Meeting spec (doing the minimum)

Two ways of saying the same thing.

If the bridge needs to hold 20,000 pound vehicles, the client isn’t interested in paying extra for you to build it to hold 30,000 pound vehicles. The spec is clear–15,000 is unacceptable, and 30,000 isn’t worth a penny extra in steel, concrete or pilings.

But when we’re bringing our human skills to the work, the spec for a job might state that we need to sit at the customer service counter from 9 to 5, but because “be really nice to people,” is hard to quantify it can feel like an extra if we’re seeking to do as little as possible.

Why do extra? After all, the industrial system has squeezed everything it can out of front-line workers. It has taken without offering much in return, stripping people of dignity and respect and treating them like cogs.

But acting like a cog in return is hardly a useful form of revenge.

Showing up with more than the minimum might turn the job into more than a job. When we show up because we can, when we’re extending ourselves as a matter of choice, we create space. The space to own the work, to personalize it, and to turn it into more than getting by.

The current crisis is a vivid reminder of how empty a job focused on getting by really is. Because getting by is a lousy way to spend our days. Playwrights, painters and committed professionals don’t ask, “how little can I get away with?” They view the work as a chance to make a difference instead.

Doing work we’re proud of is a fine alternative to being seen as less than human. And spending our days doing as much human work as we can is far more appealing than hoping to do as little as possible.


Applying effort

How will you spend your resources? If you want to open a can of tomato juice, you can squeeze the sides of the can as hard as you can, for as long as you can, but it’s unlikely to open. You can also focus all of your energy on a very tiny point and perhaps, with the right tools, make a small puncture. But it won’t help you get the juice out. What you’ll need is a can opener, focusing your force at the right sized spot with the right pressure.

The same is true for the way we bring an idea to the world. One thing you could do is spam a billion people, once. Another is to identify a single individual and spend a year bringing this person just the right message, with relentless frequency.

You’re probably better off with something in between.

We can allocate our resources into a portfolio. Even if we don’t know precisely where to put the effort, a focus on the right categories pays off. Too often, we aim too wide (it feels more deniable). And sometimes, more rarely, we aim too narrowly.

Every day, we use our resources to make change happen. Which means that every day we get to choose.


Leaky roofs

In many situations, a leaky roof is worse than no roof at all.

If there’s no roof, we’re not surprised or disappointed if we get hit with some raindrops. But a roof that leaks has raised expectations and then failed to meet them.

Promising us a roof and then breaking that promise might be worse than no roof at all.


How To Ensure An Incredible Vaping Experience

While it is true that people tend to get hooked on alcohol and cigarettes more often than vaping, vaping can offer a far better experience. Many people have confused smoking with vaping- when a person smokes, the tobacco burns, and they inhale the nicotine; when a person vapes, they inhale the nicotine, which is formed by warming up or vaporizing a liquid or electronic liquid. This way, vaping can offer a way cheaper and subtler experience to the person. Recent research has also revealed that vaping, in many ways, has proven to be less harmful than smoking as well as alcohol.

 

Get acquainted with the Lingo 

In the land of vaping, you will hear many jargons that you haven’t heard before. This is a pervasive problem that almost all the newbies face. If you aren’t familiar with the proper words associated with vaping, you will find it challenging to buy the required items. All the familiarity will entail is a little research before purchasing. Once you are familiar with the words like e-liquid, VG (Vegetable Glycerin), PG (Propylene Glycol), throat, and realize their function, you will face no more problems. If you cannot place a store, you can search for vape shops near me, and you will have your results. It will take you time to get used to all of this, but once you get the taste of the magic that vaping does to you, all of the trouble will seem worthwhile. 

 

Explore the different flavors

Once you are familiar with the different jargon, it will be easy to try out the various opportunities that vaping has laid out in front of you. However, every person has their preferences in every field. Similarly, there is one or even more than one flavor that seems to do the magic to a particular person in vaping. To find that one flavor, you will have to try out many of the characters in the market. Explore the field, and one day, before you know it, you will face the one! 

 

Know your preferred machine

Knowing your preferred machine is similar to looking for your only flavor. You will be shocked to know how many kinds of tools are available in the market. With the modernization sprinkled to almost every aspect of our life, the vaping machines did not have a miss. The original idea of vaping started with electronic cigarettes, and today, it is possible to say that the instruments have come a long way. However, in today’s date, there is a machine for almost everyone out there. For the people who like to go vintage, you have e-pipe and e-cigar. Then the people who wish to be discreet, there are vaping pens for you. These devices come in the disguise of a pen. Explore the different tools and look for the one that matches your kink. Once you do, your preferred flavor in your favorite machine, nothing can keep you from having an incredible experience.  

 

Regularly clean your device

Do you know what the only thing that carries the sole responsibility of ruining your experience or making it is? Yes, the device and flavors are important, but you know what is even more important? Your tool to be clean. First and foremost, if you do not clean your device regularly, you can run a health hazard. Second, if dirty, the vape will not taste the same, and neither the flavor nor the machine will work their magic on you. Therefore, if you wish to retain your beautiful experience, do take care of the device. 

 

Throat hit

A throat hit is a moment you realize that the vape is starting to work on you. Apart from the flavors, there are different objects like e-liquid, VG, and PG. Now all of these are present in the liquid you will inhale. Different people have different ratios working for them. Now, this has to be your experiment. Try to increase or decrease one of the items, and similar to the flavors, you will soon find that one combination that works right just for you!  The concept of vaping popularised itself with the agenda promising that it will help you get good riddance from smoking tobacco. The notion is still prevalent in the market, but the difference is that many people tried vaping with just the intention of having a vape as well. 

 


What to Look for In a PPC Agency

Visibility is everything when you’re running a business online. And, there’s certainly no shortage of different digital marketing tactics and strategies that you can use to maximise your online exposure, with PPC (pay per click) being one of the most effective. If you want to reach out to your local area and get more interest in your business, you might be considering working with a PPC agency. But with thousands of agencies out there promising to help you get the best return from paid search management, how do you go about finding the best digital partner for you? 

 

Understanding PPC

PPC or pay-per-click is, simply put, an internet marketing strategy in which advertisers pay a fee every time somebody clicks on their advertisement. It can be highly targeted to a specific type of user through keyword targeting, demographics, interests, and a host of other variables. Google Ads, formerly known as AdWords, is the most popular platform for PPC.  

 

Why Would I Need a PPC Agency? 

You might be considering the DIY route but hiring a PPC Agency is often the best way forward because they have the time and expertise that you are probably lacking. Many business owners dabble with Google Ads but are disappointed with their return because they simply aren’t knowledgeable enough about it to run a highly successful campaign on their own. After all, your expertise probably lies in the other areas of your business or industry, so don’t risk setting up a campaign and wasting time and money if it’s done incorrectly or isn’t optimised for your business. Before you go ahead and choose a PPC agency, consider the following factors: 

 

1. Are They Local?

Whether you want to work with a local PPC agency or not is completely up to you. Some business owners prefer digital partners that they can stroll to the office in an afternoon, enjoy a cup of tea together, and have an in-person chat about their projects. Others aren’t really bothered about location proximity and don’t mind communicating via email or telephone call. If you want to run ads that are relevant to your local area, picking an agency that knows the area because they’re local can put you at an advantage. Big Surf Digital is a great choice for businesses in Glasgow. Big Surf Digital is an experienced Glaswegian SEO and PPC agency with plenty of experience helping businesses in the city grow online.  

 

2. Are They Google Ads Certified?

Once you’ve decided where you want your digital partner to be located, the first thing that you’ll want to know before you make a deal with anybody is whether or not they are Google Ads certified. Google Ads runs a certification program that individuals and agencies can takin order to learn how to put together and deploy effective campaigns, and every reliable, reputable PPC agency will have it.  

 

3. References and Customer Success Stories:

References from past customers and successful case studies are some of the most important things that you should ask a PPC agency before you make any firm decisions about working with them. Ask the agency to provide you with references, testimonials, and client contact details so that you can find out more about what it’s like to work with the agency and how well they perform on a range of different campaigns. 

 

4. Who Will You Be Working With?

Performance is everything when it comes to a PPC strategy, so you want somebody with a strong battle plan in place to head up your campaign. Before you make a decision about which agency to work with, it’s worth finding out who’s going to be in charge of putting your campaign together and deploying it. Many agencies spend too much time worrying about account managers, and less about the individuals who have what it takes to make your campaign flourish. Find out who you can expect to be working with, and how much knowledge they will have of your campaign. Ideally, you want your account manager and strategist to be the same person or at least two people who work very closely together.  

 

5. Are They Transparent?

Finally, as a paying client, you can expect the full rights to unaltered transparencies with any agency that you’re working with since it’s fundamental that the trust goes both ways with you and your new digital partner, and that information is clearly shared in order to build a campaign that works. In addition, you should make sure that after signing up with the agency, you will still retain full administrative rights to your Google Ad account so that you are free to log in at any time and keep an eye on the changes made by your PPC agency.  

With thousands of different PPC agencies around the world to choose from, picking the right one for you and your business can seem like finding a needle in a haystack. Keep these factors in mind as you explore different agencies to help you find the right digital partner.  

 


How to Help People Make New Choices

Reframing is a powerful tool in business. A small change of posture can make a big difference. The circumstances of our lives may matter less than how we see them, says adman Rory Sutherland. The global pandemic does provide a context of unprecedented scale (at least in my lifetime) to take a look at how we make decisions. Coronavirus didn’t create many of the issues we’re confronting today, it accelerated them. Companies were wrestling with change for a range of issues before—from hiring, working from home (WFH) and open office, to digital transformation, sustainable business models and innovation. As individuals,…


Your Marketing May Already Be AI-Powered (And You Didn’t Even Know)

If your marketing includes advertising on search engines using platforms like Google AdWords, advertising on social networks like Facebook, or is powered by a marketing platform like HubSpot, you’re likely to already be using using Artificial Intelligence in your marketing.


Big Tests vs. Little Tests: Assessing Risk and Reward

How to know when to bet the house and when to play it safe when you’re formulating CRO test ideas and UX implementations.

Conversion Rate Optimization is a fine balance. Big, sexy tests with amazing results are the stuff huge contracts with clients and in-house promotions are made of. To get there, though, you have to run smaller, decidedly less-sexy tests with incremental results that don’t necessarily get rave reviews from management. But if you do those smaller tests right, it builds the kind of trust you need in your organization to take the risks required in the big tests.

Pre-Test Questions

To understand risk and reward in testing, you need to start with some basic questions. They will dictate what kind of test you should run and whether it should be a test at all versus an implementation.

How Obvious Will the Change Be to the End User/Prospective Customer?

Will this test appear to be a sea-change to the user, a subtle evolutionary change, or hardly noticeable as they go about their business on your site? Optics can be shaky ground for customers, even if the substance of what you’re asking people to do is relatively fixed.

How Much of the Team Is Involved in Executing the Test? How Big of a Lift Will It Be to Accomplish?

Does this require a CRO, a developer, and a content strategist? Or does this require channel marketers, IT, and leadership decision-makers? The more cooks in the kitchen, the clearer the test design will need to be, and the more calculated the impact to justify the time investment.

What KPI Are You Trying to Affect?

If it’s a navigational KPI vs. a conversion KPI, you can potentially take bigger risks in the design and look to move the needle much more drastically. If it changes how people give you money, you’ll maybe want to be more measured in your approach.

What Kind of Sample Size Do You Expect?

Will tens of thousands of people see this test? Or does this page or part of the funnel only get a few hundred visitors in a month? It might not be worth splitting your audience or trying something groundbreaking if you aren’t going to collect enough data on each variation.

Test Types by Risk

Once you have the answers to those questions, you can determine what kind of test type to run based on what you find. I like to give these tests unique names to identify them by how ambitious they are and how they might appear to customers.

The Superficial

This is the test equivalent of rearranging deck chairs and polishing the brass on a cruise ship. Your customers probably aren’t going to notice, but it might subliminally influence the way they behave.

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Test Characteristics: CTA button color changes, CTA button style treatments, navigation reordering, adding iconography
Team Members: CRO, front-end developer (optional)
KPIs: CTR
Risk: Low
Reward: Low

The Copywriter

A different approach to product or service messaging can work wonders, but this test keeps all the load-bearing functionality and structure of your page in place. It spins the thing you’re selling in a new light without disorienting the customer too much.

""""

Test Characteristics: Headline changes, body copy changes, CTA button text changes, navigation text renaming
Team Members: CRO, content strategist, front-end developer (optional)
KPIs: Time on page/site, bounce rate
Risk: Low
Reward: Medium

The Dev Special

This is where you start talking to front-end developers and moving things around in a noticeable way. Your customers who are really paying attention will perceive the change, and it’ll more actively influence their progression through your content and conversion funnels.

""""

Test Characteristics: New images or image treatments, changes to navigation positioning or functionality, changes to layout order of existing content, the addition of new interactive elements
Team Members: CRO, content strategist, designer, front-end developer
KPIs: CTR, time on page/site, bounce rate, funnel start, add to cart
Risk: Medium
Reward: Medium

The Facelift

This is where the website’s end goal doesn’t change, and neither do the baseline navigation objects, but the overall experience can look very different from user to user.

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Test Characteristics: Added elements of personalization, content recommendations based on behavior or incoming campaign, dynamic CTA buttons
Team Members: CRO, content strategist, channel marketers, designer, front-end developer, marketing manager
KPIs: Time on page/site, bounce rate, funnel start, add to cart, conversion rate
Risk: Medium
Reward: Medium

The Dev Deluxe

These tests start to really pull at the structural foundations of a website and how customers interact with you. This work might involve back-end developers to restructure how and what data you collect with forms and shopping carts on the site.

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Test Characteristics: Changes to contact or lead forms, changes to e-commerce carts or checkout funnels
Team Members: CRO, content strategist, designer, front-end developer, IT, marketing manager
KPIs: Time on page/site, bounce rate, funnel start, add to cart, conversion rate, leads, transactions, lead quality
Risk: Medium
Reward: High

The Overhaul

You’ve given up on the viability of your existing site at this point. It’s fundamentally broken and you need a change, but you want to show some users a completely different version of the site before you cut over to it entirely. This could change how customers think about you altogether.

""""

Test Characteristics: Complete redesign, major functionality and navigation changes, different imagery and typography
Team Members: CRO, content strategist, designer, front-end developer, IT marketing manager, CMO
KPIs: CTR, time on page/site, bounce rate, funnel start, add to cart, conversion rate, leads, transactions, lead quality
Risk: High
Reward: High

Test or Be Tested

Now that you have a framework for evaluating your testing decisions, remember this: hand-wringing and inaction can be just as risky as any test. If you don’t evolve how you present your products and services, the customer’s needs and preferences will evolve without you. Convince your stakeholders to take a leap of faith, no matter how small, and the rewards will always outweigh the risks.

The post Big Tests vs. Little Tests: Assessing Risk and Reward appeared first on Portent.


8 Benefits of Using Video to Communicate with Customers

If you aren’t communicating via video, you may be missing a great opportunity to connect that provides many advantages.

Here’s a quick article with 8 benefits of video meetings.

8 benefits of video meetings
From the Marketing Resources & Results website.

The post 8 Benefits of Using Video to Communicate with Customers appeared first on Branding and Marketing.


Generators And Its Many Uses In Day-To-Day Life

Generators are backup power sources that can be used during the times of power cuts. It is a blessing and a life saviour to have during emergencies like a flood, hurricane, fire, etc. It can also help during severe weather conditions where being safe and warm is a priority. Due to its dependability, it is a must-have at homes and offices. Moreover, generators have a wide range of functions and hence useful in many places. Read below to know more about its benefits in everyday life. 

 

Useful in Emergencies

One of the major benefits of using a generator is, these can be used during emergencies when there is a blackout. At times of natural disasters like a blizzard or a hurricane, the power gets knocked out for days together. A generator can be your life-saviour as it ensures that you are not exposed to extreme hot or cold climatic conditions. Having generators is also part of preparedness for tackling emergency situations. Hence these are a necessity for every household and business.  

 

During Power Outages

Though power outages may not be a common affair, being prepared isn’t going to hurt. It comes to the rescue when there is an occasional power outage. Many businesses have to deal with outages and have to lose a few hours of productivity every year. To prevent this loss of productivity and also to ensure your daily routine is not missed, having a backup generator is beneficial. One can opt for a small generator that can have lights and ventilation systems running. It can also help running major storage appliances that is a necessity in the case of perishables till the main power comes back.  

 

Used during Family Reunions

Generators are a must whenever there is a family reunion or parties. Using it helps in setting up the dance floor, lighting and also powers the coffee makers and food warmers. It is used as a power source for heating and cooling appliances to cook meals and avoids the main power to be used as it can overload the circuits. It also prevents the use of long extension cords which is hazardous as people can trip and fall.  

 

During Festivities

Another important use of generators is that it can be used to light up the house or the neighbourhood. You can light the front yard or the town square with equal ease. Powerful Christmas lights, giant pumpkins, reindeer which draw maximum power can be juiced through generators rather than overloading the mains.  

 

Sports Activities

Schools and other sports organizations conduct events and activities on a regular basis and rely on generators. It is used to power the speakers used for announcements, scoreboards, and other such electronic devices. Many times generators of large capacity are needed so that it can power the entire settings while for a few events small portable generators are enough.  

 

Carnivals and Fairs

Fairs and carnivals are held in huge open spaces. Have you ever wondered how these get powered which includes the fun rides as well? It is powered by portable generators, explains experts from https://krugerpower.com.au/diesel-generators.html this helps convert large open spaces into fairs. Even large spaces like school parking can also be converted into carnivals thanks to these generators. It can power the kids’ favourite ice candy machine, the bouncy houses, those power rides, music, and other fun things. 

 

Fun Activities

There is a special type of generator that is used for boating and is called marine generators. They not only run the motors but can be used to maximize the enjoyment that you get on spending time on the boat. These generators are built to perform in such a way that they are quiet with less vibration as well. 

 

Camping

If you love the outdoors but cannot live without modern comforts, then a generator is beneficial. You can take out your RV, load the generator, and drive to the camping site. You can power lights, a fan, an electric skillet, TV or charge your batteries even when outdoors. An inverter generator is an ideal choice for these camps as they operate quietly and are compact and lightweight.   

It can also be used in tailgating which is also a kind of camping where you can power an electric grill, fans, projector, speakers, and even a mini cooler.  

 

Construction

Construction sites are one of those places where there is a need for power but are not readily available. To overcome this issue, diesel generators are used so that they can support large machinery, water pumps, trailers, and other such equipment. Portable generators are used to power drills, grinders, saws, and other such power tools. Special generators are also available where a welding machine is combined with generators.  

It is also useful for road maintenance crew where they can work at night to reduce the inconvenience caused to drivers. Trailer mounted light fixtures are attached to generators to power up temporarily.  

 

Backup Power for Businesses

Commercial enterprises cannot always rely on the main power grid for a continuous supply. Even a few hours of downtime can lead to a loss in revenue not to mention losing customers to competitors. By having a backup power generator, companies can ensure there is uninterrupted power so that the productivity remains constant. Certain industries like hospitals and clinics have to mandatorily have an uninterrupted power supply. It is vital as even if the power failure is just for a second, it can impact critical life systems that can become fatal. 

 

Agriculture

Many farmers use generators not just as a backup source but as the primary source. These portable sources are used to power stables, ranches, barn, or even irrigation systems.  

Due to the advancement of technology, electricity has become a basic need for everyone. A generator is useful as a backup power source when there is an outage or not. It can power appliances irrespective of whether you live off the grid or have a power cut. Having a generator at home or in your business can give you a sense of security. You know that there is a backup for power whenever the need arises.