Iliyana's Blog

Imagining It Forward: Innovation, Change and Leadership in Business

[fa icon="calendar'] 16-Oct-2018 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Brands and Business, Marketing, Leadership

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"People can’t just be told change is coming and be expected to spring into action. They have to work through it."

I quite agree with this quote. It comes from Beth Comstock's book Imagine It Forward that I just finished reading.

Beth Comstock was the Vice Chair of General Electric and throughout her decades-long career she has gathered a ton of experience in marketing, innovation and change for business growth. 

The book is classified as a business and leadership book, however, for me it was more of a memoir or the GE story through Beth's eyes and experiences from the last couple of decades in a chronological order, detailing meetings, corporate issues and decision-making challenges. 

As impressive and at times difficult Beth's journey has been, I found it hard to identify the practical tips and a clear plan of action to make change happen while reading the book. Maybe that wasn't its purpose but rather to tell a personal autobiography. 

Nonetheless, there were some nice nuggets and important learnings that I noted on my kindle. I want to share these with you today. I've structured them based on some of the key topics I picked up: innovation, change and leadership. 

Innovation

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Understanding Conversational Marketing: Live Chat, Messenger & Bots

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

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Bots, live chat, Facebook Messenger for business... All this conversational marketing stuff is overwhelming, isn't it?  

What's conversational marketing you ask? 

At HubSpot, we define conversational marketing as a new dimension of inbound marketing that allows you to use modern technology like live chat, messenger and bots to connect with your prospects and customers in a human, non-disruptive, speedy way that enables you to exceed their expectations. 

And why do you need to jump on any of this? 

Simple. How people communicate and want to get information about your business is evolving. Consumers are more demanding than ever before. They expect you to be always on, always there, always knowing who they are and how to help them. 

Prospects and customers nowadays want to chat with you at their convenience and get immediate answers to their questions. And because you probably can't afford to hire a 24/7 workforce that's glued to a laptop all the time, you'll need to rely on technology such as bots. 

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Using the Customer Code to Grow Better

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

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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 Funnel is Dead. Long Live the Flywheel!

[fa icon="calendar'] 11-Sep-2018 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Marketing, Inbound Marketing

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The funnel is dead. 

Say what? 

Yup, that funnel that you've been using for decades in your marketing and sales to generate traffic and then convert and close leads into customers is dead. 

Why is it dead? Because the funnel uses a linear approach and as our VP of Marketing Jon Dick says

"Funnels lose the energy you put into them once you reach the bottom... Funnels produce customers, but don’t consider how those customers can help you grow. And all the momentum you built acquiring that customer? Gone. Each day, each month, and each quarter, we have to start new."

In an internal meeting at HubSpot, Jon futher explained how: 

The problem with most companies is that they have built their company designed with my dad in mind and not me in mind. In a world where customers' main source of info was vendors, you thought of your business like a funnel. In a world where customer's main source of info is other customers, you think of your business like a flywheel that spins at the rate of your customer's delight. If you want to grow better in 2018, you need to match your business to the modern buyer, throw away the funnel and embrace the flywheel.

The Need for a New Growth Model

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31 Must-Know Video Marketing Facts [Infographic]

[fa icon="calendar'] 13-Feb-2018 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Marketing

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Did you know that after watching a video, 64% of viewers are more likely to make a purchase? 

No wonder then that video has become a favourite content format for consumers and professionals alike. It's much easier and more enjoyable to consume than text or some images and it certainly keeps the attention for longer (when done right). 

Read any article about 2018 trends in marketing or communications (like this one) and you'll see video in thereVideo can not only help you increase awareness about your brand, but also drive a ton of conversions and leads to your business. 

Every minute, 300 hours of video are being uploaded on YouTube. With that rate, within a year video will account for 70% of all Internet traffic

I've long said that visual content is king, however, only a few years later I think I need to rephrase that to video content is king. 

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