How to plan a virtual holiday office party that doesn’t suck

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Whatever you do, please don’t make your office holiday party just another Zoom session. Here’s how to have some fun and celebrate the season safely. As COVID-19 continues to change just about everything about work, so, too, is it changing that annual ritual: office holiday parties. With many workers still remote and gathering restrictions expected to increase in many areas as infection rates rise, the thought of throwing yet another Zoom meeting with everyone dressed in ugly sweaters and holding cocktails is downright depressing. Read Full Story

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6 things to keep in mind about your virtual office holiday party

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Don’t forget: holiday parties are another opportunity for everyone to show their human side, create a level-playing field, and talk to each other as real people. Whether you look forward to the holiday party or see it as a seasonal obligation, that time of year is here again. Restrictions on social interactions mean that workplaces are turning to virtual holiday parties as the trend of working remotely in 2020 continues. Read Full Story

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This stylish (and affordable) Great Jones bakeware will elevate your holidays

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Great Jones has launched a line of beautiful, functional, and affordable bakeware just in time for your culinary adventures. Our holiday season will look a little different this year. Many of us are skipping large family gatherings and glittering parties with friends, and opting instead to spend more time at home, surrounded by our pod mates. But not everything has to change: We can still prepare delicious indulgent meals, festive cookies, and pies of every flavor. Great Jones , the cookware startup, has just dropped a bakeware collection that will get you excited about all of these culinary adventures. Read Full Story

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How to Use First-Party Data for Ad Personalization

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Have you ever felt like someone was watching you online? Those shoes you just searched for on Amazon suddenly show up in ads on Facebook. Maybe you start seeing ads on YouTube for a resort you were researching for an upcoming vacation. The truth is, you are being watched. In fact, marketers have used cookies to track the actions of internet users for years—but that may soon change. Google announced they are ending the use of third-party cookies . As a result, most businesses will have to rely on first-party data for things like ad targeting. What does that mean for your marketing strategy? It might not be as bad as you think. Here’s what you need to know about first-party data and how to use it to create targeted paid ads. (Spoiler alert: It might actually be better for your PPC strategy in the long run!) What Is First-Party …

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Virtual work with colleagues is hard. Remote relationships with clients are harder

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Two software executives explain why it is harder to ‘read the room’ on teleconferencing platforms like Zoom. Before the spread of the coronavirus shut down offices worldwide, this is what business as usual looked like for software vendors like us: We worked closely with our customers, meeting with them in-person for regular check-ins. Maybe we’d see them at a holiday party or arrange to visit during an industry event. Read Full Story

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My 8 Best Local SEO Tips for the 2020 Holidays

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Posted by MiriamEllis   Image credit: DoSchu “No place like home for the holidays.” This will be the refrain for the majority of your customers as we reach 2020’s peak shopping season. I can’t think of another year in which it’s been more important for local businesses to plan and implement a seasonal marketing strategy extra early, to connect up with customers who will be traveling less and seeking ways to celebrate at home. Recently, it’s become trendy in multiple countries to try to capture the old Danish spirit of hygge , which the OED defines as: A quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being. While this sometimes-elusive state of being isn’t something you can buy direct from a store, and while some shoppers are still unfamiliar with hygge by name, many will be trying to create it at home this year. …

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How to professionally decline an unnecessary Zoom meeting

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Video calls are sometimes the most productive way to get work done. But not every Zoom call is essential. December means a lot of things—the holidays, end-of-year wrap-ups, and, this year: intense Zoom fatigue. After almost nine months of meetings, happy hours, and even conferences, you’re not alone if you’re dreading another packed day of back-to-back video calls. Read Full Story

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Letting your kid(s) be on your video calls during quarantine will help the workplace later

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The managing editor of InHerSight says, “It seems like now, when anxiety is at an all-time high and we really just need to support one another, isn’t the right time to ask parents to quietly hide their toddler during an hour-long Zoom call.” As working from home has quickly become the new normal for office workers because of coronavirus, so too has the onslaught of advice about how to best work remotely: tips for staying productive and maintaining some form of normalcy; advice on managing your team during a pandemic . These are all topics we, meaning all of us, are actively searching for online to guide us through unprecedented circumstances. Read Full Story

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AI-based conversational analysis reveals that sales teams are holding steady in spite of COVID-19

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30-second summary: AI is a leading conversational intelligence platform that leverages proprietary AI to uncover critical insights from business conversations in phone calls. They’ve been using their technology and expertise to measure the impact of COVID-19 across the business landscape. AI’s machine learning platform “listens” to calls and uses natural language processing to identify different trackers and themes, then extracts insights that make it easier to understand conversations at scale. AI has been picking up on a variety of COVID-19 topics and pain points across all clients including a difficulty managing remote teams and what critical decisions that companies must make about what’s happening in the market. The data is showing that for many verticals such as the collaboration space, sales are up about 30% versus baseline and they’re up over 70% compared to pre-COVID-19 levels. Another key data point—over 60% of all calls start with a COVID-19 reference led …

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Slack and Zoom were distracting our teams. Here’s how we regained focus

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This PR company took a deep dive into what was knocking some employees off their game and came up with new rules to govern its communications that boosted productivity and reduced stress. Whether your team is working from home or in the office, workplace distractions can be difficult to avoid. A Zoom meeting or Slack message can dislodge you from your flow state just as surely as someone sidling up to your cubicle and asking you about your weekend plans. Read Full Story

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The cost of complexity: ClickZ’s advisory board discuss the latest trends in martech

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30-second summary: COVID-19 has caused a seismic shift in digital operations and consumer behavior, leading to an acceleration in digital transformation. commerce penetration grew from 16% to 27% over an eight-week period this year, for example, fundamentally changing the way retailers sell goods. As martech players emerge to address increased shifts to digital, companies are caught in the middle of an explosion of complexity, trying to figure out how best to leverage new technology with little time to plan. The digital skills gap has widened with the increased rate of digital transformations. Businesses are scrambling to find talent that has experience across ad tech, martech and data.. Sales and marketing alignment has become even more important as teams balance decreasting marketing budgets and increase in pressure to deliver more sales with less to keep the business alive. The cost of complexity is high when companies purchase technologies they don’t use, …

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