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The Complete Checklist for Creating Compelling Calls-to-Action

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The Complete Checklist for Creating Compelling Calls-to-Action

Lots of times, when marketers want to make a big impact on their marketing, they focus on going after a big project: big email campaigns, big website redesigns, big social media plans, big everything.

But while big projects can have big payoffs, you don’t have all the time in the world to execute them. You’ve got lots of other things on your plate — the only free time you have left in your day is the 43 minutes on Wednesday between scarfing down your bagged lunch and your weekly 1:00 p.m. client call. 

Yeah … not a lot of time for those big campaigns, huh? 

The good news is you don’t need them to make a big impact on your marketing — often, a smaller tweak can work wonders. And one of the smallest changes you can implement with the biggest splash is call-to-action (CTA) revamps. On our own CTAs, we’ve seen small changes yield 30% increase in conversion … which is no chump change. 

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So if you only have a few minutes in your week to optimize your conversion rates, souping up your out-of-date and gnarly looking calls-to-action is the way to go. To be sure you aren’t forgetting any crucial components of CTAs, be sure to follow along with the checklist below. 

11 Essential Elements of an Effective Call-to-Action

To help demonstrate the anatomy of a well-crafted CTA, we’re going to pick apart the primary CTA we recently featured in a blog post about the biggest problem in your PR

call-to-action-example

1) Use actionable language. 

HubSpot CTA tool

HubSpot’s CTA tool helps you create click-worthy CTAs.

In grade school, you were probably told that writing in the second person (writing to “you”) wasn’t ideal. 

Forget that lesson immediately. 

When you’re designing CTAs, effective copy all boils down to using action-oriented, second-person verbs. Use verbs like “discover, unearth, find” instead of ones like “be smarter.” In the CTA below, notice how we began sentences with “Learn” and “Download.” Besides empowering your readers a tad to click on your CTA, you’re also shortening your copy — which all boils down to a more effective and concise call-to-action. 

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According to AJ Beltis, Senior Content Marketing Manager for HubSpot’s Acquisition team, succinctness pays off for CTA copy. “I’ve found that direct CTA copy tends to perform better than lengthier CTA copy. Succinctly pitching the value of what you’re linking out to on a page with an abundance of copy and visual distractions can act as an unambiguous directive on what readers should do once on the page.” Create authoritative and click-worthy CTAs with HubSpot’s CTA tool

cta_actionable_language

2) Align CTA copy with landing page copy.

When you’re creating CTA copy, you also want to make sure your CTA copy and your landing page copy align. The name of the thing you are promoting — whether it’s a free ebook, whitepaper, template, guide, crash course, or presentation — should align with the name of it on the landing page.

You should also be calling the offer the same thing on both the CTA and the landing page. For example, if you mention that people can download a crash course on Facebook advertising on the CTA, you shouldn’t call it an ebook on the landing page. It may seem like small potatoes, but those details matter. 

On the landing page that goes with the CTA above, we did both of these things — notice how the title of the offer and how we position it is the exact same as the CTA. This way, when people get to the landing page, they aren’t confused about what we’re offering and click away. 

cta_match_landing_page_copy

3) Include a clear value proposition.

Each call-to-action you create is unique to your business — it’s your offer, service, or product you’re trying to promote. But that’s not how users perceive it. When they come in contact with your CTAs, they wonder why they should download that very offer from you at this specific moment. They might wonder if they’ve already downloaded something similar from your competitor. Or maybe they are just confused about value you’re going to bring to them in exchange for their email. 

Either way, you’ve got to quell these suspicions by making the benefit of clicking on the CTA super clear. On your CTA, give a quick description of what happens when they click on it — will they magically become better at their job? Will they save time? Will they end up saving humanity from a pack of zombies? Regardless of what you want them to do, it should be very what is going to happen when people click.

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On our CTA below, you can see this principle in action. In both the headline and the description, we describe what people will get when they click and how they will be able to use it — which helps readers trust us and differentiate us from other companies’ offers. 

cta_value_prop-1

4) Play up its time-sensitivity.

People are busy online. While they are browsing your website, blog, or social media accounts, they’re also probably fielding emails, taking a client call, and maybe drafting a tweet of their own. With all of these potential distractions, you want to keep your readers focused on clicking your CTA. 

The best way to do that is to tap into the element of urgency and tell people to do something right now. One way to do that is to add words like “now” or “today” to your CTA button (that’s what we did in the example below). Just reminding people to do something now can increase the chance of them actually doing it now. 

cta_timeliness

5) Make it big. 

In the land of calls-to-action, the motto is go big or go home. You can’t make a tiny little button that appears at the bottom of the page and hope that people will click on it — chances are, people are going to miss it when they’re glossing over your site in an F-shaped pattern.

To make sure that people notice your CTA, you’ve got to have it large and in charge on your site. For example, the CTA we’re talking about here is the full width of the blog post body column — about 650 pixels wide. That way, there’s no way in hell you’re going to gloss over it. That being said, there’s no industry standard for the smallest size a CTA can be, so you’ve got to test how the size affects conversions on your own.

cta_size

6) Create a highly contrasting design.

Another way to attract your visitors’ attention is through the actual design of your button. You can forget another lesson here: calls-to-action shouldn’t blend in with the rest of your website design. Yes, you can use similar styling — fonts and colors can still match your style guide — but the way you combine these elements should make the design pop from the rest of the page. 

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Check out our CTA to see what I mean. We use our brand colors (orange, slate grey, white, and blue) and our font family (Proxima Nova) to make the CTA look like it’s part of the HubSpot family … but the way we put the CTA together makes it pop. The blue CTA background contrasts nicely against a white blog post background, and the grey button with white text and outline on top of it all grabs your attention even more. These contrasting elements were strategically chosen to help our readers notice this CTA.

cta_design_contrast

7) Make the button look clickable.

Most things you can click online look like they can be clicked. Usually, they have some sort of shading or contouring that makes them look like a button you could press in real life. So if you want your CTAs to be clicked, it makes sense to make it look like something people are already familiar with clicking … right? Use your design program to add shadows and borders to not only give your CTA an extra design finish — but also make it look functional. 

We did that in our CTA in the “Download Ebook + Template Now” button. Notice how the button looks almost 3D? That’s because of a nifty little tool in PowerPoint that adds depth to 2D objects. Definitely experiment with which “clickable designs” work best for your CTAs — they could drastically improve your conversion rate.

clickable_cta

8) Add alt text.

Despite the web becoming more and more reliant on visuals to communicate, lots of people still have problems displaying images in their browsers. Sometimes, they just have errors loading your images in your browser, while other times, they may purposefully block them from appearing — and in either instance, you need to have a backup plan. Alt text allows you to display text whenever a CTA doesn’t appear properly in a website or email. (Bonus: Because alt text is, you know … text, search engines can actually read it — spelling additional SEO juice for you.)

In our CTA below, we’ve included the alt text “inbound pr cta” to help direct those who can’t view images. Granted, it’s probably not the most engaging alt text, but it does give people and search engines an indication of what should have appeared in that image’s place. 

alt_text_cta

9) Place your CTA prominently on your website.

Once you’ve finished all the copy and design, it’s time to start putting that baby to work on your website. Whether you’re placing it above the fold (where it generally will get more clicks and conversions) or below the fold (where you can get higher quality of leads converting), you want your CTA to be noticed. So put it where it can get noticed — heck, draw even more eyeballs to it by adding directional cues so you get more clicks and conversions.

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In the example we’ve been using, our primary call-to-action is featured at the bottom of every blog post. Notice how the size and design go hand-in-hand with placement — because it’s placed at the bottom of the post, we really need to ramp up the size and eye-catching design components. See how much more prominent it is compared to the paragraphs above it?

Beltis adds that the CTA should not be buried. “If the CTA is hidden too far below-the-fold or blends in with the rest of a page’s contents, it’s likely the CTA may be overlooked. That’s why in some situations it’s appropriate to have multiple CTAs,” he said. “The key here is to find the right balance of CTA placements to ensure an optimal conversion rate without coming off as spammy, hurting your brand, or detracting from the user experience.”

cta_positioning

10) A/B test multiple CTAs to find the best performer.

Once you’ve got one CTA set, don’t stop. Chances are, you have even more opportunities to convert leads and customers through your CTAs — even if you’ve optimized them using the tips in this blog post. So keep tweaking copy, design, sizing, placement, etc. until you find a CTA that performs above the rest

To be honest, we didn’t A/B test this specific CTA because we were focusing on optimizing it per the next action item, but we frequently A/B test new CTAs on the blog and in emails. Let’s say we did A/B test it though — below is an example of a test we could run.

Version A:

ab_test_example_b

Version B:

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ab_test_example_a

11) Personalize CTAs for different segments of your audience.

Besides A/B testing, you can also tailor CTAs to only appear to select audiences. For example, your visitors can see one thing, your leads can see another, and your customers can see something else altogether. To be honest, you’ll need the right software to do this (HubSpot customers: You’ve covered on this point if you’re a Pro or Enterprise account) but if you have the software, you’re golden. 

We do this all the time on our blog — if you look at the CTA below, you might see a CTA for creating CTA templates (meta, I know) or a CTA for demoing HubSpot’s landing pages. So the example CTA we’ve been using is no different. 

What leads see:

personalized_ctas

What everyone else sees:

personalized_cta_default

Ultimately, by testing and optimizing and testing again, you’ll figure out which CTA best practices work for you — and which don’t — all in the sliver of time you have free each week.

What have you learned while optimizing CTAs on your own website? Share your insights with us in the comments!

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Image credit: D+J+

free call-to-action templates in ppt

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The power of program management in martech

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The power of program management in martech

As a supporter of the program perspective for initiatives, I recognize the value of managing related projects, products and activities as a unified entity. 

While one-off projects have their place, they often involve numerous moving parts and in my experience, using a project-based approach can lead to crucial elements being overlooked. This is particularly true when building a martech stack or developing content, for example, where a program-based approach can ensure that all aspects are considered and properly integrated. 

For many CMOs and marketing organizations, programs are becoming powerful tools for aligning diverse initiatives and driving strategic objectives. Let’s explore the essential role of programs in product management, project management and marketing operations, bridging technical details with business priorities. 

Programs in product management

Product management is a fascinating domain where programs operate as a strategic framework, coordinating related products or product lines to meet specific business objectives.

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Product managers are responsible for defining a product or product line’s strategy, roadmap and features. They work closely with program managers, who ensure alignment with market demands, customer needs and the company’s overall vision by managing offerings at a program level. 

Program managers optimize the product portfolio, make strategic decisions about resource allocation and ensure that each product contributes to the program’s goals. One key aspect of program management in product management is identifying synergies between products. 

Program managers can drive innovation and efficiency across the portfolio by leveraging shared technologies, customer insights, or market trends. This approach enables organizations to respond quickly to changing market conditions, seize emerging opportunities and maintain a competitive advantage. Product managers, in turn, use these insights to shape the direction of individual products.

Moreover, programs in product management facilitate cross-functional collaboration and knowledge sharing. Program managers foster a holistic understanding of customer needs and market dynamics by bringing together teams from various departments, such as engineering, marketing and sales.

Product managers also play a crucial role in this collaborative approach, ensuring that all stakeholders work towards common goals, ultimately leading to more successful product launches and enhanced customer satisfaction.

Dig deeper: Understanding different product roles in marketing technology acquisition

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Programs in project management

In project management, programs provide a structured approach for managing related projects as a unified entity, supporting broader strategic objectives. Project managers are responsible for planning, executing and closing individual projects within a program. They focus on specific deliverables, timelines and budgets. 

On the other hand, program managers oversee these projects’ coordination, dependencies and outcomes, ensuring they collectively deliver the desired benefits and align with the organization’s strategic goals.

A typical example of a program in project management is a martech stack optimization initiative. Such a program may involve integrating marketing technology tools and platforms, implementing customer data management systems and training employees on the updated technologies. Project managers would be responsible for the day-to-day management of each project. 

In contrast, the program manager ensures a cohesive approach, minimizes disruptions and realizes the full potential of the martech investments to improve marketing efficiency, personalization and ROI.

The benefits of program management in project management are numerous. Program managers help organizations prioritize initiatives that deliver the greatest value by aligning projects with strategic objectives. They also identify and mitigate risks that span multiple projects, ensuring that issues in one area don’t derail the entire program. Project managers, in turn, benefit from this oversight and guidance, as they can focus on successfully executing their projects.

Additionally, program management enables efficient resource allocation, as skills and expertise can be shared across projects, reducing duplication of effort and maximizing value. Project managers can leverage these resources and collaborate with other project teams to achieve their objectives more effectively.

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Dig deeper: Combining martech projects: 5 questions to ask

Programs in marketing operations

In marketing operations, programs play a vital role in integrating and managing various marketing activities to achieve overarching goals. Marketing programs encompass multiple initiatives, such as advertising, content marketing, social media and event planning. Organizations ensure consistent messaging, strategic alignment, and measurable results by managing these activities as a cohesive program.

In marketing operations, various roles, such as MOps managers, campaign managers, content managers, digital marketing managers and analytics managers, collaborate to develop and execute comprehensive marketing plans that support the organization’s business objectives. 

These professionals work closely with cross-functional teams, including creative, analytics and sales, to ensure that all marketing efforts are coordinated and optimized for maximum impact. This involves setting clear goals, defining key performance indicators (KPIs) and continuously monitoring and adjusting strategies based on data-driven insights.

One of the primary benefits of a programmatic approach in marketing operations is maintaining a consistent brand voice and message across all channels. By establishing guidelines and standards for content creation, visual design and customer interactions, marketing teams ensure that the brand’s identity remains cohesive and recognizable. This consistency builds customer trust, reinforces brand loyalty and drives business growth.

Programs in marketing operations enable organizations to take a holistic approach to customer engagement. By analyzing customer data and feedback across various touchpoints, marketing professionals can identify opportunities for improvement and develop targeted strategies to enhance the customer experience. This customer-centric approach leads to increased satisfaction, higher retention rates and more effective marketing investments.

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Dig deeper: Mastering the art of goal setting in marketing operations

Embracing the power of programs for long-term success

We’ve explored how programs enable marketing organizations to drive strategic success and create lasting impact by aligning diverse initiatives across product management, project management and marketing operations. 

  • Product management programs facilitate cross-functional collaboration and ensure alignment with market demands. 
  • In project management, they provide a structured approach for managing related projects and mitigating risks. 
  • In marketing operations, programs enable consistent messaging and a customer-centric approach to engagement.

Program managers play a vital role in maintaining strategic alignment, continuously assessing progress and adapting to changes in the business environment. Keeping programs aligned with long-term objectives maximizes ROI and drives sustainable growth.

Organizations that invest in developing strong program management capabilities will be better positioned to optimize resources, foster innovation and achieve their long-term goals.



As a CMO or marketing leader, it is important to recognize the strategic value of programs and champion their adoption across your organization. By aligning efforts across various domains, you can unlock the full potential of your initiatives and drive meaningful results. Try it, you’ll like it.

Fuel for your marketing strategy.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

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2 Ways to Take Back the Power in Your Business: Part 2

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2 Ways to Take Back the Power in Your Business: Part 2

2 Ways to Take Back the Power in Your Business

Before we dive into the second way to assume power in your business, let’s revisit Part 1. 

Who informs your marketing strategy? 

YOU, with your carefully curated strategy informed by data and deep knowledge of your brand and audience? Or any of the 3 Cs below? 

  • Competitors: Their advertising and digital presence and seemingly never-ending budgets consume the landscape.
  • Colleagues: Their tried-and-true proven tactics or lessons learned.
  • Customers: Their calls, requests, and ideas. 

Considering any of the above is not bad, in fact, it can be very wise! However, listening quickly becomes devastating if it lends to their running our business or marketing department. 

It’s time we move from defense to offense, sitting in the driver’s seat rather than allowing any of the 3 Cs to control. 

It is one thing to learn from and entirely another to be controlled by. 

In Part 1, we explored how knowing what we want is critical to regaining power.

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1) Knowing what you want protects the bottom line.

2) Knowing what you want protects you from the 3 Cs. 

3) Knowing what you want protects you from running on auto-pilot.

You can read Part 1 here; in the meantime, let’s dive in! 

How to Regain Control of Your Business: Knowing Who You Are

Vertical alignment is a favorite concept of mine, coined over the last two years throughout my personal journey of knowing self. 

Consider the diagram below.

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Vertical alignment is the state of internal being centered with who you are at your core. 

Horizontal alignment is the state of external doing engaged with the world around you.

In a state of vertical alignment, your business operates from its core center, predicated on its mission, values, and brand. It is authentic and confident and cuts through the noise because it is entirely unique from every competitor in the market. 

From this vertical alignment, your business is positioned for horizontal alignment to fulfill the integrity of its intended services, instituted processes, and promised results. 

A strong brand is not only differentiated in the market by its vertical alignment but delivers consistently and reliably in terms of its products, offerings, and services and also in terms of the customer experience by its horizontal alignment. 

Let’s examine what knowing who you are looks like in application, as well as some habits to implement with your team to strengthen vertical alignment. 

1) Knowing who You are Protects You from Horizontal Voices. 

The strength of “Who We Are” predicates the ability to maintain vertical alignment when something threatens your stability. When a colleague proposes a tactic that is not aligned with your values. When the customer comes calling with ideas that will knock you off course as bandwidth is limited or the budget is tight. 

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I was on a call with a gal from my Mastermind when I mentioned a retreat I am excited to launch in the coming months. 

I shared that I was considering its positioning, given its curriculum is rooted in emotional intelligence (EQ) to inform personal brand development. The retreat serves C-Suite, but as EQ is not a common conversation among this audience, I was considering the best positioning. 

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She advised, “Sell them solely on the business aspects, and then sneak attack with the EQ when they’re at the retreat!” 

At first blush, it sounds reasonable. After all, there’s a reason why the phrase, “Sell the people what they want, give them what they need,” is popular.

Horizontal advice and counsel can produce a wealth of knowledge. However, we must always approach the horizontal landscape – the external – powered by vertical alignment – centered internally with the core of who we are. 

Upon considering my values of who I am and the vision of what I want for this event, I realized the lack of transparency is not in alignment with my values nor setting the right expectations for the experience.

Sure, maybe I would get more sales; however, my bottom line — what I want — is not just sales. I want transformation on an emotional level. I want C-Suite execs to leave powered from a place of emotional intelligence to decrease decisions made out of alignment with who they are or executing tactics rooted in guilt, not vision. 

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Ultimately, one of my core values is authenticity, and I must make business decisions accordingly. 

2) Knowing who You are Protects You from Reactivity.

Operating from vertical alignment maintains focus on the bottom line and the strategy to achieve it. From this position, you are protected from reacting to the horizontal pressures of the 3 Cs: Competitors, Colleagues, and Customers. 

This does not mean you do not adjust tactics or learn. 

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However, your approach to adjustments is proactive direction, not reactive deviations. To do this, consider the following questions:

First: How does their (any one of the 3 Cs) tactic measure against my proven track record of success?

If your colleague promotes adding newsletters to your strategy, lean in and ask, “Why?” 

  • What are their outcomes? 
  • What metrics are they tracking for success? 
  • What is their bottom line against yours? 
  • How do newsletters fit into their strategy and stage(s) of the customer journey? 

Always consider your historical track record of success first and foremost. 

Have you tried newsletters in the past? Is their audience different from yours? Why are newsletters good for them when they did not prove profitable for you? 

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Operate with your head up and your eyes open. 

Maintain focus on your bottom line and ask questions. Revisit your data, and don’t just take their word for it. 

2. Am I allocating time in my schedule?

I had coffee with the former CEO of Jiffy Lube, who built the empire that it is today. 

He could not emphasize more how critical it is to allocate time for thinking. Just being — not doing — and thinking about your business or department. 

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Especially for senior leaders or business owners, but even still for junior staff. 

The time and space to be fosters creative thinking, new ideas, and energy. Some of my best campaigns are conjured on a walk or in the shower. 

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Kasim Aslam, founder of the world’s #1 Google Ads agency and a dear friend of mine, is a machine when it comes to hacks and habits. He encouraged me to take an audit of my calendar over the last 30 days to assess how I spend time. 

“Create three buckets,” he said. “Organize them by the following:

  • Tasks that Generate Revenue
  • Tasks that Cost Me Money
  • Tasks that Didn’t Earn Anything”

He and I chatted after I completed this exercise, and I added one to the list: Tasks that are Life-Giving. 

Friends — if we are running empty, exhausted, or emotionally depleted, our creative and strategic wherewithal will be significantly diminished. We are holistic creatures and, therefore, must nurture our mind, body, soul, and spirit to maintain optimum capacity for impact. 

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I shared this hack with a friend of mine. Not only did she identify meetings that were costing her money and thus needed to be eliminated, but she also identified that particular meetings could actually turn revenue-generating! She spent a good amount of time each month facilitating introductions; now, she is adding Strategic Partnerships to her suite of services. 


ACTION: Analyze your calendar’s last 30-60 days against the list above. 

Include what is life-giving! 

How are you spending your time? What is the data showing you? Are you on the path to achieving what you want and living in alignment with who you want to be?

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Share with your team or business partner for the purpose of accountability, and implement practical changes accordingly. 


Finally, remember: If you will not protect your time, no one else will. 

3) Knowing who You are Protects You from Lack. 

“What are you proud of?” someone asked me last year. 

“Nothing!” I reply too quickly. “I know I’m not living up to my potential or operating in the full capacity I could be.” 

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They looked at me in shock. “You need to read The Gap And The Gain.”

I silently rolled my eyes.

I already knew the premise of the book, or I thought I did. I mused: My vision is so big, and I have so much to accomplish. The thought of solely focusing on “my wins” sounded like an excuse to abdicate personal responsibility. 

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But I acquiesced. 

The premise of this book is to measure one’s self from where they started and the success from that place to where they are today — the gains — rather than from where they hope to get and the seemingly never-ending distance — the gap.

Ultimately, Dr. Benjamin Hardy and Dan Sullivan encourage changing perspectives to assign success, considering the starting point rather than the destination.

The book opens with the following story:

Dan Jensen was an Olympic speed skater, notably the fastest in the world. But in each game spanning a decade, Jansen could not catch a break. “Flukes” — even tragedy with the death of his sister in the early morning of the 1988 Olympics — continued to disrupt the prediction of him being favored as the winner. 

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The 1994 Olympics were the last of his career. He had one more shot.

Preceding his last Olympics in 1994, Jansen adjusted his mindset. He focused on every single person who invested in him, leading to this moment. He considered just how very lucky he was to even participate in the first place. He thought about his love for the sport itself, all of which led to an overwhelming realization of just how much he had gained throughout his life.

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He raced the 1994 Olympic games differently, as his mindset powering every stride was one of confidence and gratitude — predicated on the gains rather than the gap in his life. 

This race secured him his first and only gold medal and broke a world record, simultaneously proving one of the most emotional wins in Olympic history. 

Friends, knowing who we are on the personal and professional level, can protect us from those voices of shame or guilt that creep in. 


PERSONAL ACTION: Create two columns. On one side, create a list of where you were when you started your business or your position at your company. Include skills and networks and even feelings about where you were in life. On the other side, outline where you are today. 

Look at how far you’ve come. 

COMPANY ACTION: Implement a quarterly meeting to review the past three months. Where did you start? Where are you now? 

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Celebrate the gain!

Only from this place of gain mindset, can you create goals for the next quarter predicated on where you are today.


Ultimately, my hope for you is that you deliver exceptional and memorable experiences laced with empathy toward the customer (horizontally aligned) yet powered by the authenticity of the brand (vertically aligned). 

Aligning vertically maintains our focus on the bottom line and powers horizontal fulfillment. 

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Granted, there will be strategic times and seasons for adjustment; however, these changes are to be made on the heels of consulting who we are as a brand — not in reaction to the horizontal landscape of what is the latest and greatest in the industry. 

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In Conclusion…

Taking back control of your business and marketing strategies requires a conscious effort to resist external pressures and realign with what you want and who you are.

Final thoughts as we wrap up: 

First, identify the root issue(s).

Consider which of the 3 Cs holds the most power: be it competition, colleagues, or customers.

Second, align vertically.

Vertical alignment facilitates individuality in the market and ensures you — and I — stand out and shine while serving our customers well. 

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Third, keep the bottom line in view.

Implement a routine that keeps you and your team focused on what matters most, and then create the cascading strategy necessary to accomplish it. 

Fourth, maintain your mindsets.

Who You Are includes values for the internal culture. Guide your team in acknowledging the progress made along the way and embracing the gains to operate from a position of strength and confidence.

Fifth, maintain humility.

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of humility and being open to what others are doing. However, horizontal alignment must come after vertical alignment. Otherwise, we will be at the mercy of the whims and fads of everyone around us. Humility allows us to be open to external inputs and vertically aligned at the same time.

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Buckle up, friends! It’s time to take back the wheel and drive our businesses forward. 

The power lies with you and me.


Disruptive Design Raising the Bar of Content Marketing with Graphic

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Roundel Media Studio: What to Expect From Target’s New Self-Service Platform

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Roundel-media-studio-featured-image

Commerce


By Tinuiti Team

Roundel™ Media Studio (RMS) has arrived, revolutionizing Target’s advertising game. This self-service platform offers seamless activation, management, and analysis of Target Product Ads, with more solutions on the horizon.

Powered by first-party data from both in-store and online shoppers, RMS provides new audience insights. Coupled with Target’s new loyalty program, Circle 360, advertisers gain precision targeting like never before.

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But Target isn’t stopping there. With the rollout of a paid membership program on April 7th, bundling Target Circle, the Circle Card, and Shipt delivery, Target is elevating its media and membership offerings to rival the likes of Walmart and Amazon.

Curious to learn more? We sat down with our experts at Tinuiti to dive deeper into the potential implications of this platform for brands and advertisers alike.

What is Roundel Media Studio?

Roundel™ Media Studio is an integrated platform that consolidates various solutions and tools offered by Roundel™. At its core, it kicks off with our sponsored product ads, known as Target Product Ads by Roundel™.

example of target roundel ad
Example of Target Product Ads by Roundel™
Image Source: Target.com

This comprehensive platform grants access to the complete range of Target Product Ad placements, featuring tailored slots like “More to Consider” and “Frequently Bought Together” to enhance relevance and personalization.

Moreover, Roundel™ Media Studio operates without any DSP or access fees for Target Product Ads, ensuring that your media budget is optimized to deliver greater efficiency, more clicks, and ultimately, increased sales.

“One of the larger benefits of the transition is that advertisers have an opportunity to capitalize on the additional dollars saved by switching to RMS. Without the 20% fee, brands can re-invest those funds to scale campaigns or optimize budgets, all without having to allocate more funds which drives better results. Roundel™ is putting more control in the hands of advertisers by introducing this new self-service platform.”

– Averie Lynch, Specialist, Strategic Services at Tinuiti

To summarize, key benefits of using RMS include:

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  • No Access or DSP Fees
  • All Target Product Ads Inventory
  • 1st Price Auction with Existing Floor Prices
  • Closed Loop Sales & Attribution
  • Billing via Criteo Insertion Order
  • Access Using Partners Online

How to access Roundel Media Studio 

According to Target, there’s 3 steps to access Roundel™ Media Studio:

Step 1. Check that you have a Partners Online (POL) account for access. Don’t have one? Reach out to your POL admin to get set up with an account (reach out if you need help locating your organization’s admin). 

Step 2. Once you have gotten access to POL, reach out to your Roundel representative who will grant you access to the platform. 

Step 3. Users can access Roundel™ Media Studio in 2 ways:

Roundel Media Studio Best Practices

Target offers a variety of tips on how to best leverage their latest offering to drive performance. 

Let’s take a look at the latest best practices for strategies such as maximizing efficiency or driving sales revenue. 

Recommended bidding tactics for maximizing efficiency:

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  • Set your line-item optimizer to Revenue for the highest return on ad spend (ROAS) or to Conversions for the lowest Cost per Order (CPO).
  • Since the Revenue and Conversions optimizers modulate the CPC you enter to maximize performance, it is useful to set a CPC cap to make sure that your bid will not exceed the maximum amount you wish to pay. The CPC cap should always remain at least 30% above the bid you enter to allow the engine to optimize effectively.
  • Set your bids competitively to balance scale and performance (ROAS or CPO) targets.
  • Optimize bids with respect to your CPO targets: lower CPCs slightly to increase efficiency, or raise them to increase scale

Recommended bidding tactics for maximizing sales revenue:

  • Set the line-item optimizer to Revenue.
  • Set bids to maximize scale and competitiveness while staying above KPI thresholds. Since the Revenue optimizer modulates the CPC you enter to maximize performance, it is useful to set a CPC cap to make sure that your bid will not exceed the maximum amount you wish to pay.
  • Adjust your bids progressively and preferably at the product level: filter the top products by Spend and then slightly reduce any bids that have a ROAS below your threshold.
  • In general, slightly lower CPC to increase efficiency or raise CPC to increase win rates and therefore increase sell-through.

Takeaways & Next Steps

This is just the start for RMS. In the future, Tinuiti will continue its partnership with Roundel to refine features and introduce additional ad types and functionalities.

When exploring any new advertising opportunity, the best results are typically realized when partnering with a performance marketing agency that understands the unique landscape. Our team boasts years of hands-on experience advertising in new and established marketplaces, including Amazon, Walmart, and Target. Working directly with Roundel, we ensure our clients’ ads harness the full functionality and features Target has to offer, with results-oriented scalability baked in.

Ready to learn more about how we can help your brand? Reach out to us today!

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