Cognitive load and the convenience problem

Why do smart people trade away so much money and freedom for just a little convenience?

We do it all the time. We take the easy path, the simple shortcut or the long-term bad deal simply because it feels easier.

The reason? Thinking is not worth the hassle.

Cognitive load overwhelms us. Too many choices. The stakes feel too high. Every day, we make 1,000 times as many different decisions as our cavemen ancestors did. We’re exhausted from all the decisions, and more than that, from the narrative we have about making them poorly.

Over the years, marketers have offered us one wonder or another in exchange for just a little cognitive load. And those promises have often been empty. Not worth the hassle.

So now, we’ll press the re-order button like a pigeon in a lab. It’s easier.

If you want people to stop and think, you’ll need to do two things: Make a very big promise… and then keep it.

       


Facebook Attribution Windows: How to Get Started

As mentioned in a previous post, social attribution windows are incredibly important for advertisers to track metrics and maximize performance.

A quick one-sentence recap to save time if you didn’t read that post:

Social attribution windows provide the ability to track user actions within a length of time (view or click) and connect with the source.

Attribution windows are powerful tools you can use to learn more about users’ interactions with your ads, which will help improve results. Attribution windows are not for beginners, but very important to succeed in paid media as more advertisers come to the various social platforms, which in turn increase ad costs.

What’s the Facebook Attribution Window?

Facebook’s attribution window shows you the number of actions taken directly on your ads within a defined timeframe. Any ad impressions, link clicks, and video views that led to a conversion in the set time period are attributed to the Facebook ad.

Here’s an example scenario:

A Facebook user clicks your ad to visit your website to potentially buy a pair of shoe strings. The user decides not to purchase at that current time. The user then comes back three days later to buy the shoe strings. We can attribute the shoe string purchase to the original ad the user clicked on Facebook.

Facebook Pixel Importance and Setup Basics

As mentioned in the previous section, the attribution window can track conversion events on your website. However, the Facebook pixel will need to be set up and installed correctly in order to get results.

There are two important parts to remember when installing the Facebook pixel:

  1. Your website needs to include the page view pixel code pasted in the website header Facebook Page View Pixel Code Installation Screen ShotFacebook Page View Pixel Code Installation Screen Shot
  2. The most appropriate Conversion Events that align with your goals need to be added to the website. For example, an e-commerce site would at the very least want to add viewed content, add to cart, and purchase events. Facebook Conversion Event Selection Screen ShotFacebook Conversion Event Selection Screen Shot

 

Different Types of Facebook Attribution Windows

The number of attribution windows provided by Facebook is relatively small at seven compared to other social networks (Pinterest = 25 🙃). The fewer number of attribution windows helps to simplify your analysis and make better decisions without being overwhelmed.

The largest Facebook attribution window (28-day click, 1-day view) is the default setting that appears in the Ads Manager, and the smallest is 1-day click. We usually recommend starting with a 7-day click attribution window and then adjust based on the number of paid marketing channels.

Chart showing different type of Facebook Attribution WindowsChart showing different type of Facebook Attribution Windows
 

Facebook Attribution Window Real Life Examples

The first example in the Ads Manager shows why using the Facebook attribution window and referencing all of the metrics is essential. At first glance, the first ad set appears to be performing the worst based on the cost per link click metric. However, using Facebook’s 7-day click attribution window, we can tell it’s the best performing, generating a $4.22 return on ad spend.

Screen Shot of Facebook Attribution Windows in Ads ManagerScreen Shot of Facebook Attribution Windows in Ads Manager
 
The second example highlights the difference between the Facebook ads manager and Google Analytics. It’s important to keep in mind that Google Analytics reports based on a last click attribution window. You’ll notice the purchases reported in Google Analytics (Last Click) is much less than Facebook (7-Day Click).

Screen shot comparing Facebook Ads Manager and Google Analytics Attribution Screen shot comparing Facebook Ads Manager and Google Analytics Attribution

 

We usually see a halo effect that Google Analytics cannot track as a result of Facebook advertising. Someone will visit the website through an ad, but not purchase. That same person will visit the site through organic search two days later and make a purchase. Google Analytics will then attribute the purchase to organic search, and Facebook will assign it to the original ad the person clicked through.

How to Find and Change the Facebook Attribution Window

The setting to adjust the attribution window in Facebook is found in the Ads Manager. The setting is easy to access and change anytime you’d like to monitor a different window.

Follow these three steps to locate:

  1. Go to your Ads Manager account and select the Columns drop-down menu. Screen shot showing how to locate Columns drop-down in Ads ManagerScreen shot showing how to locate Columns drop-down in Ads Manager
  2. From the drop-down menu, select Customize Columns near the bottom. Screen shot showing how to locate Customize Columns option in Ads ManagerScreen shot showing how to locate Customize Columns option in Ads Manager
  3. Finally, click the blue Comparing Windows link, choose the various attribution windows you want to compare, and then click the blue Apply button. Screen shot showing how to locate Comparing Windows link in Ads ManagerScreen shot showing how to locate Comparing Windows link in Ads Manager

The Facebook Attribution Window is an important part of any digital marketer’s toolkit. It provides insights into what’s performing best and how it compares against other third party (i.e. Google) analytics platforms. The flexibility of the seven Facebook Attribution Windows will help make more accurate decisions and campaign adjustments.

The post Facebook Attribution Windows: How to Get Started appeared first on Portent.


On winning

Most people try to win.

The real question is, “at what?”

If you focus your sights on winning the local bowling league, the effort can consume you, and you will be aware of your progress and your competition.

Or, if you turn the poetry you’re writing into your game, with the goal of winning that next stanza–not in the eyes of a publisher, an editor or a reader, but in your eyes–you can turn that into your thing.

If, instead, your goal is to raise more money at a higher valuation in the Valley, then that’s the game you’ve chosen.

Or, perhaps, your game is to bend others to your will, to prey on yet another human you see as weaker than you are…

Often, we choose games we can’t possibly win. That approach might be working for you, as it lets you off the hook because you won’t have to work out what to do if you win.

And sometimes, we choose games where we can’t win unless someone else loses. And these games can often have long-term, toxic after-effects.

As you can see, modifying a game you’re already playing because you don’t like how it’s turning out isn’t nearly as useful as picking the right game in the first place.

       


The Duty Of The Retail Industry In Battling Unemployment

For both the public and the government, unemployment is a crucial issue to address. For people, it is the sheer instability of income that can place pressure on their everyday lives. For the government, the problem lies in people needing jobseeker’s allowance, which in turn impact disposable income and the state of the economy.  

2019 is set to bring only further high street closures, and the issue of unemployment is pressing heavily upon retail staff. But there are ways for the retail sector to work around the problem.   

 

Disabilities  

Being unable to work due to disability is a common issue. In order to reduce the amount of people who are out of work down to a disability, The Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work launched a campaign in 2018 which retailers can voluntarily opt in to. It is called the “Disability Confident” employer scheme which provides employers with the skills, examples and confidence to recruit and develop disabled employees. The government aims to see one million more disabled people in work by 2027 and this is a great opportunity for retailers who are doing well in the industry to expand their workforce. By looking at the Disability Confident list of employers that have signed up, we can see that branches of big names such as Asda, Barclays, and B&M Bargains are all committed.  

 

Diversity  

Another common issue raised in employment is the lack of diversity in some companies. In 2017 it was reported that retail companies in the FTSE 100 are ahead of other industries when it comes to gender diversity. Retailers should focus on broadening their selection process when it comes to the recruitment process. This can ensure that those who’ve lost a job in a retail position face equal opportunity when it comes to finding a new role.   

Hiring employees from all walks of life is not only beneficial to the workforce, but to the workplace too. Ultimately, when a workforce is representative of a customer base, it can lead to a better understanding of the target market and an improvement in business performance.  

 

Charities  

Here are many charities who help those struggling to find work. Partnering with a disabled or mental health charity for example can help you reach those who are out of work because of a disability or health issue and encourage them to apply.  

Men’s suits retailer, CT Shirts, is a great example of this. This company has a long-standing partnership with the Prince’s Trust which involves fundraising and a mutually beneficial relationship. This charity works closely with vulnerable young people who need a helping hand to get their lives back on track. Like many retailers that The Trust works with, CT Shirts took advantage of one of their “Get Hired” days — a day of greetings and interviews with young people who have been through The Prince’s Trust Programmes to get to know some potential employees.  

 

New training  

Though the in-store environment may be slowing down, e-commerce teams are thriving. Therefore, an important consideration to make is whether retail employees should be trained in other areas of the business too. Or at least should their knowledge of the company and its products or services be valued so that their given the opportunity to progress in another area of the business after redundancy? 

It’s certainly something to consider in the event of redundancy being on the cards for a store’s staff. Cross-discipline training can also encourage more loyal employees and therefore those who are more invested in the performance of the retail business as a whole 

Here are so many ways retail stores can work around unemployment threats. As some companies pave the way, it’s down to other industry players to make big changes too. 

Sources 

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/feb/27/retail-workers-facing-high-unemployment-thinktank-finds  

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/jan/21/over-23000-shops-and-175000-high-street-jobs-predicted-to-go-in-2019  

https://www.burton-sweet.co.uk/retailers-encouraged-to-employ-more-disabled-workers/  

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/disability-confident-employers-that-have-signed-up  

https://www.ctshirts.com/uk/princes-trust-interview.html  


What Marketers Can Learn From 2020 Presidential Candidates’ Text Messaging

I’m having a blast continuing my research into the marketing aspects of the US Presidential election cycle. I live only 20 miles from the New Hampshire border and drive to events in this first in the nation primary state. In this post we’ll take a look at how the candidates use text messaging platforms and what marketers can learn from the good and the bad.


Here’s What we Get Wrong About Persuasion

New email subscribers receive articles first thing, with additional resources. If you work and live with others, persuasion is not a “nice to have” concept—it’s essential to living a fulfilled and productive life. Would you not want better relationships with your family? Think about it, these are the people you grew up alongside—siblings, parents—or helped grow—teenagers. How about getting raises at work or better jobs? Would you want to improve dealing with emotional situations? How about getting help to meet goals? In business, we’d love to find more value in the things we trade. We might want to solve broader…


Benefits of Drinking Coffee

After growing and harvesting the coffee crops, the appetizing coffee is delivered to our place. Coffee has an amazing taste. Coffee is sold widely in every corner of the world! It can be prepared to drink easily and give a good amount of energy to our body. People often look for a coffee van for sale making coffee their part-time or full-time business as people look for a tasty cup of coffee nearby. Apart from its delicious and unique kind of taste, it has a number of benefits which are stated below: 

 

1. Energy Level

Most of the people getting late for their office prefer taking a cup of coffee which makes them feel fresh and energetic till their lunch break. Thus, coffee provides a good amount of energy. Moreover, coffee is not even junk meal which cannot be taken in a regular interval. It also makes a positive impact on our brain and helps to work in a proper manner. 

 

2. Burns Fat

Yes! If you are overweight and are not able to lose weight even after performing the heavy workout and following a strict diet plan, then you must add coffee to your list. Coffee contains a good amount of caffeine which is responsible for weight loss. Caffeine actually increases your metabolism rate which makes your fat burn and loses your fat. Thus, one must drink coffee to stay fit and lose fat. 

 

3. Physical Performance

Coffee contains nutrients which are responsible for the increasing rate of excretion of biological chemicals which results in an improvement in your physical performance. These biological chemicals provide energy to perform daily routine tasks and to stay healthy. This is the reason why most of the people prefer to have a cup of coffee after returning from the gym. Moreover, coffee also fulfills some of the essential nutrients required by our body. 

 

4. Mental Performance

Apart from the advantages of physical performance, coffee also contributes a lot in improving your mental performance. If you are feeling sad and depressed, having a cup of coffee could help you feel better. Coffee makes us feel happier and improves the quality of our life! Coffee has some nutrients in it which provides energy to our mind and makes us feel mentally good. Researches show that people who drink  3-4 cups of coffee in a day are less depressed than people having lesser than that. Relieving mental stress would also help in working at the office in a better manner giving better results. 

 

5. Health Benefits

Coffee has components which make us free from certain kinds of serious diseases. Coffee lowers the risk of getting type 2 diabetes which is a concerned problem worldwide. Coffee also decreases the risk of getting certain types of cancer. It also makes sure that our liver functions well as it performs a number of functions. Studies have proved that people drinking coffee leads to a longer life as it lowers the risk of certain diseases from 15% to 20%.  


Justifying mediocre work

The list of reasons is nearly endless.

We need all of them to explain the shortcuts, phone-ins and half-work that we’re surrounded by.

All of them are pretty good reasons too. We’re in a hurry, the system is unfair, the market demands it, no one will notice, it’s not my job, I was handed a lousy spec, the materials are second-rate, the market won’t pay for quality, competition is cutthroat, my boss is a jerk, it’s actually pretty good, no one appreciates the good stuff anyway…

On the other hand, there’s only one way to justify work that’s better than it needs to be: Because you cared enough.

       


Subdirectories vs. Subdomains for 2019 and Beyond

The one topic I’ve seen Google and SEOs disagree on the most is where the best place to host content is. SEOs say subdomains aren’t optimal, and Google says it doesn’t matter because they can read and understand your content wherever it is. Google even put out a video to try to clarify the matter, but no one was satisfied with their answer.

So what’s the disconnect? While it’s true Google has no problem understanding content on subdomains, SEOs say that content doesn’t perform as well in Google’s search engine. Google disagrees and says that subdomains aren’t a problem, yet the SEO industry continues to publish case study after case study that refutes Google’s claim.

Until Google offers an alternative explanation of what the SEO world is seeing, marketers still have to decide how to host their content.

As an SEO, my recommendation is to host your content on your primary domain – unless you have a very good reason not to. Even if Google turns out to be correct, and it doesn’t matter either way for performance, organizing your content in subdirectories on your primary domain is the better decision for your infrastructure and long-term SEO.

It’s a Technical Difference

Example of URL best practices for SEOExample of URL best practices for SEO

 

The difference between placing a blog at blog.brand.com or brand.com/blog seems insignificant. We’re putting blog at the end of the URL instead of the beginning, right?

The distinction goes back to the early days of the internet before the web existed. It was conventional for system administrators to host additional services on subdomains, like mail.domain.com for the email server, or ftp.domain.com to filesystem access.

For the web to come into being, servers needed to be able to deliver HTML files to remote users, so system administrators added web servers to the network and made them available from the www subdomain. That’s why everyone’s URL is www.brand.com. So you’re probably hosting your content on a subdomain already, but it’s your primary subdomain.

What this blog explores is whether you should put things like your blog or international content on subdomains other than your primary.

The Results are In

SEO’s aren’t wrong to believe subdirectories work better for organic rankings. There are several published examples of brands moving their content to their primary domain and seeing performance boosts. Rand Fishkin was gracious enough to compile a list of case studies that document this effect.

The examples in Rand’s list that make the case most clearly are here:

There’s even an example of a brand moving their blog to a subdomain and seeing a performance drop.

Would you see a similar effect if you moved your blog from blog.brand.com to brand.com/blog? Hard to say. Every case is different, and migrating content is rarely the only change being made in these examples.

Keep Your Link Authority in One Place

The case against subdomains is not just about immediate rankings; it’s also about guiding your SEO strategy into the future. This is the main reason why I recommend keeping content on the primary domain whenever possible.

Where would you rather host your content, on two domains with 1,000 backlinks each, or one domain with 2,000 backlinks?

These are the possible futures you’re choosing between when considering using a subdomain for your content. Over the years, your content is going to earn backlinks from all over the web. If your content is in a separate location, like a blog subdomain, you’re splitting your backlinks between the two.

Suppose five years down the line your website is redesigned, and you retire the subdomain and switch to a subdirectory structure for your blog. You’ll be in a situation where you have to redirect all those links from the subdomain to the primary domain, and as we know, redirects waste link authority.

Having to redirect a lot of backlinks is not a great position to be in. You would have been better off if those links pointed to the primary domain in the first place.

Keep Your Overhead Low

How many websites do you want to pay for? How many web applications do you want your engineers to maintain? Every subdomain you add to your website introduces another hosting environment to your technology stack and all the business concerns that come with it.

A new subdomain could mean additional costs for any of these:

  • 3rd party hosting or subscription fees
  • Additional SSL certificates or a wildcard certificate
  • Developer hours for the subdomain CMS
  • Additional colocation space or network hardware

You would also have to manage login credentials, analytics, security, and webmaster consoles for the subdomain. If you have regulatory compliance to worry about, these headaches add up fast.

Plan Ahead

The best way to avoid having to deal with the subdomain question at all is starting with a website that does everything you want. Very often, I’ll find brands that try to tack on functionality later due to lack of foresight.

Begin with an infrastructure that will do everything you need. If you’re going to need a blog or eCommerce experience, choose a CMS with those built into the app. Or you could even go with an extensible CMS, like WordPress or Drupal. Shopify has a lot of SEO quirks, but it’s relatively solid and comes with a few site speed improvements out of the box.

Planning ahead also includes anything you’re going to test for your digital strategy. If you’re considering trying out blogging, and I recommend you do if you aren’t, plan how you’re going to proceed after a successful test. You will need to find a way to add a blog to the main domain if the content strategy test works (and it probably will.)

Sometimes a Subdomain is the Right Choice

There are a few cases where a subdomain makes the most sense for your brand outside of technical necessity. Usually, it’s for a sub-brand or a product that is substantially different than what the brand normally sells.

If your content satisfies most of these criteria, then you should probably use a subdomain:

    • The content or branding isn’t different enough to justify an entirely different domain
    • Users would be confused if they navigated between the two content experiences
    • The content sells a completely independent product or is part of a portfolio of products

Google itself is pretty good at this. They have developers.google.com, assistant.google.com, cloud.google.com, store.google.com… and the list goes on. Each subdomain is an aspect of Google, but totally independent and hosts its own thing.

Another valid case for a subdomain is content that will never need to be indexed by a search engine. Paid landing pages, content behind login screens, and company intranets are all good examples.

Mobile and International Considerations

I’ve seen a lot of brands create trouble for themselves by adopting subdomains for mobile and international versions of their websites. They’re the worst option for either strategy and create a lot of headache for your SEO team down the line.

The future of the web is responsive and mobile-first. It’s the easiest and simplest way to adapt to modern internet usage. Brands that disregard this tend to tack on mobile subdomains that plague their technical teams with problems like:

      • Wasted crawl budget and canonicalization issues
      • Server-side device detection and redirect handling
      • Maintaining content parity between mobile and desktop sites
      • Shrinking content and navigation to fit mobile screens

International websites are usually implemented in three ways: ccTLDs, subdirectories, and subdomains. Subdirectories have no upsides over the other two options. ccTLDS aren’t optimal either, but at least they contain a strong signal about which country they’re targeting.

Using a subdirectory strategy for international websites is something I see more brands using every year. I think they are realizing the benefits of having everything in one place: one CMS, one development team, better content parity, and easier management of hreflang tags.

Imagine using a subdomain strategy for your blog, mobile site, and international content. Your URLs would look like this: m.fr.blog.brand.com. What a mess.

The Dispute Will Rage On

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think anyone in the SEO industry has proven the technical reason why subdomains tend to perform worse than subdirectories. I have my suspicions, but nothing that’s easily tested. Google definitely isn’t going to come forward with the mechanism; they never talk about how their systems actually work.

Like Google’s 200+ secret herbs and spices, we’ll never really know for sure.

Unless there is a new wave of case studies concluding that switching to a subdirectory strategy destroyed their rankings or nothing happened, it’s a safe bet to switch to a subdirectory.

The post Subdirectories vs. Subdomains for 2019 and Beyond appeared first on Portent.


7 Ways to Cut Down on Your Recruitment Costs

Without a doubt, hiring a new team is one of the costliest processes all organizations go through. Each step of the whole process requires some sort of investment as you look for qualified candidates. You need to be ready to pay for additional expenses as you start onboarding your new employees as well. 

Since recruitment is a huge part of your company’s operational overall expenses, containing these costs is a must. 

 

Saving Money on Company Recruitment 

Leading recruitment consultants based in the Middle East say that an excellent way to start managing these expenses is first to understand how much the whole hiring process is actually costing your company. Once done, you can identify the areas where certain expenses can be eliminated or reduced.  

After pinpointing these particular areas, follow these tips to save on recruitment costs without compromising your talent pipeline: 

 

1. Take advantage of social recruiting 

Using social media in your recruitment strategy is one of the most cost-effective methods you can implement. This is because joining popular social networking sites does not require any financial outlay unless you want to have access to premium services. 

To get the most from social media recruiting, select one or two platforms first where your applicants are most likely to be found. Concentrate on posting the right, engaging messages and interacting with your followers. 

If you are looking to hire a number of candidates within a short time, think about paying for advertising campaigns to target specific audience groups. Make sure you try various techniques that have been proven effective in getting the attention and engagement of social media users for better results as well. 

 

2. Create clear, engaging job postings 

Whether you use online or traditional job advertising methods or both, make sure your post grabs the interest of readers. 

This means creating job ads that are well-written and free from error. They need to have a concise list or outline the job’s essential requirements and responsibilities. Online job posts also have to be compelling and optimized for search as well. 

Additionally, make sure the listed requirements are really needed. Moreover, to encourage more readers to apply, add some notable perks that come with working for your company. 

 

3. Automate some of the recruitment tasks 

Although investing in new software sometimes requires a costly upfront layout, the benefits of having and using one will outweigh your initial investment in the long run. 

With the right software, you or your staff will be able to screen dozens of applications without having to do so manually. It will also allow you to sort applications automatically thereby saving you a lot of time and effort in the process. 

Additionally, certain types of software will help you automate some recruitment-related tasks such as post-application and social messaging and automated helpdesk messages. 

Through automation, you will also do away with the need to hire additional permanent or temporary HR staff to help you with recruitment. 

 

4. Reduce hiring time  

When you reduce the time you use to hire new employees, you lower the cost per hire. This is because you avoid renewing payments for online and traditional ads. You will also enable your HR staff to focus on other parts of the business which will contribute to improved operations and productivity. 

To begin hiring new workers faster, make sure the job ad or description is complete, concise, and agreed upon by all persons involved before it is posted. 

Additionally, using certain types of technology such as video interviewing, consolidating first round and assessment interviews, and asking managers to help with the hiring process early on will expedite and streamline the whole recruitment process as well. 

 

5. Start a referral scheme 

Candidates that have been referred by current employees have been proven to be the most qualified, speedily hired, and easily retained workers overall. As such, take advantage of this fact and introduce a referral scheme in your organization if you don’t have one yet. 

Although a referral scheme means setting a budget to give your employees a bonus for recommending qualified candidates, your investment will prove to be cost-effective in the long run. 

This is because when you have an employee referral program, you will empower your workers to become brand ambassadors and recruit candidates for you. They will spread the word on your job opening which will allow you to save money on advertising costs. 

Moreover, your staff will only recommend people they know who meet the position requirements. Additionally, they will likely refer applicants that will fit in with your company work culture – employees who will possibly stay with you longer. 

 

6. Hire from within 

If several of your employees are interested in your job openings, whether they meet all or some of the requirements, encourage them to apply. Doing so is a quick way to fill in vacancies with people that you already know and trust. 

By promoting or transferring your current employees to another position, you will skip several steps of the hiring process. You will spend less time on onboarding them since they already know the ins and outs of your company. Their training will likely be short as well; as such, within a shorter span of time, they will be ready to take on their new job.  

However, before promoting or transferring employees, make sure they won’t leave their department shorthanded. Otherwise, you will have to go through the hiring process one way or another. 

 

7. Work with a recruitment agency 

Finally, getting help from a top recruitment agency in the UAE will help cut your overall hiring expenses. 

Your recruitment partner will take charge of advertising your job opening. This will save you a lot of time and money. They will continue to promote your vacancy without charging you extra until they successfully endorse the candidates you are looking for. 

Moreover, the recruitment agency will perform all the pre-employment evaluations and expensive legwork that may drain your budget. 

Although you will be saving money by implementing these strategies in your recruitment process, as long as you do them correctly, you will never be shortchanged and disappointed in the results. Soon, you can be sure to have the best people in your company without spending a fortune on recruitment. 

  

AUTHOR BIO

David Mackenzie, a recruitment professional with over 20 years’ experience in the field and a record of entrepreneurial accomplishment, is Managing Director and Head of HR at Mackenzie Jones. As the Group MD, David is responsible for the overall direction of the Mackenzie Jones Group, including Mackenzie Jones, MumsAtWork, MENA Solutions, Simply Digital and ThinkTech.