Here at twoppy we very much value customer support, and so do our clients. It is an important and free part of our customer focussed philosophy. I see a lot of companies charging for support. And sometimes I suspect it as a part of their business model: “make your product as complicated as possible, with the promise of all the bells and whistles a customer might need (and actually never use). Then line up a huge customer service and training apparatus which justifies the complex nature and immense value of your product and charge the life out of the customer”.
All jokes aside, for me customer service is a huge opportunity to learn from and connect with one of your most valuable resources: your customer base. Every client conversation helps you to understand your customer needs, your market and therefore your own products and services a little bit more. Let me share with you 3 reasons why you should consider never to charge for customer support.
1 Customers are a reality check
If your customers don’t ‘get’ your product, it might be too complicated. Or are you suggesting that your customers are stupid …. ? Providing customer support for free forces you to keep your products and services customer focussed. Repeatingly getting the same question should be a strong signal to analyse and probably improve that issue, rather than seeing it as a revenue opportunity.
2 Customer support is relatively cheap market research
Your customers are the people that actually use your product and you can learn a lot from them. With a solid customer base you have the resources to conduct ongoing market research with every customer interaction. In it’s essence every question a customer has about your product may lead to improvement of the product or service. In fact customers often provide the best insights on how to make your product more valuable.
3 Customer support is a long term investment
Charging for customer support in the end may proof penny wise pound foolish. While looking at it short term, customer support looks like an interesting direct revenue source, in the long term it will not add value to your product or services and therefore your company. By charging for support you create a natural barrier towards customers. Instead of inviting them to help you build your company, your message is: our time is more important than your feedback. Especially as a startup this might be killing for your business.
So I see great customer support as an asset. If your customer support is awesome, you’re most probably guaranteed to surpass customer expectations and produce fans. Your ever improving great product will generate tons of revenues. So why not challenge yourself to stay customer focussed by not charging for customer support?
One of the most difficult things to do is to achieve behaviour change. Whether it is to quit smoking or stop drinking, adopting a more active lifestyle or change your eating pattern. Of course these examples are on a personal level, but with introducing new elements at your event the same underlying principles apply: moving away from existing patterns introduces new (and potentially unknown) risks. That is the interesting part because maintaining the status quo obviously has it’s drawbacks and risks too. But how to move forward without killing your business or spoiling your wonderful event? How do I gradually make the shift towards applying all those dazzling technologies the new generation attendees are raving about and which seems so amazing yet difficult to understand?
If you want to introduce new technologies at your event, the Lean Startup methodology might bring to you some helpful insights.
The lean startup has been designed to help tech startups get their product to the market before they run out of money. One of the main principles is to create a ‘build-measure-learn‘ loop, very similar to the ‘plan-do-check-act’ quality circle of Deming. The idea is to gradually improve the product you’re working on guided by the user feedback and results of so called ‘experiments’, rather than trying to deliver the perfect product to the market at once.
Minimum viable product
The Minimum Viable Product is also one of the pillars of the Lean Startup. It is the most elementary version of the product that starts to deliver the desired value to your customers. Think of your end product as containing different small elements that together form the ultimate experience. So a minimum viable product is not meant to be the perfect end product, but rather the start of the journey towards it. For events I suggest this translates to a question like: “what is the minimal way that I can use technology at my event to deliver extra value to my attendees?”. Notice the subtile difference between asking yourself: “what is the most advanced piece of event tech software available that will ‘Sock Rock’ my attendees?”.
There’s a different mindset needed to implement new technologies into your events. The shift that’s needed will go from risk avoiding to experimenting and learning. Of course this is easier said than done, but it’s more in the process rather than anything else. As an event planner you should be willing to add some experiments in order to learn. The paradox I observe in the industry is the fear of establishing the ultimate change by plunging in head first. “It better be perfect the first time”. That of course is scary, highly risky and the root cause of the so called ‘innovation paralysis’. Rather than failing big time we do nothing or procrastinate.
Fail small and fail smart
Wouldn’t it be nice to reduce the risk of failure? Sure it would! And by taking baby steps you can. Do you want to implement an event app? Don’t try to go totally paperless all at once but gradually do. Start plain and simple, create a mobile version of your existing website. Then survey your attendees what their extra needs are. Want to use social media at your event? Don’t throw overboard all your traditional communication channels. Try and experiment with different channels until you find an optimal mix.
While experimenting bear in mind that you ask the right questions and measure the right things. Sometimes you’ll need qualitative measures (for example if you want attendee feedback about things to add to your conference), and sometimes you’ll need more quantitative metrics. Multivariate testing is great for gathering quantitative data. Determine what metrics are applicable (determine vanity metrics vs actionable metrics). Always search for metrics that ignite action rather than boost your ego. For example if you want to measure perceived engagement at your conference, you can setup a small experiment. In different parallel sessions experiment with different interaction techniques: one session gets the traditional format. Second session gets a Catchbox, third session gets live app voting and so on. Collect attendee data on different aspects of the session, especially quantitative data on perceived engagement metrics (directly at the end of the session to avoid contamination) and draw conclusions on what works best for your attendees, and act accordingly.
Build, measure, learn
Try to find out what matches your attendees. Detect the little steps. What is the big picture, the main thing I want to achieve, and how can I get there, step by step? An interesting concept in getting at the core of what you want to know is by asking why 5 times. Crucial is measuring the impact of your step, in order to learn and adjust the next step. Small steps also prevent big failure. Every small step is an opportunity to involve your attendees and make them a stakeholder, not a subject. I’m sure your attendees don’t want to feel like a Guinea Pig, but they do want to be involved in making a conference better.
Time for action!
Now what’s next? You need to learn how to walk before you can run is an old proverb. And walking starts with the first step. So build, measure and learn, together with your attendees. Don’t be afraid, make sure that there is a chance to fail. But remember to fail small and smart!
Mobile development is pretty hot. Not surprising, given the unique possibilities of mobile apps and the enormous amounts of mobile devices sold worldwide. While talking about apps it can be confusing to hear new terms being coined again. Let’s discuss 5 concepts related to mobile that you should be aware of.
In this post I’m going to talk about responsive design, adaptive design, web apps, mobile apps, native apps and hybrid apps. Mind boggling already? No worries, you’ll see that it is all related and there are subtile, yet sometimes important differences. I will not get into too much detail avoiding a purely semantic discussion.
A mobile device has two significant technical properties: relatively small screensize and limited computing power, compared to desktop computers or laptops. So to offer a good user experience you should be able to respect the characteristics of mobile devices.
Let me start with a general web-jargon primer.
HTML is the web markup language, it defines the content elements within the webpage and helps the browser (and search engines) to determine these specific elements. As you may not totally be aware of, the internet is also utilized by visually impaired visitors. The markup language is crucial to so called screenreaders which helps to navigate your blind audience through the website. The same applies to search engines which need to be aware of the content and context of a webpage. Markup tags comprises for example paragraphs, links, tables, headings and also images, audio and video.
CSS refers to the styling methods in order to define the looks and layout of a webpage. With CSS you can control the appearance of any single element on a webpage. You’re able to position it everywhere on the page, hide or show elements and totally edit the styling. In CSS3, the newest specifications, several new features including animations and transitions are introduced.
Clientside vs Serverside
serverside scripting is as the name indicates done on the webserver. With a serverside language like PHP, .NET, Java, etc., you can generate clientside code dynamically. Once the code is executed on the serverside (i.e. the webpage is served), the serverside actions have finished, until the next request from your browser.
Let’s assume that you already have a website which is designed for laptop and desktop use. If you want to make it mobile friendly you have two choices:
1 Adaptive design
This is roughly spoken more of a serverside approach. Before the website loads the server, which executes the code, is able to detect the visitor’s device and loads a fully adapted webtemplate into the mobile device’s browser. This way the website is optimized (regarding both loading speed and screen dimensions) for the given device. For example you can load different functionality for viewing on an iPad or an iPhone. One of the advantages is that you don’t have to load redundant code or large images, so generally speaking pages will load fast. A disadvantage may be that you have to design a few templates for a set of common devices (for example iPhone, iPad, etc.) to adapt to those devices.
2 Responsive design
Responsive design is a clientside technique. This means that the adaptation of the website happens dynamically in your browser. So you basically build one website which ‘responses’ to the dimensions and characteristics of the device. The advantage of this technique is that you’ll only have to build the template once and then make it ‘fluid’, meaning that it automatically scales with the device. So in general this might be a quicker and cheaper solution.
A disadvantage may be that redundant code and larger images can negatively influence performance. Because the website code will be fully loaded into the browser before the frontend code determines how to resize the page, it is not optimized for performance on mobile devices in terms of loading speed.
3 Mobile web app
4 Native app
A native app is a platform specific application that resides on the mobile device and can access all device features like, camera, accelerometer and contact list. It excels in speed and user experience. Generally all data resides on the device itself, utilizing a database for lightning fast data access. Also native apps are able to receive push notifications, making it interesting for real-time communication.
Because of the specific expertise, developing native apps is far more expensive than developing web apps. You’ll have to build a native app for every platform (i.e. iOS, Android, Blackberry, etc.). Other disadvantage is that you have to install in from an appstore. This involves several steps and as opposed to simply browsing to a web URL it is rather timeconsuming. In the development process of native apps one has to take into account the appstore approval process, that can take up to several weeks.
5 Hybrid app
If you want the best of both worlds, then a hybrid app enters the game. Combining the power of responsive/adaptive webdesign and the rich device functionalty of native apps. Practically you’ll have a web app, embedded within a native framework, where you only add features not possible with web apps. This comprises camera, compass, accelerometer, contact list, etc. When developing hybrid apps your investments will be lower than pure native apps because you can reuse the web app and add the remainder device specific features.
So there are some subtle differences between the 5 mobile concepts. Responsive design is promising, because it enables you to serve a wide range of devices with minimum effort, and within a relatively turnaround. Hybrid apps can be a cost effective solution to benefit from both native functionality like push notifications and camera access and the development flexibility that responsive and adaptive design offer. It all depends on your budget, needs and available time.
The events industry is an exciting market for implementing technological innovation. First we had the internet and apps tranfsorming certain parts of the industry. At the moment there are some hot up-and-coming implementations of existing technology. Mainly it’s about products or services that are complementary to existing eventtech like apps to add a whole new experience to the palette.
Let’s scratch the surface of 3 technologies that I believe are capable of rocking the industry.
What is it?
Google Glass is an implementation of Augmented Reality in a headset device. Simply said it puts an extra information layer on top of what you see through your headset. It is voice controlled, can take pictures and record video. A small touchpad is positioned at the side of the device to manually navigate through the device. Wifi and Bluetooth capabilities make it fully connectable to the internet and other devices.
Why you should be aware of it
This device is a potential game changer. It can change the way content is distributed and consumed at events. Just the fact that it operates handsfree makes it interesting to replace or complement smartphone apps. Navigating through an event venue, easy handsfree networking and content capturing through photo and video. Just a few areas that Google Glass may very well excel in.
Suggested further reading
- Google Glass at events: a first person view
- The Reality of Google Glass
- Google Glass at events
- Is there a future for Google Glass in events
- What does Google Glass mean for Event Organisers
- Google Glass Wiki
What is it?
Apple’s iBeacon technology utilizes Low Energy Bluetooth to enable accurate indoor positioning of smartphones (newer iOS and Android devices). The smartphones can pick up signals from small hardware pieces called beacons to determine your position. Based on beacon signals apps can perform specific tasks.
Why you should be aware of it
iBeacon paves the way to more accurate indoor positioning. And this opens up huge possibilities for Location Based Services at events. Essentially, knowing an attendees position at an event turns contextual engagement of the attendee into reality. Just imagine how easy notifications can be addressed to attendees based on their position. This makes it great for networking, product offering, consuming contextual information, indoor navigation, social checkins, gaming, …. ?
Suggested further reading
- The Open Secret of iBeacon: Apple could have 250M units in the wild by 2014
- iBeacons for events
- Why Apple’s iBeacon Is Under-Hyped
- iBeacon Could Be Apple’s Secret Gaming Weapon, Developer Says
- Apples’s iBeacon and the future of mobile shopping
- Why Apple iBeacon could be the event technology of 2014
- iBeacon Wiki
What is it?
Chromecast is yet another innovative Google product that’s interesting for events. It is in fact a dongle size HDMI media player, which streams content to a HD Screen coming from any device via WiFi. This can be either a local network or the internet, so it is sometimes called Internet-to-TV adapter. And all of course controllable via apps.
Why you should be aware of it
Chromecast let you stream content from a device, wireless via WiFi. That means ANY device that has WiFi. With the right apps and stable WiFi network (..) there are a lot of ways Chromecast could make events more fun and interactive. For example simplifying narrowcasting, streaming shared content and running presentations directly from your Google Drive. Did I mention that owning a Chromecast device will set you back $35? Time to experiment!
Suggested further reading
- AllCast live: stream to Chromecast, Apple TV, Xbox One
- Google Apps users enjoying Google Drive presentation support for Chromecast?
- 5 Stupid Chromecast Tricks (That Really Aren’t Stupid at All)
- How to: Add Pizzazz to Presentations
- AllCast, The Android App Offering An AirPlay-Like Experience, Now Works With Chromecast Again
- Google Chromecast screen mirroring
- Chromecast Wiki
I’m sure lots of new applications will be developed for these three devices. And given the fact that it is mostly complementary to for example existing event apps some of these technologies will take up very quickly. Which possibilities do you see?
A lot of event trends for 2014 have been written down in an excellent way by, amongst others, Julius Solaris, Jeff Hurt and Corbin Ball. Of course most of the trends are showing as technological implementations, but the underlying principles are much broader, and take place over a longer course of time. They work according to the ‘Adjacent Possible‘, a term coined by biologist Stuart Kauffman.
Simply said, innovations don’t come in giant leaps but in small, mostly predictable steps. And once the innovations have taken place ‘things will never be the same again’. It won’t return to the initial state, but will find new ways to develop, if it doesn’t have the desired effect. Or it will become obsolete once there is innovation again.
I often hear eventplanners say: ‘all those tech hypes and stuff will dissappear, and then we’ll return to the event basics again’. Most of the times I then think: ‘return to the basics, sure, but you’ll definitely won’t be part of it!’.
Technology is here and it will not dissappear. According to the Adjacent Possible it opens doors to innovations previously not possible, ready to be explored and again innovated.
I see three main trends that over time might be killing event planners, if they are not keen enough to adapt.
1 nearly everybody is on social networks
The internet technology has empowered people to network 24/7 around the globe. Your Rolodex or Excel sheet can’t compete with that. Do you want to organize an event as an individual? Create a Facebook or Linkedin group, post it on Twitter, whatever and in no-time you’ll have gathered enough people to make it happen. You don’t need an eventplanner for that!
2 your purchase network is fading, everything is becoming DIY
Just like internet is opening up social networking, it also makes purchasing more transparent. Virtually all purchasing aspects of events are fit to turn into do-it-yourself platforms; venue finding, event marketing, speaker selection, website and app bulding, catering, etc. Thereby potentially eliminating the eventplanner as the central hub. So if you earn a substantial amount of your revenue through a purchasing margin, this will certainly reduce over time.
3 more, but smaller events
According to CWT and Active Network research, there will be held more, but smaller events by companies. This seems to amplify the impact of the first two trends. The events are becoming less complex, so why should we involve an eventplanner anyway? May be as a consultant on a higher level, but on a daily operational basis? Not likely…
Eventplanners doomed to die?
So the question you should ask yourself is: “what IS my added value as eventplanner? Am I my ‘Adjacent Possible self’ – do I evolve at the same pace as the world does – or am I lagging behind?”. One possible chance of your ‘Adjacent Possible’ self, is to be looking at another trend that might get you your next job: ‘big data’. With all the tech implementations huge amounts of information is generated and collected about your client’s event. As an eventplanner you might be just the right person to analyse and give meaning to that enormous amount of data, in order to come up with new strategic meeting formats for your client.
By keeping an open mind to general trends you can see things coming and then prepare to get another piece of the action.
Isn’t it fun to provide your conference attendees with tips how to get more out of their conferences? Why not share some smart tips pre-conference. Eye-opening, helpful and sometimes funny tricks to solve trivial conference problems. You could even consider adding an extra entry to your site or app: conference hacks. It’s a great opportunity to engage your audience and facilitate interaction.
Ok, let’s do it!
Preparation is everything!
1 why (not) to attend a conference.
You can help attendees make a decision by providing a clear overview of the target population, topics and sessions. Avoid false promises at all times.
2 how to set goals for your conference
Before you visit the conference make a clear list of goals you want to achieve. How many new leads you want to get, who (companies or people) you definitely want to talk to, what questions you hope to answer? Write it down and make it S.M.A.R.T.. Share these goals with your colleagues to get you motivated to achieve them.
Make a checklist of things to take with you each morning before you leave the hotelroom (transport tickets, route map, business cards, charged phone, conference schedule, etc.)
3 find out who’s attending
This is a killer. Really take some time to explore who’s coming and who you want to meet. Search the events website and app, the twitter hashtag, etc. If there’s a specific event community system, make sure you fill in the profile with not only your information, but also what your goals are for the conference.
4 start connecting to other attendees pre-conference
After you have researched who’s coming to the conference, start connecting to the other attendees early. Plan your appointments to avoid interesting people to be ‘sold out’ early. Prepare your follow up pre-conference.
5 try to organise a meetup or tweetup with your (online) connections
A tweetup or meetup is great way to meet a lot of old and new friends. It’s efficient, inspiring and above all a lot of fun!
Travelling, eating and sleeping
6 how to efficiently pack
This one is both funny and helpful to share. If you want to stuff your suitcase watch how this guy manages this. Watch this other video for very useful tips on how to pack like a pro.
8 save on travel expenses
I recently discovered that it can pay off to book separate flights with different companies for short distance flights. For a two day conference for example try to book your outward flight early in the morning and your flight back late in the eveningthe next day. If you don’t want to miss out on too much of the conference, it can easily save you two hotelnights. And speaking of that, why not book an appartment with a couple of people at AirBnB?
10 use Google Maps offline
Wayfinding ane save on your dataplan? There’s a hidden functionality in Google maps that allows you to save certain maps for offline use. Visit the part of your route before you leave or when you have WiFi. Zoom in to get the desired view. Scroll round the region, and if satisfied type ‘ok maps’ into the search bar. Remember that you don’t have the point-to-point route guidance, but you can use it like a paper map on your phone. Your own location will be available though, so you can determine where you are.
Meanwhile at the event
11 sit in the front row
This is a great tip I read. It got me thinking: actually an overlooked thing to do, and beautiful in it’s simplicity! Just takes some courage to do. Read the article by Clay Herbert where he gives you 5 reasons why you should: meet amazing people, connect with the speakers, actually be able to see the slides, focus and learn more, gain confidence in other areas.
12 how to start a conversation
There are a lot of tips, even funny or brilliant onces to start a conversation. Personally I like the simple and direct approach: Hi, my name is Derrick, nice to meet you. Are you enjoying the conference? Don’t forget to make eye contact and smile! And networking is for introverts too, watch this video to learn more.
13 how to end a conversation
Time is valuable for everbody, and unless the conversation is naturally ongoing and neither of you have to leave, take action in ending the conversation to move forward.
I prefer the simple and direct approach again, with handshake and eye contact. “Ok, it was really nice talking to you, I have to go now, let’s keep in touch”. Respect other people’s time and protect your own time in a polite way from that one sticky person.
14 your most important and overlooked tech friend: your camera
A picture can tell a thousand words, use your camera! Obvious things are taking pictures of slides, but you can also use it to quickly memorize company names, URL’s and posters. Take pictures (backwards) during your walk for finding the way back to your hotel. Ask people if you can take their picture while they hold their businesscard so you know which face belongs to which businesscard. I discovered that the photos on social media profiles often don’t match reality …
15 extending your phone’s battery life
Using you phone the entire day will drain the battery. So never, ever forget your USB charging cable. Your laptop is the first logical source to recharge. Also all modern tv’s have a USB port. Getting an external batterypack might be a good idea if you travel a lot.
Bonus hack: spend time with your dear ones
After a busy multiday conference it is tempting to drown in your work again. Take at least one day off to have some quality time with those who matter most.
- Getting the Most Out of Conferences
- Five tips for making the most of your next business conference
- How to Get the Most out of a Business Conference
- How to Get the Most from a Conference
- 3 Ways to Make the Most of Attending a Professional Conference
- Make The Most Of Your Conference Experience
- 16 Life Hacks: Meeting Planner Edition
- The Best Conference Hack
- 10 Networking Conversation Starters You’ll Actually Use
- Network Better as an Introvert with a “Socialization Quota”
- How to Network If You’re an Introvert
- Seven Sneaky Smartphone Hacks You Should Be Using
- How to pack like a pro
- Avoid jet-lag
- How to reduce jet lag
- After Hours: Best Restaurant Review Apps
- How to exit a conversation
- How to follow up with everyone you met at a conference
- Post Conference Follow-Up Hacks
Interaction is key during events. But often there’s a paradox: it delivers distraction from notetaking, and it seems that people tend to forget a lot of the information that was shared. Mind mapping is an interesting technique to capture event information.
I sat down with Alexis van Dam, a Dutch Mind mapping Pro and we talked about live mind mapping at events. Let’s dive into the mind mapping technique and apply it to events.
What exactly is mind mapping?
A mind map is a diagram used to visually outline information. Usually you start with a word, sentence or question and then you start adding main- and subbranches. Add images, video, links to create a rich content experience.
One advantage of a mind map is that it provides a very clear understanding of the contextual coherence. It is also believed that this kind of visual representation is close to how our brain works.
What problem(s) does it solve?
With mind mapping you have a systematic and structured way of storing and visualising information. It’s a great fit for events because people tend to forget a lot of the details that are discussed during sessions. And while personal notetaking is a great way of capturing event content, it momentarily drives away the attention of the attendee.
So what does it add to your event?
Mind mapping can add several things to your event:
- you can visualize what information has been shared (by a speaker, through discussions or during Q&A sessions);
- engage (remote) audience. By involving the audience you can add content coming from the audience in the room or coming from social media sources;
- summarise key points of presentations/discussions;
- facilitate discussion and sharing (of information);
- event stretching. By providing the Mind maps post-event there’s an opportunity to engage the audience even after the actual event is over.
What are the key features of mind mapping?
You can build your mind map in real-time during the event. Next to that you’re able to add rich content (URL’s, images, video, etc). It’s great to provide a livestream on large screens with the mind map being created to engage the audience. Make the livestream available online for your remote attendees. Mind maps are extremely suitable to export in different formats, from PDF, images, linear notes to a fully interactive website (included the discussion).
How can you apply mind mapping?
At larger events it’s great for focussing attention, capturing presentations, brainstorming, Q&A sessions, preserving knowledge, solving problems, opinion sharing. Mind maps also are a valuable instrument with hybrid and online events. Via a live mind map it’s possible to engage remote audience/experts, crowdsource questions or problems and share information to a wider audience.
In a smaller event setting like an incompany training mind mapping can be beneficial to strategic aligning sessions, facilitating the change process, capturing knowledge, brainstorming and product improvement sessions.
What do you need to implement it?
It’s fairly easy to setup mind mapping for your event. The most crucial part is a thorough pre event briefing with experienced and skilled mind mappers. Important for them to know what information can be published online and what not, in case of confidentiality. Furthermore you’ll need (online) mind mapping software, input devices like laptop or tablet and output devices (screens, beamer, etc.). If you want to broadcast to online you’ll need an internet connection. Ideally you have 2 mind mappers, so they can split up tasks. One is focussed on capturing the information in a mind map the other is enriching the mind map with sources such as links to research, images, video’s or documents.
Some showcases and best practices?
See several example events, congresses and sessions that were facilitated using live mindmapping.
Tips and tricks
- try to involve your mindmappers early in the process of event design, so they can advice on what’s best fitted for facilitating interaction or content capture for your event
- have your moderator and your mindmappers work together closely, their interaction during the event is important
- have a good briefing for both moderator and mindmappers, with detailled scheme about tasks and responsibilities
- depending on your goals the synergy between mindmapper and moderator can facilitate idea collection and brainstorming or structured problem solving,
- list of mindmapping software
- basics on mindmapping
- 100 reasons to mindmap
- mindmap resource website
- mindmap inspiration
- example of an online, clickable mindmap
- conference on mindmapping
Just do it!
Wow, 2012 is almost over, can you believe that? Seems like things get harder everyday to keep up with.
Time for some New Year’s resolutions! And my theme in 2013 will be ‘Lean and Mean’! A giant step for me as a notorious tech lover was to face the fact that sometimes tech makes things more complicated. Because there are so much possibilities it’s easy to lose yourself in the fancy apps and features.
Time to bring in the vacuum cleaner and delete a lot of apps. For me that’s is in the field of ToDo lists, GTD systems and Feed readers.
The apps that I can’t use cross device will not make it into 2013 …. I use a laptop, a phone and a tablet, so I want all information available on every device. I use Dropbox to transfer files between the different devices.
These are my apps that have survived 2012
Todo list hack
This one is actually an old fashioned pen-and-paper approach. Surprising isn’t it?!
Recently I bought myself a Moleskine ruled notebook just dedicated to handle my daily todo list.
Check out the todo list method I use here (scroll down on the page once clicked). On each page of my Moleskine I have a todolist, a done list and a short summary of the day. It really helps you recall in case you experience that ‘wow, where did my day go?’ moment.
For keeping up with my upcoming tasks I use Taskpaper (video). You can sync it cross device using Dropbox.
Keywords: simple, no fancy layouts, just a text-based task inbox. But the pretty smart tagging makes it very useful. (A great alternative by the way is workflowy (video) )
And I’m really sorry Things app, for leaving you behind in 2012.
Bookmarking websites and articles
I read a lot online. That’s a potential productivity killer. Remember when you got an interesting link via Twitter and you ended up 3 hours later 50 steps away from what you were reading initially? Multiply that by the different sources you check….. I’ve connected my Pocket account with all Social Media, my browsers and my feedreader. So when I stumble upon an interesting post I instantly bookmark it to Pocket to read it later.
All my feeds and Social Media I digest on my iPad using Flipboard. Saves a lot of browsing. If I don’t have time to read full articles, I instantly add them to Pocket.
So my theme for 2013 is keeping things simple. What are your themes and tips for 2013?
Wait, wait, did I just said miserable? Ohh, I meant measurable …….
To monitor and evaluate your marketing efforts, it’s very valuable to be able to determine the traffic sources to your website. Let me share with you some techniques you can use to distinguish between different sources and campaigns. That’ll help you to determine the effectiveness and ROI of the different sources.
1. use Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a must start in your marketing efforts. If you haven’t done it already, create a GA account, and install the tracking code to your website (or ask your webmaster to do it for you). This enables you to see what is happening on your site. You’re able to see how much visitors your site attracts, where there’re located, and what the referrers to the site are. A wealth of information!
read more about GA here and here. Also check out this extended youtube channel.
2. Make all the links to your website traceable with a unique URL
Add medium, source and other campaign info to your hyperlinks. Create a high resulution campaign by tagging your links with specific information about your campagn.
Imagine you send out an e-mail newsletter to existing clients, and at the same time you sent a similar e-mail to new clients. With both the objective is getting people to sign up for your next event via a form located at http://youreventdomain.com/registration
Let’s get Analytics to work for us to determine the number of click through visitors from both campaigns: add some flavour to the url.
Compare these URLs
In Google Analytics you can now differentiate the results between the new and existing clients.
Same with online campaigns, differentiate source (eventmagazinex and eventmagaziney, facebook, twitter), medium (social, display, paidsearch) and campaignname.
3. use QR codes with offline campaigns
There’s a lot to say about QR codes. Fact is that QR codes come in handy to add tracing codes. Add your enhanced URL to the code and off you go! Be aware that QR codes are scanned on mobile devices, so provide a mobile optimized page!!
4. use different landingpages for offline campaigns
If you run ads in offline magazines it is hard to determine the amount of traffic from those sources. Besides the QR code you can use dedicated landingpages to distinguish between the different magazines. For example use http://youreventdomain.com/magazinex and http://youreventdomain.com/magaziney
5. use Goals in Google Analytics to calculate succesratio
In Analytics there is a function called Goals. It enables you to track how succesful people are on your site performing certain tasks and helps you to calculate the successratio per campaign.
More information on how to set goals
6. track document downloads
Do you want to know how many times people download your eventguide or sponsorbooklet? Use a GA tracking code to establish that. And again you can calculate the results per campaign if you handled point 2 well.
Go ahead, gain insights about your campaigns. I bet you’ll be surprised, and you’ll have some amunition in the discussion with your client about the results of the marketing campaigns.