Digital Analytics is Important. Learn it.

If you’re a marketing professional venturing and integrating digital to your practice, you should haste your way on catching up as the business world is changing rapidly. In this generation wherein everything is accessible 24/7 days, dealt within a click of your pointer, and open-ended with whatever it is that you need.

It has been apparent that our marketing practice has further progressed, data have become the powerful tool we all need before we proceed and move forward. Marketers of both large and small businesses are leveraging more on evidences according to insights provided which we value.

Which resources or tools can we use for this? For most, those social media channels which we frequent already have included their own analytics dashboard for our free access (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest).

According to Google Analytics Solutions, “Digital analytics is the analysis of qualitative and quantitive data from your business and the competition to drive a continual improvement of the online experience that your customers and potential customers have which translates to your desired outcomes for both online and offline.”

In every campaign, we set objectives. Through analytics, it helps us marketers to measure outcomes and have base line for our efforts.

In the online world, there are five common business objectives:

  • For ecommerce sites, an obvious objective is selling products or services.
  • For lead generation sites, the goal is to collect user information for sales teams to connect with potential leads.
  • For content publishers, the goal is to encourage engagement and frequent visitation.
  • For online informational or support sites, helping users find the information they need at the right time is of primary importance.
  • For branding, the main objective is to drive awareness, engagement and loyalty.
Resource:  Google Analytics support.

With these objectives, with each tactic, you’d have to put the ‘macro’ and ‘micro’ conversions behavioural data separately on segments to understand what experiences drive the right outcomes from the channels you’ve used.

Macro conversions are those big purchases (resulting to ROI) from your ecommerce sites meanwhile Micro conversions are those side efforts from the site such as coupons acquired or email subscriptions (resulting to Leads).

Learning to understand your analytics through demographics and behaviour would make you have basis on which works and what doesn’t or how would you alter your campaign to reach your business’ objectives.

Basically, knowing how your audience interacts with your website is crucial for your success. The best way to know is through the data which shows your traffic stats. You may also plug-in Google Analytics to trace for your sites and make use of the social media channels dashboards for each channel’s analytics. your marketing efforts should generate revenue and these analytics should prove if your efforts are working to your advantage.

Learn and understand Google Analytics, it’s FREE! All you need now is yourself and spend time on educating yourself. Go for it, it’ll be a huge asset for your practice.

 

Instagram Stories on Influencer Marketing

Oops, Instagram did it again.

Just when we’re all getting used to Snapchat, Instagram has launched Instagram Stories – allowing you to add photos and 10-second video clips to your “story” for all your followers to see. It’s another tool to expose your brand in ‘real time’ and more ‘organic’ than Instagram videos. Stories allows you to clip with your own doodles, captions and stickers saved for display for 24 hours.

Being a marketing practitioner, we all have to be updated on these social media platforms.

If you have an established number of following on Instagram, jumping over to Snapchat wouldn’t be as motivating as continuing what you’ve started on Instagram however if you’re considering the Millenials as your target market; Instagram would become a supplement from your Snapchat and having to consolidate efforts on both channels would expand your reach.

How can it be of help for your campaign? Instagram is great for your business as it gives followers the ability to give honest feedback by sending comments sent directly to your IG inbox compared to Snapchat’s judgement free platform wherein everything else is fleeting, silly and fun.

For the influencers of the brands, Instagram adds more depth to a campaign as it allows your influencer to give them a preview of their life. The option to provide a glimpse into behind-the-scenes of a certain photo or video posted on the Instagram feed; unfiltered, unedited and direct.

Regardless how you’d want to use Instagram Stories, this feature certainly adds up to your tactics for your campaigns.

How do you create your first story?

Where do you start? It’s quite simple. Don’t put too much stress on being in front of the camera, you can shy yourself away from selfies and showcase your surroundings. If you’re on a photoshoot: you can cover the bloopers, behind-the-scenes preparation, and give a preview of what’s to expect on your next instagram video or instagram post.

Of course, this is just a suggestion. When you’re all done, you can tap the checkmark to upload it to your Instagram Story. Voila!

Be Consistent.

Just like in any other social media channels and practices – consistency is always key. Now, you may not need to post all behind-the-scenes, just be yourself and tell a story. Being an influencer means you’re credible and authentic. Nothing pretentious.

Keep the brands in mind, stay aligned with the setting of the theme/subject, be your own paparazzi by sharing some footage, include your audience to the story and always keep a strong call to action towards your brand.

Do you think Instagram stories is perfect for influencer marketing? Share your thoughts!

Gourmet Bar by Novotel: Showcasing only fresh meats and organic produce.

Let’s head somewhere far from the usual hospitality and restaurant location of the metro.

Right smack in the heart of Cubao, Novotel Araneta Center inaugurated in October 2015 located abreast of the Araneta Coliseum boasts as the only hotel built offering the largest number of rooms in Quezon City to date. Strategically located, AccorHotels’ brand known for business and leisure travellers has the vantage point having close proximity to where concerts, professional court games and farmers market; It’ll be a hard-miss not to check on this world-class property.

As you walk in you might hear a welcoming voice in your head, maybe Morgan Freeman. It’s like you’ve gone towards heaven’s staircase where a friendly well-taken cared K9 would give you a homecoming, cheerful concierge opening the doors, the sun’s natural lighting transcending from the high-ceiling and and a modern front desk without a sight of the back office and beautiful receptionists to assist you.

Novotel Manila Araneta Center

Gourmet Bar by Novotel. Perfect for a Family meal or drinks with Friends.

Being true to the brand’s world wide standards, Gourmet Bar, an informal friendly eating and drinking space of Novotel offers trendy beverages, simple to thematic meals, creating a perfect socializing space in the lobby.

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Spear indulgence: Caldareta Sliders and Tomato and Mozzarella Sliders                              Photograph: Raymond Braganza

Giving it a spin, we were orchestrated for a surprise. The hors d’oeuvre got me at Caldareta Sliders (Php 350) and a lush of greens, Tomato and Mozzarella Sliders (Php 450). Each carefully toasted pandesal cut into half, sauce spread evenly on each cheek topped with fresh leaves, tomatoes, capers and soft slightly spiced marinated stewed beef  paired with side-salad to cleanse your palate to prep you up for a pre-meal.

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Gambas Al Jillo  |  Photograph: Raymond Braganza

 

If you haven’t had enough of your starters, go for a taste of Gambas Al Jillo (Php500) and it’ll give you a lasting kick with the fresh Prawns harvested from Roxas, sautéed in generous garlic, olive oil, chili and sweet paprika. It was a battle of sweet, spicy and everything nice.

The main courses are substantial platefuls, with more attention to detail with the generosity in showcasing only fresh meats and organic produce. Service is deft.

Standing firm on sourcing ingredients from our local farmers, Gourmet Bar’s are supplied with all the fresh greens (cherry, tomato and lettuce) from San Mateo, Rizal. Produced organically to be served, everything on the menu are all made in-house by the efficient, internationally trained, skilled and talented kitchen staff.

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Fresh from the oven: Pizza Lungag Parma Ham Con Rucola E Grana                                   Photograph: Raymond Braganza

Not to overwhelm carbs eaters and those who may be in a restrictive diet without shortchanging, the Pizza selection are made into perfection. A generous amount of Mozzarella cheese, parma ham, rocket leaves and parmesan flakes gave life to the Pizza Lungga Parma Ham Con Rucola E Grana (Php 380). Best of all, there’s no need to add a dash of salt and pepper to adjust your taste.

Consistent to its presentation, the plates are clean and modern. The food was styled neatly without those ritzy glitz.  Straightforwardly plated yet photo worthy.

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Fresh all the way: Black Linguine with Talangka Paste  | Photograph: Raymond Braganza

Known for everything light and delicious, Gourmet Bar boasts influences from around the world creating dishes from fresh produce and local ingredients. Flavors are evident yet innovative. For the adventurous, Black Linguine with Talangka Pasta (Php 480) bit the curiosity; discernible fresh hand-made pasta and local farmed rocket greens made this dish even special with a dash of crispy Maya-maya cubes.

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Tandoore of The Day (Php 530) |  Photograph: Raymond Braganza

If you haven’t known just yet, Novotel Araneta invested on having their own Indian Chef’s specializing in Punjab cuisine from the Northern region, exceeding on bold textures and hearty ingredients. Bringing in the authentic Tandoori’s (marinated in masalas, oil, chutney and curd); Tandoori for the Day (Php 530), recommended grilled meat great for vegetarians will be presented and served with freshly made roti and generous dips made out of indian spices. Nothing pretentious, it tastes close to its roots.

Albeit the service size may not be as huge for a binge, the taste speaks volumes for the quality of everything else that I’d encourage you to take small bites of everything you would want to try before you indulge all the way.

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Brain Freeze: Le Mont Gourmand (Php 999)

However, the dessert is something else. Le Mont Gourmand (Php 999) owns the throne in the department. 15 portions of homemade artisan ice cream and sherbets served with macaroons, nuts, mixed berries coulis, chocolate and carmale sauce garnished with whipped cream and everything else that you want to top it all would make a family of 4-5 happy as a bee or if you just fancy a cup, you won’t regret the Coffee Espresso Flavor – to die for!

If you think Novotel is too far your enjoyment and enthusiasm, I suggest you bring in the troupe and descend your way to Gourmet Bar for a celebration. You wouldn’t want to miss a possible gastronomic affair.

Novotel Manila Araneta Center
General Aquinaldo Avenue, Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City
http://www.novotel.com/gb/hotel-7090-novotel-manila-araneta-center/index.shtml
Follow them on Facebook | Instagram

Why AIRBNB in the City?

My 32nd.

As the urban population grows, finding a fitting abode in an ever-expansive city is getting harder by the day. Sometimes you’d just want to break free and get out of the town to have some space and be away from the usual noise. Every year, I try to at least explore, surprise myself and do something different. This year, as life happened, I signed up for a Yoga Ashtanga workshop by Yoga Tribe Philippines. I figured, waking up at 4AM to drive my way to the workshop which will start at 8am and end at 5pm, only to drive back home to face horrendous traffic wasn’t an option; staying at a hotel nearby was the better fit (or so I thought!)

Hotel? As much as I’m passionate on staying at suites and have gone used to the comfort of the hospitality suite life, staying the entire weekend might be hefty on the budget (2 nights, 3 days). Having to search through promotions, it was still steep for someone who’ll just have her bags kept and sleep comfortably on at night. I thought to finally make use of my Airbnb account. Gleefully, my account albeit it was set-up sometime in 2014 was still existing.

I was up for an experience, why not spice it up a little.

FINDING A PLACE

Airbnb has properties available pretty much in all major cities worldwide. The search function on the website was easy to tinker on; it works basically the same as how you search through hotel budget sites. I googled through the workshop area and found Eastwood City the closest and feasible. The best part is, Eastwood City is central to tons of restaurants, malls and other establishments – it’ll be easy to just choose for some grub or things to do at night to celebrate.

As I window-shopped on properties, I found a yogini who happens to also be a life coach having her space rented. I thought, it must’ve been fate. There was a good number of results as I set the filters to apartments however I have found hers as the most affordable one yet would deliver more than you pay for.  The photos and amenities were very welcoming.

SECURING THE PLACE

Just like any traveler, decisions had to be laid. My priorities were safety, price and location, in that order. The fun part was the User Experience (UX) of the dashboard was easy, booking was such a breeze. The ‘Instant Book’ function was their reservation system. Just to be sure, I mailed the host and asked if the workshop area is factually near her place. My host was too accommodating and welcoming, she responded pretty quick. What’s even more awesome, we had tons of common friends and interests, it was easy to connect. 

What’s nice about securing the place through Airbnb, there’s a sense of security and legitimacy. You can probably negotiate with the host on the rate if you intend to stay longer (weeks or a month); this way, you’ll have more bargaining power. Take the negotiations offline.

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THE PLACE

Fortunately, the apartment was more than what I expected. My hosts were too generous and kind, they allowed me to make use of the master’s bedroom instead of the room I’ve chosen since it was only me and they knew it was my birthday. Great thing, I was allowed to bring in a guest and treat it like my home. 

My hosts met me at the lobby and personally welcomed me to their apartment. I was given a short tour, a little chit-chat and given a copy of the keys for my own keep. The photos were accurate, I only spent about approximately $20 a night for the following:

• A 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom apartment in Eastwood, central to everything
• Has kitchen, ref, airconditioning, washing machine, laundry area
• Fully furnished and cozy space (you can practice yoga!)
• 24-hour security
• The building has a pool, a gym, and a steam
• The building is right next to a mall, a grocery, and restaurants
• It’s high up so you get a great view of the city every morning, afternoon, and night

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The place was well-equipped, I need not to worry about anything. It had extra amenities which includes new shampoo and conditioners, body wash, stash of tissues and complete kitchen equipments including cleaning tools. How convenient is that! They also filled the place with extra gallon of water for the dispenser just in case.

My friends and I were able to make use of the kitchen and got to have a good feel of the place. It felt like home.

My hospitable host was patient on the check-in and check-out. We met at the lobby just the same and gave her my review of the place. It’s all very fuss-free without any filling of forms or paperwork. Airbnb is very efficient for both host and guests.

Once my stay was over the check-out was just as easy. The host came by the apartment to take the keys and I was on my way. They were like friends I’ve met before.

THE EXPERIENCE

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The room and bed was too cozy, I barely got myself out from the bed and woke up pretty rejuvenated plus having to add the thug of thunder and rain in the scenic window of the room – it was a perfect rejuvenating staycation and rest from a tiring workshop. 

I even got to insert some sun salutations and few other asanas at the spacious living room.

A birthday well spent. Perfectly. 

VERDICT

I will definitely make use of Airbnb again and most probably make use of it on my future trips and skip the posh hotels. Sure, for a hotelier, having to stay at other properties is part of the market research but as a traveller, I do now understand now why Airbnb is a better choice. I gave my first experience on Airbnb 5 stars and my hosts 4 stars but since service trumps cons (there were cracks from the previous earthquake which resulted to the condo having few problem areas on the light switches etc), It levelled up to 5 stars. 

For super budget travellers, dorms and private hostel rooms probably will likely to be cheaper but still, take a good look and reach out to options. Having to speak with the host may also give you negotiating power and flexibility. 

CHECK-OUT TIPS

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Since you were welcomed hospitably with warmth and grace, do the host a favour by asking them if they would want you to fold the sheets you’ve used and have them neatly folded for them to launder and sweep the floors. Don’t leave the place untidy and chaotic. Leave the place as if you never touched a thing.  Be the kind of guest you’d want to be. Pick up strands of hair from the bathroom floor, wash the dishes properly and return them accordingly. Just like how you treat your home.

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Keen to try Airnbnb?

If you’re interested to try Airbnb on your next trip, you can get a free $35 credit for your first booking by signing up through my referral link.

Enjoy!

 

 

Have you tried Airbnb? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!

Change The Way You See Happiness.

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One must practice the things which produce happiness, since if that is present we have everything and if it is absent we do everything in order to have it.  – Epicurus

Every day of our lives, we find a thousand different ways to live intensely, form friendships, enrich ourselves, keep our loved ones within reach and devote time and energies in fulfilment of our goals, dreams and wishes.

One of my favourite saying which I always keep in mind and share to my friends is to “Find happiness and go there often” It doesn’t necessarily mean it had to be a far away place, a mountain to climb or a country to travel to. It can be a wonderful spot within your home where you can find peace and calmness, a yoga practice, reaching the finish line after each fun run or cycling event, a good dip in the pool or plainly sharing silence with a friend or giving a huge big bear hug to your Mum and Dad.

Happiness, the word in itself, may have been overused that it has turned into an illusion and placed it on a bad taste but as one internalised what it means – it’s actually a state of mind and exceptionally healthy mind – an optimal state of being not of just an emotion or a mood.

Happiness is a way of interpreting the world, with the kind of difficulties and tragic stories encapsulating it, perception changes the way we look at the world when we ourselves get to that place of gratitude and appreciation.

How does one get to change the way you see happiness or how can one be happier? It may not be as simple as it may sound for everyone but as the cliche goes, Begin by being good to yourself and to others. Many have skipped this step, trying to chase rainbows, achieving goals, holding onto perfect and yet doesn’t seem to enrich their soul towards fulfillments.

As I turned 32 (August 7), I have reminded myself to stick to what I promised myself: FLY,  First Love Yourself and to give more.

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 “The more you build self-love, the more you have to give to others.”

Give yourself time to breathe and space to unwind. Ultimately, being happy makes a person even more productive, becomes better bosses and kinder to everyone. Happiness in general, makes a happier place for everyone.

Take away greed, give more, and you’ll receive even more than what you deserve.

Another way to share the happiness and convert that gloom into joy: collect memories, capture moments and breeze through your albums. The emotion it brings as you reminisce each moment is a gift of inner bliss. You’ll thank yourself in the future.

 

In the world where selfies, sharing moments and freezing experiences in photographs are well spent by every individual, wouldn’t it be better if each frame were snapped sharply, boasting magnificent depth of field and are filled with people shining bright, glowing in solace; wearing such huge smiles on their faces?

Back in the day when DSLR’s (Professional Cameras) were the ‘in’ thing and point-and-shoot cameras were to save up for; the luxury of having smartphones changed the game. You don’t need an expensive tool but having a good lens, great aperture and dramatic effect edit-free feature gives every snap a huge difference.

Take shots, capture it.

Follow your bliss, freeze memories and relish. Be happy! 🙂

 

 

Social Media Core Lessons

Managing social media accounts aren’t as easy as how it looks. It takes a lot of time, effort, analysis and studying to come up with strategies, visual content curation and lest not forget, community management.

Whenever I get asked on how do we get to successfully manage accounts, there’s no template answer nor a go-to response.  Setting up the accounts is just a small piece of the execution – the bulk goes to the thought on how to build an audience, engage, develop relationships and to always keep in mind the returns, on ultimately sell.

Where do you start? How do you proceed? putting it into a perspective from old traditional marketing efforts, it applies just the same regardless what industry you’re on, business goals, brand differentiation or principle.

As a freelancer and a team member who had the chance to learn from a systemised organisation. Here are few lessons I’ve learned:

  1. Be married with your Social Media Accounts – you’ll heave the breathe your campaign. The dedication you put in requires commitment, the kind wherein you’re in for the long ride.
  2. Educate yourself – This is the beauty of handling social media accounts. There will never be a dull moment nor will you be stuck in routines. The extra learning will engage you, to which you’ll partake for your audience.  In terms of your skills, don’t be afraid to explore and try other strategies. Listen to your data and see how they respond.  You’ll have to always change up your ways and in principle, progress. See what works and what doesn’t. The social media game differs. You do know Facebook’s algorithms changes almost every 2 weeks. So much room to learn and experience!
  3. Consistency and Fidelity – I’ve always been told to treat it like marriage (wait, I’m not even there yet!). You’ll have to attend to your brand/business/product’s needs day in and day out, and stay relevant. Posting, answering and being available consistently. Being committed to consistency gives your audience the impression you’d want to impart – reliable and trustworthy.  Just like marriage, action speaks louder than words and your words are important the same way you do it.
  4. Be Ethical – Each business have ethical practice, there are restrictions and marketing ethics to be followed especially when you’re handling medical accounts however in general, you’d have to reputably consider your audience – don’t spam their mails, avoid negativity, be accommodating and receptive, be customer-centric.
  5. Time and Patience – Nothing in this world can be done overnight, except when you’ve got all the budget to get into the reach you’d want to capture however in terms of returns, you can never cheat a good campaign. Engaging with your audience takes time and patience.
  6. Manage expectations, It’s all about the budget! – Don’t promise the moon and the stars nor the universe. Organic reach isn’t the way to go anymore especially if you’ve got a steep timeline. Present a budget and where it’ll be used. Boost your campaigns, just like how you seek help to disseminate your flyers back in the day.

What lessons have you learned in managing social media accounts?  Would love to exchange thoughts!  You may also follow me on twitter: kassypajarillo