Iliyana's Blog

Using the Customer Code to Grow Better

[fa icon="calendar'] 02-Oct-2018 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Marketing, Brands and Business

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At HubSpot, one of our key principles is SFTC which stands for Solve For The Customer. 

Why do we believe in this?

Because we know that if you focus on your customers, your business will grow better in a much more remarkable and sustainable way.

But truly walking the talk is difficult. 

Not just satisfying but delighting customers is only possible when you have a company culture that puts the customer first through action. 

And you can't just have a department trying to push for this. A customer-first mentality needs to sit on top of the entire flywheel so that you can truly grow better

Such a mentality recognises that the customer experience doesn't start when a customer purchases and doesn't end when they stop buying or cancel. The customer experience starts with the customer's very first contact with you and never really ends. 

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The Hard Truth About Customers (And Any Individual Really)

[fa icon="calendar'] 15-May-2018 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Brands and Business

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We do a lot of research at HubSpot. 

It's how we remain able to deeply understand human behaviour and so manage to innovate by developing new software that people actually want to and need to use. 

We invented inbound marketing which helped thousands of companies out there drive good-fit leads through their own website and content, and then pass them onto the sales department that though an inbound sales philosophy became able to close these leads into actual customers and so grow the company's revenue. 

We preach what we teach and this whole methodology served us well for a long time. But by deeply knowing our own customers we're starting to see a shift where customer acquisition through the described approach above is not only becoming more expensive but it's also not as effective as it used to be

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9 Things You Need to Know About Trust in 2018

[fa icon="calendar'] 30-Jan-2018 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Brands and Business, Leadership

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"Firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something." - this is the definition of trust in the Oxford dictionary. 

The Edelman TRUST BAROMETER is the biggest study of trust. I cover it every year. 

The 2018 research reveals yet again a world of seemingly stagnant distrust where people’s trust in business, government, NGOs and media remained largely unchanged from 2017 — 20 of 28 countries surveyed now lie in distruster territory, up one from last year.

But 2018 marks a number of interesting shifts such as the return of experts, increased trust in journalists and bigger faith in CEOs. 

Let's take a look at the key learnings that I took from the research. 

9 Things You Need to Know About Trust in 2018: 

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Cultural Differences from West to East and Why They Matter in Business

[fa icon="calendar'] 05-Dec-2017 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Brands and Business, Program Management, Cultural Differences in Business

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I'm fascinated by culture. 

As someone who's lived in four countries over the last eight years, works in a global company, and collaborates with people from dozens of cultures on a daily basis, cultural differences are very much top of mind for me.  

It all started at university in a module on Intercultural Relations where I was introduced to the cultural dimensions study of Geert Hofstede, however, I do believe that cultural differences are heavily underestimated in the business world. 

They are not top of mind for when decisions are being made, emails are sent, meetings are run or changes are implemented. Essentially, cultural differences impact all of our communication

Cultural awareness is not something you are born with, it's something you develop.

To develop it, you have to study it, you have to experience it in work regularly and you have to reflect on it during and after certain situations so that you continuously grow your cultural awareness and next time you are faced with a similar situation, you'll know how to act better by adapting to the cultural setting and requirements.

Today, I'd like to help you develop that cultural awareness.  

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Forget Government, NGOs and the Media: In Business We Trust. Or Do We?

[fa icon="calendar'] 07-Nov-2017 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Brands and Business, Leadership

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As a society and individuals, we widely distrust businesses, governments, NGOs and the media. 

In fact, according to the 2017 Edelman TRUST BAROMETER, trust in these institutions to do what is right is at an all-time low. 

The situation is so bad that two-thirds of the 28 countries Edelman surveyed are now considered "distrusters" and the majority of respondents lack full belief that the overall system is working for them. This climate has increased people's fears both about society and the economy. We live in a trust crisis that's causing a systemic meltdown.

Such an environment, Richard Edelman explains, leads to a rise in populist action and nationalism as the mass population wants to take control away from the "elites". From an exalted position as a savior in the wake of the financial crisis, government is viewed today as incompetent, corrupt and divided, and is the least trusted global institution at 41 percent.

What I found most interesting, though, is that business is found to be in the best position of all institutions expected to make a change and somewhat trusted to make a difference. 

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