Day: October 26, 2020

New comment by bbrookeshfbj in "Ask HN: Who is hiring? (October 2020)"

REMOTE- JAVA Software Engineer at Health Fidelity, Inc. https://healthfidelity.com/careers/open-positions/?gh_jid=23…. Health Fidelity is a healthcare tech company. Our mission is to improve the quality of care and reduce the overall cost of healthcare by making the decision-making process more data driven. Our products will have an impact on the national healthcare infrastructure, as well as patients’ quality of life.

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New comment by designbygio_gio in "Ask HN: Freelancer? Seeking freelancer? (October 2020)"

SEEKING WORK | Europe | Remote | Javascript Web Developer (Focus on Frontend) Strongest skills: Javascript/ES6, Reactjs, Nextjs, and all the typical React stacks (Jest Testing, storybook, Webpack, Contentful as CMS, Nodejs API, Hapijs and Expressjs). Extra: UI/UX background, WordPress, generalist, open source, early stage startup, Extensive Remote experience with different timezones. Portfolio: https://designbygio.it

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The Most Expensive Election

But do you hear many progressives complaining, as they trounce the GOP?

California's Racial Scare Campaign

Behind in the polls, preference supporters roll out the KKK and David Duke.

Working With a Digital Marketing Agency Vs. Hiring In House

If you are looking to scale up your marketing, you will need talented people that can take charge of and execute your strategy. 

But should you build your own in-house marketing team or hire an agency partner? 

There are compelling reasons for both, and it mostly depends on your situation.

Read on to find out which decision is better for you. 

The Benefits of Working With a Digital Marketing Agency

Digital agencies are companies that help other businesses perform a specific function such as marketing, development, or design. 

They act as a substitute for an in-house team, serving the same labor function but outside of the organization.

They typically specialize in certain areas, depending on how big their team is and what expertise they have. 

Other ways to think about digital agencies are as an outsourced team or in some cases a group of freelancers working together. 

Here are the benefits of working with a digital marketing agency:

Deeper Expertise 

Digital marketing agencies are more likely to have deeper expertise when it comes to a specific role or industry. This is because they most likely specialize in a certain area or have worked with clients in your space before.

  • Specialty – Most agencies specialize in one or two things, such as content marketing or performance advertising. Combined with the fact that they provide these services to multiple clients, it is likely that any given agency has a high level of competence and expertise in their domain. 
  • Industry insights – Agencies can work with dozens of clients at a time. Chances are, they’ve worked with a company in a similar situation or industry as your own. 

Diverse Skills

When you hire an agency, you are not just hiring one person. You are hiring a whole team and their network, which can sometimes be ten or more people. 

Although you may be hiring an agency to help you with SEO, you may find that they have team members that can help advise on producing content or even designers that can help improve your user experience.

This provides benefits such as:

  • More perspective – A diverse team can help solve problems faster. Diversity allows teams to see things from different perspectives and come up with creative solutions. 
  • Flexibility – It may be the case that you need to expand into a different marketing channel or adapt your strategy based on a changing environment. Agencies give you more flexibility with your strategy, so if social media isn’t working you can easily change to something else. 

Scalable

Scaling a business isn’t easy. Two of the key challenges that come with scaling are getting the right talent and getting enough new customers. 

Using the right digital marketing agency can help alleviate these two key scaling challenges. 

On the talent side, you won’t need to think about having to find and hire senior marketing people. You won’t have to build out a management structure for that department either.

When scaling your growth, it’s simply a case of double downing on what’s already working with your agency and fully exhausting that marketing channel. If at some point that marketing channel stops working, you can simply leverage your agency’s diversity to test out new channels.

Transparent vetting

When hiring in house, it can be hard to accurately vet the quality of the hire. For a start, it can be hard to validate the accuracy of the claims on their resume. 

References can be useful, but employers typically stay on the safe side and give a positive reference to avoid any potential legal trouble.

Agencies have it a bit different, however, and clients are very transparent and vocal if an agency has underperformed.

You can easily find and read client reviews about a particular agency on websites such as Trustpilot before deciding to work with an agency. 

Dedicated Partner

The dynamic between working with an agency and hiring an employee is very different. 

An employee understands that they are part of a chain of command. This means that it is unlikely they will be thinking on a strategic level unless they are part of senior management. 

A digital marketing agency is different in that they work with you as a partner. So in many ways, you aren’t paying for an extra team of employees, but more so a marketing partner or even co-founder.

This enables the following benefits:

  • Results-driven – Your agency partner knows that if they don’t deliver results, you won’t have a working relationship for much longer. This means that the incentives are properly aligned and there is an urgency to make things happen. 
  • Strategic insight – Your digital marketing agency will come in with an outside perspective. This will help you see problems that you didn’t know even existed. They will also be thinking on a much higher level about how to really grow your business.

The Pros of Going In House

Building an in house team will make sense in some cases, and comes with a few benefits. As a general rule, in house teams provide greater control with a tighter, more focused team. 

They Believe In The Mission

When hiring in house, your success will largely depend on how you attract and select potential hires. Finding the right fit for your organization is key. 

Assuming you get the hiring process right, you will ideally be working with people who truly believe in your company and your mission. 

The right employee will be more invested on an emotional level more than any agency partner as they are fully immersed in your company’s journey. 

  • Engagement – Highly engaged employees can be one of the most powerful tools a business has. A high level of engagement means that your employees are likely to go above and beyond to help the business succeed, be that through working extra hours or solving difficult problems.
  • Talent cultivation – There is no guarantee that you will retain your employees, but if done right you can cultivate your own all-star team. This of course will take many years of active investment, but you could potentially build a powerful team organically. 

Employees Are More Focused

When working with an agency, chances are that the people assigned to your project are likely working with other clients too. 

Juggling multiple responsibilities means that the agency you work with may not be able to give you their full brain power, as would be the case of an employee solely working in your business. 

But keep in mind that focus may not be enough to get results, and even if an agency is working with multiple clients, they may still have the experience to help achieve your business goals.

Brand Familiarity

Building an in-house team comes with the benefit of your employees being fully immersed in your brand. 

This means that they will naturally have a higher level of brand familiarity, and understand why you exist on a more visceral level, compared to an agency. 

A digital marketing agency will of course become accustomed to your brand over time, but it will take longer than someone in house. 

  • Customer insight – Better brand familiarity means better customer insight. Your in house team will have a stronger idea of what your customer’s pain points are, what messaging resonates with them and how you can better serve their needs.
  • Capabilities – Your employees will also have a more realistic assessment of what your business is capable of in relation to marketing and product development. For instance, they will better be able to leverage the different teams in your organization to enhance marketing activities, such as providing salespeople with content.

Better Control

Hiring in house gives you greater control over the execution of your marketing strategy. 

Although it is generally not a good idea to micro-manage (why are you hiring in the first place?), having your own team means that you will have a better oversight of what is happening.

Many agencies don’t offer that close working relationship and typically have their own processes and ideas about the best way to get things done. 

  • Accessibility – Your in house team are always there during working hours. If you are in a physical office space, you get the benefits of much closer collaboration compared to an external agency. But even with remote working, you can easily jump into a meeting with your team as needed.
  • Flexibility – Typically with agencies, you agree on a scope of work and enshrine it within a contract. It’s hard to deviate from this scope without incurring extra costs and renegotiating. With an in house team, you have more flexibility to change direction, even though you may be constrained by a lack of skills. 

When Should You Build an In House Team?

Evolutions in the modern economy has opened up new ways of structuring how we work. 

The traditional model of needing employees is being challenged with more flexible arrangements with agencies and freelancers. 

But it’s not a one size fits all situation. Depending on your business and current situation, it still may make sense to build an in house marketing team. 

Here are three scenarios where building an in house team may make sense.

Scenario 1: Venture Funded

If you have just received a large injection of capital, then you will have the money to attract and build the best possible team.

This is even more relevant for early stage startups who can dish out some equity to potential hires so that they can actively poach top talent from other companies. 

Venture funded companies will also be expected to build their own in house team as part of the scaling process, which is a significant reason for receiving the capital in the first place. 

Scenario 2: Access to Talent

If you are living in an area where you have access to the best talent, then building an in house team may make sense to you.

Having a robust network or visibility through your personal brand or thought leadership is also a scenario where it would make sense to leverage that to build a great team.

Having access to the right people is one of the main reasons why you would use a digital marketing agency, so if you could bring them onto your team then it makes sense to do so.

Scenario 3: Difficult Market

Some products and markets can be better executed with an in house team. This is particularly true for very niche or sophisticated markets.

  • Innovative Products – If you are working with a very innovative product that is sold at the enterprise level for instance, chances are you will need very technical people that can help with the sales process. This isn’t something that can be delegated to a digital marketing agency.
  • Obscure market – Some markets may rely on very specific marketing channels that can’t be scaled in a linear, predictable way. For instance, if you rely on government contracts or seasonal cycles. In these cases, it’s probably better to get in house people who can adapt to your unique circumstances.

The True Cost of Hiring In House

People often have the misconception that hiring an agency is more expensive than hiring in house. 

It naturally depends on the agency you hire and the scope of work, but there are a lot of hidden costs when hiring in house that many people don’t consider. 

When accounting for hiring the best talent, the cost of building an in house team quickly adds up.

  1. Recruitment cost – First, you have to set aside a budget to actually finding the right person. This includes costs such as ads, networking events, recruitment personnel and so on. There is also the cost associated with not having a role filled, which could take months.
  2. Training and onboarding – Each new employee also has a ramp up time before they reach full productivity. At the beginning, each new hire represents a cost which needs to be taken into consideration.
  3. New software – Consider also the costs of tools that your team may need to do their job such as analytics, communication and HR tools.
  4. Salaries – The biggest cost of employees comes in the form of their salaries. The better the talent the higher the cost. 
  5. Retention – A bad hire can really set you back. In the worst case, they may do damage to your brand and stall your marketing operations. But even if it’s simply not a good fit, you already spent a lot of money acquiring them and you are losing money by not having the role filled.
  6. Legal – Employees come with legal consequences. If somebody is proving to be a bad fit after the probation period, it may be difficult to release them. 

Conclusion

Whether you go in house or build out your own team will come down to your unique situation. 

You will have to consider all the variables such as cost, your market and even your ability to build a great team. 

Keep in mind also that it may not have to be a binary decision.

The best route forward may be a combination of some in house hires supplemented with a digital marketing agency. 

The post Working With a Digital Marketing Agency Vs. Hiring In House appeared first on Neil Patel.

4 Differences Between Creative and Marketing Agencies

Do you need a creative agency or a marketing agency?

Look at the most successful companies today, and you’ll see the magic of both agency types at play. 

Take Apple for example. 

Apple’s marketing believes that design and utility are just two of the reasons behind Apple’s success and certainly give it a competitive advantage.”

But drill down to Apple and its individual products’ success in the market spaces they compete in, and you’ll see that design alone doesn’t do the magic. 

Marketing is just as important.

Apple drives growth with a marketing mix that does an excellent job to create raving fans even before product launches. And the overall sales it commands from its products is a direct result of the company’s marketing strategies. 

In other words, to drive and sustain its growth, Apple uses creative agencies. But before their product launches, they leverage the expertise of marketing agencies.

This is the difference between a creative agency and a marketing agency.

What is a creative agency?

According to Column Five Media: 

“A creative agency is a term for an agency that offers a variety of services that fall under the umbrella of marketing and advertising. Basically, if you need any type of creative strategy, work, or promotion, they can help you get it done.”

Column Five Media is a creative agency that has worked with Intuit, eBay, Google, Facebook, and dozens of other global brands. 

Take a second to look at the definition of a creative agency by Column Five Media, a creative agency, and what does it reveal to you? 

It clearly shows that even a wildly-experienced creative agency admits that its services, or any creative agency’s services, fall under the umbrella of marketing and advertising.  

This definition should tell you something:

A creative agency helps to illuminate the advertising and marketing strategy execution of a company through appealing designs and other forms of creative work. 

What is a Marketing Agency? 

Like Column Five Media, my agency, Neil Patel Digital, has also worked with global brands such as Google, eBay, Intuit, Facebook, and dozens of others: 

Here’s how I define a marketing agency:

“A marketing agency is a business that researches, strategizes, brands, and promotes a company’s products or services. Ultimately, marketing agencies partner with a company to develop, manage, and execute its marketing strategy to achieve defined business goals.”

As you saw in Apple’s example, design and utility (mostly brought to live by creative agencies) play an essential role in making products more appealing to users. 

But the identification of those users, understanding what design choices will appeal to them, the messaging that’ll resonate with them, how, where, and when to reach them for the most impact comes first. 

That’s why I say that marketing (mostly achieved with a marketing agency) is what engineers and sustains a company’s growth. 

Hence, while creative agencies help to illuminate marketing ideas, marketing agencies strategize, create, and deliver the right content to the right people: 

With their defining distinctions established, what are the various other differences between a creative agency and a marketing agency? 

4 Differences between a Creative agency and marketing agency

As I said at the beginning of this article, the difference between these agency types boil down to very fine details. 

Yet the need to know them is paramount, as it helps you to avoid judging a fish by its ability to climb a tree. 

To guide you, I’ll distinguish both by pairing the related services these agency types can help you with when looking to grow your business. 

Difference #1: Market research vs user research

Market research is a core business function. 

Through market research, you can validate a business opportunity, examine the economic forces at play by investigating key industry trends and the competition, and get an idea of your potential market size. 

But the main goal of market research isn’t to give you a solid foundation of the above alone. 

Most importantly, it is to relate the findings from the research to your business case, ensuring that you get a firm grasp of how and where to position your company for growth. 

By using market research to determine “how” to position your business, an agency identifies measures to differentiate your brand from competitors. It also allows them to identify “where” that positioning should happen – something that comes from knowing your prospective customers’ demographics. 

Marketing agencies excel more doing this type of high-level market research. 

Not only are they the ones who usually have market analysts working in-house, they’re also the ones who go on to develop tools that enable this kind of market research. 

For example, the need to conduct SEO research and help people understand their market and competition better is part of what led me to develop Ubersuggest

However, although some marketing agencies have in-house user researchers, creative agencies shine the most in the area of user research.  

Market research helps to determine the how and where of your brand. 

But to know why people would care, you must appeal to their interests and address their pain points the moment they spot your brand collaterals, most times without saying a single word.  

Achieving this feat boils down to creating user-focused visuals and design assets that appeal to people’s interests or address their pain points, otherwise called psychographics

User-focused design is the core of creative agencies. 

To excel at doing this, they always conduct user research to determine the psychographics of prospective customers, even after market research has identified their demographics. 

This explains why you’ll find UX researchers and UI/UX designers leading the lines for creative agencies. 

Difference #2: Long-term branding vs specific targeting

Have you noticed something about most global brands? 

They hardly change their core branding

Yes, they may evolve into trendy visuals as most often do, but the brand fundamentals rarely change entirely. 

Take Google, for example.

The company’s visual identity and logo has evolved tremendously from 1997 to 2015, but its fundamental brand colors, red, blue, yellow, and green remains:  

The reason for this is that branding, usually executed by creative agencies, takes a long-term approach. It involves creating design assets and visuals to depict what your company represents and to articulate your corporate identity even in the years to come. 

But as you see with Google, as time goes by and new market opportunities emerge (mostly identified through market research and by marketing agencies), the need to evolve that identity may arise as you realize the need to appeal to specific audiences. 

And this was the case with Google.

According to a report by The Verge, redesigning their logo to look good on small screens had a profound impact on why Google evolved its visual identity design in 2015. 

In other words, Google, through continuous market research saw the need to appeal to the growing number of people using smartphones to access the internet. 

Google’s example depicts an important difference between creative and marketing agencies. 

Use creative agencies when you need to design and evolve your brand and corporate identity to reflect what your brand represents in the long-term and in changing times. 

But creative agencies focus more on designs, and don’t get into the weeds of studying changing market trends on specific channels. 

And that’s where marketing agencies differ. 

Marketing agencies’ work revolve around seeking new avenues to market your business’ offering, reach specific audiences, and drive growth. Logically, this a necessary first step before embarking on design or involving a creative agency. 

Difference #3: Go-to-market strategy development vs creative direction

Marketing agencies and creative agencies also differ in the area of go-to-market strategy development and leading the creative direction of the strategy execution on various channels. 

That’s another way to say that marketing agencies can help you to identify what channels to market your product or service. They can also help you to plan and decide what content types will drive the most impact. 

But most lack design expertise even when they have in-house designers. 

Creative agencies, therefore, are a better option if you know what channels and content types to create, especially when there’s a need for expert design of the final deliverable of such content. 

For example, a marketing agency may find that your brand will drive more engagement and growth on social media. But they may lack the creativity required to produce appealing content for the social media channels your company uses to appeal to your target audiences on those platforms. 

Creative agencies differ in this area. 

They are the ones to turn to when you need expert design execution specific to a go-to-market strategy typically developed by a marketing agency. 

Difference #4: Analytics vs creativity

There was a myth (although debunked in 2013), which postulated that we have two brains: The methodical or analytical side on the left and the creative side on the right. 

Let’s pretend for a moment that there was some truth in that myth. 

Why?

Because I consider it a good way to differentiate a marketing agency from a creative agency. 

In that case, you can see marketing agencies as the left-brain analytical side because they crunch a lot of numbers in search of logical insights to justify things like marketing spend, marketing ROI, and many others. 

On the other hand, creative agencies deal with the irrational aspects of a business by applying creative thinking and emotionally-driven design development to appeal to intangible human emotions not necessarily measured by numbers. 

Although in business, everything, including efforts by both a marketing or creative agency, eventually gets measured in the long run to justify their investments. 

However, let’s say you want to identify insights into how your advertising campaigns are performing or will perform in the future relative to your business goals. 

Or, you need data insights such as traffic sources, channels driving the most impact for your business, what your sales funnel metrics is saying, marketing agencies are the ones to turn to because these tasks require analytical data crunching. 

If the data crunching by marketing agencies reveals the need to improve your design or recreate them entirely to get them to become more appealing to specific audiences or channels, creative agencies shine better for doing this. 

Creative agency vs marketing agency: Which one should you choose? 

It depends. 

The truth is that both agency types bring excellent levels of creativity to whatever they do. 

Hence, staying with the myth about the left-side analytical brain and right-side creative brain, you can’t do away with one side and expect the brain to perform at full capacity. 

You need both to drive your business forward. 

So instead of asking which one you should choose (because you’ll need one of the two at some point), the question should be when should I choose a marketing or creative agency? 

When you want to develop or improve your branding or brand identity, go to a creative agency. Also, when you want to create or improve design assets to support your marketing campaigns or make your content more appealing, creative agencies can help in these areas. 

However, before you seek creative design help, it’s essential to conduct market research, develop a go-to-market strategy to guide everything they design, and set up an air-tight analytics ecosystem to measure everything every step of the way. 

If this is what you need right now, my ad agency, Neil Patel Digital, shines in this area.

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Top 25 Self Identity And Awareness Podcasts You Must Follow in 2020

Top 25 Self Identity And Awareness Podcasts Contents [show] ⋅About this list & ranking Self Identity And Awareness Podcasts Inspiring Identity Identity | FYID NYC’s podcast Global Identity Authentic Life Identity The Self and Identity Podcast Discover and express your best Self with Raliat Abe Her Fearless Hustle The Self Awareness Journey Podcast Evolution Of Self Chronicles […]

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New comment by nerandell in "Ask HN: Who is hiring? (October 2020)"

Amazon | Engineers | London, UK | On Site (Remote during COVID 19) | Full-time | VISA Sponsored | https://www.amazon.com Amazon Alexa Shopping team is hiring Software Development Engineers to be based in London. Our vision is to redefine the future of shopping by transforming the way our customers browse, find and buy from Amazon …

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New comment by designbygio_gio in "Ask HN: Freelancer? Seeking freelancer? (October 2020)"

SEEKING WORK | Europe | Remote | Javascript Web Developer (Focus on Frontend) Strongest skills: Javascript/ES6, Reactjs, Nextjs, and all the typical React stacks (Jest Testing, storybook, Webpack, Contentful as CMS, Nodejs API, Hapijs and Expressjs). Extra: UI/UX background, WordPress, generalist, open source, early stage startup, Extensive Remote experience with different timezones. Portfolio: https://designbygio.it

The post New comment by designbygio_gio in “Ask HN: Freelancer? Seeking freelancer? (October 2020)” first appeared on Online Web Store Site.

California’s Racial Scare Campaign

Behind in the polls, preference supporters roll out the KKK and David Duke.

The post California’s Racial Scare Campaign appeared first on ROI Credit Builders.

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