By: Bianca Buliga, Digital Marketing Manager
Earlier this month, representatives from the SEED SPOT team flew out to San Jose, California to support the ninth annual FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Awards. An international nonprofit founded to inspire young people’s engagement with science and technology, FIRST convenes teams from around the world to submit solutions for pressing STEM-related problem. This year’s theme? Space exploration.
While SEED SPOT is no NASA, our team’s role during the two-day event was to teach students how to present their innovation as a business and not just a solution. We provided training, expert one-on-one pitch coaching through our National Mentor Network, a workshop on developing business models and networking, and on-the-ground support for the student teams and coaches.
An impressive 35,000 teams from 31 different countries submitted their solutions to be reviewed by a panel of expert judges. SEED SPOT was privileged to work with the 20 top-performing teams, comprised of 120 students aged 8-17 from around the globe, many of whom are still learning to speak English.
“The enthusiasm from the kids was infectious and made the whole experience worthwhile,” said Duane Rollins, Vice President of Impact and Research. “These teams were well-trained and eager to learn. It was also great to connect with the coaches and parents. They’re the real heroes of FIRST as they put in so many hours volunteering to support the teams.”
CosmoCup, the winning team from Brazil, won a cash prize of $20,000 for their menstrual cup that prevents blood dissipation for women astronauts while in space. AstroTube Clipper, a California-based team alleviating the hassles of nail clipping in zero gravity, and WEMIT, an Italian team that developed a machine to unknit and clean an astronaut’s specialty garments, won $5,000 as runners-up.
“The students we worked with were some of the most inspiring and brilliant minds I have ever worked with,” said Tristan Gandolfi, Director of Training and Support. “I was so inspired by their dedication and ability to build. They not only came equipped with wireframes, but actual patents for their designs. They were not just talking about solving problems, they were actually doing it.”
FIRST LEGO League partners with a number of different sponsors to empower next-generation innovators including Booz Allen Hamilton and LEGO Education. Since inception in 1989, the nonprofit has received support from over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies and more than $80 million in college scholarships.
“The Global Innovation Awards is an amazing and inspiring program that allows students to compete with innovations developed using their critical thinking skills, soft skills, and creativity,” said Andrea Sekito, SEED SPOT Schools Program Associate. “It is so inspiring to see kids from different backgrounds, parts of the world, and ages find passion in STEM so early on and realize their potential in the field. It was powerful, motivating, and an honor to be in the presence of all those kids, coaches, and the FIRST community.”
The SEED SPOT team is excited for more opportunities to collaborate with FIRST LEGO League and invest in the next generation of world leaders, problem-solvers, and innovators. To learn more about FIRST, visit https://www.firstinspires.org/.
The post SEED SPOT and FIRST LEGO League Partner to Support Students Innovating Space Exploration appeared first on SEED SPOT.
Have you ever dated someone who spoke a completely different love language than you? Maybe they love showering you with gifts and words of affirmation, but you prefer to receive acts of service and plenty of quality time. The discrepancy is cute at first, but once the honeymoon phase is over, your relationship falls into shambles because your partner doesn’t communicate with you the way you want them to.
That might sound like a bit of an exaggeration when it comes to dating. But when it comes to communicating with customers, there really is no space for communication imbalances. It’s up to you to speak to customers on their terms — even if their terms are different than what you think they should be. Depending on your client’s business, that may mean a strategic shift like prioritizing phone numbers on your landing pages.
Adding phone numbers for
First, let’s start with landing pages in general. While some campaigns may be well-served by redirecting to your client’s homepage, in many cases you’re better off redirecting your target audience to landing pages that have been optimized according to search keywords, marketing channels, and so on. This kind of customization leads to a more seamless user experience, which helps increase conversion rates.
If your client’s business fields a ton of on-demand requests, adding phone numbers to their landing pages is non-negotiable for lead generation. Think about it: If you’re stranded on the highway at night with a flat tire, the last thing you want to do is fill out a form on a roadside assistance company website with no idea if anyone is actually responding to it. In situations like this, customers need to be able to call and speak to a human.
This applies to any kind of business receiving calls that need immediate attention, such as:
- Personal injury attorneys
- Medical offices
- Emergency services
When people need help immediately but can’t place a call from your landing page, both you and your clients miss out on revenue opportunities. Instances like this are a good reminder for that not every is the same and that some enter at different stages of the . That said, adding phone numbers to landing pages is just the tip of the iceberg — in order to make sure your campaigns are actually driving qualified leads, you’ll need to add call tracking to your marketing tech stack.
Adding call tracking numbers for : A case study
You may be thinking: “Why ask my clients to use another software when Google Analytics can track phone call conversions, too?” The short answer is that Google Analytics doesn’t give you the full picture. You may know the amount of mobile traffic that clicked to call from your client’s landing pages, but you don’t know with certainty where they found your site, what they called about, how your team managed the inbound call, or what happened after the call ended.
Enter call tracking software: It not only tells you which marketing campaigns are driving phone calls from your landing pages, it also lets you record, store, and play back call data. Plus, by integrating call tracking with your marketing CRM, you can fully track a customer’s journey through the sales funnel.
Personal injury firm Geoff McDonald and Associates, together with their agency Workshop Digital, discovered the value of call tracking in short order. By making use of CallRail’s integration with Unbounce, they found that most potential clients called the phone number on their landing pages to ask specific questions, rather than fill forms. Equipped with this information, Geoff McDonald and Associates and Workshop Digital changed by setting up 20 rotating phone numbers on their landing pages, and then used that to using a testing tool and .
The result? A 33 percent year-over-year increase of leads from organic channels, and a 219 percent year-over-year increase in leads from paid and remarketing channels. Had the duo not used the call tracking platform, Geoff McDonald and Associates would be missing out on data leading to valuable clients, and Workshop Digital would be underestimating the value they provide to their clients.
Having a phone number on your landing pages certainly never hurts, but for some businesses it can make the difference between a so-so landing page and one that effectively drive qualified leads. By adding call tracking numbers to your landing pages, you can be confident that they’re working.
Want to learn more about how an effective landing page strategy can translate into a serious revenue boost for your and your clients? Register for our exclusive webinar with Unbounce, where we’ll do a deep-dive on how call tracking can make your landing pages even more effective.
America—now one of the strongest countries in the world, took a winding path of growth, downfall, and innovation before becoming one of the world’s powerhouses. Although strong, we can all admit that not everything in American history has the shine of perfection upon it. The same pattern of growth and decline that was experienced by Americans throughout the years, can be expected to take hold of any sector of your business, including the channel.
The purpose of recording history is so that we may learn from it. Here are eight key factors your channel can learn from American History:
1. Keep Track
It’s important to keep track of what has been successful or detrimental to your overall plan. While efforts may seem like a good idea at the moment, it’s important to sift through your history and justify your decisions based on analytics, not feelings.
For example, if your partners have expressed that they want to host an event to help market your brand, but numerous past events have been recorded with low return on investment (ROI), you may consider using a different medium to reach your audience.
Just remember, as you execute any plan, record the results for future use. Keeping a record protects you from repeating the same mistakes in the future.
2. Join or Die
As the political cartoon by Benjamin Franklin said “Join or Die”, your internal departments and partner sales reps should do the same. If you lack alignment between your partners, internal sales reps, product team, and marketing, your company will surely fail. From the first touch your prospects need to know exactly what product they are being marketed or sold. If your partners are marketing a race car but you actually sell bikes, the sales process can get convoluted, confusing, and leads can be lost because of frustration with the messaging. It’s better to be up front about what your product actually can achieve rather than muddy the marketing waters with misalignment and mixed messaging.
3. Claim Your Land
Whether you’re talking about civilization or sales, it’s a race to claim land. When partner reps are able to register and track their own deals, they will gain a feeling of ownership. Reps become more invested in a customer’s outcome when they are able to see what happens, no matter where they are in the funnel.
Partners need the freedom to sell with a strategy they are comfortable with. Limiting your partner’s sales process and strategy can hurt their chances of closing a deal. When partners are more comfortable, they will sell more confidently.
Set partners up for success by giving them the right tools, resources, and education to allow them to be successful. Then, set them free to represent your brand.
- If you are uncomfortable with the thought of setting partners free to represent your brand, you’ll need to reevaluate your partnership. You should join a partnership because you believe that the additional brand representative or brand connection will help your brand, not hurt it.
5. Keep Striving For Greatness
If things are not going as planned in your channel partner program, change them. Greatness wasn’t achieved overnight and to perfect a plan it take a lot of due diligence, testing, and most importantly, flexibility of strategy based on test results. The same old thing does work for everyone in every industry so don’t be afraid to take risks and differentiate your partner program.
6. Opportunity is Out There
The best thing about having a phenomenal partner program is that it attract high volume of valuable partners. By having a variety of partners, you are opening your company up to all kinds of opportunity. Your partners are able to easily reach companies and target audience that would be too difficult or too costly to obtain on your own. With the help of a few common connections, you can achieve any dream.
In any strong, long-lasting society, there are pieces of documentation that define laws. These laws are there for a reason, to keep everyone safe and protect the rights of all affected parties. Documentation needs to be established in the beginning of a partnership to make sure you and your partners are abiding by the expectations. Having defined guidelines allows partners to know what they need to accomplish, how to cross sell a product, what brand guidelines to follow, as well as what is okay vs. not okay to promote. To make everyone’s experience easier and more enjoyable, it is a benefit to both you and your partners to set up the documentation up front and avoid making too many drastic changes to program.
With every decade that passes, societies have learned to adapt. When changes occur, new innovations and tools are created to fill a need. Allow your partners to communicate with you when processes aren’t working so you and your partner can work together to establish a new process, new system, or tool to make the customer journey smoother. The most useful products are created because of a pain point that has not been addressed. Be flexible—by addressing a pain point with a product solution, you might just be the next Thomas Edison.
If your dream is to grow your partner program, go for it! The American dream isn’t just for Americans—it’s for anyone who’s bold enough to go after it. When it comes to your partner program, there are a lot of things that can be learned when you communicate with your partners and grow together as a society. If you want your partner program to become a bigger, better piece of your lead generation tool or sales funnel, it’s time to listen to what partners need and apply those needs to your partner program. If you’re looking for more ideas on how to elevate your partner program, download the ebook 19 Ways to Elevate Your Partner Program.
The post 8 Things Your Channel Can Learn From American History appeared first on Partner Relationship Management Software (PRM).
By: C’pher Gresham, Chief Strategy and Operations Officer, and John B Johnson, Seattle Community Organizer
Talent is equally distributed, but opportunity is not. At SEED SPOT, we believe in breaking down barriers to help entrepreneurs from all backgrounds in all communities achieve their dreams of creating a better world. This is why SEED SPOT is partnering with the Seattle community to empower entrepreneurs in greater Seattle ecosystem with our 2-Day Launch Camp program!
Bringing the entrepreneurship community together takes a team of organizers and partners. Our two Community Organizers are John B Johnson and Lisa Jensen. Collectively, they have an abundant mindset that believes in fostering a safe space for entrepreneurs to launch and grow their ventures. John is the Identity Architect at a small studio, an independent creative studio helping clients better serve their communities, and the organizer behind 1 Million Cups in Seattle. Lisa is the Vice President, Executive Search at Strategic Resources, a full-service, international executive search firm specializing in senior-level executive search and Board of Director placements.
In addition to great individual organizers supporting entrepreneurs, there is a whole fleet of partner organizations and community connectors including a small studio, Seattle Strong Coffee, Voyagers Table, and WeWork Labs. There are also an ever-growing list of organizations that are helping spread the word about the Launch Camp including, Gather Seattle, Young Professionals of Seattle, 1 Million Cups Seattle, The, Evergrey, Rise Seattle Podcast, and Future For Us.
We caught up with John B Johnson on why he is passionate about bringing SEED SPOT’s 2-Day Launch Camp to Seattle and how he is empowering the Seattle impact-driven entrepreneurial ecosystem.
C’pher Gresham (CG): What inspires you most about the Seattle ecosystem?
John B Johnson (JBJ): Seattle has a rich history of successful entrepreneurship. When I moved here, I could not help but realize how abundant the resources were here. However, very quickly I realized that those resources were not very accessible to newcomers and early stage entrepreneurs. I like to think about the Seattle ecosystem as a dense forest with a beautiful tree canopy covering it. The big corporations, I don’t think I have to list them, have created this beautiful canopy over the forest floor. Newcomers and early stage entrepreneurs are the seeds on the forest floor. They need light, resources, and protection as they begin to grow their ideas. I believe this is unique to Seattle and I’m excited to solve this problem.
CG: Why did you partner with SEED SPOT to host a 2-Day Launch Camp?
JBJ: As a SEED SPOT alum, I saw the need for a collaborative, inclusive, and impact-driven community in Seattle. A few years ago I moved from Phoenix to Seattle to further grow professionally and loved meeting the entrepreneurs locally. In my conversations, I realized that many were looking for a way to connect with one another, so I worked with Kauffman Foundation’s initiative 1 Million Cups to provide a venue for networking and support for entrepreneurs. As I became further embedded in the community, I kept hearing for individuals that they wanted a safe place to start and grow their ideas that have a social benefit. It just made sense to work with SEED SPOT and bring the Launch Camp here!
CG: What do you know entrepreneurs will gain out of the Launch Camp Experience?
JBJ: Entrepreneurship is a team sport. You need a community to support you and help propel you forward. The 2-Day Launch Camp will help you find a community in Seattle and also gain the fundamental knowledge on how to find your earliest adopters (customers) and how to grow your set yourself up for long-term entrepreneurial success.
CG: How do you see SEED SPOT supporting the community long-term?
JBJ: I see SEED SPOT being an integral player within the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Seattle. There is a robust community, but SEED SPOT offers a distinct program that helps build the pipeline of diverse, impact entrepreneurs for later stage programs locally and nationally. I hope to collaborate with the ecosystem and organize SEED SPOT’s Monthly Meetup and 8-Week Impact Accelerator.
SEED SPOT is excited for the 2-Day Launch Camp in Seattle and loves the community of supporters rallying around idea and early-stage entrepreneurs. If you know of an entrepreneur or solo-preneur that is looking to grow their venture and their community, send them our way.
Related articles from SEED SPOT:
The post Building A Pipeline of Diverse, Impact-Driven Entrepreneurs in Seattle appeared first on SEED SPOT.
Pride Month is celebrated each year in June, honoring the historic 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. Fifty years ago today, trailblazers at the Stonewall Inn took a stand against brutality, discrimination, and oppression. These riots were pivotal to the gay rights movement, catapulting the fight for equality to the political front lines — a fight we still know all too well today.
While the United States has taken some steps towards equality, the LGBTQ+ community is still marginalized. 1 in every 5 LGBT+ adult is homeless. We’ve already seen at least 11 transgender people in the US violently killed in 2019. In 2018, more than 70 percent of LGBTQ+ youth reported feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness. The list of terrifying statistics goes on.
CallRail is proud to champion the voices of the LGBTQ+ community, and the strides we’ll take together. ‘Respect everyone’ is one of our core company values, and it’s something we take seriously.
We strive to create an inclusive, safe space for all walks of life. It’s more important now than ever for LGBTQ+ community members and allies alike to unite, look back on the struggles we’ve fought through, and celebrate how far we’ve come. Sharing our stories, finding common ground in our humanity through tough conversations, and celebrating our individuality in the face of inequality takes courage. But no one should live in fear or shame of who they are — our differences are what unite us.
This is something we took to heart as CallRail made its debut in the Atlanta Pride Parade in October of last year. It was a day full of acceptance, love, lots of dancing, and even more hugs.
Leading up to the parade, #PrideRail hosted a panel to share perspectives and educate. We held a clothing donation drive for Lost-N-Found Youth, benefiting homeless LGBTQ+ youth. And we created a fun video for our float truck featuring Fluide makeup, specially designed for all skin tones and gender expressions. We even had a drag show!
For the parade, we leaned into our product offering by wearing shirts and handing out goodies with a CallRail tracking number on them. When attendees call this number, they’re greeted by messages of encouragement and acceptance from CallRail team members.
A loving message can go a lot further than you think, and our hearts will be forever warmed by the appreciative messages we received in return. Our first Pride parade was one for the books!
Today, you can virtually join WorldPride, the biggest Pride march ever! The Human Rights Campaign‘s rallying cry this year is: ” ‘People. Power. Pride.’ — because it’s people like you who celebrate your pride in your individuality that give our fight for equality its power.”
Finally, in celebration of 50 years since that historic day at the Stonewall Inn, here are a few words from Team CallRail about what Pride means to us:
“The thing I love about celebrating pride the most is paying homage to the transwomen at stonewall in 1969 who were protecting their own human and civil rights. Without this history of radical struggle, LGBT rights as we know them would not exist. Liberation for LGBT people is attainable thanks to the audaciousness of consistent community action. Pride is more than glitter and rainbows, it is thriving in intersectional resistance and revolutionary action.”
– Natasha Bailey, Customer Support Specialist
“Pride means an unwavering sense of confidence and truth to self with and without adversity. It’s taken me a while to fully understand what being proud means. Adversity and challenges because of your truth are all too common. But, with pride comes a sense of strength and endurance that is impossible for any outside entity to shake. That unwavering and unrelenting existence creates an internal peace. Pride cannot be moved, because it is who I am.”
– Trishawn Brown, Outbound Sales Development Representative
“There are people out there who are trying to convince you that you aren’t worthy of love — that you’re inherently bad for just being who you are. Pride is making the decision to love yourself anyways. It’s realizing that those people aren’t right just because they’re angry and loud about their convictions. It’s saying ‘forget you’ with a smile.”
– Wes Riley, Customer Support Specialist
“Pride to me means being your true self. Taking the opportunity to grow into yourself and allow people to grow with you and to experience what authenticity looks like. Pride to me means respecting those around you even if they don’t. Pride is understanding that you’ve got a future generation that is in need of your guidance and you are responsible for helping them as you were helped.”
– Linus Djokoto, Customer Support Specialist
“Pride to me means being able to love without bounds, and ideally having the acceptance of your family. I love myself, and even when people cannot, I know that I have love with my chosen family. Like RuPaul says ‘How is anyone gonna love you if you don’t love yourself?’”
– Samantha O’Rourke, Account Specialist
“Pride is the biggest mirror; it reflects and magnifies what and who we are. At its core, Pride is the celebration of the “individual.” Allowing us all to see and truly accept each other. Which, in turn, we understand ourselves a little more.”
– Harrell Wells, Customer Support Team Lead
According to 2017 data collected by the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), dealerships across the United States are spending over 55 percent of their advertising budget on internet ads. (This figure works out to an average monthly ad spend of $26,750 per month.)
And this research tracks with another study of over 300 dealerships, which reveals that more than half of all dealers are overspending on at least one marketing channel. This study also found that half of those surveyed are underspending on social media marketing, and that one in three are overspending on search-engine marketing.
When taken together, these studies indicate that dealerships all across the country are struggling to select the best marketing channels for their messaging — this is exactly where analysis of automotive marketing ROI becomes critical for dealers.
Why does automotive marketing ROI matter?
There are three main reasons why analysis of your automotive marketing ROI is crucial to your overall business strategy:
- Compare your performance to competitors: There are a variety of software tools out there that reveal what your competitors are spending on marketing, as well as their ROI. Understanding your own ROI gives you a standard through which you can compare your performance to your competitors’.
- Gain a deeper understanding of your marketing spend: Regardless of whether you think a marketing campaign or strategy is a good idea, your boss cares about the amount of revenue created from your marketing spending. Knowing your automotive marketing ROI means you can better justify your budget.
- Learn how to better leverage touchpoints: If your marketing touchpoints and organic content are not leading to conversions, then it’s time to re-evaluate your strategy. A deep analysis of your ROI will ensure you’re only investing in high-value marketing channels and touchpoints that consistently drive conversions.
Ultimately, understanding your ROI keeps both you and your team accountable. It can also aid with setting goals and selecting the right KPIs to track, which in turn helps you get better at tracking, analyzing, and improving your marketing.
Calculating automotive marketing ROI
(Sales growth – Marketing Cost) / Marketing Cost = Marketing ROI
Determining your revenue and plugging in numbers to this equation is the easy part; knowing exactly what figures to include is where the challenge begins
This is why it’s critical to track every single dollar you spend on advertising and marketing campaigns. You also should include the cost of any software, apps, freelancers, administrative tools, and even work-hours. Whether you’re paid hourly, biweekly, or monthly, you need to include this cost into the formula along with expenses for any other staff working on the project.
In addition to tracking all of your marketing expenses, it’s also crucial to analyze your customer data — while revenue is a key variable for any automotive marketing ROI calculation, it’s important to understand the story behind the numbers. Tracking touchpoints where customers interact with your dealership and matching this data to your ROI lets you see where the highest returns are happening, while also illuminating areas where improvement is needed.
How to analyze your automotive marketing ROI & enhance attribution
ROI analysis allows you to attach values to your various marketing channels, depending on the revenue these channels are generating for your dealership. For example, centering your analysis purely on clickthroughs or pageviews might make you think that your promotional emails are having the greatest impact.
However, an in-depth calculation of your your ROI will provide you with a more accurate view of a marketing channel’s real value and influence. So while promotional emails may drive customers to your inventory pages, a retargeted paid ad may actually lead to more purchases.
On the other hand, you may find that a marketing channel is successful at getting your customers from the ‘interest’ to the ‘decision’ stage of the customer journey, but it is eating up most of your budget. In cases like this, careful ROI analysis may reveal a more cost-effective way to accomplish your goals, while also optimizing your ad spend and sharpening your keyword research for better SEO results.
But either way, the lesson learned is the same: The most effective way to achieve accurate attribution for your marketing channels is through the calculation and analysis of your ROI.
ROI: The key to understanding what works
NADA’s findings reveal that many dealerships are still struggling to effectively calculate and understand their marketing ROI.
The challenge lies in establishing the right kinds of processes that allow you to accurately track your marketing expenses, and then using that information to create and execute an effective dealership marketing strategy. Part of this process involves tracking as much customer data as possible — this will provide you with the qualitative data you need to make an informed judgment call on the effectiveness of your marketing.
By following these steps, you will not only achieve a more accurate calculation of your automotive marketing ROI, you’ll also be able to decisively prove how much value your marketing strategy is generating for your business.
The post How to calculate automotive marketing ROI for your dealership appeared first on CallRail.
When the two Allstars who attended the Women of the Channel West conference in May talked about their favorite speakers, Keisha Jackson was top of mind. After speaking to Keisha myself it became clear as to why: Keisha is a refreshing woman in the tech industry who, after one conversation, will leave you with the lasting impression that anything is possible. Don’t miss Keisha’s wise words below:
Q: What are your barriers as a woman in tech and how do you overcome them?
A: I just started in the tech industry 15 months ago. Previous to that, I was working in the higher education and non-profit sector. I think it goes back to an issue of where and when you even learn about tech as a potential career.
For example, Microsoft is 72% male-identified folks, and 28% female-identified. Those are pretty startling numbers, but it’s pretty typical of what we see across the entire tech industry, unfortunately. I learned about tech-related careers in middle school or high school. Now that I look back, I see how educators mentored that pathway. Although I was involved in STEM-related activities, I still lost touch with computer science. I did an internship that involved HR, safety, coding and all of these different elements in my local city when I was in high school. But the mentorship and the engagement, both on my side and the side of my mentors, wasn’t quite there. I majored in sociology and communications as an undergraduate. After graduating from college, I worked at a non-profit organization for nearly 6 years. Then, after I earned my master’s degree in student affairs administration, I worked at two different higher education institutions. That’s where I saw mentors who looked like me, professionals who were women, people of color and had diverse backgrounds. I think that a lot of what we see in the tech industry is “where can I see myself represented in positions of leadership and management?” That’s where many people tend to flow, where they see themselves represented.
Q: What made you want to go into tech?
A: I was working at the University of Washington in Seattle, specifically in the Foster School of Business. With my master’s degree and professional background, that made perfect sense. I spent 11 years working in the higher education and non-profit sector, but the last three years I was at the Foster School and my job was to recruit small and medium business owners who were women, or minority folks from diverse backgrounds who owned and operated businesses of all varieties, including tech, law, catering, so on and so forth. Working with those business owners, really opened my eyes to the type of work I could do with my background, with my various skill sets, and how I can take having a decade-plus of professional experience within higher education and non-profit and move into a different area.
The work that I was doing with small business owners in the community really led me to a connection at Microsoft that was focused on “how do we look at business strategy? How does Microsoft engage their partner ecosystem?” Meaning the hundreds of thousands of small, medium and enterprise businesses that build their business on Microsoft technology. We call that our partner ecosystem. Learning about that and thinking “I can take work that I was doing in higher education around program strategy and program management, and transition into a business strategy role at an amazing technology company,” wasn’t even something I considered. I thought if I moved into the tech sector, being somebody who had a higher education background, I would do that as a university recruiter. When I had the opportunity to connect with a hiring manager at Microsoft, she and I discussed how technology was foundational but the role she was hiring for and the team’s charter was ‘how do we build business strategy into our digital marketing engines to enhance our partnerships with our business partners at Microsoft?’ I thought to myself, “Wow, that’s a job?” I had no idea. Networking and having the exposure of “how do you take your transferable skills from one industry into the next?” and access to the opportunity, of course, is huge.
Q: Do you have an example of a time in your career that you’re most proud of?
A: I would say the time of my career that I’m most proud of is ongoing. It is being able to mentor young women who are interested in whatever industry as they are going through their higher education pathway and trying to figure out where they will land as professionals. That’s been the most rewarding aspect of my career, both when I was in the higher education and non-profit sector and now in high tech, corporate. Being able to connect with young women who need guidance around navigational capital to figure out how this system or this employer works. That’s at the top of, I would say, of life experiences, not just career. Being able to mentor and guide and coach young women.
Q: Do you have any advice you’d give to your younger self?
A: I would just say fail faster so that I learn faster. That’s also my biggest problem I’ve noticed in this, my area for improvement, is the box that I put myself in. Even what I was saying earlier around the fact that I have a master’s degree in student affairs administration. If I was going to move into a different industry, it would have to have some connection to university and college. And I found out that it was not true. So I was limited in my career search for several years because I kept thinking in the box of “if I move into corporate or high tech, it needs to be as a university recruiter” because that’s the background that I have. Why would someone hire me in a role that is not a university recruiter or related to some type of function of that type? I was just very limited in my understanding of what was possible. Part of that is also my access to mentors and leaders, which was mostly in the nonprofit and higher education sector. I know a lot of people that have advanced degrees and have had successful careers, but they primarily work in higher education and nonprofit.
By Elias Ross Trupin, Digital Marketing Intern
Every summer SEED SPOT supports young people in innovation by bringing on students and recent graduates as interns. This intern team develops entrepreneurial programming, supports marketing efforts to recruit more entrepreneurs, crafts grant and development proposals, and plans SEED SPOT’s large scale events – all while pursuing other personal goals and career exploration.
Do you have a passion for impact-driven entrepreneurship and social impact ventures? Can you see yourself joining the SEED SPOT intern team in the fall? SEED SPOT is currently recruiting for the next class of interns starting this September. Learn more and apply here.
Now, it’s time to roll out the red carpet and meet the 11 superstars that will be bringing the heat this summer!
Say “hey” to Lexi FitzGerald, the SEED SPOT Event Management Intern!
Hometown: Green Bay, Wisconsin
School: Arizona State University
Major: Business Law
Hopes & Dreams: Lexi wants to own an advertising firm in the future. She’s passionate about marketing and the creativity that goes into advertising is something she loves doing!
Fun Fact: When she’s not crushing it for SEED SPOT, Lexi likes singing, acting, and spending time with her family at the (great) lakes.
This summer, Lexi will use her experience working with startups to assist with the events that we will be hosting in the Phoenix area and around the country.
“I chose to work with SEED SPOT this summer because I really believe in what their mission is and the work they do. I have worked in the start-up community before, so I really see all of the amazing work that SEED SPOT is doing!”
Meet Yagana Hafed, the Funding & Development Intern.
School: The Sage Colleges, MBA & Thunderbird School of Global Management
Major: Masters of Global Management
Hopes & Dreams: Yagana is on her way to a career in International Development
Fun Fact: Where do I start? She knows 4 languages, has lived in 13 countries, boxes and does powerlifting in her free time while she’s not working as a Teaching Assistant! Want to know more? Just wait for her TED talk.
As the Funding and Development Intern Yagana will work directly with the development team on grants, proposal writing, and donor relations. The goal to identify potential donor organizations and increase resources for SEED SPOT to impact more lives across the States.
“SEED SPOT’s mission is close to my heart; I belong to a multi-cultured minority group myself and I am aware of the struggles faced by such individuals. I continue to see the lack of support and resources available to ambitious entrepreneurs that are not only eager to transform their business idea into a reality, but to give back to their community as well.”
Give a warm welcome to Sarah Beth Strickland, the SEED SPOT Entrepreneur Support Intern.
Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee
School: University of Alabama
Major: BA/MA in Economics
Hopes & Dreams: Sarah Beth dreams of opening a gallery that supports disadvantaged artists by providing supplies and business coaching. Artists are entrepreneurs too!
Fun Fact: She loves to paint as a therapeutic activity. Otherwise, you can find her out on the town with friends at trivia nights or trying new restaurants.
As the Entrepreneur Support Intern Sarah Beth’s work will focus on creating support guides on various topics to help entrepreneurs who have been through SEED SPOT programs. She will also help host support calls to help connect entrepreneurs with the resources they need.
“I am incredibly passionate about entrepreneurship and believe that everyone deserves the chance to pursue their own ventures. I also believe that the best change agents for communities are community members themselves. To me, SEED SPOT epitomizes the junction of these two beliefs better than any organization I’ve seen; I am so excited to be a part of this team!”
Coming to the stage… Ava Stone! Curriculum Development Fellow
Hometown: Washington, District of Columbia
School: George Mason University
Program: Dual Master’s Degree in Conflict Analysis/Resolution and Mediterranean Security
Hopes & Dreams: Her ideal career is to broker design principles in community development which she’s
Fun Fact: Someone who she admires is her mentor, Erik Cole in her words “He is a DC native that went on to run and hold local office in Nashville, TN. Erik is a truly down-to-earth and self-aware leader who applies his passion for civic engagement to developing innovative programs in the social sector.”
As Curriculum Development Fellow, Ava will work on a new and exciting opportunity to engage with the SEED SPOT community starting in August. Stay tuned!
“I’m working with SEED SPOT because I believe in SEED SPOT’s mission to build capacity around social entrepreneurship.”
It’s a bird? A UFO? Nope, it’s Jay Ghosh, SEED SPOT Data Visualization Intern.
Hometown: Washington, District of Columbia
School: University of Colorado at Boulder
Major: Information Science
Hopes & Dreams: Jay wants to be an entrepreneur because he really values the idea of being totally independent and being able to solve problems that the market currently doesn’t have solutions to.
Fun Fact: Jay follows political coverage closely, ask him about the importance of data and data visualization in public policy!
“I chose SEED SPOT because I’m really into data visualization and was looking for experience in that area; it was good fortune that I was able to find it at such a great organization.”
Here come the marketers! Batting first: Zach Geller.
Hometown: Natick, Massachusetts
School: American University
Hopes & Dreams: Much like Jay, Zach likes the idea of entrepreneurship because of the independence.
Fun Fact: Zach’s favorite hobby is skiing – in the winter he goes alpine skiing and in the summer he does waterskiing. He’s also an avid biker, so it’s a good thing DC has so many bike shares!
As a marketing intern, Zach will be compiling data on SEED SPOT’s impact to share our progress with the world.
“I chose SEED SPOT because I’m interested in someday being an entrepreneur. I saw the mission statement of SEED SPOT and thought that it was a really good idea that could help a lot of people and that it’s something that I could be proud to say that I contributed to.”
Coming to the plate Elias Ross Trupin… Oh, that’s me!
Hometown: San Francisco, California
School: The George Washington University
Hopes & Dreams: My ideal career is using social entrepreneurship to create equitable solutions to major structural issues that prevent communities from living their best lives. I do this because I recognize the failures of a lot of well-meaning projects and hope to improve future outcomes.
Fun Fact: I like to listen to walk and listen to podcasts. The other day I walked from Foggy Bottom to the Capital while listening to Smithsonian Side-door, it helps me explore the world in more than one way!
In my role on the marketing team, I’ll be focusing on research-intensive content like blogs, ebooks, and the annual impact report!
“I’ve been a fan of SEED SPOT for a while but I’m now getting more involved in social entrepreneurship as a serious livelihood. I am starting a student organization for peer mentorship next semester and teaching an entrepreneurship course at the GWU Pre-College.”
Batting third for the SEED SPOT Marketers, the power hitter, Madeline Bedard.
Hometown: Portland, Oregon
School: University of Oregon
Major: Advertising & Political Science
Hopes & Dreams: In the future, she wants to work in marketing or advertising in the nonprofit sector. She is driven by a desire to create change through her work and art.
Fun Fact: Madeline is a devoted swimmer, coffee drinker, dog lover, reader, and overall explorer. She has been trying to read more non-fiction books and has a goal to write her own someday.
As a digital marketing intern, Madeline will work on social media posts and analytics as well as assisting with graphic designs for decks and activities.
“I am interested in working for non-profits during my career, and SEED SPOT seems like a great way to start. I love that SEED SPOT empowers entrepreneurs to make a difference in their local communities. I also appreciate that SEED SPOT Alumni have worked in areas of conservation and sustainable development.”
Now, a round of applause for the SEED SPOT Schools Training and Support Intern, Andrew Dzielinski
Hometown: Mesa, Arizona
School: Thunderbird School of Global Management
Program: MA Global Affairs and Management
Hopes & Dreams: Andrew wants to use his experience teaching to make social innovation curriculum a priority in schools.
Fun Fact: He’s hooked on wanderlust and music, but when there’s no money for travel and he’s not at the drumset you can find him discussing philosophy
As the SEED SPOT Schools Training and support intern, Andrew will use his passion for social impact innovation to train teachers on how to teach SEED SPOT’s curriculum to their students.
“I’ve always fought for making sure social impact teaching finds its way into our schools ever since I was a teacher in Malaysia’s Cempaka International School, teaching a class called Global Perspectives.”
SHE’S BACK AND BETTER THAN EVER IT’S BethEl Nager!
Hometown: Scottsdale, Arizona
School: Arizona State University
Major: Elementary Education
Hopes & Dreams: BethEl wants to be an intellectual property attorney to defend the ideas and innovations of Arizona businesspeople.
Fun Fact: Her answer was too good, so we included it in full:
“*Insert Miss America answer here*
If I could wave a magic wand and solve a problem, it would be discrimination. Today, there is a major disconnect between different ethnic groups, races, and cultures. I believe if everyone was reminded that we are all humans, with the same desire to make a difference and be part of a community, the world would be more symbiotic and inclusive.”
As the Community training and support intern, BethEl will help build relationships with mentors, create curriculum, and analyze data about alumni to make SEED SPOT even more amazing.
“I am over-the-moon to be working with SEED SPOT again. I was part of the inaugural high school program. It was an amazing, real-world experience. As a result, I am passionate about business and the protection of ideas. SEED SPOT has a wonderful, vibrant community; learning about entrepreneurship this summer will make me a more well-rounded attorney in the future.”
Last but 110% not least, our very own Graphic Design Intern, Sarina De Rose!
Hometown: Tempe, Arizona
School: Arizona State University
Major: Graphic Information Technology
Hopes & Dreams: Sarina is passionate about graphic design and animation. She’s aiming for a job where learning and freedom are a priority.
Fun Fact: Someone she truly admires is Jane Goodall. She is a person Sarina looked up to growing up and believes she has truly made the world a better place. Goodall’s determination allowed her to make some amazing discoveries and she is a really inspiring person.
As SEED SPOT Graphic Design Intern, Sarina will be designing branded icons and will also be helping out with other support materials like templates and guides.
“I chose to work at SEED SPOT because I felt I could learn a lot from this internship. I also think their core values and overall mission is incredible and truly makes the world a better place.”
So there you have it, these 11 people have seen the world twice over and are ready to make their voices heard through their different roles and goals at SEED SPOT. Keep your eyes peeled for great things to come from each and every one of these inspiring individuals. These interns are getting started on their career journey. If you want to connect with them, email us! “Alexa, this is dope, play Africa by Weezer.”
The post 11 SEED SPOT Summer Interns support Entrepreneurs, manage Data Visualization and more! appeared first on SEED SPOT.
When used correctly, market development funds (MDFs) can be an excellent way to grow your channel business. We’ll share a few ways for you to use these funds more effectively, but first, it’s important that you understand what they are and why they aren’t always a fan favorite in the marketing world.
Understanding Market Development Funds
Market development funds are made available by a brand to help channel partners sell more of their products. MDFs help build brand presence and improve marketing efforts. And while they can be effective, they’re often both underrated and underused.
Sometimes MDFs get a bad rap for yielding low returns, but this is because the funds are either poorly spent or, many times, not even spent at all. Many also cite disorganization, red tape, and constant modifications to the program as common MDF pain points.
On the flip side, when the right strategy is put in place, MDFs can be a successful way to grow your channel program. Cisco Systems is a good example of a company with a program that’s well managed and has positive results. It offers a “virtual wallet” to partners, a tool for spending money on sales and marketing activities.
Cisco also created a “marketing concierge” program, which is essentially an outreach effort to ensure partners are spending MDFs and to make them aware of when funds will expire to avoid wasted dollars. Because 80 percent of Cisco’s business comes from the channel, it has placed a major emphasis on working with partners.
Ways to Use Funds More Effectively
Of course, what you really want to know is how you can use MDFs wisely to boost your bottom line. By following a few of our guidelines, you’ll be reaping the rewards of a successful MDF program in no time.
1. Develop a clear strategy
You should develop a clear MDF strategy, define your objectives, and share them with partners. By establishing a plan up front, you can avoid confusion on the future direction of the program. With that said, you should make sure to be fluid and allow for flexibility in the plan so you don’t limit your partners creatively.
2. Collaborate with partners
It’s important to steer partners in the right direction without holding them back. Guide your partners toward ideas for using the funds, but don’t force anything. This will help provide your partners with focus while still leaving room for creativity. By giving them the flexibility to fully market and brand your content, you’ll empower your partners and help set them up for success.
3. Track the results
You should also track the results of your MDF efforts and then use what you learn to optimize your strategy in the future. Investing in partner relationship management (PRM) software will help you track results, then learn and repeat what worked the best. Make it a point to celebrate the wins of the program by sharing MDF successes to motivate partners.
When best practices are followed, MDFs can be an effective way to boost channel sales. By developing a clear strategy, collaborating with partners, and tracking your results, you can build out a successful MDF program.
Want to learn more about PRM software and how it can help streamline your channel sales and improve your partner relationships? Request a free Allbound demo to learn more about our PRM solution.
The post 3 Ways to Use MDFs More Effectively in the Channel appeared first on Partner Relationship Management Software (PRM).
Call Today! Reserve Your Spot! Contact Us! Submit! These are all examples of call to actions that send different messages to consumers. Perfecting your ads call to action can ensure that you are delivering the correct message and having the highest conversion rate for your advertising.
Here at Pain Free Dental Marketing, we believe there are three crucial parts for creating the perfect call to action to maximize your CTR:
- Knowing your audience
- Knowing your product
- Knowing your marketing channel
Each of these factors plays a critical role in forming the perfect call to action — one that will lead to more calls, and more form fills. Let’s explore each one of these items in more detail, and see how you can start putting them to work for your business right now.
This post was written by our friends at Pain Free Dental Marketing, who have a passion for helping their clients grow their practice through effective marketing strategies.
1) Knowing your audience
In a literal sense, our job is to grow our clients’ practices by delivering new patients through phone calls and form leads. But in order to do this, we first must understand the value proposition of these potential new patients.
For those of us in the dental business, this customer value-prop tends to fall into one of two segments: Those that are more insurance-focused, and those that are more quality-of-care-focused. While this is a spectrum, we are able to form a generalized picture of what the audience is looking for through information from their current provider, as well as demographic research about the area in which that provider is located.
On our clients’ websites, we design the ‘contact us’ call to action button with these thoughts in mind. For example, with audience segments that place importance on insurance coverage, we may use a ‘book an appointment’ button — this tactic aims to get the potential new patients into the sales funnel. And for segments that are more focused on quality-of-care, we may use language such as ‘Request an Appointment.’ By using the word ‘request’ instead of the word ‘book,’ we are indicating that some appointments may have limited availability.
We also want to make sure our ad copy suits these demographics. For more cost-focused audience segments, we tend to make the ad as straightforward as possible. Here’s an example of what that looks like:
In this ad, we focus entirely on promoting a discount and nudging the reader towards making a call. The potential new patient knows right away that the discount is available, and sees a phone number that they can call immediately.
On the other hand, for audience segments that are more focused on quality of care, we focus more on patient education. Here’s an example of an ad geared towards this audience:
Here, we focus on the types of treatments the practice offers, as well as nudging the potential new patient towards visiting the client’s website. We use the ‘Learn More’ call to action button to drive potential new patients to the website, where they can read in more detail about the quality of care on offer.
There are also some call to actions that we try to avoid, no matter what audience we’re targeting. For our lead forms, for example, we avoid using the word ‘submit.’ This is a very generic phrase, and we have found it attracts less form fills than when using phrases such as ‘contact us now’ or ‘request an appointment.’
By knowing your audience and writing call to actions that fit that audience, you’re that much more likely to see a sizable increase to your CTR.
2) Knowing your product
Sometimes clients will ask us to focus our advertising efforts on specific products, such as Invisalign® or veneers. Depending on the product, we have to craft a call to action that not only hits home with potential patients but also drives them to take some sort of action. This can be different for individual products based on a variety of factors, including cost, necessary versus elective, and length of procedure.
As an example, we have a client who wants to focus on implants, which includes single implants, full mouth reconstruction, and all-on-fours. When writing the call to action, we had to consider a number of factors. The first is that, while it is an expensive treatment, the client does offer a free consultation.
Since we wanted to increase the number of people coming into the top of the funnel, we designed a call to action button on the home page with that specific focus. We also used action words to direct people to click the button:
With these ads, we included the free consultation but also made sure to include a value proposition for the product itself:
In this example, we give potential patients the value-prop of “Achieve Your Dream Smile,” and then follow that up with the call to action of “Call for a Free Consultation.” Since this can be a costly treatment, we also wanted to give potential patients the option to read more information about the office and the team.
By using ad copy like “Achieve Your Dream Smile,” we can attract potential patients who both need dental implants as well as people who are interested in implants for purely cosmetic reasons. By combining these phrases — and making sure to create a powerful action statement and call to action — this campaign enjoyed a nice boost to its CTR.
For this and other initiatives, office forms are a crucial factor when it comes to tracking the effectiveness of our marketing. About 70 percent of the client’s leads come in through the forms. That meant we needed to build a form that not only collected the necessary data, but was also visually attractive and captured a high percentage of leads:
We titled the form “Request an Appointment” so that the form’s intended use was clear, but we added a subtitle to remind potential patients why they are filling out the form. For the submission button, we used the text “Get Started” — we chose this text because it spoke to the larger journey that a patient undertakes in order to achieve the smile they want.
3) Knowing your marketing channels
Consumers who use multiple marketing channels tend to have different needs when it comes to call to actions. We separate these initiatives into two opposing categories: Push marketing vs pull marketing. We define ‘push marketing’ as marketing where we are pushing the advertisement to potential consumers. (For our agency’s work, this generally means marketing done via social media.)
In cases like this, we focus our call to action on getting potential patients to learn more about the office:
In this ad, we discuss how the team loves seeing new smiles. Since the consumer did not request to see this ad, we don’t want to be too pushy in our ad copy or our call to action.
Conversely, we define ‘pull advertising’ as advertising where the consumer has to take an action to receive the ad. (With our agency, this approach generally involves PPC campaigns.) Here, we focus on the call to action in order to get a result immediately after the consumer sees the ad. Our clients tend to prefer calls over form fills, so our call to action is generally a ‘call now’ button. Or, if the audience is on a mobile device, we use a call extension set up through our client’s CallRail account.
By having call to actions that are written with these three factors in mind, we are able to increase our conversion rate and ensure a high level of effectiveness for our marketing campaigns. But to make sure we have enough data to write effective call to actions, we spend the first few weeks of our engagement with a client on doing the necessary research about their office and audience demographics. Then, we put together our initial strategy.
And after about six months we review the ads, using CallRail and Google Analytics, to see which call to actions are most effective in booking new patients. By constantly reviewing and updating your call to actions, you can ensure that your ads stay relevant to consumers and your ad campaigns are as effective as possible.
The post How to write better Call To Actions to maximize Click-Through Rate appeared first on CallRail.