A week of discovery in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, Argentina, has led to a new discovery of my own: that the world is full of surprises.
Caught up in the hustle and bustle of a city that boasts more than 14 million people, Buenos Aires is the hub for the world’s best polo players, Malbec wine, salsa dancers and beef.
You cannot live by normal rules if you travel to Buenos Aires, because the city simply won’t let you.
From the availability of buying the Argentine peso at a rate that is not less than half of what you would get buying it on the street, to the ability to eat at a reasonable hour – Buenos Aires asks you to take a risk, and that’s what the 400 entrepreneurs who graced an EO conference at Alvear Palace do every single day.
Before writing this, I thought long and hard. My first concern was the relevance of this to my journey that I share on this blog. The second is because you either love Angelina Jolie or you hate her. No one seems to be indifferent.
I don’t write about celebrity for the simple reason that I don’t think any celebrity, sports star, politician or business person is better than the person sitting next to them – they simply have chosen different jobs. I have never been in awe of anyone in particular, although there are quite a few people I respect immensely – but those people, I know well.
I never have my photograph taken with a person considered a “celebrity” at a party, event, dinner party or social gathering - I simply don’t see the point. I possibly will never see them again, so why would I want a reminder of someone I don’t know? Is it so I can show my children (if I ever have any) or friends that really matter, that I stood next to a celebrity for a photo?
So, to call one a role model feels kind of weird – but in this particular case it is justified – for me at least.
Angelina Jolie has it all. She was born into a pedigree Hollywood family, growing up in Hollywood with wealth and influence. She attended her first Oscars as her father’s date when she was just 13 – her first real taste of light bulbs flashing and photographers yelling “look here”, “look at me”, “Angelina”. It must have been daunting, but today, I am sure it is like water of a ducks back.
She started modeling and acting quite young starring alongside her father in Lookin’ to Get Out (1982), but it wasn’t until her first major film role in Hackers and television films George Wallace and Gia (both award winning roles for Jolie) that she started to become known.
By her Oscar winning performance in Girl, Interrupted in 1999, she had the public mesmerized. This film was followed by Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, The Cradle of Life, Mr and Mrs Smith, Wanted, Salt, The Tourist, A Mighty Heart, Changeling and her directorial debut in In the Land of Blood and Honey.
Your bounce rate may come second in your book to other metrics such as number of visits or page views on your website, but it is something that many small businesses can leverage if they put it to the forefront.
After checking the Marketing Eye google analytics account yesterday, as I do every day, I paid special attention to how the website bounce rate was going. I had just been to a number of my client's google analytics accounts and noticed that theirs ranged from 35 percent to 80 percent - depending on whether they allow Marketing Eye to do their SEO and invest in creating content to drive connections.
For those who are uncertain what a bounce rate is, it simply is a record of the "bounce" that occurs when a visitor goes to your website, reads a page or looks at a page, then leaves your website. A "bounce rate" is the percentage of total visitors that come to your website that then bounce off of it.
Theoretically, the lower your website's bounce rate, the better your conversion rate, or at least the higher the potential conversions, because more of the people who visit your website like what they see, and click around on your content.
According to Weidert Group, 'a good bounce rate would be anything under 50-60 percent. A large factor influencing bounce rate is what kind of page you're looking at and what the content is on that page. If a page links to other pages, say, products you make or services , then a bounce rate of above 60 percent wouldn't be out of the norm.'
Last night I had the opportunity to attend an event at JWT Atlanta, the best experiential marketing company in Atlanta and one of the most experienced and creative agencies in all of the US.
They put together events every other month, bringing together people from the marketing and advertising industry.
I really enjoy going to their events as they have quality speakers and as a company, JWT Atlanta is as inspiring as any of the people that they have present. Their office space is uber creative and their people, so much fun, that even I want to go and work there.
Yesterday's speaker was Kevin Carroll, the founder of Katalyst. To say that he is inspirational, passionate and above all, a game-changer is an understatement.
Humbled by an employee discussion in our US office, I was pleasantly surprised that given the hypothetical situation of winning the lotto, all employees said that after a brief holiday, they would want to come back to work at Marketing Eye.
As an international business owner, I have come to the realisation that my company culture is different in each country in which we have offices. The engagement level on a day-to-day basis in our Atlanta office is very high – not to say, other offices are not the same. Company culture is everything and there are many reasons why it has a direct impact on bottom line.
There are a number of lessons learnt from having a start-up in Atlanta that is inherently different from other offices we have.
The first being that all employees have chosen each other
Usually, a senior manager or myself makes the ultimate choice on who is going to join the team and in what capacity. Instead, in Atlanta, I have been over-ruled twice, and both times, I had to put my hand up and say that my choice would have been wrong for the team.
Co-founder Jack Dorsey, a 36 year old tech titan, and now CEO of small business payment technology, Square, has built his billions on knowing what small businesses want and need. Square is the fastest growing small business payments technology in the world today, and through his small business meetings in Town Halls throughout the US, Canada and Japan, #letstalk, he is educating small business owners to talk and support each other, rather than work alone.
Five years ago, I was invited to play in a Pro-Am on the Gold Coast, and as a casual golfer, realized that I needed some coaching to ensure that I didn't embarrass myself.
Interestingly, after speaking with a number of marketing automation vendors in the past few weeks, it has become apparent that there is one clear contender for the top marketing automation spot - and that is Marketo.
I saw an invitation today to attend a masquerade ball in Toorak on 1st November, 2013.
Everyone looks a masquerade ball! The opportunity to dress up and be a bit mysterious is just too alluring. I have quickly rung up a group of my friends and put a table together. While there are heaps of events to go to at this time of year, I would much prefer to save myself for the Black Velvet Masquerade Evening at Lincoln of Toorak, than make it all the way out to the track where I need to toss a coin as to whether it will rain, be cold or be so hot that I end up with third degree burns.
It took me a few minutes to realise that this ball is all for a good cause. While Cancer and Mental Health causes are very popular, its the one's that fall down the way-side that really need our help.
Epilepsy is dear to my heart. Growing up with a brother that has epilepsy brings back some raw memories of how much this disease affects people's lives and ability to live in normal society.
There are 225,000 Australian's living with epilepsy and more than 800,000 people in Australia are expected to be diagnosed with epilepsy at some stage in their lives.
For those who have not been able to learn about the pitfalls of epilepsy; it is when the seizures are unprovoked and recurrent - in other words, happen more often than once.
Not sure about you, but there are certain things you take for granted as a boss.
The first is that your employees will respect you. The second is, that although everyone has a good laugh, they think you are reasonably smart.
Well, that was all thrown out the window today.