Proposal for industry-wide pensions in Germany ‘likely to succeed’

first_imgUnder the new draft, a minimum guarantee will have to be made – but by the pension fund itself rather than the employers.Buchem told IPE that a pure DC plan including the possibility of total loss “would not have matched the idea of the German second pillar”.He said it was therefore important that a minimum guarantee be re-introduced and “absolutely” welcomed the new proposal.Because of this change, the government’s revised draft is “likely to succeed”, he added.The amendment also means that, for the first time, pension plans themselves will have to become members in the solvency protection fund PSVaG.Its director, Hans Melchior, declined to comment on this proposal.Details are still being negotiated, and Buchem noted that it “remains to be seen whether the PSVaG in its current form is suitable” to take on this unique new “constellation” of pension funds and employers being members of the same protection scheme.Buchem said, depending on how well the new collective pension plans were received, they could accrue large amounts of assets in future, presenting “a whole new challenge” for the PSVaG.And all employers, “including those opting not to join a Tariffonds, would have to pay in the event of an insolvency”, he added.According to Buchem, the contributions to the PSVaG from these new Tariffonds might be based on their asset allocation.Further, given their similarity to existing Pensionsfonds with a minimum guarantee, they might be allowed a similar discount to those vehicles.It also remains to be seen whether these new plans will be set up as completely new entities, which would entail a minimum start-up cost and separate administrative structures.On the other hand, they might be included in existing Pensionskassen or Pensionsfonds, but all these details are yet to be debated, Buchem said.Click here for more details on the new proposal by the German government on industry-wide pension plans The German government could produce a legal framework for industry-wide pension funds as early as this year, Uwe Buchem, Mercer’s market business lead for retirement in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, has said.The new industry-wide arrangements would be similar to the so-called Dutch model insofar as they would be set down in collective bargaining agreements, hence their “working title” in German – Tariffonds.The German pension industry’s response to a first draft of paragraph 17b of the law governing occupational pensions has been lukewarm at best.The government’s revised proposal, however, has addressed many of the industry’s major concerns, such as the introduction of pure defined contribution (DC) schemes, which would have been a first in the country’s second-pillar system.last_img read more

Bowlers finding groove, as Jaguars regain winning ways

first_img…  Defending champions retake number one spot ahead of Round 4By Clifton RossDEFENDING Regional 4-Day champions Guyana Jaguars seemed to have their mojo back following their return to winning ways, also to the top-of-the-table, compliments of their bowlers co-starring in the their 3rd round, huge win.After suffering a horrific loss to Barbados in Round 2, the champions switched to ruthless mode as they laid waste to the-then number one-ranked team on the table, Trinidad Red Force; mauling them by 219 runs at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence to reclaim their spot as table-leaders.It would seem that the impact made in the last round by the bowlers have somewhat raised the bar for the champs, who up until Round 3 were leaning towards being a more batting-heavy side.The Jags, despite not having a centurion in their mix so far, managed to show their mighty batting prowess as a number of their marquee batsmen have come to the party, including Chandrapaul Hemraj, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Chris Barnwell, Anthony Bramble, Vishaul Singh and Leon Johnson who have all registered one half-century or more in their nameto date.Guyana’s reality check came after they lost Round 2 in a basically one-sided affair to Barbados Pride. Their bowlers in the first two rounds were a bit tame but Round 3’s spark lit a fire under the bowlers as they were crucial in Guyana’s thrashing of Red Force.For the most part Guyana have been ticking all the right boxes as their fielding has been good while their batting errors revolved around the lack of conversion after a number of players made significant half-century scores but failed to carry on to three-digits.Additionally, with fast-bowling all-rounders Romario Shepherd and Keemo Paul on international duty, Ronsford Beaton banned from bowling and Raymon Reifer being under watch, following his injury from Round 2; a void was evident in the Jaguars’ bowling department.But Niall Smith’s hostility which saw him run amok on the Trinidadians with 5-12 in one of his better  spells, coupled with senior pacer Keon Joseph’s knack of breaking opening partnerships and spinners Veerasammy Permaul and Devendra Bishoo’s cunning approach, impelled Guyana to regain their winning ways.With Smith, Permaul, Bishoo, Joseph and Reifer who are expected to return for Round 4 all playing at optimum levels, Jaguars could easily use this new foursome to wreak havoc on the other teams for the remainder of the competition.Smith and Permaul were the tormentors-in-chief against Red Force as the spinner passed the 500-wicket mark in first class cricket and they both will have huge roles to play, especially the scorching Smith who continues to mature with each game.And should they regain the services of any or all of Sherfane Rutherford, Paul and Shepherd during the course of the Regional 4-Day tourney, Guyana could maintain their poise and go on to win their 6th title.Meanwhile, Guyana have a current aggregate of 44.6 points with 2 wins and a loss from 3 matches played.They trail the Pride by .2 as the Bajan franchise come in at second place with 44.4 points, making the 4th round an exciting one.Guyana shift back to their home ground at Providence to tackle bottom-placed Jamaica Scorpions from Thursday, February 6.last_img read more

Livestock owners: A new year and new regulations

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The biggest news to hit livestock owners in recent decades started on New Year’s Day. I’m talking about VFD — no, not a venereal disease or a nutritional disorder. Rather, I’m talking about the Veterinary Feed Directive, mandated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which took effect Jan. 1, 2017.The VFD is an advanced step that:Prohibits giving food animals oral antibiotics to promote growth and feed efficiency. The VFD allows antibiotic use for food animals only to promote their health and welfare.Reduces the risk of pathogens developing resistance to antibiotics, by regulating use of medically important antibiotics (those used to treat human disease) and restricting their use in food animals. Significant evidence shows that overuse of antibiotics contributes to the development of drug-resistant genes in common pathogens. Drug resistance in pathogens threatens human and animal health.Puts licensed veterinarians in charge of directing antibiotic use for food animals, to make sure the animals receive only drugs that are necessary for their health. Formerly the vet was often circumvented from developing the diagnosis and recommended therapy.A VFD is a document that a veterinarian presents to an animal owner and his feed distributor, prescribing antibiotics that are to be administered orally to treat sick food animals or prevent illness. Feed mills will prepare feed formulations, per the VFDs prescribed by veterinarians. The feed mills will be required to keep detailed records, as will veterinarians and animal owners.Frankly, I look for this to be an administrative Excedrin headache for feed mills because of the multiple roles they must assume. The feed mills will be required to label, monitor, inventory and keep tabs on raw antibiotic ingredients, antibiotic premixes and completed feed mixes.The VFD will impact everyone in food animal agriculture except, perhaps, dairy herds. Regulations have been in place for many years banning use of oral antibiotics for dairy cows.A key component of the new VFD regs has been in place for many years. That is, that food animal producers — even 4-Hers who show livestock at the county fair — must have an established veterinary-client-patient relationship (VCPR).A VCPR is defined as a relationship established by a food animal owner or farm manager with a veterinarian who has visited the facility, is familiar with the production system or individual animals, keeps records of medications prescribed and, in the case of large production operations, maintains regular communication. A VCPR is kind of old news. And for many years, the FDA has mandated that veterinarians prescribe injectable medication for food-producing animals.However, the VCPR regulation was loosey-goosey as far as how it was followed and enforced. Producers might purchase antibiotics from a local feed store or order from a catalog or traveling “snake oil” salesman without demonstrating they had a VCPR with a licensed veterinarian.Also, drug wholesalers had company veterinarians who would prescribe medications from afar. Those days have been over for several years. However, violations still occurred occasionally even after the FDA plugged gaps in VCPR enforcement.Now, under the VFD, the FDA is mandating that no oral antibiotic medications may be used for growth promotion, under any circumstance. And that all oral antibiotic medications must be prescribed by a veterinarian who has a VCPR with the farm owner/manager. Plus, the medication must be prescribed for a health benefit.In years gone by, food animal producers were permitted to feed livestock low-level antibiotics (referred to as sub-therapeutic levels) to increase growth rates while reducing the incidence of chronic diseases.In 2014, the FDA banned all antibiotic feeding for growth promotion. Immediately, all major pharmaceutical companies began phasing out antibiotics for this purpose. Pharmaceutical companies removed growth promotion claims from their FDA product licenses and product labels.But it took some time for the ban to be fully enforced until the market pipeline and retail shelves could be cleared of these banned products. In general, pharmaceutical companies have been very cooperative with FDA.Oral antibiotics can still be used for livestock, but only to prevent or treat a disease condition and only when the antibiotics have been prescribed with a VFD by a veterinarian who has an established VCPR with a farm’s owner/manager. And please note: medications can no longer be recommended or prescribed by a veterinarian to cover an indeterminate time period. The farm management must confer with the veterinarian of record for each new group of animals that are placed in the facility. This can happen every six or eight weeks, sometimes more often.Farms must maintain medication records for at least two years, in the potential event of an FDA audit. Veterinarians must demonstrate similar accountability with their own record systems.It is anticipated that only 20% of these records will be maintained on paper. The bulk of the information will be stored digitally. The veterinary world has had computer software programs available for several years to manage such records. Now it will be more important than ever for vets to be tech savvy. Old fogeys like me question whether we could survive in this generation.Now here’s a wild card I’d like to throw in: bees — as food-producing animals, like cattle and pigs, but a lot smaller and often airborne — also fall under the FDA’s new VFD regulations. To obtain antibiotics for their colonies, beekeepers will also be required to establish a VCPR with a licensed veterinarian, who will issue VFDs for prescribed treatments.For years, apiaries have been “free-range,” with no regulations regarding antibiotics. You’ve likely read about the colony collapse disorder (CCD) that destroys about 40% of bee hives each year. Fortunately, the causes of CCD are being identified and solutions are being developed.In a vacuum of information and ready solutions for CCD, apiarists used antibiotics, sometimes indiscriminately. The FDA has mandated that these practices be organized under supervision of veterinarians to reduce — like with other food animal species — the risk of antibiotic resistance.I can only imagine the chagrin beekeepers will feel when they learn they must consult a vet if they want to give antibiotics to their bees. I must confess, I don’t know billy bejesus about bees, other than to avoid their pointy end. And I’m not alone. Thankfully, the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association has organized a bee symposium for veterinarians at their annual Midwest Conference in February.Who knows, I could learn how to pregnancy check a queen bee.last_img read more

I want more Indians to challenge China: Saina

first_imgThe lone Indian to challenge the Chinese domination in badminton, Saina Nehwal, is hoping that her London Olympics bronze medal will inspire at least half a dozen more to join her at the top level and be a threat to the traditional powerhouse.”I want more players to come from India because I want to make it like China where you have 5-6 players dominating and I want something like that in India as well. Sometimes we are playing against 11 Chinese, they have to come up with one strategy but I have to come up with so many,” Saina told PTI in an interview.The 22-year-old earned India its first Olympic medal in badminton when she clinched the bronze at the Wembley Arena in London last week.But her shocking quarterfinal defeat in her maiden appearance at the mega-event in Beijing four years ago, still rankles Saina.”I am very happy that I won a medal but I can’t forget that match (Beijing). It is very difficult to forget that because I could have reached the semifinals in my first attempt and I lost it. Losing in Beijing was disheartening, it was an easy match but I made it difficult,” Saina told PTI today.Saina had lost in the quarterfinal of the Beijing Games despite enjoying an 11-3 lead against Indonesian Maria Kristin Yulianti. But she made up for that when she was adjudged winner after a knee injury forced world number two Xin Wang of China to forfeit her bronze medal play-off match.advertisementAsked about the transition she went through in these four years, Saina said, “I don’t take pressure now because I have played so many tournaments. I have also matured as a player, not to give up easily and fight for each point. Before I used to feel pressure but now I am very much Okay with it.””I was not going in a very good phase during the India Open and ABC last year but I won the Thailand Open and Indonesia Open, so if I would not have got over the pressure, I would not have won these title, so I am okay with it now,” Saina added.Saina said ever since she took to the sport, he only aim was to get an Olympic medal.”I wanted to win an Olympic medal at the age of nine. I wanted the feeling of podium, the medal and finally when I got the medal round the neck, I was on the podium and everything was going like I wanted. It was extremely emotional. I started thinking about the last 13 years of my hard work and I started crying,” she said.Asked if she is already thinking about the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, Saina said: “Rio is still not on my mind, four years is too far off. I am just thinking about the coming tournaments in the next few months. I have to make myself more fitter and stronger.”It is obviously a dream to play next Olympics. It is not easy to be at the top. I hope that I would be in good shape in the next few years,” she said.Rather, she is more focussed on her immediate targets.”My immediate targets are China and Japan, but let’s see when and how I start training and if I am able to compete, I will give it a try. Hong Kong and Super Series Final are also there but let’s see,” she said.Such has been Saina’s urge to triumph in the Olympics, that the thought of winning the prestigious All England and World Championship never crossed her mind.”My dream was only to win an Olympic medal. It was never All England or World Championship. If God gives me these two titles, I will be very grateful. But that was never in my mind. I want to do well in each and every tournament,” she said. Saina admitted that she endured self-doubt, which she eventually overcame.”It comes to your mind (fear of losing). Sometimes when you lose a match, you feel my God I have lost the match why should I play. But it is okay, it is part of the sport,” she said.”Sometimes you feel why do you have to train harder and why do you put more effort. It is natural. But I did overcome that and I have such a great system and support around me. I am very lucky to have such a great team around me,” she said.advertisementlast_img read more

Which Startups Do SEO Best? Here Are the Grades.

first_img Originally published Jun 12, 2009 8:57:00 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 Topics: A few weeks ago Red Herring announced its annual Red Herring 100, a list top startups.The list, which HubSpot and seven of its customers were honored to be included on, is a collection of North America’s most promissing up and coming companies. Past winners include Google, Yahoo!, Skype, Netscape, Salesforce.com, and YouTube.Since Red Herring doesn’t rank the 100 companies it picks, we thought we’d offer our own ranking: search optimization effectiveness. We took the list, ran it though our free Website Grader tool, and got scores for each company. The scores are on a 1-100 scale, where 100 is the best.The results are below. What can we learn from this list? One thing is clear: The scores are above average. Only 14% are below 50. That’s indication of SEO’s importance. The companies that are growing are doing it well.  Twitter (www.twitter.com) 99.9YouSendIt (www.yousendit.com) 99.8HubSpot (www.hubspot.com) 99.7Ustream.TV (www.ustream.tv) 99.2Appirio (www.appirio.com) 98.8Rocket Lawyer Incorporated (www.rocketlawyer.com) 98.6Elastic Path Software (www.elasticpath.com) 98.4Zuora (www.zuora.com/index.html) 98.4Rapid7 (www.rapid7.com) 98.1Marketo (www.marketo.com) 97.9Zimbio (www.zimbio.com) 97.8Neohapsis (www.neohapsis.com) 97.7Atiz Innovation (www.atiz.com) 97.5DocuSign (www.docusign.com) 97.4ClickFox (www.clickfox.com) 96.7Attivio (www.attivio.com) 96.5HomeAway (www.homeaway.com) 96.3Jaspersoft (www.jaspersoft.com) 96.3ParaScale (www.parascale.com) 96.3Avidian Technologies (www.avidian.com) 94LucidMedia Networks (www.lucidmedia.com) 94Nirvanix (www.nirvanix.com) 93Mob4hire (www.mob4hire.com) 92Purewire (www.purewire.com) 92Qtask (www.qtask.com) 92Reality Digital (www.realitydigital.com) 92Promisec (www.promisec.com) 91Top Layer Security (www.toplayer.com) 91Cast Iron Systems (www.castiron.com) 90CSA Credit Solutions (www.creditsolutions.com) 90BrightQube (www.brightqube.com) 88DealerSocket (www.dealersocket.com) 88Electric Cloud (www.electric-cloud.com) 88Bluenog (www.bluenog.com) 87Netcordia (www.netcordia.com) 86NetWitness (www.netwitness.com) 86Pivot3 (www.pivot3.com) 86Quantivo (www.quantivo.com) 86Carbonetworks (www.carbonetworks.com)  85Clarabridge (www.clarabridge.com) 84Airclic (www.airclic.com) 83BeyondTrust (www.beyondtrust.com) 83 Complete Genomics (www.completegenomics.com) 83OpTier (www.optier.com) 83Concerro (www.concerro.com) 81Damballa (www.damballa.com) 81Dyadem (www.dyadem.com) 81IPextreme (www.ip-extreme.com) 81KESDEE (www.kesdee.com) 81Trion World Networks (www.trionworld.com) 81Yodlee (www.yodlee.com) 81Quantenna Communications (www.quantenna.com) 80Dataupia (www.dataupia.com) 79NextLabs (www.nextlabs.com) 79YottaMark (www.yottamark.com) 79Arista Networks (www.aristanetworks.com) 77Dilithium Networks (www.dilithiumnetworks.com) 77Reflex Systems (www.reflexsystems.com) 77WhiteHat Security (www.whitehatsec.com/home/index.html) 77Pliant Technology (www.plianttechnology.com) 75Acclarent (www.acclarent.com) 74INVIDI (www.invidi.com) 74IQNavigator (www.iqnavigator.com) 74NeoEdge Networks (www.neoedge.com) 74PharmaSURVEYOR (www.pharmasurveyor.com) 74Theorem (www.theoreminc.net) 74Adaptive Planning (www.adaptiveplanning.com) 72Aster Data Systems (www.asterdata.com) 72Ethertronics (www.ethertronics.com) 71Univa UD (www.univa.com) 71Bubble Motion (www.bubblemotion.com) 69Optoplex (www.optoplex.com) 69OptionEase (www.optionease.com) 68Mixed Signals (www.mixedsignals.com) 67Applied Identity (www.appliedidentity.com) 65Weather Trends International (www.wxtrends.com) 65Bridgelux (www.bridgelux.com) 64INRange Systems (www.inrangesystems.com) 62AppTrigger (apptrigger.com/index.php)  61Mersive Technologies (www.mersive.com)  60Cresta Technology (www.crestatech.com) 59Ontela (www.ontela.com) 59Neophotonics (www.neophotonics.com) 58Amitive (www.amitive.com) 57Birst (www.birst.com) 54Xunlight (www.xunlight.com) 53Kovio (www.kovio.com) 48EoPlex Technologies (www.eoplex.com) 47ESP Technologies (www.fastesp.com) 46Microfabrica (www.microfabrica.com) 46Correlix (www.correlix.com) 45Everspin Technologies (www.everspin.com) 44Vumii (www.vumii.com) 43Mediaspectrum (www.mediaspectrum.net) 42RecondoTechnology (www.recondotech.com) 40Adaptive Engineering (adaptiveengine.com) 32Orasi Medical (www.orasimedical.com) 29BlackBall (www.blackball.com) 25Microvi Biotech (www.microvibiotech.com) 25Eden Park Illumination (www.edenparks.com) 6SEO for Lead Generation Kit Learn more about how you can optimize your site to get found online in search engines to generate more leads for your business. Download our search engine optimization for lead generation kit. SEOlast_img read more

12 Awesome LinkedIn Infographics in 2011

first_img Originally published Sep 1, 2011 11:00:00 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 SlackSlack LinkedIn Marketing Topics: As a marketer executing a social media marketing strategy, LinkedIn should be one of your top priorities. And with the social network attracting over 100 million business professionals to its user base, you can’t be wrong.Last week, we published “The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Mastering LinkedIn,” which serves as a helpful guide to some of the most hidden, under-utilized tricks for taking advantage of all LinkedIn has to offer. But if you still need convincing that LinkedIn is a social network where you should be spending some of your social media marketing time, the awesome statistics and data in the following 2011 infographics could serve as a wake-up call.1. 100 Million Professionals by LinkedIn2. The Value of Being Linkedin by OnlineMBA.com3. The LinkedIn Profile by Lab424. LinkedIn’s Road to IPO by The Credit Score Blog5. How to Be the Man (or Woman) on LinkedIn by SocialMediaSonar.com6. The State of LinkedIn by Vincenzo Cosenza7. LinkedIn Identity by Gigya8. Battle of the Sexes: Who Are the Savviest Networkers? by LinkedIn9. LinkedIn for B2B Marketers by LeadFormix10. A Snapshot of LinkedIn on its 8th Birthday by paidContent.org 11. LinkedIn at a Glance by leftygbalogh.com12. Sequencing the Startup DNA by LinkedInHow do you use LinkedIn for marketing? If you don’t already, has any of the data in these infographics convinced you to start including LinkedIn in your social media marketing strategy?last_img read more

Facebook Now Includes Business Pages in Local Mobile Search Results

first_imgFor local businesses, there’s now all the more reason to create a Facebook Page. Yesterday, Facebook announced updates to the ‘Nearby’ tab within its mobile app, giving local businesses an even better opportunity to get discovered by Facebook mobile users. And considering there are more than 600 million of them, this isn’t really a benefit brick-and-mortar businesses should overlook. In fact, with Facebook’s latest update, it seems like Google might have some new competition when it comes to local search.Let’s take a quick look at what Facebook’s updates actually entail, and how local businesses can win their piece of the Facebook local search pie.What Exactly Did Facebook Do to Its Nearby Tab?Before yesterday’s update, the Nearby tab was dedicated to showing users where their Facebook friends had checked in. With Facebook’s update, now users of the Facebook app (for both iOS and Android) will not only see which friends have checked in at specific places, but they’ll also be able to discover places and businesses that are nearby. These results are ranked primarily by the recommendations of the particular user’s friends, which factor in criteria such as star ratings, check-ins, and Likes. And if there are no recommendations from the user’s network available, result rankings will default to the larger Facebook community’s engagement with that business or place. Finally, users will also have the ability to connect to businesses directly within the Nearby tab on their smartphone by performing actions like Liking, checking in, calling, or getting directions. They’ll also have the opportunity to share their recommendations with either the public (by default) or just to specific Facebook connections, as well as rate places using a five-star rating system (which are always public, but editable over time). That being said, users will only be able to leave ratings if they’ve legitimately checked in.How Should Local Businesses Make the Most of These Updates?Great question! If your business has a brick-and-mortar location, here’s what you should be doing to make sure you show up in the Nearby tab …First and foremost, create a Facebook business page! Follow our simple step-by-step instructions, accompanied by a video tutorial, to get set yours up today.Make sure your page is updated with all your business’ basic information in its ‘About’ section, especially your physical address, store hours, phone number, and other critical company details.Check to ensure your page category is accurate, so people will be able to find you when looking for your specific type of business. To change your page’s category, click ‘Edit Page’ from the top of your page, select ‘Update Info,’ choose the page grouping and the appropriate category for your page, and then click ‘Save Changes.’Encourage engagement! Use your marketing assets to motivate your mobile Facebook users to Like, check into, rate, and recommend your place page in Facebook mobile.For more information about these updates check out Facebook’s FAQ page about Nearby.What do you think of Facebook’s updates? Do you think it will become a local search contender? Image Credit: mootown Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Dec 18, 2012 5:49:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Facebook Business Pages Furthermore, Facebook mobile users will now be able to search for places by category — such as restaurants, coffee, nightlife, outdoors, arts, hotels, and shopping.last_img read more

Does Your Marketing Strategy Align With Your Goals? A Story

first_img Goal Setting This post originally appeared on the Insiders section of Inbound Hub. To read more content like this, subscribe to Insiders.The way you go about setting goals is all wrong.You may not even be aware of it. And the kicker is that it’s not even your fault. You have faulty wiring. (Don’t worry, we all do.)You’re conditioned to attach expectations, as unrealistic as they may be, to any goal you set for your business. Even worse, your knowledge bias renders you clueless to your own faults. You’re taught that setting goals is a venerable investment of time. It’s a sign of ambition and a prelude to success. But what happens when your expectations are what’s keeping you from your business goals?Below is an all-too-common tale of a (fictional) company that waits too long to adjust its marketing strategy to align with its goals.The Story of Prospect PetePete needs more customers. As marketing manager of a B2B software, he’s been under pressure from his CEO to increase sales by the end of the year. After a disappointing first quarter and a slow start to Q2, Pete’s boss is willing to give him a little time to turn it around. “To make up for this slow first half, we’re going to need big numbers in Q4, Pete,” says Craig the CEO. “Our growth has slowed. I need you to triple sales starting in October. Let’s end the year strong and set ourselves up for a big 2015.”At that point, the marketing team was generating about 20 new leads every month. And of those 20, five converted into customers. At this conversion rate, Pete and his team needed to generate around 60 leads a month to triple sales and get 15 new customers every month from October onward. Because their persona engages heavily online, Pete knew they’d finally need to restructure their online presence in order to drive the volume of website visitors necessary to fill the top of the sales funnel with more quality prospects and generate more conversions. Luckily, Pete had been keeping up with several industry-leading marketing blogs and is pretty well-versed in the techniques necessary to drive more business online. He knows from reading these blogs that they’ll need to start publishing more content, and that it takes time (usually around three months) to start gaining traction. Pete tells his boss that he recommends they invest in a marketing software like HubSpot to really transform their overall presence. After briefing him on the software, Pete’s boss says, “Well, since it’s only April, and we’ll only need three months to get up and going, let’s hold off on that expense until July.” Pete reluctantly agrees.Unfortunately for Pete, his interpretation of his findings has him way off base, and as a result, his understanding of the timetable necessary to achieve the company’s goals is all wrong. He’s set himself, and the company, up for failure.Where it All Went WrongPete’s first mistake is a common one for companies who are evaluating a software for the first time.He earmarked three months to start gaining traction from inbound practices, but he neglected to consider their six month sales process. Sure, they may start generating the traffic and leads they need by October, but by the time these prospects turn into actual business it’ll be too late.So in reality, if he needs to triple sales starting in Q4, they needed to be generating a higher volume of traffic and leads right now here in April. They’re already behind. Even worse, they’re putting off the investment of a marketing software until July, meaning they won’t see any increase in revenue until early 2015. This won’t end well for Pete. Committing to inbound marketing requires a significant change to the way you market your business, particularly if you need to see s significant change in your lead flow. Not only do you need to take into account the length of your sales process, but also the time it will take for your team to create the assets needed to drive more awareness to your website.Blog posts. Premium content offers. A new website. Integrating everything with a software like HubSpot. This all takes time to implement, and more importantly, for search engines like Google to index in order to start generating more traffic and leads.What to Do InsteadFinding yourself in a similar — extraordinarily tough — situation? You need to have the tough conversation with your boss about managing the expectations. He needs to know that if your company is serious about implementing a new software like HubSpot and significantly changing the way you market your business, then his goals and time frame for achieving them is unrealistic. There needs to be more urgency at the C-Level in order to set yourself up for success. You need to take action now, as you’re already behind your revenue target. If you have goals to hit by the end of Q4, not only should you be gearing up with marketing software and inbound practices in Q2, but you should be making your decisions in Q1 in order to get started in time to have everything in place for the start of March.You’re probably thinking, “Right. So I tell my boss he’s wrong and next thing you know, I’m packing up my desk in a cardboard box.” Well, you’d be surprised. As I said, this is a common tale, and most times when a marketing manager has this kind of conversation with their CEO, he concedes due to the fact that he doesn’t know enough about online marketing. He knows this. The important thing to remember when evaluating a software or an agency is not when you need leads or revenue, but rather how long your sales cycle is. By using your sales process as a barometer, you’ll ensure a more accurate time frame for achieving your goals. Traffic and leads don’t pay the bills. In order to set yourself and company up for success, it’s critical you have the things in place necessary to achieve your business goals at the right time.This article originally appeared on Impact Branding and Design’s blog. Impact is a HubSpot Partner Agency located in Wallingford, CT. Originally published Sep 28, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

How to Crowdsource Your Blog Content: Tips for Finding and Collaborating with Your Crowd

center_img Finally, keep the content creators in the loop. Send out a friendly Tweet, email, or other type of message to let your crowd know that the blog is published. Encourage those who contributed to the blog post to respond to the eventual blog comments as well. The more engaged your crowd is with the finished product, the more exposure they’ll get—and your chances of repeat business with them increases.And there you have our roadmap for crowdsourcing a blog post, a method which will add greater efficiency, variety, and engagement to your content marketing campaigns. Take this method out for a spin and reap the benefits of involving multiple, highly-interested content creators in your marketing efforts.Interested in learning more from Penguin Strategies? Check out their whitepaper, The Quick and Dirty Guide to Curated Content. Determine the best ways to reach out. You might find that your influencers engage a lot with commenters on their LinkedIn blog posts, or that your customers are highly interactive on social media with brands similar to yours. Depending on your crowd’s preferred means of interaction, send a private social message, shoot off an email, or make a phone call offering the prospective content creator an opportunity to gain more exposure through contributed thoughts or ideas. (With the most popular influencers online, you’ll get the best results by building up a relationship first.) B2B marketing survives and thrives on the steam engine of content. But it can be hard to fuel that engine with constant inspiration day after day, and week after week.Nonetheless, you’ll still need to produce high-quality blog posts and articles on a regular basis to build credibility and visibility, with 91% of B2B marketers using content marketing and 84% using it to spread brand awareness.How do you keep up? One good answer is crowdsourcing.As a B2B marketer, you can leverage your online relationships to have content produced for you, whether it’s user-generated content (UGC) produced by customers, or commentary from industry thought leaders. In one study, 70% of U.S. consumers noted that they trust brand recommendations from friends, above and beyond a company’s own content marketing, which means, at least some of your content should come from people similar to your readers.By crowdsourcing, you’ll get content that’s relevant, targeted, and full of new insights. What’s more, you’ll gain fodder for your own creativity, as well as more free time to put inspiration to work in your marketing endeavors. Here, we’ll share some best practices for crowdsourcing your next blog post.Step 1: Determine Who Your “Crowd” Is, and Why You’re CrowdsourcingThe very first step in crowdsourcing is determining the makeup of the crowd itself. It might consist of your customers, employees, thought leaders, industry professionals you’re connected with on social media, or any number of other groups. The purpose of the eventual blog post will help guide the composition of the crowd.Is the goal to increase customer engagement? If so, you might look through your CRM to get a sense of customers’ expressed opinions, and ask the enthusiastic ones to expound on the benefits of your products and services.Are you looking to increase your company’s thought leadership gravitas? In that case, you might reach out to a few top bloggers and/or academics in your field to offer their informed opinions on a meaty topic.Step 2: Develop a Plan for Reaching Out to Your CrowdOnce you’ve defined your crowd and the goals you want to achieve through your content marketing, it’s time to make contact.Here’s three of the main things you need to do when creating an outreach plan: Think about the length of the eventual post, and number of content pieces you’ll need. Perhaps you’ll need one long customer testimonial about a certain aspect of your product, or maybe you can gather 3 quick quips from industry insiders to construct an informative and impactful blog post. Or, if you gather a series of 5 or 10 tips from respected bloggers, you can put together an article that will help you connect with big audiences online. Promote your crowdsourced content everywhere. Whether it’s on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, or Twitter, post on your social profiles with links to your crowdsourced blog post. If you have your customers on an email newsletter list—and you should be—invite them via the next issue to check out the post, especially if it’s relevant to their needs and interests.last_img read more

What Can Your Business Learn From Restaurant Marketing? [Infographic]

first_imgIn February 2016, the U.S. magazine Bon Appétit released its inaugural culture-themed issue, in which it explored — among other topics — just how we became so obsessed with food.Some believe it began with food permeating popular culture — for example, with televised cooking and restaurant exploration shows. Whatever it is, this obsession has left marketers from several other industries wondering, “Can I do that?”Actually, you can. There’s a lot of advice out there about restaurant marketing — how chefs and owners of these establishments can not only brand themselves to reach celebrity status, but also how they can, you know, grow these businesses in the first place. The following infographic from our friends at Oddle is just one example. Download our step-by-step guide to creating your digital strategy here.But as it turns out, many principles of restaurant marketing can be applied to other industries — including those within the B2B sector. After all, we want to accomplish the same things, like establishing a strong digital presence, creating a great experience (online and off) for customers, and gaining word-of-mouth traction. So which restaurant marketing best practices can be applied to your business? Read on to find out.74Save74Save Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! Marketing Advice Originally published Mar 24, 2017 6:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017last_img read more