Deadly land, deadly sea: Libya migrants face brutal choice

CAIRO (AP) — A boat from Libya carrying 86 migrants sank in the Mediterranean and left only three survivors, authorities said Thursday, after an airstrike on a detention center near the Libyan capital killed dozens of others.

The twin tragedies illustrate the almost unthinkable choice facing those who have reached the North Africa coast while seeking a better life in Europe: Risk a hazardous sea voyage in a flimsy, rubber-sided boat, or face being crammed into a detention center, where some of the migrants say they have been forced to assemble weapons for someone else's war.

"I fled from the war, to come to this hell of Libya," said one teenager from sub-Saharan Africa who suffered minor injuries in Tuesday night's airstrike near Tripoli.Read more on

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Two former Oklahoma high school golf stars advance to U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship

By Jacob UnruhFormer Purcell star ShaeBug Scarberry’s big summer continued earlier this week.Scarberry shot a 2-under 70 to share the top spot at the qualifier for the 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship on Monday at Dallas’ Timarron Country Club.This comes less than a month after she won the Women’s Oklahoma Golf Association Stroke Play Championship.Read more on

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Report: B2B Buyers Engaging Earlier with Sales

For the last decade or more, it’s been an accepted principle – almost a key tenet – of B2B demand generation that business buyers don’t want to talk to a sales rep until the last possible moment.
It’s why, for example, we marketers have assumed control for more and more of the lead funnel. There was once a time when we would generate a lead and our job would be done. Now that lead has to be nurtured, educated, scored, enriched, appended and qualified before we would dare hand it off to sales.

Well, that very basic assumption, that business buyers prefer to be anonymous and self-directed, and uninterested in engaging with sales until they’re absolutely ready to buy, may be in question.
Last week, the folks at Demand Gen Report released their “2019 B2B Buyers Survey Report,” and one of their key findings, supported by multiple data points, was this:
“Buyers are accelerating the time to engage with sales reps so they can make decisions as quickly – or as slowly – as desired.”
For example, 42% of the executives surveyed in the report said that they spoke to and engaged with reps in the first month, compared to only 33% just 12 months earlier.

If this finding is true, and genuinely indicative of a larger trend, it could have major ramifications for the way in which B2B demand marketers manage leads. Now, I’m not about to advocate that we all dismantle our lead nurturing programs and hand off leads to sales at the first opportunity, but there are more incremental steps that companies can take to ensure – if buyers are indeed ready to engage earlier in the process – that they have the opportunity to do so. For example:
* Lead Scoring. How well does your current lead scoring program identify prospects exhibiting signs of buyer intent? Are you capturing Web behavior such as visits to high-value pages? Are you integrating third-party intent data? A highly tuned lead scoring program will help ensure that motivated buyers receive the appropriate attention and don’t fall through the proverbial cracks.
* Sales Alerts. How well does your current lead management process alert reps – be they BDRs or field reps – to high-intent behavior? If sales is alerted to virtually any sign of interest on the part of a prospect (say, an email click), those alerts quickly become worthless and duly ignored. Re-evaluate your current system to ensure that there’s a hierarchy of alerts – from emails to assigned tasks – that properly align with different types of prospect behavior. For example, at our agency, we use Slack channels to alert specific sales execs when a prospect requests to “contact sales.”
* Gated & Secondary Offers. There’s a trend in our business towards ungated offers and “reducing friction” in the demand generation process, but I’ve always argued that gating offers – even in a nurture stream where you already know who the individual is – provides a valuable opportunity to drive additional engagement by serving up what I call “secondary offers.”
Secondary offers are calls to action – usually placed on a thank you page or in a fulfillment email – related to the action the prospect just took – as in: thank you for downloading our white paper, here’s a recorded Webinar you might like. The notion that prospects are ready to engage more quickly also suggests that late stage offers – ROI calculators, demos, product data sheets, case studies – should be introduced, or at least presented, earlier in the process for those prospects who might be ready to take the next step.
* Conversational Marketing. I wrote very recently in this space about the huge potential for integrating chatbots, and what is being referred to as “conversational marketing,” into the demand generation process. Indeed, one of the primary use cases for chatbots is increasing the rate at which Web visitors and other prospects engage with sales. If this buyer behavior trend is true, there’s an even stronger case for including chatbots on thank you pages, for example, where they can help to identify more highly motivated prospects, and connect them with a sales rep immediately.
Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash

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Parades, parties, pomp and circumstance fill Fourth of July

NEW YORK (AP) — The national holiday to mark America's birth as a country will be filled with parades, concerts, competitive eating and of course, fireworks.

But Independence Day won't be free from politics, as President Donald Trump's plan for a celebration in Washington featuring a display of tanks , fighter jets and a stealth bomber is garnering support from some and protests from others.

Highlights from celebrations around the country:


The Macy's fireworks show over the East River in New York City is said to be one of the biggest in the country.Read more on

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Federer, Williams moves on, but Kerber goes out at Wimbledon

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Eight-time men's champion Roger Federer and seven-time women's champion Serena Williams moved into the third round at Wimbledon.

Defending women's champion Angelique Kerber went out in the second.

Federer advanced as expected on Thursday, beating wild-card entry Jay Clarke 6-1, 7-6 (3), 6-2 on No.Read more on

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4 Social Monitoring Tools to Gain Insights on Your Brand Campaigns

Today I have some social monitoring tools to help you improve your brand growth online.
Keeping track of your social media brand mentions can be difficult — as a business you need to have more focus to determine how well your marketing campaigns are performing. Getting the right tools lined up will greatly improve your research. Would you like to find out more about what your audience is saying about your brand? Take advantage of these social monitoring tools, and let me know how these work for you!
1) Online reputation management – Trackur
Gather important analytics for your brand quickly and easily with an easy to follow dashboard. The Trackur tool, available on a computer or your smart device, includes user-friendly features like Excel reporting of your social networks, in-depth analysis of influencer conversations, news feed and blog monitoring, and more. Clean up search engine results as well as improve your overall reputation online.

2) Smart social listening – Hoosuite Insights
Whether you are a PR firm, marketer, social media manager, Hootsuite Insights provides brand and industry analysis, metrics for your ‘Likes’ and followers, demographic analysis, and real-time social media measurement all from one place. Gain a better understanding of conversations in order to measure social sentiment. Use this tool to stay in touch with your community and to be one step ahead of others in your niche.

3) Understand multi-channel impact – Cision
Identify the right influencers and make a good impression on your audience. Cision is powerful online software, which allows you to discover actionable insights on your social accounts with precise data analytics and customer engagement tracking. This will allow your brand to produce high quality results as well as connect with leaders in your industry.

4) Real-time social listening with results – Nuvi
Improve your social media reach and better engage with your brand followers. Use Nuvi to monitor content in your niche as well as all of the major social networks in real time. The software not only includes keyword analyzation, but also social groups and topics from fans and influencers. This tool is a powerful resource for social media monitoring and data reporting.

Hopefully you will find these social media monitoring tools useful to your brand marketing strategy and reach. Are there any that you would like to add as well?
Have fun with these tips and tools.

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‘Fast N Loud’ star Aaron Kaufman steps out in Discovery Channel’s ‘Aaron Needs a Job’, starts on July 15

Expert custom car-builder Aaron Kaufman is stepping out of his comfort zone in a big way as he dives headfirst into mechanical worlds he’s never experienced before. In an all new Discovery Channel series, AARON NEEDS A JOB, Kaufman takes viewers on a wild ride around the country as he explores exciting new motor-driven industries and meets […]
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Bethany Freedom Festival parade turns Route 66 red, white and blue

By Robert Medley rmedley@oklahoman.comBETHANY — Model T Fords from the 20s, a few battered stock cars, veterans, Scouts and plenty of people in red, white and blue lined State Highway 66, Bethany's Main Street, Thursday for the downtown Freedom Festival parade.
It wasn't the first time down the Mother Road for scoutmaster Brent Tevebaugh of Bethany who rode in the parade with Troop 5538 from St.Read more on

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We have a wiener! Joey Chestnut eats 71 hot dogs for title

NEW YORK (AP) — Joey "Jaws" Chestnut ate 71 wieners and buns to secure his 12th title at Nathan's Famous annual July Fourth hot dog eating contest on Thursday, just a few hot dogs shy of breaking the record he set last year.

In front of a crowd of fans and facing 17 opponents, the California native far exceeded his nearest competitors, but didn't quite make or pass the 74-dog mark he reached in 2018.

When asked how he felt after the contest, Chestnut said "I feel like I should eat a couple more.Read more on

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The Latest: Joey ‘Jaws’ Chestnut eats 71 hot dogs to win

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the annual Nathan's Famous July Fourth hot dog eating contest (all times local):

1:05 p.m.

Joey "Jaws" Chestnut ate 71 wieners and buns to secure his 12th title at Nathan's Famous annual July Fourth hot dog eating contest.

In front of a crowd of fans and facing 17 opponents, the California native came close but didn't manage to beat his own record of 74 dogs, set last year.

However, he far exceeded his nearest competitors.

Afterward, Chestnut said he was disappointed to not break his record, but planned to try again next year.

Miki Sudo (MIHK'-ee SOO'doh) had already won the women's competition by chomping down 31 hot dogs.Read more on

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