“My grief fell like drops of honey on the white sheets on my desk. My sorrow floated over the pages of magazines darkly as heavy monsoon clouds do in the sky…” —Kamala Das in My Story.Yes, and I recall playing weatherman. I was just out of college, writing occasional pieces as a freelancer for a small-time youth magazine. Its editor, a rotund, balding and perennially perspiring young man, summoned me to his office one day, thrust a pre-release copy of My Story into my hands with the kind of furtiveness reserved for the transfer of contraband goods, and hissed, “This is the autobiography of Kamala Das. Absolute dynamite! You know Kamala Das?” I told him no, not personally, but I’d read her poems. “Good,” he said. “Get me a review of this book by next Monday.”It was the mid-1970s, the days of political and social upheaval that saw Indira Gandhi’s Emergency and her subsequent downfall, and the rise of Indian feminism. But until then, feminist ideas existed only in the abstract theoretical treatises penned by intellectuals, their discussions restricted to long-faced impersonal seminars or the occasional Times of India editorial. And, for the record, you had the nation’s most famous flower-child Protima Bedi streaking brazenly across a parking lot in downtown Bombay — with a photographer in tow! My Story, however was deeper, and much more primal. The rebellion came through like a bolt of lightning. It spoke in the personal voice of a woman talking straight and with unalloyed frankness about her own private life, recounting her angst as a wife who was sexually exploited but emotionally unfulfilled, laying bare her soul before the world, warts and all.Unfortunately but not unexpectedly, the warts got all the attention. Salivating reviewers and readers alike took a prurient interest in the “hot parts” of the book, which made it an instant bestseller. But even those parts weren’t anywhere like the pornographic stuff devoured by hormonally charged teenagers in school and college. True, they were accounts of extra-marital affairs — even some homoerotic ones —but they all had a deep undertone of sadness and resignation. There was an unmistakable poetry in the book’s prose, a liberating and cathartic abandon hitherto unseen among English-language works by Indian women. Having an affair was one thing, not exactly encouraged, but something akin to a skeleton stuffed guiltily into the family closet of unspoken secrets. Writing about it though, and that too without camouflaging it as fiction, was an absolute taboo. Phew! This female Indian writer had trespassed into forbidden areas.“I am every / Woman who seeks love…” — Summer in Calcutta.“Gift him all, Gift him what makes you woman, the scent of Long hair, the musk of sweat between the breasts, The warm shock of menstrual blood, and all your Endless female hungers…” — The Looking Glass.The image stuck. For an entire generation of Indians who came of age reading the English-language works of their compatriots, Kamala Das was the temptress with a pen, the bard of the bedroom. And the word, spoken not written, had spread so wide that even those who’d never read a single word of her poetry or prose, assumed the worst. You could never mention her name in most middle-class drawing room conversations those days without inviting winks and knowing looks from people who ironically knew nothing about her writing. So much for the mentality — and morality — of much of the Indian middle class.But for those — like this writer — who were privileged to know her as a person and as a friend, Kamala Das was a revelation, as were her evocative short stories — most of them unpublished — her nude paintings, her efforts to convince young people to get politically organized. Unlike other celebrities, she was generous with her time, even for the wannabe campus poets of those days who were more eager than talented. She was even more generous and impulsive with her gifts — in cash and kind, and especially for the needy — a habit which, she told me, nearly pauperized her family and drove her into writing her serialized autobiography from a hospital bed to pay her medical bills. I first met Kamala Das in 1979. I’d taken over as editor of Mirror magazine and, keen to rev up its indifferent circulation, had convinced the otherwise tight-fisted publisher into loosening his purse-strings for big-name writers. Kamala Das then lived in Bombay with her banker husband, and I cajoled a common friend into arranging a meeting. The evening I landed at her apartment happened to be the day of her monthly adda — an open house for all sorts of people to lounge in her spacious living room, sip tea and perform, read out their works, or simply exchange ideas. Every person had to do something — you couldn’t merely sit around as a passive spectator. I was seated next to Raghava Menon, the Delhi-based music critic who was a distant relative of hers and had written a book on K.L. Saigal. Menon sang a Saigal song. My turn was next. She turned her heavy-lidded gaze toward me, smiled like an indulgent mother, and nodded. I belted out a Jagmohan number. Kamala was impressed, not so much by the singing (I’m not sure she was musically inclined), but by the fact that a young man in his mid-20s had chosen a vintage 1940s song.It was the start of a year-long association. I confessed right at the start that I was interested primarily in getting her byline into my magazine, that I wanted to “use” her name as a writer to boost circulation. “Sure, use it,” she agreed. But she had no ready topic to write on. She came up with a solution: “Why don’t we meet as often as possible, and just talk? Maybe something will emerge from it.”A cover-story idea did emerge from our long talks. It was her heart-rending piece called “The Guilt of Abortion.” The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, enacted in the early 1970s to prevent quacks from endangering the health of pregnant women, had become the focus of public debate after an astonishingly sharp rise in “legal” abortions across India. I told Kamala I would rather leave its political and sociological analysis to the more “serious” journals, and focus instead on the personal question of what an abortion meant to a woman. “Just my kind of story,” she said. “I know the guilt of abortion.” I was dumbstruck, and didn’t dare to probe further. Was I playing Bhootnath to her Chhoti Bahu from the cult film Sahib, Bibi aur Ghulam?Over time, we drifted apart. Our meetings became less frequent, and briefer. As the magazine’s circulation grew, so did my responsibilities. And I realized I was meeting her more as a friend exchanging notes on life, than as an editor angling for story ideas. Her health too did not allow much socializing. The last time we met was to finalize the winner of Mirror’s poetry contest in 1981. She was a judge, along with Nissim Ezekiel and Dom Moraes, and impressed us with her sharp, insightful evaluations. For someone with minimal formal education, she possessed an extraordinarily refined, albeit intuitive, sense of the writing craft. I told her so. “Oh, it’s nothing,” she responded dismissively. “You read some, you write some, and it comes.”Ultimately, the public perception of Kamala Das as a controversial figure had a lot to do with the inability of analysts to neatly categorize this confusing bundle of contradictions. A woman liberated in spirit, who hated feminists and their brand of freedom, and looked upon her husband as her only real companion. A blue-blood Malayalee Nair who bloomed in the rustic environment of Kerala, but admitted that her best poems were written in the bustling cauldron of Bombay. A woman self-indulgently in love with the concept of love, fascinated by the Radha-Krishna bonding, deeply believing in the power of mantras, yet convinced that all religions had crossed their expiry dates — only to convert to Islam before her death.She was blessed, however, with unconditional love and support from her family. Her husband glowed in her presence, and openly thought she was the world’s best writer. Her sons protected the widowed poet from barbs over her conversion. “She is our mother whether she is a Hindu or Christian or Muslim,” one of them asserted. “We would be with her all the time.”“…Why not leave Me alone, critics, friends, visiting cousins, Every one of you? Why not let me speak in Any language I like? The language I speak Becomes mine, its distortions, its queernesses All mine, mine alone.” — An Introduction.Farewell Kamala, and rest in peace. The world will bother you no more. Related Items
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Post navigation “How to Replace Lost Tax Documents” was provided by POPSUGAR Smart Living. Don’t worry: losing a few important tax documents doesn’t mean Uncle Sam is coming after you.Here’s what to do if you can’t find some of your paperwork before you file.W-2If you’ve misplaced your W-2, you can request another copy from your employer.Contact your human resources department now and tell them you need another copy of the W-2. You may have to fill out a form, but it shouldn’t be too much of a hassle.If you haven’t received your W-2 after reminding your employer, contact the IRS and have them send your company a prompt.You can do so by calling the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 and telling them about your situation.If you still can’t get obtain your W-2, use the IRS Form 4852 as a substitute for it and refer back to your last pay stubs to help you fill out the information.Last year’s tax returnCan’t find the previous year’s tax return?Request a copy of your tax return from the IRS by filing a Form 4506-t, using the online system called Order a Transcript, or calling the IRS.Form 1099If you’ve been paid out more than $600 from an entity, you should have received a 1099 form from them.Banks will also send you a 1099 form if you’ve earned over $10 in interest.You should be able to download the form from your bank’s website if you didn’t receive one in the mail.If you can’t find one online, you can see if a branch near you can issue you a copy.Form 1098-T and 1098-EStudents, if you’ve misplaced your 1098-T forms or the Tuition Statement, check with your school to see if you can download another copy.Many of them will have a copy of your 1098-T online.As for the 1098-E or the Student Loan Interest Statement, check with your lender to see where your tax information was sent.If you paid less than $600 for interest, you will not be sent a 1098-E.ReceiptsIf a receipt was not issued to you or if you can’t find it, check to see if you can use your bank and credit card statements to prove the expense.The statement should show important details like the recipient’s name, the date, and the amount.If you can’t find a receipt, you can reach out to the establishment to see if they are willing to issue you another receipt.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related
Post navigation Tax season is the time of year when many people make contributions to Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). These accounts can help you save money for later in life and also offer potential tax benefits. You can contribute to a Traditional or Roth IRA for 2017 up until the April 17 tax-filing deadline.The tax benefits you may qualify for with Traditional and Roth IRAs are different. Learning about these two varieties of IRAs may help you decide which to select if you qualify for both.Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible to choose between:contributing to a Traditional IRA and deducting your contribution on your tax return, orcontributing to a Roth IRA and withdrawing your funds tax-free in retirement.Here is some information to keep in mind if both options are open to you – along with reasons why some people pick one choice or the other.The fundamental choice: Get a tax benefit now or laterThe tax benefits of a deductible Traditional IRA and a Roth IRA are in some ways the mirror image of each other.If you are eligible to deduct a contribution to a Traditional IRA, your contribution may reduce your federal tax bill. When you take distributions, assuming you had taken a tax deduction on all of your contributions, you will potentially be taxed on all of the money you withdraw.If you are eligible to contribute to a Roth IRA, your contributions are not tax-deductible, meaning there is no upfront tax benefit. However, distributions after age 59½ generally are tax-free.See IRS Publication 590-A for detailed information on IRA contributions and IRS Publication 590-B on distributions. You may want to consult a tax advisor for help in evaluating your options.Some reasons why people pick a Roth IRAIf you think you’ll be subject to a higher tax rate in retirement than you are now. Perhaps your tax rate is low now (maybe because you’re at the start of your career), and you think you’ll be in a higher tax bracket when you retire. If you’re right about that, it may be to your advantage to withdraw from a Roth IRA on a tax-free basis in retirement compared to deducting your contributions now.If you already have retirement accounts that will generate taxable income in retirement. If you put pre-tax earnings into a 401(k) plan or make deductible contributions to a Traditional IRA, withdrawals from those accounts in retirement will generally be considered taxable income. In retirement, you might appreciate the flexibility of also having a Roth IRA that you can tap without owing tax.If your goal is to maximize your IRA contribution. The maximum annual contribution to a Traditional or Roth IRA is technically the same: $5,500 (or $6,500 if you are 50 or older by year-end) for both 2017 and 2018. But effectively you are putting more dollars aside for the future when you contribute $5,500 to a Roth than when you put the same dollars into a deductible Traditional IRA.The Roth contribution pinches your wallet more: Say you contribute $1,000 of your earnings to an IRA. With a deductible contribution to a Traditional IRA, you don’t pay tax on those earnings now, so you are out of pocket $1,000. With a Roth, you are contributing the $1,000 to an IRA plus paying the tax on the earnings.The payoff is that in the future a given amount you withdraw as a qualified distribution from a Roth IRA has more spending power than a similar amount you withdraw from a Traditional IRA. If you withdraw $1,000 from a Traditional IRA, you will potentially owe part of that to the IRS, leaving you less to spend. With a qualified distribution of $1,000 from a Roth, you can spend all of those dollars without incurring tax.Some reasons why people pick a Traditional IRAIf you’re in the prime of your career and expect to be in a lower tax bracket later. If you have reason to believe your taxable income will be lower in retirement than it is now, your effective tax rate may be lower in retirement as well. In that case, the tax benefit you get from deducting a contribution to a Traditional IRA from your taxable income today may be worth more than the value of tax-free withdrawals from a Roth IRA later in life.If you are unsure which IRA will ultimately be better for you and you’d like to enjoy a tax deduction now. It can be difficult to predict what your income and effective tax rate will be when you retire. You might prefer to contribute to the Traditional IRA if you know you can get a tax benefit today.You can get started on IRA saving with Honest DollarWhether individuals are interested in a Traditional IRA or a Roth IRA, Honest Dollar by Goldman SachsTM offers the ability to contribute on a flexible schedule. Customers can open an account in minutes and get access to model portfolios designed by a team of professionals at Goldman Sachs’ Investment Strategy Group.Get StartedGoldman Sachs & Co. LLC (“GS&Co.”) does not provide accounting, tax or legal advice. Nothing communicated to you on this website should be considered tax advice. You should consult an independent tax professional regarding your personal circumstances. This material is provided solely on the basis that it is educational only and will not constitute investment advice. GS&Co. is not a fiduciary with respect to any person or plan by reason of providing the material or content herein.Advertiser Disclosure: The IRA offers that appear on this site are from IRA companies from which Intuit receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including, for example, the order in which they appear. Intuit does not include all IRA companies or all available IRA offers.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) RelatedIt’s a Win-Win: You May Save on Taxes While You Save for RetirementFebruary 15, 2018In “Financial Planning”Should Freelancers Leverage an IRA?November 15, 2018In “Investing Advice”Changing Jobs? An IRA Can Move With YouJanuary 9, 2018In “Financial Planning”
It’s a sign of the times that even the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is exploring ways in which it can help address the climate crisis. Building on two new IMF papers released last week and Managing Director Christine Lagarde’s eight years of leadership, this mainstay of traditional economic thought is lending its voice and unique mandate to the cause of tackling climate change. More specifically, the IMF is working to better reflect climate resilience in macro-fiscal and financial frameworks, assess the fiscal and financial impacts of climate policy choices, and mainstream climate risk into its country assessments. As Lagarde noted, “Climate change is the great existential challenge of our times.” It is high time this reality is appropriately reflected in the IMF’s work.What’s New from the IMF?One of the new papers is a comprehensive update of global fossil fuel subsidies and negative externalities like air pollution. The paper found that the world is wasting a whopping 6.5% of global GDP—$ 5.2 trillion per year—subsidizing dirty energy. Under-pricing of local air pollution, which the World Health Organization estimates kills 4.2 million people each year, is the largest part of these costs. Coal remains the largest recipient of subsidies, despite being the most polluting.For the first time, the IMF’s subsidies assessment is paired with a new paper exploring how countries can apply a range of fiscal policies to deliver their goals under the international Paris Agreement on climate change, and what the IMF can do to support them. The paper emphasized the central importance of carbon pricing and measures to reduce fossil fuel subsidies, as well as the importance of accompanying measures like investments in R&D, infrastructure investment, financial market policies, and strategies to support vulnerable groups.These two papers from the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department are excellent. The challenge now is to integrate the wealth of guidance they contain into relevant work across the rest of the IMF, as well as into national policies.What Are the IMF and Others Doing Now?Indeed, the IMF has already begun to integrate some of the macro-fiscal and financial implications of climate change into other areas of its work. Through its annual Article IV Consultations, where analysts assess countries’ current and future economic health, the IMF has helped identify ways in which some countries can align macro-economic and fiscal policies with climate resilience. This seemingly unexciting development was in no small part driven by the wake-up call of recent extreme weather events, including Hurricane Maria in 2017, which decimated islands in the Caribbean.With the realities of climate change starting to hit economies around the world, the ever-pragmatic financial sector has also been waking up to climate risks. Signs of this shift were captured in the New Climate Economy’s September 2018 report. Just months since its release, we’ve seen this momentum snowball.For example, the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) set forth a series of recommendations in July 2017 to increase transparency around the material financial risks of climate change in order to improve investment decisions. The uptake of these recommendations in a relatively short period is remarkable: The TCFD now boasts more than 500 supportive companies with a combined market capitalization of more than $7.9 trillion, including 287 financial firms responsible for assets of nearly $100 trillion. And what could be a clearer symbol of this shift than Norway’s trillion-dollar Sovereign Wealth Fund—itself built on oil and gas revenues—excluding fossil fuel exploration and production companies in its investment profile in order to reduce risks to the Norwegian economy?How Can the IMF and Others Step Up on Climate Action?This notable shift in the financial sector, added to the infectious passion coming from Fridays for Future school strikes, the Green New Deal, the Extinction Rebellion protests and others, now puts the onus squarely on our political and institutional leaders to step up climate action.For the IMF, this is an excellent opportunity to build on the great work it has started and to more systematically promote the use of economic and fiscal policy to drive national climate action, including through the recently launched Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action. And it means moving beyond a focus on climate impacts to also grapple with the macro-critical implications of transitioning to net-zero carbon economies. The IMF should integrate climate risk assessment into all Article IV Consultations, for every country and for every year, as well as take other important steps to support this agenda. For country leaders, it’s all about action— not for the sake of distant generations, but for people here now. The economic and social benefits of low carbon development, worth $26 trillion between now and 2030, are there for the taking. That includes 65 million new jobs in 2030, as well as 700,000 fewer deaths from air pollution.Indonesia is a good example of how countries can seize this opportunity. Under its new Low Carbon Development Initiative, it is now making ambitious climate action part of its next five-year development plan, putting the country on a path to meet or exceed its emissions-reduction goals while achieving 6% GDP growth per year between 2019 and 2045, outpacing business-as-usual growth. That a resource-rich, fossil fuel-dependent, populous and growing economy like Indonesia is making this shift should make every finance minister stop and think, as should the fact that the IMF is actively looking at how to integrate climate risks across its work.The world is up against a climate countdown, with not a moment to lose. As Lagarde said, “Action is required by everyone, every institution, every country.” There are no excuses for, nor any reason to delay the transition to a new climate economy.
. I: What Would You Like To Be The World’s Best At? SD: Josh Bernoff L: Device You Would Never Give Up? I could give any of them up. I try to love people, not machines. wait… Your Favorite Software Application? Your First “Real” Job? What Do You Most Value In Employees/Colleagues? Person That Inspires You? In bed. Groundswell The Laws of Simplicity, by John Maeda. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. Neither of which is a business book, per se. Favorite Newspaper(s)? Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Blog You Read Most Frequently? Favorite Business Book(s)? wait… My father – who showed how to balance pride in your work with honesty and love. Bill Bluestein, the quintessential technology analyst, to whom Groundswell is dedicated. Isaac Asimov, who never stopped writing about everything. Regrettably, of these three, only my father survives. I: Technical writer for Software Arts, the company that created VisiCalc. Yes, I am that old. Where Do You Do Your Best Thinking? wait… Originally published Nov 7, 2008 9:20:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 is vice president and principal analyst at Forester Research. His landmark book on social media, wait… PR: It would be the Wall St. Journal with the Boston Globe’s sports page — if only such a chimera existed. A great application (browsers, word processors) work so well you fail to notice it. How can something you don’t notice be a “favorite?” Non-linear thinking and a sense of humor. Oh, those are the same, aren’t they? bernoff.com wait… wait… Who Was Your Best Manager? Why? My first boss, Dena Brody, combined patience, sensitivity, and business sense. She’s still a good friend. , has a special place on our bookshelves. We’re also big fans of his blog, Seth Godin’s blog. It transcends blog-hood into some zen other space. Wikis. Whenever possible. C: wait… Writing that makes you go “Hmmm . . . ” wait… Social Media Tool You Actually Use? LD:
HubSpot TV #34 – April 3, 2008 Intro How to interact on Twitter – @karenrubin @mvolpeRemember to subscribe in iTunes – http://itunes.hubspot.tv – Leave a 5 star review!!!!Mailbag Swag for 5 Star Reviews – Should we do it?@giovanni – @karenrubin asking for 5 star reviews on iTunes for HubSpot TV in exchange for free HubSpot schwag – Is that wise? Message 1, Message 2, Message 3HeadlinesRhode Island to Broadcast Expenses via TwitterPress Release and RI Treasury on TwitterMarketing Takeaway: Think about what data you can share more publicly in order to promote conversation about your business.Social Media Requires More Transparent ManagementScott Kirsner Boston Globe Article “On March 19, about 40 employees – roughly 18 percent of the workforce – were terminated as part of the company’s second round of cuts in 2009. But what was unusual about Mzinga’s situation was how widely it echoed throughout the universe of bloggers and Twitter users…”Marketing Takeaway: You need to announce changes to your company sooner and more publicly because you cannot expect to keep them private.Social Media Class at UniversityTelegraph.co.uk Article – “It’s not for freaks or IT geeks, the tools learnt on this course will be accessible to many people. During the course we will consider what people can do on Facebook and Twitter, and how they can be used for communication and marketing purposes.”Marketing Takeaway: Universities are recognizing that inbound marketing will be more prevalent in business in the near future. You need to start learning about it and using it.Microsoft Gearing up to Launch Kumo.comB to B Online Article – Microsoft is “Planning an “estimated $80 million to $100 million integrated campaign, including TV, print, online and radio”Marketing Takeaway: For now, focus your efforts on Google but keep watching HubSpot TV to see how/it/when the social engine landscape changes.Marketing Tip of the WeekPick one element of your business and be more transparent about it to the public and your company.Forum FodderSam Ruback from FlashPoint Development asks “How should I manage my Internet marketing / sales time? To expand… When I started my blog I was spending several hours everyday reading, commenting, writing, promoting content. Then it started working, now i spend those hours talking to potential clients, meeting with them and “selling them”. These days I have very little time to spend on the blog / website / seo because it is working. So that is good but I have concerns about the future lead pipeline given my time constraints and my desire to start bringing in additional content (interviews, videos, etc.). Any thoughts?”Closing Comments Originally published Apr 4, 2009 4:10:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
guest, Jeff shared advice about the power of Web 2.0 and engaging crowds online in the video clips below. . Their involvement in writing, Jeff believes, “is perfect for 140 characters.” profiles and social networking sites like On Web 2.0 traffic alone is not equal to leads. Marketers need to provide value in order to get results. “There is a big difference between 1.0 and 2.0 in terms of how you grow your business,” Jeff said. He believes that there should be a combination between metrics and brand in order for businesses to be successful in marketing. LinkedIn Engage the Baby Boomers HubSpot TV , he moved where today’s crowds live: on social networking sites. A recent In 2005, when Jeff launched community site Download the free webinar and Jeff suggests using a combination of metrics and brand to be successful in online marketing. In the past, Jeff ran his brand marketing campaigns using traditional advertising and Web 1.0. “We didn’t actually have all this deep, trenchy measurement that we have today,” he said. Now, companies have access to tools and , his brand appeared where his audiences lived. Monster advertised during the Super Bowl, had a crop circle ad outside Chicago’s O’Hare Airport and flew promotional blimps. Conduct careful research about hiring companies to enhance your communication with potential employers. “Today you are one click away from a massive amount of information about a company,” Jeff said. And you need to be equipped with knowledge accordingly. “It is in the job seeker’s best interest to be an expert in the company that they are interviewing with,” he said. Eons.com In 1993, when Balance Brand and Metrics Originally published Jun 24, 2009 11:30:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 approach in marketing. Soon after its launch, Eons was growing by 100,000 leads per month. “Keep on going. It is working,” Jeff would have responded to this data in his old life. But today he considers other measurement factors that play a central role in his marketing. “The traffic, actually, is growing quickly but the engagement is going down at the same rate,” he observed. Webinar: Rethinking Marketing Companies, on the other hand, should be fully aware of who their job candidates are. Personal blogs, professional Find a way to reach out to the Baby Boomer generation as its representatives are increasingly spending their time online. “The reality is that baby boomers are hot on the Web right now,” Jeff said. According to his 2005 research, baby boomers up to the age of 65 are actively involved in online activities. In recent years, Jeff noted, his generation has experienced “a huge engagement” in what the Web has to offer. For instance, baby boomers have been finding and bringing value into the blogosphere and the social mediasphere. Jeff attributed this involvement in web journals and blogs to the good writing skills of his generation. It is not surprising then, that baby boomers also caught up on social networking sites like Mike Volpe Jeff Taylor Raise the Conversation Levels Want to learn more about how you can use inbound marketing to grow your business? Monster.com analytical Twitter founded job search site said, “more scientific.” analytics provide great opportunities to meet potential employees. “We need to know a lot more about each other and raise the level of the conversations,” Jeff said. to learn how to turn your website into an internet marketing machine. Twitter Jeff’s Eons.com clearly demonstrates this new trend for a more Facebook that make marketing, as Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
printed a response to the article The ultimate solution here will be part of Google’s continuing strategy of adding reviews and editorial commentary to links in their search engine results. Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land wrote Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack GetSatisfaction The owner of DecorMyEyes, the focus of the Times’s article, realized that he could harness that energy to create thousands of inbound links for his website, boosting him up in organic search rankings. GetSatisfaction has since SEO Topics: This week, the New York Times put a nail in the coffin of organic search in their article about quite a bit about that yesterday , noting that links out from their reviews are tagged with the “nofollow” article, meaning that search engine credit does not pass out from them to the site being reviewed. Either way, enough reviews and links exist on the web to catapult DecorMyEyes.com to the top of the search engine rankings. Because of these review sites and search engine’s current ranking methods DecorMyEyes was able to increase its traffic and customers by intentionally creating unhappy customers. What is a good inbound marketer to do in the face of such overwhelming poor taste on the part of their competition? First, relax – The New York Times article notes that DecorMyEyes has many issues with their business as a result of their customer policies. They are very troubled financially, and are constantly threatened with losing their authority to process transactions by MasterCard and Visa. It appears that they are spending almost as much time trying to keep the basic mechanics of their business running as they are actually selling their merchandise. This also will not work for any business that depends on repeat business – None of their unhappy customers will ever come back for a second purchase. distressed consumers buying from ecommerce sites Originally published Nov 29, 2010 6:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Marketing Takeaway Ultimately, as a marketer, you should continue to build links in the smart ways that you have before, and collect testimonials from your best customers and their experiences. Publish those on your website, and place them strategically as content around your website. They will both encourage the people that you shared to share the links with their friends, and provide comfort to the website visitors considering your business. Many websites exist to pull together consumer reviews, including GetSatisfaction and the Better Business Bureau. These sites have tens of thousands of pages of user-generated content that helps them rank well in search engines. Unfortunately, people rarely spend the time and effort write to reviews on these sites from positive experiences, meaning that many review sites end up as collections of only the bad reviews. , with examples. Google is doing their best to serve the best results their algorithm can show – We wouldn’t want them to take a direct editorial view and take a website out of the index because of negative reviews or comments – Imagine what would happen to so many sites around politics, religion, and other controversial topics. , among others. One site in question, DecorMyEyes, created a policy for themselves of harassing and deliberately making mistakes with their customers – Creating thousands of unhappy customers who were sure to go online and complain about their experience. ranked highly in Google. At the center of the Times’s criticism and commentary on how search engines work is the hundreds of consumer review sites around the web, such as
Question. Does your marketing sound like it was created by Eeyore? Bill Lumbergh? Michael Scott?Earlier this week, I was on a panel for Boston HubSpot users centered around the theme of creating lovable marketing. One of the themes that came up during the Q&A portion centered on how to separate “business” from “personal” in your marketing. I mean, when you have lots of different voices contributing content, and the lines between personal and professional social media usage is already pretty blurry, it’s a legitimate concern — particularly for B2B marketers or those working in industries that have a harder time tying in fun, friendly, silly sentiments in their marketing.But you know what I think? I think the lines can be blurrier between personal and professional. Why? Because I think it helps brands to sound like freaking human beings once in a while. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. People buy from people they like and trust. And it’s really hard to like a faceless, personality-less (so not a word, but work with me here) business.I mean, who has ever fallen in love with a company whose blog posts are full of jargon and business babble? Or that has social media updates with all the passion of a piece of dry toast?So to inspire you to inject a little oomph, a little personality, a little love into your marketing, here are some businesses that have totally gotten over the fact that they’re in industries with marketing that’s typically stiff and passionless, and have decided to instead act like, well, human beings. Take a look.1) IntercomIntercom is a CRM tool for web-based businesses. Yawn? Perhaps. Until you read their content. If you visit their blog, you’ll find insightful articles that are — gasp — really easy and entertaining to get through! Take their most recent article, “If It’s Important, Don’t Hack It.” This is a snippet that’s found in between two graphs … two graphs that would make most people start to yawn and trail off: I asked IMPACT’s director of marketing, John Bonini, why he uses a lighter, more personal tone in his marketing content. Here’s what he had to say:”For me, it’s always boiled down to my personal marketing golden rule; market as you would like to be marketed to. I don’t respond to vanilla marketing messages. At all. However, a witty subject line or an entertaining twist on a relevant subject will always carve out a spot in my day. Consequently, I market with this in mind every day … I’m always conscious of a prospect’s attention span. I’ve always wanted our prospects to feel as if they already know us by the time they get on the phone with Sales.”Amen, brother.5) GoToMeetingGoToMeeting, run by Citrix, does a great job achieving a professional yet friendly tone in their content, with a customer-centric approach. I think their Twitter stream is one of the best instances of this balance. Take a look at some of their most recent tweets, with notable ones called out in orange. Topics: 3) DropboxDropbox, a cloud file storage and sharing product (snoooore) recognizes how potentially snoozeworthy their business could be, and tempers it with some marketing that appeals to people’s more human sensibilities. I think they do it best in their emails, which combine lovable design and personable, easily consumable copy. It’s refreshing to see a B2B brand that isn’t afraid to get a little, well, lovey-dovey in their marketing communications. GoToMeeting is also very focused on promoting their customers, showing a more relatable side to leads that might be in similar situations as some of the customers they’re featuring.6) Geico … and AllstateIf you told someone you worked in insurance at, say, a party, you might not get the same reaction as if you told them you worked at Disney World.Hey, nothing against insurance, but it’s not the easiest thing to sex up!That’s why I think it’s awesome that Geico and Allstate have both found ways to lighten up the discussion around insurance — Geico with its long-running mascot, the Geico Gecko (alongside other mascots like the Caveman), and Allstate with its newer character, Mayhem.Most recently, the Geico Gecko has been featured in a blooper commercial, showing his “behind the scenes” footage from shooting commercials. And the Mayhem character? Well, he’s been featured doing everything from running into the road like a deer in headlights, to jogging around the burbs with pink hand weights, to my personal favorite — streaking across a football field: Marketing Case Studies Originally published Feb 19, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 See? Why does cloud storage have to be lame and boring, full of jargon no average consumer would understand? This email … makes sense. It has cute images that make your Dropbox look sad for being unused. And it has an emoticon. :-)4) IMPACT Branding & DesignInbound marketing agency IMPACT doesn’t have their panties in a bunch over sounding like stuffy marketing professionals — they embrace a sense of humor in their marketing content, even though they’re speaking business to business. And they’re not just limiting their personality to “fun” social networks, like Facebook and Pinterest; they’re even sharing this type of content on places like LinkedIn. Take a look at two recent pieces of content they shared on LinkedIn, for instance: But really, the crowning achievement of GE’s Pinterest presence is their ability to find a way to incorporate the Ryan Gosling “Hey, girl” meme into their marketing. Only instead of Ryan Gosling, it’s Thomas Edison. Ladies, you’re welcome. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Look, even if you’re really into the topic of growth hacking, it has the propensity to be really dull. That’s why it’s genius that Intercom has decided to use colloquial language, like “gonna,” and even “pisses off” in their copy. Because it’s how most people actually talk. You know, like humans! So if you think you need to sound all businessy and professional when talking about industry concepts, throw that notion right out the door. The most helpful content is the stuff that’s easy and natural to get through, written in a tone that aligns with the way people really speak.2) General ElectricGeneral Electric. Not the hottest of the hot. Until you check out their Pinterest presence (yes! they are on Pinterest!) and realize they don’t take themselves insanely seriously. For instance, they have boards called “Mind = Blown” and “Badass Machines” right alongside boards like “Eco Efficient” and “The Art of Innovation.” Not only are the images chock full of fun and personality, their copy is casual and natural, too.I also love a business that isn’t afraid to put their employees front and center. Check out how they highlighted the ladies of IMPACT over Valentine’s Day. That’s right. They’re not afraid to get a little adorable! See? “Boring” industries don’t have to be boring, at all … just remember your audience is human and likes a little levity once in a while! Regardless of your product or service.7) ZenDeskZendesk offers customer service and support ticket software, but has found a way to infuse the human element of the customer service industry into their marketing. Any B2B marketer interested in storytelling should take a look at the video they have on their site of the story of support ticket #24 — to watch it on their site, just click on the image below. One of the best parts of this video to me is the contrast in communications the customer, Jessie, sees from one provider, versus the Zendesk-powered provider. When she sees the warm message “Hey there, Jessie” come through on live chat from one customer service rep, as opposed to the cold and impersonal “Dear Sir or Madam,” she chooses to talk to the more personable rep. If you watch the video all the way to the end, you’ll see Zendesk takes the whole genuine human interaction to a hilarious extreme, in which Jessie and her support rep start tweeting, talking on the phone, and then eventually presumably embark upon quite the romance. The video ends saying, “Have a better relationship with your customers.” Zendesk has decided to make acting like good, cool, friendly people central to their entire brand strategy.What other businsesses are doing a great job at humanizing their brand through their marketing?
Topics: One of the hardest parts about learning something new is that you have little ability to distinguish fact from fluff. You want to soak up as much information as possible without having to fact check every blog post you read on something new.Unfortunately, in the social media marketing space, you’ll find lots “get rich quick” type schemes — but some of those “tips” and “tricks” people peddle won’t actually work. We’ve already debunked some of the biggest “tips” and “tricks” folks will tell you about Facebook, so we figured we’d move onto another social network and do some more. If you’re looking to get the inside scoop on what works on Twitter — and what really, really doesn’t — keep on reading. Here are the most egregiously inaccurate suggestions for building your business on Twitter. 1) Try the follow, pause, unfollow trick.One easy way to get new followers? Prey on people’s sense of reciprocity. I kid … but that’s essentially what this “tip” is. To get more followers, person A will follow person B. Because person B is polite and wants to maintain the rules of the Twitter cocktail party, person B will follow person A back. Person A will then wait a few days after they’ve been followed back … then unfollow person B. This process continues (usually aided by some automated tools) until person A has lots and lots of followers.Talk about a terrible way to grow your business. Sure, you may end up with lots more followers, but chances are that these people you’re scamming into following you aren’t exactly the type that’ll want to engage with you, click your links, become leads, and maybe even buy from you — especially once they realized they’ve been hoodwinked into following you. Don’t set yourself up for failure by playing games like this — focus on growing your presence organically. 2) Buy followers.Same deal here as the last “tip” — buying followers is strict no-no, and it yields no results. People think that the number of followers is the only number that matters when building a presence on Twitter, but it’s not. If you’re buying a bunch of fake followers, you’re not going to move the numbers that matter — you know, like the traffic, leads, and customers you bring in through Twitter. Focus on making a big impact there.3) Hashtag everything.You want more eyeballs on your tweets, and hashtags help you get in front of audiences that care about certain topics. Why not load up your tweets with as many relevant ones as possible?You shouldn’t. It doesn’t work. A report from Salesforce revealed that tweets with one or two hashtags receive 21% higher engagement than those with three or more hashtags. You’re better off including one relevant hashtag than overloading. 4) Send auto DMs.People will justify auto DMs by saying they help start personal conversations — but there’s nothing personal about it. It’s just a mass message sent to anyone who follows you. And it’s feels like that on the other end. There’s no personalization token, no specific information used for each person. It’s just one generic message. Stay away from enabling these so you don’t get unfollowed by those who recently followed you. 5) Interject your content in conversations.One best practice we preach about social monitoring is to keep saved searches for keywords relevant to your business — that way, you can strike up conversations with people who are most relevant to your business. But the key part of the last sentence was “strike up conversations,” not “distribute your content.”Don’t send your content off to every single person every single time they tweet with a relevant keyword. Instead, try a lower touch form of communication first for some of those people. Try following them, or replying to them without a link. Sometimes interjecting your content into a relevant conversation works, and other times it backfires. Try to switch it up so you don’t come across as a self-serving spammer. 6) Reply to every single tweet mentioning you.There’s no reason to thank every single person who tweets the title of your article with your handle. Now, if they include a note or personalized the tweet in some way, you should reply — they took time to reach out to you, so you should try to do the same. This is one of those more nuanced “tips,” but the main takeaway here is that you don’t need to interrupt your day every time someone tweets a blog post of yours. Just respond when appropriate. 7) Post only links to your landing pages and blog posts.I know why you’re on social media. You want to build your business. You’ve signed up for this whole inbound marketing thing, and you’ve started to create blog posts, offers, and landing pages. Now you just need to promote it. To Twitter!Not so fast. Yes, you will need to push out your blog posts and landing pages on Twitter, but you should also be tweeting content that isn’t your own. Other industry blogs you read, news articles, and responses to your followers are all fair game — and they should be included in your overall posting strategy. Find a balance, and your Twitter presence will be better for it. 8) Only send tweets at 3 p.m. on a Tuesday. There’s something to be said for the data on social timing. It’s helpful to know in general what times work best for your tweets. But the data’s not the be-all-end-all for your timing strategy. You’ve got to take into account what times your audience is on Twitter, and adjust your timing accordingly.For example, you may see that 3 p.m. on a Tuesday is the best time to tweet — but your audience is filled with people in another time zone. So you should adjust your timing to reach the people in another time zone at that time, instead of 3 p.m. your time. Luckily, if you’re using a social tool that’s connected to your database (such as HubSpot’s Social Inbox), you can identify which times of day tweets are yielding the most traffic and leads to your website. Bonus: you can even use the built-in “Suggested Times” to help choose the right timing for your posts. 9) Jump on Trending Topics to get discovered.You can find these in the bottom left hand corner of your homepage. They’re fun to click on to see what’s happening in the world, but I wouldn’t recommend trying to use them for your long-term Twitter strategy.Twitter has said that 17% of the top 1,000 search terms on Twitter “churn over” on an hourly basis … so you may have spent time trying to jump on a trend that no one’s paying attention to anymore. It’d be better to spend your time trying to monitor for keywords and trends that your audience, specifically, cares about.10) Pushing tweets to all other social networks. You’re busy with lots of other things — posting to Twitter is just one item on your to-do list. But you shouldn’t automate your tweets to auto-post to other networks. The networks are all different and require different posting strategies to get the most bang for your buck. So take that extra 10 or 15 minutes to publish to each network individually each day. If you’re gonna be on social media at all, you might as well do it right. 11) Optimize your background image. This is the least malicious tip of all. People will still recommend it, despite the new Twitter layout getting rid of background designs entirely. So don’t spend your time trying to get one that looks just right. Once you have the new layout, you’ll only need to optimize your profile picture and header, though the new header has different dimensions. So nothing bad will happen to you if you have an image — you just won’t be able to use it in the new layout. What other Twitter “tips” and “tricks” have you seen fall flat in real life? Share your favorites with us in the comments. Originally published May 16, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Twitter Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
By Natalia NingthoujamNew Delhi, Dec 15 (IANS) Shaan and Sagarika burst on the pop music scene in the 1990s as the singing siblings. Years later, Shaan teamed up with his sons Soham and Shubh for a song in a Bollywood film. The “Jab se tere naina” hitmaker says it is special working with family, but it’s not different from collaborating with other singers.Working with family is not a new thing for Shaan, who is the son of the late composer Manas Mukherjee. But he always finds it special.”It is special working with family, but it’s not different (from singing with others). At the end of the day, you have to deliver whether it’s family or friends or professionals, but it’s truly special,” Shaan, born as Shantanu Mukherjee, told IANS in an email interview.He feels while singing with his sons, there is an “added responsibility”.”There’s a certain sense of responsibility or mentorship that comes in when I work with my sons, with sister… we were both equal and growing together,” explained Shaan, who wants his sons to “chart their own career and voyage into music”.What about making a song with his family?”Not really, not at the moment,” he said. But he hasn’t crossed out the possibility.”When inspiration comes in and I know that my boys could contribute in the best of their capacity to a song, then I’ll definitely want to work with them. At the moment, they are still in school and I want them to focus on learning music and, at the same time, building their personalities and balancing that between studies and sports as well,” said the fitness enthusiast.”I don’t want them to get stuck in the profession of singing or working. I wouldn’t want them (to get) into professional singing too early. I’d like them to grow as individuals and then enter the field,” said Shaan, who had sung a song in Ajay Devgn-starrer “Himmatwala” with his sons apart from other projects.Meanwhile, Shaan recently appeared on an episode of “Secret Side with Akasa” on MTV Beats.”There are a few secrets that you aren’t aware of — one is that I have a home gym, so I work out quite regularly and have been doing that for the last 14 years. The other is that I’m addicted to playing Candy Crush,” said the “Tanha dil” singer.What made him share his secret on a TV Show?”I was keen on (showing) that people who may have a misconception about working out… that it affects your singing or your health as a singer, it is not actually the case.”In fact, working out improves your vocal strength and endurance. Let the budding singers know that it’s okay to workout if you want to sing,” he said.In the past also, he has done many singing-based reality shows like “Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L’il Champs” and “Star Voice of India”. Does he enjoy doing TV shows more than singing for movies?”No. I think if I hadn’t sung songs for movies, I wouldn’t have got the opportunity to do television. They are totally different from each other. I enjoy what I do, which is why it works on television. If I’m not enjoying, then it’s no fun.”If I hadn’t enjoyed, people wouldn’t have approached me to be a part of television/talent shows. You can’t compare those to films,” said Shaan.He would also love to do a travel show.”A show which showcases the music from that location. The local flavour of the music along with the travel show that would explore folk music of different parts of India… would be something really exciting,” said the singer, who loves travelling.(Natalia Ningthoujam can be contacted at email@example.com )–IANSnn/rb/vmadvertisement
Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! Originally published Jan 20, 2017 6:00:00 AM, updated August 25 2017 Brand Management This year will be an important one for ecommerce brands, hinging largely on one specific element — customer experience (CX).According to Gartner data, 42% of CEOs say that better CX was “the key change that has driven more wins.” Furthermore, for 80% of B2B customers, CX is the biggest influencer in the decision to work with a certain vendor. And, Walker insights indicate that by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiators.That data emphasizes the significance of CX, but what do online retailers really need to know about it? And with 89% of organizations competing on customer experience, what’s the best way to stand out?Download our free guide to learn how to more effectively use and measure customer loyalty programs for your business. In this post, we’ll explore those questions, and look at some examples of brands who already reap the benefits of building a strong online experience.The Growth of ExperienceTo better understand why more brands are putting an emphasis on improving their CX, let’s discuss how it’s evolved. We’re already seeing CX come to the forefront in many different formats. For example:In 2014, Facebook bought virtual reality company Oculus for $2 billion in order to create new, more engaging experiences for its audience.Brands are seeing higher conversion rates by adding a seamless mobile checkout experience.Mindfulness is becoming increasingly important within leadership roles on every level, indicating that decisions are being evaluated differently than in the past. In fact, McKinsey cites observation of consumers as a crucial first step in creating better CX.When we look at experience-related changes that are happening around us, the above examples are merely at the tip of the iceberg. But what we can glean from them is that online CX takes on much more importance than it has in the past — in fact, 76% of consumers say they view this experience as the true test of how much a company values them.Ultimately, providing a positive customer experience will keep your customers around. HubSpot Research found that 80% of consumers would stop doing business with a company because of a poor customer experience.So what changes can be made in the ecommerce world to improve the overall experience? Let’s look at some examples from ecommerce brands who are stepping up their online CX, and find the elements of their successes that we can learn from.How Brands Can Improve Online Experiences1) Marucci SportsThe Takeaway: Emphasize the StoryWe can take a page from the book of Marucci Sports, the brand that redesigned its site to be both story-centric and mobile-friendly. Using strong visuals and compelling copy — with responsive design — to highlight relationships with players, Marucci was able to increase mobile conversions by 50%.2) Di Bruno Bros.The Takeaway: Enable ExplorationWe can also learn from food and beverage brand Di Bruno Bros. — and its site redesign — which put an emphasis on a discovery-based CX. With detailed product descriptions and strong visuals, the brand makes it easy for visitors to explore offerings and gather the information they need to make a purchase.It worked. After these changes were implemented, Di Bruno Bros. more than doubled its average conversion rate and boosted online sales by 6.5%.3) BOXHILLThe Takeaway: Showcase the Product (and Earn Press)When BOXHILL revamped its logo, the team looked to implement a new site design that would accomplish two goals:The logo was to appear front and center.The new design needed to showcase the products, pushing more customers to conversion, rather than losing them on what was a confusing journey across the site.The use of white space, a centered logo, and a more modern site experience increased conversion by 410%. Even better? The publications and vendors BOXHILL was working to secure became more inclined to include the brand in mentions and roundups. With the new site design, BOXHILL earned coveted spots on outlets relevant to its brand, like Goop and HGTV Garden.4) Andreas Carter SportsThe Takeaway: Remembering to A/B TestWhen Andreas Carter Sports relaunched its new site that was replete with a new look and feel, the brand saw nearly immediate results. That made sense — customers would now be able to immediately view products in all available colors, for example.But the Andreas Carter Sports team knew that additional changes could even further boost success. One of the biggest long-term modifications tested was changing the “Add to Basket” button color from black to blue. It worked — during testing, that one change reduced abandoned carts by 50%, eventually leading to a change of the button color across the site.5) Baby K’tanThe Takeaway: Learn From the CompetitionGood site design isn’t created in a bubble. Online consumers grow used to certain functionalities — things like the “hamburger menu,” which you can read more about here. At first, it was only used on a few sites, but was eventually adopted by many as a mobile best practice.In some cases, your cometition might provide a certain experience that people have gotten used to — but your site doesn’t provide that experience. In that case, it’s good to do research to figure out what your site might be missing, which is what baby carrier manufacturer Baby K’tan did.“Our site was inspired by a few favorite websites which helped us decide on a desired layout, and by our brand culture which revolves around family and expressing a cheerful emotional connection,” Tali Zipper, Baby K’tan’s VP of Marketing told BigCommerce. “We wanted something that was colorful, with bright and joyful images as well as a clean and simple layout for easy navigation.”With these changes, site traffic grew 116%, and the brand saw a 45% growth in revenue.Prepare for the Rise of Ecommerce ExperienceAs mobile usage continues to rise — and begins to outpace desktop usage — customer experience will be the focus for many ecommerce retailers. But with the statistics and examples we’ve covered, you can start planning your own customer experience improvements.Think about which areas or your online presence can be enhanced for your particular audience, and put together an experience strategy that takes it a step further — or better — than competitors.And remember — observe your customers, imagining yourself in their respective places. What’s missing? What do you wish was there? Answer those questions, and you’ll be on your way to an action plan for CX that excels.
The retail industry evolves fast. Ten years ago, every town’s mall was a bustling hub of commerce, chock full of busy shops and pesky tweens. Nowadays, Cyber Monday generates $1.5 billion more in sales than Black Friday does.With the explosive growth of online shopping and 2017’s brick-and-mortar retail apocalypse, how can you, a retailer, adapt to the ever-changing preferences of consumers today? One of the first steps to take is staying informed. Retail blogs can keep you updated on the industry’s latest stories and prepare you for the upcoming trends that will transform the industry in 2019 and beyond.Ecommerce businesses can retain more customers by following this free guide.Below, we’ll list the best retail blogs on the internet right now. And, hopefully, they can help you reinvigorate your brick-and-mortar store or help you take advantage of the current boom in eCommerce for your online store.8 of the Best Retail Blogs Every Retailer Should Be Reading1. Shopify PlusShopify Plus, Shopify’s enterprise software arm, structures their editorial calendar like a season of television, weaving their articles into narrative-driven series and publishing multiple stories about one eCommerce topic over time.With a trusted team of staff writers and freelancers, they write heavily-researched yet easy-to-understand stories about eCommerce success stories, behavioral economics, buyer psychology, and industry data, helping you understand the industry’s best tactics and why they work.Each of Shopify Plus’ articles is valuable on its own, but just like episodes from your favorite Netflix show, they can entice you to read the entire series, arming you with the full scope of knowledge about a certain topic.Recommended Read: How 2 Chainz Used Shopify Plus to Generate 2 Million Dollars in 30 Days2. National Retail FederationThe National Retail Federation, or NRF, is the largest retail trade association in the United States. For over a century, they’ve advocated for retailers by lobbying congress in support of the industry and providing mentorship and networking opportunities for their members.To update retailers about the latest news and trends, the NRF publishes blog posts about the economy, connected commerce, consumer trends, holiday and seasonal trends, retail technology, and small businesses.They also conduct studies and surveys to grasp the current state of the retail industry and publish the insights on their blog. They use their podcast, Retail Gets Real, and their online magazine, Stores, to tell stories about thriving retail brands too.Recommended Read: Facial recognition is becoming a competitive tool in the fight against fraud3. The Retail DoctorBob Phibbs, the self-proclaimed “Retail Doctor”, is a retail consultant who has helped brands like LEGO, Mastercard, and Paul Mitchell optimize their brick and mortar stores, train their sales team, and boost their in-store sales.Phibbs’ consulting services are definitely impressive, but his blog might be even more admirable. Feedspot named The Retail Doctor’s blog the best retail blog & website for 2018, and reading it will teach you a broad range of retail topics, spanning from holiday shopping strategies to dealing with bratty kids in your store.Recommended Read: How Should You Handle Shoppers With Bratty Kids In Tow?4. Retail DiveAn offshoot of Industry Dive, a digital media company that publishes business news and original analysis for over 3 million executives in 16 industries, Retail Dive analyzes the top retail trends and new stories and publishes extensive articles about them. They mostly cover topics like technology, trends, marketing, eCommerce, payments, mobile, logistics, corporate news, loss prevention, and the holidays.They also write opinion pieces about retail, conduct their own studies, post industry events, have a job board, and produce their own podcast, Conversational Commerce.Recommended Read: Why most shoppers still choose brick-and-mortar stores over e-commerce5. SquareSquare, one of the leading credit card readers for small businesses, has millions of customers, and the company’s blog has been influential in their customers’ growth. Covering topics like customer success, data insights, finances, growth strategies, management, and marketing, Square’s blog can also help you run your retail store more effectively.If you’re a Square customer, you can read their blog to learn about their latest product updates, how other businesses succeed using Square, and best practices for using their products.Recommended Read: The State of Malls in America6. Medallion RetailWith over five decades of experience helping retail brands like Starbucks, Converse, and Mark Avion run their in-store marketing, Medallion Retail is a proven thought leader in the retail industry.Their blog gives retailers an inside look at their coveted expertise, which is in-store experience, signage, and pop-up retail. If you want to learn from an established retail expert, Medallion Retail can be your trusted resource.Recommended Read: The Original Holiday Pop-Up: What Retailers Can Learn from Spirit Halloween7. Forrester RetailForrester is a market research company that provides reports about how existing and future technologies can potentially impact the business world.To help retailers leverage technology to adapt to their consumers’ ever-changing preferences, Forrester publishes blog posts about the latest news in retail and predictions of the industry’s direction. They also attach more in-depth research reports to most of their blog posts for readers to download.Recommended Read: Amazon Is A (Big And Scary) Red Herring8. Shopify RetailOriginally founded to sell snowboards online, Shopify has transformed into the leading eCommerce platform for retailers, powering over 500,000 businesses who have generated more than $40 billion in sales.Countless customers use their blog as a guide to run their business, and if you follow it, you can hone your chops in marketing, sales, customer experience, pop-up shops, Black Friday & Cyber Monday strategy, omni-channel retail, and technology.Recommended Read: How HERO Backpacks Founder Used Her Personal Story to Build a Brand Topics: Originally published Nov 12, 2018 7:00:00 AM, updated November 12 2018 Don’t forget to share this post! Retail Trends
Recruiting Tips We all know about the infamous rivalry between Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks. At the end of the day, they both sell coffee — but they’ve each cultivated strong, unique brands, and have attracted very different audiences as a result.You can often overhear heated arguments regarding the topic, with people vehemently claiming one coffee chain to be better than the other.But let’s say you didn’t know about the rivalry, and you’d never heard of either Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts before.Instead, you stumble across these two very different company profile statements:Image courtesy of Dunkin’ DonutsImage courtesy of StarbucksFrom their opening paragraphs alone, I’m willing to bet you’re persuaded to check out one brand in more detail over the other. It isn’t just the language itself that gives you a sense of their business — it’s the design, the font, and the color.Ultimately, your company profile matters. It can intrigue a new visitor to check out your products or services in more detail, and nudge potential customers into choosing your business over competitors.Download Now: Free Business Plan TemplateWhat’s a company profile?A company profile is an introduction to your business, and aims to tell an audience about your products or services. However, a company profile shouldn’t just tell your audience what you sell — it should also tell viewers why you sell it. A company profile often includes a compelling story about how the company began, as well as the company’s vision and values.Here, we’ll explore seven of the most creative company profile examples, to ensure you’re able to create a company profile in 2019 that will attract and engage the right audience. Once you’re done perusing these impressive examples, take a look at our template to get started designing your own.Company Profile Examples 1. Starbucks company profileStarbucks’ company profile has it all — the company’s mission, background story, products, store atmosphere, and even folklore regarding the name. Best of all, they somehow manage to pull off sounding both genuine and grandiose. I don’t know many other coffee stores that could claim, “our mission: to inspire and nurture the human spirit”. Starbucks’ company profile is a fantastic example of a store with a common household product — coffee — managing to stand out from the competition through their mission and values.2. Nordstrom company profileIf your company has an interesting and lengthy history, you might consider creating a visual timeline, like Nordstrom did on their company profile. The profile reads like a creative story from the very first line — “In 1887, John W. Nordstrom, at 16 years old, left Sweden for the United States. He arrived in New York with $5 in his pocket, unable to speak a word of English.” With a good balance of image and text, the timeline serves as a reminder of Nordstrom’s stability and growth.3. Diehl Group Architects company profileFor both cleanliness and ease-of-use, take a look at Diehl Group Architects’ company profile. The web page uses clickable boxes to separate topics, allowing users to choose which subject they’d like to learn more about. Additionally, the entire design — including the page’s background, which displays a floor-plan — mirrors the company’s purpose.4. Bloomberg company profileIf both video and text are available on the same page, 72% of people would rather use video to learn about a product or service. You might consider using a compelling video to convey your company’s story, like Bloomberg does in their company profile.Additionally, Bloomberg’s profile proves the company knows its audience — they offer a few quick statistics, and then link to other areas of the site, such as Careers and Tech. While another business might do well offering a creative, long-form story, Bloomberg’s typical demographic is likely more analytical.5. Nike company profileYou can get a sense for Nike’s two primary purposes almost instantly — fitness, and people. When you first open their company profile you’re greeted with videos of people of different ages, gender, and nationalities playing sports.Additionally, their initial introduction is this: “Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world”. Below, beside the asteric, it says, “If you have a body, you are an athlete”. As you scroll, you’ll see information on their internal diversity and inclusion initiative, their global community impact, and their sustainable business program, with very little mention of their products.Nike’s company profile portrays a larger, grander vision, compelling an audience to believe in their brand even before they purchase a product.6. Seattle Cider company profileSeattle Cider Company’s profile is fun, and engages the user through compelling graphics that demonstrate the company’s cider process. The page flows seamlessly, and provides critical information regarding the product before displaying the company’s mission and values. This profile is a good example of a company that understands its users’ concerns (in this case, quality ingredients), and addresses those issues while still displaying personality and flair.7. Delta company profile Delta’s page is well-organized by topic, and showcases the company’s values, including efforts to engage with the community and promote sustainability. They’ve included brief meta-descriptions below each category. The design allows for users to click-through if they want to learn more. Overall, Delta’s company profile is simple and uncluttered, but includes all the necessary information to demonstrate why Delta is unique.Company Profile TemplateCompany nameEstablished datePhysical address per locationContact informationAbout Us / Our Story / Our Beginning [Here, you’ll want to include a brief introduction to your company, including where, when, and by whom the company was founded, the company’s mission statement, and/or the company’s vision and purpose. In this section, you don’t necessarily want to include products or services — instead, focus on your bigger meaning, and how you stand out from competitors. Tell your story in a compelling way — for instance, HubSpot starts their About Us section with, “More than ten years ago, we had a vision — an inbound world”. HubSpot doesn’t mention their products until further down the page.]Our Mission / Values [Here, you’ll want to say what your company stands for on a larger scale. What is your ultimate goal, and what do you hope your products or services will give people? Take a look at 17 Truly Inspiring Company Vision and Mission Statement Examples for ideas.]Our Team [Provide a picture or brief paragraph describing your team — you might focus on leadership, or provide an explanation of your company’s culture. Ultimately, this section should help users understand how your employees can uniquely serve them.]Our Product / Services[Describe a high-level overview of what your product is, and how you hope it will positively impact the user’s life. You can link to a Product page if necessary, so keep this section relatively general.]How to write a company profileFocus on a high-level overview of your company.At the beginning of your company profile, include important information such as your company name, your business’s physical location, a website URL, contact information, and an established date.Consider adding a timeline or synopsis of your company’s history, including information regarding expansion or growth.Aim to express your company’s values or mission in your company profile, rather than just your products or services. A user won’t care about what you’re selling until they believe in your brand.Include any awards or recognition you’ve received, and highlight what makes your company different from your competitors.Depending on your audience, you might choose to include graphics, visuals, or video.Add statistics to back up your claims. Topics: Originally published Jan 28, 2019 7:00:00 AM, updated July 12 2019 Don’t forget to share this post!
Realme XT launch date in India is set for September 13 as the company sent out invites for the event already. This is the company’s first 64MP quad camera smartphone and it will come to India soon after the launch of the Realme 5 and Realme 5 Pro quad camera phones. Realme has already revealed the specs of the Realme XT to the media who got a chance to go hands-on with the device last week. It is now revealed that the Realme XT will go on sale on Flipkart as the e-commerce platform has set up a microsite teasing the smartphone’s arrival.The Realme XT’s listing on Flipkart also reveals some key highlights about the smartphone. The microsite teases high resolution photos through the Realme XT’s 64MP main camera, which aims to offer “unbeatable detailing” and 34 per cent more pixels than a 48MP sensor. The Realme XT qud camera setup will include a 64-megapixel Samsung GW1 sensor, an 8-megapixel ultra wide-angle lens, a 2-megapixel macro lens and a 2-megapixel portrait camera.Realme XT will sport a 6.4-inch FHD+ (1080×2340) Super AMOLED display with a waterdrop notch. It will also feature a new version of in-display fingerprint sensor that should be faster and more accurate than the previous generation. The Realme XT will come with a premium design that includes Gorilla Glass 5 protection on the front and back and a metal frame.Other specifications revealed to us by the company include a 4,000mAh battery with VOOC 3.0 fast charging support over Type-C, 4GB, 6GB and 8GB RAM options with 64GB or 128GB of internal storage and two gradient colour options – white and blue.The Realme XT will be a new series in India and is not meant to be a successor to the Realme X. With a 64MP quad camera setup and premium glass design, among other things, the Realme XT will likely be priced higher than the Realme X. The company is expected to announce the price of the Realme XT on September 13 along with its Flipkart availability date.ALSO READ | Realme XT launch date in India set for September 13: Specs, expected priceALSO READ | Realme XT quick review: All about that 64MP quad camera setup
The Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) will be unveiling a stand at the Feroz Shah Kotla after India captain Virat Kohli on Thursday and the entire team will be there to witness the momentous occasion.Speaking to IANS, a senior board functionary confirmed that the boys will be present at the unveiling ceremony which will take place at the Weightlifting Auditorium of the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.”The boys will be there when DDCA unveils the stand in Kohli’s name. The boys are assembling in the capital on Thursday before heading to Dharamsala on Friday,” the functionary said.Kohli and boys play Quinton de Kock’s men in the opening game of the T20I series on Sunday before moving to Mohali for the second match that will be played on September 18. The final game is to be played at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on September 22.The Proteas have already arrived in the country and after the disappointment of the World Cup, they are looking to start afresh with de Kock named skipper for the T20I series in place of Faf du Plessis.Pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada has already made his excitement known on Twitter as he wrote: “Excited to be back in India and looking forward to playing cricket again.”The Indians have rested the senior pace trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, while all-rounder Hardik Pandya is back after being rested for the West Indies tour.The team management, as well as the senior selection committee, has been very cautious in managing the workload of the players.advertisementThe T20I series will be followed by three Tests, which will see South Africa begin their campaign in the World Test Championship. The first Test is in Visakhapatnam (October 2-6), the second one in Pune (October 10-14) and the third one in Ranchi (October 19-23).
In an unprecedented development, a member of the India women cricket team was allegedly approached to fix matches earlier this year, prompting the BCCI’s Anti-Corruption Unit to lodge a FIR against two individuals on Monday.The alleged incident, which the player reported to the Board’s ACU, took place in February, ahead of the limited-overs home series against England.Ajit Singh Shekhawat, who heads the ACU, conformed the development to PTI.”She is India cricketer and an international cricketer so the ICC conducted an inquiry into it. The ICC warned the person who made the approach and informed us and acknowledged that the cricketer has done the right thing by reporting the approach,” Shekhawat said.The ACU has registered a first-information report (FIR) with the Bengaluru police against two individuals, Rakesh Bafna and Jitendra Kothari, for the alleged approach.Also Read | Head coach Misbah-ul-Haq changes diet and nutrition plans for Pakistan playersAlso Read | ACU will look after alleged corruption in TNPL: CoA chief Vinod RaiAlso See: