Oakland next year because the Las Vegas Stadium will not be ready for the 2020 season.Then she stopped herself.“It’s the last time I’ll be here,” Jackson said. “I head home and that’s a wrap.”It was true. This time goodbye felt like the real thing. How 6-8 Raiders can still make NFL playoffs after 4-game losing streak CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos or video on a mobile deviceOAKLAND — Sad. Mad. Cheated.Veronica Jackson, aka Mz Feisty Raider, summarized what many fans near and far felt Sunday as the sun finally set on the NFL at the Oakland Coliseum. Raiders Hudson, Brown make Pro Bowl; Waller, Jacobs do not Raiders’ Trent Brown goes to I.R., Jacobs won’t play against Chargers Boy gets caught in Black Hole frenzy, leaves with Derek Carr’s towel Jackson, 43 from Salinas, stood on a seat, reacting with outstretched middle fingers as the Jacksonville Jaguars scored with 31 seconds left to somehow overcome a 16-3 deficit in a matter of 15 minutes.She did not get the moniker Mz Feisty for nothing.SEASON PASS DIGITAL OFFERIf you have not already, we strongly encourage you to sign up for a digital subscription, which gives you access to all content on the Mercury News and East Bay Times websites. With your support, we can continue bringing these stories — and much more — to your screens. Here’s where to sign up for the season pass: Mercury News, East Bay Times.But Jackson mostly remained stoic while Black Hole mates nearby screamed obscenities in a section where “F-bombs” are as commonplace as hellos.The south end zone section of the Coliseum became home to a community of devotees like Jackson who turned Sundays into a semi-weekly Halloween festival. It began organically when the team returned from Los Angeles to Oakland in 1995.Cleveland has its “Dog Pound” and Green Bay its Cheese Heads. But those fans cannot match the passion and grittiness of the Black Hole where the participants share the duality of love and hate, sometimes in the same breath.Jackson has been coming for the love of it since 2005, as she developed lasting friendships through fanbase charity golf tournaments and other events. If misery loves company, then Jackson came to the right place.No one in the raucous section could find a Silver-and-Black-lining on this day even as thousands of fans lingered in the place they had felt so at home in for 25 years. The fraying threads of the Coliseum appealed to deep-rooted fans who took pride in an underdog mentality as Oakland lived in the shadow of glittery San Francisco.“It’s nice to have a new stadium, but I love our little craphole here,” Jackson said. “I love our broken seats, broken cup holders. We don’t need fancy.”While many said they would make the trek to Las Vegas when possible, the afternoon felt like the end of a piece of the NFL’s past. None of the Oakland contingent thinks Las Vegas fans can re-create the aura they had cultivated and nourished. Firstly, the Las Vegas parking is not conducive to the Coliseum’s massive tailgate parties.“It’s like getting the Grateful Dead together without Jerry Garcia,” said Black Hole fan Albert Diaz of San Diego. “It won’t be the same.”Jackson, a mother of two adult children, knew something precious had come to an end Sunday as much as she kept denying it.  She has never been the Black Hole’s most flamboyant character. But Jackson was part of the fabric that challenged the conventions of fandom.“The feeling once you go in there is so just alive and so vibrant,” she said. “Other sections are so boring. It’s so somber. They’re just sitting down.”Throughout the dismal second half, Jackson either stood quietly, screamed encouragement, or, as she had promised in the morning, sent a torrent of salty language toward those on the field.She contributed to the deafening din,  screaming every time the defense needed a stop in the woeful fourth quarter.Jackson also was not exactly surprised by the crushing outcome after witnessing only one winning season — in 2016 — since first going to a game in 2005. Jackson recalled meeting star receiver Jerry Rice in Las Vegas one time during an autograph promotion.“You’re a Raiders fan, huh?” Rice asked.“Through the good and the bad and the bad and the bad,” Jackson said she told him.The bad did not discourage her from continuing to return to the Coliseum. She was not about to miss Sunday’s finale.Jackson got a room by the Oakland International Airport so she could hang with friends on the eve of the game. They congregated Saturday night at the 991 Club in San Leandro. Jackson said she returned to her room at 4 a.m.Yet gameday preparations started just after 7 o’clock. Jackson chugged Dr. Pepper — her coffee — while applying makeup. Jackson is known for wearing a fedora hat over her long, chocolate brown hair and costume contact lens.She was dressed Sunday head to toe in Raider gear, including an Oakland shield chain necklace and dangling team-style earrings.Jackson became a Raiders fan while watching football with her grandfather, Arthur Jackson. Her grandfather loved the 49ers. But she loved the Raiders and their pirate image. Jackson said he looked as if he could have been former Raiders owner Al Davis’ brother.“He hated that,” she added.Although Jackson wanted to watch parades and cartoons on television, she also wanted to spend time with her grandfather. She was a bona fide fan by the time Jackson entered middle school.But she never imagined it would come to this.After triple checking that her makeup was in place, Jackson put a box of tissues into her purse. “I’ll be using these all day,” she said.Jackson then brought her luggage to her blue Lincoln with the license plate: FYZTR8R for Feisty Raider.Once inside the parking lot, Jackson was in her element. She bounced about thousands of other black-clad fans stopping at her friends’ tailgate tents as if on a pub crawl. “Tell Me When to Go” by Bay Area rapper E-40 blared across the parking lot.Jackson was stopped by an Oakland police officer who gave her a hug. “Come down and see me later,” he told her.Later, she bumped into former Los Angeles Raiders linebacker Jerry Robinson. More hugs and selfies for posterity.Jackson kept making the rounds. She dropped off a tequila bottle she had decorated in Raiders motif at the Darth Raider tent for an auction.A little later, Jackson, a personal assistant and creative artist, encountered Raiders fan Hector Marquez of Seattle. After they hugged, Marquez asked, “See you in Vegas?”“Yeah,” Jackson said.Related Articleslast_img read more

RED Digital Case Study: Honesty & Humanity Is The Best Policy

first_imgIn this post we share a few thoughts on setting realistic expectations when working with clients. Good advice for business and creative professionals alike.Jim Jannard recently posted a great apology/apologetic on the Red User Forum about RED’s habit of making over enthusiastic announcements with over eager delivery deadlines, which have then been subject to disappointing delays, change and shifting price points. You can read the full text here, but I just wanted to offer a few thoughts off the back of it about the importance of honesty when dealing with your customers…and how they’ll ultimately love you for it in the end. RED REEL 2013 NAB:Under Promise – Over DeliverRED is known for thinking big. Really big. Over the moon big. RED stirs the pot. We are also honest to a fault. Did I say we have no idea what we are doing? Everything changes including specs, pricing and delivery dates?The old business axiom of always under promising and over delivering has sort of become old hat these days. Hype (the over-inflation of excitement about a product that will ultimately fail to deliver) is what most businesses leverage for flogging weak products to over eager fans. But that’s a road of short term gains for long term death. Brands build loyalty and reputation over decades not just product cycles. An emphasis on product and getting the product perfect is what will satisfy your fans and give them something to genuinely rave about (Steve Jobs legacy) . This is what RED have also become known for – disruptive products that can truly wear the badge of ‘game changers’:RED (I guess I am the guilty party) has spouted off “miracles” since 2006. “4K is the future” was our 1st message. We showed a shiny prototype at NAB that year. We took deposits on an impossible dream. A 4K camera for $17,500 when others were selling a 1080P cinema camera for over $200K. What we showed in our booth, and what people put down deposits toward, looked nothing like what we delivered one year later. We did deliver the RED ONE for $17,500 as promised. And that changed the history of cinema and who could participate. It marked the beginning of the changing of the guard.But riding the fine line between enthusiasm and hype is a difficult task. When you’re out to turn an industry upside down with visionary leadership it’s hard not to get ahead of yourself and stumble over your own excitement. So what’s great about Jim’s latest post is that he finishes with this new sentiment:We are just beginning. We have dreams that cannot be imagined. Once we deliver what you know about… there is more. Much more… only this time, we aren’t going to tell you until they are done.In many ways RED could take a leaf out of Blackmagic Design’s marketing book. Engaging the wow factor of surprise and delight by not telling anyone about your new products and then announcing them when they’re (mostly) ready to ship. Although it has to be said of course that BMD has also encountered the pain and frustration of the enormous difficulties inherent in delivering technically sophisticated products, especially when things go wrong. But like RED they’ve also been honest and upfront about it:Some good news. If you have read my other posts about the causes of the camera delays then you know we have been dealing with a problem with our sensor supplier related to contamination of the glass that’s bonded on the front of the sensor. It’s not been clean and so we had to stop production of cameras….   (Another update later) It is sure a relief seeing this problem coming to a close. I cannot believe this happened and it’s been an incredibly frustrating delay. However I am feeling really positive now.  – Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design.Engage Your FansFor all of our faults (many)… caring about our customers and pushing the envelope are not two of them. This always seems to have us riding the ragged edge. This NAB presentation is no exception. We are trying to do things never done before and the clock is ticking for us to get ready. – Jim JannardPart of the success for both RED Digital and Blackmagic Design is their vibrant forums, which give all of their users, fans and detractors a place to hang out, chat and offer valuable feedback (and rant). A forum is a great way to build community around a brand or product is great, but a forum in which the head honchos dive in and play a central role is even better. Apple has a user forum on its site, but Steve Jobs or Tim Cook would never stop by for some honest communication. It’s just user’s trying to help each other out.The Red User forum is an all together different place – an open place where users are invited to share in the journey with the company.So… are we late with Dragon? Yes. And Meizler. And REDRAY. And our Projector. Of course we are. This stuff is not easy. In fact it is groundbreaking and extremely difficult. Sometimes I want to strangle our engineers for their optimistic schedule. In the end… I embrace them for working on the hardest stuff… the impossible goals. They are the ones that brought you the RED ONE and the EPIC.Building a loyal, ardent and vocal fan base who get angry when you’re late to deliver is far better than an apathetic crowd who could buy your stuff, or someone else’s without much consideration. I’d rather have a mob of frusturated fans (at least they care!) than a customer base who don’t care and are only interested if you’re the cheapest.Be HumanBlackmagic Design CEO Grant Petty Interview at NAB 2013:Finally the most important lesson anyone running a business can take away from this is that being honest makes you human. It reveals that you are just like the rest of us. Not some faceless corporation that doesn’t care about the feelings of its customers but a team of real people who care passionately about what they do. People who stay up late because they’re dedicated to offering great products and services and are committed to building something of worth. Who wouldn’t want to be involved in that? To buy into that?But honest humanity comes at the cost of slick performance. Human’s are frail and fallible, they make mistakes, stumble over their words and go with gut instincts. The reason that Apple’s ads are so frequently spoofed is that they are 100% for slick performance with a lack of genuine humanity. Personally I’d much rather watch a 90 second, wobbly, badly lit handheld chat in Jonathan Ive’s office, while he doodles  away at something and talks from the heart than 6 and a half minutes of marketing speil.When quoting schedules, budgets and time constraints with your clients keep HONESTY in mind. Expectations should be realistic…quality work takes time!last_img read more

Djokovic meditates to ‘lose fear and stress’

first_imgTyphoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers LATEST STORIES Djokovic said apart from tennis he has always looked at ways to improve himself, which he terms his “philosophy of life”.“It has always been, not just for tennis, but in general there’s always something that you can improve and get better at as a person and as a player,” he said.“That’s probably the most exciting thing about life, is that every day is a new opportunity for you to get better.”Djokovic faces South Korea’s “NextGen” star Chung Hyeon in Monday’s round of 16. MOST READ Djokovic has become involved in meticulous off-the-court preparation in recent years. He has a strict, gluten-free diet and is an advocate for well-being.The new year has given him the opportunity to analyse aspects of his game and preparation.“When it comes to tennis, I obviously was excited to analyze my game,” he said.“First of all, I wanted to get the right team of people around me, experts in their field, so they can contribute to the process and the journey of working on my body and my game.“Improving different aspects that are there to be worked on. Thankfully there is always something to work on.”ADVERTISEMENT The Serb former world No.1 is playing in his first tournament since Wimbledon in July and he has a brand new support team, headed by eight-time Grand Slam champion Andre Agassi as coach.   Djokovic said after reaching the fourth round of the year’s opening Grand Slam on Saturday that he now meditates on a daily basis.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“Yes, I do. I’ll tell you what. I don’t want to tell you what I gain with it, but I’ll tell what I lose with it,” he said.“I lose fear. I lose anxiety. I lose stress. I guess, in the end of the day, that’s what you’re looking for.” Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa View comments 76ers climb to 6th in East, beat Bucks Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:44Djokovic wins Laureus Sportsman of Year Award01:57Taiwan bridge collapses, at least 14 injured; rescuers fear six trapped01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: 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 City Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Novak Djokovic. APNovak Djokovic says meditating has helped him overcome fear and stress that comes with playing elite tennis.The 12-time Grand Slam champion, 30, says he often turned to the practice during his long spell out of the game last year with elbow trouble.ADVERTISEMENT 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Read Next Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMClast_img read more

Marketing Sherpa – Don’t Give up on SEO!

first_img Originally published Oct 15, 2007 10:23:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 Topics: I am sitting in the opening session of the marketing Sherpa B2B Demand Generation Summit.  I love Marketing Sherpa and think they have some of the best research out there.  Sean Donahue, Senior Reporter B-to-B with Marketing Sherpa, kicked off the event with an overview of the top 5 challenges facing marketers today.  A lot of the information was based on research I had seen before.In fact, he showed a slide I am very familiar with, showing that the most frequent place B2B purchasers go when they are looking to research a product is Google.  If you want more info, here is an article I wrote about how important Google is to B2B marketing.  That’s when my ears perked up, and I head Sean say basically that “search engine optimization is so hard that you can’t really count on it” and “most companies are frustrated that they cannot get listed in Google organically” and “PPC rates are increasing so much that getting good ROI is challenging” (this last one about PPC I agree with).I disagree completely.  SEO is not rocket science.  With a little bit of work, the right Internet marketing tools and some time, you can make SEO a successful strategy as part of your marketing mix.  HubSpot is a small business, we have been around only a little over a year.  And yet we are doing great with SEO.  We are on the first page of search results for terms like “Internet marketing software” and our Website Grader tool is ranked on the first page for terms like “grader” and “SEO score”.  Read this article about how HubSpot saved $183 in one week by using SEO.Are people really that frustrated with SEO?  Are there really that many bad SEO consultants out there that everyone is shrugging their shoulders and giving up?  Leave a comment below and let me know what you think. SEO 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

Your Mom Hates This Blog Post

first_img Make Your Audience Feel Cool YouTube Dead Space 2 This is the reasoning behind the latest When you are building a marketing campaign, think about the opportunities presented by multiple online channels. In this case, EA used asks Dead Space 2 to leave moms alone. So why are we writing about this campaign? The marketing concept behind this campaign is smart, simple, and powerful. Topics: Use Controversy to Generate Buzz Clearly, this campaign has caused a big controversy online, with many commentators questioning the ad’s ethics. “A mom’s disapproval has always been an accurate barometer of what is cool,” explains EA’s behind-the-scenes video. “So Dead Space 2 was put to the test.” By introducing a barometer of what is cool and what not — your mom hates cool things — the game creates a space for cool people to gather. The takeaway for marketers is that your company should create similar spaces that invite people and make them feel part of a cool community.   Bloggers Video Marketing , you can win a Dead Space 2 skinned Playstation 3. ad campaign called, Your Mom Hates This. The entertainment software company Electronic Arts Inc., has published Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Combine Video with Social Media to spread its videos and used social media to generate a conversation and create a contest. In a world where video viewing and social media usage is rapidly growing, leveraging these two channels in a united marketing effort can very likely lead to campaign success. .  Promoted Trends are phrases that you pay to appear at the top of Twitter trending topics. Promoted Trends are part of Twitter’s new advertisng platform that is still in beta and is slowly rolling out to advertisers. #mymomhatesdeadspace2 MSNBC Your mom hates it when you block her from Facebook. She hates it when you ask her for cash. Most of all, your mom hates it when you play the video game Dead Space 2, and that is why you should play it. Originally published Jan 20, 2011 3:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 a series of videos What are your thoughts about the campaign? Does it inspire you to try something different? showing real moms’ reactions to the violent game. The campaign spilled over onto Twitter with the Promoted Trend hashtag recognize the fact that this campaign is fueling the debate about the harm of mature games. All of these comments, however, spark genuine conversation and increase the visibility of Dead Space 2. As we know very well, a little controversy can generate a great deal of important dialogue and can help your brand enjoy much wider recognition. EA also added a contest to this video and Twitter campaign. If you tweet your mom’s reactions to clips from Dead Space 2 using the hashtag #yourmomhatesthislast_img read more

How to Use Analytics to Achieve Your Next Blog Article’s Goals

first_img Review Analytics From Past Blog Articles: . But what about using analytics strategically to achieve the goals A similar process can be applied to other metrics such as inbound links or page views. Additionally, if your goal is to, say, generate a lot of conversions on a CTA (for example, to promote that ebook you recently published), evaluate past blog articles and hone in on those that generated a high conversion rate. What can you learn? Marketing Analytics 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 Mar 2, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 When you sit down to write a blog article, first think about what you’re trying to accomplish with that specific post. Sure, you ultimately want to engage your audience and provide useful information, but try to think more granularly. Is there a new feature in your products or services to which you’d like to draw attention? Did you just publish a new ebook that you want people to download? Before you start writing, think about the results you want to achieve with that article, and focus on those results. If you’re able to pick up on specific patterns, trends, similarities, and lessons you think would help achieve the goal of your blog article, apply them! Use the insight you’ve gleaned when crafting your new blog article, and see if it improves your article’s ability to generate the results you’re going for! Using Blog Analytics to Achieve an Article’s Goals brainstorming new ideas for blog topics How else have you used blog analytics to improve your company’s blog? Apply What You’ve Learned: Tip for HubSpot Customers: Using HubSpot’s 3.center_img This is where the data comes in. Let’s say you want to write about an interesting industry topic, and you want to generate a lot discussion from your article. If your goal is to attract a lot of comments, look through your blog analytics and pinpoint articles that have generated a lot of comments in the past. Now compare them: Can you notice anything about these articles that helped contribute to a spike in comments? Maybe they were written in a certain style or presented the topic in a different way. Try to pick up on similarities or patterns. We already know that blog analytics can be helpful in evaluating the performance of your blog, both overall and in individual blog articles, as well as in 1. 2. of a particular blog article? , filter the data by clicking on a particular column (e.g. Click on the ‘Comments’ column to sort articles by the most — or fewest — comments.). Photo Credit: Kathryn Decker-Krauth Topics: Blog Analytics Define Your Goal: Strategic bloggers know how to effectively use their business blogs to achieve specific goals. Maybe they want to promote a program, get people to click on a call-to-action (CTA) for a particular offer, or perhaps raise awareness about a certain industry topic. Each blog article should be crafted in a way that helps the blogger to achieve a goal, and blog analytics can provide valuable insight to help accomplish that.last_img read more

12 Awesome Tweets to Inspire Marketing Transformation

first_img @RachelGettingIt The Twittersphere was pretty active in participating in the week’s events (thanks, guys!), and many of the most valuable insights were shared by 1. Print ads and brochures are beautiful pieces of garbage. Spend less on inbound marketing and capture lead on how businesses are abandoning costly, outdated traditional marketing tactics in favor of higher-yield, easier-to-track inbound marketing tactics like blogging and search engine optimization. Got an insight of your own to share? Post it below or tweet it to helpful how-to’s We wanted to acknowledge and share some of the very best transformation-themed tweets with you here. May they inspire you to start transforming your own low-yield marketing programs into finely-tuned lead-generation machines! #transform (via Originally published Apr 12, 2011 12:30:00 PM, updated July 03 2013 #transform (via @The3Motionz )  @lightbodymedia valuable insights Inbound Marketing , hundreds of @JimEJr s. #transform (via 9. You can’t BUY credibility. You have to EARN it. ) #transform (via 2. Being in the Yellow Book is like advertising in a book… that is closed most of the time. (don’t forget to use the #transform hashtag!). ) 8. It’s easier to work with clients running toward you rather than away from you! #transform (via @Eric_Baum @seibways Marketing Transformation Week ) @BSitko ) #transform (via @himanshuchanda @stacieverbic 10. No time to create content = no time to make money. program generated dozens of [By the way, we’ve archived all of the content shared during Marketing Transformation Week Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack 5. Good marketers have a social media presence, not a resume. A sweet blog is more telling than a degree. 7. Engage and activate your fans/followers. Don’t collect them like cards. #transform (via , and thousands of #transform (via Topics: #transform (via 3. Inbound marketing is an investment in your business (one that keeps on giving), not a one time expense. #transform (via ) , using the #transform hashtag. @trustemedia ) eye-opening stats HubSpot’s Twitter followers 4. Don’t just say your company is the ‘leading’…prove it with info online that helps beyond just selling. @elumic 11. Keywords are the currency of the Internet. , for those of you who missed any of it.] ) ) 12. If Google can’t find you, neither can prospective customers. #transform (via here @SeattleREGuy ) @HubSpot ) 6. Don’t be pushy. “Buy, buy, buy” will result in “bye, bye, bye.” #transform (via ) Last week’slast_img read more

8 Big Marketing Campaign Mistakes to Stop Making NOW

first_imgLaunching a truly successful marketing campaign isn’t easy. And it totally stinks when it goes terribly wrong. Trust me, this is coming from the gal who had to call off one of our biggest marketing campaigns at midnight, just five hours before the first email about it was scheduled to send.To make matters worse, internet service went down in my apartment, so I sat on the phone with one our product managers at midnight as she cancelled every single marketing message about the campaign. I was frantically texting our social media manager, telling her to avoid any mentions of it the next morning. The campaign that half our marketing team was counting on to hit our numbers for the month — and that our sales team was looking forward to in order to close hot deals — kicked the bucket. Needless to say, it sucked. And it was all because of a mistake that could, and should, have been caught weeks in advance.But boy did I learn a big lesson. And whether you’ve been launching campaigns your entire career, or you’re just getting started, there is always room for improvement. In this post, I’m going to share 8 big mistakes you may be making with your marketing campaigns — so you can erase them from your future campaigns. I hope it inspires you to share your own mistakes in the comments. Because let’s face it: We all make mistakes, right?1) Not Setting Timelines/GoalsThe most basic and early stage mistake you can make is failing to set timelines or goals for your campaign. Whenever you plan a campaign, establish set deadlines for when you plan on accomplishing every component of the campaign. I recommend starting with the launch date and working backward from there. Think realistically about how much time is needed for each individual component (e.g. ebook creation, landing page setup, editing/revisions, email creation, social media creative, etc.), and set deadlines for when each task should be completed in order to accommodate your final launch date. Having such time-based goals in place will help ensure your team is on track, and you’re working toward an actual event, not an arbitrary hope for finishing it.In addition, make sure you set goals for your campaign. By setting real, measurable goals, you’ll have the ability to determine if your campaign actually accomplished what it set out to. Think critically about what you want your campaign to achieve: Is it to generate more net new leads? Nurture existing leads by generating more reconversions? Increase your social media reach? You might also think about basing these goals off the results of your past campaign launches (when relevant), and use them to compare how well you did this time. A good way to approach this is to establish SMART marketing goals. SMART goals are those that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. You can read about such goals in-depth in this blog post.And if you’re a HubSpot customer, you can also use the HubSpot Goals application to set goals for how many visitors, leads, and customers you hope to attract each month so you can track whether your marketing campaigns are actually helping to move the needle. Topics: Marketing Campaigns Originally published Feb 26, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated March 21 2013center_img 2) Not Leveraging All Your Marketing Assets/ToolsA truly effective integrated marketing campaign involves a number of different marketing channels and tactics. As a result, you need to make sure you have all the right tools in place to execute your campaign and make it successful. Whether you’re using all-in-one marketing software like HubSpot or are relying on several independent tools to make your campaigns work, make sure you have the following software capabilities and/or tools to help ensure success:Landing Pages: Your landing page usually serves as the hub of key information pertinent to your campaign. Direct everyone to this customized page to help increase conversions.Calls-to-Action: CTAs on your website enable you to call attention to and drive people to your campaign’s landing page — or wherever you want to drive traffic to.Email: An email tool will allow you to spread awareness about your campaign as well as track performance metrics so you know who is actually engaging with your campaign messages.Blog: A business blog can enable you to increase campaign awareness and offer fodder for social media sharing, which leads us to …Social Media: A social media tool can help you plan and schedule  promotional content for your various social networks. Furthermore, it can help you track interaction with your campaign’s social content.Analytics: How will you know which marketing channels contributes most to your campaign’s success? How will you know how this campaign compared to past campaigns? A proper analytics tool can help you glean such insights. If you want to learn more about the proper tools needed for campaign success, download our free offer: The Handy Tool Kit for Launching and Measuring a Remarkable Campaign.3) Not Integrating Your Efforts or Planning a Coordinated LaunchAs you’ve heard time and time again from HubSpot, no one marketing channel should work in a silo. In fact, we just got finished talking about all the various channels and tools needed to make for a truly effective campaign. Making use of a variety of marketing assets is what makes a campaign a campaign, so it’s important that your efforts are integrated and coordinated. Imagine an email recipient learning about your campaign, only to visit your Facebook Page and find it has absolutely no information about the campaign whatsoever. That kind of disconnect doesn’t exactly support the integrated campaign experience you’d want your audience to have, does it? Furthermore, failing to leverage all your marketing assets prevents your campaign from achieving the complete reach it could have otherwise.At HubSpot, when I plan a huge offer launch, I try to coordinate messaging between all of our teams. That could mean involving our design team to create an infographic as part of the launch, the blogging team to write a post to help promote the offer, the social media team to share some interesting content about the offer, and the email managers to notify their contacts about the campaign. Either way, I want the campaign to be executed as a coordinated, timed push, because you end up seeing a much larger return when all hands are on deck than when a single team tries to work on something without involving others.Just take a look at the following screenshots of landing page performance for two offers we launched in November. The first shows how an offer performed without any coordination among various marketing channels. As you can see, while it did have an initial spike, it sort of ebbed and flowed in gaining traffic. However, the second screenshot had a much larger initial spike, and due to that coordinated, timed push, ended up resulting in much more traffic and overall reach than the previous offer.Offer Launched in November Without a Coordinated LaunchOffer Launched in November With a Coordinated Launch4) Not Making Information ClearWhether you’re launching an event, a contest, or an offer, there are always specific details tied to that campaign that people need to know about. Imagine sending everyone to a webinar registration landing page without sharing when the live webinar will take place or who the presenters will be. Or imagine launching a contest and directing users to its landing page without clarifying the terms of the contest, or explaining what the actual prize is for winning. These may seem like “duh” moments, but you’d be surprised at how often they’re overlooked.Just the other day I saw a promotion on Facebook for new courses at a school, and when I looked them up, I noticed that the school had failed to include any course details, which is key information I need in order to evaluate the courses and make a decision. When I commented on the Facebook photo asking for such details, the school replied saying they planned on having it up ASAP (By the way, it’s been four days, and no such details have been added). The lesson is simple: Don’t launch or announce a campaign without hammering out the critical details first.5) Not Understanding the Balance Between Working Independently and as a TeamThis one is a major pain point for me. While it’s a good idea to have one or two centralized campaign managers who are responsible for the success of a given marketing campaign, no matter how skilled you are, you should be involving others in a big campaign. Working completely on your own can prevent you from seeing things holistically, coming up with creative ideas for your campaigns, or getting fresh perspective that can improve your campaign’s success. Other people’s opinion can help develop and improve your own, so keep your ears open to others.And while you shouldn’t act too independently, you also shouldn’t be too dependent on others either. Fresh and diverse ideas can help you take your marketing campaign far beyond your initial vision, but leaning too much on others can prevent you from making actual progress and sticking to your timeline. As the campaign manager who is gathering feedback, ideas, and suggestions, it’s important to recognize when something needs to be discussed, and when something simply needs to be decided.6) Not Solving for Every StakeholderWhile you may understand your marketing campaign’s direct benefit to you or your team (e.g. more leads, greater social reach, more customers!), have you also considered the impact on the entire company? As your planning your campaign, consider also the impact it will have on your business’ various stakeholders. Will your campaign hurt or help sales reps when speaking with prospects? Will it change how your support team prioritizes tech support calls? These, and many others, all need to be taken into consideration.In early January, our marketing team had to decide between generating more leads and maintaining customer happiness. We created an offer that our visitors and leads would’ve definitely loved. But had we launched it, we would’ve rubbed our current customers the wrong way, since it gave leads capabilities that weren’t even available yet to our current customers. While the results the campaign would’ve generated would have helped set us up for a really strong year, we decided to hold off on the campaign until we could ensure it was beneficial to both leads and customers. Remember: Your business needs both to survive. Keep in mind all your stakeholders and how they would be impacted by your campaigns before you put them out there.7) Not Double Checking & Testing Your AssetsThis is a huge problem that is so easily avoidable — yet I come across it time and time again. You work hard on a campaign, it launches, and suddenly, you realize something is broken. For example, maybe you built a beautiful landing page, but nobody attached it to your CRM, so now all the leads flowing into your database aren’t actually being rotated to sales reps. Or your email goes out with a broken link to the campaign’s main landing page. Eek! But the worst part of this scenario is when your CMO asks you how this happened, and you say, “I thought [insert colleague’s name here] was taking care of it.”Never assume. Never blame. Always double check every aspect of your campaign. At the end of the day, if something does go wrong, and you could have easily prevented it, you’re not being careful enough. Remember that cautionary tale I mentioned in my intro? I made a mistake that would have been easily avoided had I double and triple checked my work. Test the entire flow of a campaign and all its components to ensure every asset is functioning as it should — and get others to back you up. If you’re worried about what could possibly go awry, check out this list of “30 Careless Mistakes That Will Totally Muck Up Your Marketing” to help you sanity check your upcoming campaigns.8) Not Effectively Measuring Campaign SuccessIf you’re not tracking your marketing campaign, oh honey are you making a big mistake! Remember how we talked about the importance of goal setting earlier in this post? Every part of your campaign should be measured in order to evaluate whether you’re campaign was successful in achieving those goals. You should also be able to answer these key questions:What parts of the campaign were most successful?While your campaign could prove to be successful or unsuccessful overall depending on what your goals were, do you also know which specific components of your campaign or channels contributed most to that success? This is where channel reporting can be extremely important. For example, HubSpot’s Sources tool breaks down visits, contacts/leads, and customers driven by your individual marketing channels. This can give you a better understanding of which sources were the biggest levers in your campaign’s success, and which were the underperformers. Gaining this granular level of insight about your campaign can help you understand which efforts to double down on for your next campaign, and which channels might need some more attention.As you can see in the screenshot above, there’s also a small “check note” under February 22. That’s because HubSpot announced its 82% growth in 2012 on this day. By marking this event in HubSpot’s analytics using HubSpot’s “Marketing Action” annotation feature, over time our reporting will show if the announcement had any impact on overall traffic, leads, or customers generated that day and will help us remember why there might have been a spike that day.How did this campaign compare to other campaigns?Using the “Marketing Actions” we just talked about, you can see how your campaigns impact your marketing results. But there’s even more you can look at to compare the success of your campaigns to one another. For example, you could use your analytics tool to set up event tracking. This allows you to tag the various marketing assets of your campaign with a specific event (for example, “INBOUND Conference”). This will allow you to more directly compare one campaign to another.While the HubSpot software can automatically add these tags for you, you can also add campaign tracking tokens to the URLs you use in your campaigns to achieve the same end result. Here is what the tracking token might look like for non-HubSpot users:/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=inboundconferenceAs you can see in this code, you have to specify the medium the person came from, the source of that medium, and finally, the campaign it’s associated with. You can then use these tags to compare campaign to campaign more closely.What mistakes have you made with your marketing campaigns? Share them in the comments and help us all become better marketers!Image Credit: pj_vanf 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 Embed a Google+ Post [Quick Tip]

first_imgUse it to highlight interesting Google+ conversations, engage your Google+ audience, and promote your content, offers, or events in an interesting way. To learn more about how to use Google+ for business, grab the free introductory Google+ ebook we highlighted above — recently updated to include information about embedded posts!How else could you use Google+ Embedded Posts on your site? Share your ideas in the comments!Image Credit: Sean MacEntee First, there were embedded tweets. Then we had embeddable Pinterest content. And recently, we caught wind of embedded Facebook posts. Well guess what we have now, folks … Google+ Embedded Posts! That’s right! Yesterday, Google announced the ability to embed posts from Google+ to your website or blog. This means you can now showcase public Google+ posts you find (yours or others’), and visitors can interact with it by +1’ing, commenting, and following you right then and there — no need to navigate to Google+. Embedded Posts support text, photo, and media posts, and you can find out more about Embedded Posts in Google’s documentation here.Excited to start playing around with Google+ Embedded Posts? Let me walk you through it …How to Embed a Google+ Post in 5 Simple Steps1) Locate the Google+ post you want to embed. For our example, I’m going to use one of HubSpot’s posts about our free Introduction to Google+ ebook.  2) Hover over the post for the menu icon to appear (it looks like this: ). Then click the menu icon, and select ‘Embed Post’ from the dropdown that appears.3) Copy the embed code in front of you.4) Paste the code into your website or blog post’s HTML/source code where you want the embedded post to appear.5) To center the embedded post on your page, add  read more

The One Mistake Almost Everybody Makes on Twitter [Quick Tip]

first_imgAs I hope you saw (and enjoyed), we relaunched the HubSpot blog as a totally reimagined, multi-section destination for inbound marketing, sales, and insider tips. We even added a features-focused section (Up and to the Right) by our very own Dan Lyons. Naturally, since I was excited about this new chapter in HubSpot history, I tweeted. I forgot something, though … @HubSpot’s reimagined blog is live! Check out #InboundHub: http://t.co/xP44vA6vnj— Jay Acunzo (@jay_zo) October 17, 2013Did you spot it? No? I’ll tell you then: I started the tweet by @-mentioning someone without adding in any character to start the tweet. The only people who could see that tweet would be HubSpot, me, and anyone who happens to follow both of us. My followers would never see that appear in their feeds.Click here to access a free Twitter for Businesses kit.This is a very subtle nuance to Twitter that plenty of folks miss: If you want all of your followers to see your tweet in their stream, you MUST start a tweet with a character and not an @username. Yup, that’s right — that means all those tweets you sent starting with @ weren’t visible to the audience you thought would see it.Why is this alteration to your tweets so important to get right? Well, think of it this way: Not making this change could be the difference between a tweet that many Twitter users view, share, and react to, and a tweet that essentially no one sees.The Right Way to Tweet for the Right AudienceHere’s a look at exactly who sees what kinds of tweets:Note: This excludes direct messages (DMs), which are the one-to-one private messages on Twitter. The above table references regular tweets only.So, just like my tweet to “announce” HubSpot’s new blog design, starting a message with a profile handle like @Bob doesn’t actually show up to anybody but the person I’ve mentioned and my followers who also follow him. When you add any character at all before the Twitter handle, like a period or statement or quote or anything, the tweet becomes visible to all of your followers, just like any headline you tweet out.One common explanation for why Twitter sets up tweets this way is that it wants to allow two people to interact with each other, have a conversation, and engage freely without spamming their respective followers’ feeds. It adds very little value to me if I can see every single tweet from @HubSpot saying “Thanks!” to others — unless I also follow who @HubSpot is thanking.Makes sense, right? If I volunteered to follow each person or brand individually, I’m telling Twitter I’m interested in what they both have to say. A conversation between the two could then be valuable or interesting to me. If I only followed one, though, that’s far less likely. (After all, I’m not really likely to care what my friend is saying to a complete stranger.) Twitter gets this dynamic and has created this rule accordingly.Are there any other Twitter tips and tricks you think are worthwhile to share? Share your Twitter knowledge in the comments below! Social Media Fails 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 18, 2013 11:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017last_img read more