Where Social Commerce Revenue Comes From [Infographic]

US Social Commerce - Statistics and Trends

In 2015, social commerce sales are forecasted to represent 5% of online retail revenue -- or $14 billion. Like most ecommerce companies, you’re probably incorporating ratings, reviews, and product recommendations into the shopping experience. (If you need some help, check out this post on getting more and better ecommerce reviews!) But, are you keeping up with the top 25 ecommerce companies and encouraging shoppers to Like, Pin, and Tweet?

Adoption for these three integrated social commerce features only hovers around 60% for most ecommerce companies. But, 85% of orders from social media sites come from Facebook alone. At the very least, you should encourage shoppers on Facebook to ensure you’re not losing out on revenue from social commerce. 

Check out the infographic from Invesp Conversion Optimization below to learn more about statistics and trends in social commerce in the U.S.

US Social Commerce - Statistics and Trends

Is Facebook Failing Marketers or Are Marketers Failing to Leverage Facebook?

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Google To Launch Project Ara Market Pilot In Puerto Rico Later This Year

project ara paul eremenko Today Google announced that it will launch its modular smartphone, known as Project Ara, with a limited market pilot in the US territory of Puerto Rico later this year. Read More

Google Launches Classroom Mobile Apps For Android And iOS

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 11.35.43 AM Google’s Classroom education initiative launched just about half a year ago, but it’s been a web-based affair until now. Today marks the release of Classroom apps for iOS and Android, however, which should help build on the existing 30 million assignments that have been submitted via the platform since its debut. The Classroom mobile app lets students take photos and attach them… Read More

How I Easily Got 25% More Views on My LinkedIn Profile

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Just because HubSpot values humility doesn’t mean we’re not a competitive bunch. Three months ago, CEO Brian Halligan, Marketing VP Kipp Bodnar, and I bantered about our relative rank on LinkedIn’s “Most-Viewed Members at HubSpot” list. At #17, I -- predictably -- brought up the rear.

Mercifully, Kipp helped me cobble together a plan for climbing the ranks. We started by comparing our dashboards and performing a quick gap analysis to get a better sense of the opportunities I was missing. LinkedIn’s handy 90-day “charts” feature (found on the “Who’s viewed your profile” page) made it easy understand the sources (e.g., LinkedIn Search, People Similar to You) and keywords (e.g., Job description, Skills) that drive profile traffic.

Quickly I discovered that there were three “clogged paths” to my profile.

  1. People Similar to You: Kipp was generating 3x as many profile views from people similar to him than I was generating from profiles similar to mine.
  2. Skills: Over the past 90 days, not one person had found my profile via my Skills. None. Zippo. 
  3. Keywords: Keywords that led visitors to Kipp’s profile were 250% more diverse than mine. In other words, if someone searched for a profile containing a particular term, it was 2.5x more likely that the term led to Kipp’s profile than to mine.

This entire process took only a few minutes -- again, thanks to LinkedIn’s remarkable work in data science.

Next up, I took action. I did this quickly. After all, lunch was approaching. (And I was looking for a boast, not a job). So in just under a half-hour, here's what I did.

What I Did to Increase Profile Views

1) Normalized my title.

Time: 1 minute.

When I looked at "People similar to" HubSpot CMO Mike Volpe, I saw a list that was heavily concentrated with CMO titles. Perhaps this is because LinkedIn’s formula weighs title heavily, although I don't know that for sure. In the event that it does, I modified my title from the unconventional “VP of Content” to the slightly more common "VP of Marketing (Content)."

2) Inserted keywords into my Name field.

Time: 1 minute.

Admittedly, it looks a little weird when people do this, but since Keywords was a clogged path to my profile, I figured I would try. I added "Content Marketing & Startups" after my name, surfacing those keywords to the highest level of my profile.

Correction: A LinkedIn rep and a commenter were kind enough to point out that this technique isn't exactly consistent with LinkedIn's User Agreement. At HubSpot we like to "move fast and break things." Looks like I broke this one. Don't do it.

3) Added keywords to my Professional Headline.

Time: 2 minutes.

I’d previously listed my current employer and the names of the companies I advise in the headline that appears directly beneath my name. But to optimize for keywords, I replaced the company names with the functions I perform, specifically, “Content Marketing Leader, B2B Blogger, Marketing Speaker, Startup Advisor."

4) Optimized my Summary.

Time: 10 minutes.

I’d been bungling the Summary section of my profile. Before this exercise, my Summary contained a list of awards I’d earned. But who's searching for awards on LinkedIn? Nobody. So I spent a little time and re-wrote this section as a keyword-dense narrative, broken into sections for readability. (I then moved the list of awards to the actual Awards section.)

5) Expanded my Skills entries.

Time: 3 minutes.

I hadn’t updated the Skills section to keep pace with my career. I gave this section a thorough refresh, hitting LinkedIn’s 50 skill limit.

6) Syndicated blog posts.

Time: 7 minutes.

I syndicated one blog post I’d written for HubSpot (basically just copied/pasted body and added a brief, “This post originally appeared on …” introduction). Over time, I syndicated two more.

7) Changed Profile Viewing Setting from 'Anonymous' to 'Public.'

Time: 1 minute.

This is so minor it’s almost trivial, but to facilitate reciprocal visits, now when I visit a profile, that member can see that it was me who visited them. Maybe some will visit me in return.

8) Added my LinkedIn account to my email signature & Twitter profile.

Time: 2 minutes.

Another minor change, but a few minors can add up to a major. Note Facebook doesn't include a field for LinkedIn profile URL. (Or if it does, I couldn't find it.)

While I was in profile clean-up mode, I edited descriptions of past jobs to adhere to the action/results format, which is generally considered a best practice. I also put in examples of my work by adding SlideShares and links to publications to current and previous jobs. But these changes were general enhancements, not made to optimize for visits, so I'm not adding the time to our clock.

The Results

Given the minor time investment of just under half an hour, I wasn’t sure what sort of results I could expect. After all, it wasn’t like I had a major event to announce, like a job change, promotion, or graduation. I basically was trying to nip and tuck my way to more views. Well, it turns out a little nipping and tucking can make as big of an impact on LinkedIn as it can in Hollywood. Let’s have a look.

In the 90 days prior to the optimization project (image below), my profile had been viewed 759 times. Most of the visits (56) were made by salespeople, presumably to sell me something. If I were looking for a job, I wouldn’t consider these to be high value visitors.

Chernov-LinkedIn-Results-Pre-Test

Following the exercise, my profile received 956 views over the same span of time (there’s a slight date overlap in the study), an increase of more than 25%:

Chernov-LinkedIn-Results-Post

Moreover, the profile of visitors rebalanced from salespeople to executives (50 viewers had a CEO or Executive Director title). If I were searching for a job, I would consider these visitors to be immensely valuable. Looking at the date label on the chart below, it’s clear that views hit a low during the holiday season, suggesting that the overall growth would have been even greater had the test been run during a different time of year.

Zooming in a little closer, we can see that Kipp and I were able to move the right levers in my profile:

Chernov-LinkedIn-Results-Zoom-In

Visits from Skills increased from 0 to 37. Additionally, 14% of people found my profile via “People similar to you." Finally, keyword diversity was achieved: 953 different keywords led a viewer to my profile, resulting in 177 viewers discovering me via LinkedIn search.

Of course, if you are an active job seeker, this exercise may not be enough to land you your dream gig. But LinkedIn is a hotbed of connections for recruiting, social selling, business development and, of course, content sharing and discovery. The more traffic your profile gets, the better chance you have of creating a flywheel effect for the messages you want to spread.

free marketing resume templates

8 Tips From Top Experts on How to Achieve More in 2015

2015

Did you achieve all that you wanted to in 2014? Or, were you left wanting more?

If 2015 goes the same as last year, will you be proud of what you accomplished?

As entrepreneurs and marketers, we always want to do more, have more, and be more. We sometimes think the solution is working longer hours doing more of the same. But more hours and higher efficiency only scales to a point. To execute on another level we must be both efficient AND effective.

If there’s something greater you’re striving to become, this article is for you. It lists the 8 life changing tips from my top mentors that can enable you to achieve more in 2015.

1) Create a Vision for Your Life

To achieve something great, you need to take control over how you run your personal and professional life. This means creating a purposeful vision for your life as well as a plan to accomplish your goals. If you don’t plan your life, someone else will make plans for you.

The Expert: Les Brown

My first mentor as an entrepreneur was Les Brown. His teaching helped me create a purposeful vision for my life. Les taught me that if you "help others achieve their dreams, you will achieve yours." This belief is the foundation of my agency, which every day is helping deserving brands get bigger by marketing better. The alignment of my profession with my passion and purpose has enabled me to love my life and my work.

Les says, “Most people fail in life, not because they aim too high and miss, but because they aim too low and hit.”  [tweet this]

Are you working on your dreams or are you side-tracked by life’s distractions? If there’s something you want to do, start doing it now.

His programs may be dated, but they deliver a powerful message:

You don’t have to change your line of work to have a purposeful vision. Marketing and entrepreneurship is a great space to be in. But it’s what you do with your skills that leads to greatness. If you’re not working towards your goals, you may simply be trading your dreams for a weekly paycheck.

What’s your passion and purpose?

“Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.” – Seneca [tweet this]

2) Feed Your Mind

As Brendon Burchard says, “Only two things change your life. Either something new comes into your life, or something new comes from within.” [tweet this] In order for either of these things to happen, you need to constantly feed your mind with the right knowledge and ideas.

It’s been well documented that Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger (Buffett’s right hand man) are some of the best learning machines on earth. They each spend approximately 6 hours a day reading, thinking, and learning.

Don’t have 6 hours a day to learn? Don’t worry, I share that same reality. But there are changes we can make to feed our mind.

The Expert: Brian Tracy

Brian Tracy says, “It used to be that the main difference between people in our society was between those who 'have more' versus those who 'have less.' Today, however, the difference is between those who 'know more' and those who 'know less.’” [tweet this]

As one of the most popular business trainers in history, and the author of 65 books, Brian has learned (and taught) a lot in his life. He teaches that, “If what you're doing is not moving you towards your goals, then it's moving you away from your goals.” In order to do something great, you need the ability to figure things out. If you’re not willing to continuously learn and improve, how will you become the master of anything?

Brian Tracy explains the power of the Golden Hour and how it prepares your life for success.

If you’re putting off reading books until you’re wealthy and have plenty of time, you’ve got it backwards. [tweet this] We should trade social media, Youtube and Netflix for a few good books. I highly recommend:

I attribute 50% of the success in my life to what I’ve learned and 50% to what I’ve done with what I’ve learned. To stop learning is to stop growing. To stop growing in this economy is the fastest way to become obsolete.

3) Improve Your Health and Fitness

Caring for yourself is the highest priority in life. Your health is more important than your work and your family. If you don’t have your health, you can’t be of service to anyone.

Your health is all you’ve got.

Most of us sit at our desk nearly all day. We don’t take the time to develop great physical nor mental health. To be our best mentally, we must be physically fit as well. Your brain’s fitness is closely tied to your physical fitness. Proper diet and exercise help regulate hormone levels, deliver the proper nutrients to your brain, and relieves stress. Not to mention you’ll feel both more alert and more confident when you’re in great shape.

After I went from 0 kids to 3 in 9 months back in 2007, life has seemed to always have a distraction to keep me from staying fit. One of my top priorities in 2015 is getting my body to the best fitness I’ve had in a decade. I believe this will improve my energy and my PMA (positive mental attitude) about myself. I’m currently preparing for a two day mountain bike trip in Costa Rica.

The Expert: Tim Ferriss

Don’t have time to get fit? Enter Tim Ferriss, author of the 4 Hour Body. He says, “Lack of time is actually lack of priorities.” [tweet this]

Tim’s book is designed for the busy entrepreneur who cares about their health and fitness. The book explains how to have better health, more muscle, less fat, and better rest with health hacks he developed over a decade.

What’s even better is that Tim has tested every one of his tricks in varying quantities until he found the “minimum effective dose” (MED) that produces the best results. With Tim’s fitness protocol, you can achieve ridiculous fitness results with just 4 hours a month.

I’m currently just 4 weeks into my new 4 hour body, and I’ve already lost 8 pounds of fat (even over the holidays), 2.25 inches and 3.5% body fat. No joke. In addition to his slow-carb diet, I’m a new raving fan of kettlebells. I suggest you order Tim’s book and read his blog.

4) Practice Gratitude

If you’ve ever struggled with negative self talk or you’re highly critical of yourself, practicing gratitude can help. What is practicing gratitude? It’s the act of taking 5 minutes a day to take note of things you’re grateful for, fantastic things happening in your life, and remind yourself of the person you’re working to become.

The Experts: Lewis Howes and Tim Ferriss

On a recent podcast Lewis Howes said, “The key to wealth is gratitude, and wouldn’t you know it’s the key to just about everything else as well. Fall in love with gratitude.” [tweet this]

I thought that practicing gratitude was just for coaches, until Tim Ferriss brought it home for me. Tim says that “Happiness = Gratitude. Practice the latter and you'll feel the former.” [tweet this]

Practicing gratitude produces a life changing attitude in mindset. A great way to practice gratitude is with the 5 Minute Journal (app or book). For an extra kick in the pants, I personally decided to start practicing gratitude publicly via my blog.

I’m personally only ten days into practicing gratitude. I already see value in the experience.

5) The Ultimate To-Do List

Everyone wants to get more done. Some focus on doing things fast. Others focus on doing things right. What matters most is doing the right things.

The Expert: Brendon Burchard

Brendon Burchard is a best selling author, passionate speaker, and trainer to solopreneurs. In his High Performance Academy, one of Brendon’s tools is his 1 page productivity planner. This 1 page daily planner enables you to focus on the projects that matter, interact and respond to others at the right time, and postpone distractions until after you’ve had a productive day.

Over the years I’ve used Basecamp, Asana, Redcube, Jira, and now Teamwork for managing my team’s projects and tasks. With such tools, you might think that I wouldn’t get any value from a daily planner. I tried it myself for three weeks and saw improvements, so I decided to roll it out to my full team. It turned out that everyone was spending more time in these task management apps than needed, plus our meetings discussing our projects were longer than they needed to be.

After adopting Brendon’s 1 page planner, we had shorter team huddles (often just 15 minutes) and everyone reduced the amount of time spent managing tasks in Teamwork. Our 1 page planner shows us what we need to do, and Teamwork has the instructions for how we need to do it.

One final point. Instead of doing this on paper where our distributed team would have no insight into what others are working on, we put our productivity planner in a shared Google Doc. Everyone can see each others tasks and we can notify each other of bottlenecks and blockers.

5.5) The Never-Do List

If you follow the advice in step 5, you’ll be focusing on the right activities for at least the first part of your day. But most people drift back into their normal habits once the phone rings or they check email. It’s been ingrained in us that these are activities that we must respond to quickly, and we end up trading our own priorities for the priorities of others.

What if instead of doing distracting tasks efficiently, we stopped doing them entirely?

The Expert: Tim Ferriss

Tim Ferriss’s best selling book, The 4 Hour Workweek, shows us how to reduce or eliminate the tasks that matter little and focus on the activities can change everything.

Friends who hear me talking about the 4 Hour Workweek seem to get the impression that it’s about lazily working just four hours a week. Obviously they’ve not read the book!

Tim enables people to cut their “overhead work” to 4 hours a week, so they can focus on their dreams. Tim gives practical examples of how to delegate, eliminate, and even ignore tasks that distract you. By limiting the decisions you have to make and outsourcing work that does not have to be done perfectly, you will have the thing you need most to get what you want: time!

As a direct result of the strategies inside the 4 Hour Workweek, I’ve set significantly higher personal and professional goals, grew my company 30% last year, and changed the way I work.

I now have a “Director of Operations” at my company who takes care of all of the *still important* tasks that I used to spend most of my day managing myself. I can now focus on the 3-4 tasks that matter most. Sure, I took a pay cut when I hired someone to take the work, but the progress I’ve been able to make as a result has been worth it. Ask yourself, how much time do you want to spend NOT doing the things that matter most?

6) Create Art

The old rules said that success came from following the rules, keeping your head down and not doing things that feel uncomfortable. In today’s economy, it’s better to be sorry than safe.

The industrial age taught us to work inside of our comfort zone and that doing what was safe would pay off. Today that’s a sure path to mediocrity. Today the payoff comes from doing what’s uncomfortable, what feels risky, and what might not work.

Today there’s an oversupply of vendors for almost every problem, giving customers more choice and power in who they buy from than ever.  If you essentially copy what they’re doing without radical innovation, you won’t stand out.

At the same time, there’s a shortage of trust, relationships and delight. These are the elements of success in the new connection economy. Success today takes guts. It requires making something personal. It requires standing out while being outside of your comfort zone. It requires leadership, and a belief that if you do something special, customers will show up to follow you.

The Expert: Seth Godin

Seth Godin says something remarkable (lots of things, actually) in his book The Icarus Deception. He says, “If you use your money to buy advertising to promote average products for average people, soon you’ll run out of money. but if you use your money to make exceptional products, you won’t need to spend it on advertising, because your customers will connect to one another and bring you more.”

The value of our businesses today is based upon the level of trust and relationship we have with our customers, and how often we innovate. It used to be that you built a factory to get customers. Seth points out that “if your factory burns down but you have loyal customers, you’ll be fine. On the other hand, if you lose your customers, even your factory isn’t going to help you - Detroit is filled with empty factories.” [tweet this]

Today rather than focus on building a product, we must focus on building connections. Rather than promote ourselves to attract attention, we must be honest and vulnerable so as to attract trust. We no longer win by passing the test. We win by doing something new and standing out. Don’t focus on being seen. Focus on being missed if you’re not there. [tweet this]

Money used to be the primary driver of marketing. Now marketing is based upon connection, upon creating a story that resonates and spreads because it’s a story worth telling.

Today’s marketplace won’t pick you as the leader. You’ll have to pick yourself.

7) Give Back

Giving feels good. But it doesn’t stop there. Giving to others changes our mental and emotional state. When we focus on the needs of others, we push aside our ego, our emotions, and our stress. Our body releases healthy hormones into our system, leading to what’s known as the “helper’s high.”

If you want to improve your attitude, your relationships and your career, prioritize making a difference in the lives of the people around you. You’ll feel happier and you’ll become more liked and ultimately more successful.

The Expert: Jim Rohn

avatar-jim-rohn

"Only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have.” - Jim Rohn. [tweet this] Jim also said that "Giving is better than receiving because giving starts the receiving process."

We live in the most prosperous times ever known to man. Regardless of your level of income or your personal politics, if you’re reading this post, you’re doing pretty well. But what are you doing to give back? If you don’t already contribute to a charity or cause, here are a few good ones:

More than just giving money, I suggest giving some of your time or sweat equity. When I was younger, I found immense reward in tutoring young kids that were less equipped than I was. Recently my company started Websites for Warriors, a program to help entrepreneurial veterans launch the next phase of their life after leaving active duty.

8) Take Action

Every idea, goal, plan, or dream is worthless unless backed by action. If you’re willing to hustle, you can make up for every weakness in your life and then some. Rather than use your weaknesses as a reason to delay getting started, use them as your reason to start earlier, fight harder, stay later, push further, and never be satisfied.

The Expert: Eric Thomas

eric-thomas

If you’ve never heard Eric Thomas (ET) speak, you’ve been missing out. Eric reminds me that I’ll be remembered for what I do, not what I aim to do. When I’m off track, I read aloud these 10 short, simple, and powerful affirmations that all come from ET:

  1. “My future is created by what I do today, not tomorrow.”[tweet this]
  2. “Innovation is rewarded. Execution is worshiped.” [tweet this]
  3. “It may not be given to me. But if I’m ready to earn it, the universe is mine.” [tweet this]
  4. “I don't have as much time as I think I do. I’ve got to operate like there's a sense of urgency!” [tweet this]
  5. “I will work towards my goal every day! Even when I’m down and out! Even when I’m not feeling it, still do it!” [tweet this]
  6. “I won’t settle for another average day in my life.” [tweet this]
  7. “Pain is temporary. It may last for a minute, or an hour, or a day, or even a year. But eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. But if I quit, it will last forever.” [tweet this]
  8. “Haters don’t really hate me. In fact they hate themselves because I’m a reflection of what they wish they could be.” [tweet this]
  9. “When I want to succeed as bad as I want to breathe, then I’ll be successful.” [tweet this]
  10. “I cannot afford to live in potential for the rest of my life. At some point, I have to unleash the potential and make my move.” [tweet this]

If you’re not pumped up right now, check that you have a pulse!

It’s time we get out of our comfort zones and achieve more than we ever thought possible.

Set a goal that stretches the limits. Create a plan of action to achieve it. Then get started.

Take your best shot at doing something remarkable and let the chips fall where they may. [tweet this]

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Facebook at Work is here — but only for a select few

Facebook-group-page
Feed-twFeed-fb

Facebook at Work launched to a limited audience on Wednesday, teasing the social network's much-anticipated entry into the enterprise space

The new app for Facebook at Work is slated to begin appearing in the app stores for iOS and Android, but will only be open to companies that have joined Facebook's pilot program

FBatWork

The platform will retain much of the current Facebook look and feel including the News Feed, groups, messaging and events. This makes sense as the appeal of Facebook at Work is engaging employees on a familiar platform that they already understand Read more...

More about Facebook, Business, and Facebook At Work

Watch Google’s Project Ara Developers Conference Live Right Here

ara flip Excited about modular smartphones? So is Google, which is hosting its second Project Ara Developer Conference today in California. The Ara project is designed to provide a consumer-ready platform for modular smartphone tech, letting users buy and swap out individual components like cameras, processors and sensors in configurations of their choosing. Remember, as you watch this, that Project… Read More

Bankers, Car Salesmen & Reality TV Interns: What 27 Marketing Execs Did in Their First Jobs

first-job

Sometimes we forget that every successful innovator, leader, and business executive had to start somewhere before getting where they are today. Many of them were once sitting in a rickety folding chair on the lawn of their alma mater, wearing an itchy cap and gown, and wondering what on earth they were going to do when they grew up.

Not all current marketing executives knew they wanted to go into marketing -- in fact, many of them started in sales, consulting, human resources, entertainment, software engineering, government, and a myriad of other fields. We thought it'd be fun to ask a range of marketing leaders what their first jobs were. What did they do there? What did they like and not like? Most importantly, what did they learn from the experience?

On the list below, you'll hear from former government scientists, cashiers, consultants, MTV interns, co-founders, and car salesmen (among other positions). Check out what these marketing leaders did in their very first professional jobs.

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1) Aaron Goldman, CMO at Kenshoo

First Job: Sales Planner at L90

"My first job out of school was with L90, one of the early online ad networks. I was a Sales Planner, which entailed trafficking and reporting on ad campaigns including banners, emails, and pop-ups (remember those?). These were the early days of the web, and it definitely had a 'Wild Wild West' feel. Over the next four years, I sat in the same office but our company was acquired three times -- first by Excite Network, then Ask Jeeves, then IAC. The bag of stuff that I had to sell kept getting bigger.

"By the end of my run there, search had starting taking off and I was selling a bunch of it to advertisers and agencies. The trouble was that everyone wanted listings sponsored by Google AdWords, not Ask Jeeves. So I left to join the guy who originally hired me at L90 -- did I mention he was a fraternity brother of mine in school? -- when he started Resolution Media, a pioneering search marketing agency that we eventually sold to Omnicom. 

"Key lessons learned from my first job include embracing change, building relationships, and avoiding intrusive advertising!"

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2) Andrew Teman, VP Marketing at Cultural Care Au Pair

First Job: Cashier & Shelf Stocker at Brooks Pharmacy

"My first job was as a cashier and shelf stocker at a Brooks Pharmacy, a regional chain of retail pharmacies in New England. I remember being really fascinated with the American Greetings 'Creat-a-Card' custom greeting card machine that showed up one day in the store. This was 1993, and it was one of the first instances I can remember of people using digital technology to create, customize, and personalize content in that way.

"I'd watch people spend 20 or 30 minutes playing with the machine and creating these cards for their friends and family, and becoming immersed in this process. Looking back, this was totally a harbinger of what was to come -- both in the way that people would be drawn to this sort of technology and experience, and in my desire to be part of that movement in some way."

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3) Michelle Burrows, VP of Marketing at Zen Planner

First Job: Marketing Delivery Coordinator at Papa Gino's

"I was in charge of the grand openings for Papa Gino's expansion into pizza delivery. It is odd now to consider that many pizza stores back then only offered eat-in or take-out service. I did everything from attending all the grand openings celebrations to coordinating flier distribution in the neighborhoods surrounding the store to weekend coupons in the Sunday paper and running ads. I also analyzed the success of all of these efforts on a weekly basis. 

"In that role, I learned the importance of measuring the impact of any and all marketing programs which ties well with the laser focus today's marketing leaders need to have on the end number. I also had a wonderful boss who taught me how to communicate and present to an executive-level audience and I'm still grateful for that training.

"Finally, I learned that any marketing program will only be successful if it is communicated effectively to those who it will impact. For us, that meant starting to conduct quarterly training with all store managers on upcoming marketing programs. Today that translates into my passion for making sure that Sales and Marketing are always in lockstep."

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4) John Bigay, CMO at Backupify

First Job: Marketing at MCA Records

"I started my career in the music business: I worked in a marketing role for a record label (MCA Records) by day and as a musician at night. Interestingly, more of the skills I developed as a working musician have served me as a modern marketer: creativity, resourcefulness, and learning to create a genuine, authentic connection with people through the 'content' we created (our music) and the community we tried to foster."

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5) Mary Modahl, CMO at American Well

First Job: Banking Associate at Bank of Boston

"My first job was as a loan officer-in-training at Bank of Boston, which has now become part of Bank of America. The program was a terrific way to get started. There were about 50 of us from many of the bank’s branches all over the world: Australia, Hong Kong, Nigeria, England, Argentina, Turkey. It was an amazing group of people.

"We learned accounting and corporate finance, how to assess credit risk in a variety of different industries, cash collections, collateralization, currency risk, etc. Loan Officers are, in effect, salespeople for banks -- so as the training progressed, we also got to go on client calls with senior account managers and learned about sales and account management.

"Learning about business and finance first and marketing second has served me well because marketing is really about driving business. In the end, everything we do as marketers shows up in the numbers."

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6) Richard Rovner, VP Marketing at TheMathWorks

First Job: Statistical Analyst at Analytic Services (ANSER)

"I did predictive modeling, reporting and analysis, computer programming, and systems analysis. Today, I’d be called a Data Scientist! I loved it. Working on diverse problems kept me challenged and constantly learning. I often could see the direct impact of my work in decisions influenced by our models or programs achieving their goals because our insights helped steer things in the right direction.

"Some observations? I witnessed firsthand the importance of data-driven decision making. But I also gained an appreciation for storytelling. It’s not enough to have the predictive model or statistical analysis all worked out; you need to communicate the conclusions in a crisp, compelling, and memorable way. Sounds like today’s marketer -- you must be great with data analytics and also great with stories!"

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7) Jascha Kaykas-Wolff, CMO at BitTorrent

First Job: Intern/PA at MTV

"When I graduated from college, I was working for MTV via the Bunim and Murray production company. It was the beginning of reality TV and the setting was glamorous.

"But, let's be clear: As an intern, my job was to get coffee. Well, not entirely. My job was to pay attention to everything that was happening with the talent, the writers, the production team and anticipate. If someone needed coffee I needed to know before they saw their mug had run empty. If someone needed a new notepad but hadn't realized they were burning through their current one, I had to notice. If the crowd waiting to go onto the show was getting restless, I had to make sure we kept their attention and calmed them down.

"To this day, I appreciate that experience setting the stage for what I believe to be true in marketing now. If you can anticipate what makes every part of the business more successful, and do it, your marketing team will be viewed as invaluable and will have actual measured success growing the business."

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8) Brian Kenny, CMO at Harvard Business School

First Job: Phone Operator

"My first job ever was as an operator at an answering service at the age of 15. My responsibilities were to take calls for businesses including doctors, lawyers, real estate firms, landscapers, and the like. I worked at an old-fashioned switchboard where you had to plug a cord into the line to respond to the call. I took messages mostly, but also had to 'page' doctors and such after hours for emergencies.

"It was a great job in terms of learning about customer service and how to communicate clearly, a skill that I've used throughout my career. The most lasting affect of the job however, was my marriage. I was introduced to my wife by a friend from the answering service. How's that for a bonus?"

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9) Susan Zaney, VP Marketing at KnowledgeVision

First Job: Application Engineer at Philadelphia Electric Company

"My first job out of college was as an application engineer for Philadelphia Electric Company, now known as PECO. I was one of the 60 engineers hired out of college that year, and only six of us were women. Application engineers were the technical interface for customers and the company account representatives, and PECO customers range from large industrial accounts to residential accounts.

"It was my job to answer customers' technical questions about high bill complaints, energy usage, and energy conservation efforts. I delivered energy conservation presentations to large and small audiences, which proved invaluable in my marketing career. I calculated heat loss/heat gain reports, so I can still choose the proper size air conditioner for a room -- a little less valuable in marketing, unless I'm planning an event needing A/C.

"And ultimately, I learned a major life lesson about customer support: Some customers will never be happy, but you must always remain positive."

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10) Brian Kardon, CMO at Lattice Engines

First Job: Marketing Manager at United Artists

"After college, I worked in the music division for a big film studio called United Artists. They produced all the James Bond, Woody Allen, and Rocky movies. It was a very cool place to work.

"I was as low as you could get on the corporate totem pole there and everyone at United Artists called me 'Hey, kid.'

"Except for one person. Andy Albeck was the CEO of United Artists. Top dog. Expensive suits. Limos. And he always called me by my name. He invited me to screenings. He asked for my opinions. He included me in meetings that were well above my pay grade. I will never forget his generosity. He made me feel important and appreciated. I think about him every day when I work with my team."

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11) Patrick Moran, CMO at New Relic, Inc.

First Job: Co-Founder of a Recording Studio Business

"My first real professional job out of college was as a co-founder of a recording studio business that we pivoted into a dotcom startup in Jamaica Plain, outside of Boston. First, I was a recording engineer. By the time I left, I had been VP of Operations and VP of Marketing for a consumer internet company that had raised $100+M in VC money in 2000. I was 23 at the time."

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12) Brad Gillespie, CMO at SiriusDecisions

First Job: HR Generalist at a Healthcare Company

"My first job was in human resources for a healthcare company -- about as far away from the marketing field as one could get. I was an HR Generalist for Columbia/HCA, which at the time was the largest healthcare organization in the world. I had fallen in love with healthcare during a work-study program my junior year in college, where I worked as an orderly. When I had the chance to move to Atlanta to work for Columbia/HCA, I thought my career was set. 

"I was working in a three-hospital group in Atlanta where I supporting recruiting, onboarding, and benefits administration for clinical and non-clinical. At that point in time (1997), nurses were in VERY high demand -- so at times, we were onboarding over 50 employees per month. About a year into my time at Columbia, the company began to go through some major changes and the next year was quite tumultuous. The company began to be broken up into pieces and I survived a few rounds of layoffs before becoming a casualty, myself.

"The first major career lesson, as put by a mentor at the time, was: 'You either make your employer money, or you cost them money.' I know many, many folks who have dealt with being laid off. I consider myself lucky to have learned this lesson so early in my career. That had me shift my mindset to the revenue-facing functions in business and eventually to Marketing."

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13) Heather Zynczak, CMO at Domo

First Job: Consultant at Andersen Consulting

"My consultant role at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) was a basically 80+ hours a week of coding. This was before there was a lot of packaged software and most software was built custom.

"While I was terrible at coding, this technical background has helped me tremendously throughout my career. While the hours were long and the work grueling, I loved that job because of the team I worked with. I sat shoulder-to-shoulder with a group of bright, ambitious, hilarious, and fun group of people. I learned a valuable lesson: The people you work with make all the difference."

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14) Thor Johnson, CMO at IntraLinks

First Job: Government Scientist

"I thought I was going to be a scientist when I graduated college, and I took on my first job in Washington, DC as a computer scientist and researcher. Turns out that one of their needs was to connect our harebrained inventions and schemes with reality, and with real people. So they elected me. I stood in front of funders, staffers, contractors, and government lifers to tell them what we had created and why it was important -- or should be -- to them.  

"It was my start in marketing. Over time, the communications became more interesting and challenging to me than the technology. I enjoyed watching the light turn on when the audience connected with our invention. That’s the same thrill I still get today in marketing, watching the audience connect the dots. So today, I’m a technology marketer, telling stories and managing technology to create awareness, to teach, to help an audience see the light."

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15) Ilya Mirman, VP Marketing at Onshape Inc.

First Job: Senior Engineer at Lasertron

"I was a program manager and design engineer of lasers for high-speed telecom applications. I designed optoelectronic packaging components and subsystems, carried out thermo-mechanical modeling, worked with vendors to source parts, and so on.

"In this position, I learned to solve hard technical problems, work as a team, navigate group dynamics, lead. And, a huge (and startling) lesson learned was this: Just because a product is excellent from a technical perspective doesn’t mean it’ll be a commercial success. You need the right marketing and sales execution. So after that experience, I wanted to get my hands around more than just engineering; to have more control over the success of whatever I work on."

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16) Kirsten Knipp, Marketing Exec & Industry Analyst

First Job: Front Office/VIP Manager at a Palm Beach Resort

"I was Assistant Manager for a 8-10-person front desk staff at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida. After three months, I also became responsible for a 20-person valet parking and bell staff team ranging in age from 18 to 67 years old. I was in charge of hiring and firing valet staff, scheduling, training, day-to-day managing, and some light budgeting. I also got to be the point-of-contact for any VIP or celebrity guests of the hotel -- these were folks ranging from the Judds to Steve Forbes.

"What an unbelievable opportunity to get a chance to lead such a broad array of folks from different walks of life, education levels, and experience. It was true baptism by fire in terms of managing people, process, and even crisis -- we had a fire, a heart attack, three lost cars, and one death when I was there and acting as full manager on duty.

"Though it was an 80-hour-a-week role and the guest was ALWAYS right ... it also taught me some irreplaceable lessons about how customers want to be treated, how a small touch can go a long way and how to do right (or wrong) by your team. Managing a team in a hotel is heavily operational, but really boils down to general management, challenging all your skills from people management, to strategy and planning and even to creativity. I doubt many roles allow the chance to flex so many muscles all at once.

"Plus, it was a beautiful setting with great co-workers. During that time in my early twenties, I was immersed in work along with a bunch of other 20-somethings and we were at arguably the best hotel in town ... which meant we also got to enjoy the best restaurants, bars, and recreation. You work hard but also play hard and get a lot of benefits.

"Two main lessons learned: 1) People are all unique -- whether they are your team or your guests, there is no one-size fits all. Developing empathy for your customers (internal and external) is crucial to getting anywhere. 2) Always negotiate your hotel room rate. ;)"

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17) Mike Schneider, VP Marketing at Skyhook Wireless

First Job: Analyst & Developer

"My first job out of college was with a tech shop. I wrote a lot of code on a team of developers. It taught me a lot about how systems work, what the true meaning of 'scale' is, and why it is important in systems, as a manager and in personal life. I learned how to organize data and how to do it in ways that people can actually use. I learned a ton about design and the importance of elegance. I also learned why it's important to write things down, particularly in comments. When you're wondering four years later what you were thinking, it's like finding treasure.

"I love tech and knowing first-hand what emotions people go through and the hurdles they leap to build products helps me appreciate the magnitude of what we have accomplished -- and make sure that carries through to the brand and story."

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18) Aaron Dun, CMO at Intronis

First Job: Car Salesman

"My first job was selling Honda cars. It was a pretty remarkable experience for someone fresh out of college -- very intense and very long hours. I learned a ton in my 18 months selling cars, but there are three valuable lessons that stayed with me and have been very applicable throughout my career.

  1. Know your target audience. The strong listening skills and ability to empathize with everyone in the car buying process that I developed on the job served me very well. I also learned the ability to ask 'the second question.' When someone says that safety is what they are looking for in a car, don't start selling them on airbags; asking, 'What does safety mean to you?' often reveals the real value point for that buyer. It may in fact be vehicle size, or that height on the road is more important than the number of airbags. Remembering to ask that second question reveals quite a number of insights that has helped me frame a better message or tailor our campaigns. 
  2. Everybody needs a win. Car buying was and is tough -- and that makes it a tough sale too. I was always amazed at the size of the chips that people brought with them on their shoulder when they came in to the dealership. They just assumed I was going to do everything possible to screw them. I have no doubt that it happens regularly, but don't forget everyone is participating in an economic transaction. The buyer needs to meet their price, the dealership needs a profit, and the salesperson would like to put food on the table. I found that finding a fair landing spot for everyone led to a positive experience for all, and I use this strategy to this day when negotiating with vendors.
  3. Check the negativity. The car business is 'Always Be Hustling' kind of business. The next up through the door can make your month, even if your day is about to end. You need to keep that effort up every minute you are working or you are going to miss out on your number. I was always amazed by the group that would sit around the table and complain about whatever was to be complained about ... and grudgingly hoist themselves up to go talk to a customer. They were not happy, and I promise you their customers didn't have a great experience either. I committed myself then and there that I would never be 'that guy.' If I got to the point that I would deliberately choose to sit around and complain instead of going to do my job, then it was time to move on. And I didn't want to hang around with those people either. Work is hard enough -- no need to make it harder by getting sucked into complaint-fests."

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19) Ellie Mirman, VP Marketing at Toast

First Job: Inbound Marketing Manager at HubSpot

"This was the first role of many that I had at HubSpot. My primary responsibilities fell into the category of lead gen programs: webinars, ebooks, landing pages, working with sales. I also created a lot of content (blog articles), ran parts of social media, ran events (exhibiting and hosting) ... basically a mix of a lot of things, as you'd expect at a startup.

"I loved it because 1) I got to do/own a lot; 2) I built a lot of skills around lead gen, working with sales, and data-driven marketing; and 3) I got to work with smart, passionate people. That role laid the groundwork for many of the things I took on afterwards."

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20) Carol Meyers, CMO at Rapid7

First Job: Financial Management Program Trainee at GE

"I joined GE straight out of college because its Financial Management Program was renowned for starting a career in finance. I thought I wanted to be a CFO or Wall Street Banker. I had no concept of a 'startup' or working for anything other than a large, well-regarded company.

"It was an incredible learning experience and exposed me to many aspects of the business and a parade of leaders: some good, some mediocre, and some great. I was a cost account (my least favorite), business analyst (the best), and an auditor. I learned that I didn’t like spending my day looking for what went wrong or how people might be cheating the system (which I had to do as an auditor). I learned that I loved doing analysis and trying to understand business dynamics. I learned that good leaders keep open lines of communication, set inspiring vision and goals, push you to experiment, and make you think for yourself. They are also there for you when you need them.

"Ultimately, GE exposed me to the world of software. I loved working in spreadsheets (really!) so I decided to work for the company that made them: Lotus, which is now part of IBM. From then on, I was hooked on the technology industry and made my switch to startups. At Lotus, I was the finance manager for the Sales VP, and, as a result, was recruited into the sales team (later becoming the VP Sales for a network systems company). After many years in sales, I made the switch to marketing.

"That’s how I got from a financial management program to a career in marketing. I never did become a CFO or a hot-shot Wall Street banker -- and I've never regretted it!"

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21) Bernd Leger, VP Marketing at CloudLock

First Job: Executive Assistant to a CEO

"It was a 80-person startup founded by two Americans and a Swiss out of Munich, Germany. I had worked there as an intern for two summers and the CEO said, 'Why don’t you work as my assistant for one year? I’ll take you to every meeting, and in a year, you tell me what you want to do.' It was a great experience and set me off on my marketing career. After the one year, he made me head of the product steering committee and from there I expanded my marketing experience.

"That year as a personal assistant gave me into so much insight into how CEOs think, how to overcome challenges, how to manage limited time, and how to work cross-departmentally. It also gave me a good strategic foundation and the ability to link my own contributions to the company’s success. That same company moved me from Germany to the U.S. two years after I started. I’ve been in Boston since then (1998) and have not looked back, so I’m very thankful for that first opportunity and first job."

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22) Kyle Paice, VP Marketing at Entelo

First Job: Analyst at Deloitte Consulting

"Three things come to mind about my experience:

  1. I learned about the importance of polishing your work. There are people who can tell when a PowerPoint table is 1px misaligned in print, and will judge you for it.
  2. I learned to put myself in the shoes of my customer (or client). What were their incentives? What motivated them? What were their goals? When you're a consultant, you're brought in to solve a problem ... and those three variables generally explain 98% of it.
  3. I learned the importance of looking out for younger employees. I can still recall in great detail the great pieces of one-on-one advice a few senior execs were nice enough to give me when I was first starting out. I was still trying to find my way in those first few weeks on the job, and those informal chats meant the world to me."

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23) Jeanne Hopkins, Senior VP & CMO at Continuum Managed IT Service

First Job: Customer Service Associate at Baystate Medical Center

"My first professional job was as a Customer Service Associate in the Finance department for Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts -- the largest group of hospitals and medical offices in the western half of Massachusetts. My role was to take calls from patients that were trying to figure out how to pay for medical treatment, working with their insurance companies or other types of coverage in order to make sure that the invoices were properly submitted, then paid, and if there was no insurance coverage, setting up the patient on some sort of payment plan.

"The phone calls were brutal, but it was important to understand the needs of the patients and tying it back to revenue for the medical center. In all honesty, I don’t think I could have stayed in that job as a 'forever' role … I lasted about three months before I transferred into the Accounting Department, overseeing the Nursing School education fund and the special donations to the hospitals within the medical center.

"The role of talking to the customer was invaluable in understanding that we all see things through the prism of an experience. Marketers call it 'the Buyer’s Journey,' but ultimately, it is how well things are handled during a very stressful time of a patient’s life."

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24) Michael Troiano, CMO at Actifio

First Job: Account Coordinator at Lois/GGK

"I was an Account Coordinator at Lois/GGK in New York, working on ABC Sports. I ran down all the content and photo rights for their weekly advertising programs, and tagged along on questions related to marketing strategy for the network. I loved it because I worked for a fantastic account guy named Andy Brief who taught me how to think about advertising, manage clients, and deal with the departments and personalities common to all agency cultures."

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25) Daniel Smith, VP Marketing at BookBub

First Job: Consultant at Liberty Mutual

"My first job after graduation was with Liberty Mutual's internal strategy consulting group, Corporate Research. It was a small internal team of consultants that did the same type of work as Bain or BCG, but for Liberty Mutual business units.

"It was a great first experience because I got to work on business problems in a bunch of different areas, including sales, marketing, and product. I really developed my quantitative and analytical skills during my two years (and I spent A LOT of time in Excel learning advanced functions I still use today). My favorite project involved marketing Liberty Mutual's personal insurance lines, and it was during this project that I decided I wanted to pursue marketing. So I give a big thanks to Corporate Research for setting me on a great path, and the rest is history!"

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26) Debbie Qaqish, Chief Strategy Officer at Pedowitz Group

First Job: Commodities Broker at Merrill Lynch

"For my first job out of college, I was hired as a commodities broker for Merrill Lynch. I really didn’t know what they did but was sure I could handle it! It was a wild experience. I was hired in 1981, and my very first day on the job is when the metals (gold) markets crashed. Everyone in the office was long (betting price would go up), and when the markets crashed, they got locked into these losing positions. In a 'locked down' market you can’t get out because no one is buying. I vividly remember my manager sitting in front of his Quotron, wringing his hands, praying, with sweat slowly sliding down the side of his face. I remained a commodities broker for nine years!"

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27) Andy Zimmerman, CMO at Evergage

First Job: Project Analyst at Mintz Levin

"My first job out of college was as a Project Analyst at Mintz Levin, a large Boston law firm. I thought about going to law school but decided to work in a law firm first to see what lawyers actually did!

"In the role, I used and developed my writing, presenting, and analysis skills working on legal cases as well as internal operations projects. I gravitated toward IT projects, because I really enjoyed showing lawyers how they could make better use of technology. So it was on to business school instead of law school for me, and then a career in high tech consulting, business development, sales, and now marketing!"

What was your first job, and how has that experience helped you down the road?

how to hire inbound marketers

International SEO 101: Which Domain Structure Should You Use?

international-seo

If your website is focused on an audience larger than just one country, you probably have spent some time thinking about the best ways to organize and optimize your site for different countries. 

One of the first and most important decisions most people need to make when expanding their horizons to an international audience is determining which domain structure should be used for additional languages and countries. 

Below, we'll dive into your domain structure options, explain which ones you should think about choosing from an SEO-standpoint, and cover some original research one which types of structures users actually prefer. 

Domain Architecture Options

There are essentially three choices for setting up your international domain architecture:

1) Create a separate folder on your existing root domain for the new country and language.

For example, if your domain is domain.com, you would add a folder called domain.com/german/ to target German language speakers or domain.com/uk/ to target U.K. users.

One thing to note on any targeting that you are doing in URLs: You must use each country’s vernacular in order for the search engines to understand the meaning of the string. For example, “the U.K.,” “uk,” “England,” and “G.B.” are all acceptable while “UnitedK” or “GrBr” would not be.

While a subdirectory implementation can be an easy and inexpensive option, it can be difficult for people to understand the location targeting from the URL alone.

2) Create subdomains for each country or language.

For example, a U.K. targeted subdomain might be uk.domain.com while a Spanish language subdomain would be es.domain.com.

Subdomains are usually fairly easy to implement, but, like subdirectories, can make it difficult for people to understand what content will appear at that URL. They also can be more expensive to implement when compared to a folder structure.

3) Create individual country-targeted websites on Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLD).

For example, a Canadian site would be domain.ca and a Mexican site would be domain.mx.

This architecture can be the most complex and expensive to implement, as you would need to have a domain for every focus country. In addition, while a .com domain can be purchased for around $10, there are some TLDs that can cost more than $1,000 and require that you have a local presence in the country.

What Does Google Think?

Google very clearly states that they use ccTLD to determine country targeting. So, if you have the financial and technical resources, using a ccTLD could be a good idea.

That being said, a ccTLD can be expensive and the complexity of the setup could create some costly mistakes, so many webmasters will only take the ccTLD plunge if there is a positive impact on their bottom line.

In that case, there would either have to be an extremely significant shift in search rankings (which Google hasn't let on about), or a ccTLD would have to be favored by users in a way that meaningfully impacts clickthroughs to a website.

What Do Users Think?

Since there is no better way to predict user behavior than just asking users what they prefer, I decided to launch a survey on SurveyMonkey’s Audience tool, which collects data from a pool of millions of respondents across the United States, Australia, and the U.K. Respondents are selected at random, and because the sample is statistically significant, the sample should mirror actual user behavior pretty closely -- this type of survey was even used to correctly predict election results in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

For this survey, I collaborated with Sam Mallikarjunan at HubSpot to craft and analyze the surveys. We created two nearly identical surveys: one targeted to a representative sample in the U.S. and one to a representative sample in Australia.

Here's what we found.

User Awareness of ccTLD

Before trying to understand how users related to ccTLDs, we needed to validate the assumption that users even know that general TLDs exist. For all we know, marketers may be overly concerned with whether their domain is a .com, .info or even .com.mx, but user might not even notice.

To establish this foundation, we asked respondents to pick which TLD might be the one in use by a nonprofit. Nearly all respondents correctly identified a TLD ending with .org as the one most likely to be used by a nonprofit. Interestingly, only 4% of people in the US stated that they were unsure of the correct TLD compared to 13% of Australians.

U.S. Responses

nonprofit_org

Australian Responses

nonprofit_int

To build on this awareness of ccTLD, we wanted to know if users made the connection between ccTLD and countries. We asked respondents to identify the location of a local business using a .ca TLD extension. The majority of respondents correctly chose Canada. Oddly, 67% of Australians chose the correct answer while only 62% of Americans did the same. Additionally, more Americans (23%) fell for the trick answer of California than Australians (15%).

Based on the previous results, it is apparent that users are aware of ccTLDs in domain addresses and also usually understand the connection to local countries. But without knowing if users make decisions based on TLDs, a country’s TLD could just be a vanity portion of a URL and certainly not worth the investment. Therefore the real test of TLD choice is how it impacts ROI. This type of data point is, of course, hard to gauge in a survey where customers are not actually buying products, but we did want to try to see if there might be a way to measure purchasing decisions, too.

Revenue Impact of ccTLD

To achieve this result, we compared two different online retailers and asked respondents to choose the establishment that they thought would have the most reliable express shipping. It was assumed that respondents would consider an in-country retailer to be able to ship products faster than an international store.

In the US survey, we compared Amazon.co.jp to BestBuy.com. In the Australian survey, we compared Bigw.com.au (a well known brick and mortar retailer similar to the U.S. Target.com). (Interesting fact: There is a Target in Australia that is not affiliated with Target in the U.S. and their website is target.com.au -- more on that later.) The intent of the question was to see if users zeroed in on the recognizable brand name or the domain extension.

U.S. Responses 

bestbuy

Australian Responses

int_shipping

In the U.S., while 39% said that both websites would offer reliable shipping meaning that both TLDs have the potential to ship from the U.S., 42% still said that Best Buy with a .com TLD would be the better option. Australians may have been confused by the incorrect Target website, since 61% said both websites would have reliable shipping, but 34% chose Big W.

The data in this question is a bit inconclusive, but we can say that while a large portion of users are blind to domain extensions, when selling online it, would still be better to use a familiar domain extension.

What Should You Do?

To answer the original question, if you lack the resources to craft a ccTLD architecture, should you do it just for the user experience?

The answer would be: It depends. Based on the data we collected, we can definitively declare that users are aware of the differences between TLDs and do make decisions based on TLDs; however, the jury is still out on how important a TLD really is.

If you are debating whether ccTLD is the right choice for your site, it might be a good idea to launch a test on AdWords using a ccTLD as your display URL and measure whether there is any change in CTR. Alternatively, you can deploy a survey to your own customers and just ask if they are more likely to buy from a local domain. Nonetheless, if you do have the budget and development time to create ccTLDs, you certainly can’t go wrong with it. Good luck!

free guide: seo myths

Google Translate Now Does Real-Time Voice And Sign Translations On Mobile

google translate Google Translate is already a hugely useful app for anyone who lives overseas or travels regularly, and now it just got even smarter on mobile. A new update to the Android and iOS apps that is rolling out today introduces real-time voice and sign translation. Read More
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