Iliyana's Blog

Iliyana Stareva

Iliyana Stareva is Global Partner Program Manager at HubSpot where she plans and executes major cross-functional change across the globe. She spends her free time dancing salsa or writing about Inbound PR, Inbound Marketing and Agency Business, expertise gathered from years of agency experience and agency business consulting across Germany, the UK and Ireland.

Recent Posts

What Customer Success Really Is - 27 Quotes from Crowning the Customer

[fa icon="calendar'] 20-Nov-2019 08:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Customer Experience

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I think I've spent the majority of my career working in Customer Success (or Customer Experience if you prefer). 

Even my days as an Account Manager at the PR agencies I worked at count as Customer Success because my goal was to ensure the client was happy and was achieving their goals. 

But if we look at the business world, very few companies are truly customer-first. 

The sales department and the sales quotas rule the world as that's how most businesses make money. 

And so many companies have never truly focused on putting the customer first, meaning completely shifting their business models. 

Doing this is actually quite simple, yet complicated within an entire organisation that's used to working another way. 

And if you don't believe me, go no further but to read Feargal Quinn's quick book called 'Crowning the Customer'

I read it on the plane to Lisbon a couple of weeks ago and I loved it. 

It was written in a simple to follow language, with plenty of examples (granted, many for the retail business but that make sense for any industry) and perfectly logical advice.

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80+ Influencer Marketing Statistics [Infographic]

[fa icon="calendar'] 14-Nov-2019 08:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Public Relations, Marketing

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I've been doing some work on influencer marketing recently and specifically on why use it, best practices, examples etc.

I'm not going to go in the discussion around whether influencer marketing is the same thing as PR or not, whether it should be PR doing it or the marketing department. 

I'll just say that when I was working in a PR agency back 6-7 years ago, I was engaging a group of young beauty bloggers in a very similar fashion as influencer marketing preaches. 

Anyway, back to my research.  I've published a list of influencer marketing statistics before but I figured it's time to update that and share a new list that's more recent. 

So when I came across an infographic from smallbizgenius I knew I had found what I needed. 

It's a long and detailed infographic with more than 80 influencer marketing statistics. 

You can check out the infographic below but first, here are the stats that got my attention:

10 Top Influencer Marketing Stats:

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How to Give a Great Presentation

[fa icon="calendar'] 30-Oct-2019 08:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Personal Development, Career, Leadership

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One of my favourite things to do is to give a presentation. 

I love public speaking. It fills me with energy and it's the crowd that feeds me with it. 

But I used to hate public speaking. 

In my first year of university, I had to present on a marketing project in front of the class - about 90 people - and I remember how nervous I was and how my nerves got the best of me. I was sweating, my voice was trembling, I couldn't look anybody in the eyes and I don't think I managed to transmit my message to my public. I was ashamed when it was all over. 

My initial reaction to this 'failure' was that I was never going to do public speaking again. I was terrified and I never wanted to experience this again. 

But after a couple of days, my attitude changed. I decided that I was going to overcome this fear and I was going to become a terrific public speaker. 

I don't know if I am a terrific public speaker but I can certainly say that I no longer loathe giving presentations in front of small and large groups, I love it and I welcome it. The more, the better. 

So how did I do it?

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How to Use the DARCI Framework in Project Management

[fa icon="calendar'] 22-Oct-2019 07:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Project Management

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When I was working at HubSpot, one of the most popular tools (if not the most popular) for project management was the DARCI model. 

It almost became synonymous with project management because it allowed to define who to work with and in what capacity when you needed to execute on a project or an initiative in an organisation that is quite complex when it comes to working cross-functionally.

But the DARCI framework is just a part of project management if you choose to use it. There's so much more to managing a project as I've covered previously so with this post I want to explain what the DARCI model is and give you my recommendation on how and when to use it. 

So what's DARCI in Project Management?

DARCI stands for Decision-Maker, Accountable, Responsible, Consulted and Informed.

There are other versions of it such as RACI which is what you'll find in PMI's PMBOK for project management. RACI is the same as DARCI but excludes the Decision-Maker.

In essence, the DARCI framework serves to identify the roles and responsibilities of a given project.

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19 Reasons Why You Can't Ignore Customer Experience Anymore [Infographic]

[fa icon="calendar'] 14-Oct-2019 06:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Customer Experience

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I've worked in Customer Experience or CX most of my career. 

My current job at Cisco is in CX, my first two and a half years at HubSpot were in Customer Success followed by two+ years reporting into Sales and before HubSpot I held several account manager roles in agencies which I'd still count as CX since I was responsible for the success of my client's PR campaigns and social accounts post their purchase of our services. 

Has it been easy to work in CX? Not always. And I'll tell you why. 

Traditionally, the powerful function of a company has been Sales. Sales has usually had the final decision-making and driven the company forward simply because Sales brings the money which is what execs look at. 

But over the last few years, there's been a shift towards the need for a stronger CX focus and organisation and I've seen first-hand how companies are beginning to invest a lot more in CX and listen to what CX has to say. 

As HubSpot's flywheel explains, existing customers have become the biggest source of new business and hence growth.

But few companies have transformed their business models and how they operate to reflect this new reality and nurture the customer journey.

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