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Alan Oscroft | Thursday, 29th October, 2020 | More on: WPP Markets around the world are reeling from the coronavirus pandemic…And with so many great companies trading at what look to be ‘discount-bin’ prices, now could be the time for savvy investors to snap up some potential bargains.But whether you’re a newbie investor or a seasoned pro, deciding which stocks to add to your shopping list can be daunting prospect during such unprecedented times.Fortunately, The Motley Fool is here to help: our UK Chief Investment Officer and his analyst team have short-listed five companies that they believe STILL boast significant long-term growth prospects despite the global lock-down…You see, here at The Motley Fool we don’t believe “over-trading” is the right path to financial freedom in retirement; instead, we advocate buying and holding (for AT LEAST three to five years) 15 or more quality companies, with shareholder-focused management teams at the helm.That’s why we’re sharing the names of all five of these companies in a special investing report that you can download today for FREE. If you’re 50 or over, we believe these stocks could be a great fit for any well-diversified portfolio, and that you can consider building a position in all five right away. See all posts by Alan Oscroft Enter Your Email Address 5 Stocks For Trying To Build Wealth After 50 Here’s why I’d buy shares in this overlooked FTSE 100 company right now Image source: Getty Images Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. When FTSE 100 advertising and PR giant WPP (LSE: WPP) parted company with founder and chief executive Martin Sorrell, many observers feared for the company. And they weren’t wrong, at least in the short term. Between Sorrell’s departure in April 2018 and February 2020, the WPP share price crashed by a third.But there’s more to the story. WPP shares had already been falling, having reached a peak in early 2017. And then Covid-19 struck and, so far in 2020, the price is down 44%. The FTSE 100 itself has been turing south again, and it’s now dropped more than 25% in 2020. But the WPP fall is one of the worst in the UK stock market’s top tier.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…The past two years have brought earnings falls, with another tough year on the cards in 2020. If forecasts prove accurate, this year’s EPS will be down more than 50% from 2017. The company has slashed its dividend too. But if we look beyond the current year, I think the firm’s long-term future is positive.Third quarter updateWPP released a Q3 update Thursday, and it’s essentially a list of falling numbers. Reported revenue for the quarter is down 9.8% on the same period last year, with the like-for-like figure showing a 5.5% drop. Revenue, less pass-through costs, is looking tougher, down 11.9% overall and down 7.6% like-for-like.That’s arguably a little softer than the nine-month figures, so things might be improving. Reported year-to-date revenue is down 11.5% with like-for-like falling 9.5% (down 10.8% and 8.9%, less pass-through costs).The 2020 numbers so far are clearly not great. But they look to me to be largely in line with full-year forecasts. Investors didn’t much like the look of the update at first, dropping the WPP share price 4.4% in early trading. But, as I write, it’s back to around a 2% slip on the day, so maybe things aren’t quite so disappointing on a closer look.Looking to the brighter potential future, chief executive Mark Read spoke of the new businesses the firm has signed up this year. It includes deals with Alibaba, Dell, HSBC, Intel, Unilever and Whirlpool. In the long-term, the big firms, including FTSE 100 giants, are surely going to stick with the proven winners.FTSE 100 winner?Right now, WPP shares are on a forward P/E of around 12. That’s below the FTSE 100 long-term average, and we might expect to see a lower valuation this year. But I think it’s very wrong to value a company in such a short-term way. If the shares are valued so modestly in what looks set to be probably the toughest year for business in many decades, how cheap will they look when we’re out of the crisis?Forecasts for 2021 give us some clue. They have to be treated with some caution, of course. But a prediction for 30% EPS growth next year would drop the P/E to nine. Analysts expect the dividend to pick up too, to present a well-covered yield of 6.5%.I reckon WPP is till the best in the business. And I rate it one of the FTSE 100’s best buys today. Alan Oscroft has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of and has recommended Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. The Motley Fool UK has recommended HSBC Holdings, Intel, and Unilever. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Click here to claim your free copy of this special investing report now!
Seasonal changes in the FA composition of triacylglycerols and phospholipids prepared from the whole body of non-diapausing and diapausing fifth instar larvae of Ostrinia nubilalis, Hubn. (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) were determined to evaluate the role of these lipids in diapause. Substantial changes in the FA composition of triacylglycerols and phospholipids were triggered by diapause development. This led to a significant increase in the overall FA unsaturation (UFAs/SFAs ratio), attributable to an increase in the relative proportion of MUFAs and the concomitant decrease in PUFAs and SFAs. In triacylglycerols, the significant changes in FAs composition is the result of an increase in the relative proportions of MUFAs, palmitoleic acid (16:1n-7) and oleic acid (18:1n-9), and a concomitant reduction in composition of SFAs and PUFAs, mainly palmitic acid (16:0) and linoleic acid (18:2n-6), respectively. Changes in the composition of phospholipids were more subtle with FAs contributing to the overall increase of FA unsaturation. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) analysis revealed that the melt transition temperatures of total lipids prepared from whole larvae, primarily attributable to the triacylglycerol component, were significantly lower during the time course of diapause compared with non-diapause. These observations were correlated to the FA composition of triacylglycerols, most likely enabling them to remain functional during colder winter conditions. We conclude that O. nubilalis undergoes remodelling of FA profiles of both energy storage triacylglycerols and membrane phospholipids as an element of its overwintering physiology which may improve the ability to cold harden during diapause.
“I’m not going to say who said what to whom but let me reiterate, I want to be absolutely crystal clear, it was understood at the highest levels that this was almost certainly murder-suicide by the pilot – mass murder-suicide by the pilot.”Zaharie’s family and friends have long strongly rejected such claims as baseless.In 2016, Malaysian officials revealed he had plotted a path over the Indian Ocean on a home flight simulator but stressed this did not prove he deliberately crashed the plane.A final report into the tragedy released in 2018 pointed to failings by air traffic control and said the course of the plane was changed manually.But they failed to come up with any firm conclusions, leaving relatives angry and disappointed.Six passengers were Australian, including four from Queensland state, where Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk this week suggested authorities may pursue an inquest into their deaths.Topics : Former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott has claimed “very top” level Malaysian officials believed vanished Flight MH370 was deliberated downed by the captain in a mass murder-suicide.The Malaysia Airlines jet vanished on March 8, 2014 carrying 239 people – mostly from China – en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.No sign of the plane was found in a 120,000-square kilometer (46,000-square mile) Indian Ocean search zone and the Australian-led search, the largest in aviation history, was suspended in January 2017. A US exploration firm launched a private hunt in 2018 but it ended after several months of scouring the seabed without success.The disappearance of the plane has long been the subject of a host of theories – ranging from the credible to outlandish – including that veteran pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah had gone rogue.In an excerpt from a Sky News documentary airing Wednesday, Abbott claims he was told within a week of it vanishing that Malaysia believed the captain had intentionally downed the jet.”My very clear understanding from the very top levels of the Malaysian government is that from very, very early on here, they thought it was murder-suicide by the pilot,” he said.
The Bosnian Football Federation (FFBH) has been through difficult times, but it is now gradually moving in the right direction.Elvedin Begić, who was elected the new president in December, visited FIFA with a FFBH delegation on 22 January. Among the group was Faruk Hadžibegić, who formerly played for Real Betis and Sochaux, coached the BIH national team and was the last captain of Yugoslavia, for whom he won 65 caps.In an interview to FIFA, Hadžibegić – who now has an official role monitoring the FFBH as an observer – said he hopes “to never have to intervene, as that will mean everything’s going well at the federation”.A former central defender with deep knowledge of his homeland, Hadžibegić’s playing career included spells with FK Sarajevo (1976-85), Real Betis (1985-87), Sochaux (1987-94) and Toulouse (1994-95). And, as he explained, he was also involved in BiH efforts to gain FIFA affiliation in the 1990s.Hadžibegić recalled how, “during the Yugoslav era, BiH was the main source of players,” before adding that “the current team is very good: I can’t find many faults with it.”“The concern is that there aren’t enough of us, and we’re a bit short on the bench,” he continued. “We’ve reached the play-offs several times, but our federation has never experienced any big events. We lack the experience to manage those situations.”The former Arles-Avignon manager is realistic about his country’s future. And he recognises that taking a post-war country of 3.8 million people to the summit of world football is no small task.“The challenge is huge,” he said. “We’re all from the former Yugoslavia, where football was extremely well organised. Every effort had been made to establish a great quality of football, a quality that was recognised around the world. Now, BiH must take a very big step up to reach the former Yugoslavia’s level of excellence. We’re on the right track, but there’s still lots and lots of work to do.”The Bosnians came close to qualifying for the last two FIFA World Cups™, only to be denied in the play-offs. And their Brazil 2014 campaign, for which they are placed in Group G of the European section, has also started strongly.“Safet Sušić, the head coach, is a real legend in Bosnia,” said Hadzibegic. “He’s doing an excellent job and the team are on track to reach Brazil. There are some important matches left, but we’ve never been so well placed to qualify.”
A young Milford student has “given something back” to the Donegal Hospice following the death of his mother.Loreto Community School student Anthony O’Connor raises funds for the hospice in memory of his mother, Maeve O’Connor.Anthony O’ Connor, a Junior Cert student, wanted to pay tribute to his mother Maeve, who sadly passed away last year. Anthony handmade Christmas memory trees and sold them at the Loreto Community School Craft Fair in December 2016, to raise money for the Hospice that cared for his mum.Anthony said he “wanted to give something back to the Donegal Hospice” and in the process raised a superb €535.60.Some of Anthony’s teachers and classmates stood with him when he planted a tree in the school grounds in memory of his mother after donating his cheque to Kelly McIntyre representing Donegal Hospice. Principal, Mrs. Margaret O’ Connor is included in the photograph. How one student gave back to Donegal Hospice for helping his late mum was last modified: March 28th, 2017 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
SAN JOSE — Both Marcus Sorensen and Barclay Goodrow were still in awe.Here they were, two forwards who were basically still learning to skate 20 years ago, talking Tuesday about what it was like to be on the same line with a veteran of 1,499 NHL games in Joe Thornton.“He’s one of the best players to ever play the game,” said Goodrow, who had the game-winning goal in the Sharks’ 4-3 victory over the Minnesota Wild.“It’s an honor to play with him,” said Sorensen, who had his first career …
Incredible advancements in technology are coming from the imitation of nature, but engineers cannot yet attain animal performance.Look like a bug: “New Camera Inspired by Insect Eyes,” announced Science Now. If you thought insects with their compound eyes had inferior vision to ours, think that no more:An insect’s compound eye is an engineering marvel: high resolution, wide field of view, and incredible sensitivity to motion, all in a compact package. Now, a new digital camera provides the best-ever imitation of a bug’s vision, using new optical materials and techniques. This technology could someday give patrolling surveillance drones the same exquisite vision as a dragonfly on the hunt.In the Illustra film Metamorphosis, Dr. Thomas Emmel notes that butterflies have better color vision than humans. They can see from infrared to ultraviolet. And in the Illustra film Darwin’s Dilemma, we see that compound eyes existed in the Cambrian multicellular animals, including trilobites and anomalocaridids.According to PhysOrg, the new camera has an “unmatched field of view.” Part of the challenge for engineers at the University of Illinois was to develop flexible electronics and optics that could accommodate curved surfaces. Even so, their “low-end insect eye” mimic does not reach the performance of the design that inspired it:Eyes in arthropods use compound designs, in which arrays of smaller eyes act together to provide image perception. Each small eye, known as an ommatidium, consists of a corneal lens, a crystalline cone and a light-sensitive organ at the base. The entire system is configured to provide exceptional properties in imaging, many of which lie beyond the reach of existing man-made cameras.It would appear difficult to rephrase that paragraph in Darwinian terms, since it depends on the use of concepts like design, configuration, and exceptional properties. The project caught the attention of Nature, and Science Daily twice. The engineer’s paper was published in Nature, which noted that arthropods differ in the number of facets or ommatidia. Some ants have about 100 facets; praying mantises have about 15,000, while some dragonflies have up to 28,000. They ended by saying, “Biologically inspired schemes for adapting to different light levels are also of interest.”Fly like a fly: A biomimetic robot that flies like a fly was reported in Science this week. It caught the attention of Nature and Science Daily. “RoboBee” doesn’t look anywhere near as sophisticated as an actual fly (and lacks digestive, neural, and reproductive systems), but Nature called it a “manufacturing marvel.” One of its designers said, “This is a major engineering breakthrough, 15 years in the making.” The little robot, weighing only 80 milligrams, has thin membranes for wings that it can flap 120 times a second, similar to a fly’s flapping rate (the engineers admitted it is only “modeled loosely on the morphology of flies”). Building a lightweight battery was one of the biggest challenges, so they had to tether it to a power source and computer with thin wire. Still, it’s “pretty fantastically cool,” an observer said for Science Now.The engineering team faced many challenges. For instance, if the wings weren’t exactly symmetrical, it failed to fly. It “took many rounds of tweaking the design before it finally worked,” but when the team had their “Kitty Hawk moment,” they were really proud. RoboBee can only fly for 20 seconds, and wears out after 15 minutes of use. But it’s “the smallest flapping wing aircraft that has ever been built and made fully functional,” they said. The goal is to get the power supply, flight control computer and everything else on board. They envision making swarms of these robots for search and rescue. “When you scale things down, smaller is better,” they said. That speaks volumes about the actual living fly, which not only has everything on board, but also contains digestive, neural, and reproductive systems. A fly or bee is comparatively large for insects, too (consider gnats and mosquitoes, for instance). Recently, a microscopic fairyfly dubbed Tinkerbella nana was discovered with a body length of 155 micrometers (see Science Daily for picture). That’s packing a lot of systems into a very tiny space.Sea horse armor: In other biomimetics news, scientists at UC San Diego have their eyes on seahorses for ideas. According to Science Daily, “Sea horses get their exceptional flexibility from the structure of their bony plates, which form its armor.” The plates slide past each other. The plates can be compressed to half their size without damage. The principle behind the UCSD project is broader than one particular animal:“The study of natural materials can lead to the creation of new and unique materials and structures inspired by nature that are stronger, tougher, lighter and more flexible,” said [Joanna] McKittrick, a professor of materials science at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego.McKittrick and Meyers had sought bioinsipiration [sic] by examining the armor of many other animals, including armadillo, alligators and the scales of various fish. This time, they were specifically looking for an animal that was flexible enough to develop a design for a robotic arm.Mr. Clean cicada: The 17-year locusts are emerging from hibernation in some parts of the south this year. Live Science reported on work to understand how the bugs can stay so clean. They don’t need to stand in the rain; the structure of their exoskeleton allows the bugs to be self-cleaning, researchers at Duke University have found. “Apparently, grime can simply leap right off them, given dew.” When dewdrops merge together, they literally leap off the bugs, carrying grime with them. This also happens on lotus leaves and other “super-hydrophobic” surfaces.These findings not only can help explain the mystery of how cicada wings keep clean, but could also lead to improved artificial self-cleaning materials. Jumping droplets could also help remove heat from power plants, Chen said.Protein origami: Science Magazine published a paper about the use of proteins for self-assembling materials. A “Perspective” piece in the same issue about the project said that synthetic biology “aims to push natural biological systems in novel directions or to generate biomimetic systems with new properties.” The team from University of Bristol learned how to control the self-assembly of proteins to generate simple “cages” and patterns out of coiled-coil elements of proteins. “The assembly properties of the peptides are governed by how their folding results in the projection of chemical functional groups into space.”Short bows: Nature mentioned the “worm-inspired adhesive” that came from following how a spiny-headed worm embeds itself in the tissues of its host. A bandage built on the principle is “more than three times as adhesive as surgical staples for affixing skin grafts.” Live Science posted “Seven Clever Technologies Inspired by Animals.” Entrants include butterflies, sharks, worms, cockleburs, beetles, geckos, and spiders.As usual, evolution was useless in all these stories. It was only mentioned occasionally as an ideologically-driven afterthought, such as “Nature has developed and refined these concepts over the course of billions of years of evolution” (PhysOrg). Nature is not a developer! Nature is not a refiner. Nature knows nothing of concepts. Those are terms from intelligent design. The Nature paper on the compound eye begins, “In arthropods, evolution has created a remarkably sophisticated class of imaging systems, with a wide-angle field of view, low aberrations, high acuity to motion and an infinite depth of field,” but then says nothing further about evolution. Evolution is not a creator! Evolution does not design sophisticated imaging systems with desirable properties! Tanya Lewis at Live Science dreamed, “Over time, evolution has led to some incredible developments, from the photosynthetic machinery in plants to the human eye.” She needs to awake from her dogmatic Darwinian slumbers.The lingo that predominates in biomimetics is design, inspiration, exceptional performance. Darwinians, pack up your snake oil wagons and get out of the way of this new, popular I.D. parade.(Visited 42 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Facebook Advertising Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Jan 18, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: It’s tough to nail down a successful Facebook advertising strategy unless you do some testing. However, testing Facebook ads, with all their nuances and constant updates, might seem scary. In this post, we’ll walk you through the basics and functions of Facebook ad split-testing.Understanding Facebook Ad CampaignsIn the Facebook Ads Manager, you arrange your ads into campaigns. A campaign is a group of similar ads that have the same purpose but slightly different variations. The chart below is just an example of how you can arrange your campaigns. The ads belonging to each campaign will be split-testing different variables. For instance, you can test different versions of an image or a title to find out the most effective one to use in your ad.6 Split-Testing Tips for Facebook Ads1. Change One Variable at a TimeYour main variables are the title, the picture, the copy, and the targeting.2. Keep Similar Ad ConditionsSame time of the day, same bid (although bid prices vary), same length of time, etc.3. Watch the ReportsIt may look like one ad did better than the other, but check the actual ‘Likes’ (fans) generated.4. Always Create a New AdDon’t try to tweak one that didn’t perform well. Facebook makes it easy to click on “Create a Similar Ad” so you preserve your settings.5. Try Split-Testing Your Destination Landing PageWhere do people land after they’ve clicked on your ad? Make sure the page is congruent with your message. If it’s your website, do you have the promised offer on the page? If you have the resources, you can also design two landing pages on your website where you send the traffic. In that way you, can optimize for a higher visitor-to-lead conversion rate.6. Rotate Your Ads OftenEven a well-performing ad will wear out its welcome. The ads are often served to the same audience several times, and if you aren’t rotating them every few days or when the CTR drops to 50% of its original value, you will be wasting your money.Here Is a Real-Life ExampleSome easy mistakes to make when split-testing Facebook ads is not testing the ad for a sufficient amount of time or letting it run too long and wasting your ad budget. A good comparison usually requires at least 20 clicks and requires that the ad run for at least two days. But clicks may not always be the best measure, depending on your targeting. You may want to run them for the same amount of impressions.Would you like to read more about advertising on Facebook? Download our free ebook, How to Create Epic Facebook Ads.
Email Lists and Segmentation Originally published Mar 20, 2012 1:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Email list are like milk — they’re perishable. In fact, rotten email lists can leave you a lot worse than just queasy. Bad email lists can make it nearly impossible for your messages to get into your prospects’ inboxes. Return Path reports that 83% of the time an email address is not delivered to an inbox, the sender’s reputation (defined by the sender score ) is to blame. And what makes a bad sender score? Sending emails that get marked as spam, which is exactly what happens when you send to bad lists. Sniff Test for Email? It’s pretty easy to identify bad milk; but what about bad email lists?Turns out they’re not so tough to spot either. Generally speaking, a bad email list is one where many of the recipients are not expecting and do not want your email.Of course, that’s pretty general, so how do you get more specific? At HubSpot, we ask a series of five questions to every customer who uploads a list to our email tool . The questions, listed below, constitute our basic email list sniff test.(Note that we ask these questions about lists that are uploaded to HubSpot but not lists created from leads collected by customers with HubSpot forms or our leads API . That’s because we assume that if the leads are collected by the customer using a HubSpot form or the leads API, the contact has a recent business relationship with the customer and is expecting to receive email.)So without further ado, here’s the test: 1) Does everybody on this list have a prior relationship with your business? Yes? Move on to the next question. No? Get rid of the list — or at least the people you don’t have a relationship with. Pronto. If the person doesn’t have a prior relationship with your business, they’re not going to be expecting your email. Not only is emailing them just spammy, but it will also hurt you. Without a prior relationship, many of the recipients will mark your message as spam. Those spam designations will then turn around and hurt the sender score of the servers you send from, which will make it harder for you to get your messages delivered. 2) Do you have an unsubscribe list? Yes? Nice job! On to the next question … No? Do not pass go; do not send to list. Go back to the drawing board, and build a new list. Every list should be accompanied by an unsubscribe list. Here’s why: If you have a prior email relationship with the people on your list, you will inevitably have people who have unsubscribed from said list. When you load that list into a system like HubSpot, you need to load both the master list and the unsubscribe (AKA suppression) list. If you don’t, you’re going to end up emailing people who have already unsubscribed. That’s against the law , and, since people on the unsubscribe list are likely to mark your email as spam, it will also reduce your ability to send successful emails. 3) Did you purchase, rent, or lease the list from a third party? No? Excellent! Next question! Yes? Agh! No dice. We can’t let you send to that list from HubSpot — and it’s unlikely you’ll have success sending to the list from any other quality, reputable marketing software solution. Why? It’s pretty simple: The people on that list do not have a prior business relationship with you. At best, they gave their address to somebody else and are expecting email from them , not you. At worst, their address was harvested from some sort of directory, and they’re not expecting any type of email. Any sending you do to this list will get flagged for spam and ultimately reduce your future conversion rates. 4) Will the people on the list be expecting (not surprised by) your email? Yes? Awesome. One more question. No? Game over. Time to do some more inbound marketing to build yourself a clean and quality list of recent opt-ins. Which leads us to our final question … 5) Have you emailed these contacts within the last 12 months? Yes? You’re good to go. Your list is smelling great. Create some awesome emails with super useful content, and you’ll have yourself some amazing conversion rates. No? Sorry. Twelve months is a long time. Chances are, a big chunk of your list already forgot about you and will be surprised by your message (remember question #4?). That means they’ll mark it as spam, which means your delivery rates will drop. How to Create Lists That Don’t Stink — And Keep Them That Way So what’s the best way to create lists that won’t get marked as spam? By building your own list with remarkable content that drives traffic to your site, and then entices them to opt in to your emails with compelling marketing offers (that are clearly associated with your business) on your site and well-optimized landing pages. (This ebook, An Introduction to Lead Generation , will help you get started.)Here at HubSpot, we build our list with offers like content and tools, including webinars , ebooks , and Marketing Grader . By building these lists internally, we’ve made our email marketing program far more productive that it would have been if we had purchased lists.So how do you keep your list smelling good? Good list hygiene . On a general level, that means keeping an ongoing email relationship with your list so recipients are always expecting your messages. More specifically, that means sending to them at a predictable cadence , making unsubscribes easy, maintaining reliable unsubscribe lists and, perhaps most importantly, continuing to grow your list organically. So, what do you think? Do your email lists pass the sniff test? And are we missing anything on our sniff test? Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
At HubSpot, we have the privilege of talking to a lot of marketers on a regular basis. And although we’re ultimately trying to sell inbound marketing software, a big challenge for our salespeople isn’t just in convincing people our software is a good choice for them — it’s also in selling them on the idea of inbound marketing in general, especially if those marketers aren’t convinced they should be shifting their marketing from a traditional, outbound approach toward a more inbound one. Because this is the case, our salespeople have heard every concern in the book when it comes to shifting gears to inbound — and a lot of those concerns have to do with their perceived limitations and shortcomings of inbound marketing.So let’s clear the air once and for all by highlighting some of the most commonly believed inbound marketing shortcomings we’ve caught wind of from other marketers on the phone and on the web, and giving you our two cents about them.Claim: It’s not easy to target specific audiences with inbound marketing.This claim usually comes from marketers who regularly market to purchased or rented lists of contacts or who pull together lists of contacts at specific companies they want to target. The thought process behind this one is that inbound marketing is based on organically attracting people who opt in to receive your marketing messages, and there’s no way to guarantee that the specific people you want to target will opt in to receive your messages.Rebuttal: Inbound marketing allows you to target specific audiences — throughout the entire funnel.With inbound marketing, targeting specific audiences and sets of contacts is not only very possible, but it can also be much more effective than traditional targeting methods. With inbound marketing, you’re attracting potential buyers to your website with relevant content that is targeted at the specific interests and needs of your business’ buyer personas (found through channels like search engines and social media). As a result, inbound marketing allows you to focus your efforts on prospects who have already shown an interest in you, making them much more qualified than people you might target who have never heard of your company or shown any interest in you whatsoever.Marketers should also consider that inbound marketing applies to the entire funnel beyond just the top of the funnel — all the way from attracting new visitors to your website, to converting them into qualified leads, and then nurturing them into becoming happy customers. And once you’ve attracted visitors to your website and converted them into leads for your business, you can use the information you’ve collected about them — where they came from, what offers they’ve converted on, which pages they’ve visited, the demographic information they’ve provided on your lead-capture forms — to nurture them in the middle of the funnel. In other words, you can send them much more targeted, personalized messages in the form of email marketing, dynamic content on your website, etc., all of which moves prospects further through the funnel and makes them much more likely (and ready) to buy.We disagree with marketers who argue that inbound marketing is more about pulling in a broad audience rather than targeting specific groups of people. In fact, I’d argue that inbound marketing enables you to do the very opposite with targeted content, and that the concept of capturing the attention of a broader audience much more appropriately applies to more traditional, outbound marketing techniques. Effective inbound marketing ultimately allows you to market to segments of one, whereas outbound tactics usually involve bombarding lists of people with mass marketing messages.Claim: Decision-makers don’t spend their time online researching products and services.This argument is mostly prevalent in B2B marketing in which longer sales cycles and more high-ticket products and services are involved. The idea is that the typical C-suite executive doesn’t spend his or her time online reading blogs, conducting searches in Google, or participating in social media — all of which are top-of-the-funnel, traffic-driving channels for inbound marketing.Rebuttal: Decision-makers are influenced by online channels when it comes to purchasing decisions.To say that decision-makers and C-suite executives are not spending their time online is an overgeneralization. Just consider the fact that, according to a Forrester-commissioned study by LinkedIn in November 2012, 59% of IT decision-makers said they are influenced by at least one social network when considering business purchases. And during each of the five phases of decision-making (awareness, scope, plan, select, implement) social networks influenced nearly 50% of all IT decision-makers involved in each phase — close to a 60% increase since 2010. Furthermore, 73% have engaged with an IT vendor on a social network.Even if a C-suite executive doesn’t spend a lot of their time reading blogs, using social media, and conducting research online, that doesn’t mean there aren’t others within their company who are doing those things. And chances are, these people have some level of influence on the decisions of those C-suite executives.Claim: Inbound marketing doesn’t push people to take action.In other words, because inbound marketing is built around the idea that buyers have more control over their purchasing decisions than they had in the past, inbound marketing waits for prospects to take action when they’re ready.Rebuttal: Effective inbound marketing leverages compelling calls-to-action to get prospects to take action.First of all, is it really a bad thing to let your prospects have control over when they decide to act? Second, just sitting around and waiting for potential buyers to take action is not a tenet of inbound marketing. Savvy inbound marketers know they have to motivate their prospects to move down the funnel — and they do this with compelling calls-to-action (CTAs) that encourage prospects to take the next logical step depending on which stage in the sales cycle the prospect is currently in. Content pulls them in, and relevant CTAs serve as that “push” that incites them to take action. And with technologies like dynamic, Smart CTAs, inbound marketers can ensure they’re automatically displaying the right CTAs, to the right visitors, at the right time to increase the likelihood that prospects will convert through targeted messages and content. So, depending on the prospect’s position in the funnel, that CTA might motivate them to download an educational ebook, sign up for a webinar, request a product demo, get a free trial, download a coupon, or contact a sales rep, incrementally propelling them closer and closer to sales-readiness.Claim: With inbound marketing, you miss out on the inactives, or late adopters.Another argument that inbound marketing skeptics will bring up is that inbound marketing doesn’t allow you to capture late adopters, or people who are content with their current solutions and/or are not actively seeking new alternatives or solutions. Rebuttal: Inbound marketing attracts people’s interest before they even realize they need your solution.There’s no doubt that those types of people exist, but the problem is that this argument is referring to the bottom of the funnel — when people would actively seek out a new solution. Here’s the thing: Those laggards may not recognize the need for a new solution or actively shop around for new products/services, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t looking for information that helps them solve the everyday problems they have … and that’s where inbound marketing comes into play.Let me explain, using HubSpot as an example. We sell marketing software, and yes, ultimately we want the people who come to our website to buy that software. But a lot of the people we end up closing as customers didn’t first come to our website because they were specifically looking for marketing software. Instead, they were seeking solutions to problems that are symptomatic of a need for a new marketing software solution — maybe they wanted to know how to generate more leads, or how to better market to their existing contacts, or how to get more traffic to their website. So, in other words, they were drawn in at the top of the funnel — probably by an educational blog post or ebook about how to generate more traffic/leads/customers — and then over time, as they interacted with our website and our content more and more, they realized they needed a better marketing software solution and decided to buy.What other inbound marketing shortcomings have you caught wind of? Looking forward to hearing your own thoughts on the ones above in what I anticipate will be quite an interesting debate in the comments 😉 Topics: Originally published Feb 22, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated October 01 2019 Don’t forget to share this post! 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