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Take your brand from barely noticed to wildly loved with my Brand Canvas and 3-Step Guide.

Yep. It's totally FREE. No fluff. No B.S.  Just actionable steps you'll wish you took months if not years ago.

 

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    Everything you need to get started with HubSpot's CMS and build your CLEAN website.

    No developer is needed.  This complete 3-part series includes a step-by-step guide to high-fives all around the office.

     

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      The CLEAN Theme

      Take full advantage of the new and improved HubSpot CMS experience with the CLEAN theme.

      Theme Support & Reference

      Have a question and looking for an answer? I've likely got a video for that or an article that covers it.

      Built for Speed, Performance, AND an awesome UX.

      GTmetrix is the gold standard in analyzing the speed and performance of a website. Here is how the helpfulhero.com homepage (using CLEAN) ranks. Not too shabby for a media-rich page.

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      Report generated: Sat, Apr 23, 2022 at 2:56pm CST

        7 min read

        INBOUND 2022: How to Futureproof Your Flywheel

        futureproof

        Want to stay ahead of the game in the evolving marketing landscape?  You’re in the right place. 

        Named by Forbes as a "must-attend event for...marketing professionals", HubSpot’s INBOUND 2022 was packed with insights you won't want to miss.  

        Keep reading for exciting feature updates, industry trends, and actions you can take starting today to futureproof your business:

        Ready? Let's blast off.

         

        rocket-ship

         

        How to Prepare for 2023

        Metrics and Modeling in a Privacy-First World

        Do any of these apply to you?

        • You host your website outside of HubSpot
        • You use cookies for any reason
        • You do any kind of paid advertising
        • You’re tracking website activity but need to see more custom behavioral data 
        • You’re currently using Google Analytics 3

        Yes?  Keep reading because this is SUPER important.

        Parish Aggarwal from Google spoke about some BIG changes on the horizon: Chrome will no longer support third-party cookies beginning in 2024.  What does this mean for marketers?  In our new privacy-first world, capturing and measuring first-party data will be tough.

        If HubSpot’s your website host, you’re in luck.  Its tracking code automatically pulls analytics like clicks, page visits, and other data into your hub.  But, to get additional insights from paid ads and other sources, you’ll want to cozy up with tools like Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, and a few others (keep reading for details).

        And speaking of Google Analytics, GA3 will be sunset next year!  Time to get familiar with GA4 if you’re not already.  

        While you’re getting started, keep this staggering statistic in mind:

        Almost ⅔ of people today don’t trust companies to protect their data and privacy online.   

        Think about it: when was the last time you visited a website and saw a consent banner?  Did you click “allow all cookies” or exit and continue browsing?

        If you’re like 76% of today’s consumers, you ignored it.  Why are these new privacy regulations an issue for marketers?  Because they create gaps in our data.  

         

        consent-mode-google

         

        Google offers Consent Mode as a solution.  With its new modeling capabilities, Consent Mode will fill the data collection gaps to help you see trends in your website performance (so long as you’re using GA4.  What’d I say?  Time to get on it!).

        Another Google feature you may not be using is Customer Match.  It hashes first-party data to help you reach and retarget audience members across various channels.

        Despite the challenges and new regulations we’re up against, this privacy-first world presents us with the opportunity to:

        1. Create compelling offers that drive website visitors to give consent.

        90% of consumers in the US and Canada would share their email for the right incentive (according to Google). 

        And…

            2. Build more personalized website experiences and offers for our visitors.

        HubSpot’s Smart Content is an underused feature that can give marketers a big leg up in this arena.  Using segmented lists, we can direct customers back to an abandoned shopping cart, celebrate a milestone, recommend a product based on browsing history, and more.

        Curious about leveraging smart content?  Read this.

         

        Generate Memory (Not Leads)

        Metrics and models don’t tell the whole story, though. Ty Heath at LinkedIn suggests a novel approach to influence future buying behavior: the 95/5 rule.

        95% of category buyers are out of the market at any moment.  They won’t buy today, but they may down the road.  So how can you generate future demand?  Brainstorm Category Entry Points for your product.

        What’s a Category Entry Point (CEP)? Cues that category buyers use to access their memories.

        The idea is that memories (including brand memories) are situational.  Think about it.  What coffee brand comes to mind when you’re on your way to work?  How about if you were getting together with a friend or sitting on the couch at home?

        Which brands came to mind?  Were they the same in each scenario?

        Likely not.  As marketers, we should consider when our customers are likely to buy and try to be top of mind in those situations.  

         

        identify-buying-situations

         

        The brand that gets remembered gets bought.  What cues do buyers use to recall your brand?

        Take your brand from barely noticed to wildly loved with this FREE guide.

         

        Stay Trendy

        Mirror, mirror, on the wall, what’s the trendiest problem of all?

        Trends.co may just have the answer to this.  If you don’t have a spare $300/year to drop on their newsletter, here are secrets you can use to research and discover the next big thing in the marketplace for 2023 and beyond.

         

        Step 1

        Dig around in places like:

        • Online Communities (Facebook, Reddit)
        • 1-1 interviews (Seems obvious but surprisingly underutilized).
        • Pitch decks (Yes, these are often indexed online and could be a gold mine).
        • SEC filings and Form 990 (Booooring paperwork but full of informative data).
        • Email newsletters (What are other folks talking about?).
        • Investor blogs (Where’s the money going?).

        Key tactic: notice when something makes you go “huh”?  Follow your curiosity.

         

        Step 2

        Vet the big idea by asking:

         

        Step 3

        Brainstorm solutions.

        Pro-Tip: Look at 3-star reviews.  They often include hidden opportunities.  Take this Amazon review for a suitcase, for example:

         

        3-star-review

         

        Aside from testing a sturdier product, this manufacturer could change the game with the quality of their customer service.   

        I’d argue that excellent customer service is always trending and an expectation of most consumers today, but that’s a topic for another post. :)

         

        Must-dos This Month

        Diversify Your Distribution

        HubSpot’s CEO, Yamini Rangan, emphasized that in a world of digital overwhelm, it’s harder than ever to reach your audience.

        Surprising stat: according to the Trends.co team (Them again? Yep!), direct mail is making a comeback. Digital interactive direct mail campaigns (i.e., direct mail that sends folks online) have a 5 - 9% response rate (compared with the average email click-through rate of <2%).

        Direct mail may not make sense for your audience, but think about where else they may be spending time.  Are there other channels where you could experiment?

         

        Empower Your Audience

        In Marcus Sheridan’s kick-butt session, he stated that 33% of all buyers today would prefer a seller-free buyer experience (according to Gartner).  

        What does seller-free look like?  Self-selection is one piece of the puzzle.

        Set aside a few minutes this month to take an honest look at your website.  Are you missing any opportunities to help your visitors decide whether your product is (or isn’t) for them?

        Try asking questions with a Typeform, providing answers to FAQs with a Knowledge Base, or integrating a chatbot. 

        Yale Appliance has a fascinating approach to self-selection.  They gave their buyer control by letting them pick their salesperson before scheduling a showroom visit and increased their close rate by 62%.

         

        self-schedule

         

        How could you apply the same philosophy to your site?

         

        Stuff to Knock Out This Week

        Play with HubSpot’s New Tools

        HubSpot’s team introduced a ton of fancy features in the opening keynote.  Some of these are still in Beta, but you can take a peek at them here.  A few of the most buzzworthy include:

        For the full list of new toys, click here.

         

        Buy Your Own Product  

        According to Robert Chatwani of Atlassian, going through this process should be a regular priority.  Is there friction or confusion?  Where can you improve your customer’s experience? 

         

        Examine Your Post-Purchase Email

        It’s not enough to say thank you!  Put a little gift inside your email to give your readers an incentive to open it.  Jay Schwedelson at SubjectLine.com says that the first email open increases your chance of staying in the inbox by 85%.

         

        Tools, Titles, and Other Insight For You

        Before we get to simple actions you can take TODAY to level up your business, here are a few of the tools, titles, and golden nuggets of wisdom mentioned at INBOUND 2022:

         

        Tools

        Common Room - An intelligent community growth platform

        TRENDS.co: Predictions for the Future of Marketing

        AI-Enabled Tools for SEO: from Dale Bertrand

        BrightCove: The most powerful online video platform in the world (so they claim)

        ZoomInfo: Out-of-the-box workflows for sales playbooks

        Keywords Everywhere: The browser extension for keyword research

         

        Titles

        Finding Me: A Memoir by Viola Davis

        Decoded: The Science Behind Why We Buy by Phil Barden

        Using Behavioral Science in Marketing: Drive Customer Action and Loyalty by Prompting Instinctive Responses by Nancy Harhut

        How Brands Grow: What Marketers Don’t Know by Byron Sharp

         

        Other Insight

         

        From HubSpot

        While Yamini drove home the importance of optimizing your business for customer connection, Dharmesh focused on the how.  In his view, a business connection is a “growmance” where you can “gaze fondly into each other’s dashboards.”  I’ll never get tired of his comic relief. 

         

        lol-laughing

         

        In all seriousness, Dharmesh also stressed the importance of copywriting, claiming that it’s the most underrated skill.  Get good at it!  Read this article to get started.

         

        From Atlassian

        Robert Chatwani reminded us to be willing to evolve: “What got your business to where it is are not the same principles that will get you to where you need to be.”  

         

        From Subjectline.com

        Jay Schwedelson didn’t mince words when he stated: “When you're not known for something,  you're known for nothing.”  Focus on one core product and up or cross-sell from there.  

         

        From The Jane Goodall Institute

        Goodall reminded us to give people a chance. She didn’t have a formal education and wasn’t “qualified” in a traditional sense, which helped her see things with fresh eyes.  Do you have employees or potential hires that could use an open door?

         

        From Fire And Spark

        Dale Bertrand led a fascinating discussion on the future of AI in marketing, claiming that AI is an enabling technology in the same way fire, the wheel, electricity, and the internet inspired many innovations. Marketers must keep up with these changes to stay relevant as AI becomes more common.  Want to learn which technologies are already out there?  Grab Dale’s list of resources here.

         

        From #44

        Last but not least, Obama inspired us with his advice for connecting our divided world.  He said our goal shouldn't be to agree on everything all the time but to respect a set of rules where we can sort through our differences.  We need the humility to recognize that we’re imperfect and don't know everything. 

        Wise words, indeed.

         

        What You Can Do TODAY

        If you’re still reading, congrats.  You just digested a bunch of critical industry info and inspiration, and now it’s time to put all that knowledge to work.  Here are some simple things you can do right now to get started.

         

        Connect with Your Community

        Take 3 minutes to build a profile on HubSpot’s new community: connect.com. 

         

        Unlock Your Brand’s Potential

        The brand that gets remembered gets bought. Could that be you?  Download our FREE Brand Canvas to supercharge your business growth.

         

        Hone Your Copywriting Skills

        Make Dharmesh proud and practice writing every day (including today!).  Get started with these pointers.

         

        Be kind. :)

        Enough said.

         

        And finally...

        Jane Goodall reminded us that hope is about action, not just wishful thinking.  

        Now you can either:

        1. Go back to business as usual, or
        2. Take action to futureproof your business today.

        The choice is yours.

        7 min read

        Introducing the "Magic Module" and CLEAN Pro's step into 2023.

        Today, I'm super excited to announce the beta release of the all-new "Magic Module" that will be included in the CLEAN Pro (v58) update.  This is the...

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        sop-prep

        4 min read

        Do this, not that: getting started with SOPs

        Is your team dropping balls left and right? Does poor communication slow your sales process? Do you want to grow your business (but feel stuck)? 

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        shortcut

        1 min read

        Save This: The Shortcut You Need

        What if you could shave hours off your website build? HubSpot's saved sections help you create mini templates that you can copy from one page to...

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