Team picks for February 2020: Hard skills, B2B, AI and 404s

by | Feb 27, 2020 | Websites

In the past month, the PracticeWeb team has been digesting all sorts of interesting articles and blog posts about web design, digital marketing, SEO and more.

There’s been plenty of reflection over the last month about what has been happening, we share some of these below for you.

Alex Tucker

Account Director

Linkedin

Marketers need to know SEO, copywriting and data analysis

Microsoft has published its 2020s trends report which is full of insights. This is the section that really jumped out at me, as a grizzled industry veteran, was a list of the top five hard skills for senior marketers as we launch into the new decade:

  • SEO
  • Data analysis
  • Copywriting
  • Behavioural analysis
  • Automation

Getting into a growth mindset

This piece by LinkedIn’s Amanda Bulat on ‘5 hallmarks of a winning B2B sales approach‘ is an inspiring read altogether but the bit that really grabbed me was this:

In her LinkedIn writeup on How to Close More B2B Sales This Year, Crosbie asserts that mindset is more instrumental than skills in B2B selling success. Specifically, she advises that salespeople transition from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset.

In fact, it got me so excited I went out and bought a book on the subject. I daresay the accountancy firms we work with will feel the benefit of my learning in the coming months.

Another line that resonated was this: “CEOs and sales leaders must recognise that B2B buyers are human beings, and they do care about the experience they get wrapped around the product”.

 

Zoe Sweet

Commercial Director

LinkedIn

 

Declan Cox

Account Manager

Linkedin

Accountants need to keep up with digital startups

I joined PracticeWeb a few weeks ago so this is my first team pick. It’s a new report from the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants and Oracle which highlights says 89% of finance teams haven’t yet embraced artificial intelligence:

The study of more than 700 global finance leaders found that despite a clear correlation between the deployments of AI and revenue growth, 89 percent of organisations have not deployed AI in the finance function and only 10 percent of finance teams believe they have the skills to support the organisation’s digital ambitions.

It feels as if people have been talking about AI for years but it really is here, now, increasingly built into Excel and other accounting tools, so there’s no really no excuse for not at least starting to experiment.

Never mind MTD – what about Windows 7?

Microsoft is finally winding down Windows 7, the operating system it launched in 2009, which is bad news for all those small businesses that rely on it to do what they do. In this piece for our sister website UK Business Forums, Huw Bendon sets out what to do if you’re being forced to upgrade to Windows 10:

As you assess your options, you’ll need to consider the most cost-effective transition for your business needs. If your budget can’t handle brand-new hardware but your existing hardware can handle a Windows 10 upgrade, that could be your way forward… But bear in mind, if you’re planning to buy new hardware in the not-too-distant future, you might want to consider bringing that date forward. A new Windows computer will already come with Windows 10 preinstalled, at no extra cost. You don’t want to pay for it twice. 

If any of your accountancy clients are still running on Windows 7, this might be a good opportunity to talk to them about upgrading their whole finance system and getting into cloud accounting software at the same time.

 

Emma Roberts

SEO Assistant

Linkedin

Irina Bolshakova

Junior Designer

Linkedin

404 team pick not found

This week, I’ve been working on 404 pages – the ones you see when the page you were actually looking for has disappeared. For something super functional they can be a surprisingly great way to get across brand and tone of voice. As part of my research, I read a couple of great articles from the UX Collective on Medium.

I really love this from the first piece, by Katerina Samoilis:

This is pretty obvious for a UXer but NEVER make your user feel like it’s their fault or they screwed up somehow. It’s pretty likely they didn’t anyway, or if they did, well, we can all be silly with technology sometimes. Own up. Apologise. Be transparent: ‘We’re sorry, we couldn’t find the page you’re looking for.’ You can even take it up a notch by using wording such as ‘Oh no!’ ‘Oops!’ which shows empathy and caring whilst being endearing.

That’s it for this month. We hope you’ve found something worth bookmarking, sharing or acting upon. If you work in marketing for an accountancy firm, we’d love to hear from you if you’ve seen, listened to or read anything interesting – drop us a line or connect with us via Twitter or LinkedIn.

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