Gerald, the younger brother of former world No 8 Jurgen, played his part by handing the world No 1 a serious workout in two hours and 23 minutes.A passive Murray dropped serve twice in the opening set and world No 68 Melzer saved eight set points with some brave hitting before the Briton took the opener during an intense tie-break.He then got the break in the seventh game of the second set but failed to claim victory when serving at 5-4 as the 26-year-old left-hander Melzer forced a break of his own.When the 29-year-old Murray served for the match for the second time he made no mistake to extend his winning streak to 26 matches and stay on track for a third title in Doha.”He played great, great tennis,” Murray said of Melzer. “He was dominating large parts of the match and dictating a lot of the points and made it extremely difficult.”If he plays like that this year, he’ll climb higher up the rankings and I was lucky to get through in two sets today.”We’ve never practised or played against each other before and I told him if he keeps playing like that he’s going to get up there in the rankings. He’s playing much better than 69 in the world. He’s fairly young so he’s going to get better and better.”Murray felt his latest test was testament to the competitiveness of the men’s game, which he feels is getting harder and harder every year.”Today is a perfect example of the depth in the men’s game just now,” he said. “It was an extremely difficult match and I felt I played pretty good just now. I served well and was returning well, but he was hitting the ball huge from both sides. The depth is great now so you have to be prepared for every match.”The Wimbledon and Olympic champion will next take on Spain’s Nicolas Almagro after he upset seventh seed Philipp Kohlschreiber from Germany 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (8-6).Second-seeded Novak Djokovic will face wily old Czech Radek Stepanek for a place in the last four after he beat Horacio Zeballos of Argentina 6-3 6-4.After the Serb won his match, his opponent asked him to pose for a selfie, and the 12-time Grand Slam champion cheerfully obliged.”I just have to mention that making a selfie after the match was over, that was the first time that I ever had this kind of experience in my career,” Djokovic said on court. “So, Horacio, well done. Very original.”Stepanek, 38, is the oldest ATP Tour quarter-finalist since 42-year-old Jimmy Connors reached the final eight at the 1995 Halle tournament after defeating wild-card entry Arthur De Greef of Belgium 6-3 6-2.Also, Fernando Verdasco needed six match points, three in the second set tie-breaker, to beat fourth-seeded David Goffin of Belgium 6-1 7-6 (8-6).Number three seed Tomas Berdych beat Czech compatriot Jiri Vesely 7-6 (7-5) 1-6 6-1, to set up an intriguing clash with France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who blasted past Germany’s Dustin Brown 6-1 6-3 in less than an hour.
Share Senators Pen Letter to FHFA Chief Over FHLB Requirements Federal Home Loan Banks FHFA Mel Watt Politics 2014-12-19 Seth Welborn Twenty-seven senators have signed a letter addressed to Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mel Watt asking him to reconsider the stricter membership requirements for the Federal Home Loan Banks the Agency proposed in September.The changes to membership requirements outlined by Watt in a speech at the FHLBank Director’s Conference on September 2 require members to hold 1 percent of their assets in home mortgage loans (HML) on an ongoing basis, whereas the previous rule requires members to demonstrate this only at the time of their application and not at any time afterward. Another proposed change requires members to adhere to the 10 percent residential mortgage loan (RML) requirement on an ongoing basis as opposed to just at the time of application.The letter, co-authored by Senators Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) and Mark Kirk (R-Illinois), states that “(t)he proposed rule affects long-standing membership rules for the Federal Home Loan Bank system and will negatively affect new and current members in the system.” Twenty-five other senators signed the letter.”Under the current regulations, if a member does not have assets that meet the system’s statutory and regulatory requirements for eligible collateral, it cannot borrow,” Manchin and Kirk wrote in the letter. “Under the proposed regulation, however, even if a member has assets that meet this test, a member could be expelled from membership if the member cannot meet the new—and unprecedented—mortgage asset tests for continued membership. The consequences are harsh and the terms of the proposed rule are inconsistent with the explicit terms of the FHLBank Act.”The letter states that in the 80 years since it was created, the FHLBank system has been a key partner in the success of smaller institutions, and the authors pointed out that Watt has stated the importance of these institutions in housing finance. The authors of the letter also pointed out the value of the cooperative FHLBank model was demonstrated by the stability the FHLBanks provided during the 2008 financial crisis.”Given their success and importance, we are concerned the proposed rule could jeopardize the ability of FHLBanks to provide liquidity to community financial institutions when they need it most,” the letter said.Manchin and Kirk also asked Watt in the letter to “consult further with other agencies before finalizing any rule that affects these much needed financial institutions,” since the FHLBank system is currently operating “safely and successfully.””In light of these concerns, we urge you to reconsider this proposal and consult with Congress, which is where these important policy decisions should be made,” the letter said.The senators who signed the letter were (alphabetically): Ayotte (R-New Hampshire), Baldwin (D-Wisconsin), Blunt (R-Missouri), Cardin (D-Maryland), Chambliss (R-Georgia), Coburn (R-Oklahoma), Cochran (R-Mississippi), Coats (R-Indiana), Donnelly (D-Indiana), Fischer (R-Nebraska), Hirono (D-Hawaii), Hoeven (R-North Dakota), Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), Isakson (R-Georgia), Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), Johanns (R-Nebraska), King (I-Maine), Kirk (R-Illinois), Manchin (D-West Virginia), Moran (R-Kansas), Portman (R-Ohio), Roberts (R-Kanas), Rubio (R-Florida), Scott (R-South Carolina), Tester (D-Montana), Thune (R-South Dakota), and Wicker (R-Mississippi).Last month, a bipartisan group of 68 house members signed a letter to Watt, authored by Spencer Bachus (R-Alabama) and David Scott (D-Georgia), expressing the same sentiments regarding the proposed FHLBank membership rule. The National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) voiced similar concerns in November. December 19, 2014 454 Views in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News
No matter what anybody says, the funnel is the backbone of any marketing department, and no matter what, you should be laying out your company—its departments, its goals, and its strategies—around a funnel that has been very carefully thought out and is ever evolving.Your funnel is not just a report or a means to accessing, generating, and reporting data— (yes, we are all at risk right now of obsessing over data, and we need to chill). The fact is, the funnel has been an integral part of marketing since the dawn of time, and it’s not going away simply because robots and AI are marching over the horizon and are awesome. The reliable ol’ funnel is still crucial—it is a living and breathing methodology and a metric of growth.From the management side—as CMOs, CFOs, and CIOs—we should be prioritizing the ways in which we get our customers to move from one step in the funnel to the next, so that ultimately they make a purchase, and then beyond that—advocate for us. As CMO of Roojoom, I constantly use the funnel as a management methodology.Unfortunately, I still see many companies, large and small, established and starting up, working according to this outdated model:Create productPut up pricing pageGet marketing involvedTo this model, which usually results in or creates a static and therefore dysfunctional funnel, I say: No!To this ailing model, I offer the following dynamic funnel centric cure:Find your audienceGet them interestedGet them to try and to buyBuild your entire company around these steps so that the funnel dictates to everyone in every department what to do and how to make improvements. The funnel matters to everyone now, not just sales and marketing, because it defines priorities for feature development, product design, customer support and more.Funnels fundamentally chart the shortest journey each buyer persona takes from awareness to purchase, meaning—you guessed it—you might not have (you should not have!) just one funnel. That is, if you can see the funnel as a process with a whole lot of flexibility, you’ll benefit from being able to more accurately map out who your potential buyers are, track each persona or each prospect, and adjust your funnels accordingly.“You will become the company known for fine tuning its funnels—and blowing competitors out of the water.”Every contact in your marketing automation system needs to be tagged by the funnel step they are in currently in. This tagging process is no longer just about leads—everyone must be tracked, tagged, and followed. For each member of your entire audience, you will need to know what stage of the funnel they are at.The funnel stage is typically a custom field in your marketing automation system’s customer profile, but it is also synced with your CRM, your customer service software, your analytics software, and any other customer profile you may keep. Having this capability will allow you to run reports that identify the best performing personas, determine the CPA for each funnel stage and set your department’s monthly KPIs .First, create a conceptual list of all your marketing/sales/customer funnel stages, then describe how a customer is expected to take each of these steps.Don’t be afraid to break your funnel up into as many as ten or twelve steps. Funnel steps include customer activity inside your product and offline activity (such as a “Speak with Salesperson”) and you need to include these types of steps as well. Don’t stop at the sale! Customers should be funneled throughout their lifecycle. You want them to evangelize your brand, upgrade their plan, and renew their contracts. Different departments may be responsible for different steps, but the customer experience should be seamless. Having one funnel can ensure you provide the ideal experience for everyone.Different customers might go through different versions and stages of your funnel based on their persona, readiness or current needs. You can do customer journey mapping to figure out the differences between different customers. Ultimately you want to create a seamless experience for each of them to make sure that you funnel the right persona down the right path.The purpose of the funnel, from a management perspective is to get your entire team focused on one thing only: How do I get as many individuals in my audience to move to the next funnel stage as fast as possible?This sounds simple but the reality is that most businesses don’t operate this way. Most email departments obsess about open rates and clicks and most social media departments obsess about engagement. In a funnel focused company, however, the email folks report on how many people they managed to move from “unknown lead to known lead” stage and the social media folks report on how many people they managed to move from “content reader” to “product interest”. They would show that this quarter this process happens in an average of 2 email send-outs for persona A and 4 for persona B. and so on…“Stop trying to explain marketing with jargon: “365,000 people signed up for our newsletter this month,” because frankly, nobody outside of marketing knows how that translates.”In a nutshell, you should hold each department accountable for measuring the distance between one funnel stage and the next in terms of time (minutes, hours, days, or weeks, depending on your product or service), and in terms of the number of actions a person must take to get there.After you set up all the events and record every step your audience is taking down your funnel, you can get further into the nitty-gritty by assigning Cost of Acquisition (CPA) to each funnel step. Take the entire acquisition cost and allocate the proportionate amount to each stage based on the churn rate.What do you see here? When breaking down the CPA for each step, we can see the cost invested in a person that has already reached a certain stage. In the example above, moving one person from Stage 4 to 5 is worth $426, which is the equivalent of moving seventy-one people from Stage 1 to 2.When we look at this in our database—and we do look all the time—we can begin to define people on a very detailed level. We can see what steps they take, and where we lose them. There could be multiple funnels and multiple steps, but the clearer we become about how many steps it takes for somebody to move from one step to the next, the better we become at getting them there—meaning our funnel velocity increases and improves.Getting a clear picture of your funnel and sharing it with your entire company will make it very easy for your entire team to make decisions and focus their efforts on projects that improve the bottom line.Daniel Glickman is CMO of Roojoom and author of Disrupt That: Why All Marketers Should Think Like Startups. Learn more about Daniel at cmoconfessions.comAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis5