Intro to Jira

Hi Marketing Team,

As many of you have heard by now we are transitioning to Jira in the coming weeks. Jira will replace fogbugz as our project management tool here in marketing. As we transition I will keep you all updated on which teams will be transition when so you can start diving in and utilizing Jira.

You will find login instructions below and here is a link to the user guide.

Please take the time to read the below information regarding the transition.

To give you a little more information and to answer a few questions that have come up in the last couple of weeks.

  1. Is Marketing the only department switching to Jira? We as a company are transitioning to using Jira. Eventually fogbugz will be replaced all together and we will no longer be using it.
  2. How will this effect working with other departments? As we have transitioned to more of a line of business model here at Faithlife there will be more opportunities to work on projects with other departments. Jira will be a great tool in which we can work on cross department projects with other teams.
  3. Are we required to use Jira? What if we like what we are doing? As much as possible we ask that each team and individual use Jira for all of their projects and tasks.
    1. Why, you might ask? A few great benefits of Jira:

i.     Everything for your project is in one place. You will no longer have to add everything to the wiki, asana, google docs. (This doesn’t mean that we won’t use these tools anymore, but the amount of duplication and where you need to add information will become less repetitive.)

ii.     Management will be able to pull reports from Jira, decreasing the number of reports you will need to turn in or fill out on a weekly basis, giving you more time to work on your projects.

iii.     Time Tracking will become a lot easier!! We will be switching to a monthly time tracking system with time tracking by project for LARGE projects.

iv.     Jira is more user friendly than fogbugz.

How does this affect you now?

  1. You will want to set aside sometime over the next few weeks to get familiar with Jira, go through the user manual and attend the training that you are scheduled for.
  2. Any projects you have in fogbugz will be migrated over to Jira in the next 6 weeks at which point you will be working solely out of Jira.
  3. You will need to work in both Fogbugz and Jira until all teams has been transitioned. As much as possible we ask that once a team is transitioned you enter any new requests in Jira rather than fogbugz.
  4. Any projects that are not in Jira will need to be put in manually by you.
  5. As teams transition over you will need to start submitting your request in Jira (even if your team is still working in fogbugz and hasn’t been transitioned over).

A few terms to familiarize yourself with:

  1. Issue: An issue is equivalent to a parent case in fogbugz
  2. Project: A project is equivalent to a project in fogbugz (For example our current projects in fogbugz are: Marketing Projects: Logos, Marketing Projects: Ecommerce, Marketing Technology Team, etc.)
  3. Task or Sub-Task: A task or sub-task are equivalent to a child case in fogbugz

 

How to Login:

You all currently should have access to Jira. If you are unable to login please let me know.

To login, follow these instructions:

Go here:  https://faithlife.atlassian.net/login (you may want to bookmark this)

  1. Your username is everything in front of the @ on your faithlife email address.
  2. If you don’t have a password, click unable to access your account, and you will be prompted to create a password.

As you start exploring the tool, know that we are still making changes and these changes will continue to take place over the next 6 weeks as we get everyone transitioned over. Please be patient and ask lots of questions. If you aren’t sure how to do something connect with your team lead first, if they don’t know the answer then feel free to reach out to me.

Please let me know if there are any questions or concerns.

Thanks!

 

Kirsten

Meetings: agenda example, pointers on leading, and more

Hi Marketing,

In an effort to maximize the time we spend in meetings this year. I wanted to follow up in regards to an email Krista sent at the beginning of the year regarding maximizing your time in meetings.  Here are a few pointers on how you can make the most of your meetings.

Also Phil recommended a great book to read and I highly recommend it.  Shay (Phil’s assistant) has a couple copies that are available to check out.

How to lead an awesome meeting:

  1. Come prepared
  2. Provide all information upfront before the meeting occurs. (Everyone should know why they were invited to the meeting.)
  3. Know which decision makers need to be in the meeting and when

A great meeting invite agenda includes:

  1. A brief summary of the purpose of the meeting
  2. An agenda for the meeting
  3. Any documentation/information that needs to be communicated or discussed in the meeting
  4. Your action items/plan
  5. Your goals for the meeting
  6. Decisions that will need to be made in this meeting

Pointers on managing meetings:

    1. Opening – Open your meeting with a brief summary of the purpose of this meeting, your agenda, and goals.
    2. Facilitating
      1. Come prepared to lead
      2. When facilitating a meeting it is your responsibility to make sure that the meeting stays on track
      3. Follow the agenda you set for your meeting.
      4. Does everyone need to be there for the entire meeting? If not, make sure to communicate the time duration with each individual on when they will be needed for that meeting.
    3. Closing –Close your meeting with a brief recap of the meeting, action items to take away from the meeting, who is responsible for what action steps to move the project/idea forward, decisions that were made.
    4. Following up –Send a follow up email to everyone who was included in the meeting invite (even if they didn’t come) with a recap, action items, and timeline for completion.

How to be a great participate in a meeting:

      1. Come prepared
        1. Know what the purpose of the meeting is about
        2. Read through the agenda and materials required for the meeting ahead of time
        3. Come to participate
          1. Bring your thoughts and ideas to the meeting.
          2. If you do not think you have anything to contribute to the meeting, determine if it is really necessary for you to participate in the meeting.

I hope that these pointers can help you as you plan meetings this year and throughout your career.

Have any questions, concerns or comments? Connect with your manager (Phil, Nick, Glenn, Franklin, Josh or Krista).

Thanks! I love that I get to work with such an awesome team!

Kirsten

Kirsten Radke | Marketing Operations Specialist

Benefits or Features?

We usually focus on benefits in our marketing communication. I think that’s often the right approach. But I found the following insightful:

From time immemorial we’ve been told that marketing is about holes, not drill bits. Benefits not features.

Well, whoever said that didn’t know any carpenters. The one thing they don’t need to hear about is holes. They’re experts. You sell them drill bits by talking shank and metal and size and spiral. That’s what they want to hear.

You and I know lots of carpenters, don’t we? We call them technology buyers. They’re bored (and bombarded) with talk about benefits and ecosystems and lifecycles. These are experts. They want to read about what your technology does, and how it does it.

My own experience tells me there’s something to this. When I buy a new phone, I want to know primarily about its features: How fast is the processor? How much RAM does it have? What size is the screen? How many pixels does the screen pack in? I don’t want a bunch of marketing-speak about how it will change my life. I already know the benefits of a smart phone. Give me features.

But I don’t think we should scrap benefits. It doesn’t have to be either-or. Benefits and features are both important. I wonder, though, if we don’t sometimes get their priority reversed. For the newbie, the focus on benefits is warranted. They’re not yet sold on the category of product you’re trying to sell them. The features don’t yet mean much to them. But for the expert, the benefits are less important. They already know them. They want to know about all the new bells and whistles the newest version has that their version is missing. Benefits don’t drive upgrade sales; features do.

Before we decide to apply the benefits-over-features rule, we need to identify the audience.

Here’s my proposal:

  • Newbies: focus on benefits primarily and features secondarily.
  • Experts: focus on features primarily and benefits secondarily.

What do you think? Is this a useful distinction?

Radical A/B Testing

Optimizely argues that A/B testing should be used to test radically different designs and that multi-variant testing should be used to test the combinations of smaller variations.

The main problem with A/B testing only small changes is that you don’t know what you’re leaving on the table. Small incremental changes most likely yield small incremental returns. But radical changes can yield radical returns. Changing a button color may get you a 3% increase, but changing your entire page may get you a 100% increase.

This article summarizes it well:

Button color tests. Font size tests. Headline tests. Run them all you want. But remember that your website’s conversion rate is only as limited as the risks you take. Small tweaks = small wins. If you’re craving for big wins, you’ll have to make big changes.

Many people argue that you should start with radical and move to incremental.

Here’s another argument for radical A/B testing. Here’s one from Moz’s Rand Fishkin, in which he advises, “Start with the big ideas and big projects, nail down the grand plans worth testing, let your audience pick a winner and then try to tweak, tune and improve.”

A few other articles and tools with checking out:

What Our Marketing Is Missing

I’ve been pondering recently what’s missing in our marketing. There are many things we could do better, but the main thing I’ve been thinking about is this: no one knows who we are or what we stand for (and perhaps we don’t either).

When you think of successful companies that have devoted followers, you almost always think of companies that have a clear identity and take a clear stand for something. Apple and Google are both great example. Apple is a disruptor. Apple thinks different(ly) and believes products should be beautiful, intuitive, and just work. Google is a disruptor. Google believes in making things fast and free, while not being evil.

A company I’ve been intrigued by recently is Ting. They embody many of the same things. Ting is a disruptor. They believe the mobile phone industry is corrupt, and they believe people deserve a better alternative. As with Apple and Google, who Ting is and what Ting stands for are critical factors in Ting’s traction in a crowded market.

I had a great interview with a guy who’s applying to work for us, and our discussion landed on this subject. He pointed me to Simon Sinek’s TED talk on “How Great Leaders Inspire Action.” Sinek articulates a lot of the things I’ve been thinking about, better than I could. I’d strongly encourage you to watch it. It’s well worth your 18 minutes.

I haven’t read it yet, but you may also want to check out Sinek’s book, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action.

Thoughts? Agree? Disagree? What do you think we’re missing?

5 Factors that Motivate Impulse

I’m sure that most of us have seen this list before, but I re-encountered it last week and thought it might be something we could all benefit from reviewing.

There are 5 factors of impulse that most often lead to a purchase:

 Value Factor

“This is worth more than you will be paying for it.”

 A transaction is a value exchange, and all customers want more for less. Establish a high product value in the customer’s mind, preferably a price at which they might contemplate purchasing. When they encounter the actual price tag they will be pleasantly surprised. This can help to mitigate some of the sticker shock that we encounter on base packages. Pre-Pub and Community Pricing also do a good job utilizing this factor. How can we leverage it on our other channels?

 Sense of Urgency

“If you don’t buy this, you might not be able to later.”

 We do this very well. Almost every flight plan has a series of “don’t miss out” messaging. Not much to say here, I thinks we’ve mastered this.

 Fear of Loss

“You need to act now, or you’ll run out of time.”

 Fear of loss is more powerful than the hope of gain. “Fear of loss” is subtly different than the “sense of urgency.” It implies an uncertain deadline. It demands an instant action. Best used in places where the customer CAN take instant action. Avoid “fear of loss” messaging anywhere that’s more than 2 clicks from a purchase.

 Jones Effect

“You need this if you’re going to keep up with the times.”

 Nobody wants to be the first person to buy. Whenever possible, highlight someone who has already become a satisfied customer of our product. Celebrity endorsements are great, but sometimes pointing out a regular joe who has bought and benefited from the product can accomplish everything that you need. And the average joe is almost always more relatable than a celebrity.

 Indifference

“Its okay if you don’t buy this, someone else will.”

 Never act desperate. We have a great product, and everybody knows it. Make an offer, but don’t beg. Be careful though, too much indifference can make you sound snobby.

 We use some of these factors really often– value and urgency– but others less often. How can we hit more of these triggers with our messaging?

100 Conversion Optimization Case Studies

 

Click to read 100 cases of optimization increasing conversion.100 cases

 

5 Myths About Incentives

Some believe that only coupon hunters want free stuff. Those who want free stuff never buy. And those who are freebie hunters don’t stick around for the long term. But are these statements true?

Click on the link below to download and read a(very,very short) pdf about incentives.

http://engagement.punchtab.com/e/19242/mythbusting-incentive-programs/3cb3p/83116488

*Bonus*
Punchtab emailed this out. I downloaded it quickly to learn more. But something is wrong. What am I supposed to do when I’m done reading this whitepaper/infographic? What is the next step?

Let me know what you think in the comments How you think Punchtab could have been more effective. (or on Twitter @NateSmoyer)

7 Marketing strategies that work better than advertising

Advertising-on-your-blog7 Marketing Strategies That Work Better Than Advertising

This is a great article and I think we as a company do a lot of these things.

How a can we “exploit” what we do well to drive more engagement?

How Boba Fett Sells Lightsabers & Plans Content

“Click-throughs? My gun clicks when I’ve gone through my ammo . . . .”

Good news: you just got the opportunity to promote base packages for the next three months. It’s a huge campaign, and your manager is sure it can bring in 1.5 million dollars. You’re cleared for two Logos Talk blog posts per week, and Lauron, Dark Lord of MarTar, is giving your campaign green lights on any email list you want to hit.

Now you need to plan out content. What will you say? Here’s one way I like to plan messaging—but let’s use a cooler role model than me.

How Boba Fett sells lightsabers

Let’s say Boba Fett has killed so many Jedi that he starts selling off his trophy lightsabers. There’s no discount, and they’re pretty pricey. He’s also interested in selling lightsabers to the Christian market, so he adopts a system of marketing channels similar to those of Logos . . . but in space.

So where does he start?

First, he makes a list of reasons people might want a lightsaber:

  1. It’s the supreme cutting tool.
  2. It’s an elegant weapon from a more civilized age.
  3. It’s not as clumsy or random as a blaster.
  4. It blocks and reflects blaster bolts.
  5. It makes you look really cool.

There are more benefits, of course, but this will do for now.

Second, he makes a list of the audiences that these benefits would appeal to:

  1. Youth pastors
  2. Sci-fi enthusiasts
  3. People who often cut difficult-to-cut things
  4. Sith and Empire sympathizers
  5. Jedi wannabes

Nice! A list of selling points and a long list of customers.

Now he’ll list his available marketing channels:

  1. Blogs
  2. In-app messaging
  3. Emails
  4. Social
  5. Homepage slides

Now he does a little math:

If there are five benefits and five audiences and five channels, then Boba has a lot of options when it comes to messaging. He’s not limited to just one blog post about all five benefits to all five audiences. In fact, there are more than 125 combinations here (5 benefits x 5 audiences x 5 channels).

He chooses the ones to use in his sales campaign, beginning with a general, birds-eye-view message that speaks to everyone about all the benefits, then getting targeted right after that.

The sweet lightsaber-selling plan is almost done; it’s time for a sanity check. After all, some of these messages will be more #enpointe than others:

  • Email to sci-fi lovers about the lightsaber’s elegance: great
  • Facebook post for youth pastors about looking cool: terrific
  • Homepage slide for Jedi wannabes about blocking blaster bolts: probably too targeted for such a general channel
  • Email to Empire sympathizers about its superiority to blasters: offensive

Now the galaxy’s deadliest bounty hunter is armed with months’ worth of content ideas, and he’s going to make bank.

Now, try it with your promotion.

Make a list of reasons anybody would want to participate in your promotion. Then make a list of the kinds of people you think would pay attention to those reasons. Now, what channels can you use to reach them?

I bet you can come up with at least 50 things to say.

There’s an outline of this exercise on the wiki: check it out!