SA to expand HIV treatment programme

first_img14 February 2014 South Africa aims to increase the number of people on its state antiretroviral (ARV) treatment programme to at least 4.6-million people over the next five years, says President Jacob Zuma. Delivering his State of the Nation address to Parliament in Cape Town on Thursday, Zuma said said the turnaround in the South Africa’s HIV/Aids programme – now being used as a model by the United Nations Aids Programme (UNAids) – was one the country’s biggest achievements over the past five years. There had been a sharp decline in the rate of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, while the number of South Africans receiving free anti-retroviral treatment had grown from one-million in 2009 to 2.4-million people in 2013. More than 20-million South Africans have been voluntarily tested for HIV since the launch of the government’s HIV counselling and testing programme in 2010. “Life expectancy is now firmly on an upward trend. South Africans are now living longer,” Zuma said, adding: “While celebrating our success, we must not be complacent. The prevention work must still continue so that we can reach that goal of zero HIV infections sooner.” The President noted that the country would soon enter a new phase in the implementation of the National Health Insurance programme, which will extend quality healthcare to the poor. Other health care improvements over the past five years include the construction of 300 new health facilities, including 160 new clinics. “Ten new hospitals have been built or refurbished in Ladybrand, Germiston, Mamelodi, Natalspruit, eThekwini, Zola, Bojanala, Vryburg District, Swartruggens, Khayelitsha and Mitchell’s Plain,” Zuma said. Source: read more

Starlux throws down gauntlet with impressive A321neo cabin

first_imgImage: Starlux Taiwanese full-service contender Starlux is pulling out all the stops as it gears up for launch early next year in the crowded Asian market.The carrier will launch January 23 using Airbus A321neo aircraft with plans to initially fly to Macau, Vietnam’s Da Nang and Malaysia’s Penang.The first of 10 A321neos will be delivered at the end of October and the airline expects to have three flying by the time it launches.READ: ANA asks passengers to vote on in-flight mealsBut it has aspirations beyond the region and in March signed a firm order for 12 A350-1000s and five A350-900s with plans to deploy the aircraft on services from Tapei to destinations in the Asia-pacific, Europe and North America.Founder and chairman K. W. Chang has said he wants the new airline to be one of the best in the world and initial indications are that the former EVA Air chairman is going to give it a good shot.Those indications came at a recent event to unveil the airline’s new uniform and cabin design. It is also adopting the olfactory strategy of Cathay Pacific by formulating its own fragrance for use in lounges and on aircraft.Starlux new TaiwanThe new uniforms.Called “Home in the Air” it is apparently designed to evoke the tranquillity of the home with “the expanse of the galaxy’’.The uniform collection for cabin and ground crews was designed by renowned Taiwan fashion designer Sean Yin, who said he wanted to combine a classical airline look with modern touches “to create chic but practical fashions”.The Starlux website says the uniforms “combine fashion elements from the 40s and 50s with space-age accents, employing natural gold and space silver tones to simultaneously evoke elegance and state-of-the-art appointments.”An interesting addition for pilots, engineering, ground handling and maintenance staff badges with the slogan “Safety is our attitude”.For those less concerned with galactic scents and what the cabin crew is wearing, there’s good news about seating.The cabin interior as well as the seating in the A321neos has been designed by BMW Group Designworks and features ultra-thin seatbacks in economy to boost legroom and lie-flat comfort in business.Starlux TaiwanThe economy seating.The airline says the economy class seating features bright and natural colors and every seat will be equipped with a high-quality leather headrest.“Passengers will be able to enjoy restful sleep without bringing their own neck pillows,’’ it promises.Each seat has a 10.1-inch 720p screen with  USB ports and single earphone ports to allow passengers to plug in their own cans.Starlux will be also providing free Wi-Fi with basic access.The airline describes business class as “comparatively more settled and tranquil, employing relatively dark and elegant colors to evoke the majesty of the galaxy.”This includes classical grey and rose gold cushions and privacy dividers combined BMW Cashmere Silver that adds “a futuristic, hi-tech touch to the back shells”Business passengers get a sharper screen with a 15.6-inch 1080p unit and the seat transforms into an 82-inch fully flatbed.StarluxBusiness classlast_img read more

Too Many Choices, Too Much Content

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img Sometimes it’s just hard to keep up. In this technology-focused niche we all live in there are new applications, new initiatives, and new platforms that spring up every day, not to mention constantly breaking news that fills our RSS readers. Take a day off and you’re behind. Take an hour off and you just missed 300 more blog posts. In addition to the everyday struggles of information overload the average computer user deals with – like the overflowing inbox, for example – those in the internet/new media/technology space aren’t just overwhelmed with new content, but also with new applications and choices to manage that content. What’s a web-app loving person to do?Drowning in AwesomenessThe double-edged sword that comes with keeping abreast of all the latest developments in technology means that we’re always aware of the latest and greatest applications and services to try…but it also means that we’ve tried all of them. Unlike the average user, who doesn’t even bother creating a Facebook profile until several of their friends cajole them into doing so, technology early adopters are the first to sign up and create profiles on every service that launches. Sometimes these services have value; if so, they trickle down to the rest of the world over time. For example, social networks like MySpace and Facebook changed the way people interacted online. Flickr made photo sharing fun, easy, and social. YouTube let everyone be a star. However, sometimes they’re not so great after all, and they end up fading away into nothingness in that area we’ve affectionately dubbed the “deadpool.”These failures don’t seem to dampen our enthusiasm for trying the “next big thing,” though. Every day, the web is filled with posts about this new app or that great service. When you think about it, it’s really rather impressive that there are that many of them out there – enough to be written about in a seemingly nonstop fashion.For technology enthusiasts, it’s not enough to just “try” the new apps and services though. If they’re the next big thing (or so everyone says), we’re supposed to jump on board and use them, use them, use them. Scoble even recently threatened to expose some of the so-called “A-Listers” for not being active enough, saying:“I thought about embarrassing most of the A listers on FriendFeed, because very few of them actually read that many blogs (I can tell, they rarely comment on, or link to, or FriendFeed with other people’s blogs)”Right….because if they’re not on FriendFeed, they’re phonies, huh? So, no. Commentary is not enough. We’re supposed to live, breathe, eat, sleep, and dream this stuff. The problem is, while we’re busy experimenting with this new thing and that new thing, we might miss out on actually enjoying the services that are already there for us, working just fine, thank you very much. Too Many ChoicesHowever, there are certain areas we’ve noticed that seem to be the biggest sources of conflict as of late. In these areas, several companies are clamoring to be the winner of the space, releasing duplicate or similar products, constantly adding new features, and generally trying to one-up their competitors in an effort to come out on top. When there are several companies doing the same thing, it gets confusing for the average user and time-consuming for the early adopters who play with everything. In the end, the hope is that one great service would come out on top, but that’s hardly ever the case. We’re already on MySpace, Bebo, Facebook, and LinkedIn because there’s no one winner for social networks…are we going to have to use all these newcomers battling it out, too?The Battle to Be Open We never thought we would see the day that the big companies were actually fighting to see who can be the most open of the bunch, but that seems to be exactly what’s taking place now in the battle of the social graph APIs. You’ve got Google’s Friend Connect service vs. Facebook’s Connect service vs. MySpace’s Data Availability, each announced within days of each other. Instead of making it easy for users to understand what it means to be maximizing a social graph, the companies have just flooded the feeds with their separate announcements. As Marshall reported on Monday, the reason, at least according to Google is that “the beauty of open standards is that companies don’t have to talk. They can just meet up around interoperable technologies.” We would like to think that this battle for openness will lead to easier-to-use social networks as our friend graphs will get to follow us around, but something about the timing of these separate announcements smells like a battle brewing. The Battle of the Lifestreams There’s MyBlogLog’s lifestream, FriendFeed, and even Facebook’s attempt at lifestreaming, which involves integrating a handful of services into users’ Mini-Feeds and News Feeds. Too much? You betcha. Although FriendFeed is getting buzz, even it doesn’t offer a way to really filter the info it displays. Sure, the “filter by service” Greasemonkey script can help narrow down content and the Friends & Groups script can help sort your friends into groups of your own choosing, but we shouldn’t have to rely on a Firefox add-on to make our apps work for us. And while FriendFeed may be one service (besides Twitter, of course) that internet addicts can’t live without, it still has a way to go to cross over to the mainstream user, especially if Facebook starts offering similar integration. The Battle to Tweet on AIR It seemed that every time our favorite Twitter AIR app Twhirl was updated, Alert Thingy followed suit and vice versa. Both struggled to integrate FriendFeed into their stream while still providing the best Twitter-on-the-desktop experience, and neither really accomplished that. Alert Thingy integrated FriendFeed updates into its stream in one window while Twhirl went with a second window just for FriendFeed. Neither was a perfect solution. Alert Thingy lacks the Twitter-specific features of Twhirl and Twhirl’s two windows isn’t ideal for users concerned with desktop real estate, like laptop users. What’s worse is that in addition to Twhirl/Alert Thingy battle, we also had to contend with other also-rans which included both Twitter, FriendFeed, and combo apps like Snitter, Spaz, Feedalizr, bTT, and MySocial’s browser sidebarand AIR app.The Battle to Filter Your RSS It’s not just RSSmeme vs. ReadBurner – although that’s an obvious pairing. Both of those sites feature top shared items from Google Reader. RSSmeme recently launched an API, which means it now offers filtering, albeit the geeky sort involving the creation of custom URLs. ReadBurner, not to be outdone, announced NetVibes support shortly thereafter. However, Google saw that other services were springing up around their RSS reader, so in an effort to keep people in “Googleland” they added friends to your reader to allow for a more personalized filtering experience. Those friends can also now share items with notes, so you don’t even need to go elsewhere to comment on the items in the feeds. Unfortunately, the downside to the friends feature means that in addition to those feeds that you now subscribe to, you’re also reading suggestions from friends. Not that they’re not great and everything, but is it really so hard for Google Reader to go ahead and mark it as read in your feed list if your friend’s shared item is from a blog whose feed you already subscribe to? Apparently it is. Which means if it’s really good news, we’ll read it twice. Or even three times if someone else shares it later on. There might be a light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to filtering Google Reader via AideRSS, but ranking by popularity is really only one way to find the best content. There’s something to be said for the hidden gems that get overlooked, too. But the battle of RSS filtering doesn’t end with Google Reader either. Perhaps not as apparent, but both Twitter and FriendFeed are slowly becoming people’s preferred method of getting news. Why read through hundreds of unread, unranked items just to stay on top of the news? If it’s any good, you’ll hear it on Twitter or see it shared on FriendFeed. Some users are even positioning themselves as “human information filters,” on these services, something our newest ReadWriteWeb contributor, Corvida, discussed not to long ago on her personal site. These highly active users (yes Scoble and Louis come to mind) are good friends to have on the service since they’ll constantly be posting and filtering the best stuff for you. Then there are the other memetrackers that exist to highlight the top stories of the day, too: Techmeme is at the top of the list, of course, but there are also newcomers/up-and-commers like LinkRiver, Techsted, SocialMedian, and community builder BlogRize. I’m just scratching the surface here and that’s already ten different ways to filter the news. The Battle of the Mobile Social Networks This one will really surprise those not following the mobile networking space closely. When researching mobile network up-and-comer Brightkite, I stumbled upon a slew of mobile networks already competing in the space. There’s MocoSpace, Friendstribe, Hobnobster, Dodgeball, Zyb, mig33, Mobiluck, MeetMoi, JuiceCaster, Loopnote, Rabble, Wadja, Treemo, groovr, flagr, Lime Juice, Loopt, and Next2Friends, to name just a few. There are, in fact, many, many more. Some focus on texting, some on sharing images, others on geo-tagging, and others on traditional social networking. They’re all acting like the mobile web is the wild west and if they can just get there first they might have a shot at winning.However, who wants to bet that the mobile networks everyone ends up using are the ones who aren’t pretending that the mobile web is some different web altogether? Even more likely winners are the mobile versions of MySpace and Facebook, where all your friends already exist.The Battle of the Social News Sites Of course there’s Digg. But Digg is opening up the space for competition once again now that they’re focused on going mainstream and featuring less technology news. Mixx seems to be doing well as a small, friendly tech social news site, but they’re not the only one looking to catch the Digg overflow. There’s also Yahoo Buzz, Propeller, Reddit, Digg-for-girls Kirtsy (formerly Sk*rt), Sphinn, roll-your-own Digg tool Pligg, please-don’t-link to us Hacker News, and “if-we-ran-Digg” clone Sift’d. While all these sites are great for getting a post noticed by a wider audience, they’re also multiplying the numbers of places you can read the exact same story you read hours ago in Google Reader, saw tweeted on Twitter, shared in FriendFeed, promoted on Techmeme, etc. What Can We Do?It’s hard to say. Early adopters are not going to stop playing with every new service, but it’s clear that we’re getting to a point where tools that centralize, aggregate, but most importantly filter our content are going to be the ones that win out. There are only so many hours in the day, and, as it stands right now, every single one of them could be filled just consuming and interacting with content, social media, and web services. There’s also this little thing called “going outside” that we would like to take part in, too. Hopefully we’ll see the killer web app to filter the noise someday soon to help us do so, but it’s definitely not here yet. sarah perez Tags:#Features#Trends#web last_img read more

House IRS Budget Bill Limits ACA Individual Mandate Enforcement

first_imgWhile Senate Republicans try to find common ground on a Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (P.L. 111-148) repeal and replace bill (TAXDAY, 2017/07/03, C.1), House Republicans are also looking to limit IRS enforcement of the ACA individual mandate provision through the budget process. The House Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee approved an IRS budget bill that would both cut IRS funding as well as limit IRS enforcement of Code Sec. 5000A (TAXDAY, 2017/06/30, C.1).In addition to cutting the IRS budget by $149 million from 2017 enacted levels, the bill specifies that none of the funds made available are permitted to be used by the IRS to “implement or enforce” the ACA’s individual mandate requiring minimum essential coverage. Under Code Sec. 5000A, individuals are required to pay a penalty with a taxpayer’s tax return if qualifying health care coverage is not obtained.The Senate GOP’s health care draft that was pulled from a floor vote for not garnishing enough intraparty support (TAXDAY, 2017/06/28, C.1) also addresses the ACA’s individual mandate by repealing the provision. However, to discourage healthy individuals on insurance plans from leaving, the Senate bill would require individuals who lack current coverage for more than two months to wait six months before obtaining new coverage.The House health care bill, as passed on May 4, would permit insurance companies to impose up to a 30-percent premium penalty for up to a year on those who let their insurance lapse for more than two months. The House Appropriation’s budget bill has no such incentive.According to House Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee ranking member Mike Quigley, D-Ill., the House IRS budget bill contains riders to “undermine the ACA (and) punish the IRS…” “Until – and unless – we strengthen this proposal through bipartisan efforts void of unproductive riders, I cannot support this bill,” Quigley told the subcommittee’s members during markup.The bill will next move to the full House Appropriations Committee for consideration. If enacted, the government funding bill for FY 2018 would go into effect October 1, 2017.By Jessica Jeane, Wolters Kluwer News Stafflast_img read more

Cellino: ‘I trust Corini’

first_img Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: Brescia owner Massimo Cellino has denied meeting Cesare Prandelli and insisted that he “trusts” Eugenio Corini to steady the ship. Cellino had reportedly been laying the foundations for Prandelli to take over, but the President has now expressed his “belief” in Corini to change Brescia’s fortunes. “Over these weeks I have always been close to Corini because I understand the situation,” the 63-year-old, who has a reputation for hiring and firing Coaches, told Gazzetta dello Sport. “It was a bad defeat at Genoa, but I still believe in him and I have never been in touch with another Coach. The Rondinelli, who are rooted in the relegation zone after collecting just seven points from eight games, host Inter this evening.last_img read more

Castillejo ‘out for 10 days’

first_imgMilan winger Samu Castillejo may not be back until after the international break due to a fresh hamstring injury. The Spaniard limped off during Rossoneri’s 2-1 home defeat to Lazio yesterday. Now, reports tests came back with a thigh strain, which will keep him out for “10 days”, ruling him out of the trip to Juventus this weekend. With the international break fast approaching, the 24-year-old should be fit to face Napoli in three weeks’ time. Castillejo, who joined Milan from Villarreal in the summer of 2018, has found playing time hard to come by this season, managing just five appearances so far. Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: read more

Stop Begging TechCrunch to Write About You.

first_img MarketingProfs Topics: inbound internet marketing software the 2nd most popular blog on the planet Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack , We’ve been “lucky” enough to be Lead to Opportunity Conversion Rate All that said, . For us, it makes a lot more sense to spend time and money on sites like For the rates, examine the table below:   If you can’t read the Download the free webinar As you can see above, it sends a big burst of traffic. It’s a great link to have from a search engine optimization perspective since the domain has a lot of authority in the eyes of Google and the other search engines.  at TechCrunch. So, the lesson is, choose your online PR targets wisely or marketers looking for TechCrunch , And that’s the point. As much as us “geeks” get excited when we get “TechCrunched” (yes, it’s a verb), it doesn’t really match our target market all that well.  small business website marketing software for tips and tricks to drive inbound marketing using Twitter. ).  (see charts of unpaid traffic from marketing profs below). SEO  6% TechCrunch To further drive the point home, you’ll see that the conversion rates for TechCrunch traffic are horrible compared to the MarketingProfs traffic.   Visitor to Lead Conversation Rate  6% here here  12% If you haven’t heard of Opportunity to Customer Conversion Rate  15% Guess how much of that traffic converted into clients, though?  here Now, granted, you could say that there aren’t many SMBs looking for a covered by TechCrunch four times  31% , Mr. Arrington.  Further, you shouldn’t always go for the big bang. Sometimes, a handful of links from some less well known bloggers are a lot easier to get and can produce similar results. And with bloggers who aren’t as big and unreachable as TechCrunch’s writers, you can usually develop a meaningful business-blogging relationship much more quickly (see and we still like the attention .  , then you may be living in a hole somewhere. Or you’re just not obsessed with “all that is web” (my personal grounding rod,  my wife, tells me that there are a lot of you out there). Webinar: Twitter for Marketing and PR closed loop marketing . here Want to learn more about using Twitter for Marketing and PR?  55% Nonetheless, TechCrunch — according to Technorati — is MarketingProfs graph below, it reads “2.” Yes, two customers only. Originally published Jan 28, 2009 7:47:00 AM, updated July 08 2013last_img read more

Want to Build Your Brand? Share Your Content.

first_img Social Media Sharing information — via blog posts, white papers, Twitter or other platforms — is a great place to start. Wayne pointed out that this isn’t just something that works for consultants — he seen the same dynamics at work for doctors, lawyers and other more traditional professionals. Here’s a recording of my full interview with Wayne. Wayne Sutton blogger Inbound Marketing Topics: Branding Learn more about inbound marketing and how to combine blogging, SEO and social media for results. inbound marketing kit “You don’t give everything away for free, but you give some information, and people will share your information,” he said. That strategy has certainly worked for  Inbound Marketing Kit . Originally published Feb 23, 2009 9:31:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 What’s the best way for a small business to build its brand? Download our , video podcaster and consultant based in Raleigh, NC. He’s built a business by sharing his knowledge. Last week I spoke with him, and he explained that if you share your knowledge, and it’s useful, other people will share it, and your brand will spread. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack , a last_img read more

7 Epic Uses of Twitter’s New Embeddable Tweets Feature

first_imgThe most important new Twitter feature for marketers isn’t brand pages. Yes, you read that first sentence correctly. As part of its redesign announcement last week, Twitter revealed brand pages as well as a host of other features. Yes, brand pages are cool, but in reality, they don’t offer much more value for a business over personal profiles aside from a little bit more control.Embeddable tweets are the game changer in this most recent round of Twitter improvements for marketers. The fact is, the true power and leverage of much of social media marketing resides outside of the network itself. For many marketers, their biggest communities are outside of social media. For example, email list, website visitors, blog subscribers, etc. In the past, it has been a struggle to use these existing communities to supercharge social media efforts. Now, embeddable tweets helps make that a little easier. Your website or blog visitors can follow, retweet, or click on a link in an embedded tweet without ever having to leave your site. This is HUGE! Less friction means more conversions.How to Embed a Tweet Using The New Twitter Web DesignLets get right to it. Here is a step-by-step look at how you can embed a tweet.Step 1: Sign into, and select a tweet you would like to embed. Then click “Open.”Step 2: Once the tweet is open, click on the “Details” link.Step 3: Click the “Embed this Tweet” link.Step 4: Select alignment, and then copy the HTML code.Step 5: Paste the HTML into your website or blog editor and POOF!, your tweet is now embedded! The Final Product:Should I put a Facebook Share or a Facebook “Like” on a page? It can be so confusing! Learn when to use what. –— HubSpot (@HubSpot) December 13, 20117 Epic Uses of Twitter’s New Embeddable Tweets FeatureNow that you are a tweet-embedding machine, we need to go over some best practices for using embedded tweets. While I’m sure you can think of more, these seven uses should serve as a great primer on your path to becoming a tweet embedding ninja.1. Showcase Customer Testimonials – In the past, businesses who received a positive comment on Twitter could “favorite” it on their account by clicking the yellow star, but that really didn’t do much for them to showcase that awesome feedback. Now, if someone tweets at you with some kind words, you can embed that tweet on your product or case study pages to add credibility to prospects investigating your business.2. Curate Awesome Content for a Blog Post – Sometimes the best blog posts come from the knowledge of experts outside of your company. Ask industry experts a question. Use the question as a title of your blog post, and then embed the tweets to support the text you were planning to write about the subject.3. Encourage Sharing of Lead Generation Offers – Look at your marketing analytics, and determine if Twitter is an important source of leads and traffic for your business. If it is, then you might want to consider embedding a tweet on your landing page for a lead generation offer that encourages visitors to retweet and share the offer.4. Conduct a Social Poll – Want to get feedback on an issue and do it in a way that leverages the virality of social networks? Create a poll question in a blog post. Make each of the responses individual tweets, and have visitors retweet the tweet they are voting for. This helps you collect valuable feedback and spread the poll to the followers of each of your participants.5. Event Summary Blog Posts – One of the best things to do after attending a trade show is to write a summary post of everything you learned and mention people that you chatted with. Embedded tweets make this type of blog post even easier. Embed your favorite tweets from people you met at the event. This will not only help them get more followers and retweets, but also encourage them to share your summary post.6. Create a More Social Newsroom – Too many company newsrooms are boring. A cluttered page of press release links and executive headshots doesn’t sell a reporter on the awesomeness of your company. Embed tweets from customers, partners, and industry influencers talking about your business to give reporters visiting your newsroom an improved perception of your company.7. Build More Social Emails – Embedded tweets are nothing more than a little bit of HTML code. This means that you can embed them anywhere you use HTML. Use HTML email templates? Then you can socialize your email newsletter by embedding relevant tweets!These are just a few ways to use Twitter’s awesome new embedded tweets feature. Do you have other suggestions? Please leave them in the comments.Image Credit: JoshSemans Twitter Marketing Examples Topics: Originally published Dec 15, 2011 1:15:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

How to Align Sales and Marketing for Results (Not Just Harmony)

first_imgSMarketing is the alignment and connection between sales and marketing. Since Sales and Marketing work closely together in most organizations, it’s often typical for these two revenue generating groups to be in conflict with one another. The typical battle looks like this: Sales complains that Marketing isn’t generating enough quality leads, and Marketing criticizes Sales for not working their leads hard enough. But if you improve SMarketing at your company, you’ll spend less time bickering and more time closing business. This is how you can get the most out of your SMarketing efforts — in harmony and revenue.Promote and Support Sales and Marketing CommunicationThe first step to get Sales and Marketing to collaborate is promoting constant and open communication. Encourage the sales team to give feedback on lead quality each month. This process will help marketers better understand which types of leads are most likely to close so they can generate better quality leads. Just be sure to back this up with data (more on that later).You should also encourage marketers to sit in on sales calls and help close deals when called upon so everyone understands the value of each marketing generated lead. This action will make Sales and Marketing feel like they are fighting the same battle. Everyone in the organization should buy into this notion of alignment; the sales and marketing executives at your company should be meeting regularly to discuss the SMarketing strategy and communicate it to the rest of their teams.Finally, try scheduling a weekly SMarketing meeting to rally sales and marketing and celebrate their efforts as a joint group. Here are some examples of motivating SMarketing topics:SMarketing wins: Be sure to celebrate big wins from both Sales and Marketing like creative upsells, customers you won over a competitor, and company coverage in important publications.New product features: Have your product marketers share new product features with Sales to make them more knowledgeable about the product and stay up to date on the changes you’re making.Lead flow and sales waterfall: Track both teams’ progress month to date, and share the results to ensure you both teams hit their numbers. Learn how to build a lead waterfall graph in this article.Final thought: Close the meeting with a motivating final thought that will keep both teams positive and inspired.Measure and Hold Teams AccountableOnce you get the communication process going between Sales and Marketing, keep it moving in the right direction. In addition to working collaboratively, the teams should be encouraged to discuss any misalignment or frustrations in a constructive manner. One way to keep opinions valid is to make everyone support their claims with data. The tracking and discussion of these two critical data points help keep Sales and Marketing accountable for SMarketing success.Lead flow: Be sure that Marketing is measured on the volume and quality of leads they hand off to sales. The quantity and quality of leads for which Marketing is accountable should grow month over month in order for the business to grow.Percent of leads worked and close rates: The percent of leads worked will measure your sales organization’s productivity related to the leads Marketing provides. Sales should be working leads at a high and steady rate so the marketing team’s hard work isn’t for naught. As Sales works their leads, the close rates from lead to customer should also remain steady. If the worked rates and close rates decline, it may be an indicator of poor lead quality or lack of sufficient team members to handle the lead volume.If Sales thinks the lead flow was light in the past month, give them the numbers from months prior so the discussion is based on data, not feelings. If Marketing thinks Sales isn’t working their leads, get lead data that shows the percentage of leads worked in a given month. All of this data will keep Sales and Marketing data-driven and accountable for their efforts while validating or disproving feelings and opinions.Create a SMarketing AgreementOne of the best ways to hold your Marketing and Sales teams accountable is through a Service Level Agreement (SLA). In an SLA, the level of service is defined and agreed upon by both parties; in this case, the SLA is the agreement that Marketing will deliver a certain number of leads at a certain quality for Sales each month, and that Sales will work a certain number of leads the Marketing generates each month. This SLA can be tracked throughout the month so both Marketing and Sales can track their progress. Once the SLA is in place, Marketing is responsible for delivering and Sales has nothing to complain about if Marketing is meeting or exceeding the SLA goals. Be sure to consider the following when setting up your SLA.When you create the SLA, be sure it’s in terms that are easy for both teams to understand. A points based SLA is typical, but the value of a point may not be understood by the entire team. Think about converting your SLA into dollar values so that it will better resonate with your organization.Consider both the quality and quantity of the leads you deliver in the SLA. Higher quality leads — leads that are more likely to convert or close — should have a higher point or dollar value than low quality leads. Once you’ve established the SLA, allow yourself some time to test it out before promoting it to the larger organization. You may need to make adjustments to your SLA once it’s implemented.Integrate Your Sales and Marketing SoftwareAs mentioned earlier, data can be the “truth glue” that holds your SMarketing efforts together. It keeps both sides honest with one another and solves for any conflict that may arise between the two teams. The best way to generate data between Sales and Marketing is to integrate your sales and marketing software. This integration benefits both sides with valuable data to improve their results. By integrating two systems such as HubSpot and Salesforce, you can see the entire lifecycle of visitor to a customer. With this closed-loop integration, Sales is able to track the online behaviors of their leads to make what would have been a cold call into a warm call. And Marketing can get a better understanding of where their best leads come from, meaning which types of leads will most likely convert into paying customers. Marketing can then better allocate their time and resources to maximize their ROI effectively. How is your SMarketing relationship? What do you do to keep it harmonious, and what problems are you still experiencing?Image credit: dakini Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Marketing and Sales Alignment Originally published Feb 1, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017last_img read more