Thursday, August 13, 2015

Globe Breakfast Hits the HubSpot

Sorry I never got back here last night; feeling a little hungover this morning....

"Dunkin’ Donuts on Wednesday opened its first store in Reykjavik, Iceland, drawing crowds eager for a taste of the chain’s baked goods and coffee. ‘‘I love the variety they offer,’’ said Steinar Gunnarsson, a student. ‘‘They offer more than just a couple of brands of doughnuts usually found in Icelandic bakeries.’’ Drangasker, the franchise holder, has the right to open as many as 16 restaurants in the country over five years, chief executive Arni Petur Jonsson said. Dunkin’s parent company, Canton, Mass.-based Dunkin’ Brands Group, signed a deal in January to open more than 1,400 shops in China over the next two decades, plus 100 more in Mexico. Worldwide, the company has 11,000 locations in 36 countries."

RelatedKeurig cutting 330 jobs; stock plunges

(Blog editor spits out sip of coffee -- too cold -- and now goes to work on plate)

"Content marketing blurring the line between advertising, news" by Callum Borchers, Globe Staff

Exhibit A (top shelf, above the fold, left-center).

Last week’s executive shake-up put the HubSpot name in the news, but the high-tech firm’s effect on mass media goes well beyond passing headlines.

HubSpot and other marketing companies like it are helping to reshape the ­media landscape into a place where the ­informational articles and videos people consume online are increasingly produced by corporations selling products, instead of news outlets.

Imagine my utter shock at such a thing. 

What do you think I'm reading every morning?

Search for news and advice on the Internet, and some of the helpful results that show up in Google may be part of marketing campaigns created by HubSpot or one of its competitors.

That explains the garbage results every time I search for something!!

Related: Google surge leaves cofounders Page and Brin $4 billion wealthier


In an era of on-demand video and ad-skipping software, businesses are eager to make commercial messages look like news in the eyes of readers and, more importantly, in the eyes of search engine algorithms, those mysterious computer programs that determine where so much ­Internet traffic winds up.

The underlying strategy, often called content marketing, is an old one, but while such efforts used to be designed as more of a service for existing clients, today they are increasingly intended to drive customer acquisition. Specialty marketing firms like HubSpot and Skyword Inc., of Boston, are helping companies do it better than ever and are reaping the benefits.

Yes, human beings have been being propagandized by its pre$$ for a long time.

The share price for HubSpot has more than doubled since an initial public ­offering of stock last fall, giving the company a market value of $1.74 billion. The Cambridge firm plans to report second-quarter earnings on Thursday.

If only Jack Ma could say the same.


So how exactly does content marketing work? Enter a parenting question into Google — “Should I let my kids listen to pop music?” — and the search engine will generate a list of advice columns from the likes of PBS, the Huffington Post, and the Telegraph, plus a slew of mommy blogs.

At the top of the pile, however, will be a link to, which is not a media site, but rather a Boston-based online marketplace for finding baby sitters, dog walkers, and other domestic help., a Skyword client, has blogged its way onto the first page of results in Google searches that have little to do with the company’s core services. Other topics covered on the company blog include homemade Halloween costumes, last-minute vacations, and Gisele Bundchen.

“We know how to manipulate Google or, at least, we’re figuring it out,” said Katie Bugbee, managing editor of the blog.

Google guards its algorithms closely and refines them constantly, but says factors affecting a website’s ranking include the quality of its content and the frequency with which other sites link to it.

Landing on the first page of a Google search — among the top 10 results — is one of the surest ways to bring people to your site.

I usually go 3 or 4 deep. By then the search is skewing off in all directions.

In 71 percent of searches, browsers visit a website that appears on the first page, according to Advanced Web Ranking, an online data tracker made by the Romanian firm Caphyon LLC.

Also seeGoogle-NSA Nexus: New Chromium Browser Installs Eavesdropping Tool on Your PC 

Nice to know where it is all ending up, ain't it?

“The lesson for brand marketers is they can stop interrupting what people love and start becoming it,” said Skyword CEO Tom Gerace. “This is what is underlying the growth of the content-marketing space. It’s why companies are becoming content creators.”

(Blog editor pushes plate away before finishing; I'm full up)

Whatever the business, there is one important rule: Content cannot look like an advertisement or a press release. Many corporate-produced articles do not mention a product or even the name of the company that commissioned them.

The subtlety of this approach has prompted some executives to wonder whether content marketing-efforts are so restrained as to be ineffective. If people really don’t know they’re being marketed to, will anyone know to buy?

If a consumer has no money does the corporate kleptocracy and the .01% running it care?


RelatedThis Blog Hits the HubSpot

Tastes sour!

Also see: HubSpot CEO tells investors he’s ‘not proud’ of marketing exec’s firing

Here is a further blurring of the line:

"Companies have learned to use Facebook, Instagram, and other social media to drum up business, and now they’re finding ways to exploit two new apps. This form of social media is in its infancy. Periscope, owned by short-messaging service Twitter, and Meerkat, owned by the startup Life on Air Inc., were both launched in March. Meerkat’s investors include the cable and entertainment company Comcast. Ordinary attention seekers use the apps to show friends what they’re doing."

Sorry. I don't pay attention to people seeking attention. They are pathetic.

You may well ask, any GOOD FOOD in the Globe?

"Plan for food hub hasn’t yet taken root in Central Mass.; Worcester County leads the state in farmland acreage, but not everyone is convinced the region needs a new way to connect its farmers with retailers" by Taryn Luna Globe Correspondent  August 06, 2015

Worcester’s business history includes a once-bustling manufacturing scene and education and health care sectors that are still thriving. And now, with Central Massachusetts boasting the largest amount of farmland in the state, local business leaders want Worcester to be a hub for the growing local food movement.

The Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Regional Environmental Council of Central Massachusetts are exploring building a central food-distribution hub that would help connect busy and often struggling farmers to more retailers.

The food hub effort is in its infancy, but so far the Worcester groups have identified a need for a commercial kitchen incubator where small businesses can rent space, a workforce training facility, and a cold-storage truck to transport goods from farms to a flash-freezing facility in Greenfield.

Among farmers in Central Massachusetts there is a mix of anticipation and caution.


There are more than 300 food hubs in the country, including the new Boston Public Market, Commonwealth Kitchen in Dorchester, and the Western Mass Food Processing Center in Greenfield.

RelatedBoston Public Market opens amid crowds

John Waite, executive director of the nonprofit that runs the Greenfield center, said it’s tough to break even and provide affordable services to farmers and small businesses. A recent study of 48 US food hubs found that profits declined 2 percent, on average, in 2013.

“Every region all over the country is trying to figure it out,” Waite said.

I call it home, and I will say one thing for the local farmers 'round h're: They produce some good produce! 

Honestly, it's probably one of the reasons I've stayed here so long. I've traveled a bit, and the food is always shit when compared to the Valley.

Some farmers are worried the food hub would displace other distributors they’ve come to trust — among them, Lettuce Be Local, a one-woman operation that buys food from 75 farms in the region and resells the food to restaurants, schools, hospitals, and small stores.

Is the "hub" being backed by big business?

Cooper, whose family owns Cooper’s Hilltop Farm in Leicester, and others are worried the chamber is trying to reinvent the wheel instead of supporting existing activities such as Lettuce Be Local. Cooper said she went to a meeting earlier this year on the food hub and came away with more questions than answers.

“My concern is that people are saying they are starting a food hub in Worcester, and I think we have one,” Cooper said. “It insults Lettuce Be Local and the current food hub.”

Looks like $omeone is trying to push them out of the way!

Lettuce Be Local was started by Lynn Stromberg, who said, “As much as they [the Worcester group] say they are going to be mindful of my business, I don’t know what that means,” Stromberg said. “It’s hard not to feels slighted and burned. At the same time, I try to recognize that there’s a place for everybody.”

The group is headed by the $cum Tim Murray, the former lieutenant governor.

April Anderson Lamoureux, an economic development consultant for the chamber, said the group has no intention of harming the Lettuce Be Local business.

Lamoureux blames some of the farmers’ concerns on misconceptions and bad communication. Nonetheless, she said the group has held at least 25 committee meetings, one-on-one meetings, and focus groups for farmers since March....



I was no longer hungry, sorry.

Leftover crumb: Review: HubSpot book portrays “ruthless, predatory, unforgiving” culture