Sunday, 25 June 2017

Check Out These Upcoming Online Events for Your Small Business

This week’s calendar of events is absolute proof you don’t have to spend a lot of money or travel to far off destinations to get all the helpful small business advice you need.

There are plenty of upcoming business events that take place completely online, including a Twitter chat aimed at getting you inspired, a webinar to improve the speed of your team, an online conference aimed at sales professionals and even a digital marketing conference.

You can learn about all of these online events and more in the Featured Events section. And check out even more event opportunities for your small business in the list below.

To see a full list or to submit your own event, contest or award listing, visit the Small Business Events Calendar.

Featured Events, Contests and Awards

Twitter Chat: Twitter Chat: “Get Inspired in Your Business”

June 28, 2017, Online, Twitter

Are you ready for the Microsoft Inspire event? The company’s annual partner conference is only a couple weeks away! Join Anita Campbell, CEO of Small Business Trends, and Small Business expert Gene Marks on June 28, 2017 at 3pm ET (12pm PT) under the hashtag #MSBizTips for a preview of what’s coming down the pipeline for small businesses from Microsoft, and discover what you can expect to learn from the conference.

WEBINAR: Give Your Team What it Needs for SpeedWEBINAR: Give Your Team What it Needs for Speed

June 29, 2017, Online

The right technology tools and resources can help your team respond to—and stay ahead of—your competition and the market. Whether you have two employees or 100, you can always ramp up team speed. From improving processes and decision-making to boosting collaboration and providing your team with the technology and tools it needs, this webinar will explore the ways in which team speed can be leveraged as a critical competitive edge. Our panel of entrepreneurs and experts will engage in a lively, informed and interactive discussion about how you make your team more nimble and agile—and boost productivity and profits as a result. Our Panelists include Anita Campbell, CEO of Small Business Trends, Gene Marks, owner and operator of the Marks Group, and Ramon Ray, Small Business Evangelist at Infusionsoft, publisher of Smart Hustle magazine, and Technology Evangelist at SmallBizTechnology.

Rule Breaker Awards 2017Rule Breaker Awards 2017

June 30, 2017, Online

Entrepreneurs don’t play by the rules. Why should you be judged by them? The Rule Breaker Awards will honor and celebrate those entrepreneurs who have succeeded by doing it their way. Some have created whole new industries; others have revolutionized industries that have existed for hundreds of years. Nominations end June 30, 2017. Nominate an entrepreneur today!

Rule Breaker Awards Ceremony Rule Breaker Awards Ceremony

October 24, 2017, Scottsdale, Ariz.

On October 24, 2017 at the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, the Rule Breaker Awards will honor and celebrate those entrepreneurs who have succeeded by doing it their way in a ceremony featuring the Rule Breaker of the Year and Rule Breaker Award winners.

Sales World 2017Sales World 2017

November 08, 2017, Online

Sales World 2017 takes place November 8th to 9th, 2017, Online; Live and On Demand. It is the largest Sales Industry Event in the World and will be attended by over 10,000 Sales Professionals. It’s the one sales event you can’t afford to miss!

DIGIMARCON WORLD 2017 - Digital Marketing ConferenceDIGIMARCON WORLD 2017 – Digital Marketing Conference

November 14, 2017, Online

DIGIMARCON WORLD 2017 Digital Marketing Conference takes place November 14th to 16th, 2017. Whether your goal is to reinforce customer loyalty, improve lead generation, increase sales, or drive stronger consumer engagement, DIGIMARCON WORLD 2017’s agenda will help attendees enhance their marketing efforts. Sessions will focus on building traffic, expanding brand awareness, improving customer service and gaining insight into today’s latest digital tools.

More Events

More Contests

This weekly listing of small business events, contests and awards is provided as a community service by Small Business Trends and SmallBizTechnology.

Online business events photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Check Out These Upcoming Online Events for Your Small Business" was first published on Small Business Trends

Source: small business

Review: Superman #25

Manchester Black has Jonathan Kent in thrall. When the villain sends Superboy and the Super Elite against Superman — who is backed up by Batman, Robin, Frankenstein, and the Bride — will the father or the son prevail?

Superman #25 Synopsis:

Black turns Superboy loose against his father, giving Jon the uninhibited use of his full powers. Frankenstein and the Bride take the fight to Manchester and the Elite while Batman and Robin aid Superman in containing the unleashed youth. The Man of Steel leads the boy away from the melee in a flight to the top of the burning doom tree, but, when a part of the flaming oak plummets down toward innocent citizens below, Jonathan insists on saving the people to show his own strength.

The unstable quantum reactor of the concealed ship, on the verge of collapsing entirely, begins “throwing out arcs of space-time”, one of which allows Superboy to peer into the alternate worlds of the multiverse. Jonathan then ruthlessly turns on Black, but his brutal assault is interrupted when Lois Lane appears and shows her son she is all right: Manchester Black created the illusion that she had been injured. Kathy Branden grabs Jon’s hand and, taking advantage of the lad’s link with Manchester, renders the villain inert with telepathic feedback. Superman allows the apologetic Super Elite to rebuild Hamilton County and guard the rift, the Kents make plans to move to Metropolis, and Manchester Black’s consciousness appears to emerge in the body of the Cobbs’ dairy cow.

Superman #25 Analysis:

Fade to Black has an ample amount of cool moments. The thematic chromatic aesthetic is underscored not just by the presence of Goth Superboy but also by the existence of black, rather than white, backgrounds behind the panel borders. The page-turn reveal of the physically whole Lois — whose dismemberment, as predicted, was only an illusion — was preceded by her maternal exclamation of her son’s full name. As the story nears nears its close, Clark Kent wistfully reflects that Hamilton will always be for Jonathan what Smallville was for him. These are just some of a number of nice touches for which Superman #25 deserves praise.

Unfortunately, the last chapter of Black Dawn also has more than its fair share of severe problems. Even with extra pages, the story has too many characters to make good use of them all. Furthermore, the fact that the fridging was fictitious was hardly redemptive, particularly when Frankenstein suffered a succession of dismemberments. Mahkne’s energetic action sequences and Gleason’s softer personal moments each are effective on their own, but the stylistic shift in the midst of the clash with Manchester Black disrupted the visual flow of the tale. The biggest problem with Superman #25, though, is the simple truth that Fade to Black is a narrative mess.

Cobb and Kathy Branden, after having been quite sinister in their menacing manipulation of the Kent family, shift allegiances with stunning suddenness, resulting in a degree of forgiveness that is not so much kindhearted as dangerously naive. Superman likewise is befuddlingly gullible in trusting the Elite, whose change of heart conveniently coincided with the absolute defeat of their leader moments before, but who evidently may be relied upon to safeguard a dimensional rift otherwise left unattended. Jon’s loyalties and values seem equally transient, both before and after the random intrusion of the deus ex machina of the quantum reactor exposed him to the multiverse almost as an afterthought, and the coda of Superman #25 is yet another county fair, which apparently happen every other week in Hamilton County.

So much of Black Dawn — Chapter 6 fails to follow logically from page to page that some of the comic’s best moments get buried under burning doom tree branches, flying Frankenstein limbs, and dimensional rift rivulets. The concluding sequence strongly suggesting that Manchester Black’s consciousness has been transferred into the Cobbs’ cow recalls Hellcow — hardly the first Howard the Duck allusion to appear in the storyline. Also, the energy that flows from the quantum reactor into Superboy and is then unleashed against the villain all has a distinctive light blue tint; what forthcoming clash do you suppose that foreshadows?

Superman #25 ended well, but that doesn’t mean that all’s well with this troubled, convoluted conclusion to the Black Dawn arc. We invite you to offer your thoughts in the comments and ComiConverse with us about Fade to Black.

Source: B2C

FAQ-page Design: Be Savvy About Self-service

Wonderful conversation makes the world go ‘round, and we’ve heard your support agents are pretty wonderful to talk to. But self-service is gaining steam—in fact, one Zendesk survey found that 67 percent of respondents actually prefer it, and 91 percent would use a knowledge center if it met their needs. At the heart of a sterling self-service offering? A killer FAQ page.

Customers who’d rather help themselves will greet a well-designed FAQ page as a useful tool—and a welcome relief. With fewer tickets for agents to address, it’s aso a boon for efficiency and costs. Plus, your freed-up agents can devote more time to strategy and longer-term projects. Best of all? Good FAQ page design is part of your toolbox for cultivating meaningful connections with your customers. Consider these points as you consider FAQ page design.

Identify the Goals

Before you and your team go anywhere near the drawing board on an FAQ page, answer this crucial question: Why does your organization need one in the first place? If your website is confusing your customers and they simply can’t find critical information, then an FAQ page is just a Band-Aid, says Christopher Calabrese, senior UX designer at Cooper in New York City. In that case, examine the greater design issues first.

Companies that routinely address a flood of incoming questions, however, are prime candidates. If that’s you, identify your goals and prioritize: Would you like to reduce the number of support tickets that your staff addresses? What about fostering terrific relationships and interactions between customers and employees? Get consensus early on so that key stakeholders can execute.

Don’t Forget the ‘Who’ in FAQ

Creating a positive user experience is paramount. In the case of an FAQ page, don’t lose sight of the mission: A customer has a question, needs an answer. Simple and straightforward is the winning recipe.

How many questions do your customers frequently ask? Considering that is pivotal for two reasons. First, the questions on your FAQ page should be ones that actually come from your actual customers, not questions that the company has come up with. Ask for feedback from the rest of the company. Second, if you’ve got four or five FAQs, and that’s it, feel free to lay them all out, with answer expanded below question—then your customer doesn’t have to click around. “But if you have 50 and they’re in no particular order or alphabetized and they’re all expanded,” says Calabrese with a cringe in his voice, you’re forcing the customers you so dearly love to embark upon an endless scrolling expedition. Design for easy navigation—and consider a search tool.

Go lavish with media—video tutorials, gorgeous photographs. Whenever possible, avoid popups and the like. Anything that keeps a user from accomplishing the goal that they want to accomplish leads to an irritating experience, says Calabrese. “Being bombarded with these things is going to frustrate a user and eventually lead them to figure out a different way to reach their goal.”

Mobile, Mobile, Mobile

It’s mandatory: Your customers use mobile, and they expect consistent service from you, whether they’re on their home computer or their smartphone. With responsive mobile design, you make changes to the main site and it immediately reflects on mobile. It’s then easier to create and manage the mobile aspect of your digital offerings.

Having a good mobile strategy is important, says Calabrese, but don’t think of it as more important than or even separate from your main site: “Mobile design is just part of your website.”

How Are You Doing?

Great! You’ve designed the best FAQ page on planet Earth, and now you can move on to the next business goal. Kind of. You need to determine whether your FAQ page gets a gold medal or complimentary key fob for participation. On-site survey tools abound; use them to get feedback from your customers. Also monitor site data and solicit feedback from your staff—what are they hearing from customers?

All fired up about FAQ? Here are some examples of help centers and FAQ pages with the Zendesk seal of approval.

Source: B2C

The 6 Marketing Channels You Should Be Personalizing

cross-channel personalization

It isn’t enough to master your marketing communications through one channel if your current or prospective customers engage with you in many different channels. And for most companies, it is pretty safe to assume that they are. The typical digital consumer now owns 3.64 connected devices. Forrester predicts that by 2021, 40% of in-store sales will be influenced by the internet. And even in financial services, 47% of bank customers engaged in at least one cross-channel interaction in the past 90 days.

At Evergage, when we talk about cross-channel marketing, we don’t mean mass communication across channels. We mean personalized communication. Why? Consumers expect personalized experiences. Forrester found that 77% of consumers have chosen, recommended, or paid more for a brand that provides a personalized service or experience. And Infosys uncovered that 74% of customers feel frustrated when website content is not personalized.

And when we talk about cross-channel personalization, we mean the ability to provide a consistent and relevant experience across website, web app, mobile app, search, email and human channels. In this blog post, let’s briefly explore each of these areas.

1. Website

Many digital marketers view their website as their most important channel. Whether your goal is to drive online sales, generate leads or maximize page views, there is typically some action you want a visitor to take while on your site. As a result, many of your online marketing activities are focused on driving traffic there. Given its importance, it’s critical to show each person exactly what they are looking for on your site to drive those conversions or page views. Personalization – whether using rule-based targeting to segments or machine-learning algorithms at the one-to-one level – allows you to do that.

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows personalizes its main homepage experience to several of its main customer segments, such as visitors from target cities, families and season pass holders. By showing each group of visitors something relevant to them, these experiences have improved conversions and revenue per user.

web attribute segment

This example just scratches the surface of website personalization. For some other easy to deploy ideas, check out this blog post.

2. Web App

For subscription-based businesses like SaaS, financial services, publishers and many retailers, the logged-in environment (also called web applications) is often the primary interface for engaging with customers. There is a huge opportunity to personalize the logged-in environment to identify when users need help and direct them to most relevant resources, drive users to leverage features that can help them get the most value out of the product, identify churn risks and upsell opportunities, and more.

Endurance International Group (EIG) leverages in-app personalization to communicate and engage with its customers “in the moment” at different stages of their lifecycles. For instance, while providing web hosting services to customers, EIG saw an upsell opportunity to offer a premium website creation tool to specific audiences. Leveraging in-app personalization to target users with an upsell CTA at the right time, the company saw conversion rates 4-5 times better than their traditional promotional email campaigns.

3. Mobile App

Mobile apps have become a vital means of engaging and interacting with increasingly mobile audiences. In fact, more than a third of consumers say they expect their mobile apps and websites to be more personalized over the next three years. Yet our recent study with Researchscape International found that mobile apps are the least personalized channel — only 18% of marketers using personalization are using it for their mobile apps.

Personalization on mobile devices is much like website and web app personalization — helping users find the most relevant content. You can similarly target different segments and individuals with rules and machine-learning algorithms.

For example, a travel app can share a specific deal only with users who have booked a flight within the past month. Or an e-commerce app can deliver personalized recommendations that boost brand and price affinities to help shoppers find products they will be interested in, quickly and easily. An effective personalization solution can even allow you to build, test and implement various messaging campaigns in your app, without involving developers or waiting for an app store release. Learn more about how that works in this blog post.

4. Email

Email undoubtedly remains a critical communication channel – one used by nearly all businesses today. Many marketers already leverage personalization in their emails to some degree. In fact, we found in a recent study with Researchscape International that email is the most personalized channel. Typically, marketers leverage their email solution’s broad segmentation capabilities to personalize email campaigns. Yet, half of the respondents to a Retail Touchpoints survey say that they have received emails from retailers with irrelevant information.

In order to ensure the content of your emails is relevant to an individual, you need to consider all you know about that person across channels, particularly in terms of individual behavior, history and preferences. But what is relevant to a person at one moment may be out of date to that same person later. The key is to be relevant at open time, rather than at send time.

For example, let’s say that an e-retailer sends an email containing three product recommendations to a regular customer. Between when the email is sent and when he opens the email, he purchased Product 1 via the mobile app, Product 2 went out of stock, and Product 3 dropped in price. If the retailer personalizes the email at open time, when he opens the email, Products 1 and 2 would be substituted with different (but still relevant) product recommendations, and Product 3’s price would be reflected accurately.

5. Search

The search function on any website is incredibly important, as it is a key channel for helping customers find and discover products and content. The visitors that use the search function state exactly what they are looking for, and in many cases are more ready to convert than other visitors that don’t use search. Yet search is a traditionally underused channel, and search results are notoriously ineffective across industries.

To make the most use of your on-site search, you should show visitors the most relevant products or content with as little effort (and as few clicks) as possible. That means that the search results you show should be selected and sorted in a way that is unique for each person, based on the visitor’s intent and affinities.

For example, Zumiez leverages in-depth behavioral data to assess the interests and preferences of each visitor to its site, so that it can help them find the most relevant products in the search bar. In the image below, note that the recommended shoes are in the shopper’s preferred gender (women’s) and brand (Vans) based on her previous behavior on the site.

deep behavior segment

Essentially, search results that consider each person’s preferences and intent will provide products and content that are maximally relevant to the individual, not to the search term.

6. Human

The human channel is in some ways the most obvious form of personalization, because it’s very easy to provide a personalized experience to a customer when in a one-on-one conversation with him. But at the same time it can be the least obvious form of personalization, as many marketers do not realize that they can use the same principles and the same valuable information that they collect in all of the previously mentioned channels to pass on to call center, customer success and sales personnel to enable more relevant customer engagement.

For example, a B2B salesperson prospecting into an account can provide a personalized experience too. When preparing for a sales call, she can look into the activity of all visitors associated with the account – including an account’s activity history, preferred solutions, categories and content — to steer the conversation in a relevant direction even before asking any discovery questions.

Final Thoughts

In today’s multichannel world, cross-channel personalization is increasingly worth the effort to get right. Of course, achieving successful cross-channel personalization requires the right data and the right technology. For more information about the components you need for cross-channel personalization, check out this blog post.

Hopefully this article has illuminated some channels you may not yet have considered within your personalization strategy. To talk to someone about how Evergage can help you establish and execute your own cross-channel personalization strategy, request a 15-minute consultation today.

Source: B2C

Saturday, 24 June 2017

The Account-Based Marketing Disconnect B2B Marketers Are Ignoring

You’ve been given the assignment of incorporating Account-Based Marketing (ABM) into your demand generation strategy this year. Where do you begin? Unfortunately, the approach most B2B marketers choose by default is wildly disconnected from marketplace realities. Marketers are under the impression that in order to run scalable ABM campaigns, display advertising and retargeting is the only approach to take—and that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Display Advertising and ABM Disconnect


Let’s think about this for a moment, the one channel known for ‘banner burn out’ and poor engagement rates is considered to be the leading tactic for executing ABM. Why? ABM is a sophisticated marketing strategy that relies on volume and scale. How the hectic are you going to achieve success with banner ads in today’s climate? It’s amazing that marketers are acting like lemmings on this one. Why have more marketers not challenged this obvious disconnect and looked for better methods of ABM execution?

Going a step further, there is little to no qualification of appropriate sites to deliver ABM campaigns for B2B marketers. Sure, you can filter out mobile apps and such, but business related website filters are not available. Since ABM heavily relies on retargeting methodologies, let’s look at that scenario:

Your campaign is following around professionals identified as working at one of your target accounts. The campaign follows them onto sites such as ESPN, The Weather Channel, and This Old House with banner ads promoting your latest analyst report on IT Security Software. What’s wrong with this picture? There are zero signs of intent in this scenario…you are stalking a user while they check sports highlights from last night. You’re a savvy professional; ask yourself, how often do you click on those banner ads? NEVER.


The even funnier thing here is, where’s the B2B-level filter marketers are always so obsessed with? When B2B marketers run campaigns, one of the first questions they ask are ‘where will my content be shown…give me examples of the sites…are they B2B specific…are they IT specific…what’s their audience demo?’ It’s 10x the third degree. But when it comes to ABM display and retargeting it’s a free for all. Marketers trust in the tactic against all reason and data, and run the campaign anyways. I’m here to tell you, you can do better.

Content Powered Account-Based Marketing

Let’s daydream for a moment and imagine a world of perfect ABM scenarios. It probably includes one-to-one in-person meetings with the buying committees at your target accounts…yeah, I can’t give you that, talk to Sales ;) But what about this, what if you could guarantee that your content would be exposed to professionals working at your target accounts while they actively research business-related topics? No banner ads, no bogus irrelevant website placements – we’re talking real B2B style intent and native content. In the exact moment your target prospect is downloading a white paper on IT Security, wouldn’t you like to be there to metaphorically say, “Hey, while you’re at it, I think you’d also find my report really interesting, here’s a copy?” WHAT MARKETER WOULDN’T WANT THAT?


…And this my friends is content powered Account-Based Marketing (ABM). Luckily, this is not a dream, it does exist. Using content syndication with B2B-specific networks your campaign immediately narrows in on intent-based prospects doing research. Next, layering in account-level targeting and account-level lead filters, you’ve created the perfect ABM campaign.

Be Logical with Your ABM Strategy

Promoting your B2B content in a B2B content environment where professionals are showing real intent is meaningful—it just makes sense. I’m not saying stop using display advertising and retargeting to execute ABM campaigns, but why not test a content-based solution that offers more contextual alignment to your goals? Diversify, if you will. And remember, above all else make sure you are working with a solution that can offer you the reach and scale necessarily to deliver meaningful results.

Source: B2C

5 Indicators You Need a Website Redesign & 5 Indicators You Might Not

FirmBee / Pixabay

Thinking of a redesign for your website? The fact that you’re even considering it indicates that something is not going as well as you would like. Your reasons may be rather obvious or they may be more subtle. These first five indicators act as tell-tale signs that your site needs a refresh:

Poor Branding, Logo, and Style

Style is something noticed immediately when someone opens your website. Before reading anything, the user gets a visceral sense of who you are and what you’re about. Your color scheme should be modern, typically with one or two colors that dominate. Fonts should be stylish but not difficult to read. And your branding message should be clear and obvious from the get-go. Don’t try to be fancy or complex with the value you bring.

Boring Layout

Websites used to be laid out like books and newspapers, in block form with boxes and tables – think brochureware. Today, websites are more pleasant to the eye when they are free-flowing with featured areas that stand out, along with large buttons for easy navigation. Remember that a majority of visitors to your website may be using a smartphone or tablet to access it. Your layout should be responsive and easy to view on a variety of devices.

Lack of White Space

Older websites have a tendency to feel cluttered and full. Cramming too much information onto the page has a negative effect and may lead the reader to give up. Feature your most important information at the top of your home page, with the goal of drawing readers in and leading them to scroll down or clicking into another page when they want to read more. There is a classic tendency to want to include everything on your home page. Resist that. It’s like a clothing store putting men, women’s and children’s clothing right at the front door – potential customers would walk in, get overwhelmed and then walk right out.

Difficult to Use

Websites that are not easy to navigate require a great deal of patience. And today’s web visitors are notoriously impatient. In fact, if your website even takes more than two seconds to load, you begin losing users. And if your visitors have to fumble around your site looking for the information they need? They’re likely to give up. Be strategic and thoughtful about any videos, animations or rotating banners you may want on your home page. Your visitors may be gone by the time they load.

Archaic Code or Browser Incompatibility

Websites built more than just a few years ago may have difficulty functioning in today’s internet world. Websites can begin to look slightly “off” with incomplete borders, text that overlaps photos, or other items that simply are out of sync. This may be due to incomplete code or lack of browser testing.

Your website should work well on all browsers, including Safari, Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer. In addition, it should be equally functional on both PCs and Macs. As mentioned earlier but bears repeating, in this day and age you should also be aiming to make your site mobile-friendly. Be sure the web developer you are working with has the capability to test these aspects.

Indicators Now is Not the Time for a Website Redesign

Honestly, not every company is in the best position for a redesign at any given moment. It may have to do with timing, lack of budget, your company’s goals, or other factors. Here are some reasons that postponing your website redesign might be in your company’s best interest.

Fuzzy Vision

If you aren’t sure where you are headed as a company, waiting might be your best bet. Once your company has declared its vision and goals, then you’ll be more prepared to establish yourself with a clearer online presence. Don’t think your website redesign will bring clarity to poorly defined business goals or strategy.

Lack of Resources

Re-designing a website does not have eat up all your company’s resources. But it will take some. Not only financial resources but also time and energy investments. The timing of a website redesign should fit well into the overall plan of your company’s stage of life. Any of these factors may indicate that you should wait:

  • Restructuring staff

  • Prep for a major industry conference

  • Office remodel or move

  • CRM, ERP or other enterprise system implementation

  • Re-launching your brand

You will need an employee with decision-making authority and possibly a marketing manager or specialist who can load content, build workflows and monitor the new website.

Unclear Target Audience

If you don’t yet know who you are trying to reach, it’s important to figure that out first. Focus on narrowing down your target audience, branding your company, and then redevelop your website when you have these other items in place.

Your Site Looks Good But Isn’t Converting

Simply because you don’t have visitors converting to leads on your site does not mean you need to rebuild what you have. It is possible that your site actually looks and functions fairly well and simply just needs to be restructured with better content. If you’re attracting visitors but not generating more leads that may point to a problem with the content on your website – either the website pages themselves or downloadable content.

You Need Something Else Entirely

If you’ve been through a recent redesign but things still aren’t “clicking,” it is possible that your business just needs something else. You may simply need a CMS (content management system), better content, or a research project to determine who you are reaching. Before assuming that a website redesign is what you need, do a bit of research to make sure the other aspects of your business are in place first. Review the leads you are generating outside of your website and the percentage that convert. See if you can mimic your most successful sales processes on your website to create a digital salesperson for your company.

Source: B2C

4 Innovative Strategies For High Volume Hiring

McDonald’s made headlines recently in their high volume hiring of 250,000 employees for the summer. Job seekers can apply on McDonald’s Snapchat career page via 10-second Snaplications.

McDonalds high volume hiring using Snapchat

This is just one example of how companies are responding to the growing challenge of attracting, hiring and retaining talent for high-demand, high-turnover roles in today’s tighter labour market.

If large, established companies like McDonald’s are innovating their application process and candidate experience, it’s clear we all need to step up.

Here are 4 innovative strategies to optimize your high volume hiring. First, a brief introduction.

High volume hiring

High volume hiring is the practice of hiring for a large number of open positions in a given time frame. This can range from hundreds to thousands of positions a year.

Common in industries such as retail and hospitality, the need for a large volume of new employees can be due to seasonal hiring, new store openings, or rapid growth in the organization.

Jobvite reports that while the average job posting attracts less than 50 applicants, the average high volume hiring attracts more than 250 applicants.

high volume hiring attracts more than 250 applicants

This means the main challenge for high volume hiring is the time spent screening and shortlisting candidates. Keeping your high volume hiring process short and sweet – for both candidates and recruiters – is the name of the game.

Strategy #1: Create a “candidate-first” job application process

Indeed found 42% of job seekers found lengthy applications the most frustrating part of the application process.

So while McDonald’s Snaplications may seem silly at first glance, they’re being very smart by creating a super speedy (and mobile) application process.

Best practices for “candidate-first” job application for high volume hiring include:

  1. Be where your candidates already are: Whether that’s Snapchat, Reddit, or LinkedIn.

  2. Make sure your application is mobile-optimized: According to Indeed, 65% of job seekers use their mobile devices to look for jobs. The ability to apply on mobile is especially important for hourly workers who might not have access to a desktop computer. Being mobile-optimized includes a job application site that’s both mobile-friendly (no more pinching the screen!) and allows job seekers to upload their resume using their phone.

  3. Keep it short: If possible, reduce candidate friction by creating a 1-click application process. If that doesn’t work for you, keep your qualification questions to a minimum (e.g., five and less), enable social profile apply, and pre-populate text boxes as much as possible.

Strategy #2: Speed up your sourcing with talent rediscovery

Talent rediscovery is the practice of mining your existing resume database to find previous candidates for open reqs.

A CareerBuilder survey found that one of the biggest complaints employers have about their recruiters is the failure to look at candidates in their own database. This complaint is a bit unfair when you consider that a typical ATS just wasn’t designed to have this type of internal search functionality.

Although your ATS may allow you to use keywords and Boolean strings to search through existing resumes, the results are usually limited and error-prone. This makes it difficult or even impossible to match previous applicants to an open req, unless you’re using a dedicated talent rediscovery tool.

This type of technology works by you entering a job description of a current req and the talent rediscovery algorithm will automatically screen every resume in your ATS to find the most qualified matches.

Strategy #3: Use technology to automate resume screening

On average, 75% of the resumes a typical high volume job posting receives are considered unqualified.

When you’re hiring for thousands of open positions a year, this adds up to hundreds of wasted hours skimming through unqualified resumes. While screening hundreds of resumes can be mind-numbing for human recruiters, it’s exactly the type of pattern matching AI was designed for.

Software that use AI to screen resumes analyzes the resumes of existing employees to learn the qualifications of a job and then ranks and grades new candidates who fit the criteria (e.g., from A to D).

Using AI for high volume hiring makes sense because AI requires a lot of data to be accurate. By automating manual resume screening, organizations such as retailers have reduced their time to hire by 75%.

In his Forbes article on how AI is being used in retail, Bryan Pearson of LoyaltyOne notes reducing time to hire gives high volume retailers a better chance of winning the best talent.

Strategy #4: Use recruiting metrics to find shortcuts

High volume hiring is a problem of scale so you need to be sure you’re optimizing your time and spend where you can.

Recruiting metrics are essential for understanding where process improvements are needed and justifying investments into specific recruiting functions.

Some recruiting metrics you can use to find shortcuts in your high volume hiring include:

  1. Track source of hire to optimize advertising spend: Silkroad’s data finds the most common source of hire are job boards and aggregators, which account for 31% of hires. Get granular by assessing which job boards and aggregators lead to more hires and invest more money into them while dropping underperforming sources.

  2. Track conversion rates to eliminate unnecessarily steps: LinkedIn’s interview process for customer success representatives used to include three interviews. The first interview was a phone screen with a recruiter who rated candidates on a scale of 1-3. When their data showed 90% of candidates who scored a 3 in their phone screen made it to the final interview round, they eliminated the second interview for these candidates.

  3. Create multipliers where possible: Efficiency is crucial for high volume hiring. Multipliers during the recruiting process include asking candidates to apply with their friends and conducting in-person interviews in groups.


Source: B2C

Senator Elizabeth Warren Performing Nude Pagan Rituals In College Is Fake News

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) performing a pagan ritual in the nude during college is fake news. There is no truth to the story as a fake news web site used an unrelated image.

Where did this fake news originate? In June 2017, a blurry black and white image showing a group of nude people dancing around a circle appeared with text claiming that it shows Warren participating in the pagan ritual. You can see the image below; however, the text is false.

Photo of Elizabeth Warren at a nude pagan ritual. A roomate of Elizabeth Warren’s from college released this photo of her and a bunch of her “pagan friends” dancing around a tribute to the gods of wind and fire:

The roomate, a hairdresser from Methuen named Francesca, said Warren was “flat-chested and awkward but always looked like she was having fun.” She added that marijuana, magic mushrooms, peyote and LSD were common at the rituals.

Where did this text originate? The text included with the image was originally published in a hoax article on, which has been known many times in the past to post factually inaccurate stories. does carry a clear disclaimer:

DISCLAIMER: America’s Last Line of Defense is a satirical publication that may sometimes appear to be telling the truth. We assure you that’s not the case. We present fiction as fact and our sources don’t actually exist. Names that represent actual people and places are purely coincidental and all images should be considered altered and do not in any way depict reality.

In other words, if you believe this crap you’re a real dumbass.

Here are some examples of people sharing the meme on social media.

Snopes reported that several sources claim that it shows a man named Alex Sanders (far right in the robe) leading a “skyclad ritual” somewhere in the United Kingdom. Sanders, who was known as the “King of the Witches,” founded Alexandrian Wicca in the 1960s:

Sanders was a born showman who avidly courted publicity. In September of 1962 he even succeeded in convincing the Manchester Evening News to run a front-page article about Wicca. As a result he soon attracted a large following. During this period Sanders and his coven worked from his home at 24 Egerton Road North, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester. One of his initiates was “Maxine Morris”, a Roman Catholic 20 years his junior. After her initiation, they handfasted and she became his High Priestess. They were married in a civil ceremony in 1968 and moved into a basement flat near Nottinghill Gate, London. Later that same year, Maxine bore him a daughter they called “Maya”.

From their new home the Sanders’ ran his London coven and taught training classes, he claimed to have initiated more than 1,623 witches working in 100 covens around the country, all-practicing what had become known as the Alexandrian Tradition. At one meeting, a gathering of sixteen of his covens, Sanders was bestowed with the title of “King of the Witches”. Sanders frequently appeared in ritual photos as robed or wearing only a loincloth while Witches surrounding him were naked. His explanation for this was that the old “Witch laws” required that the Elder of a coven should be easily identifiable from the other coven members.

Sanders and his wife later consulted on the 1966 movie Eye of The Devil. A photograph of Alex, Maxine, and the film’s star Sharon Tate appears to show a circle similar to the pagan ritual shown above.

With regards to Warren, she entered college in the 1960s. Warren was born in 1949 and was accepted into George Washington University at just sixteen years old.

She put her college career aside after just two years, however, dropping out to marry a NASA engineer she had been dating throughout her teens, then moving with him from job to job: she finished her undergraduate degree in Houston, taught elementary school. Later in her life, Warren would enroll in law school at Rutgers, where she would earn her J.D. when she was nine months pregnant.

There is no strong evidence that Warren ever practiced Wicca or danced “skyclad” in cabalistic and obscure rituals. Images of Warren from that time in her life clearly show someone with long dark hair.

What did you think of the fake news about Warren performing nude pagan rituals in college? Did you believe it or see people sharing it falsely on social media? Let us know in the comments section.

Source: B2C

Senator Mitch McConnell’s Polio Healthcare As A Child Being Paid By The U.S. Government Is False


Was Senator Mitch McConnell’s care and rehabilitation when he had polio as a child funded by the U.S. government? Partisan web sites have misrepresented the source of funding for the Republican senator’s care as an infant in Alabama. Where did the misinformation originate?

The Occupy Democrats Facebook page posted a meme on June 22, 2017, claiming that the government paid for McConnell’s care and rehabilitation when he contracted polio as an infant in the 1940s. This claim is contrasted with McConnell’s support for the Senate Republican health care plan.

As a kid, Mitch McConnell had polio, and the government paid for ALL of his care and rehabilitation. Now, as the leader of the Republicans in the Senate, McConnell is taking government-funded care away from tens of millions of Americans. Let that sink in.

To further support this claim, an article accompanied the meme reporting that government-sponsored, publicly funded healthcare saved the young McConnell’s life.

Mitch McConnell has been relentlessly working to roll back Medicaid and deprive millions of Americans of government-sponsored healthcare coverage for eight years now.

But if it weren’t for the government, McConnell wouldn’t be able to walk at all.

Young Mitch came down with a terrible case of polio as a child in Alabama. “My mother was, of course, like many mothers of young polio victims, perplexed about what to do, anxious about whether I would be disabled for the rest of my life” he admitted in a 2005 interview.

But luckily for him, his mother took him 50 miles to the Warm Springs, where President Roosevelt won his own battle with polio and established a polio treatment center that was paid for by the public.

President Roosevelt asked the people of America to send in dimes to the White House as part of his “March of the Dimes” foundation. Over two and a half million dimes were mailed in, and they paid for Mitch’s physical therapy and treatment.

A Death and Taxes article posted on the same date also reported a similar story.

How did Warm springs fund McConnell’s therapy, you ask? This was two decades before Lyndon Johnson launched federal health coverage by signing into law the creation of Medicare and Medicaid. In the mid-30s, Roosevelt and his law partner Basil O’Connor founded the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation and started organizing fundraising balls around the country.

By 1938, however, the balls grew less effective and the president needed a new strategy. Using a phrase coined by vaudeville entertainer Eddie Cantor, “March of Dimes” — a spin on the popular newsreel series “March of Time” — Roosevelt founded the March of Dimes foundation and launched a campaign asking the public to mail ten-cent donations to the White House. Within a month, Roosevelt received around 2,680,000 dimes. The campaign continued through WWII.

McConnell started visiting Warm Springs in 1944. In other words, he overcame polio with the help of public money allocated by the White House.

Here are some examples of people talking about the meme on social media.

McConnell has often told the story of his childhood affliction with polio, and the role of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Warm Springs rehabilitation center in his recovery. In his 2016 memoir The Long Game, McConnell recounted how he was struck with polio at the age of two while staying with his mother in his aunt’s home in Five Points, Ala.

It’s one of my life’s great fortunes that Sister’s home was only about sixty miles from Warm Springs, Georgia, where President Franklin D. Roosevelt had established a polio treatment center and where he’d often travel to find relief from the polio that paralyzed him at the age of thirty-nine.

My mother took me there every chance she had. The nurses would teach her how to perform exercises meant to rehabilitate my leg while also emphasizing her need to make me believe I could walk, even though I wasn’t allowed to.

It is apparent that McConnell received physical therapy and physical therapy training for his mother from the polio rehabilitation center established by Roosevelt at Warm Springs, Ga. However, neither this particular center nor the care given to McConnell were government-funded, according to Snopes.

Roosevelt purchased the Warm Springs property and established a center there in 1927. He and others set up the Warm Springs Foundation, a nonprofit organization that relied on donations.

The Warm Springs center that aided McConnell’s recovery was founded by Roosevelt, who was president at the time McConnell was struck with polio. However, it was operated as a nationwide nonprofit organization, not a federal or state agency, and it was not taxpayer or government-funded.

The Warm Springs center visited by McConnell remained owned and operated by a nonprofit organization until 1974, when the state of Georgia took it over, making it truly government-run. Since 2014, it has been owned and operated by Augusta University.

What did you think of the misinformation about McConnel’s polio care being funded by the government? Did you believe it or see people sharing it falsely on social media? Let us know in the comments section.

Photo Credit: Source

Source: B2C

Two Brothers Brewing Co. Review: Pahoehoe Coconut Ale Delights On Those Hot Summer Days

Life can be hard but Two Brothers Brewing Company does not think drinking should be. Sometimes all it calls for is you to put your feet up on beach chair, put some music in your ears and then grab beer in your hand. For those days, Two Brothers offers you Pahoehoe Coconut Ales.

Two Brothers aims to create high-quality, well-balanced beers that push the boundaries of flavor and innovation. Their latest effort is their new summer beer Pahoehoe Coconut Ale and it does not disappoint especially if you enjoy coconut.

Pahoehoe offers an aroma of sweet coconut with hints of vanilla and citrus. This beer is delightfully sweet with Pahoehoe’s generous coconut flavor shining through a balanced malt backbone.

Can’t make it to a beach? This will do. #pahoehoe #coconutale #TwoBrosBeer #Cheers

A post shared by Two Brothers Brewing Co. 🍻 (@twobrothersbrewingcompany) on Jun 22, 2017 at 5:30pm PDT

What Two Brothers did was add coconut water and toasted coconut for a smooth, creamy texture and a dry refreshing finish perfect for the summer time. This is a refreshing, drinkable beer with a twist. You will take note of the golden amber in color with a slight haze and a small, white head.

Consider pairing Pahoehoe with Hawaiian pizza, pulled pork and buffalo wings for a summer dinner. Whether drinking with a meal or just by the pool, you will find the beer enjoyable.

Overall, it was a great experience sharing a beer from Two Brothers. Again, what did you think I got right and what do you think I said wrong? Let us know in the comments section.

Disclaimer: For purposes of this review, Two Brothers provided a sample of their beer.

Source: B2C

Review: Victor LaValle’s Destroyer #2

The emotional family story and birthing metaphors from Mary Shelley’s’ original Frankenstein novel take a back seat in issue two of Victor LaValle’s Destroyer. This month there is a touch of political commentary and a host of sci-fi gadgets mixed in with the violent horror that made issue 1 so memorable. Although the story doesn’t feel as though it’s moving on very fast, by the end of the issue the narrative has taken a great leap forward: a much larger leap than you will have been expecting.


This issue opens in Ireland, 1799. The Monster has been alive for a number of years and is wondering the world, or so it would seem, but he isn’t making any friends. He stumbles across a group of locals and pleads for help. Obviously, when faced with the giant, grotesque ghoul, the men immediately go on the offensive and attack him.

The modern day: The Monster is traveling across a Mexican desert with the memory of Ireland rattling around his brain. It’s not long before he’s accumulated a following of dispossessed Mexican’s all who are heading for the boarder.

Meanwhile, in Montana, the two agency Men are trying to track down Dr Baker with no luck. After a real time, virtual reality conversation with the head of their organisation, they try to track Dr Barkers car back to wherever she is hiding out.

When the Agency Men reach Dr Barkers secret lab and the Monster reaches the Mexican/American boarder, none of them get a warm welcoming. And the inevitable violence follows with some unsuspected results.

Credit: Boom! Studios


This issue is about journeys and about searching. There are two strands to the narrative, both similar in theme but opposed in purpose. The contrast between the two at the centre of this issue.

First, there is the Monster’s trek across Mexico. Victor LaValle starts the issue with one of the Monster’s early encounters with mankind. He approaches them nervously and in need of help but he is greeted with violence. LaValle wants to stress this poor treatment, this horrific incident, because it helps to illustrate the Monster’s reactions when he encounters the border guards. The writer is mirroring the Monster’s past experiences to show how the character as changed; the timid creature from Shelley’s original novel who was so misunderstood has been hardened by violent encounters so that he is the aggressor in the modern age.

LaValle still manages to keep a sense of sympathy for the Monster but the consequences of his blind, violent actions are making it difficult. The Monster has blood on his hands.

The Dr Baker strand of the story is a different kettle of fish. This element focuses on the corporate guys and their technological search. It’s a contrast to the Monster’s ‘walk until he gets there’ approach. Firstly, LaValle wants to show the reader that these guys have a range of technology at their fingertips. Virtual Reality glasses, highly accurate emissions trackers, these guys are Modern. But for all of their technology the end up in a similar situation to the Monster, when they find their quarry the situation takes a turn towards violence. It’s as if LaValle is saying that Man is inherently violent; that it is natural instinct to attack first and ask questions later.

Secondly, this is the part of the narrative where LaValle’s world differs from the real world. The Sci-Fi element and secret society begin to distance the reader from the characters. It creates a wild fantasy which belies the realism of the previous incarnations of the Frankenstein tale, especially the original where the true horror came from the realism that Shelley crafted. The gothic elements are still there but they have been removed from the world the average reader will understand, a contrast to the Monster’s own journey across a very real, very political landscape.

Credit: Boom! Studios

Any diminishment in this issues narrative is not reflected by the quality of the art work. Dietrich Smith’s illustrations are energetic and punchy. The Monster is bedraggled and his eyes are full of the pain. When the story calls for action Smith delivers in spades, heightening the adrenaline and injecting some much needed pace to the proceedings.

Even in the slower, expositional scenes Smith manages to give the reader something worthwhile to look at. He twists and turns the point of view to produce a cinematic experience, focusing on foregrounds or backgrounds in an attempt to make the reader uncomfortable and uneasy. The art works because of the great use of shadow and movement lines. Nothing is static except in defiance like the Monster and Dr Baker. And one of the best moments in this issue comes near the end, when a bullet disintegrates; it is simple but brilliant and shows off a complete control of time within the comic book format.

Overall, this is a worthwhile issue but not as spectacular as the first. The sequences with the Monster outshine the rest and, because of this, parts of the narrative are a little flat. However, the artwork helps to ease the reader through the clunky gadgetry and long expositional scenes. It’s still early days for this series and there is still a lot of life left in it, especially if the momentum can be kept at this high level.

Source: B2C

5 Best Reputation Management Tools of 2017

Managing your online reputation is more important than ever. It is also more difficult in the social media era since it can change overnight.

If you are struggling to manage your online reputation, you may want to try these tools.

1. Brand24

Brand24 is a very simple, but effective online monitoring application. Companies can use Brand24 to track mentions of their brand name, their competitors or any topic relevant to their business in real time. Unlike most other brand monitoring tools, it allows you to track your brand across numerous social networks and many influential publishers, including major news sites.

One of the unique things about Brand24 is that it can track brand mentions, even if customers aren’t using the company’s official handle. It uses contextual information to know when customers are discussing the brand on various platforms.

PC Magazine rates Brand24 as one of the best social listening tools on the market for small and medium sized businesses.

“For smaller SMBs, Brand24 Premium is a worthwhile option offering all the basic social analysis capabilities you’re looking for. Brand24 Max scales the mention, keyword, and user quotas up for businesses more on the medium side. For a reasonable price, Brand24 has a comprehensive set of core listening, mention tracking, and influencer analytics features—along with a clean user interface that includes Slack integration for better collaboration. […] For smaller SMBs, Brand24 Premium is a worthwhile option offering all the basic social analysis capabilities you’re looking for. Brand24 Max scales the mention, keyword, and user quotas up for businesses more on the medium side.””

The data is presented in a very coherent format and can be tracked daily, weekly and monthly. You can create custom charts to easily see trends over time. You can also use the filtering tools to see a breakdown by social media platform or publisher.

Brand24 offers a free 14-day free trial, so there is no risk getting started.

2. Naymz

Naymz measures your brand’s social influence, which is strongly correlated with your online reputation. It aggregates information from Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter and uses it to calculate your online influence.

Naymz also uses peer reviews to measure the perception of trust your contacts have for you. Every time a new contact connects with you, Naymz sends a short questionnaire. Positive responses increase your RepScore, while negative responses count against it.

Furthermore, Naymz compares your reputation with the reputation of your peers across social media networks. Now you know what you need to do to get the same page as your competitors, and to get ahead of them.

If you want to measure the reach of your online brand, Naymz is a great tool. It uses multiple factors to gauge your online reputation.

3. Go Fish Digital

Go Fish Digital is an online reputation management service that was founded in 2005. They offer a number of services, but one of the best is their negative complaint search engine.

This tool uses a customized Google search to monitor over 40 complaint websites at once. If a complaint is ranking on the top few pages of Google, you will find it with this tool.

Go Fish Digital offers anvariety of online reputation management services. However, the company’s primary function is to target negative reviews and comments on prominent websites like Google, Wikipedia, as well as the biggest review websites like Yelp.

If you have the budget you can also have the company build you a customized online reputation management dashboard. This can be used by your company to constantly monitor your reputation from a single central point. Go Fish Digital will continue to provide full support for your dashboard for life.

It is a good idea to use this tool regularly because some complaints may already be published and may not start ranking for a while. Try using it at least once every two weeks.

4. Review Trackers

Review Trackers is similar to Go Fish Digital but has a more positive slant. You can use it to conduct a Google search of over 80 different review sites at once.

Another advantage of Review Trackers is that it can detect patterns in your reviews. You can identify the most common types of complaints and take corrective action. You can also identify your strongest selling points with customers, so you can build on them to grow your brand. You may be surprised by the factors customers value the most.

“Our clients are able to unlock actionable customer intelligence that helps them manage their online reviews, improve their brand reputation and make data-driven decisions that can result in increased profitability,” says Chris Campbell, CEO of ReviewTrackers.

Another benefit of using Review Trackers is that all your reviews are centralized via a single dashboard. Every time you receive a new review you’ll get an email notifying you of this review. This allows you to act quickly to prevent a negative reputation from taking hold. And you can even respond to reviews from this dashboard.

This is one of the most efficient ways of monitoring and managing your online reputation.

5. Reputology

Reputology is one of the widest-reaching reputation management platforms available. It monitors brand mentions across Yelp, Facebook, Google, and industry review sites.

One of the unique features of Reputology is the customizable response emails. You can also use Reputology to monitor your internal reputation management practices. You can see how often employees respond to customer reviews and make sure their responses comply with your internal guidelines.

Another strategy that can be used is to encourage positive reviews from happy customers. Reputology understands the need for numbers so they provide logic-based custom surveys that can be sent to customers to both get feedback and to encourage positive feedback in a public setting. No longer do you have to be frustrated with the number of happy customers who don’t take the time to write reviews.

Finally, Reputology comes with a variety of analytical tools to help you monitor your reputation over time. Take advantage of it today and you’ll be able to ensure a consistently strong performance.

Source: B2C

Choosing the Right Channels and Strategies for Your ABM Program

jarmoluk / Pixabay

We’ve explored how to target the right accounts for your account-based marketing program, but once that’s accomplished, how do you actually reach them? After all, developing content and organizational buyer personas is only effective if you have a method of delivering this content to the right buyers.

Choosing the right channel and strategy for your ABM program is all about understanding where your target audience “lives” online. You want to deliver content where your audience already is.

If you have a solid buyer persona for each account you are targeting, you may already have information about ideal channels to pursue. For instance, if you know that the executive team at a big account uses LinkedIn and Twitter to share thought leadership articles, those would probably be good channels to use. Or, maybe you are already in contact with some key prospects via email. This could indicate that email newsletters and one-on-one sales pitches are the way to go.

Here are some examples of channels that your target audience might use:

  • Social networks (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook)

  • Email

  • Direct mail

  • Video

  • In-person events and conferences

  • Blogs

  • Webinars

  • Mobile

Once you’ve pinpointed the channel(s) that you will use, it’s time to strategize how your team will use them. Will you publish thought leadership and share it? Create highly targeted display ads? Encourage salespeople to reach out one-to-one?

There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for ABM. Instead, it will depend on your goals and resources. And often, you will have multiple goals that will require multiple strategies.

Some common ABM goals include:

  • Expanding into new markets or territories

  • Increasing visibility in existing market or territory

  • Making more efficient use of your marketing resources for larger, bigger-impact results

  • A higher return on investment

  • Better sales-marketing alignment within your organization

  • Launching a new product to a targeted audience

  • Seeing more value from existing customers through upsells, etc.

For example, if you want to reach marketing specialists at a select few mid-sized SaaS companies, you might choose LinkedIn as your preferred channel, since you know they typically share content there. Your goal is to generate new leads, so you start by raising awareness using sidebar ads. Then, once your audience is aware of your brand, you move onto delivering in-stream thought leadership pieces. From here, you monitor who engages with and downloads your content, and your sales team contacts the accounts that have shown interest.

Lastly, any good strategy requires measurement and follow-up, so make sure you are tracking and evaluating your results, and using the lessons learned in your next ABM program.

Source: B2C