The science of extending life is a subject of morbid fascination, conjuring the image of old billionaires being cryogenically frozen. But imagine if, instead of a pill you could take to live for ever, there was a pill that could push back the ageing process – a medicine that could stave off the fragility, osteoarthritis, memory loss, macular degeneration and cancers that plague old age.
It could happen, with the science of senolytics: an emerging – and highly anticipated – area of anti-ageing medicine. Many of the world’s top gerontologists have already demonstrated the possibilities in animals and are now beginning human clinical trials, with promising results. If the studies continue to be as successful as hoped, those who are currently middle-aged could become the first generation of oldies who are youthful for longer – with a little medical help.
Most scientists studying longevity are more concerned with prolonging what they call “healthspan” than they are lifespan: that is to say, helping people to age with less pain and illness, with a better quality of life. Not only would this be good for old people, but in these times of booming elderly populations worldwide, it would be great for economies.
In England and Wales, life expectancy has risen by almost 25 years in the past century; the Office for National Statistics predicts that the UK’s population of over-65-year-olds will grow by 8.6 million (about the population of London) over the coming 50 years. This will be expensive: the NHS spends more than twice as much on 65-year-olds as it does on 30-year-olds; 85-year-olds cost more than five times as much.
“Healthy ageing is a huge project – it can come with a lot of benefits, both for governments and older patients themselves,” says Ming Xu, an assistant professor at the University of Connecticut’s Centre on Ageing. Ageing, as Xu notes, is the biggest risk factor for most chronic diseases; the goal of his lab is to unearth novel interventions to slow down the ageing process and simultaneously prevent the diseases.
Xu is at work on senolytics, a branch of medicine that targets senescent cells; the various faulty cells that have been identified as instrumental in our eventual demise. These so-called “zombie” cells linger and proliferate as we age, emitting substances that cause inflammation and turn other healthy cells senescent, ultimately leading to tissue damage throughout the body.
Xu was part of a team at the Mayo Clinic, an academic medical centre in Minnesota, that showed in 2011 that “using a genetic trick to get rid of these senescent cells can significantly improve health and lifespan” in prematurely aged mice. In 2016, the same group achieved similar results in naturally aged mice, releasing an arresting image of two elderly rodents born of the same litter. The one cleared of its senolytic cells seems spry and glossy, while its sibling is shrunken, greying and looks its age.
The picture alone helped bring in millions from investors including Jeff Bezos and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, who saw the promise of replicating the same results in humans. Kevin Perrott, president of the Washington DC-based Global Healthspan Policy Institute, said in 2018 that the response showed that Silicon Valley tended to view ageing as a problem that could be solved “with enough time and enough steps”: “The size of the return is huge. If you’re able to bring anything like that to the market, you have something that’s universally needed.”
However, the “genetic trick” used to destroy senescent cells in the mouse studies was not viable as a safe treatment for people, so a new company, called Unity Biotech, was formed to raise funds to develop medicine that could safely clear zombie cells from the human body.
The first hurdle – for them, and the other scientists investigating the unknown intricacies of senolytics – was identifying what, exactly, they were trying to treat. In order for a drug to be approved, it has to be shown to be effective in treating a disease; but ageing is a natural built-in process, and, far from a localised problem, it involves complex systemic degradation.
Trials in senolytics are initially targeting specific conditions such as age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (which includes emphysema). Most are in the fledgling stages, working on rodents or human tissue in petri dishes, although in February a small early human trial showed an improvement in the distance patients were able to walk.
Also this year, a pre-clinical pilot trial for injecting a senolytic drug into the knees of people with osteoarthritis showed promising, if mixed results. In the first part of the study, where patients received varying doses of the drug, significant improvements in pain and function were observed, whereas the second experiment, in which patients received the maximum dose, didn’t see significant benefits. It is hoped that, eventually, there will be a number of senolytic drugs that could potentially target different senescent cell types, but currently much of the research has involved a combination of a leukaemia drug called dasatinib and quercetin, a polyphenol common in plants.
This is an extremely new field of research. “That’s why there’s so much interest,” says Sebastian Grönke at the Max-Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Cologne. Senolytics are particularly exciting, he says, because “they seem to still work very late in life” … “So it will be possible to study more quickly whether they actually work in humans, and they are applicable to people already at the end of their lives.”
Xu says that, in theory at least, it should prove impossible to build up a resistance to the drugs, “because senescent cells cannot proliferate”. Even more importantly, he says, there is significant data to show “that you don’t have to treat these patients every single day. You just treat them once a week or once a month … intermittent treatment is more than enough to have huge benefits.”
Senolytic drugs may also be able to play a part in other conditions. Xu has found that obesity can cause senescent cells to develop prematurely. “We also found that clearing senescent cells improves insulin sensitivity. So senolytic drugs not only work on ageing but also on obesity … Senescence is a connection between these two very common conditions.” While treating obese mice with senolytics, Xu observed that their anxiety levels reduced, too.
These aren’t the only potential added benefits. Grönke says that senescent cells “play a big role after cancer treatment”, developing as a result of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. “If senolytics can be used to help eliminate the damaged cells before they can spread, a detrimental side-effect of cancer treatment could be alleviated.”
Xu usually administers senolytics to mice at their equivalent of 70 to 80 years old in humans. “You don’t want to take it when you’re young, which would have zero effect, or harmful effects – but you don’t want to leave it too late. When to start giving the drug is a huge project and a huge question for us to answer over the next several decades.” He expects the ideal treatment age will differ from person to person, and that ultimately scientists will develop a blood or urine test that can assess the level of senescence present. “Some people age very fast, and some age very slow, so it could vary a lot,” he says.
So what can anyone determined to hold off the debilitating effects of age do while we await the wonder drugs? Intermittent fasting may have senescent effects. Grönke says caloric restriction, whereby “people eat less in general”, has been linked to healthy ageing and longevity. Mouse trials have shown that they can live 30 to 50% longer than control animals able to eat as much as they want. “It’s also well known that these animals have less senescent cells at comparable ages.” There is also a diet, developed by the gerontologist Valter Longo at the University of Southern California, that mimics the effects of fasting for those too frail to skip meals.
Of course, the risks of disease that increase with ageing are heightened by sedentary living, alcoholism and bad diet. Grönke recommends, along with a healthy diet, “reducing the amount of animal protein you consume – you can eat meat but ideally maybe once per week, maximum.” He says an association between low protein intake and longevity is well established in humans. “Ideally the protein should come from vegetables and not from meat.”
Just as obesity has been shown to increase the burden of senescent cells in tissue, exercise can reduce it, says Xu. But the effects were recorded in obese mice that had undergone a lot of vigorous exercise: “I don’t think the aged population is able to take intense exercise like that.”
So some signs are promising, and the potential is huge, but much still remains unknown about senolytics for ageing. There are clinical trials in the pipeline, with drugs for osteoarthritis leading the way, but an effective pill accessible to all is certainly not imminent. Xu puts it at five to 12 years away: “Theoretically I’m confident.” Those looking to live for ever might be wise to book that cryogenics appointment, just in case.
Once you launch your small business and create a website, you’ll need to spread the word to potential customers. While there are several ways to do this – including blogging, email marketing, and SEO – online advertising is one of the most effective methods.
Though advertising is often considered expensive, it’s actually quite feasible for companies on a budget. In fact, plenty of platforms let you advertise at zero cost, including online directories, social platforms and more.
To save you the legwork, we’ve compiled a list of 50 great free advertising sites to promote your website. Some require no more than a quick URL submission, while others necessitate a more thoughtful, strategic approach.
Online directories for businesses
Ranging from high-profile platforms to local listings, online directories cover a range of audiences. The method for each of them is quite similar: you submit the URL of your professional website, as well as additional details about your business or organization. These sites, in turn, incorporate this information into their data banks, ensuring that a link to your site appears when users search relevant content categories.
In addition to displaying your business name and website, these free advertising sites can improve your search engine optimization, or SEO. This helps promote your website by boosting its search engine ranking, increasing the chances that you’ll get found on Google and drawing traffic to your site.
While social bookmarking and curating websites operate on the basis of link submission, the emphasis here is on creating quality content. Like social media platforms, they function as entertaining browsing experiences for users while simultaneously serving as online advertising tools for businesses.
By circulating your content on these sites, you can subtly promote your product and gently guide users toward your website. At the same time, you’ll improve your SEO by placing inbound links to your company across the web.
Classified ads are small advertisements – often free of charge – placed in newspapers, magazines or online boards. By posting on dedicated classified ad platforms, you can generate backlinks to your company site and market your business to potential customers. Adding your company name and URL to these free advertising sites is a quick, simple and affordable way to gain exposure.
If you dream about someone you like (or even love!) it could just go to show how passionate you are about them. But there’s also some nuance here. If you dream your partner is with someone else, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve been unfaithful. It could simply mean you no longer feel as passionate about your life as the people around you seem to feel about theirs.
What does it mean when you die in a dream?
If you die in a dream, or feel like you are dying, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are afraid of dying in life or have some terminal illness you didn’t realize. It may just mean that something in your life is coming to an end: “Dreaming about death often means that you feel something is coming to an end in your life,” says Anderson. “But that being said, how you react to the death in the dream can mean different things.”
What does it mean when you die in a dream, but feel peace about it?
If you experience death in a dream and you feel at peace with it, Anderson says that, “you have an ‘out with the old and in with the new’ attitude” and “it could be something that you’re ready to let go from.”
What does it mean when you dream about being scared of dying?
Alternately, if you feel a pang of anxiety or even panic at the thought of death in your dream (or, as Anderson puts it, “I need to resuscitate this thing that is falling apart”), it may be that “you’re not quite there yet” and uncomfortable with letting go.
What does it mean when you dream your teeth are falling out?
It may be that events in your life are swirling around you in a way that you feel you have no control, or that you’ve lost a job and with it, your feeling that you were guiding the direction of events has dissipated. The result might be that you dream of losing your teeth. As Wallace tells The Independent, “Your teeth symbolize how confident and powerful you feel, so some situation is causing your confidence to crumble in waking life.
What does it mean when you dream about birds?
This dream could mean you’re hoping to hear from someone. Birds have been symbolic messengers of information going back centuries and their appearance in your dreams can still be an indication that you are expecting to hear from someone or receive a message. Psychologist and dream expert Michael Lennox points to beliefs going back to Nordic mythology, where Odin, the head of the pantheon, was accompanied by a pair of all-seeing ravens that “would travel through the world of men and bring back important information.”
What does it mean when you dream you’re on a plane?
If you’re dreaming of flying in a plane or air travel in some way, your dream is trying to tell you that you are feeling the effects of fast changes in your life. Lennox explains in his book Dream Sight: A Dictionary and Guide for Interpreting AnyDream that, “Because of the dramatic way an airplane leaves the ground and speeds toward a destination, it is connected with any sudden transition in life.” It may not just be alerting you to the fact that you are going through serious changes, but that change “is needed or wished for. As a plane is our world’s fastest mode of public transportation, it connects symbolically to those moments in life where change is rapid and total.
What does it mean when you dream about an alien encounter?
According to Lennox, seeing an alien (as in one of those big-eyed, willowy creatures from The X-Files) in a dream reflects some unknown or mysterious part of your own personality. Whether you are encountering it in an everyday situation or have been abducted in the dream, “The more fear you feel in the dream, the more frightened you may be of the changes that are occurring.”
One (or more) of your limbs is amputated: You feel diminished or unable to get to a different place in life.
Lennox notes that amputations or missing limbs are a typical theme that appear in one’s dreams, and indicate some sense of lacking in ability or mobility. If you’re missing feet it “relates to an inability to be grounded on your path, whereas missing an entire leg or both legs connects to being completely stopped on your path.
What does it mean when you dream you’ve (literally) lost your head?
A more extreme kind of missing body part that you might experience is the loss of your head. According to Lennox, that’s a sign of “an eradication of a thought process, or to your sense of identity.”
What does it mean when you dream you’re in bed with a coworker?
If you are being intimate with a coworker in your dream, it does not necessarily mean you have a crush on them. According to dream analyst and the host of The Dream Show podcast, Jane Teresa Anderson, it may say more about them having “positive qualities you admire” that you “welcome in your own life.” That’s right: your dirty dream could be about admiration—not lust!
What does it mean when you dream you’re in an empty room?
Psychologist Ian Wallace, who has interpreted no fewer than 150,000 dreams over his three decades of practice, has found that unused or empty rooms that you dream about might be telling you that you’ve got untapped talents. As he told The Independent, “The more time that you spend exploring your dormant talents, the more likely that you will find other doors opening for you in waking life.
What does it mean when you dream you’re in an empty room, and it’s scary?
If that unused room is accompanied by feelings of discomfort or fear, it might represent something very different, according to Anderson: “If you go into the room and it’s spooky or scary, that means in the past one to two days you’ve realized something about yourself that’s unexpected. It can be something old that you haven’t look at before. It could be any aspect of your life—your job, a relationship—that you’ve shut the door on. It’s about trying to open that door, even if you’re scared.”
What does it mean when you dream there’s an out-of-control car?
If you’ve got an out-of-control car in your dreams—maybe you’re trapped in one or have one coming at you—it may mean that “you don’t have enough control over your road to success,” according to Wallace. He suggests, “Instead of trying to over control the situation…relax your grip and allow your fundamental instincts and drives to steer the best path for you.
What does it mean when you dream there’s a car, but it’s not out-of-control?
But a car in one’s dreams could indicate the opposite, as well. Wallace explains that, “The car represents your ability to make consistent progress toward a specific objective.” So if a dream features a car progressing steadily and consistently, things might be moving along just as they should be in your life.
What does it mean when you dream your car is missing?
Sometimes you might dream that you are missing your car or on the search for it. The lack of a car has a symbolic resonance about one’s career or ability to get where we want to go, according to Wallace. “If we dream about searching for our car, then we have lost our drive and ambition in waking life and are looking for ways to recover it and continue on our journey.
What does it mean when you dream there are animals nearby?
Animals can often appear in your dream and can vary in their significance or what they make you feel—a fierce bear is going to indicate something distinct from a high-flying hawk. But according to Lennox, any time an animal appears it may be an indication that your dream is “asking you to stop trying to think your way through a situation and turn instead toward your instinctive nature for an answer.”
What does it mean when you dream you’re in an attic?
Having a house in your dream usually connects back to your sense of self, with different rooms representing different aspects of yourself, so dreaming of an attic usually relates to your intellect or memories—and a “musty, dirty atmosphere means you are in realms that you haven’t visited in a while,” according to Lennox, which can indicate “unhealthy avoidance.
What does it mean when you dream about having a baby?
Dreaming about a baby is usually a sign that you are reflecting on burgeoning potential or “some new chapter in your life that is just beginning and has yet to unfold into full manifestation,” as Lennox puts it. Of course, since a baby is also helpless and needs to be cared for, Lennox also emphasizes that an infant in a dream brings up thoughts of the “intense responsibilities associated with” a baby.
What does it mean when you dream you can’t find your shoes?
If your dream consists of you being literally unable to find your shoes, chances are you’re having difficulty deciding what your position is on a topic—an important decision you have to make or may be faced with, something that causes you to “consider [your] values and where [you] stand in a certain situation.
What does it mean when you dream you lost something valuable—and can’t find it?
If we’ve misplaced something of value in our dream or spend the dream trying to find something and fail to do it, it may be that we feel a sense of lower value in our life. As Wallace puts it, “If we are looking for our purse or wallet, then we are reflecting on our value to others as we may feel that we have lost some self-esteem in waking life.”
What does it mean when you dream you’re searching for someone?
If you dream you’re searching for someone, it doesn’t always have to do with that person, specifically. “When we search for other people in our dreams, we are trying to reconnect with aspects of our own identities that we have lost touch with.
What does it mean when you dream you have suddenly become very wealthy?
If you have a dream about striking it rich or winning the lottery, you’re feeling pretty good about life or have gained a “sudden awareness of the richness of the self,” as Wallace puts it. “This richness can be an understanding of the wisdom the dreamer has gained, or a realization of their value to others.” In other words, not so much material as spiritual wealth.
What does it mean when you dream you’re falling in love?
If you dream of falling in love or a having a passionate tryst, it may be because you lack this kind of intimacy and passion in your waking life. According to Wallace, dreaming about falling in love, “can be triggered when we are about to fall in love with a potential lover in our waking life, or in an existing relationship, where inadequate love is being received and our uniqueness seems to be ignored.
What does it mean when you dream you’re just falling?
We’ve all likely felt the sensation of falling in a dream. Though this might make you think that you need to get a tighter grip and hang on, according to Wallace, the opposite is true. It’s a sign “you are hanging on too tightly to a particular situation in waking life. You need to relax and let go of it.”
What does it mean when you dream you’re flying?
While falling is an indication that something is amiss, flying in a dream is usually a sign that you’ve freed yourself from something frustrating or difficult. As Wallace puts it, the feeling of flying “suggests that you have released yourself from circumstances that have been weighing you down in waking life… Although you may regard this feeling of liberation as just luck or coincidence, it is usually because you have managed to make a weighty decision or risen above the limitations of a heavy responsibility.
What does it mean when you dream you’re flying, but there’s an obstacle?
Flying might not always be a pleasant experience, however. If you’re flying in a dream but feel scared or see an object or obstacle in front of you, it may be that you feel something is holding you back or preventing you from accomplishing something you are attempting. “You feel that something is taking off but it’s not quite there yet,” says Anderson. “It could be a relationship or a job—it’s the details in the dream that really explore your feelings on a deeper level.”
What does it mean when you dream that you miss your plane or train?
If you miss a plane or train in your dream, arriving just as it takes off and leaving you standing on the platform or tarmac, it may be that you feel you are being weighed down by too many other commitments. As Wallace puts it, “You may be taking on too much in your waking life in order to achieve the fulfillment you desire. You can reach your goals more effectively by being more aware of your deeper priorities, and leaving unnecessary baggage behind. Listen to your own internal rhythms instead of constantly trying to beat the clock.
What does it mean when you dream that you call the wrong number?
Your subconscious might be feeling frustrated that you can’t connect with someone in your life the way you used to—and this may manifest itself in a dream in which you are dialing a wrong number. “This suggests that a logical way of communicating with someone, or a specific personal behavior used when being with a particular person, is not really working anymore,” says Wallace. “It is also experienced in dreams about computers or calculators where the dreamer keeps pressing the wrong buttons. This reflects that what they are doing in waking life just doesn’t really add up.”
What does it mean when you dream that you’re naked, in the middle of a crowd?
You’re standing in the middle of a crowd, at work, or in some other public place—completely naked. Though you’re relieved when you realize it was all a dream, you might want to think about your feelings of vulnerability. According to Wallace, “Being naked in public suggests that there is a situation in waking life that is making you feel vulnerable and exposed.” It might be time for you to take an improv class or seek another way to get comfortable opening up to others.
What does it mean when you dream you’re walking around on bare feet?
Just as being naked indicates vulnerability, having bare feet gets to a similar sense in your subconscious—but with a more direct connection to the steps you are taking in life (literally). It can “indicate issues around how you are maneuvering through your current life choices,” according to Lennox. “If you are exposed to the elements, it leaves them vulnerable to injury. This can have a great impact on your journey and how you get to where you intend to go.”
What does it mean when you dream you’ve gone blind?
Suffering blindness in a dream usually indicates that we sense we are overlooking something in our life or worry we aren’t able to see something. As Lennox puts it, “By dreaming of the inability to see, you may be expressing areas in your life that you may be blind to…You may be dreaming of a situation in your life, or your personality, where you have a blind spot. You may have to go beyond what the eyes can see in a situation to determine how to respond authentically.
What does it mean when you dream you’re playing a board game?
While some might dream of fights or athletic competitions, if you are someone who has board games appear in your dreams, you are more likely someone who prefers “a civilized approach to expressing competitive impulses and conflict-solving skills,” according to Lennox. If you’re playing Monopoly or Scrabble in your mind, it may be a sign that you prefer some emotional distance to actual confrontation, and the more structured, rules-based logic to conflict that board games bring.
What does it mean when you dream there’s an explosion?
While we might usually think of bombs as a destructive force, often when explosions happen in your dreams, it shows that you are experiencing or ready for major change. Lennox advises looking at the specific context in which a bomb detonates, and how effectively it destroys its target.
“Whatever or whomever was hunted or destroyed will supply you with the meaning you should assign the symbol,” he says. “The area of life that is suggested by the target is the area of your life that needs a drastic change.”
What does it mean when you dream that you show up for an exam, but you’re not prepared?
Another classic dream scenario is the feeling of showing up for an exam and realizing you are totally unprepared for it. Maybe you feel like you studied for the wrong subject or you can’t even understand the words in front of you, but the likely source of the feeling is that “you are critically examining your own performance in waking life,” according to Wallace.
What does it mean when you dream you show up for another exam, and you’re still not prepared?
Having the unprepared-for-an-exam dream is also the sign of something positive: you are a high performer who is used to working hard and doing things right. That’s the conclusion of Anderson, who says that those who have the dream are usually the people who perform well and that, “It’s your fear of being unprepared that actually drives you to being totally ready to perform.
What does it mean when you dream you need to use the bathroom, but can’t find a toilet?
Maybe you care too much about others or are ignoring your own desires or needs, but if you have a sense that you are not addressing your own needs, a typical dream you’re likely to have is one in which you’re trying—and failing—to find a toilet. “Toilets are what we use to cleanly respond to some of our most fundamental needs, so there is an issue in waking life where you are finding it a challenge to clearly express your own needs,” according to Wallace.
What does it mean when you dream you need to use the bathroom?
Dreams of needing to use the bathroom likewise can mean that “you literally want to let the crap out of your life. It’s about decluttering and letting go—you want to release something or someone,” according to Anderson.
What does it mean when you dream you actually need to pee?
Of course, it may be that you actually do need a toilet, and your dreams will alert you to this fact with dreams of water or in which you are seeking out a bathroom in vain. So it may just be that you need to wake up and hit the head before you wet the bed.
What does it mean when you dream you’re being accused of a crime?
Dreams can sometimes torment you with images of you accused of a crime or having committed murder or a less serious breach of the law. These kind of situations usually arise from a sense that you are hiding something yourself in your waking life—and it isn’t always something negative. “The crime we have committed usually represents a conscious choice that we have made in waking life to ignore some of our individual needs and talents in order to gain social acceptance,” according to Wallace.
What does it mean when you dream you’re entering a lot of new spaces?
If you have a large house in your dreams or spend your dreams going through doors and discovering new spaces, it “indicates that exploring the initial possibility will lead onto a number of other exciting opportunities and give you the chance to expand well beyond where you are just now,” according to Wallace. It’s telling you that, “You need to be open to opportunity and not close the door on any chances that you create. As you begin to explore one talent, you often start to become aware of other possibilities for using your unique abilities.”
What does it mean when you dream there’s something chasing you?
If you’re running away from something in your dream, “There is an issue in your waking life that you want to confront, but you don’t know how to,” according to Wallace. If you’re having a dream of this kind, your dreams may be trying to tell you that it’s time to face your fears and pursue something that you have been putting aside.
What does it mean when you dream about a bridge?
If you’re ready to move into a new chapter in your life or to make a change—but without losing touch with your past—the image of a bridge is likely to appear in your dreams. According to Lennox, the primary meaning of bridges in dreams “relates to the connections we make in life, hence the warning in the phrase don’t burn your bridges.” If the water below is especially rough, it might mean you’re uncomfortable with the change.
What does it mean when there’s a candle in your dream?
If you’re feeling a creative spark or an innovative idea just struck you, then the image of a candle might appear in your dreams. “When we light a candle, we are committing an act of creation,” says Lennox. He says that a candle can indicate the beginning of some important event or relationship in our life or a sense of creative richness. Of course, if the candle is blown out, it can mean the end of something.
What does it mean when you dream you’re climbing something?
If you’re climbing in your dream, straining as you make it up the side of a mountain inch by inch, it may be a signal that you are someone who likes a challenge and the opportunity to take a journey that, while difficult, promises a reward at the end.
What does it mean when you’re exploring a closet or looking in a cabinet?
Back to the dream house: If you are exploring a closet or looking at what’s inside an enclosed cabinet, it could indicate that you are hiding something or ashamed of it. “What you discover in a closet should be viewed through the focus of something you are hiding from or not wanting to face,” says Lennox. “A full or overstuffed closet may point to avoidance issues that need attention.
What does it mean when you dream about a farm or cowboys?
Images of a farm or cowboys can indicate that you have a self-reliant nature. As Lennox explains, “Working on a farm points to a call to action to dig deeper and take responsibility for getting your needs met. Owning a farm connects to how responsible you are to your self-nurturing and perhaps the dependence of others upon you for such needs.”
What does it mean when you dream you’re getting a divorce?
If you’ve filled your schedule with too many things and have a sense of overwhelm about it all, you may find yourself dreaming of divorce. Don’t despair that a divorce dream points to a loveless marriage or irreconcilable differences. According to Wallace, it may simply be giving you the message that “you are trying to balance your commitments and honor the promises you have made to other people. It can be difficult to service all these obligations and it can become very easy for you to start to feel out of balance.
What does it mean when you dream you’re getting married to someone you don’t know?
Whether you’ve taken a new job or agreed to attend an event where you are not totally sure what will be expected of you, a sense that you are committing to something which you are unsure about may be indicated in a dream with a feeling of being married to an unknown person. “Not knowing the identity of the bride or groom suggests you are unsure what you are really committing yourself to, and that you doubt that you will have much time for yourself if you take on these commitments,” says Wallace.
What does it mean when you dream you’ve become a professional athlete?
If you’re someone who responds to being part of a team or being part of something larger than yourself, you might have dreams where you’re a professional athlete, according to Wallace. A dream where you’re competing in the big leagues, “reflects their acceptance into a wider society where in order to have their skills and talents recognized, they will have to work as part of a team, and this will help them to ultimately achieve their goals.
What does it mean when you dream you’re unable to speak?Shutterstock
If you find yourself tongue-tied in your dream, unable to speak or as if there is a gag in our mouth (or maybe a bunch of chewing gum), Wallace suggests that it’s related to “an unresolved tension in our waking lives where we really want to say what’s on our mind and to speak and be heard.” He suggests considering the situations in waking life where we feel “ignored or have no way to make our opinions heard” and see if there is a better way to communicate or a way to do so that would help us feel “heard.”
Looking for marketing strategies proven to be the most effective for business growth? This article is designed to help you explore the best marketing tactics for any business situation—whether B2B or B2C! Below you’ll find two routes—one for B2B and another for B2C businesses. Click the button below that matches your business situation to explore the best strategies to deploy for your business.
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Each top 10 list is backed by data from a variety of sources, and has been updated with the latest information from market leaders, such as Drift, Forrester, HubSpot Research, Invesp, Saasquatch, Statista, and MarketingProfs.com.
Top 10 B2B Marketing Strategies
We were curious about what business professionals thought about marketing. We took a look at recent survey results and reports that compiled data on the topic, and created a list of 10 B2B marketing strategies commonly recognized as successful regardless of industry. Here’s what we found, in no particular order:
Content marketing emphasizes education over selling to influence buying behavior. This strategic marketing approach focuses on creating and distributing information relevant to prospects’ needs in order to attract those best aligned with — and most likely to purchase — your product or service. Since communication is ongoing, content can be tailored to reflect what you learn about leads over time, and may include varied formats like infographics, webpages, podcasts, videos, blogs, white papers, webinars, and eBooks. It’s important to note that content marketing is not synonymous with inbound marketing (more on inbound below). Content marketing is an important component to an overall inbound strategy, but it does not integrate other marketing methodologies to maximize content value.
Content Marketing is effective because it:
Draws prospects through the sales funnel
Grows brand visibility, credibility, and desirability
Aligns target markets with relevant information
Fast Fact: 9 out of 10 B2B buyers say online content has a moderate to major effect on their purchase decisions.
Inbound is far and away the most effective B2B marketing strategy because it leverages the strengths of the majority of the other nine strategies to attract, engage, and delight customers. Unlike traditional marketing methods — or even those of the other strategies listed here — inbound earns the attention of customers and pulls them to a company website by producing meaningful content. Because messaging is relevant and appears in the right place at the right time, inbound invites visitors in rather than annoying them with interruptive traditional advertising.
Inbound Marketing is effective because it:
Works for businesses of any size or type
Creates more knowledgeable prospects
Can be easily integrated and managed using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, like HubSpot CRM
Fast Fact: Fast Fact: 80% of corporate decision-makers favor getting brand information through an article or blog series more than ads.
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
Social media marketing focuses on providing users with content they find valuable and want to share across their social networks, resulting in increased visibility and traffic. Social media shares of content, videos, and images also influence SEO efforts in that they often increase relevancy in search results within social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram as well as search engines like Google and Yahoo.
Social Media Marketing is effective because it:
Reduces marketing spends while increasing lead generation
Provides metrics that give companies additional marketplace insight
“Humanizes” brands and encourages conversions
Fast Fact: 83% of all B2B marketers use at least one of the “Big Four” social media sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube) to distribute content. Drive traffic and revenue with these B2B social media marketing strategies.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of increasing awareness about — and traffic to — a particular website by making sure it appears among the top unpaid (or “natural”) search results on search engines like Google, Bing!, and Yahoo. While there is a common misperception that it is a stand-alone marketing tactic, SEO is accomplished by many tactics working together and is central to an effective inbound marketing strategy.
While social media, email, banner ads, and other marketing tools generate website visits, SEO visibility is particularly important because search engines are the primary way users navigate the Internet. It automatically increases your audience in a relevant, targeted way — they self-identify as someone who is interested in, your product or service.
Search Engine Optimization is effective because it:
Continues to evolve to keep pace with mobile and local search engine optimization
Simplifies searches for customers interested in your product or service
Is a cost-effective way to keep your brand competitive with similarly situated companies
Explore more in this free SEO Survival Guide!
Fast Fact: SEO tops B2B lead sources at 14%, followed closely by email marketing (13%), and social media (12%)
SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING/PPC
Search engine marketing, or SEM, is a tool that companies use to grow their website traffic through paid online advertising. One of the most popular SEM methods is pay-per-click (PPC) links. Essentially, a company buys or “sponsors” a link that appears as an ad in search engine results when keywords related to their product or service are searched. Every time the ad is clicked, the company pays the search engine (or other third party host site) a small fee for the visitor — a literal “pay per click.”
Search Engine Marketing is effective because of its:
Breadth in online tools and reach
Cost-effectiveness in generating high visibility
Adaptability to multiple markets and audiences
Fast Fact: PPC users are 50% more likely to make a purchase than organic site visitors.
ACCOUNT BASED MARKETING AND RETARGETING
Account Based Marketing (ABM) is a B2B strategy that focuses on a targeted set of accounts using highly personalized campaigns. It provides marketing and sales teams with a number of advantages, including a faster sales process, cost effectiveness, and a more efficient use of marketing resources. With all of the things ABM is, though, it’s important to remember that ABM is not the same as targeted outbound marketing. It’s much more strategic, using methods like online retargeting to personalize marketing efforts.
Retargeting uses browser cookie-based technology to identify users who visited your site but left (or “bounced”) before completing a transaction or conversion. The cookie allows for targeted advertisements to appear in those users’ subsequent web searches and interactions, even if they’re not related to your site specifically. Retargeting is an effective conversion tool because it repeatedly gets your brand in front of audiences that are already interested in your product or service.
Retargeting is effective because it:
Recaptures the attention and purchase power of “window shoppers”
Generates high click-through rates
Lends itself to visitor segmentation and tailored messaging
Fast Fact: The average click-through rate for retargeted ads is 0.7% (compared to 0.07% for display ads)
EARNED MEDIA AND PR
Earned media (or “free media”) is publicity that’s created through efforts other than paid advertising. It can take a variety of forms — a social media testimonial, word of mouth, a television or radio mention, a newspaper article or editorial — but one thing is constant: earned media is unsolicited and can only be gained organically. It cannot be bought or owned like traditional advertising. Taking an earned media approach to inbound marketing.
Earned media and PR are effective because they:
Are generally “free” advertising channels
Are unsolicited and, therefore, have instant perceived credibility
Increase awareness of valuable, educational, and trustworthy content
A referral program is an umbrella term used to describe a systematic approach companies take to incentivize people to tell others about their products or services. Implementing specific affiliate programs, customer referral programs and partner programs within a marketing plan structure are meant to offer the instant credibility of existing customers to grow a customer base. “Referral programs” is often used synonymously with “referral marketing.”
Referral programs are effective because they:
Leverage the recommendations of happy customers
Authentically recognize customers’ brand loyalty and reinforce it
Are perennially popular with customers
Fast Fact: The lifetime value for new referral customers is 16% higher than non-referrals Want more leads? Improve Your Voice of the Customer (VoC) Program!
Tradeshows remain a top B2B networking tool (especially when inbound tactics support event efforts), as they gather companies within a specific industry into one location for demonstrating their latest products and services. Rarely open to the public, trade shows give companies the chance to establish or strengthen relationships with key industry partners, customers, and prospects; identify market trends and opportunities; and gain an understanding of what their competition is offering in the market.
In light of the pandemic-driven “new normal,” networking has met with some limitations. However, technology is a decided advantage, as in-person events can often be converted to virtual events that offer similar benefits, including:
Meaningful interactions and relationship-building
Good attendance, creating a target-rich environment for lead generation
Opportunities for businesses of every size to access the same audience and information
Fast Fact: Events like trade shows generate the most B2B leads, while case studies are the catalysts behind lead conversion and acceleration.
Improving Trade Show & Exhibition Results with These Inbound Tactics.
Conversational marketing is just that — a conversation. Real-time interaction via a chatbot or live chat gets the right information in front of prospects and customers at the right time, and follow-up questions are addressed immediately. Personalized, relevant engagement vastly improves the user experience. For businesses, conversational marketing typically cuts the time buyers stay in the sales funnel. Conversions happen quicker because relationships are established quicker. Set up live chat on your website in 6 steps using HubSpot Conversations.
Conversational marketing is effective because it:
Removes layers of impersonal lead capture and creates an authentic, personal customer experience
Fosters clear communication — buyers can plainly state their needs, and businesses can more readily understand and assist since there is appropriate context around the request
Strengthens relationships as bots can also recommend additional content to supplement buyer education
Fast Fact: Messaging is the preferred method of customer communication with businesses — 90% of customers want a chat option.
Taken individually, the majority of the strategies we listed provide limited marketing clout. However, inbound marketing aligns the heavy-hitters — SEO, SEM, content marketing, social media, and earned media — to deliver a well-rounded, cost-effective marketing approach that generates qualified leads, strengthens customer relationships, and successfully builds brands.
Top 10 Business-to-Consumer Marketing Strategies
We were curious about what business professionals thought about marketing. We took a look at recent survey results and reports that compiled data on the topic, and created a list of 10 B2C marketing strategies commonly recognized as successful regardless of industry. Here’s what we found, in no particular order:
SOCIAL NETWORKS AND VIRAL MARKETING
Social media marketing focuses on providing users with content they find valuable and want to share across their social networks, resulting in increased visibility and traffic. Social media shares of content, videos, and images also influence Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts in that they often increase relevancy in search results within social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram and search engines like Google and Yahoo.
Fast Fact: 61% of companies use social to increase conversions, and 50% use it to gain customer or market insights.
PAID MEDIA ADVERTISING
Paid media is a tool that companies use to grow their website traffic through paid advertising. One of the most popular methods is pay-per-click (PPC) links. Essentially, a company buys or “sponsors” a link that appears as an ad in search engine results when keywords related to their product or service are searched (this process is commonly known as search engine marketing, or SEM). Every time the ad is clicked, the company pays the search engine (or other third party host site) a small fee for the visitor — a literal “pay per click.”
Internet marketing, or online marketing, combines web and email to advertise and drive e-commerce sales. Social media platforms may also be included to leverage brand presence and promote products and services. In total, these efforts are typically used in conjunction with traditional advertising formats like radio, television, and print.
There’s also a lot to be said about online reviews and opinions. Word-of-mouth advertising is unpaid, organic, and oh-so-powerful because those having nice things to say about your product or service generally have nothing to gain from it other than sharing good news. A recommendation from a friend, colleague, or family member has built-in credibility and can spur dozens of leads who anticipate positive experiences with your brand.
Fast Fact: Global e-commerce is anticipated to reach $3,056.3 billion at a CAGR of 14% through 2023, with the spike largely attributed to contactless buying behaviors resulting from the global pandemic (COVID-19)
Email marketing is a highly effective way to nurture and convert leads. However, it’s not a game of chance, as to whether your message winds up in spam filters. Instead, email marketing is an automated process that targets specific prospects and customers with the goal of influencing their purchasing decisions. Email marketing success is measured by open rates and click-through rates, so strategy comes into play, particularly when it’s used as a component of a larger internet marketing initiative.
Fast Fact: The average expected email marketing ROI is $42 for every $1 spent.
Direct selling accomplishes exactly what the name suggests — marketing and selling products directly to consumers. In this model, sales agents build face-to-face relationships with individuals by demonstrating and selling products away from retail settings, usually in an individual’s home (e.g., Amway, Avon, Herbalife, and Mary Kay).
Fast Fact: The direct selling market is currently valued at $63 billion dollars
POINT-OF-PURCHASE MARKETING (POP)
Point-of-Purchase marketing (or POP marketing) sells to a captive audience — those shoppers already in-store and ready to purchase. Product displays, on-package coupons, shelf talkers that tout product benefits, and other attention-getting “sizzle” often sway buying decisions at the shelf by making an offer simply too good — and too visible — to pass up.
Fast Fact: In the U.S., annual impulse purchases total $17.78 billion, while Canadians dole out about half that much — $8.8 billion per year
COBRANDING, AFFINITY, AND CAUSE MARKETING
Co-branding is a marketing methodology in which at least two brands join together to promote and sell a single product or service. The brands lend their collective credibility to increase the perception of the product or service’s value, so consumers are willing to pay more at retail. Secondarily, co-branding may dissuade private label manufacturers from copying the product or service. Similarly, affinity marketing is a partnership between a company (supplier) and an organization that gathers persons sharing the same interests — for instance a coffee shop that sells goods from a local bakery.
There is no shortage of co-branding partnerships, but several more recent examples demonstrate particularly good natural brand alignment including the adventurous GoPro and Red Bull, luxurious BMW and Louis Vuitton, and fashion-forward Alexander Wang and H&M.
Likewise, cause marketing leverages and enhances brand reputation. Cause marketing is a cooperative effort between a for-profit business and a non-profit organization to mutually promote and benefit from social and other charitable causes. Cause marketing is not to be confused with corporate giving, which is tied to specific tax-deductible donations made by an organization. Cause marketing relationships are “feel goods” and assure your customers you share their desire to make the world a better place.
Fast Fact: Customers interpret co-branding as a value endorsement from a brand they already trust, creating a potentially lucrative halo effect
Conversational marketing is just that — a conversation. Real-time interaction via a chatbot or live chat gets the right information in front of prospects and customers at the right time, allows them to self-service, and get questions answered immediately. Personalized, relevant engagement vastly improves the user experience. For B2C businesses, conversational marketing is especially effective because it and scales your customer servicetypically cuts the time buyers stay in the sales funnel. Conversions happen quicker because relationships are established quicker. Set up live chat on your website in 6 steps using HubSpot Conversations.
Conversational marketing is effective because it:
Removes layers of impersonal lead capture and creates an authentic, personal customer experience
Fosters clear communication — buyers can plainly state their needs, and businesses can more readily understand and assist since there is appropriate context around the request
Strengthens relationships as bots can also recommend additional content or products relevant to buyers based on their past behavior
Fast Fact: Messaging is the preferred method of customer communication with businesses — 90% of customers want a chat option.
Earned media (or “free media”) is publicity that is created through efforts other than paid advertising. It can take a variety of forms — a social media testimonial, word-of-mouth, a television or radio mention, a newspaper article or editorial — but one thing is constant: earned media is unsolicited and can only be gained organically. It cannot be bought or owned like traditional advertising.
Fast Fact: 92% of customers say they trust earned media, with 51% of Millennials being highly influenced by it
Brand storytelling uses a familiar communication format to engage consumers at an emotional level. Rather than just spew facts and figures, storytelling allows you to weave a memorable tale of who your company is, what you do, how you solve problems, want you value, and how you engage and contribute to your community and the public in general.
Fast Fact: In a recent survey, 91% of respondents reported having a positive emotional connection with at least one brand Return to Top.
Every Strategy Requires an Effective Marketing Plan
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Posted by Vicki Woschnick An experienced writer and content planner, Vicki has a variety of client-side and agency experience in all of Weidert Group’s service areas. She is highly adept at learning various industrial niches and producing effective content on behalf of clients. In Weidert Group’s inbound marketing programs, Vicki plays a major role in crafting blog-form articles as well as downloadable advanced content offers.