Cartoon: December 22, 2015

first_imgShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img

Reflecting on the Evolution of Retail Security

first_imgEDITOR’S NOTE: Paul Jones, LPC, is the new director of asset protection and risk management at CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. The 25-year retail veteran started his career at Jordan Marsh and Mervyns before moving into management roles at Luxottica Retail, Sunglass Hut, and Limited Brands where he was senior vice president of LP and global security. Jones also led the loss prevention functions at the Retail Industry Leaders Association as well as at eBay. Most recently he was COO for Turning Point Justice before moving to CKE. Jones has long been active in the industry as an original member of the LP Magazine editorial board and founding member of the Loss Prevention Foundation.EDITOR: You recently took a position with CKE Restaurants. Tell us who CKE is and what brands they represent.JONES: CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. owns two brands in the quick-service restaurant (QSR) industry, Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s. We are headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee, just outside Nashville with more than 3,900 restaurant locations in 42 states and in 28 countries.- Sponsor – EDITOR: Didn’t CKE start in Southern California?JONES: That’s correct. CKE’s founder, Carl Karcher, began his entrepreneurial venture in Los Angeles in 1941 with hot dog stands and quickly grew the business. By 1945, the Karcher family had opened the first Carl’s Jr. restaurant in Anaheim. The restaurants steadily spread throughout the West Coast in the post-World War II growth of the American highway system. A couple of years ago, the company made a strategic decision to move the California corporate offices in Anaheim and Carpinteria along with the St. Louis, Missouri, office to Tennessee.EDITOR: Carl’s Jr. is predominately still on the West Coast, correct?JONES: In the United States, Hardee’s restaurants are predominately east of the Mississippi and Carl’s Jr. on the west, but the brand recognition for the Happy Star is nationwide. Both Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s pride themselves on providing great customer service and innovative menu options while still maintaining their charbroiled burger roots.EDITOR: You were most recently the COO of an LP industry solution provider. What enticed you to make the move back to the retail side with CKE?JONES: Well, a couple things. First and foremost, my heart is in retail loss prevention and always has been. While I had great learnings as a solution provider and have newfound respect and admiration for those in the solution-provider space, I had a desire to get back into retail. As I worked with my network, the opportunity at CKE was presented to me as a group that was looking to change and transform their company. They were looking for a leader of asset protection and risk management that could help them with that transformation.I had the pleasure of interviewing with our chief operating officer, Tom Brennan, and we really clicked. I was very excited about the type of change the whole executive leadership team at CKE envisioned. It reminded me of my early Sunglass Hut days when I was part of that company’s dramatic change. Today that company is still a vibrant, successful retailer as part of Luxottica Group. The CKE Leadership Team is committed to driving our global business forward, running a great QSR business, and having a global footprint to make this a very profitable company.EDITOR: What areas of responsibility do you have?JONES: Today I have asset protection, safety, and risk management. The QSR world is a little different from regular retail. Safety in our world is not only reviewing accidents to get to the root cause and figuring out solutions but also actually getting into the pipeline of how we build our restaurants, the type of equipment we use, developing new equipment when what’s out there isn’t working, and creating processes that will further enhance our safety culture.Then we have a compliance function behind that, so as new products or solutions are introduced, we train and educate our employees to ensure they are working safely. In the QSR space, safety issues can be a bigger hit to the P&L than actual shrink loss.EDITOR: Thus far, what have you found to be the major challenges and issues?JONES: Currently, we have a unique challenge because we have an existing team running the business that’s in place in California that we’re replacing. So we almost have two jobs: one to develop a new team, new protocols, and new methods and procedures to attack losses and safety and risk, but at the same time managing the existing team. It’s pretty unique to some of the transformations that I’ve done in the past.If you think about it, it takes a certain type of care and motivation for those associates who need to continue to drive the business forward while knowing that they are transitioning out of the company. But I’ve got to tell you, the team that we have in place in Anaheim has really stepped up to the challenge. They’ve been ultimate professionals in helping us build a new team in Franklin and making sure that they hold the business together with true integrity and honor in order to leave us with a better process and a better team.EDITOR: Are you currently hiring your own team?JONES: That’s my second-biggest focus. How do you hire a team of ten in a period of sixty days and get them trained within ninety days while not missing a beat with your current business? We’re in that process now of recruiting talent. Incidentally, I was able to find all our asset protection people using’s been really rewarding to take a new group of people—some with QSR experience, some with none—and onboard them very quickly knowing that we’re in this challenge learning the QSR space, because it is a different space.EDITOR: Is your team going to be situated across the company in regional locations?JONES: No, we went to a centralized model as I have done in past companies. When I started looking at the challenges and what the future looks like, it made sense to centralize the team and fly them out when we need them in the field. We’re moving to a telephone-interviewing model and high-prevention model—how we prevent incidents so that we’re not taking cases but really mining the data to go after only ones that are most meaningful. We’ve spent the last ninety days putting all the data sets together so that we fully understand all the drivers and triggers of profit loss, risk loss, and accident causes throughout the business.EDITOR: Explain that a bit more.JONES: We’ve done a ton of work to make sure that we understand the historical data to allow us to plan for the future. Part of the plan on the asset protection side is speaking to the field team in a way that they really understand what their losses are because today they don’t fully understand that. What we’ve done is come up with simple risk models—one, two, three, four, five—and input into risk models their food loss, accident cost, coupons, voids, and cash loss. What we see, as we all know the 80/20 rule, we can focus the field team on where we need better training, where we could maybe use more staffing, and where we could use investigations. In the past, they didn’t have the ability or the tools to be data-centric, whereas today we’re building those metrics so that we can move forward.EDITOR: Talk about some of the technology solutions that you already have or that you plan to implement.JONES: We’ve done just basic data mining using some internal tools, taking all the disparate databases in the company from audit scores to past cases to food loss to voids to chargebacks to turnover rates and building risk models with that. In the past, CKE looked at those things separately, but as we know as practitioners, we gain a lot more insights putting them together and looking at that total picture.We found it necessary to break out Carl’s Jr. as a separate entity from Hardee’s when doing that type of data analysis because the shrink problems, food loss problems, safety problems are different in both locations. There are drivers, for instance, on food loss in a Hardee’s environment that’s being driven by certain products, mainly biscuits and the way we do buns. In the Carl’s Jr. environment, it’s not as centric for breakfast, so there’s less food loss as it relates to those items.EDITOR: Risk management is not always an area most LP executives manage directly. How have you handled that responsibility?JONES: One of the reasons this job was very appealing to me is I’ve never managed the risk management function. I’ve managed safety but not risk. So I was excited to be able to learn a new discipline. I had several industry friends help me prepare for that. Leo Anguiano spent several days with me talking about how to think about risk. Maurice Edwards spent time with me discussing risk and total cost of risk. I appreciate that people were very generous with their time.Also, internally we recruited a solid risk management professional, and over the last four months I’ve spent a lot of time digging into understanding risk, the cost of risk, how to manage risk, how to do things maybe differently. We’ve found that we can use some technology solves into our risk pipeline to reduce costs. For one, we’re implementing a traveler care nurse line with Travelers Insurance. So instead of filling out forms and having an adjustor call our injured employees, crew members will be able to get on the phone with a nurse the minute an accident happens. Companies that use this approach find a reduction of 20 to 30 percent in their cost.Calling other people in the QSR space, asking what they’re doing, and then looking at our approach and adjusting it, I’ve found to be pretty exciting because there’s some simple fixes that we’re doing that should save us hundreds of thousands of dollars.EDITOR: Over the next twelve to eighteen months, how will you measure your success?JONES: I think from the asset protection side, it will be, has this smaller team performed at the level of the past team or above? Have we reduced losses to the company? Have we been true business partners, and have we helped the field organization make their restaurants more profitable?On the risk management side, it will be, what is the cost of risk and have we reduced it? A lot of that will be helped by our broker, Marsh, who has several QSR restaurants in their portfolio, who can help us answer, what is the total cost of an accident for worker’s comp and slips, trips, and falls? And are we at or above that? We’re starting to put quarterly measurements into place now to try to find that out because we haven’t done that historically here. Our quarterly metrics will tell us, for this same store subset, are we better or worse per total cost, per accidents per 100,000 employees, and how long has a claim stayed open? We are very aggressively working with our provider to go after the claims reviews and making decisions quickly on whether we settle or whether we move forward and litigate the claim.Again, these are new learnings for me. I’ve got to say there are at least a half dozen QSR peers that have taken my calls and helped educate me on their programs. I’m taking the nuggets I get from each of them and working them into the program that we have.EDITOR: Are more of the issues employee claims as opposed to customer claims?JONES: The biggest loss issues in the QSR risk space are employee claims. Those accidents tend to be the more egregious accidents. But slips, trips, and falls in QSR can also be a nightmare. So we’re working on a lot of things. What are best methods for keeping floors clean and keeping them from being wet? Do we have the right mops in place? Do we have the right signage in place? Are we using the right utensils in the back? Are we cleaning our fryers the right way? Do we have the personal protection equipment on? Are people wearing the right shoes? All that is audited by a third party for us, and our safety manager follows up with stores with low scores to make sure they are retrained.EDITOR: What role are you playing today with the franchisees?JONES: Today we’re a support role only. When they call and need something, we help them. The goal is as soon as our program is fully up and running, we will look at an approach for supporting our franchisees to help them be the most profitable they can be. I envision determining what are the best methods and sharing what we do. We certainly don’t tell franchisees how to run their business, but we can give them our best practices.Secondly, we have to establish a dialogue with the franchisees, which has not been part of our historic process. For example, I speak almost weekly with Tracey French at Boddie-Noell, one of our largest Hardee’s franchisees, to both learn what he’s dealing with and exchange different ideas that we’re considering. There are areas that we can collaborate and vendors that have more experience in the QSR environment.For instance, both Boddie-Noell and CKE just put in Vector Security. To us it’s a great solution, it’s the right price, and they totally understand this type of business. We both separately, without actually knowing it, have implemented ThinkLP. For us, ThinkLP will be a loss prevention portal that will handle risk management, safety, asset protection, crisis management, and will help us follow up with the field compliance piece. It will handle accident reporting and risk management paperwork, and we’re considering setting up a module that will help handle HR and maybe even legal.EDITOR: So over the next year or so, a whole lot of things will likely change in terms of your relations with the franchises.JONES: That’s right. Again, my boss, the COO Tom Brennan, his sole goal is to ensure that his team, including us, are finding ways to help the restaurants and the franchisees be more profitable. So if I take that as my headline, I have got to build a path to help us get there. And again, it’s a different relationship because you can’t force your ideas on them, but you certainly can say, “Here’s what’s worked for us and for others, and here are solution providers that we can recommend and stand behind that you might want to think about.” We think there are a number of things that we can do to help franchisees around the globe be more profitable.EDITOR: I’m confident you will make that happen, Paul. Let’s turn to some of your other unique roles in the industry. You had a great run with eBay. Tell us about that.JONES: What a great experience eBay was for me. When I was leaving RILA (the Retail Industry Leaders Association) and looking to get back into the industry, eBay offered me the opportunity to talk to them. I was a little suspicious because I knew that their site had stolen goods and believed at that time that they seemed to be resistant to taking care of that. But as I talked to them and met with individuals there, it became clear to me that the entire eBay retail problem centered around a lack of trust and communication. I looked the folks at eBay in the eyes and believed that they really, truly wanted to fix the problem. So I joined knowing that there was nowhere to go but up with the relationship. I started with just one focus-to try to bring eBay and retailers together. So in a quick period of time, I was able to show key people in eBay that there were stolen goods on the site and that we could use data to try to pinpoint that.EDITOR: How did you do that?JONES: One of my first hires was a programmer. I asked him to get me all the pawnshops on eBay who were selling baby formula, Crest Whitestrips, and diabetic test strips. There were hundreds of them on eBay. And from that point on we were able to drill into it to find out that they didn’t have a clear supply chain, that they were actually buying product from people committing crimes, and we were starting to address some of those sellers on our site. That gained instant credibility with the senior team at eBay, and I became very trustful that eBay wanted to fix those problems.As I went around the world getting onboarded with eBay, I found out that we had something like sixty people who manually processed subpoenas. It seemed very odd to me that we were doing this manually through faxes given eBay was one of the largest technology companies in the world. So we came up with an approach to automate the process, so law enforcement would go through the web to give us their subpoenas. We would pull the data automatically. We built a system that does this, which works very well today in multiple languages.We took the payroll that we saved from that and hired asset protection managers. We started looking at not only stolen goods but also counterfeiting, exploitation of children, and money laundering on the PayPal side. We built reporting and mechanisms to not only identify those crimes but also actually go after some of those criminals. From forgeries in art and autographs to clearly stolen goods to someone scamming the system by buying stuff but not paying for it, we had different approaches across the globe for all of that.We made a real dent in crime, and within a couple years, as you guys highlighted in the magazine, instead of pointing fingers, retailers and eBay were working together to solve the problems as a joint collaborative team. I’m hearing that they’re still doing great things with the retailers, which is really good.EDITOR: After eBay, you moved to the solution-provider world as COO of Turning Point Justice. What did you learn from that experience?JONES: At eBay, I had spent 80 percent of my time on the road. Moving to the solution-provider side was a big risk for me, but one of the real positives was it allowed me to work within two miles of where I lived. I had met Lohra Miller, the former district attorney of Salt Lake City, who talked to me about her technology project and her vision for helping the criminal justice world with petty crimes by educating offenders as opposed to having them arrested. It’s something I have always believed in. She advised me that she was a partner with the National Association for Shoplift Prevention (NASP), who I had been associated with for twenty years. Frank Johns and I rolled out one of the first retail pilots of NASP’s offender education program in Los Angeles twenty years ago. Given this technology startup was paired with a very reputable group of people that I knew were passionate about fixing shoplifting and helping retailers, I thought Turning Point Justice (TPJ) was a good fit for me.When I say that TPJ was a true startup, I really mean that. For the first six months we had a small office with plastic tables, using our own cellphones, and holding meetings in hotel lobbies to try to get sales and make things happen. I worked hard to get some key retailers to give us a chance and build our sales, and we did quite well with that. We were able to put operating disciplines in place to make sure we had good purchasing, that we had the right product. We were able to always continually adjust our technology product to make sure that we were in line with both legal and statutory requirements, whether it be district, state, or county.I really enjoyed the entrepreneurship. As you know, one day you’re doing HR work, the next day you’re recruiting, the next day you’re packing boxes and shipping stuff, or you’re on the phone with your retail counterpart. Some days that’s good, and some days you’re scratching your head saying, “What did I accomplish today?” as you’re driving to the mailbox to drop off shipments. It was a great experience for me to help build that company and put an infrastructure in place.EDITOR: You’ve also had one other very important industry involvement as one of the founding members of the Loss Prevention Foundation and are currently on its board of directors and executive committee. Why have you remained so actively involved in the Foundation?JONES: I remember sitting in a room talking about why our industry didn’t have an organization that was committed to developing the professionalism of the loss prevention industry. We all knew that there were many great leaders of loss prevention that you could put against any senior operator, and they could run the business as well as the next person. But how do we make sure that we didn’t lose the new generation of LP people coming in? I think that concern really inspired me to be part of the LP Foundation, to help be a beacon out there for loss prevention people coming in.I get a real kick out of going on LinkedIn and seeing these new loss prevention professionals so proud that they passed the LPC. And I just am proud to see that so many of these people that have gone through LPQ and LPC have gone on to be leaders in our business. I can testify that certification is not just something where you sign your name, pay the money, and get credentials. It’s a course that truly puts a framework around what it is that we should do as practitioners.I’m also proud that we have stayed on course and never strayed from our mission. It isn’t about making money or prestige. It’s about taking care of this profession and making sure that it continually grows, that it’s professional, and that it’s taking on new challenges. I know we have a number of new offerings coming out from the foundation, and I’m very excited about them.EDITOR: You deserve a lot of credit for where the foundation has grown today. If you could, reflect back on the last twenty years of what you’ve seen in the loss prevention industry and give us your thoughts on where we have been, where we are, and where we are going.JONES: I can say ten to fifteen years ago, we were all about driving numbers, hoping shrink would come along with it. Sometimes we had data, but most often we were going on instinct. As technology evolved and we had exception reporting, we learned how to use data to start driving decisions. In fact, what I saw in my career is that we in loss prevention did it better than the operators. We took the time to make sure that data drove decisions, and then we developed the solutions around what the data told us. We developed programs, built training, and awareness behind that, and then we saw our shrink get fixed.When you take that approach to allow data to drive the decisions, and you make the investment in getting the right people who are very smart, you’ll have a great solution. I hope to get people sitting around me that are smarter than I am and very diverse in their thinking. I’ve seen a number of times in our industry where retailers make an easy decision to put an operator to run a loss prevention organization. More often than not, it hasn’t worked out so well. It reminds me that an LP executive brings a unique discipline to the table with the understanding of how to put together what the data tells you with how to build a program and pull the levers to make sure that you are driving your shrink down, at the same time impacting your sales in a positive way and keeping people safe.Loss prevention professionals really are great leaders who add more and more value to their companies. If you look back to the aftermath of 9/11, most of us took on crisis management roles. As the world changed, we had to learn what to do about workplace violence and organized retail crime. Now we’re managing programs for active shooter. Some are starting to take on data-security roles and looking at cyber crime. And now risk management.Today as we move to a total cost of loss strategy, I think it helps us build a better return on investment. I believe most LP practitioners have always taken into consideration what the total cost of loss is, but now there is framing around it that creates a more powerful message to speak to the corporate business leaders.I really can’t think of another industry with professionals who add value and impact their company as much-an industry where a high percentage of people are willing to take phone calls, share a program, and give you their advice. That, to me, has made this a phenomenal industry to be part of. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

Breaking News in the Industry: October 10, 2018

first_imgOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGroup of six snatch $11,000 in designer purses The following information comes from the Northbrook, Illinois, Police Department as a record of incidents reported to the police and those arrested on criminal charges, which represent accusations that are often dropped or reduced. Updated information may be available from the Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court. Everyone arrested is presumed to be innocent unless found guilty in court beyond a reasonable doubt.Staff at the Northbrook Court Louis Vuitton reported around 3:30 p.m. on October 3 that five men and one woman described as in their early 20’s stole three purses from a display worth about $11,000 before fleeing the area in one foreign type vehicle and another sedan. Police are continuing to investigate. (Last week, four women or girls stole about a dozen purses from another Northbrook store.)     [Source: Northbrook Patch]Apple contracts police to deter thefts at retail storesApple is expanding its efforts to deter thieves from their retail stores in California, as well as beefing up security to prevent further loss. The tech giant has moved to contract local police to provide “tighter security” at its stores. These officers are paid by Apple and are privately contracted, meaning that no tax dollars are at use.- Sponsor – Apple already has security and police guarding its stores across the country, but this new contact is an extension of those efforts in response to safety concerns at California stores. While many malls offer their own security, their power is greatly limited, and once robbers escape the mall, there’s nothing the mall security can do.Thus far, the Sacramento police officers contracted by Apple have helped to put customers at ease, and stores have been robbery free for several weeks, according to CBS Sacramento.   [Source: Security Today]New tech uses product ‘fingerprints’ to detect counterfeitsEntrupy has launched a fingerprinting solution to counteract the growth of counterfeit products, according to a press release. The company’s company’s tech uses computer vision techniques, artificial intelligence and machine learning to verify the authenticity of designer and luxury goods through a fingerprint-like match stored in the cloud.The Entrupy Fingerprinting system, which relies on a mobile app, has been tested by an upscale retail chain in the United Kingdom. The retailer, which Entrupy did not identify, used the system on high-value goods to prevent returns fraud. Verify returns instantly at the point of intake expedites returns and detects if a replica product has been substituted, according to Entrupy.The company said the system has been tested in diverse categories, including apparel, cosmetics, luxury goods, electronics and industrial parts. Brands currently authenticated include Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Burberry, Celine, Chanel, Chloé, Coach, Dior, Fendi, Goyard, Gucci, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Prada and Saint Laurent, according to Entrupy’s website.  [Source: RetailDIVE]Men in bonnets shoplift thousands from lingerie storePolice in Spartanburg, South Carolina, say two men wearing bonnets shoplifted thousands of dollars in merchandise from a Victoria’s Secret store. The incident happened Monday evening at WestGate Mall in Spartanburg, according to a Spartanburg Police Department incident report.The manager of Victoria’s Secret/PINK told officers she was alerted by the machine at the store’s entrance that detects when merchandise is being shoplifted, according to the report. n employee told officers that when she was cleaning up, she saw a man wearing a white shirt, blue jeans and a bonnet on his head, the report states. Another customer saw two men with bonnets on their heads “grab several thousand dollars worth” of merchandise and clothes from the front table in the store and clothing that was hanging up beside the table, police said.There was surveillance footage of the theft; however, the manager told officers it would not be available from corporate until later. The two bonnet-clad suspects were seen running toward and then through Bed, Bath & Beyond, then getting into an SUV outside the store. The police department redacted the total dollar amount of the stolen items in the report.   [Source: The State]Consumers getting refunds from record fraud judgmentThe government has obtained a record $1.3 billion civil court judgment against AMG Services, Inc. and Scott Tucker on charges they operated a massive payday lending scheme. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) say $505 million of that amount is being returned to consumers the government says were victims of deception. The defendants were charged with violating both the FTC Act and the Truth in Lending Act.The case goes back to 2012 when the FTC charged the company told borrowers they would only pay a one-time fee plus the loan amount. Instead, the government said AMG made multiple withdrawals from consumers’ bank accounts, charging a new finance fee with each withdrawal. Because of that, consumers who borrowed from AMG paid far more for the loans than they had originally agreed to pay.Last year, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York concluded prosecution of Tucker and his attorney by securing convictions on criminal charges. Tucker was sentenced to 16 years in prison. U.S. Bancorp, the parent company of U.S. Bank, was fined $528 million for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act. Prosecutors said it failed to alert law enforcement to Tucker’s suspicious banking activities.The FTC and DOJ say they are using the money obtained through the civil and criminal cases to make refunds to consumers who took out loans before January 2013 from any AMG company. Recipients should deposit or cash checks within 60 days, as indicated on the check. Consumers should also guard against telephone calls from people claiming to be from the government, seeking information or funds to facilitate payment. That’s an old scam trick.The FTC says it has the companies’ business records and will use them to identify consumers eligible for a refund and will send the check. The FTC never requires consumers to pay money or provide information to cash refund checks.While it is not necessary to contact the FTC, consumers who have questions may call the agency at 866.730.8147.   [Source: Consumer Affairs] Two men shoplift with 3 children, baby carrier in towTwo Illinois men were seen leading three children, a baby carrier and carts of stolen merchandise out of a Walmart. Crime Stoppers of the Quad Cities reports two black men in their mid to late 30s were walking out of a Walmart on Sept. 29 when store security confronted them. The men had three children, all of whom appeared to be younger than four years old. One of the men also had a covered baby carrier on his cart.The men refused to cooperate with store loss prevention, according to the report. One men pulled the children into a 2018 Toyota Camry rental car by the arms. The other “tossed the carrier in the back seat.” None of the children were secured. They then left the store. The baby carrier was covered, but LP said they think baby clothes were stashed under the cover. The report says anyone with information can submit a tip anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 309.762.9500 or submitting a Web Tip. Tippers could receive up to $1,000 in rewards.   [Source: WQAD8 News] Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

Storify Update Feels Like a Cleaner Social News Experience

first_imgalicia eler With the new interface, searching for content is incredibly easy. The drag-and-drop feature makes it even simpler to add social media to the curation stream. Related Posts Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… This radically shifts the way stories are being found and created on the web. Facebook and Twitter users may be content creators, but their content doesn’t go anywhere outside of the social network. With Storify, the ability to instantly gather Tweets and Facebook posts into one longer story make the new version of Storify even more powerful.How Storify is Trying to Make the News More SocialLast month, The Guardian and The Washington Post went social with Facebook apps. Anything you read will be automatically sent into Facebook, with the intention of making the news you’re reading more social.In today’s Storify announcement, they note that their goal is to “make Storify a great place to read the news in a social way.”Whereas Facebook is feeding news you’re reading on outside sites into the network itself, Storify encourages users to grab news and manually bring it into the network. The frictionless sharing element does not exist on Storify, making users feel in control of their content – whereas Facebook elicits the opposite feeling from its users.This new update comes on the heels of the SoundCloud integration into Storify, which gave users an easier way to drop audio into their streams.Storify logo via jeffthechimp. The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Tags:#Blogging#social networks#Social Web#web Today Storify launched its new editor interface, featuring slicker, easier-to-use tools for fast content curation. The new foundation flip-flops the search and editor sides of the interface, and places a higher priority on each content curator writing their own text for the story. Photo searches are big and bright, and the results are displayed in a handy gallery format that mimics a slick, white cube art space. The drag-and-drop functionality makes story curation more user-friendly. Previously, Storify didn’t have a logo – now it does. Storify has its own login system now, too. Storify’s previous user interface made searching for social media content feel more difficult than it should. Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Why Does Storify Want To Be More Blog-Like?In July of this year, Storify “grew up”, becoming blog and SEO-friendly. Our own Marshall Kirkpatrick writes: “…social media curation is becoming a first class citizen of the open Web, just like blogging.” The new Storify makes it feel like you’re writing a blog post and adding social media to it, rather than dropping a ton of social media into a stream. Installing the Storify bookmarklet into your other social media lets you Storify anything you find on the web, including stuff you find on Facebook. It’s even more ubiquitous feeling than the Like button. Try installing the Storify bookmarklet, then mouse over a post on your Facebook news feed. The Storify button will come up. A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

Inzaghi unsure over Lazio pair

first_imgLazio boss Simone Inzaghi admits he has doubts over whether Joaquin Correa and Felipe Caicedo will be fit to face Celtic in the Europa League tomorrow. Caicedo came off injured against Milan last weekend, whilst Correa picked up a knock in training, and Inzaghi states the pair will have to be evaluated. “I have to evaluate their condition very carefully, but I’ll ask them to make sacrifices. I believe in them,” he said at a Press conference. The coach then revealed he had toyed with the idea of using Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Luis Alberto or even youngster Bobby Adekanye in attack. “I’ll play my strongest team. [Ciro] Immobile and [Senad] Lulic were a little tired yesterday, but I’m confident that these two will play. “I don’t have a clear idea yet [of my starting XI], but I know [Stefan] Radu and [Adam] Marusic definitely won’t make it. [Danilo] Cataldi is suspended.” The Aquile’s task has been made a tad more difficult by parts of their curva being closed for racist behaviour. “We’re obliged to win, we want to move up the group but it won’t be easy against a Celtic side who have a lot of quality and players who can put us in trouble at any time. “I think it’ll be a beautiful day of sport and a beautiful game. May the best team win. Hopefully it’s Lazio. “I know many Celtic fans will arrive and that part of the [Curva] Nord will be closed, but we expect lots of Biancocelesti to support us anyway.” Lazio lost 2-1 to Celtic in the first game between the sides last month. Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: read more

What Did Jane Austen Know About Social Media?

first_imgWith the final episode of Jane Austen’s and learn how to generate more business using social media. aired, we’ve noticed that people are behaving a little bit more … courtly to each other. Here’s a handy guide to extending that exquisitely good behavior to the social media world. •    Connections matter. An Accomplished Young Lady Image: PBS … What would Jane have had to say about engaging with your customers and promoting your business on social websites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn? Although social media is famous for having somewhat loose standards of formality, propriety does hold a central place in any society, like it or not. Every social media platform (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) lays claim to its own particular cultural rules and mores. Be sure that you understand the customs and expectations of each platform before you make a gaffe, lest you cause tongues to wag, or worse, offend Society. •    Etiquette matters. •    Conversation matters. The most prized currency in any refined society is the witty, charming conversation of its habitués. Your conversation may be clever and amusing, but do stop short of being overly self-promotional. It is a delicate balance, to be sure, but eminently achievable by the accomplished practitioner. How? Strive to focus on other people, be courteous, be helpful, be modest, be kind. Avoid gossip and vulgarity at all costs. Emma Share your passion, and those who share your passion too will find you and follow you.  Speak from your heart, do not endeavor to deceive, and all shall be well. Beth Dunn No, you needn’t be the cousin of every A-list blogger or member of the Twitterati.  Rather, you should strive to cultivate a true circle of friends who share your interests, whose trials and triumphs you can share, and with whose problems you can empathize. Try to make connections between people who should meet, but have not yet; be a matchmaker where one person’s needs and desires meet another person’s strengths and qualities. Create networks of friends who are sincerely glad to know each other, and give them frequent opportunities to connect and help each other. It is a truth universally acknowledged Social Media blogs about Jane Austen and other 19th-century-related obsessions at that social media is being used by more and more businesses to engage meaningfully with their customers and to drive more qualified traffic to their sites. •      Love conquers all. Topics: . Download the free video Learn how to use social media to attract more customers. Originally published Feb 5, 2010 10:00:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Video: How to Use Social Media to Attract More Customers And while Jane Austen never blogged (she totally would have), or had a profile on Facebook, or posted status updates on Twitter, she certainly had a great quantity of wisdom to share about social behavior – what is correct, what is silly, and what is disastrous — that is as true today as it was when young Emma Woodhouse busied herself with meddling in the love lives of all her friends.last_img read more

6 Lead Nurturing No-No’s to Avoid in Your Email Campaigns

first_img Originally published Jan 13, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Lead nurturing is a fundamental must-have for great inbound marketing. According to Gleanster Research ,  50% of qualified leads aren’t ready to buy . This means lead nurturing campaigns are necessary to help move these 50% of leads through the sales cycle to make them better ready to make a purchasing decision.That said, implementing an effective lead nurturing email campaign can be much harder than it sounds. There are several variables to consider when understanding just what makes the perfect lead nurturing campaign for your business and its prospects. To give you a leg up in knowing what lead nurturing practices to rule out right away before you waste time and effort creating an ineffective campaign, consider these 6 big lead nurturing no-no’s to avoid in your lead nurturing email campaigns . 1. Don’t Lump All Your Leads Together In One Campaign This is easily the most common mistake marketers new to lead nurturing make: they create one campaign of emails and send the same thing to every lead who fills out a form. It is an absolutely crucial (yet commonly missed) step to segment your campaigns based on lead intelligence . Make sure you always tailor your emails to match the interests of the individual lead. If all of your offers filter into the same nurturing campaign, it will be obvious by how generic the email is to your leads. Provide detailed information in your campaign that references and leverages the specific forms they’ve completed, their demographic information, and other behavioral triggers. Even something as simple as separate campaigns for each of the major topic areas covered by your offers is a huge step in making your leads feel like the emails they receive actually speak to their particular interests. In short, if your lead nurturing isn’t segmented by topic or other distinguishing elements like in the picture from HubSpot’s lead nurturing tool below, you are leaving money on the table. The best lead nurturing happens not when you just give your leads anything, but when you give them exactly what they want. 2. Don’t Email Leads Every Day Unless part of your marketing strategy explicitly calls for prospects to receive an email from you every day (e.g. ecommerce sites like Groupon, LivingSocial, or Woot), your leads will not be excited to hear from you every day after they first converted into a lead. Remember that a lead’s first conversion indicates a certain level of interest in your offer and products, but he/she won’t be ready to “marry” you just yet. If you go on a first date with someone and you call them right after the date ends and continue to leave them voicemails, it will likely be a big, red flag to them to ignore and avoid you. The same rule applies with lead nurturing: if leads are hearing from you too promptly and too often, it will definitely be a turn-off.Instead, set up a regular schedule for emails in your campaign, and space them out. Even leaving a one day break between emails will make your leads pay much more attention to each individual send. And be mindful that sending too much email overall will also dilute the value of each email. 3. Don’t Forget They’ve Received Your Other Emails The next no-no is another one I frequently run into in my inbox: a lead nurturing series that acts like every email is the first one I’ve ever received from the company. I sometimes wonder if each email was written by a different person in a different office, because there’s absolutely no coordination between them. If you sent someone an ebook two days ago and are sending them another email, don’t just throw another content offer or ebook at them and hope they’ll fill it out.Replace the endless email offers by asking them for feedback in your next email, or see if they had questions about the previous email’s content. Offer to connect them with a sales rep or someone to help answer their questions. At the very least, at least make mention of the content in your previous email and make a connection to the content you’re offering in the current email. There is a right way and a wrong way to reach out to people who are in your lead nurturing campaigns, and hitting them with a different offer every day praying for a reconversion will not be as strong as your other options. 4. Don’t Forget Your Blog Content If you’re just getting started and only have one or two content offers, it can be tough to know what to send your leads in your lead nurturing campaign. Instead, get clever by re-using your blog’s content . Share two or three of your best blog articles with them in your emails to help make the most of your offers. It’ll bring them back into your website and your indubitably awesome blog content. It’s just like sending them a content offer in that way: they will read and absorb your blog’s content and potentially share it socially. Those readers will also get re-exposed to any calls-to-action on your blog, offering opportunities for re-conversions. Ideally, your marketing software platform will also let you see that your lead is revisiting your site, allowing you take certain actions based on that revisit. Proofreading service ProofreadNOW does a great job of leveraging its blog content in lead nurturing campaigns, as you can see below: 5. Don’t Forget to Let Sales Know About Your Nurturing Campaigns The biggest mistake marketers can make with lead nurturing is to not communicating the deployment of their campaigns with the rest of their company. This is especially true if you have sales reps who may be talking to these leads at the same time your campaign is running or after nurturing emails have been sent. The salespeople on your team will want to know what content their leads received — and when — so they can have an informed conversation about the material and be tuned into what their lead already knows. Salespeople hate being surprised by these kinds of things (and rightfully so!), so make sure that your lead management and nurturing software integrates with the CRM that your sales team uses. That way, when an email is sent out to their leads, they’ll have a record of it and be able see what was sent out and when.If CRM integration isn’t an option or you don’t use a CRM, use other methods of communicating which leads have received emails through another method. For example, see if you can export a list of which leads are in a certain nurturing campaign or have received an email, and provide both the list of leads and a copy of the emails to your sales team so they can stay in the know. Nothing will waste the effort you’ve put into you nurturing campaigns faster than a sales team that isn’t aware you’re executing these campaigns in the first place. 6. Don’t Forget About Your Analytics The first time you create your lead nurturing campaign is like the first time you started learning how to ride a bike. By launching them, you’ll have come a long way, but you won’t be ready for the Tour de France yet. A few weeks into your campaigns, you should revisit the analytics for your emails and make sure they’re working the way you hoped they would. Look specifically at your click-through rates and unsubscribe rates. Open rate is a very unreliable metric these days, and it’s not very useful anyway: what are you going to do with the simple knowledge that someone just opened your messages? Instead, look for how many people clicked through from your emails to your landing pages or other content, which will indicate they’re engaging with your business and its content. If your click-through rate is below about 2%, look back at your emails, and try to determine why.Great lead nurturing emails should generate about 3 times the normal click-through rate of your normal email marketing messages. If your campaigns are performing at the same rate as your general emails, consider revising your campaign. If you notice a lot of leads are unsubscribing from your campaigns, especially early in the campaign, that’s also a sign your campaign could use improvement. If you find yourself in a position where you need to revise your campaign, first test different subject lines for the emails. Try changing the subject line to be a question for them (“Have you seen our new ebook yet?”), or test the other way around if you tried asking a question at first. Test various offers and content in your emails, test the timing and frequency of your sends . In all honesty, there’s no shortage of tests you can conduct to optimize and increase the performance of your email campaigns. Sometimes it can take two or three tries to find the right solution for you, so look at the messages that are performing well, and see if you can pick out the differences that matter.  If you can execute on these five items, your lead nurturing will be in great shape. What other no-no’s have you learned to avoid when executing lead nurturing campaigns ? Tell us about them in the comments! Image Credit: Christopher Craig Topics: By Brian Whalley center_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Lead Nurturinglast_img read more

Answers To Your Top 9 Questions About Using LinkedIn Ads

first_img Originally published Aug 9, 2012 4:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Topics: LinkedIn Advertising Yesterday, HubSpot teamed up with LinkedIn to host part 2 of a 3-part workshop series on how to master LinkedIn for marketing. The second webinar, hosted by Director of Online Marketing at LinkedIn Scott Engelman and HubSpot CMO Mike Volpe, went into detail on how companies can use LinkedIn ads to drive new leads and customers.We had an abundance of fantastic LinkedIn marketing questions come in through the #MasterLinkedIn hashtag on Twitter, the Inbound Marketers LinkedIn Group, and the webinar chat page. So many, in fact, that we could not possibly answer all of them in a single post-webinar Q&A session. That’s why we wanted to take the opportunity to answer the most frequently asked questions from the second workshop session below. Are you ready to become a LinkedIn Ad Master? Let’s get started!Answers to the Top 9 Questions About Using LinkedIn Ads to Drive Leads1) Do you have any tips or best practices for using images in LinkedIn ads?Use of images in LinkedIn Ads is key to capturing your audience’s attention, especially since social media has reached its most visual stage ever! Do you have that “positive disruption factor?” Pairing your killer copy with eye-catching, colorful images tends to work best, though this certainly varies by company. Your best bet is to run an A/B test with a couple different images, but the same text. If you’re generating more leads or have a higher click-through rate from one of your test images, you’ll know exactly which ad image performs best and you can deactivate the other. When you’re choosing an image, just make sure it’s relevant to the offer you’re advertising.center_img 2) What’s the recommended duration for a LinkedIn ad?There is no set duration for a LinkedIn ad. Just as with your images, it’s best to test your ads with multiple variations to find your happy place. Run your LinkedIn ads until they start to become less successful, which may turn out to be longer than you think with your stellar copy and captivating visuals! Link your ad to a relevant and valuable offer and you’ll be rolling in the leads.3) Can I adjust targets once my LinkedIn ad campaign is live?Yes, you can and should optimize your campaign to improve your results! If you’re not seeing a great deal of engagement with your current ad, try narrowing your target and run it again. You can continue to hone in on your audience until you see the results you were hoping for. LinkedIn allows you to target by industry, job function, company, group, education, location, or age. That’s right, you can target the CEO of LinkedIn or HubSpot with a message targeted at people in CEO positions! If that’s not specific ad targeting, I don’t know what is.4) Do I need a membership or subscription to use LinkedIn ads?No, you don’t need a membership or subscription to use LinkedIn ads. All you need is your personal LinkedIn profile, and then you’ll pay for performance from there. Although, for optimal success with mastering LinkedIn for marketing, you might want to consider delving deeper into LinkedIn’s business features. If the goal of your ad is to build brand awareness, you should create a LinkedIn Company Page and drive your ad traffic to your page URL. If you’re looking to generate leads, having a Company Page is important for aligning and leveraging both organic and paid opportunities.5) Can I test and modify landing pages per campaign?Yes, you can choose different landing pages per campaign, and even per individual ad. However, you might want to try testing your landing pages per campaign first to help you figure out which ad is working best so you can make changes if needed to the copy or image. Then you can start testing a new variable, like different iterations of landing pages.And remember, the copy of your ad should accurately reflect the message on your landing page. Are you adding value or solving a problem? Is your ad/offer relevant? Does it positively disrupt the reader, bringing their attention to your ad? If not, make some changes and try your ad again! If you’re still not satisfied with your campaign performance after changing your ad copy and images, try modifying your landing page or advertising a different offer.6) What information should be included in the personalized landing page?The personalized landing page should have a brief overview of the offer and how to access it, a form to generate leads, social media sharing buttons, and product or service information. Before you even run your LinkedIn Ad campaign, make sure you’re optimizing your landing pages for success. It doesn’t matter how great your LinkedIn Ad is if your landing page isn’t captivating enough to convert leads. To learn more about landing page optimization, download our free ebook, Optimizing Landing Pages for Lead Generation & Conversion.7) What’s the ideal budget for a LinkedIn ad campaign?There is no single suggested amount for your budget; this number changes on a company-to-company basis.You don’t want to run your budget too high initially because you’ll want to know what truly works before spending all your dollars. You also want to be careful with budgeting too low, because if you spend your whole budget in 2 hours you’ll have no idea what the true result of your LinkedIn Ad is; the campaign wouldn’t have had enough time to run its course.Try starting out with a few hundred dollars and run really good tests. Have your landing pages optimized and ready to go, then hone in on your target. Once you know your audience, you should work on your image and ad copy. Of course, each of these components can be changed mid-campaign, and you’re always able to increase your budget or deactivate campaigns that aren’t working.8) What are CPC and CPM, and how do you determine which to use?CPC stands for Cost Per Click, which is where you’re charged up to your maximum bid every time your ad is clicked by a member of your target audience. CPM stand for Cost Per Mille (or rather, Cost Per Thousand Impression), which is where you’re charged up to your maximum bid every time your ad is shown 1,000 times on LinkedIn.CPC is best for generating leads and engagement on your landing page. If your goal is related to click-through, you’ll only spend your budget when someone physically clicks on your ad. CPM can be used for building brand awareness because thousands of LinkedIn members will see your ad and you can set your maximum budget as low or high as you want for the best results.9) How do I know the click-through rate (CTR) on LinkedIn ads?To learn more about the CTR of your LinkedIn Ads, take a look within the ads interface. You will see the exact number of impressions (number of times your ad showed up), clicks, and your click-through rate. These numbers will show you exactly which ads are doing well, and which you’ll need to pull.LinkedIn wants you to get the most exposure you possibly can with your ads, so in order to be successful you need to you optimize your ads for the best possible click-through rate. And the higher the CTR, the more likely LinkedIn is to show your ad — therefore you really, really, really want to optimize your ads for the highest CTR. If you have multiple ad variations within a campaign, the ad with the highest CTR can be shown more frequently, increasing the chances of someone clicking on your ad. Average CTRs vary by industry, but if your CTR seems low, don’t worry. LinkedIn provides opportunities for your ad to be shown millions of times, which ultimately leads to a smaller CTR. Have more questions about How to Master LinkedIn for Marketing? Join us for part 3 of our workshop series with LinkedIn to learn what content to publish on LinkedIn to drive engagement. The webinar starts on Thursday, September 27th at 2PM EST!Image credit: smi23le 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

Twitter Reducing Some Tweets’ Character Limit, and Other Marketing Stories of the Week

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Twitter Updates Originally published Feb 24, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 Topics: It’s no secret that inbound marketing is a fast paced and growing industry, much like the world of technology. Many companies are utilizing the evolution of social and marketing technologies to find new ways to deliver advertisments to their audience. Our social networks are learning more and more about us every day, and online services like Yelp and Google Maps have intergrated themselves into our daily routines.Marketers have taken notice, and realize that these leaps and bounds in technology make marketing much more effective, too. So this week’s round-up will give you some insight into what changes are going on with our social networks, and how new technologies are being used to deliver marketing to individuals in (hopefully) better, bigger, faster ways.Twitter Now Reducing Some Tweets to 117 Characters, From MashableIf a limit of 140 characters per tweet wasn’t difficult enough, some of us might have to get used to being even more succinct. As of Wednesday, Twitter has reduced the limit of characters to 118 for tweets sent with a URL and 117 for tweets sent with an https link. This is going to be an important change for marketers to take note of because it could affect any scheduled tweets you created prior to these new limits.To be a bit more technical, Twitter states that the reduction is due to a change in their link wrapper and how its extends the maximum length of links by two characters. Not that the logistics behind this really matter much to marketers — it’s just important to know that you should jump back into your scheduled tweets to make sure they comply with these new limits. Read the original article at Mashable.59% of Top Brands are Active on Instagram & Those Photos Are Shared to Facebook 66% More Than Twitter, From Marketing LandWe all know why we love Instagram and Pinterest — no one can resist a pretty picture. Recently, however, these social networks have grown to be more than just digital catalogs and photo albums. In the past three months, top brand adoption of Pinterest has risen by 10%, and Instagram by 9%. This is a strong indication that marketers are utilizing the potential of Pinterest and Instagram to build social engagement and expand overall reach.The study focuses on the growth of Instagram and how their broken relationship with Twitter has impacted engagement. Since the break up, Instagram engagement on Twitter has dramatically plummeted and now, 98% of brands using Instagram share their images to Facebook. Read more at Marketing Land.ESPN is Now Targeting You Via Online Radio, From Ad WeekIt seems ESPN is looking to up their game in the world of digital advertisement through online radio. With over 3 million downloads of their mobile radio app, it makes sense that ESPN has been concocting ways to tap into this audience with some well targeted ads. This new cloud-based ad insertion program aims to target listeners by location, device, age, and gender in real time during live national broadcasts. The company responsible for this new age technology is the online radio provider known as Abacast.With this new ad serving technology, ESPN will be able to deliver different, targeted ads to individuals listening to the same broadcast during live ad breaks. “Before, it was one stream to thousands of people, and it didn’t make sense that we were targeting women with a lot of the ads that were running. Now, hundreds of thousands of people are going to get different ad breaks. You could be in the same car as your friend wearing different headsets, and you’ll still be served a different ad than that person,” said ESPN digital sudio senior manager Blair Cullen.For marketers, this is a technological change that could bring online radio into the age of inbound by providing a method of creating targeted and measureable marketing content for an industry known for being old school. Read the full article at Ad Week.Free Marketing Campaign Kit, From HubSpotWith all the changes in marketing and all the new tools at our finger tips, it’s important to be able to align your marketing efforts across all channels in your campaigns. Luckily, we’ve created a free marketing campaign kit to give you the tools and resources you need to launch and measure a remarkable marketing campaign. The campaign kit will dive into what marketing tools you should be using to plan your campaign, how to integrate these tools into your campaign strategy, and what resources are available to get your campaign started. Download the free marketing campaign kit.Contextual Content Engine Vurb Raises More Than $1.5M From Max Levchin and Others, From TechCrunchEven with social media and search engines, it’s still a chore trying to compile a bunch of information in one place. For instance, I’m sure many of us have wanted to make a reservation at a restaurant through OpenTable and also wished that it would suggest show times for new movies, buy the tickets, and send us directions without having to open the quadrillion tabs we normally would. Well, start-up Vurb is working on a contextual content engine that connects and compiles relevant information from services like LinkedIn, Yelp, Google Maps, Amazon, and many others in an attempt to unify our internet shenanigans.Vurb has recently raised over $1.5 million in funding from a number of investors, like Max Levchin. The overall goal of Vurb is to uncomplicate the way to use the internet and its thousands of services by creating a content engine that naturally compiles all the most relevant information we need. This illustrates to marketers how people are tired of searching for products and services they need, and more interested in having those things served up to them based on who they are and what the like. With search and recommendation engines on the rise, marketers should consider how their products and services are positioned and targeted to their audience. Read the full article at TechCrunch.LOL + WTF = $: An App That Shows Why Videos Go Viral, From Fast Company CreateEver wonder how you can make the next “Gangnam Style” or “Harlem Shake?” Well TubeRank may have found a way to help you figure out what you need to do to create the next viral video on YouTube. The app was recently launched by Rubber Republic, a London-based content creation studio responsible for a number of viral videos. TubeRank is a free app that combines meta data with YouTube video content to show you why a viral video was shared, who shared it, and how many times. The app can provide marketers with specific information about a particular community and how videos perform in these communities based on a share-to-view ratio. This information is revealed by breaking a viral video into a “viral formula” of key elements based on the success of that video. Read the full article at Fast Company. HubSpot’s Weekly Marketing Update Podcast With Mike VolpeInterested in hearing what the CMO of HubSpot has to say about the stories in this week’s round-up? Check out our Marketing Update podcast and get the latest inbound marketing advice, tips, and best practices from our CMO, Mike Volpe and his co-hosts. You can also subscribe to this weekly podcast through iTunes … to start your week off with a little dose of inbound marketing.What other important marketing stories should we know about? Share them in the comments!Image credit: CJ Isherwoodlast_img read more

How to Be the Best Intern EVER

first_imgImage Credit: David Boyle Congratulations! You’ve landed an internship — one of the six things you must do to get your first job after college, says Forbes Magazine. You’re extremely excited, and your new employer has even promised that your job description doesn’t involve delivering coffee or working in the copy room.Now you’re faced with the real challenge: How will you leave your mark?Since I happen to be working at a company where there are plenty of interns, former interns, and people who know how to hire kick-ass interns, I traveled far-and-wide (around the office), curating some tried-and-true, pearls of internship wisdom. The end result is a compilation of pro tips from HubSpotters including Chief Technology Officer Dharmesh Shah, Chief Marketing Officer Mike Volpe, and the current intern class.Here’s their advice about how you can be the best intern … ever.1) Be a Go-GetterRose DeMaio, Product Engineering Intern:“Start working before you start working! Email your manager two weeks before your first day and ask if there is any reading, prep work, or research you should do. Reaching out before you actually start will ensure that everyone is on the same page and that you can hit the ground running. If you’re not asked to do anything, it’s still a good idea to freshen up on your company knowledge. Do they blog? Do they have a tool you could get a free trial of?” 4) But Know When to Say NoBrendan MacArthur, Product Marketing Intern:“Don’t be afraid to say no. Sometimes, you will be approached to contribute on a lot of projects, but you need to decide realistically if you will have the time to focus on them as well as what you need to get done. Be forthright with managers and co-workers about your workload, talk to them about what you’re working on, and create self-imposed deadlines to stay on track.” Brendan MacArthur5) Be a Team PlayerBen Ratner, Inbound Marketing Co-op:“Consider yourself an integral part of the team, and with everything you contribute, remember that your involvement is playing a critical role in helping the team as a whole achieve their objectives. Celebrate your team’s successes, but also allow your fair share of the blame if things don’t go as planned.” Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Audrey Alpizar, Development Intern:“Get to know your mentor, manager, and team members. Schedule one-on-one meetings, and invite them to have a meal with you. It’s important to build relationships with your co-workers to help understand how they work and form a better working environment. You can also gain valuable career advice as well as establish networks for future employment.” Audrey Alpizar7) And Always Remember the BasicsLynelle Schmidt, Inbound Marketing Co-op:“Go to lunch! Some of the other interns at my last job would eat lunch at their desk every day. Sometimes it’s necessary to eat a quick lunch, but for your sanity and well-being, make an effort to take a break and leave your post. It helps break up your day, bond with fellow co-workers, and allows you to refocus when you get back to your desk.” Lynelle SchmidtAbhinav Arora, Inbound Marketing MBA Intern:“Remember your work etiquette: don’t hit “reply-all” to a company-wide email if you’re responding to one person. That’s a sure-fire way to annoy people right off the bat. And definitely don’t ‘accidentally’ publish your funny cat video to your company’s YouTube account.” Michelle Tuzman, Finance Intern: “What goes around comes around. Know or seek out what needs to be done on your end to make your teammates’ jobs easier. There is a good chance that at this internship, or later in your career, they’ll give you support, too.” Michelle Tuzman6) Network Like It’s Your (Second) JobDharmesh Shah, Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer:“Capitalize on the opportunity to meet as many new people as you can — classmates at school, co-workers at internships — particularly in other majors or departments. Pretend that every great person you meet will increase your net worth by $100,000. You will be surprised how many of these people you will someday work with, start a company with — or who will otherwise support you. In this day and age, your net worth is impacted significantly by your network.  It’s not just the size, but also the quality of that network.” Originally published Jul 22, 2013 12:37:32 PM, updated July 28 2017center_img 3) Push YourselfDan Murphy, Product Marketing Intern:“Don’t cite the job description as your limits — use that as a starting point. Contribute and participate beyond that. Your contribution can be using your intellect and creativity to make an existing project better, or compose something totally outside of your job description.” Ellie Mirman, Head of Inbound Marketing Funnel:“Don’t wait for someone to ask you to do something. Execute on the projects given to you, but don’t stop there. Identify problems in the business and find ways to solve them. This shows that you’re not just ready to jump in, but that you’re also hungry enough to go ahead and do it. It also shows that you’re smart — able to identify problems and solutions — and that you put your actions where your mouth is. Even in the most successful business, there are problems to be solved. If you’re not sure where to start, talk to employees and learn about their challenges and think about how you can make their lives easier.” Remember, future directors and CEOs of the world: Doing what is expected of you will get you a pat on the back and a decent recommendation. Being kick-ass, on the other hand, will get you a network of mentors and friends, a vast array of experience, a great leg-up on your future career path … and maybe even a job! If you have more questions and want to chat with a fellow intern, feel free to follow me on Twitter: 2) Prove Your SmartsSarah Goliger, Paid Marketing Strategist:“Ask good questions. People often say you should “ask a lot of questions,” but you don’t want to be that intern always asking a million annoying questions — you need to prove that you’re able to think and act independently. But asking good questions shows that you’re both pushing yourself to learn more and are capable of thinking about the company, your team, and its goals and challenges at a higher level.” Mike Volpe, Chief Marketing Officer:“Have that one project that you completely own as an intern. It can be big or small, but it should be fully yours and add value to your team. Do the work, and then get up in front of your manager and team members and present it. This is your chance to make your mark, especially if you’re only at the company for a short-term position like an internship.”last_img read more