The 9 Best and Worst Questions to Ask in a Marketing Automation RFP

question-sticky-notesRecently, I came across a really depressing statistic about the marketing automation buying process: According to a study done by VentureBeat, 70% of marketers who purchase a system are either unhappy or only marginally happy with their software. But even though marketers are unhappy with their purchases, they're still pumping serious cash into the marketing automation industry -- it's projected to be a $1.9 billion industry by 2020

So if your company is following industry trends and planning to invest time and resources in marketing automation, how can you make sure you're not going to be part of that unsatisfied 70%?

Part of the answer is to ask the right questions during the software selection process. Too often, Request for Proposals (RFPs) ask hundreds of questions, but don’t actually help marketers choose the best platform for their organization. Here are some examples of the best and worst questions you can ask in a marketing automation RFP. (And if you're looking for more help with your RFP, check out this free RFP template and planning guide.)

The Worst Questions to Ask

1) Does your platform do this in that screen?

There are so many forms of this question. A favorite of mine is: “Do you have drag and drop functionality in (insert screen here)?”

This questions is like the “Pick a Side” ads from Twix, where the company supposedly splits in half, one making the right side of the bar and one the left. They satirize the difference between being “cloaked” vs. “covered” in chocolate and “flowing” caramel on to the cookie vs. “cascading” caramel on to the cookie. In one ad, a young executive suggests a merger between the two halves because they make the same thing and the obtuse executive interrupts him -- “No, cloaked in chocolate, totally different process.”

Of course you want the software to be easy to use and the UI does impact that. But when evaluating RFPs, too many focus on asking if the software can do something in a very specific way. Being this prescriptive about the design or getting into a feature war between one vendor and another won’t lead to selecting the right marketing platform.

Instead, ask about ease of use and how the software will help you meet your goals -- like driving leads, conversions, and customers. Even better, ask for a trial so you can see how firsthand how the tools work.

2) What percent of revenue do you invest in product development?

This question does not help you choose the right vendor. A company can invest 100% of their revenue in product development and release new features once a year. And they might not be features that you need or want. Getting an arbitrary percentage from each vendor is not the right question for an RFP.

Instead, what you really want to know is how the vendor decides on new product features, if they are forward-looking, how their vision aligns with your goals, and how often they release new features.

Knowing how customer input is handled will also tell you a lot. Imagine you're looking at software and the company says they've implemented changes based on customer feedback over the past year -- and has given you specific examples of those features. That tells you that they listen to their customers and if there is a popular feature request, you likely won’t be waiting around for years to get it.

3) How many reports can I create?

We’ve all heard the adage "It’s about quality, not quantity." This is especially true in the reporting features of marketing automation software. In some systems, you can create literally thousands of reports that measure just about anything. But most marketers have limited resources and don’t have the time to spend pouring through endless reports. Besides, it’s what you do with the data that really matters.

So instead of focusing on the number of reports you can create, find a platform that enables you to make decisions about the success of your programs and channels. A good marketing software platform should help you understand where to invest your marketing resources, the ROI of your marketing programs, and the impact your marketing programs have had on revenue.

A great way to test this is to identify your biggest reporting problem area, and ask your vendor to show you an example report from their software that could deliver actionable insights to overcome the issue.

4) Can you do real-time personalization?

You’re probably thinking … wait a minute. Personalization is important, right? Yes. At HubSpot, in a study of over 93,000 calls-to-action (CTAs), we found that personalized CTAs performed 42% better than standard, static CTAs. A Janrain study found that nearly 75% of online consumers get frustrated with websites when the content has nothing to do with their interests.

But ‘real-time personalization’ is an industry buzzword, and this question doesn’t get you the information you need. If you want to personalize a CTA, for example, of course you want it to be ‘real-time’ in the sense that you want the personalized content to show up on the page when the person gets there. What’s the alternative?

You should find out, instead, if the platform offers personalization capabilities. You also need to know how easy they are to implement (Do you need to code? Get IT involved?), what attributes you can personalize on, and what type of content can be personalized. For example, can emails, landing pages and CTAs be personalized? Can the solution personalize your website for first-time visitors? 

The Best Questions to Ask

1) How will you help us grow our database?

23% of all email lists expire every year. So even if you have a big list to start, it’s critical to continue to grow that list. How do you do that? Through content creation, blogging, SEO, and robust social media tools that help spread your message throughout the web. Ask if these tools are included or integrated with the potential marketing platform. Find out how the platform will help you grow your database, not just market to the existing one.

2) How easy is it to create assets for my marketing programs and make changes to them (emails, landing pages, etc.)? Do I need to know HTML or CSS? What about for mobile optimization?

This is a critical topic. The more landing pages you have, the more leads you can bring in and the more you can learn about those leads. If it takes hours to build a single landing page, or you need coding skills to make it look beautiful or be responsive, you won’t have time to focus on your goals. Or, you won’t end up using the system to it’s full capability because it’s too hard. One HubSpot customer talked about waiting until the end of the day to log into his marketing automation system because he “dreaded” logging into it.

And if you're building landing pages and emails that aren’t optimized for mobile devices, you’re missing out on conversions, and you could be hurting your SEO efforts. It’s now being rumored that Google will soon be incorporating mobile user experience into its ranking algorithm. One Google study found that 52% of consumers are less likely to engage with a company if they’ve had a bad mobile experience.

Will the platform you choose offer landing pages and emails that are mobile-optimized or responsive by default? Can you preview content across various devices? A system that is built responsive can save you time, dollars, and help increase your conversion rates.

3) What is the CRM integration process like?

CRM integration is important for marketing and sales alignment and for supporting the sales process. You want a bi-directional sync between the two systems. Also, ask about what it takes to integrate your CRM. Do you need technical knowledge to do so? How much help does the vendor provide? This is a critical part of the process and you want to make sure you are fully supported.

4) How easy is it to measure the effectiveness of your marketing -- and quickly act on it?

Understanding the platform’s reporting capabilities is key to ensuring that you can make data-driven decisions about marketing spend and show your leadership team actionable results. This can get tricky because with the sheer amount of data available to you in most systems, you can lose time analyzing metrics that don’t actually help you make decisions. Instead of focusing on every report you could ever possibly want to build, focus on your top goals and find out how quick and easily you can report on success.

Here are some examples of what you should be able to do in your marketing automation system:

  • You’re marketing across multiple channels -- paid, social, email, events, etc. You should be to understand which channels are driving the most visits, leads, and customers.
  • If you're using campaigns, you should easily be able to tie assets to a campaign and report on individual assets and the overall campaign -- both at the end and while the campaign is running.
  • Tie your marketing efforts back to the deals and revenue generated for the company.

And here is where ‘real-time’ is important. You shouldn’t have to wait until the end of a campaign, export data, build Excel formulas, figure out what happened, and then take action on your next campaign. You should be able to see which channels/initiatives are working (and which ones aren’t), and fix them mid-campaign.

5) When you have issues, how easy is it for anyone on your team to get support?

I can’t stress the importance of this enough. Does the vendor provide unlimited and free access to web, phone, email, and Twitter support? Or does that cost extra? How many people on your team can engage with support? Is it limited? How long can you expect to wait on hold if you call in with an issue? Are you given a single point of contact for your entire customer lifetime? If you bring on new team members, do you have to pay extra to train them? Does the vendor offer personalized training?

A marketing automation system or software platform can be very powerful -- as long as you’re actually using it. Having quality customer support from the platform vendor is critical to this. Too often, this costs extra, or it takes too long to find the answer you need. You’re implementing marketing automation so you can generate results. Don’t let a poor support experience get in your way.

In general, remember to stay focused on what your goals are -- they’re probably around driving more visits, leads, customers, and revenue -- and on how the system you’re putting in place will help you get there. To help with this, we’ve put together an RFP template and planning guide that asks the right questions about growing your database and nurturing your leads, so you can choose the vendor that makes the most sense for your organization.

free marketing automation RFP kit

A Beginner’s Guide to Choosing the Right Colors for Marketing Designs

paint-bucketsApplying color is one of the most enjoyable parts of graphic design, but it can also be incredibly difficult to get right. Which colors look good together? How many should I use? How do I create a color palette?

These questions are asked all the time by people starting out with design. In this article I’ll take you through everything you need to know to start using colors effectively. Whether you’re choosing colors for a new brand or creating graphics for your social media pages, learning this essential skill will help you improve your visual strategy and create beautiful designs.

Get familiar with the color wheel. 

The color wheel is an incredible tool you can use to apply different colors to your designs -- from black and white, to the deepest and brightest greens and blues. There are two main aspects of the color wheel every beginner should know about: how to select different colors and how to identify them.

color-wheels

When choosing different colors, the brightest colors can be found toward the outside of the color wheel. These colors are the most vibrant, and can be thought of as the most intense version of a color. Toward the middle are pastel colors, which are soft and neutral.

color-wheels-2

Every color on the color wheel can be identified by a unique hex code. This is the six-digit code that appears underneath the wheel when you select different colors. Hex codes are incredibly useful if you want to reuse the same colors in multiple designs -- which is an essential skill for consistent branding.

Change the intensity of your colors using the brightness slider.

The brightness slider is a tool which allows you to find lighter and darker versions of the same color. By moving it to the left, the color lightness will increase, while moving it to the right will make it decrease. Using this tool is a great way to different various shades of the same color.

brightness-slider

Explore color relationships.

Ever wondered why some colors clash together and some just work? It’s largely due to the way that they’re related.

Color relationships are determined by their position on the color wheel. These three well known color relationships can be a great basis for an original color palette:

color-relationships

  • Monochromatic colors: A monochromatic color palette includes dark, medium, and light versions of a single color.
  • Analogous colors: Analogous colors are located next to each other on the color wheel, which gives them a seamless, low contrast harmony.
  • Complementary colors: Complementary colors are located on opposite sides of the color wheel, allowing for the most dramatic contrast of all color relationships.

Evoke emotions with color. 

There are two types of colors on the color wheel: warm colors and cool colors. Warm colors are found on the right, and include reds, oranges, and yellows. These colours are great to create energy and emotion in your designs.

Cool colors, ranging from blues and greens to pinks and purples, can be found on the left. Cool colors are considered more calm and soothing in nature.

instagram-screenshots

Compare the difference between the cool pink used by Benefit Cosmetics on its Instagram account and Corona -- which use an iconic warm yellow filter over its images. The Benefit graphic is feminine and delicate, while the Corona graphic is warm and inviting.

Create an effective color pallette.

The first thing to know about choosing a color palette is not to choose too many colors -- limit your selection from two to four. First, choose a single vibrant color that will stand out in your design. In this example, the dark green color is the most prominent. White and a lighter shade of green have been chosen as the additional colors, creating a low contrast harmonious palette.

palette

Make sure the colors you choose are relevant to your design subject. In this example, the olive green color matches the earthy tones of the photograph.

Match color with images.

To create visual harmony, match your text color with a prominent color from your background image. You can find the exact color using a color picker tool. See here how the vibrant pink color of the flowers matches the text.

color-matching

Explore different color schemes.

When choosing your color palette, it’s a great idea to explore different color schemes. For example, if you’re creating a social media graphic for a ladies boutique, a pastel color scheme could provide a feminine touch. Here are two great color schemes for you to try in your designs:

color-schemes

Use colors consistently for branding. 

Using the same colors repetitively is an essential skill for branding, as it helps create recognition. See how Tiffany and Co. has used its iconic turquoise color on its Facebook page. A bit of variation is great too -- see how there are lighter and darker versions of the same color visible.

color-consistency

Apply a color palette to everything in your design.

When people start designing it’s not uncommon for them to think their color palette is just for their background and text. In fact, you color palette should be applied to everything in your design, including text, text holders, images, shapes, icons, and more.

clementine

In the design above, an orange color has been applied to the transparent shape to match the clementine fruits. All of the text and the dotted line are also a light cream color to suit the style of the design.

Create a mood board for inspiration. 

moodboard

Whether you’re trying to find the right color for anything from a new brand to a social media graphic, creating a mood board is a great way to find inspiration. Consider these questions when putting together a mood board:

  • What kind of images spring to mind when you think of your brand or design subject
  • What kind of feelings do you want to evoke?
  • If there are other similar brands out there, what kind of colors do they use in their branding and marketing?

Put these skills into practice.

When used effectively, colors can evoke emotions and change the meaning and mood of your designs. Next time you create a marketing graphic for your social media page or even put together an original birthday card for a loved one, be sure to pay careful attention to the colors you use.

With a little practice, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can improve your eye for choosing amazing colors!  

If you’re eager to learn more, check out Canva’s Design School! It has everything you need to learn design like a pro.

visual content crash course

What to Buy Everyone at the Office: An Essential Holiday Gift-Giving Guide

ChristmasPig

Twinkling lights. Festive parties. Warm get-togethers with families and friends. There’s a lot to love about the holidays -- but gift giving isn’t always on the list.

Truthfully, giving and getting gifts can be tricky. There’s a lot of thought and guesswork that goes into picking out the right present. When you add in good old office dynamics, holiday gift giving can become incredibly stressful.

Well, we’ve got your back. We’ve put together pin boards chock full of gift ideas for every person in your office, from your coworker who can’t start the morning without her cup o’ joe to your resident cosmopolitan. Be your office’s holiday hero with personal (but not too personal) gifts at every price point. Check 'em out below, and don't forget to pin your favorites for later to your own holiday shopping boards.

1) The Wine Lover

Always the first at Happy Hour, the wine lover appreciates a good swish-sniff-taste like no one else. Treat the oenophile in your office to a bottle of their favorite wrapped in a festive tartan wine bottle tote. Or, help her take her nightcap to the next level with a hand-painted, winter-themed wine glass. Or, if you’re REALLY aiming to impress, go all out with a personalized mini oak wine barrel, designed to “properly age your chosen beverage.” Now that’s classy.

Follow HubSpot's board The Wine Lover | #HolidayHero on Pinterest.

2) The Caffeinator

Does the whole office know not to talk to this person until he’s all the way through his first cup of coffee? You may have a caffeinator on your hands.

Take his coffee habit from survival tactic to luxe treat with homemade coffee syrups! Not so handy? Do the whole office a favor with this mug that indicates whether or not your coffee lover has a full cup o’ joe -- if it’s “Off,” you may want to wait to ask that favor. If you're feeling generous, wake up your caffeinator’s inner designer with a Pantone-colored set of espresso mugs.

Follow HubSpot's board The Caffeinator | #HolidayHero on Pinterest.

3) The Pet Parent

If your coworker has more iPhone pictures of their furry friend than people (guilty!), you may be in the presence of a Proud Pet Parent. Delight her with a stylish paw-footed feeder, or these adorable scarf-wearing dog ornaments.

(Want to really pam-”purr” the Pet Parent? You can actually have an oil painting made of their pet in people clothes.)

Follow HubSpot's board The Pet Parent | #HolidayHero on Pinterest.

4) The Foodie

What is that heavenly smell? Why, it’s the foodie’s lunch, of course. His creations are the envy of the office potluck, and he deserves something special this year, just like the rest of your fabulous team. Help them find their new favorite organic snack with a NatureBox subscription, or inspire their next homemade creation with a culinary classic, The Joy of Cooking. 

Follow HubSpot's board The Foodie | #HolidayHero on Pinterest.

5) The Bookworm

Who doesn’t love reading? Unlike the kids in a typical high school literature class, the bookworm’s passion remains unsullied. Help her display her books proudly with a concealed floating bookshelf, or light her nighttime reading with a book light that lights up BOTH pages simultaneously. If you're really looking to thank the Bookworm for a job well done in 2014, give her the newest evolution of Amazon’s best-selling Kindle Paperwhite so she can take her whole library with her wherever she goes.

Follow HubSpot's board The Bookworm | #HolidayHero on Pinterest.

6) The Techie

If you work at a software company like we do, then you probably have plenty of techies to please this holiday season. Indulge the techie’s love of gadgetry with a USB mini-fridge, or get punny with a lightning-bolt-shaped power strip. 

Follow HubSpot's board The Techie | #HolidayHero on Pinterest.

7) The World Traveler

If she’s gazing off the window, she’s not bored -- she’s just planning her next great adventure. Dress up her well-worn passport with a cute, handmade travel cover, or make her next international flight more comfortable with the BioSense Neck Travel Pillow. Want to send her over the moon (the only place she hasn’t visited ... yet)? Help her decorate her desk with a framed map pin of her favorite place on earth.

8) The Fitness Enthusiast

When he’s not breaking productivity records at work, he’s beating his own personal records at the gym and on the trail. “Om”-press him with a high-performance yoga mat, or fuel his post-workout snack with a Black and Decker Juice Extractor.

Follow HubSpot's board The Fitness Enthusiast | #HolidayHero on Pinterest.

9) The Workaholic

Maybe she’s your boss, maybe she’s your office’s unsung hero, but the workaholic deserves a break this holiday season. Since you probably won’t be able to convince her of that, try a productivity gift instead. She’ll love writing down every meeting and task in this stylish Kate Spade agenda, and sitting all day is easier when you have a Kiss My Back! Ergonomic Mesh Back Support. 

Hopefully, these boards will help make your holiday gift giving a little less painful. At the very least, you'll get some ideas for what to put on your list. ;)

To make gift giving even more painless, we’re giving away two $100 gift certificates per pinboard above -- one for you and one to give to your coworker. After all this holiday stress, you deserve it! You can enter here to win.

enter to win a pair of $100 gift certificates

Game reviewer received rape threats from boys, contacted their mothers

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An Australian game reviewer got sick and tired of young boys trolling her and threatening to rape her, so she did what any self-respecting adult would do — she told their parents.

The 21-year-old journalist Alanah Pearce normally reviews video games for local radio stations and television in Brisbane, Queensland. She also has a YouTube channel. But recently, she has made a name for herself by smacking down trolls that send her vile rape threats for no apparent reason. Pearce is using a method not tested before, but appears to be having some luck.

"Sometimes young boys on Facebook send me rape threats, so I've started telling their mothers," she tweeted with a photo of the correspondence on Nov. 28 Read more...

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Facebook, Google, And Twitter’s War For App Install Ads

app-install-ads Big brands aren’t the only ones to suck up to anymore. No one buys a car or Coca-Cola on their phone, at least not yet, so proving the return on investment of mobile ads to these businesses is tough. There is one thing people will instantly plop down a few bucks for on the small screen, though: Apps. Lured by billions in app install ad spend per quarter and hoping to grow that pie… Read More

Boogie Shoes & Musical Fruit: The Strangest Employee Rewards Ever Given

buckets-of-beansThis post originally appeared on the Sales section of Inbound Hub. To read more content like this, subscribe to Sales.

There are a lot of classics in the world of employee rewards. Money. Time off. Restaurant gift certificates. Trips. All oldies, but goodies.

However, sometimes business leaders get a bit more creative ... and occasionally, downright strange. The book 1501 Ways to Reward Employees by Bob Nelson is chock full of examples of companies gifting cash, vacations, medals, and food. But every few pages, there's also a more bizarre anecdote. After sifting through the book to find some of the strangest rewards, I compiled my top 10 favorites here.

These examples might inspire you to think outside the box when deciding on your next sales contest incentive or employee reward plan. On the other hand, they might reaffirm the choice to stay comfortably in the box. It all depends on how flexible your definition of "reward" is.

1) The Musical Fruit

For going above and beyond your daily duties at Lands' End, you could win the "Big Bean Award." Each month, one nominee (selected from a ballot box) gets to try their hand at the "Big Bean Machine," aka "Plinko," to determine which bean-themed prize they'll walk away with. Some are pretty neat -- beanbag chairs; beanie hats. Others, such as actual beans ... are less so.

2) Regular Fruit

Outdoor retail company REI is all about maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle. Avoiding scurvy is part of health -- so it makes a bit more sense that the location in Ventura, CA rewarded two employees who went the extra mile with whole pineapples. (I hope their next prize was a corer.) 

3) Lawn Decor

Each recipient of the "Standing Tall" award at Synovus gets an extra day of vacation, $100, and ... a pink flamingo lawn ornament wearing a bowtie. Thanks, I think?

4) Fido's Delight

Flight attendants probably feel like they've seen it all until a CUNA Mutual Group "Big Bone Award" winner boards their flight. The leader who takes home the Big Bone one of three times per year literally takes home a big bone: a four foot long rawhide dog bone, to be exact. "If you won, you got to sign the bone, bring it home as an airplane carry-on, and display it in your work area," said Eileen Doyle Julien, a division manager.

What I wouldn't give to be a fly on the wall when the inevitable argument goes down about whether there's room for a giant dog bone in the overhead bins.

5) Working for Peanuts

At HP, salespeople receive pistachios from the marketing department when they close a significant deal. (I also wouldn't mind if you threw in a steak dinner with those pistachios.)

6) King for a Day

At his behest, Automatic Answer designated a "John Day" when salesman John Gurden reached his monthly goal. And in #AlexFromTarget fashion, the company got really, really into the holiday-for-the-sake-of-a-holiday: putting up banners, creating a dedicated John Day photo album, and even answering the phones with a special John Day greeting. 

7) Hairless Wonder

Ever wonder what your boss would look like with a shaved head? Apparently the sales team at Korry Electronics was dying to know. To incent his reps to beat a record month, the director told them he would shave his head if they could top the goal. They did, and his hair bit the dust at a party later that month. Top-performing reps got a chance to make the first cuts. Victory is bald.

8) Rock-a-Bye-Quota

As an incentive for meeting sales goals, the president of TravelTrust Corporation built a nursery in a sales manager's house for her newborn baby. Pretty sweet ... 

9) Extreme Home Makeover: Work Edition

... until you hear about the prize for one lucky employee at Advanced Micro Devices. As a reward for the company reaching $200 million in sales, Jocelyn Lleno won a house. Suddenly a single room seems a little less impressive.

10) Boogie Shoes

As a nod to the Greek god Hermes' golden winged sandals, employees at 3M in St. Paul, MN are given gold shoes for exceptional achievement. But they might not be as stylish as you'd hope. According to the book, "these tacky, plastic, gold-colored shoes are highly valued by employees." Their words, not mine.

What's the most bizarre employee award you've ever heard of or given?

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Black Friday sees record-breaking online shopping

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Although there was no shortage of in-store mayhem this Black Friday, shoppers are increasingly opting to take advantage of the major discounts online—and on their phones— new reports show.

Black Friday online sales broke new records this year, according to new data from IBM, with mobile traffic outpacing PC traffic for the first time ever leading up to Black Friday.

Analyzing customer transaction data, IBM found that on Thanksgiving day, browsing on smartphones and tablets accounted for 52.1% of all online traffic, and online sales that day were up 14.3% compared to 2013. Read more...

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How to Objectively Evaluate Your Next Job Candidate

objective-hiringThis post originally appeared on The Agency Post. To read more content like this, subscribe to The Agency Post.

When it comes to interviewing candidates, our greatest enemy is ourselves. We lose objectivity and justify guesses with subjective evidence. We find arguments to justify our decisions and prove our analysis is correct.

To make matters worse, we hamstring our honest and good-faith efforts before we even get to the interview. Most hiring managers walk into an interview without a strategy or framework for finding the best candidate.

Consider this: You have six candidates interviewing for a position, and each person is interviewed by four different people. That results in 24 interviews where people ask the same questions, hear different answers, and form different opinions.

This sort of interview process propagates subjective decision-making and leads to costly mistakes in hiring. A well thought-out interview process and candidate evaluation framework provides guideposts to keep the hiring team objective and rooted to assessing each candidate on the same proven criteria.

Identify Your Primary Criteria

Let’s use the example of hiring an account manager to walk through the process.

First, you need to boil down the skills, talents, and experience you are looking for to a list of 8-12 criteria that will be used to evaluate each candidate. Here's an example of a few points you might include:

1) Self-Starter

As the lead point person for multiple clients, an account manager must have an exuberance for tackling the highest priorities without direction or approval from her supervisors.

2) Marketing Aptitude

Account managers are known to be jacks-of-all-trades, but you need a candidate who has specialized knowledge in a specific field such as inbound marketing, search, retail marketing, and so on.

3) Emotional Intelligence

The client-agency relationship is never without some bumps, and the best account managers have a sixth sense about how happy clients are. Often the fate of a long-term relationship is not determined by the original mistake, but by how your agency responds. The account manager is on the front lines and needs to be equipped to handle these situations.

4) Curiosity

Clients are looking to agencies for the “big ideas." The ideal account manager is not only interested in the needs of their clients but is also invested in self-education.

5) Team Player

Serving clients is a team sport, and the account manager must thrive in a collaborative environment.

Create a Scorecard

The next step is to compile your criteria into an interview scorecard that each interviewer must use in her assessment of a candidate.

An example might of an interview scorecard might look like this:

hiring-criteria

You should have multiple people interview a candidate, but their opinions should be formed around the same criteria.

While the goal is to find quality employees, a successful interview is one in which you accurately judge whether a candidate will be a good fit for the role and your agency.

Your Hiring Stool

While you’ve outlined a large list of criteria to judge candidates on, you should also identify skills or attributes a person must have to qualify for the position. This could be either personality traits that are key to maintaining your agency’s culture or specific skills for the position.

Imagine these criteria are like the three legs of a stool. Without one or more of those legs, the stool will fall over. A candidate who doesn’t meet all three points can’t be successful in her individual role or at the agency. If a candidate is missing one of these key traits, you can’t hire the candidate. This way, you can objectively rule out many applicants and can judge all those that make it through interviewing on a focused set of issues.

What are the three criteria that make up your hiring stool?

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‘Right To Be Forgotten’ Guidelines Published By European Regulators

Google right to be forgotten Europe’s Article 29 Working Party, the body comprised of data protection representatives from individual Member States of the European Union, has now published guidelines on the implementation of the so-called ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling, which was handed down by Europe’s top court back in May. Read More

Which Channels Are Best for Content Promotion? [Infographic]

Content_Promo_Megaphone_Blog_Image-1Lately, I've been hearing more and more questions about earned, owned, and paid media. What are the differences between the three? How do they work together? How can they work separately? Which one is “better” than the others? 

Thanks to Column Five, there are now some quick, easy-to-consume answers to most of these questions. In Column Five's infographic below, they give visual definitions of these marketing terms and back them up with data to help you decide how to promote your next piece of content.

In general, each of these channels allows for unique ways to promote your content, and they likely perform differently for everyone based on industries or audiences. This infographic lays out the facts so you can make the best promotion decisions possible for your business.

Ready to get started? Let’s walk through the basics of your content distribution options.

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