Job Search – Holiday Tips

I was, and still am to some degree, honestly worried about this time of year, the time between Thanksgiving and New Years, when it came to my job search.  The natural assumption is that hiring managers and recruiters begin to check out during the holidays, but perhaps the reality is that people are trying to execute some last minute hires before the new budget kicks in.  That’s certainly what I’ve been reading.  For those of us looking for work, it’s time to hunker down and really beat out the competition.  Answer those calls & emails, continue to look for opportunities and be more responsive than those that may be checked out.

Here is what I plan to do:

  1. Network like crazy.  Send out inmails through LinkedIn, reach out to your direct network, just talk to as many people as possible.
  2. Use holiday parties with friends to your advantage!  This is a great opportunity to network with those who really know you.
  3. Apply, follow up, and reach out.  Applying to jobs is just part of the strategy.  If it’s something you really want, now is the time to follow up on those opportunities that either fizzled out earlier in the year or that seem to be taking a long time to hire for.
  4. Be on call. Return calls, emails, and messages promptly!  Get in there before everyone really wants to do nothing but sit back and enjoy that tin of cookies that they received from a partner agency!
  5. Apply to new work.  Perhaps, something will move quicker than other opportunities have simply due to timing.  Hold out hope, and apply like crazy…to the jobs you want of course!

Good luck & go get em!

P.S. Here are some expert opinion pieces you might enjoy:

How to Use Holiday Season to Job Search

Tips for the Holiday Job Search

5 Ways to Boost Your Job Search During the Holidays


Happy Thanksgiving

Have a happy, healthy, and thankful Thanksgiving everyone!

Spiced Amaretto Apple Cider Kiss Cocktails are a seasonal treat you must try at your get-togethers this fall! Your guests will love this drink, infused with just the right amount of autumn spices!:

Webmarketing123’s 2015 State of Digital Marketing Report

To keep on my trend, here is a recent report that I received from Webmarketing123.  Please click the image above, or THIS LINK HERE, to download the full report.  For those that download these things but never have time to go back and read them, I will focus on the areas I found most interesting.

  • “It’s clear marketers continue to face one major, overarching challenge this year: Revenue-driven marketing is the goal, but not always the practice.”
  • While most marketers recognize “driving sales” as a top priority, it’s also the #1 challenge for over 27% of marketers…”
  • Sales is the #1 B2C and #2 B2B objective for the second year running. “
  • “Digital gets the buzz, but not the budget. While overall digital marketing spend is increasing YoY, marketers struggle to win more budget because of their continued inability to tie ROI to digital. As a result, about half of marketers spend less than 25% of their total budget online. “
  • For B2B marketers, ‘measuring and proving ROI’ emerged as a major pain point with a sharp 46% increase YoY. ”
    • “[Meanwhile] B2Cs struggle to convert leads to customers.”
  • “When it comes to allocating budget, it seems many marketers still rely on ‘gut instinct’. Ability to prove ROI does not correlate with the channels used. Although 9% more marketers have invested in revenue reporting this year, 38% still don’t have an attribution model at all. “
  • 3 out of 4 marketers (B2B & B2C) use video in their marketing mix, and 7 out of 10 believe it’s the most effective content marketing tactic, trumping eBooks, case studies, infographics, webinars, blogs, and mobile apps. “
  • “Surprisingly, only a single digit percentage of marketers (B2B & B2C) believe display is effective. “
  • “Just 29% of B2Bs practice account-based marketing, but a whopping 95% of those that do find it effective.”
  • Of the 36% of B2B marketers who still lack a mobile-friendly site, 3 out of 4 plan to invest in responsive design this year.”
  • “Lead generation is the #1 B2B digital marketing objective for the fourth year running.”
  • “Sales is top priority for B2Cs again this year.”
  • “Almost half of marketers spend only 25% or less of their budget online.”
  • A whopping 93% of B2B marketers practice email marketing.”
  • Social media is the most commonly used B2C marketing channel. “
  • Nearly 1/3 of marketers don’t know which channel makes the biggest impact on revenue.”
  • “B2C marketers are gaining confidence in paid search and SEO…”
  • Nearly 20% of marketers still rely on “website traffic” to measure success.”
    • 25%–>conversion rate
    • 20%–>website traffic
    • 14%–>total lead volume
    • 12%–>not sure
    • 10%–>total revenue
    • 7%->cost per lead/return on ad spend/cost per acquisition
  • “The overwhelming majority of B2B marketers use social media, yet only less than 17% can prove ROI.”
  • “38% of marketers still lack an attribution model.” –> Check out my blog post on this.
  • LinkedIn is the best social channel for driving B2B revenue, while Facebook takes the cake for B2Cs.”
  • “36% of B2B marketers continue to ignore mobile.”
  • B2Bs have fully bought into content marketing: 60% of B2B brands have a blog compared to only 49% of B2C marketers.”
    •  “60% of marketers (both B2B and B2C) with a company blog post at least once a week.”
    • “Video is the most widely used and the most effective content marketing tactic according to both B2B and B2C marketers. “
    • “B2B marketers favor infographics more than their B2C counterparts do.”
  • “Even given the crowded space, only less than half of marketers (both B2B and B2C) have a marketing automation system in place.”
  • “67% of B2B marketers use lead scoring compared to 47% of B2Cs.”
  • “Marketing personas get a big thumbs up from both sides.”

So once again…I hope that this “summary” has helped but as always, do me a solid and download the full report by clicking the main image or on the link at the top of this post.


P.S. I will be on blogging hiatus through next week.  Don’t miss me too much!

Hubspot’s Newest State of Inbound 2015 Report – Continued

As promised, let’s jump into the state of inbound sales section of Hubspot’s newest State of Inbound 2015 report.  Don’t forget to download the whole thing, or just get the highlights here on my blog.

Here are the key takeaways from the sales section of this report:

  • “Social selling is still more hype than reality”
  • “Sales technology budgets have shrunk since last year.  In addition, sales departments that have adopted emerging sales tools don’t cite confidence with those tools.”
  • “Different roles within the sales team experience different CRM obstacles. While manual data entry is still the biggest CRM problem overall, executives struggle with lack of adoption, and managers cry lack of integration with other tools.” –> Ain’t that the truth!
  • “Prospecting is the most difficult step of the sales process.  This issue is compounded by the fact that salespeople lack vital information before they reach out to leads.” –> Here is where prospect nurturing plays such a vital role!
  • “Field sales isn’t really dying.  Despite sensational articles declaring the demise of field sales, hiring data shows that outside reps are getting hired (and fired) at more or less the same rate as inside reps.”
  • “Executive buyers are not very trusting of salespeople.  To regain credibility among executives, salespeople should arm themselves with content and become active on social networks.”
  • Sales Priorities–>
  • “The overall company top sales priorities
    • Improving the efficiency of the sales funnel
    • Improving existing sales technology
    • Reducing the length of sales cycle
    • Training the sales team
    • Social selling
    • Investing in sales enablement
    • Investing in a CRM”
  • “These are the top sales priorities by level in a company [I chose to focus on the top 3 out of 8]
  • Executive:
    • Closing more deals
    • Improving the efficiency of the sales funnel
    • Reducing the length of sales cycle
  • Non-executive VP or director:
    • Closing more deals
    • Improving the efficiency of the sales funnel
    • Improving existing sales technologies
  • Manager or senior manager:
    • Closing more deals
    • Improving the efficiency of the sales funnel
    • Improving existing sales technologies
  • Individual contributor:
    • Closing more deals
    • Improving the efficiency of the sales funnel
    • Training the sales team”
  • Sales Technology–>
  • “…budgets for sales technology have decreased form last year’s estimates. Of respondents who were privy to their sales tech budgets, 93% indicated their companies planned to spend $100,000 or less, with 78% spending less than $25,000.”
  • “In addition to falling budgets, sales teams that have adopted new tools haven’t been blown away by them.”
  • “24% of teams do not use a CRM.”
    • “Even more alarming is the fact that approximately 46% of salespeople in our survey are not exclusively using dedicated technology to store lead and customer data.  Instead, they’re relying on physical files, Google docs, and other “informal means” in place of or in addition to a dedicated system.”
  • “Unsuccessful sales teams are 2X more likely to use Excel, Outlook, or physical files to store lead and customer data.”
  • Sales Challenges–>
  • “Although salespeople by and large have proven their resilience by tailoring their process to the modern buyer, there are still some challenges that arise from this seismic shift.”
  • What part of the sales process do reps struggle with most?
    • 42%–> Prospecting
    • 36%–> Closing
    • 22%–> Qualifying
  • How much information does your company have about a lead before a sales rep reaches out?
    • 43%–> Contact information
    • 31%–> Social media information
    • 21%–> Website interaction history
  • “…when Marketing and Sales collaborate, salespeople are privy to more lead information…And there’s more god news for the marketing side of the spectrum.  Salespeople struggling with prospecting can expect more relief over the coming year–‘increasing the number of contacts/lead’ is marketers’ number one or two priority, depending on company size and B2B vs. B2C.”
  • What is your biggest CRM challenge?
    • Manual data entry
    • Lack of integration with other tools
    • Difficult to track my sales funnel
    • My sales team does not use it
    • Invalid/incorrect data
    • Managers don’t use it
  • “While executives identify manager non-adoption as the most pressing hurdle, managers themselves report lack of integration with other tools, with manual data entry close behind.”
  • Sales Trends –>
  • “The buzz might make you think the trusty field sales rep will imminently go the way of the dinosaur.  But…inside sales reps actually stand a better chance of being laid off than their counterparts in the field.”
  • “Popular culture often paints salespeople as employees who care about the size of their paycheck and little else. [However…] Our survey asked salespeople what they look for when deciding whether to pursue a position at a new company.” [I chose the top 5]
    • Opportunities for growth
    • Work-life balance
    • Compensation
    • Culture
    • Company performance
  • “With this in mind, sales leaders need to create new growth opportunities for reps who might not be suited for management if they hope to recruit and retain solid sales talent.”

I hope these two summaries helped but please do me a solid and go and download Hubspot’s report so you can have it handy.  All you have to do is click the links at the top of this post, or click the big image at the top.

Thanks for reading & stay tuned for more report summaries coming your way!

Hubspot’s Newest State of Inbound 2015 Report

I just downloaded Hubspot’s newest report on the state of inbound marketing and wanted to give you a “quick” snapshot of what you can find. You will very quickly see why I have out the word quick in quotes above. 🙂

For starters, you can download the full report but then either just look at the state of inbound marketing or the state of inbound sales parts of it. I chose to look at both as you can as well.

The state of inbound marketing section covers: the growth if inbound marketing, emerging trends, the best in class marketing practices, setting up for inbound success, and international inbound

The state of inbound sales on the other hand covers: sales priorities, technology, challenges and trends. I will cover this section in a subsequent blog post.  So stay tuned!

As the kick off to the report itself states, “Last year, we added sales to the mix to provide a more complete view into the entire lead-to-customer lifecycle. Our research found that salespeople struggle with a lack of information about their leads and manual data entry — two challenges that necessarily reduce their effectiveness at converting leads to customers. Just like Marketing’s lead generation is of prime interest to salespeople, marketers would be wise to take the problems sapping Sales’ efficacy to heart…with more than 150 countries represented. The majority of our nearly 4,000 respondents are marketers who work for B2B SMBs, and only one-third have an affiliation with HubSpot. Half of the companies represented generate under $1M a year in revenue, and the other half generate over $1M.”

Here are some of Hubspot’s key takeaways from the marketing section first:

  • “Both inbound and outbound marketers rank paid advertising as the #1 most overrated marketing tactic.”
  • “Inbound is the preferred marketing strategy regardless of company type. B2B, B2C, nonprofit…”
  • “Over six times as many respondents from companies with fewer than 25 employees cited inbound as their primary marketing approach…at companies with over 200 employees, inbound and outbound marketing strategies are deployed equally.”
  • “Leads (and converting them) remain a top priority.”
  • Growth of Inbound –>
  • These were the top priorities, based on company size [I chose to only list the top 2 out of 4]:
    • 0-25 employees: converting contacts/leads to customers, increasing the number of contacts/leads
    • 26-200 employees: increasing the number of contacts/leads, converting contacts/leads to customers
    • 201 or more employees: converting contacts/leads to customers, increasing the number of contacts/leads
  • These were the top priorities, based on the type of company [I chose to only list the top 2 out of 4]:
    • B2B: increasing the number of contacts/leads, converting contacts/leads to customers
    • B2C: converting contacts/leads to customers, increasing the number of contacts/leads
    • Nonprofit: increasing the number of contacts/leads, converting contacts/leads to customers
  • “Demonstrating ROI is the #1 challenge marketers face…across companies of different size and focus, and securing more budget to allocate toward ROI-generating activities was next in line”
  • “Finding the right technologies and managing a website were understandably a larger concern for small companies fighting to reach the growth phase.”
  • These were the top challenges, based on company size [I chose to only list the top 2 out of 4]:
    • 0-25 employees: proving the ROI of our marketing activities, (and a tie between) securing enough budget/managing our website
    • 26-200 employees: proving the ROI of our marketing activities, securing enough budget
    • 201 or more employees: proving the ROI of our marketing activities, securing enough budget
  • These were the top challenges, based on the type of company [I chose to only list the top 2 out of 4]:
    • B2B: proving the ROI of our marketing activities, securing enough budget
    • B2C: proving the ROI of our marketing activities, managing our website
    • Nonprofit: managing our website, proving the ROI of our marketing activities
  • Emerging Trends –>
  • “…proving ROI (though indeed still a top priority) has fallen in importance year over year.”
  • “ROI is still the #1 challenge, but executive support and team training are soaring.”
  • Most overrated marketing tactics across inbound and outbound organizations alike [ I chose to only list the top 3 out of 10]:
    • 1. Paid advertising – print, outdoor, broadcast, 2. Paid advertising – social media, online ads, PPC, 3. Social Media
  • “Senior executives favor inbound more than managers.”
  • “This year’s data showed an increase in the number of respondents who indicated they use freelancers and agency partners for content creation.”
  • Best-in-Class Marketing Practices–>
  • “Let’s dive into what the companies with the highest return on their marketing dollars are doing:
    • Inbound efforts achieve higher ROI than outbound regardless of company size or total marketing spend
    • Leading marketers resist the allure of paid campaigns and recognize outbound as being overrated
    • Best-in-class marketers track ROI, prove it’s growing each year, and secure increased budget as a result
    • Past success with inbound marketing is the single-biggest factor that drives budget increases
    • Both staff and guest contributors write marketing content
    • The best marketers check their marketing analytics 3+ times a week
      • Marketers who check their metrics 3x+ times a week are over 20% more likely to achieve positive ROI.”
  • Setting Up for Inbound Success–>
  • This section covers “how leading marketers ascend to the top. What tools do they use? hat sort of relationship do they maintain with Sales? How do they think about metrics (and how often)?”
    • “The main tool in top marketers’ arsenals is a platform for automating their team’s marketing efforts.”
    • Using marketing automation software increases a marketer’s chances for success.  And when Marketing and Sales loop each other in to software purchase decisions…the odds are even better.  Marketers who were involved with sales software selection were 13% more likely to see a positive ROI, and 11% more likely to receive an increased budget.”
    • “Respondents whose teams checked marketing metrics three or more times a week were over 20% more likely to see an increased ROI in 2015.”
    • “Inbound success is a team effort, and requires strong alignment between Sales and Marketing. The organizations getting the most out of their marketing budget (and getting more of it) tend to be partnered tightly with sales.”
  • International Inbound–>
  • “The global community is united in their favor of inbound practices…[however] it doesn’t mean that each region works the same way.”
    • “Australia, New Zealand, and North America all are proportionally less concerned with training, and more concerned with proving ROI. The Asia Pacific region (excluding Australia and New Zealand) was on average 17% more likely to cite tailoring their content to an international audience as a challenge than other regions.  On the other hand, Latin America is proportionally more concerned with identifying the right technologies than other global regions.”
  • Top marketing challenges by region [I have selected the top 3]
    • Australia & New Zealand
      • Proving the ROI of our marketing activities
      • Securing enough budget
      • Managing our website
    • Asia Pacific excluding Australia and New Zealand
      • Proving the ROI of our marketing activities
      • Targeting content for an international audience
      • Securing enough budget
    • Europe, Middle East, and Africa 
      • Proving the ROI of our marketing activities
      • Securing enough budget
      • Managing our website
    • Latin America
      • Proving the ROI of our marketing activities
      • Identifying the right technologies for my needs
      • Securing enough budget
    • North America 
      • Proving the ROI of our marketing activities
      • Managing our website
      • Securing enough budget
  • “North America was the only region where more than half of respondents indicated they check their marketing metrics three or more times per week.  International regions have catching up to do in terms of tracking metrics and ROI.”

As promised, the next blog post will be focused on the takeaways from the inbound sales section.

I hope you’ve found this helpful and stay tuned!

Marketing in Healthcare

Thought leadership, it’s important in all B2B areas but also in an industry such as healthcare.  What you know, as well as topic sensitivity and regulations can be very heavily weighed.  However, that doesn’t mean that marketing should be boring, or stale, or non existent.  At the end of the day, you are dealing with people and people consume information through all social networks, the web, forums, blogs, articles, etc, etc, etc.  This means, that your information should be readily available in these places and in these ways.

You don’t have to have the wildest ads, because at the end of the day you are potentially dealing with sensitive topics and are creating awareness around them.  As a marketer, don’t be put off when your manager or client says that you can’t really do something.  Take his or her advice, then do some due diligence.  Perhaps the competition is already doing something you’ve suggested.  Bring this up to him or her and make them aware of the situation, and perhaps, they will be more likely to let you at least run some distance with an idea to see where it might lead.

But if I were to weigh things, I think that thought leadership and good, optimized, content is what will get you the most bang for your buck. You’ll be found easier and hopefully your content will be what brings people to your practice or healthcare provider.

But don’t take my word for it, here are some great tips from Hubspot on the matter as well – 3 Keys to Digital Marketing in Healthcare as well as some great advertising campaigns as gathered by the healthcare marketer.

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 5.17.00 PM

The Best Marketing Event Videos of 2015

Your time is limited!

Hurry hurry, there are only 13 or so hours left of this awesome opportunity.  I wasn’t sure what to expect but as I watched Will Reynold’s talk I began to get really inspired and knowing that I won’t have time to watch all the videos in one sitting I began to download them.

So hurry up and download some great marketing knowledge!

The 6 Best Marketing Event Videos of 2015.


The Importance of SEO

It’s been a doozie of a week but today is a two-a-day kind of day so read this blog post, but also check out today’s LinkedIn Pulse blog post about Client Management.  And as an even more added bonus, I’ll be sharing my diy plans for this year’s Christmas in the Working Mom section of my blog.  PHEW! Let’s begin.

So what do we know about SEO?  Most people will say that it’s important.  But some might not realize it’s not a set it and forget it kind of thing.  You may need to explain that there is more to SEO than just website effectiveness and getting found on line.

SEO is about those two things but also about growing brand awareness, thought leadership and as Search Engine Land states:

It is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines.” 

You have to think about at least the following 10 things when trying to run an effective SEO strategy:

  1. How is your website structured? Are things easy to find?
  2. How often are you updating the content on your site, either via a blog, or updating general information?
  3. Are your alt tags, video descriptions, meta descriptions, title tags, all that good stuff up to date and most importantly actually there?
  4. Where are you coming up in search results when plugging in some keywords?
  5. Are you working on improving, or maintaining, search results on an ongoing basis?
  6. Are you looking at social networks and forums to see what others are saying about you, and most importantly contributing to those conversations?
  7. Are you looking at relevant articles, blogs, etc. and commenting on those with a company profile to maintain relevance?
  8. Are you creating relevant and shareable content?
  9. Is your PR program in sync with your SEO program?
  10. Are you analyzing the results of your SEO efforts?

I know I am not an expert at all, I just like to know enough about things to be dangerous.  So if you’re looking for an expert, or know that you can’t do all of the above and more on your own, then look to KoMarketing Associates in Boston who are excellent to work with.

Good luck!

Back to Where it All Began

My blog has come up quite often in some recent interviews, which is nice.  I’ve been asked for the url, as well as how I got started, and why I’ve kept going.  Before I take you back to that very first post, which I decided to write after a wonderful ski day at Sunapee, let’s go back to where it all began.

Back in 2009 I lost my job with LoJack after the international team was wiped out.  Some strategic roles were kept but not all. I chose to throw down the bulk of my savings and finish out my MBA full time.  I was collecting unemployment, looking for work, going to school, and generally just trying to make ends meet.  I was living in what I’ll call a tree house apartment in Newton.  It was really quite lovely.  I would spend most of my days in the kitchen which also had one of my two tv’s and just tap away and look out the window at the passers by.

I also got lucky that because I was enrolled full time I could take full advantage of the health insurance through Suffolk University.  This was a huge win for my unemployed self.

So I would go to class, study, look for any kind of work I could find and eventually found a part time job at the LOFT.  Even this was hard to come by.  But, my boyfriend at the time, now my husband, would ask me “what did you do today?”  And that’s when the light bulb went off during that day on the slopes.  I was going to blog.  Blogging wasn’t new to me, I used to blog on while I lived in Spain, I still keep a diary, so writing isn’t foreign to me.  But what would I blog about?  Hence the url of this blog…

This began as a work search tip and some marketing advice blog and has morphed into so much more five years later.  I’ve kept up with it during employed, and again unemployed, times.  It’s where I share my thoughts.  It’s what helps me digest and remember some of the interesting marketing things I read, and it’s what has come up in conversations during recent interviews.

So thank you blog, and now I take you back to that first blog post – So…what did you do today?

Activity Levels are High

This whole finding a new job thing has certainly taken longer than I had hoped it would.  Summer has come and gone and we are high into fall, although the outside temps tell us otherwise.  The one semi positive has been that activity levels have been high through out this whole search, meaning I haven’t just sat around and sent applications into a black hole.  I’ve been lucky to go on a number of interviews, have a number of conversations, and make some connections.  Granted, they have not lead anywhere yet but since the topic comes up anyway here are some of the things that have happened:

  • This one was probably the one most hard to swallow, but after receiving a verbal confirmation of an offer the organization went through a restructuring and the final offer was never signed off on
  • After a couple of interviews things went radio silent and there was no information as to what may have happened to the role or my fit for it
  • I had a couple of good conversations with two companies that a) decided they would just continue to outsource their marketing efforts b) weren’t sure of what they really wanted out of the role, now what would be OK’d by senior management, so the lead went nowhere
  • I reached a bit too far with a couple of roles and in the end the leads didn’t end in the way I would have wanted them to
  • Another candidate with specific industry experience was chosen for a role
  • After some initial conversations with recruiters things once again went radio silent

So I said, unfortunately…things just have not lined up.

But it’s positive that now that we are in the hiring season real opportunities are beginning to pop up that I am quite excited about.  Now, who is going to give me the privilege of being thankful for a new job on Thanksgiving? 😉