Education Ministry Embarks on Multi-Faceted Literacy Thrust

first_imgFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail The Ministry of Education has embarked on a multi-faceted literacy thrust to raise the level of literacy of all children in Jamaica. Several initiatives were introduced in the past with varying degrees of success.Speaking with JIS News, Minister of Education, Andrew Holness said: “With the current focus on a new literacy thrust, and a myriad of supporting programmes, we are well on the way to achieving the target of 85 per cent of school children reading at or above grade 4 level by 2015.”He informed that based on the literacy test which is administered to grade 4 students, the percentage that achieve mastery has been improving, from 64 per cent in 2005, to 75 per cent in 2007.The new literacy thrust is one response to the 2004 Report of the Task Force on Educational Reform, which highlighted the underachievement of students, particularly those in non-traditional secondary schools, as well as the underachievement of boys.This literacy thrust is being spearheaded by the Education Transformation Team (ETT), an arm of the Ministry of Education, which was established to guide implementation of the Task Force recommendations.The ETT, in tackling the literacy challenge, has put in place a management structure comprising a National Literacy Co-ordinator and eight Regional Literacy Co-ordinators with responsibility for programme oversight and for stakeholders’ consultations. In addition, there are 50 Literacy Specialists who have been deployed to 212 of the most challenged schools.There are also School-based Literacy Co-ordinators or Reading Specialists in all schools. According to National Literacy Co-ordinator, Laurel Brent-Harris, “a significant amount of work has already been done in planning, raising awareness, and training literacy co-ordinators and specialists, whose role it is to give support to classroom teachers, and analyse the data which informs the development of customised programmes used to assist students with specific challenges.” The Ministry has designed a range of programmes to address the literacy needs of students from the primary through to the secondary level of the education system. “With the level of collaboration that exists within the Ministry of Education and the partnerships which are forged with the private and public sectors, it is expected that there will be a positive change in the literacy landscape that should see the achievement of the 2015 target,” Mrs. Brent-Harris said. RelatedEducation Ministry Embarks on Multi-Faceted Literacy Thrust RelatedEducation Ministry Embarks on Multi-Faceted Literacy Thrust Advertisementscenter_img RelatedEducation Ministry Embarks on Multi-Faceted Literacy Thrust Education Ministry Embarks on Multi-Faceted Literacy Thrust UncategorizedMarch 30, 2008last_img read more

Michigan UXPA Launches July 10: The Emotional Life of Internet Things with Pam Pavliscak

first_imgThe Michigan chapter of the User Experience Professionals Association (Michigan UXPA) is launching their first event with special guest Pam Pavliscak, speaking about our emotional relationship with our Internet things. On July 10, 2017, Pavliscak will discuss our emotional interactions with technology, how our technology knows what we do, but currently doesn’t understand how we feel. In the future, that will change as emotion-sensing technology evolves toward reality. As designers, how can we prepare for that? In her talk, Pavliscak will discuss:Where emotion-sensing technology is nowHow we can prepare to design technology for emotion; how we can create more empathetic artificial intelligence (AI)What to expect in the next generation of AIFrom the event description:What will it be like when our Internet things know how we feel? Let’s invent emotional machines for the human future we want.Event DetailsThe event will be held at the School of Information at the University of Michigan in North Quad (map and directions) in Ann Arbor, Michigan on July 10, 2017 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. Pre-registration is required, cost is $10.00.Networking and snacks (food and soft drinks/water) will be available from 6:30pm to 7:00pm; the presentation begins at 7:00pm.After Q & A, there will be time to discuss the future of Michigan UXPA. Parking is available at nearby parking structures; you’ll also find street parking in and around campus. About Pam PavliscakPamela Pavliscak is founder of Change Sciences, where she leads strategy and design. She’s a design researcher and data scientist specializing in emotionally intelligent technology. Her clients include IKEA, TIAA, Chase, Virgin, and TIAA. Pavliscak teaches at The Pratt Institute School of Information in New York City. Her latest book, Designing for Happiness (early release chapters available on O’Reilly Media, is expected to be released in fall 2017.About Michigan UXPAFormed as the Michigan Usability Professionals Association (Michigan UPA) over 15 years ago, our local user experience group has reorganized as Michigan UXPA to offer workshops, sessions, and gatherings for user experience professionals and students in Michigan. As a former Michigan UPA officer, I’m excited to be part of the group helping to relaunch and get the word out about our work and upcoming events. SummaryI’m thrilled that Pam is coming to Ann Arbor to speak at the first Michigan UXPA event. Can’t wait for her talk! I met Pam online (on Twitter, of course!) in 2015 when I attended and live-tweeted her O’Reilly Media webinar, Data-Informed Design. We chatted about UX and and the University of Michigan, where we’re both alumni. And briefly talked about her giving a talk in our area. When Pam contacted me earlier this year about speaking, I suggested her talk would be the perfect event for the Michigan UXPA launch. I was happy when she agreed! Hope to see you on July 10! Don’t forget to register, seats are limited. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading…RelatedJuly 2017 User Experience and Web Professional EventsWhether you’re a user experience or web professional, you know it can be a challenge to keep your skills up-to-date, learn about new methods, and network with fellow web workers. And it takes time to find interesting local events. That’s why I publish a monthly calendar of user experience and…In “Calendar”Weekly Roundup of Web Design and Development News: July 14, 2017In this week’s web design and development news roundup, you’ll learn how to design for touch, find out about the accessibility of the future WordPress editor, discover new features coming to Google Forms, and more. If you’re new to my blog, each Friday I publish a post highlighting my favorite…In “Web design & development links”User Experience Groups in Metro DetroitWhen I attended my first Internet User Experience conference in Ann Arbor in the mid-2000’s, I knew I wanted to get involved with local user experience groups. The people I met at the conference were doing all the things I found fascinating about the web: user research, usability testing, and…In “User experience”last_img read more

Gordhan issues warning to tax dodgers

first_img3 April 2012 While South Africa’s overall tax compliance has improved, certain sectors of the economy are taking advantage of loopholes to default on their payments – but will soon find their loopholes closing, says Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. The government will soon implement stringent measures to clamp down on tax defaulters, Gordhan said during the launch of the South African Revenue Service’s compliance programme in Pretoria on Sunday.Gordhan said that although overall tax compliance had improved, the trends required constant monitoring.“Sars will continue to widen the base of people who are within the tax bracket through constant innovations to ensure that all who should be part of the tax system are part of it,” he said.“Research has identified particular areas in our economy and in our tax system posing higher risks of non-compliance,” he said.“This year Sars will increase its efforts to create a climate that is increasingly conducive to full compliance by all taxpayers,” he said.Construction industry in the spotlightAttention will be directed towards the construction industry, “a sector which has significantly low levels of compliance than other sectors of the economy,” said Gordhan.Construction companies which receive government tenders would be at the center of the purge.“I think we need to take a much harder line. This is not just formal business, these are people who benefit by over-charging government through the inflation of invoice prices – let’s call them beneficiaries and culprits – they must now be brought to book.”“I am sure there are many candidates of these activities who do not appear on the tax radar. Sars has been instructed to ensure that they must start holding these characters to account,” said Gordhan.Trusts system ‘being abused by wealthy individuals’He said a formidable team of experts would be set up to review the trusts system, which Gordhan said was being abused by “wealthy South Africans” without declaring appropriate tax remittances.He said over the past 18 years Sars has made “tremendous progress” in raising the levels of tax compliance in the country by broadening the tax base.“The number of registered individual taxpayers increased from 1.7-million in 1994 to more than 6-million in 2009/10. This number doubled following policy changes which required the registration of all formally employed individuals in 2011,” said Gordhan.The February budget set Sars a revenue target of R738.7-billion. Against this target, Sars collected R742.7-billion, which is R4-billion more than the revised revenue estimate in the 2012 budget.Gordhan said millions of South Africans who are not formally employed or registered for income tax contributed to the fiscus by paying Value Added Tax, excise duties and the fuel levy.‘Talk to us before we talk to you’Both small and major players in the construction industry were among the major tax defaulters, said Sars commissioner Oupa Magashula.“Those people who are not compliant, we know who these people are [and are] going to do something about it,” he said.“The message today is: talk to us before we talk to you. If we call you, be assured that you will pay the penalties,” said Magashula.He said through close co-operation with international partners, Sars will be tightening the rope on those individuals who had not been paying tax or declaring their benefits from the trusts system.“For these wealthy individuals, we are going to start now. We will be collaborating with many tax jurisdictions around the world to get information of all the offshore trusts that wealthy individuals have,” he said.“We know of certain tax havens that are popular amongst wealthy South Africans. We have already signed lots of double taxation agreements and tax information exchanges that will give us a full view of these individuals,” said Magashula.The compliance project would also seek to arrest the widespread proliferation of unlawful cigarettes in the country through tightening the cigarettes manufacturing licences.Sapalast_img read more

Reduce shopping cart abandonments at every step of the customer journey

first_img Posted on 29th March 2017Digital Marketing FacebookshareTwittertweetGoogle+share Companies lose $18 billion in sales revenue each year from cart abandonment, with over $4 trillion worth of merchandise predicted to be abandoned in online shopping carts this year alone.Organizations that succeed with reducing cart abandonments are the ones who effectively tailor and deliver personalized experiences at each stage of the journey: before a customer has abandoned their cart, as a customer is displaying abandonment intent, and after the abandonment has taken place.Cart abandonment, rather than being seen as a rejection of a site’s value proposition, presents a unique opportunity to successfully re-engage customers on a personal level. Download this free eBook from Dynamic Yield to learn powerful and effective personalization strategies to apply throughout the three stages of the customer journey, empowering you to maximize conversions, recover sales and reduce abandonments.Visit Digital Marketing Depot to download your copy.From our sponsors: Reduce shopping cart abandonments at every step of the customer journey Reduce shopping cart abandonments at every step of the customer journeyYou are here: HomeDigital MarketingReduce shopping cart abandonments at every step of the customer journey Related postsLytics now integrates with Google Marketing Platform to enable customer data-informed campaigns14th December 2019The California Consumer Privacy Act goes live in a few short weeks — Are you ready?14th December 2019Global email benchmark report finds email isn’t dead – it’s essential13th December 2019ML 2019121313th December 20192019 benchmark report: brand vs. non-brand traffic in Google Shopping12th December 2019Keep your LinkedIn advertising strategy focused in 202012th December 2019last_img read more

B2B Marketers Beware: More of Your Customers Use RSS, Blogs and Social Networks Than You Think

first_img Business Blogging Topics: Originally published Jun 20, 2007 6:43:00 PM, updated October 18 2015 I talk to a lot of B2B companies about using blogs, wikis, RSS and other modern marketing methods to engage with prospects and customers to drive lead generation and sales (it is my job after all).  A lot of the time I hear that “our customers don’t use that stuff” or “only teenagers use blogs” or “our prospects can’t spell RSS”.  Well, now there is some very mainstream data (from BusinessWeek nonetheless) that shows that things like Blogs, RSS, social networks, posting videos online, etc. are a LOT more common, especially with “older” people (myself included) than you might think (I went to college before email was widely used and did not have a cell phone until I got one as part of my first job).If you assume that the 41-50 year old crowd of “young boomers” is a good proxy for a typical B2B buyer, then look at these stats from BusinessWeek as representative of your B2B prospects.  And then tell me that creating a blog, publishing using RSS and leveraging social media is not important to your business… with a straight face.  Frankly, if you are selling B2B a lot of your purchasers are probably younger than this demographic, so these estimates are probably conservative.• 12% of your B2B prospects publish/create a blog or website or online videos• 18% of your B2B prospects post comments on blogs or write online reviews• 15% of your B2B prospects use RSS• 15% use social networking sites (think LinkedIn, not MySpace)• 31% read blogs and/or listen to PodcastsAnd, overall, 46% of your B2B prospects who are online participate in some form of social media.Here is a link to the full chart of data from Business WeekWhat do you think?  How is social media such as blogs and RSS affecting B2B marketing?  Leave a comment and we can discuss below… Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Think Like a Publisher: 3 Tips to Generate More Leads

first_img Free Inbound Lead Generation Kit Topics: – One of the key components of generating revenue from advertising is based upon the position of your ads. You may have noticed that search engines have advertising at the top of the page and down the right hand side of the search results pages. This is because this is the optimal arrangement of ads to generate revenue without annoying visitors. You should think about placing your calls to actions in similar locations. Other good places are above or below the title and directly after the content on blog articles. 1. Ad Placement Think about it: both types of business are trying to attract a lot of quality traffic and they both are trying to generate revenue. Once a visitor is on either type of website, the first step to generating revenue comes from a simple mouse click on an advertisement or an call-to-action (CTA). As a business owner or marketer looking to increase revenue, it is critical to boost the flow of new inbound leads to drive revenue growth.  Because sites that make money from pay-per-click advertising are experts at driving more clicks on their ads, business owners can learn from them about how to produce more clicks on their CTAs, and thus, generate more leads. – One secret to generating clicks is having an offer that is similar to the interests of the visitor. Google serves ads based upon keywords from the content of the page. If you have an offer on a page about apples, try a CTA about apples or fruit, but avoid offers about meat or vegetables. The more related the CTA is to your pages content the more clicks you will get on the CTA. Download the free kit 3. Be Relevant 3 Lessons To Generate More Online Leads  for tips and tricks to drive more leads and business to your site. – Generating clicks is all about standing out. Now that you have your CTAs in the right places to get noticed, you should help them stand out from everything else on the page. Images or bright colors will draw peoples attention. Another trick is to use contrasting colors. If your site is blue, try a green CTA. It will be sure to stand out.center_img The trick is to become a vertically integrated publisher. Instead of paying for advertising space on another site, start a business blog and bring in more traffic to your own website and display your own “ads” in the form of CTAs. Think more like an advertiser by leveraging some of these lessons. What are other ways you can think like a publisher? Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack 2.  Get Noticed elycefeliz Originally published Feb 16, 2011 10:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Photo Credit: Lead Generation Learn how to generate more inbound leads using SEO, blogging, and social media.last_img read more

12 Mind-Blowing Statistics Every Marketer Should Know

first_img Originally published Apr 1, 2011 1:00:00 PM, updated August 27 2017 It’s no secret that the marketing landscape has changed dramatically over the past few years as social and mobile technologies have gone from early-adopter novelties to mainstream essentials. Still, there are plenty of traditional marketing stalwarts out there who aren’t buying all of the social media hype or can’t convince their boss or marketing team to experiment in the brave new world of inbound marketing .So we’ve rounded up a dozen powerful marketing statistics that are sure to be eye-openers, if not total mind-changers. 1. 78% of Internet users conduct product research online. That means your website stands a good chance of being a prospect’s “first impression.” That also means your new business card isn’t a business card—it’s Google. 2. In the past year, Web-based email usage dropped a staggering 59% among 12-17 year olds, who prefer to communicate via text, instant messaging, and social networks. If 12-17 year olds aren’t your primary customers, you may think, “So what? They’re just kids.” But web-based email usage has been on the decline among ALL Internet users under the age of 55. And by the way, today’s kids are tomorrow’s customers—and they’re probably  not going to be reading your email. 3. 78% of business people use their mobile device to check email. So that means pretty much everybody that can check email on a mobile device, does . Is your email newsletter optimized for mobile devices ? 4. 40% of US smartphone owners compare prices on their mobile device while in-store, shopping for an item. Is your business website optimized for mobile devices ? If not, you may be missing out on hundreds of sales opportunities. 5. 200 Million Americans have registered on the FTC’s “Do Not Call” list. That’s 2/3 of the country’s citizens. The other 1/3, I’m guessing, probably don’t have a home phone anymore. 6. 91% of email users have unsubscribed from a company email they previously opted-in to. We’re getting savvier with technology and less patient with unwanted solicitations. And it’s just so easy to hit ‘delete’. 7. 84% of 25-34 year-olds have left a favorite website because of intrusive or irrelevant advertising. Frankly, I’m surprised this stat doesn’t read “100%” and apply to a much wider age range.  8. 57% of businesses have acquired a customer through their company blog. Finally, some good news! Blogging is good. Intrusive ads are bad. See how simple it is? 9. 41% of B2B companies and 67% of B2C companies have acquired a customer through Facebook. If this stat doesn’t poke a hole in the “Facebook is not useful for B2B companies” myth, I don’t know what will. 10. The number of marketers who say Facebook is “critical” or “important” to their business has increased 83% in just 2 years. That’s right— critical or important. When a channel generates not only leads, but real revenue, you can’t call it “experimental” any longer. 11. Companies that blog get 55% more web traffic . The more you blog, the more pages Google has to index, and the more inbound links you’re likely to have. The more pages and inbound links you have, the higher you rank on search engines like Google—thus the greater amount of traffic to your website. Which is why we repeat: Blogging is good. 12. Inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than traditional, outbound marketing. That’s right— 62% less . The average outbound lead costs $373. The average inbound lead costs $143. And as we love to say around here, “if it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense.” Outbound marketing just don’t make sense anymore. You can find sources to all of the above stats along with a boatload more eye-popping facts, figures, and how-to’s in the presentation embedded below or you can join us next week each and every day at 12pm EST for a very special edition of HubSpotTV  where we’ll share hundreds of tips (and give away dozens of awesome prizes! ) in celebration of Marketing Transformation Week.   It’s Time to Transform Your Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

4 Tips to Keep Your Email List Squeaky Clean

first_img Email Lists and Segmentation This is a guest post written by Heather Bonura. Heather is the director of brand strategy for Lititz, PA-based email marketing firm, Listrak.We all know that email marketing is continually evolving. Subscribers are savvier, and therefore, we need to get more targeted. But many marketers still haven’t adjusted their email strategies to be truly effective. It’s no longer valuable to rent a list and blast out a message to a million recipients in hopes they’ll appreciate your efforts and take advantage of your offer. In fact, tactics like that can often do more harm than good. If you aren’t building and managing your own email lists, you’re not only missing the profiling data that is specific to your company, but you’re running the risk of being flagged as spam and decreasing your ROI.Here are some tips for managing and optimizing your email list.  1. Make Sure Your List Has Good HygienePerforming a simple data check to correct misspellings and typos entered during the acquisition phase is the first step toward clean lists. This will enable you to clean up simple errors such as [email protected], [email protected], terry!, etc., so you don’t deploy messages to invalid accounts. During this process, you should also remove any distribution email addresses, such as [email protected]; system email addresses, such as [email protected]; and any email address with the word “spam” in it. Many email marketing providers have list hygiene tools built in to their services to keep your list clean and bounce rates low.2. Manage Bounce RateUndelivered emails continue to cause a lot of confusion for email marketers, as the bounce codes are cryptic and lack standardization across different email clients. However, this is a critical step in list management, and frankly, it increases your email ROI by not mailing to addresses that bounce. You don’t have to decipher every bounce code, you just have to manage hard and soft bounces.A soft bounce is a temporary deliverability problem, such as a full inbox or a server that is down. It’s okay for you to resend emails to these addresses because there is a good chance they will go through on the second or third attempt. A hard bounce is a permanent deliverability problem, such as an invalid email address. Since there is no chance the email will ever get delievered, it is important to remove these addresses immediately. ISPs track the number of bounces you generate with each send and use it when determining your reputation. If you generate too many bounces, internet service providers (ISPs) may block your messages. Keeping these addresses on your list will also squew your analytics in a negative way. 3. Monitor Feedback LoopsAnother factor ISPs use to determine your reputation is the number of complaints your messages generate. With email clients today, it’s often easier for people to report your unwanted messages as spam than it is for them to unsubscribe from your list. Even if you followed all of the acquisition best practices and the subscribers opted in to receive emails from you, they can still report your messages as spam. It is imperative that you monitor feedback loops so you can identify complainers and immediately remove them from your lists.4. Remove Inactive SubscribersThe thought of proactively removing subscribers from your list who haven’t personally unsubscribed might sound crazy to you. However, it is a current trend and best practice that savvy marketers are using to improve ROI by ensuring their lists only contain subscribers who are engaged. After all, if someone is only going to delete your message, why even send it in the first place?Before you remove subscribers, try a re-engagement campaign to regain their interest. You might offer a special incentive to recapture their attention. If that doesn’t work, simply ask them if they wish to remain on your list and include an easy way for them to opt out, or send a notification that their subscription period is ending and ask them to opt-in again. If the subscriber remains inactive, remove them from your list. Remember: the success of an email marketing campaign should not measured by the number of subscribers. Rather, it should be measured by the quality of the subscribers and the actions they take as a result of your email (like downloading your ebook and converting into a lead!). Therefore, it’s better to deploy campaigns to 20,000 active and engaged people than it is to blast the email to 30,000 people if half of them don’t care, delete it, or worse — report it as spam.With these tips as your guide, you’re now armed with the knowledge you need to clean up your email list so you can increase ROI and revenue.When was the last time you updated your email list? What’s your bounce rate like?Image Credit: Kris Bradley Originally published Oct 3, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

LinkedIn Launches Dramatically Improved Version of LinkedIn Events

first_imgEvent marketers are under tremendous pressure to show ROI around the events they organize and attend. Luckily, LinkedIn has just made it easier to help marketers decide which industry conferences are good matches by launching a revamped LinkedIn Events, the newest version of which was released today with exciting new features.Let’s take a look at what’s new and improved with LinkedIn Events, and how it will make your life as an event marketer easier.Personalized Event RecommendationsWhy event marketers should be happy:With a better gauge on an event’s audience, you’ll be able to make a stronger case for or against event attendance before you register, not to mention developing more targeted goals for the event.More people will be aware of the events that you’re hosting.You’ll likely see a more relevant audience in attendance.Better Search and Visibility          Now when you log in to LinkedIn, you’ll see events as part of your regular feed, so it’s easier to scan your homepage and see new events as they pop up. Just as the LinkedIn Events recommendations provide tailored results based on profile information, you can actively search for events using time, industry, and location-based filters. The cherry on top is the ability to customize a logo for your event and URL generated for your event to make sharing even easier during your promotions.Why event marketers should be happy:By making it easier to search for and stumble upon events, event marketers don’t have to fear they’re the last one to the party.No more getting hounded by your boss for not hearing about an event.No more panicked, last-ditch efforts to get a booth together or find a speaker for somewhere you just have to exhibit and present.Networking RecommendationsWhy event marketers should be happy:Instead of trying to shake as many hands as possible in the hopes of meeting those few key people or prospects, you can identify who you’d like to meet in advance and be prepared for your conversation.If you’re the one hosting an event, just think of how much your attendance will boom if people see an industry heavyweight is attending your event!Along with other cool LinkedIn Events updates like Google Maps integration, status updates when you RSVP for an event, and identifying your role as a speaker or exhibitor, LinkedIn Events should act as another tool to help event marketers research their options and yield greater ROI at the events they choose to host and attend.What do you think of LinkedIn’s revamped Events feature?Image Credits: LinkedIn Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Nov 9, 2011 5:52:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Event Marketinglast_img read more

5 Examples of Awesome Holiday Marketing Campaigns

first_imgThe holidays are here! The holidays are here! And with the holidays come so many companies’ holiday marketing campaigns. While these campaigns are a great opportunity for business’ to show thanks for their existing customers, spread holiday cheer, and even attract the attention of new prospects and customers, how can you make sure your business stands out and does more than simply sending out a cheesy holiday card? Here are five awesome examples of companies doing it right that you can use to motivate your own marketing campaign this season.American Express: Small Business SaturdayAmerican Express created Small Business Saturday to encourage shoppers to remember their favorite small businesses during a period when big brands are usually in the spotlight. This year, the company is even giving American Express customers rebates for shopping at their favorite local businesses. They are also helping small business owners capitalize on their social media success by providing stores with Facebook ads, scripts, for tweets and Facebook posts, and even signage to attract attention to them.  What makes it awesome?American Express’ campaign is not only a good example for marketers, but the company is also helping small businesses learn how to market their businesses. Furthermore, they are helping to stimulate the economy and local communities by encouraging shoppers to remember the smaller, local stores while also promoting its brand effectively.Starbucks: Cup Magic AppStarbucks’ regular mobile app has brought the company a lot of success. So for the holiday season, Starbucks launched an app to celebrate its renowned red cups and continue making Starbucks an experience for its customers. This app highlights holiday offers, allows you to send an eGift and uses augmented reality to animate the pictures on the red cups. Collecting all the characters on the cups may even lead to something special.What makes it awesome?Starbucks is always successful with customer engagement, especially when it comes to its mobile app. By creating an app just for the holidays, the company is not only promoting its brand and holiday drinks but also reminding people of its regular mobile app. When creating your marketing strategy, keep your long-term goals in mind. Your campaign should incorporate some holiday flair while keeping in mind and leveraging the bigger picture.OfficeMax: Elf YourselfWhat’s funnier than putting your friends and pets in elf outfits and watching them dance around on your screen? Few companies are able to repurpose the same holiday campaign year after year and still find success. But to keep things interesting every year, OfficeMax slightly changes the songs and themes of these videos, successfully getting people keep coming back for more. JibJab also makes it simple to share the videos on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and via email.What makes it awesome?By creating these interactive videos, OfficeMax is constantly engaging with its audience. OfficeMax saw an opportunity to do something fun while still promoting its brand. In addition, the personalized nature of the campaign creates a viral effect, helping the promotion to spread, and thus expanding the reach of the OfficeMax brand. For your next holiday campaign, consider opportunities to better personalize and target your campaign to the audience you’re trying to reach.Kohl’s: Friday Parody for Black FridaySomeone was bound to do it. This season, Kohl’s released a commercial with a parody for Rebecca Black’s song “Friday” with the purpose of highlighting Kohl’s as the destination for discounts on Black Friday. Even if people laugh at Kohl’s song selection, it has received a lot of viral attention as “Friday” is a song people love to talk about, even if they hate it.What makes it awesome?This may seem like an easy opportunity for any store with Black Friday approaching, but Kohl’s was the first store to take advantage of the song’s viral nature. Kohl’s also recognized that its target audience is made up of the types of people who applaud this song instead of laugh at it. Using this song for the parody keeps Kohl’s brand goals in mind while still benefiting from promotion for Black Friday.Macy’s: Believe CampaignEvery year, Macy’s donates $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation for every letter to Santa that is submitted at their store. In the last three years, they have collected more than four million letters. Customers and their children are immersed in the holiday spirit as they write to Santa and raise money for charity. This year, Macy’s designed an app to take pictures with some of Macy’s holiday characters to further promote their campaign.What makes it awesome?Macy’s always gets a lot of press during the holidays, but this year the department store is making its annual campaign more interactive. By giving customers a mobile experience, the company will be able to take the Macy’s brand and experience outside of the store, which is important for any business trying to leverage the current mobile phenomenon.The holidays are a great time to market your business during a time when many of your competitors are likely asleep at the wheel. Whether you create a mobile app or simply create a few holiday-themed offers, don’t miss out on a great opportunity to get creative and keep your business on the tops of your prospects and customers’ minds.And don’t forget to check out HubSpot’s holiday campaign featuring the @HubSpotUnicorn!What other awesome holiday campaigns have you seen this season?Photo Credit: cindyiscrafty Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Holiday Marketing Originally published Nov 24, 2011 3:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more