a:bMost of your A/B tests are a complete waste of time.

That’s right, they don’t do you any good.

Why? Well, picking random tests seldom leads to fantastic results.

And this comes from what KINDs of tests you’re doing.

With A/B testing and optimization, most people think of headlines, button colors, and layouts. And in the process, we completely miss a much more important kind of testing. Read More…

Leaving Google

Dennis Crowley (the day he and Alex quit Google). Image courtesy of Flickr.

Unfortunately, I’ve met too many managers who agree they should hire people smarter than themselves, only to not give them the freedom to act. In this way, they act more like people with collectibles – willing to pay a premium price just to put nice things on a shelf.

As managers of high performers the work doesn’t end at finding and hiring them. It’s our job to create the right culture to keep them, to encourage them, and to create the opportunities for them to do the things they do best. Read More…

Making money and doing good… Oil and water? We don’t think so. Since Day 1, we have always believed that making money and doing good mix quite well.

Over the years businesses tend to use a very prescriptive formula for social responsibility, but there’s opportunity for greater partnerships. The infographic below takes a look at the new fundraising era of companies giving customers and employees the flexibility to make a difference in their communities while engaging with their businesses. Here are some of the highlights:

 

  • 30% of consumers plan to spend more on socially responsible companies next year
  • Online social giving has increased 10.7% from 2011 to 2012
  • Companies are moving toward for what works: crowdsourcing and social integration, cause-marketing with a strategic approach and skill-based volunteering
  • $50,000 was raised using Clarity for 65 different charities by offering advice to entrepreneurs and donating their proceeds (which translates to over 2000 calls)

Read More…

Avatars-header-600x400Your brand and professional reputation is the single one thing that will set you apart from your competition. Branding is the only tactic you can employ that is truly unique and that your competitors simply can’t replicate completely.

In branding, you’re dealing with the perception of your audience. To be regarded as an expert is what really matters. This isn’t a form of trickery or positioning yourself as a ‘marketing guru’. It just requires a change in the way you communicate.

Instead of communicating like a beginner with no proven track record, you should be communicating like an expert with lots of knowledge and experience under your belt.

It’s about being yourself, being passionate about what you’re doing and really believing that you are worthy to communicate these things.

Read More…

rollercoaster

Just about everything you’ve done in marketing in your early and lean startup stages was a warm-up.

Really? Yes.

Marketing takes a whole new direction once you’re scaling-up, and that means a lot more than Growth Hacking. Maybe Growth Hacking got you there, but it’s not sufficient to propel you further, so how do you bridge the relationship between Growth Hacking and Growth Marketing?

Marketing has always been about a set of integrated approaches, and it will always be. It’s called the Marketing Mix. The components of that mix evolve over time, and the priorities are different for each company, but Growth Hacking is one of those new components, so welcome it to the Mix. Read More…

traffic image

You just spent the past three nights writing and editing your post, and you just published it two hours ago. And…there’s nothing but tumbleweed on Google Analytics.

Or maybe it’s not that bad — perhaps you’ve got a decent amount of traffic, but it’s plateauing and you want more eyeballs for your work.

As you may have learned the hard way, good content doesn’t necessarily get the amount of exposure it deserves simply by existing. Here are three tried-and-true methods of reaching more viewers and gaining more unique visitors and pageviews.

1. How to Gain Critical Mass on a Hub

Hubs are any places where members of your target market may congregate. They also have voting mechanisms; think Hacker News, Inbound, or StumbleUpon.

Generally, there’s a correlation between the size of the hub and the number of votes you need to gain maximum exposure; if the hub is small, then you only need a few votes to in a given amount of time before you’re on the home page. However, these smaller hubs usually drive a smaller volume of unique visitors to your post. Larger hubs can drive more unique visitors, but require more votes to do so. Read More…

Steve Jobs at D8 ConferenceAll too often events are just a fabulous way for companies to waste money. But if you play your cards right, producing an event can deliver huge ROI for your business with little overhead.

Even top technology companies focused on virtual communications rely on in person events. Steve Jobs’s keynotes were legendary, and a cornerstone of Apple’s product launch and marketing strategy. Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference positioned the enterprise software newcomer as the leader in cloud computing and nurtured their essential developer ecosystem. TechCrunch made half its revenue from startup events. Twitter and Facebook throw numerous events to woo advertisers. Expert web marketers including HubSpot, Moz and Twilio are now investing heavily in developing their own marquee events.

If these companies needed events to get the word out, yours probably will at some point too. But how do you make sure you don’t waste your limited marketing budget on the next Pets.com-style extravaganza? Read More…

Startup-FailureThere are countless startups that have come and gone. Many of the startups today are here because they learned and adapted from their mistakes. Since the launch of our startup, Lucidchart in 2008, our team has learned many lessons on common startup pitfalls that I’d like to pass on to you:

1. Waiting to release until a feature is perfect

Look, your product is going to have bugs. It’s an unavoidable rite of passage that every tech startup will face. Lucidchart was lucky enough to be featured on Lifehacker shortly after its first release, and things weren’t necessarily pretty — the headline touting “stripped-down flowcharts” says it all. Read More…

applesupportWhen you serve your first customer, you get to spend as much time as possible to make that relationship right. When that first customer becomes one of many, you need a way to take that same energy and focus that you delivered to the first customer and make it available to the next one (however many next ones there are).

There is a repeatable set of steps that can help you from your first fan through to your 1Mth “True Fan” to reach mass market adoption. Those steps use People, Process and Tools to magnify and repeat the ideas you had at customer #1 and make them applicable at scale. Read More…

Patrick_Lor_profile_pic 2YES, there are stupid questions. And who knows that better than Dissolve.com CEO and Co-Founder, Patrick Lor. He has an extensive list of experiences which include:

  • Being the pioneer behind microstock industry, as co-founder of iStockphoto, the world’s first crowd sourced stock photography community (acquired by Getty Images for $50M)
  • An advisor, mentor, angel investor, teacher, and community leader for various organizations including: thea100.org, thec100.org, democampcalgary.com, University of Calgary, Mount Royal University, GrowLab, and FounderFuel… to name a few
  • Entrepreneur-in-Residence at iNovia Capital, and Partner at Flightpath Ventures, a seed stage accelerator fund

In the post below Patrick goes over some of the stupid questions he’s encountered as an entrepreneur, investor and mentor. He also shares with us his secret on how to respond to stupid questions.

Read More…

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