The Best of TouringPlans Forums – Week of June 9, 2019

first_imgShare This!Did you know that TouringPlans has discussion forums where you can ask questions of other readers and discuss the Disney and Universal news of the day? Do you have a question, or some answers? Please join us in the forums.Imagine a world where all your trip planning questions are answered. That world exists in the TouringPlans forums.Here are some of the recent discussions that have caught our eye.Walt Disney WorldIs there a way to request a view of the fireworks when dining at ‘Ohana?What time should I make a dinner reservation on my arrival day at Walt Disney World?Looking for tips on dealing with motion sickness on the rides.Any ideas on using Disney Dining Plan snack credits on savory breakfast items?How often should I plan to take breaks during my WDW trip?Where should I make my room request for at Boardwalk Villas?I need clarification of the procedures for booking my dining reservations at the 180 day mark.What physical sensations can I expect on Flights of Passage and Dinosaur?I need a quick summary of what to expect for the opening of Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios.Tips for making dining reservations during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.DisneylandIs the Best Western within walking distance of Disneyland?Help me understand the Disneyland ticket options.From a reader: here’s my personal review of Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland.It’s my first trip to Disneyland. Help me understand the walking patterns in my touring plan.What are the guest observation policies at Savi’s Workshop when building a lightsaber?Which attractions have single rider lines at Disneyland?Universal OrlandoCan you see the Hogwarts Express train without a Park to Park ticket?How do Halloween Horror Nights impact crowds?I’m looking for strategies on visiting Hagrid’s Coaster.Another great resource for personalized questions and answers is the chat feature in the TouringPlans Lines app where other subscribers can help with trip planning advice. Some TouringPlans users find the Forums better for at-home planning and the Lines chat better for questions on-the-fly in the parks, but there is a fair amount of overlap. TouringPlans subscribers can fire up the app and find the chat feature at the bottom of their screen. Save time! Save money! Have fun! For complete access to all of our great vacation-planning tools like the Crowd Calendar, customizable Touring Plans, Cheapest Ticket Calculator, Dining Reservation Finder, Hotel Room Request automator, and MORE, subscribe to TouringPlans.com.For the latest news on all things Disney and Universal, follow our social media channels: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.last_img read more

GCH Craftsman Bar & Grill To Open Soon to Disney’s Grand Californian

first_imgShare This!Who’s ready for an updated dining establishment for Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa? Say hello to GCH Craftsman Bar & Grill! Once open, White Water Snacks will henceforth be known as GCH Craftsman Grill and this spot will continue serving its current menu. The new lounge area that will be located near the pool which will be known as the GCH Craftsman Bar will feature a new menu highlighting a wide variety of flavors including artisanal pizzas and avocado toast to sliders, nachos, and shawarma.Let’s dive into this menu for the bar, shall we?Shawarma Chicken Skewer comes with arugula-fennel salad with radishes, roasted tomatoes, pita bread, lemon wedges, and tzatziki dipGarlic-Soy-glazed Chicken Wings with fresno chile, togarashi spice, and furikakeBlack Angus Flat Iron Steak Salad which is made with endive and spinach leaves and is topped with sautéed shiitake mushrooms, crumbled eggs, feta snow, black angus steak, and a Champagne vinaigretteDouble-baked Beef Nachos served with bacon lardons, black beans, scallions, jalapeño pepper, cilantro, queso fresco, guacamole, and cremaCali Sliders which will featuring American wagyu patty, oven-roasted tomato, vegetable relish, spiced hollandaise, swiss, artichoke aïoli, and pickled vegetablesMaine Lobster Quesadilla with Monterey Jack and queso frescoLemon-Sumac Salmon SaladKimchee-marinated Ahi Tuna Lettuce CupAvocado ToastBlack Truffle-charred Cauliflower Grilled Cheese Sandwich, which comes with charred cauliflower, cheese béchamel, black truffles, and pickled vegetables on sourdough breadMargherita PizzaForest Mushroom PizzaClassic Pepperoni PizzaCharcuterie Pizza which comes topped with premium pepperoni, prosciutto, salami, Italian sausage, arugula, fire-roasted tomatoes, grana padano, and aged provolone.For the kids, they can enjoy chicken skewers, salmon filet, parmesan-crusted grilled cheese, chicken tenders, hamburgers, and a PBJ sandwich with chocolate-hazelnut spread.©DisneyLet’s discuss dessert, shall we? There will be a Root Beer Float; Waffle-Churro Sundae with vanilla ice cream, chocolate and caramel sauces, chantilly cream, and chocolate pearls; and Salted Chocolate Chip Cookie Fingers served with strawberry marmalade and hazelnut dipping sauces!The GCH Craftsman Bar & Grill will be open to all guests when it officially opens, however the pool area will be available only to resort guests with a designated wrist band. For more information, call 714 781-DINE (714 781-3463).last_img read more

New office to ensure quality health care

first_imgThe National Health Amendment Bill has paved the way for the establishment of a new independent body, the Office of Standards Compliance, to ensure that South Africa’s hospitals and clinics comply with minimum health standards.The office will also advise the Minister of Health on the development of standards, norms and quality management systems for the national health system; inspect and certify health establishments as compliant with prescribed norms and standards; and monitor indicators of risk as an early warning system relating to breaches of standards. (Image: OHSC)Brand South Africa ReporterThe release of the National Health Amendment Bill has paved the way for the establishment of a new independent body, the Office of Standards Compliance, to ensure that South Africa’s hospitals and clinics comply with minimum health standards.All health care centres, including private ones, will have to get accreditation from the office.The establishment of the office follows the government’s commitment to improve the quality of health care in South Africa’s public health facilities and to strengthen the country’s health system through enhanced accountability.Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said in Pretoria this week that the office would ensure that complaints received from health care users or the public were properly and independently investigated.The office will also advise the minister on the development of standards, norms and quality management systems for the national health system; inspect and certify health establishments as compliant with prescribed norms and standards; and monitor indicators of risk as an early warning system relating to breaches of standards.Unannounced inspectionsMotsoaledi said the office, once established, would be divided into three units: an inspectorate, an accreditation unit, and an ombudsman to handle public complaints about poor services.“We will go to the institutions unannounced to monitor if the standards are being carried out, and with the ombudsman, members of the public should be able to share their experiences in the health centres,” Motsoaledi said.The Bill proposes that the office be headed by a qualified executive director and supported by competent personnel, including health inspectors, who may enter any health premises to inspect compliance with the standards.Motsoaledi said the office would also pave way for the implementation of South Africa’s National Health Insurance (NHI), as the provision of quality care would be one of the core requirements of the NHI.Improving quality of health careMotsoaledi has previously expressed his disappointment with the level of health care in many of the country’s public hospitals, and has, through his performance agreement with President Jacob Zuma, committed himself and his department to improving the situation.The department has identified six priorities for fast-tracking improvement, namely safety and security, long waiting times, drug availability, nursing attitude, infection prevention and control, and values of staff.Members of the public are invited to submit their comments on the proposed establishment of the Office of Health Standards Compliance. The draft Bill is available on the health department’s website, www.doh.gov.za.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Sanitary pad project gives poor and rural girls dignity

first_imgMany girls use unhygienic alternatives to sanitary pads, such as newspaper or even sand and leaves, which puts them at a huge risk of infection. And nine million girls aged between 13 and 19 miss a week of school every month, for lack of saitary pads. Project Dignity is an effort to change this (Image: www.subzpads.co.za)Sue Barnes is an extraordinary woman. She has given hope to young girls, she has given them the opportunity to be free, to participate in daily activities, not to feel shamed or embarrassed, and has empowered them – all with a sanitary pad. They have their dignity back, through her initiative, Project Dignity.For many of us, buying sanitary pads is as easy as buying bread and milk. But this is not the case for millions of girls and women in South Africa. They are at a permanent disadvantage as they are forced to stay at home as they are unable to afford this basic necessity. Barnes was named the 2013 Clarins Most Dynamic Woman of the Year earlier this month in Johannesburg. The event, held at Summer Place in Hyde Park, celebrated the ground-breaking intervention that allows girls and young women in townships and rural areas to attend school while they are menstruating.“My youngest daughter, who attends a remedial school due to her dyslexia, came home with appeals from her school for sanitary pads and panties,” says Barnes. “I went to the school to find out what it was all about, and discovered just how many South African girls skip school while menstruating. I immediately thought of my own daughter. If she missed a week per month of school there is no way she would catch up. It’s tragic that anyone in their teen years should be faced with this dilemma.”Girls use unhygienic alternatives to sanitary pads, such as newspaper or even sand and leaves, or sitting on cow patties. Doing this puts them at a huge risk of infection. And, according to Barnes, of nine million girls aged between 13 and 19 years in South Africa, “80% of those were missing a week of school every month… That’s just time you can’t make up and it’s affecting their education.”A pattern maker and designer with a large clothing chain, Barnes has a background in construction, fabrication and quality control. Using these skills, she decided to design something to address the problem, coming up with her sanitary pad packs. At her own cost, Barnes has been producing these packs and delivering them to schoolgirls in KwaZulu-Natal where she lives. “One pack should last a girl her entire high school career,” says Barnes, who believes that finding a solution to this critical issue is her calling.Watch the videoTHE PROCESS OF THE PADBarnes realised that she had unearthed a massive social challenge and that donations of sanitary products would not provide a sustainable solution. It drove her to find a solution. She designed and constructed underwear with a built-in, waterproof yet absorbent gusset that acted as a sanitary towel.“It was fully washable and lasted as long a pair of panties does.” But every time the pad needed to be changed, the underwear would also need to be changed and would need time to dry. Each girl would have to have at least 12 pairs. “I then moved on to a [pair of panties] with a built-in gusset and separate sanitary towel which slipped into the gusset, but I found it very difficult to insert and remove.”After much experimentation and several trial runs, the Subz Panty and Pad evolved. Barnes had created underwear with a clip-on, reusable pad that ensured the girls needed never worry about running out of this essential item.“It is a normal [pair of panties] with press studs and a separate sanitary towel which has clips on it. The [underwear] is mad of 100% cotton knit and the elastic has a standard, non-woven, rubber base so it won’t stretch out of shape. The pad is 100% cotton with an outer hydrophobic layer and inside hydrophilic layer which is absorbent.”Barnes says that the panties are washable and will last three to five years. A pack of three pairs of underwear and nine reusable pads costs R150. The pad is fully washable and has SABS absorbency approval. The Subz Panty and Pad has been endorsed by a gynaecologist and pharmacist.“I know girls are fussy, so I made them out of nice fabric, and they come in all sizes. Initially, I was aiming at helping rural schoolgirls, but all women who menstruate can use them. The added benefit is that they are hugely ecologically friendly.”EDUCATIONWhile handing out Project Dignity’s Subz packs, Barnes also gives the girls a set of education sessions on puberty, menstruation, personal hygiene, sexual health and HIV.Well-known fashion designer Gert-Johan Coetzee has collaborated with her in developing two interactive aprons for the education sessions, one depicting the puberty process and the other the menstrual cycle. The body parts on the aprons are removable, allowing Barnes to demonstrate the body’s functioning in a very practical way.“The eggs are visible in the ovaries and the fallopian tubes clip on and off for ease of demonstration… The uterus is also removable and through the demonstrations the girls can fully understand the menstrual cycle. These are incredibly practical tools to use, and allow us to drive home the vital facts. Ultimately, the process is just as important to the girls as the Subz packs themselves,” she explains.“A lot of the girls are from child-headed homes and do not have anyone at home to talk to about these crucial issues. Our sessions are very interactive, and Gert-Johan Coetzee’s involvement here has been amazing, in every sense of the word. When a girl asked me once: ‘Where does the blood come from?’ I realised that education on these issues was woefully lacking. If language is a barrier, a teacher or principal translates, but mostly, English is understood,” she says.“The girls are so excited to get help with this as they don’t want to miss school,” she says. “For some, it is the first time they have received panties.”With the aid of corporate and personal donors, Barnes has already been able to distribute 30 000 Subz Panty Pads to girls around the country. Project Dignity has spread to other parts of South Africa, and has been taken to Zanzibar by Margaret Hirsch, the owner of the Project Dignity sponsor, Hirsch’s appliance retailers.MOST DYNAMIC PRIZEIn winning the Clarins award, Barnes received a cash prize of R150 000 and will receive a further R50 000 in 2015 to ensure the sustainability and expansion of the project.“What I do is incredibly rewarding,” she concludes, “providing a sustainable solution and seeing these young girls who can flourish and contribute to the fabric of our society.”last_img read more

Cloud Conversations: 4 ways to rate the maturity of your power infrastructure

first_imgHow do you rate the maturity level of your power infrastructure?As data centers grow in size and density, they take an ever-larger bite out of the energy pie. Today, data centers eat up 1.2 percent of the electricity produced in the United States. This suggests that IT organizations need to take a hard look at the things they are doing to operate more efficiently.How do you get started down this path? Consider the following four steps toward a more energy-efficient data center. The degree to which you are doing these things is an indication of your power management maturity.1. Power usage effectiveness (PUE) measurements: Are you using PUE measurements to determine the energy efficiency of your data center? PUE is a measure of how much power is coming into your data center versus the power that is used by your IT equipment. You can watch your PUE ratio to evaluate your progress toward a more energy-efficient data center. To learn more about PUE, see The Green Grid.2. Equipment efficiency: Are you buying the most efficient equipment? Deploying more efficient equipment is one of the most direct paths to power savings. One example: You can realize significant power savings by using solid-state drives instead of power-hungry, spinning hard-disk drives. For general guidance in the U.S., look for Energy Star ratings for servers.3. Instrumentation: Are your systems instrumented to give you the information you need? The foundation of more intelligent power management is advanced instrumentation. This is a pretty simple concept. To understand your power issues and opportunities, you have to have the right information at your fingertips. For a good example, see Intel Data Center Manager.4. Policy-based power management: Have you implemented policy-based power management? This approach uses automated tools and policies that you set to drive power efficiencies across your data center. A few examples: You can shift loads to underutilized servers, throttle servers and racks that are idle, and cap the power that is allocated to certain workloads.If you can answer yes to all of these questions, you’re ahead of the power-management maturity curve. But even then, don’t rest on your laurels. Ask yourself this one additional question: Could we save more by doing all of these things to a greater degree?For a closer look at your power management maturity level, check out our Data Center Power Management Maturity Model. You can find it on the Innovation Value Institute site at http://ivi.nuim.ie/.last_img read more

Threat Management in an Enterprise Mobile Environment – Part 1 of 7

first_imgThe threat landscape continues to grow dramatically, with sophisticated malware that’s frequently targeting enterprise data. Complicating the already dangerous threat landscape, the rise of BYOD programs has introduced additional mobile tools to the enterprise. And since users are now defining the network perimeter, it’s always moving.In this new enterprise environment, you must find a way to protect an unknown number of mobile devices running on multiple platforms and operating systems, while keeping users productive and the business secure.Protecting data and devices in a changing enterprise environment is no small task. It requires a comprehensive security solution that can guard against advanced threats while protecting users across a range of devices. 4th generation Intel Core vPro processors are designed to address the top IT security concerns for the enterprise: threat management, identity and access, data protection, and monitoring and remediation.Threat ManagementFor IT, more devices mean there’s more to protect. And the environment is all the more threatening. Sophisticated malware and viruses continue to accelerate with no sign of slowing down. In fact, recent studies done by McAfee revealed some alarming facts from 2012. • New malware samples grew by 50 percent.• Mobile malware increased by 44 times.• New ransomware samples soared to over 200,000 per quarter.These growth rates say a lot about what’s to come. And while many organizations are using traditional software-only security solutions, it may no longer be enough. Rootkit attacks, one of the most malicious forms of malware, can be difficult to detect with traditional antivirus strategies. These attacks give a hacker root-level access to a computer, which can occur without detection and proceed to infect key system components such as hypervisors. There’s also the risk of escalation-of-privilege attacks, in which a hacker can gain elevated network access to compromise sensitive business data across the organization.Protected Launch EnvironmentProtecting today’s virtual and physical IT environments against these advanced threats requires a different approach. Intel Core vPro technology actively helps to prevent viruses and malware from entering your network by creating a protected environment at start-up. Intel Virtualization Technology (Intel VT) and Intel Trusted Execution Technology (Intel TXT) work below the operating system to validate the behavior of key client system components during boot-up and ongoing operations. Intel VT boosts security for virtual environments and works together with McAfee* Deep Defender* to protect against stealthy attacks like rootkits. And Intel OS Guard4 protects against escalation-of-privilege attacks by working constantly with automated protection that prevents viruses from taking hold deep in your system.This blog is part 1 of 7 in a series focused on mobile security in the enterprise. For a full report, please click here.For the most recent research on the state of business mobility, click here.For more conversations about IT Center and mobile security, click on the hashtags below:#itcenter #infoseclast_img read more

The Savvy Inbound Marketer’s Daily, Weekly & Monthly To-Do Lists

first_img Inbound Marketing Topics: Does your marketing life ever feel like it’s just an endless to-do list, with all items labeled the highest priority and due yesterday? Don’t let your to-do’s bog you down. This post will offer suggested must-do task lists every inbound marketer can use to stay sane and keep campaigns going strong on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. 10 Daily To-Do’s Work these to-do’s into your daily routine to continually stay on top of deliverables, results, and the ever-changing industry. Good morning, dashboards! Log into HubSpot , Google Analytics (or any other marketing or website analytics you’ve set up), and any paid media campaigns to review dashboards for spikes, inbound links, and results compared to goals (you’ve set some goals , right?). Manage your inbox. Be timely in your communications, and answer important emails first. This may also help you with number 3 … Set priorities. (Note: Be realistic and agile .) Scan your to-do list for the 1 or 2 most important tasks. Commit with yourself and your team to what you will complete today.Hold a 5-minute team huddle to review campaign status. What are you aiming to complete in the short term? Who is responsible, and what’s the status?Listen. Check social monitoring tools (e.g. HubSpot, Google Alerts, HootSuite, etc.) for brand mentions. Scan through and read articles from top blogs in your RSS feed. Engage priority social connections via retweets, replies, +1s, etc. Leave comments on top blog posts, respond to brand mentions on social media or in articles, answer relevant questions, and more. Publish original content. Whether it’s a blog post, video, cartoon or new landing page, use a dedicated block of time to produce something of value. Share new content via social networks, and thank those who help spread your content. Log major marketing events in HubSpot or another tool for tracking purposes (speaking engagements, guest posts, influencer blog post tweets, etc.), and check your dashboards again while you’re logged in. Move a project forward —whether that’s reviewing your work or someone else’s, pushing a project to a boss or client, planning next steps, or confirming details, cross something off the list that others are waiting for. Bonus Task: Be considerate. Check Facebook to wish contacts a happy birthday . (Even more bonus points if you do this outside of Facebook.) 10 Weekly Tasks Whether it’s, “Yes — Friday!” or “Ah — Monday!” weekly check-ins keep your inbound marketing campaigns on track and progressing toward larger outcomes.Review last week’s results . Check your dashboards for analytics trends and returns so you can build on that momentum (or make up for a lack of it) this week.From a project standpoint, check out what you completed last week and what you have on tap this week. Update your to-do lists —especially if you share them with a client, manager, or team. Send a weekly update to your team or client, which outlines status on priority projects and progress toward weekly and monthly campaign goals (visits, links, leads, etc.).Draft and submit a guest blog post to expand your network and maintain fresh inbound links . Give your website some TLC . Check out your page analytics (for HubSpot customers, you can use HubSpot Pages ) and fix the top 5 errors, evaluate a call-to-action, or check out A/B testing and improve a page based on those results.  Mix up your content . Publish in a new format—be it a video, podcast, or content visualization —or consider repurposing an old piece in a new way.Send a blogger or media contact an email—not a pitch—that compliments a recent article well done . Send an email to a targeted list. Based on your standing against the month’s goals, is there a contact list you can reach out to with a great content asset or exclusive offer? Tweak a lead nurturing campaign , whether that means including a new offer, evaluating the effectiveness of the workflow, or triggering a brand new one .Hold a weekly meeting with your sales team to evaluate new leads and refine the marketing-to-sales handoff. Bonus Task: Make time for good will. Keep up on correspondences with old classmates, professors, colleagues, or clients. Respond to someone that asked a favor or is looking for a new opportunity. (You know there is an outstanding message in your Facebook or LinkedIn inbox waiting for you). The Monthly 10 Days, weeks and months fly, but it’s at the end and beginning of each month when we can pause for regular reviews of campaign progress and key performance indicators (KPIs).Review monthly reports and analytics dashboards. Report on the month’s activities, campaigns, and results , as well as how they directly tie to goals and KPIs.Map out next month’s strategy . Develop agile content calendars, and plan activities based on the goals you aim to achieve. Review plans with your team. Create a brand new offer. Marketing offers fuel lead generation. Host a live webinar or write a new ebook and build the landing page and calls-to-action needed to generate new leads and reconvert existing ones. Experiment with something. Dedicate some time to innovation, even if it’s just something your marketing team has never done before like creating a music video or A/B testing a web page. Read. If you’re like me, your to-read list is long. Commit to reading one book or piece of long-form content (e.g. an ebook) each month and blogging your review or connecting with the author online. Take time to train . If you haven’t passed Google Analytics’ Conversion University , HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing University or Codecademy’s Code Year , aim to cross one off the list this month. Host or attend a networking event, tweetup, or other in-person conference/event. Do an original analytics project. Do a deep dive into one aspect of your marketing, such as conducting a content analysis or gleaning best practices from your email marketing efforts. Then report on the findings to the rest of your team. Evaluate your online presence. Click through your website like you’re a visitor—what improvements can you make? Look at your social networks as someone else would— would you follow yourself ? Know where your time is going . Look at monthly hours with a detailed eye to ensure that you and your team are focusing on areas that drive results. Bonus Task: Thank/recognize someone. Who’s helped you achieve your goals this month? Be it a colleague, team, boss, or family member, send a note to say thank you. What Would You Add to These Lists? This post is in no way an end-all-be-all list for inbound marketers; it’s a general guide. For example, if you’re responsible for thousands spent on Facebook advertising daily, check that out hourly, or momentarily.What’s worked in helping you stay on-task and results-focused on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis? I’d love to hear your tips and connect within the comments below. This is a guest post by Jessica Donlon ( @jessicadonlon ), client services manager at PR 20/20—the original HubSpot VAR and inbound marketing agency. See the PR 20/20 blog for more content from Jessica and the agency. Image Credit: Courtney Dirks Originally published Jun 26, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 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

Marketing Strategies That Rock the SaaS World

first_imgAccording to Gartner, the market for SaaS (Software as a Service) applications will grow from $20 billion in 2013 to $33 billion in 2016, with a compound annual growth rate of 19.5%. A Compass study shows that SaaS is growing nearly 3X as fast as software as a whole, and that 72% of all SaaS startups are at least partially funded.Good news for SaaS startups and growing SaaS ventures alike, but the space is getting crowded and competition is fierce. What can founders and executives do to improve the odds that their companies will get to the top of the market and stay there?The SaaS ChallengeFor most SaaS CEOs, the problem isn’t opportunity; it’s time. From startup to break-even, your company is under the gun to grow monthly recurring revenues fast enough to offset (and pay back) customer acquisition costs and churn before the funding well runs dry. David Skok calls this deficit the “cash flow gap.”The success or failure of early stage SaaS companies depends on their ability to:Acquire new customers quickly and cost effectivelyRetain customers over the long haulUpsell customers to increase LTV over timeWhat Can You Do to Build Your Customer Base Quickly?Let’s start with your product. Successful SaaS companies like Salesforce or Shopify don’t just invent something unique or cool.They build products that their customers love. They do that by getting to know their customers before trying to sell to them. They also solve BIG problems that their customers have. In the case of Salesforce, they made it much easier to manage Sales by inventing the first cloud-based CRM. Shopify did the same thing with e-commerce, creating an affordable platform for small businesses selling online. Others, like HubSpot, wanted to revolutionize marketing through attraction rather than interruption, so they invented inbound marketing. Now, let’s get to the heart of the SaaS challenge. Assuming you have developed a great product that your customers will love, you have to get to market fast, generate revenues quickly and get to break-even before your seed capital runs out and you go belly up. Successful SaaS companies use a blend of inbound marketing, influencer marketing and “growth hacking”, in which they leverage developer and user communities to test the product, help design it and promote it through their networks. What’s in it for them? In many cases, these brand advocates are rewarded directly with sales commissions or become resellers or channel partners, and they can build their businesses based on those relationships. Shopify, for example, created both a Shopify Expert marketplace for promoting freelancers and a Partner program for agencies.What About CAC and LTV?Next on the challenge list is customer acquisition cost (CAC). If you burn through your seed capital with lots of expensive ads and hire a bunch of sales reps to make cold calls, you will find it hard to survive for long. What do successful SaaS companies do? They leverage inbound marketing to find qualified leads, then hook them up with helpful inside sales reps who act more like consultants. Close rates go up and cost-per-lead goes down. Last but not least, customer lifetime value (LTV). The name of the game in SaaS is monthly recurring revenues over (hopefully) a long period of time. This is how you overcome CAC costs and start driving profitability. There are two aspects to maximizing LTV, minimizing churn and upselling.Successful SaaS companies build educational resources that help users learn best practices, stay current with new features and get the most out of their software investment. HubSpot, for example, created HubSpot Academy with a certification program that helps keep users on top of their game while earning street cred (and resume enhancement) by becoming acknowledged experts. Successful companies also sponsor local user groups to discuss issues and best practices. All of this, plus customer support and services from both internal staff and Partner networks, keeps users happy and retained. As the love spreads within a customer account, more licenses are sold and new features, such as the new CRM, are added to further increase LTV. Everybody wins.The Secret Sauce of Successful SaaS Companies It’s pretty simple really. Successful Saas companies do marketing right. They are crushing it because they believe in what they are doing, they hire great people and they continue to make the investments in customer happiness that drive both revenues and profitability. The challenge for most entrepreneurs and early-stage SaaS companies is understanding how to get started with inbound marketing, content marketing, influencer marketing, social media marketing and levels of customer service required to attract and support users and turn them into brand advocates. How much does it cost and when does each component come into play?We’ve just released our SaaS Marketing for CEOs eBook to help you reach your growth goals by learning from the best of the best and practicing what they preach. We tell the story of Shopify, because they were doing inbound before it was cool. We dive into the details of how Shopify started and continues to dominate their market by forging relationships with small businesses through blogging and channel partnerships. We hope you enjoy the eBook, and we look forward to continuing the conversation with you as you build your SaaS company. 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: Marketing Strategy Originally published Dec 11, 2014 1:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017last_img read more

Increase College Admissions with Inbound Marketing

first_img Originally published Jan 22, 2015 2:30:00 PM, updated August 26 2017 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: Education Marketing Did you know that there are over 9,000 colleges and universities in the United States today? With that kind of competition, it can be difficult to continually increase admissions numbers. Institutes of higher education need to diversify their organizations to attract a higher volume of students. This can be achieved through inbound marketing.Here are four key components of an inbound marketing plan built to increase college admissions.Download our free guide to inbound marketing for schools.1) Create an Inbound Marketing StrategyEvery inbound marketing campaign should begin with a strategy phase. An effective strategy is important because every action you take stems from it.Once you have a strategy in place, you will be able to acquire new leads (potential students) and nurture them so that they establish trust and a relationship with your brand (college or university).2) Identify Your AudienceBefore you try to reach your target audience, it’s important to identify who they are. Do you want to reach juniors and seniors in high school or all high school students? What about parents? The content you create and the campaigns you choose to execute should relate directly to your target audience.3) Build Your Digital PresenceBeing visible online and having an active website should be your number one priority. Not only will this help with brand awareness and provide helpful information to those looking for it, your website serves as your inbound marketing hub – many inbound marketing activities will link to and push traffic to it in order to capture lead information.Feature original, engaging content on your website and in your inbound marketing campaigns in order to bring potential students to your site and give them a reason to keep coming back.4) Consistent Analysis and ReportingThe ROI of your inbound marketing efforts depends on the goals you set during your strategy phase. Track and analyze your data in order to draw conclusions and see results that relate back to your goals.As the number of colleges, universities and students seeking higher education continues to increase, you need to rise above your competition. Reach your potential students with personalized, targeted content that they actually want to see, when they want to see it, ultimately drawing them in to apply to your institution.What’s Next?Are you looking to increase your enrollment in 2015? Download our free white paper, Increase College Admissions with an Effective Inbound Marketing Campaign, to get started creating your inbound marketing plan. last_img read more

57 Basic Marketing Analytics Terms Everyone Should Know

first_img Topics: Originally published Feb 6, 2015 6:00:00 AM, updated December 06 2017 Google Analytics When you create a report or analyze your marketing metrics, does it ever feel like you are reading another language? There are tons of terms to describe what you’re looking at, and often, the terms sound very similar to each another. Never mind when you start using several different analytics platforms, you’ll find different terms for the same metric. In the midst of analyzing your marketing, decoding the terminology you’re coming across should be the last thing you spend energy on. So, we decided to put together a handy glossary of the most common marketing analytics terms you’ll find in your analytics software. Check it out below, and be sure to bookmark this page for the next time you’re diving into your analytics — it could save you a lot of time. Do you know which inbound marketing metrics you should be tracking? Click here for a free guide.AAll InteractionsThis is an Attribution Report model in HubSpot that gives equal weight to every URL or source someone visited before converting.AnnotationsThese are notes on specific parts of a chart in Google Analytics to help you better keep track of certain things that happen in your marketing. Usually, these are left on parts of a graph that are outliers. All people using your Google Analytics account can review annotations at any time. Attribution ModelAn attribution model tells your analytics program how you want to weigh the importance of different touchpoints. For example, if you want every single page to be given equal weight (or credit) for the conversion, you will choose an All Interactions Model for HubSpot and a Linear Model for Google Analytics. If you want only the first page a visitor ever saw before they ultimately converted, you would choose a First Interaction (or First Touch) model. Attribution ReportAttribution reports allow marketers to create advanced reports by URL, source, or referrer to better understand what marketing efforts lead to conversions throughout the funnel. For more details on HubSpot’s Attribution Reports, see this article. For more information on Google Analytics’ Attribution models, see this article.BBounce RateThe percentage of people who land on one of your web pages and then leave without clicking to anywhere else on your website — in other words, single-page visitors. This metric is found in Google Analytics.CChannel GroupingThis Google analytics feature allows you to group marketing activities together. Using the Acquisition Reports, by default, you can view and compare metrics by channel name, traffic source, medium, or campaign name. You also can set up custom channel groups. Learn more about doing that here.Companies PropertiesCompanies Properties in HubSpot contain important information about the contact’s company, such as the company name and the website URL. You’ll find these properties in individual Contact records and in the Companies Report.Contact-to-Customer Conversion RateThe number of customers divided by the number of contacts for the selected time period. This metric can be found in HubSpot.ContactsA contact is someone who has submitted their information in a form on your website. Contacts can be in different Lifecycle Stages such as lead, marketing qualfied lead, customer, and evangelist. The term contacts can be found in HubSpot.Contacts PropertiesContacts Properties in HubSpot contain important information about the individual, such as the contact’s name, email, and address.Content GroupingThe ability to view and compare metrics that have been aggregated into a group. You can analyze the group’s aggregated data, individual URLs, page titles, or screen names in Google Analytics.Conversion RateThe number of people who converted on your website (typically filling out a form or another action you have predefined) divided by the number of people who visited your website.Conversion TypeThis option will let you define what a conversion is in the report you’re running. For example, in HubSpot, you could select “Became a Lead Date” to figure out when your visitor turned into a lead. You could select “Became a Customer Date” to figure out when your lead turned into a customer.CookiesA cookie is a small piece of data that is stored in a user’s browser. Cookies are used to track how many times a website is visited.DDimensionA characteristic of your data that you can use in filters. In Google Analytics some default dimensions include browser, landing page, and campaign.Direct TrafficWhen someone visits your site by directly typing in a URL. For example, if I open Chrome or Safari and type in “http://hubspot.com,” that would count as direct traffic in HubSpot’s analytics.Dollar IndexHow influential a page is to conversion, measured in Google Analytics. The higher the number, the better. EEngagement RateThe engagement rate shows how long a person is on your website. It takes into account time in addition to the number of pages viewed. For example, if only one page is viewed, that visitor receives an engagement rate of 0. This metric can be found in Google Analytics.EntrancesEntrances is the number of times a session in Google Analytics begins. For example, let’s say someone went to your homepage and a landing page before leaving your website. There would be one entrance counted on your homepage, and zero entrances counted on the landing page. That’s because someone came to your website for the first time when they saw your homepage.EventsEvents allow you to measure a website visitor’s activity on your website. In HubSpot, Events can be created without any code using the Events bookmarklet to track a user’s behavior on your website. To read more about HubSpot’s Events, see this blog post.In Google Analytics, Events can be tracked on your website or mobile but requires more setup. To read about how to set up Events using Google Analytics, see this post.FFilterA setting that allows you to alter the data that is displayed in your reports. If you have a report with page URLs and only want to see the URLs from your blog, you should type in blog.YOURCOMPANY.com to view only your blog posts. The process of only showing these posts is called filtering.First InteractionThis is an Attribution report model in Google Analytics that gives 100% credit to the first touchpoint before a conversion.First TouchThis is an Attribution Report model in HubSpot that gives 100% of the credit to the first URL or source visited by a contact on your site.First and Last InteractionThis is an Attribution Report model in HubSpot that gives 50% of the credit for the conversion to the first URL and 50% of the credit for the conversion to the last URL.First and Last TouchThis is an Attribution Report model in HubSpot that gives 50% of the credit for the conversion to the first referring URL or source and 50% of the credit for the conversion to the last referring URL or source.FunnelThe steps someone takes from the first time they are a visitor on your website along the way to becoming a customer.HHitA hit is a name for user interactions. Example of hits include pageviews, transactions, items, events, social interactions, or user timing. This term is used in Google Analytics.IInteraction ScoreThe interaction score is in HubSpot and tells the Attribution Report what data to look at as well as what Attribution model to use in the analysis. For example, the Attribution Report can be pulled by URL, referrer, or source. And then the different model can be chosen.LLast AdWords ClickThis is an Attribution Report model in Google Analytics that gives 100% of the credit for the conversion to the last AdWords click.Last InteractionThis is an Attribution Report model in HubSpot that gives 100% of the credit to the URL someone converted on.Last Non-Direct ClickThis is an Attribution report model in Google Analytics that gives 100% of the credit for the conversion to the last channel a customer clicked through before converting. All direct traffic is ignored in this model.Last TouchThis is an Attribution Report model in HubSpot that gives 100% of the credit for the conversion to the last channel or URL someone went to in the session before they converted.Lifecycle StageA property that shows where contacts are in your marketing funnel. In HubSpot these lifecycle stages include Subscriber, Lead, Marketing Qualified Lead, Sales Qualified Lead, Opportunity, Customer, Evangelist, and Other.LinearThis is an Attribution report model in Google Analytics that gives each touchpoint in the conversion path equal credit for the conversion. In HubSpot, this is called all interactions.List SegmentationThe ability to group contacts based on similarities. For example, you can group people based on similar contact or companies properties, form submissions, email actions, pages views, and more. For more details on how to do this in HubSpot, see this blog post.OOrganic SearchWhen a visitor originates from a search engine. This includes, but is not limited to, Google, Bing, and Yahoo.PPageviewWhen a page is loaded or reloaded in Google Analytics.Paid SearchWhen a visitor originates from a paid search advertisement.Position BasedThis is an Attribution model in Google Analytics that gives 40% of the credit to the first and last interaction and 20% of the credit distributed evenly to the middle interactions.RReferralsWhen a visitor comes to your site from other websites.Revenue ReportA revenue report attributes company revenue to different marketing activities. For example, using HubSpot, you can run a Revenue Report based on how much revenue your email marketing or social media efforts have generated.SSegmentsSee List Segmentation.SessionsSee visits. Sessions is the term Google Analytics uses.ScoreIn HubSpot Attribution Models, each URL or source is given a score based on its value. A high score means that the URL or source drives more conversions whereas a low score means that the URL or source is not driving a lot of conversions. The score is calculated based on the Attribution model you select. For more information on scores, see this article.Simple DecayThis is an Attribution Report model in HubSpot that gives the six most recent interactions credit for the conversion. For example, if you visited seven pages before converting to a lead, it would give credit to the final six pages you visited. Page seven would get 50% more credit than page six. Page six would get 50% more credit than page five. And so on.SourcesThe marketing channels that you use. HubSpot provides a Sources Report that gives details into the visits, contacts, and customers generated as a result of different marketing channels.TTime DecayThis is an Attribution Model in Google Analytics that gives the touchpoints that were closest in time to the conversion to get more credit. In HubSpot, the most similar model is Simple Decay, but this doesn’t take time into consideration.Time on PageThe time someone goes to the next page minus the time a visitor originally came to the page. This metric is calculated in Google Analytics.Time on SiteThe average amount of time a visitor spends on your site within a certain time period. Many marketers use this metric to get an idea of the effectiveness of their website. The longer someone spends on your website, the more effective your website probably is. This metric is calculated in Google Analytics.TouchpointsTouchpoints are the different interactions someone has with your company. Touchpoints include, but are not limited to, the different pages on your website viewed along a visitor’s journey.Tracking URLA regular URL with a token (usually called a UTM parameter) attached to the end of it that helps keep track of where the view originated. For example, the tracking URL http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/30-day-blog-challenge-tip-27-sr?utm_campaign=%23blogfor30&utm_medium=social&utm_source=linkedin means that it is part of the Blog for 30 Campaign, and the view came from Social Media and more specifically LinkedIn.UUnique VisitorsA brand new visitor coming to your website for the first time.VVisit-to-Contact Conversion RateThe number of new contacts divided by the number of visits for the selected time period. This metric can be found in HubSpot.Visit-to-Customer Conversion RateThe number of customers divided by the number of visits for the selected time period. This metric can be found in HubSpot.Visitor FlowA Google Analytics app that allows you to see the path people take when on your website.VisitorsThe people that visit your website or mobile app.VisitsThis is the term that HubSpot uses. In Google Analytics, it is called sessions. Any time a visitor reaches your site from an outside domain. A visit will end in HubSpot when someone leaves your domain by visiting an external site or closing his or her browser. A visit will end in Google Analytics after a user is inactive for 30 minutes or more.What other terms would you add to this glossary? 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