Category: Management

Green Campaign – Its Role in Creating Awareness Among Malaysian to Protect the Environment

Green Campaign – Its Role in Creating Awareness Among Malaysian to Protect the Environment

Nowadays green campaign is one of the hot topics among the Malaysian. The main objective of green campaign is to create awareness among the public to protect our environment. Green campaign not only popular in Malaysia, is also very famous in foreign country. In Malaysia there are a lot of organization organizing green campaign such as Environmental Protection Society Malaysia (EPSM), Malaysia Environment NGOs (MENGO) and Treat Every Environment Special Sdn. Bhd. (TRESS). Furthermore, from the researcher research, there also few business company supporting on green campaign such as Panasonic, TESCO, and Nippon weather paint company.

EPSM was founded on 11 January 1974 at University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur. The society founded by a group of Malaysian who concerned about protecting the environment. EPSM is non-profit organization it runs by an elected executive committee on an entirely voluntary. The main objective of EPSM is to control the activities that will cause harm to the environment. In EPSM organization, public relations (PR) roles help to do publicity for the organization and at the same times help the create awareness among the public.

MENGO was formed under Danish International Development Assistance in November 2001. MENGO was an active society’s, it can give impact on the decision making at the levels of Malaysia society. The organization gives support to the Government of Malaysia on environment policies. The mission of MENGO is to protect the environment and maintain the agenda level same as local, national and international. The organization had organized a campaign on 19 April 2009 in Penang Bosch Hall to discuss plastic bags should be ban or not to ban.

TREES is a local non-profit environment organization. The organization founded in February 1995. The main purpose of TREES is to educate public the important of protect our environment and reduce negative impact for our environment. TREES organizations had organized two successfully programs in this year. On 14th February 2009 they had organized Valentine’s Pledge for Mother Earth, the program use to encourage the public send a photograph with a caption that how you protect the environment so that can share with each others. Furthermore, on 13th March the organization organized community recycling campaign at Ampang, this activity help to reduce the air pollution. There are a lot of people participated in these two events. The events are very meaningful and bring benefit to our environment.

Panasonic Sdn. Bhd. is one of the electronic company’s had designed out an eco-refrigerator to support green campaign and the product have successfully launched in Malaysia. It’s able to be self adjusting electricity regulator that reduces the wastage. Compare with other brand of refrigerator the Panasonic refrigerator able to save 40% of the electricity. It helps fight global warming and save money all the time. Panasonic electronic company in United State America also concerns for environmental protection and sustainability. The company’s practices prudent, sustainable use of the earth’s natural resources and the protection of the environment. Together with many benefits associated with the use and enjoyment of new technologies comes with responsibility that do not take lightly. The company hopes that this commitment able to protecting the environment continues to earn public trust and support.

Besides that, TESCO hypermarket had designed an eco-friendly recycle bag. The purpose is to encourage the consumer to use the recycle bag instead of using the plastic bag. Those consumers who using the recycle bag when purchase the goods can gain extra point for the member card. Furthermore, all the Tesco in Penang have applied the same rules that set by the Penang state government. Tesco hypermarket in Penang state not give out plastic bag for the consumer on every Monday. In foreign country, Tesco is the most environmentally friendly supermarket. Tesco had wins a award for being the best big company for corporate environmental strategy, has invested £115m in energy-saving technology for its stores in the past two years and is working hard to create the zero carbon supermarket of the future.

Malaysia Government also supporting green campaign. On 28th March 2009 the government encouraged whole Malaysian to switch off their lights from 8.00pm until 9.00pm. KL tower and 8TV is one of the company’s supporting this program. In this program, PR practitioners help the government to spread out all the information and do publicity on the activities. Besides, to support green campaign Penang state had already ban the consumer using plastic bag on every Monday. The purpose of this program is to encourage the consumer use recycle bag for those consumers who require for a plastic bag on Monday need to pay 20sen for it.

Thus, University Sains Malaysia (USM) an university in Malaysia shows support on green campaign. USM have organized a lot of campaign encourage the student to take care of our environment. Besides that, USM also …

Newsflash – You Can Write Your Own News Release

Newsflash – You Can Write Your Own News Release

Submitting a news release is one of the more effective methods of grabbing the attention of your target market and the search engines. Anyone can write a news release but not all news releases are effective. When you write a news release your aim is to get noticed by the people searching for your business, services and/or products and to ensure that the search engines list your release on the search results for people to find.

It is possible to write a great news release that generates qualified traffic and strengthens the reputation of your business if you follow some time proven guidelines. We will be taking a closer look at the guidelines to follow and the structure of a news release.

Guidelines:

• Grab the Attention of Readers – The headline and summary of a news release should provide a clear picture of what the release is about.

• Tell People Who You Are – Your business, product or brand name should feature prominently within the first few paragraphs of the release.

• Be Clear, Concise and Informative – Beware of slang or the excessive use of hype and stay away from technical language or jargon. The release should not be viewed as an advertisement and should be neutral and objective.

• Use Current Events and Examples – Tying in to current events or using examples of how your company can solve problems or provide solutions is very effective.

• Stick to the Truth – Provide facts and don’t exaggerate. You can severely damage your brand and reputation if you over promise and under deliver.

• Provide a Call to Action – It is very important to provide the readers with a reason to visit your website. Link to a page on your website that contains more information and entice readers to click on the link.

• Check for Readability and Grammar – Always proof read and spell check the release and ask your colleagues to provide feedback prior to submitting the release.

Structure:

• Headline – Contains your keywords and should aim to grab attention.

• Summary – Provides a brief description of your business and a summary of the information contained within the release.

• Dateline and Lead Paragraph – Provide answers to who, what, why, where, when and how.

• Body – The meat of the release containing neutral and objective information consisting of 300-800 words.

• About – Brief description of your company.

• Contact Details – Contains your company name, website details, telephone number and email address.

You can release news about any changes or developments within your business that you want to share with a broader audience. New appointments, partnerships, product launches, social causes and new services are newsworthy and could be written about. News releases should form part of your broader search optimization strategy and it could become a vital part of your business if done correctly. There are some great news release websites that you could approach for assistance (e.g. PRWeb.com.)



Source by Heinrich Muller

The Core Components of a Marketing System!

The Core Components of a Marketing System!

The core marketing system of a company comprises the suppliers, company, marketing intermediaries and target customers. The success of the company is also affected by competitor’s presence and other segments of public. The management has to watch and plan for all these factors to serve and satisfy the specified set of needs of a chosen target market.

  • Supplier selection:

A company has to choose suppliers who offer the best mix of quality, delivery schedule, guarantee and low cost. Say, a firm involved in manufacturing confectioneries has to procure sugar; cocoa, caramel, milk powder etc., Labor, equipment, fuel, electricity and other factors of production are also to be obtained. If the company’s product has a good market, it can opt for continuous production. If it is a growing firm, it cannot go for voluminous production, but only supply goods against confirmed orders. In either case, the choice of suppliers is determined by one major factor called ‘cost’. Of course,one can never compromise on quality and so the company has to decide whether to purchase the inputs or make its own.

The relationship of a company with the suppliers should be of a long-term nature, since any sudden change in the supplier’s environment will have a substantial impact on the company’s marketing operations. Sudden supply shortages, labor strikes and other events can interfere with the fulfillment of delivery promises to customers. This will result in sales decline in the short run and loss of goodwill in the long run. Back orders lead to loss of customers and in course of time their trust. The business firms must plan for alternate source of supply to avoid the risk of over-dependence on any one source of supplier.

  • Company

The marketing department has to work in tandem with the other departments of the company, namely, finance, production, personnel and research and development, while designing and implementing its marketing plans.

Finance department – has to be consulted for the funds available to carry out the marketing plans.

Production department – to gauge market demand and to decide on the supply of products based on demand.

R and D – new product development.

  • Marketing intermediaries:

Channel members are the link between the company and the customers. Agents and middlemen find customers who are wholesalers or retailers to take on the title and sell the merchandise. Also there are physical distribution firms who assist in stocking and moving goods from the warehouse to the destinations. The marketing executives have to deal with these intermediaries prudently in order to enhance the operational efficiency of the marketing function. Logistic firms, shippers and airliners help to move the goods from one location to another.

  • Competitors:

All the business firms in a particular market segment vie for the same resources and customers. A car manufacturing company in an automobile industry has to compete with other car manufacturers as well as with two wheelers. This implies that competition may come in different forms and each company has to identify potential threat from competitors, study their activities and capture their moves to win over the competition.

  • Public

A company has to keep a watch on people’s preferences to satisfy their requirements and also companies are expected to give back something to the society in the form of social welfare measures. People belonging to different culture groups with differing attitudes, lifestyles and tastes have a great impact on a company’s ability to achieve its objectives.

Markets whether homogeneous or heterogeneous must serve the purpose of satisfying the customers by providing more than what is being asked for. This discussion is with relevance to the factors that rule the micro environment of a marketing plan and there are greater forces in the outer environment looming large, say, social, political, legal, environmental and the like, which have to be tactically handled by the management to overcome the challenges and exploit the opportunity.



Source by Shyamala Sankaranarayanan

Services Marketing

Services Marketing

Services marketing has incurred an explosive amount of scholarly research in the last 20 years, however since 1986 there has been no debate concerning the notion that services are distinct from products, and thus deserve a special approach, a set of concepts and a body of knowledge (Brown, Fisk, & Bitner, 1994). This essay will explain the distinguishing features of services marketing, giving examples where possible. It will begin by defining services marketing and giving some background knowledge on its divergence from product marketing. It will then examine the four characteristics of services, and then finish with an explanation of the extra P’s found in the services marketing mix.

In the last century there has been a large shift in marketing thought; evolving from a goods-dominated view, in which tangible output and discrete transactions were the focus, to a service-dominant view, in which intangibility, exchange processes, and relationships are central (Vargo & Lusch, 2004). Vargo and Lusch define services as the application of specialized competences (knowledge and skills) through deeds, processes, and performances for the benefit of another entity or the entity itself. Four idiosyncratic features of services will now be given, highlighting why services marketing is different from basic product marketing.

Arguably the most distinguishing feature about services is their intangibility. Services are defined in (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2006) as “deeds, processes, and performances”. None of these are physical objects in which a customer can take ownership of, even though during a service physical evidence will be apparent in the form of things like medicine the doctors prescribes to you, the photo taken of you riding the rollercoaster, or the food on your plate in a restaurant. This invisibility creates a number of issues for marketers. Firstly there is no stock, making it hard to manage supply and demand. Secondly services cannot be shown or displayed to customers, making it hard for marketers to advertise the quality of the service. And finally, because services don’t physically exist, there is difficulty in patenting them, making it easy for other firms to copy your service.

Another notable aspect about products is that on average they stay the same. If you buy a Ford Focus here in Australia, and then go and buy the same model in America, chances are they will both be exactly the same. Services are different in that they are heterogeneous, meaning they differ with each use. For example a wildlife tour will never be the same twice, not only because of the random and unpredictable nature of the animals, but the guide may be in a different mood, the weather will have changed, and there will be different customers each time. These factors make it harder to consistently give quality service, which is important to marketers because customers will have a particular set of expectations in mind, based primarily on what was promoted in the service and previous experiences in the particular industry.

Another distinguishable feature about services is the fact that it’s both produced and consumed at the same time, as opposed to products where customers do not see how the product is manufactured. A good metaphor for this is being at the theatre. Consumers can be compared to an audience, where they watch actors (employees) perform on stage (physical location like a business store) amongst props (physical objects like chairs, tables, pot plants etc). The actors are ‘live’ and performing (producing) at the same time as the audience are watching (consuming). This brings us to the concept of interactive marketing. In a service, operational staff carries out much of the marketing function (Klassen, Russel, & Chrisman, 1998), and marketers are left to the advertising and promotion.

The final distinction that differentiates services from products is their perishability. While some products perish very quickly (like water balloons), services simply cannot be stored, saved, resold or returned at all. Marketers main concern would be the procedure for when things do not go as planned. Customers cannot simply return the service and ask for another one; it is up to the service provider to offer the customer some kind of compensation. If passengers are forced to wait a long time for their flight, employees could provide free coffee and refreshments while they wait, in an attempt to make up for their failing service.

With product marketing the marketing mix includes the four P’s; product, price, place and promotion. Services use the same elements plus three more to help account for their unique nature.

Firstly there is people, which comprise of everyone that influences the buyer’s perceptions, including the buyer themselves. Customers have an active role in the production, and thus can influence the outcome of their own service or the service of others. For example a large family with screaming children interrupting a young couples romantic dinner …

7 Benefits of Advertising Flyers Person-to-Person

7 Benefits of Advertising Flyers Person-to-Person

Any business owner that is experiencing financial difficulties from the recession, or anything else for that matter, should definitely consider adverting with flyers. You can benefit from this type of advertising in several ways. Here are seven of them to help you determine if this method of advertising is right for you.

1) Instant results. There’s no waiting for your advertisement to be published when advertising flyers person-to-person. Your sales will increase the same day as you launch your advertising campaign. This is the number one reason why every business owner should be thinking about using this form of advertising right now.

2) Low priced. No matter how large of an advertising budget you have to work with, this form of advertising allows you to promote your products and services within your means. Advertising flyers person-to-person is the cheapest form of flyer advertising. You can design and print your flyers in house to save hundreds of dollars on unnecessary costs.

3) Quite simple. Other forms of advertising require months of planning and preparation. This strategy eliminates the timely process of searching for professional graphic designers and copywriters. Simply put, you can launch your advertising campaign the same day.

4) Consumer feedback. Talking to people face-to-face off the streets allows you to ask serious questions about your business without having to hire an overpriced survey service. You can find out what people really think of your products and services, allowing you to immediately correct any serious issues you may have. On the other hand, this also gives you the opportunity to inform people of all the positive changes and improvements you have made.

5) Viral injectors. Advertising flyers person-to-person on the streets is proven to generate word of mouth buzz and referrals. In fact, a struggling business can be back on the road map to success within weeks of launching the first promotion. There’s even the possibility of your promotion being picked up by your local newspaper.

6) Moral boosters. Advertising flyers on the streets to people is a great way to liven up the spirits of your team when times are hectic. The positive energy from your promotion will bolster the performance of your staff and spread to your customers like a wildfire. Your team will feel a since of pride as people start to complement them about the positive changes you made in your business.

7) Highly Effective. Since your talking to people in person, response rates can be as high as 50% in comparison to other forms of advertising. In addition, you’re more likely to convince consumers into purchasing whatever it is you have to sell with this strategy. The results are always phenomenal considering the price and time it takes to advertise flyers.

Advertising flyers person-to-person is just one of the ways you can recession proof your business while making a sizable income in the process. Think about using this strategy to sell your products and services if your advertising budget is small, and you need a way to generate sales quickly.



Source by Robert Nugent

Part-Time Lawn Mowing Business While Working a Regular Job

Part-Time Lawn Mowing Business While Working a Regular Job

No matter what the economy, the grass still grows. There is always someone near by who needs their lawn mowed and cannot do it themselves. These folks have a problem and you, the full-time employee wanting to start a part-time lawn mowing business, have the solution. They can pay you to mow their yard. Problem solved.

I often get the question of whether you can start your lawn mowing business part-time in the evenings and on weekends and keep your full-time job. The answer is a big yes!

The question is can you do it? If you have lots of energy, enjoy being outdoors and working in your yard, and can handle just 5 to 10 extra hours of physical work each week, you can start a part-time lawn mowing business and keep your regular job.

People who work 12-hour rotating shift schedules are in a terrific position to run a lawn mowing business part-time while keeping their full-time jobs because they have so many days off.

Marketing

First, you need to find some customers. Write a flyer using word processing software, print it, take it to your local copy shop, have 25-30 copies made, and distribute them around your neighborhood within walking distance of your house. You may want to use a half-page flyer so you can distribute to 50-60 houses. Include what you offer the prospect (lawn mowing, edging, cleaning off the concrete), your name, best phone number to contact you, your address so they know you are a neighbor and how much you charge. Since you are new to the business charge on the lower end of the average rate other lawn care professionals charge in your area. Five dollars cheaper than average may get your neighbors to stop using someone out of the neighborhood and start using you instead.

Another reason to start with your neighbors is they know you or know of you and we all want to help other people, especially people we know. Since these folks are close by, you get to go out, knock on doors and meet your neighbors while marketing your business to them. Smile, introduce yourself and tell them which house is yours or what street you live on and get to know a little about them and some things you might have in common. Hand them a flyer at the end of the conversation and move on to the next house.

Keep this up until you have at least one person ready for you to go home, get your equipment right now, come back and work that day and are pulling out their checkbook to pay you. If this happens, stop marketing that day, service your new customer and earn some money. Continue marketing the next day.

When you have the number of customers you think you can handle, stop marketing daily and only doing a little occasionally or when someone asks for your information. You will need to keep a few flyers on hand to give out. Be on the lookout for yards that overgrow and see if a lawn service comes to mow them. These folks may need someone closer who will service their lawn regularly. Be sure to visit them and ask.

Equipment

Do not buy any commercial equipment or go into debt. You only need the mower you use on your own lawn, a gas-powered string trimmer and blower to get started. If you have an electric-powered string trimmer and blower, you can still use them, but make sure the customer knows you will need access to an electric outlet and you will need a very long extension cord.

Alternatives to gas and electric-powered trimmers and blowers are the cordless rechargeable models. They are less expensive than their gas-powered cousins, cheaper to operate and much more environmentally friendly. If you have electric equipment that requires an extension cord, you will want to replace it with cordless electric or gas-powered equipment as soon as you earn enough money mowing to do so.

Starting within walking distance of your home eliminates the need for a truck or trailer to haul equipment to job sites keeping costs down. If you live within walking distance of the job you can put your equipment and gas can in a wagon or cart and pull your lawn mower along by hand. If you are willing to do this extra manual labor you are more likely to succeed because you are not afraid of hard work and not prone to overspending.

Earnings

One of the biggest reasons to have a part-time lawn mowing business is you make significantly more money for the time you spend working than at most other part-time endeavors.

If you charge $50 to mow the grass, edge and clean up and you can do 5 lawns after …

Why Every Business Owner Should Learn Digital Marketing

Why Every Business Owner Should Learn Digital Marketing

The reality is very few business owners feel that they have the time to learn digital marketing, however, what most of them quickly find is that by not taking the time to learn at least the found of what digital marketing is, it ends up costing them thousands over the life of their business.

You see, an entrepreneur has to generally learn as many different aspects of running an organisation as possible before they can hand over the reins to somebody else. The reason for this is because it allows them to understand the value of time and effort required to complete each task associated with their business. Now, where most others go wrong is by saying they don’t have the time to learn what’s required to promote their business online. Now, this happens pretty much every day with business owners all across the planet and what they generally do is outsource to an SEO or online marketing agency, even though they have little to no knowledge of what they are paying for and what the agency is actually doing for them.

Now while this approach isn’t a bad approach, this approach without having the required knowledge will cause a business to lose money in the future, because by having at east a little knowledge an entrepreneur can look for the best service at the best rate.

One main example of this would be when it comes to asking the general question of how much does digital marketing cost?

Now while it’s easy to look at online marketing as a commodity where all pricing is based on a simple set of factors and is exactly the same, the truth is much of digital marketing pricing is based largely on experience and knowledge gained over time.

So by understanding more about how digital marketing works and what is required in a digital marketing campaign you are putting yourself in the position to negotiate cheaper pricing over time.

It is very easy to see that a business owner that has taken the time to learn the steps required to put together a digital marketing campaign can utilise one of the best companies in the world for about 50 to 60% cheaper than somebody who hasn’t taken the time to learn the basics, and they will still get the same results.

Another reason business owners should learn digital marketing is so they can do the work for themselves.

The reality is most things in digital marketing, business owners do have the time to complete even though they think they don’t. The problem is they don’t know where to start or what is required in order to achieve results. If the business owner knew exactly what was required to get results they could do most of the digital marketing themselves requiring only a few hours a week in some cases to give their businesses the boost it needs to obtain results.

Also, it makes it easier to outsource certain aspects of digital marketing if you know what’s required to achieve results. For example, if you’re looking to gain results with digital marketing and you know what’s required however you don’t want to hire an agency that’s actually okay. The reason why this is okay is because in these situations you can pass on these tasks to employees, or you can pass on these tasks to friends or family or if you’re just looking for the cheapest rate you can actually pass on these individual tasks to virtual assistants who will do the work for generally about 80% less than most of your local SEO agencies however they need to be told what to do which is why an internet marketing training course for a business owner is almost a requirement to run a business in today’s market.

So the reality is if you’re really looking to grow a business online and you want the type of results that are required to sustain business in this day and age utilising the Internet and learning the basics of internet marketing is a necessity for every business owner.

If a business owner is willing to learn digital marketing, they are putting themselves in a position to guarantee long-term success for their business moving forward.



Source by Terrence Kent

Know About 5 Must-Have Qualities Of a Publisher Representative

Know About 5 Must-Have Qualities Of a Publisher Representative

With the progressing world, print and digital media marketing have also greatly evolved. One of the best things which are commendable about the media agency is their frequent interaction with publishers. This is because each and every commerce requires advertising sales representative for marketing and sales promotions as well as for guiding other companies. You will come across a lot of media publishing reps at industry events chat, presenting presentations at seminars and in client meetings selling their company advertise products. Even though, the most excellent Publisher Representative undeniably would have few distinct qualities required to improve the efficiency of the business.

Let’s take a glance at,

5 Essential Traits Of a Publisher Representative

1. Promptly and Precisely Explain About Their Business:

Without using jargons and slangs, a publisher representative describes everything about the business swiftly and plainly to their media buyers whether digital or print media buyers. If there are multiple alternatives they distillate the information in detail for the client to understand everything with greater translucency.

2. Precisely Convey The Company’s Value Proposition:

They have a detailed knowledge of exclusively presenting the USP’s (Unique selling points) of their business product or services by keeping in mind their competitors’ strategy. The one unique thing that can help them outshine is known to them and they put it on the table with an ultimate approach.

3. Understands Clients Business Objectives and Marketing Barrier:

Any blueprint which these media agents use is after a thorough research on the inside story of the buyer’s business. They are astute so by understanding deeply about the previously implemented campaigns, responses, vertical information, and targets.

4. Marketing Specialists in Their Client’s Business:

With a profound understanding of how to deal with buyers of different verticals in a non-creepy manner. They are experts in reading the client’s mind, these sales reps have a comprehensive idea about the buyer’s requirement and can suggest which method would match their product and fiscal estimate the most.

5. Offers Proposals suiting Media Buyer’s Business Demands:

Without forcefully selling proposals that are one-fit-for-all solutions these media agents after meticulously going through the business objectives of buyers suggest the best fit. Also, they ensure them a positive outcome and high return on investment on the basis of their well-planned proposals.

To conclude, Publisher Representatives are very useful for bringing positive returns for media agencies. They have all the necessary attributes and approaches to take your media agency to another level. However, hire media publisher reps after proper evaluation.



Source by Mike Maughan

Cultural Sensitivity in Business

Cultural Sensitivity in Business

Forget the saying ‘the world is getting smaller’ – it has gotten smaller. Advances in transport and communications technology combined with the development of a world economy have resulted in people from different nations, cultures, languages and backgrounds now communicating, meeting and doing business with one another more than ever.

There are some observers that claim this new found intimacy has lead to a greater understanding of ‘the other’ and as a result our cultural differences are in fact diminishing. However, in reality the opposite is true. As we come together our cultural differences become accentuated as we start to realise that the rest of the world is not reading from the same book. One area where this is now being felt is in business.

Very few businesses can escape the need to at some point in time deal with foreign colleagues, clients or customers. Business is international and if an organisation wants to develop and grow it needs to harness the potential an international stage offers. Twenty years ago British, European and American organisations doing business abroad had very little competition due to the lack of rival industrialised nations. Back then it was easy to do business ‘our way’. Today some of the world’s largest economies include Japan, China, Mexico, Brazil, India and Korea. As a result there has been a small shift from ‘our way’ to ‘let’s try and understand your way’. Why? Because western organisations are feeling the impact a lack of cultural sensitivity can and does have upon business performance.

Many organisations are now investing heavily in providing staff with language lessons in order to be able to crack foreign markets as well as providing cultural sensitivity training to address issues such as etiquette, protocol, communication styles and negotiation approaches. In a competitive world such businesses appreciate that greater cultural sensitivity will assist them in forging longer and more prosperous relationships. Yet progress is slow. Unfortunately a subconscious sense of cultural superiority still seems to reign; one that assumes the rest of the world does business like us and if they don’t then they should.

The world’s inhabitants however come from many faiths, cultures, world views and experiences which makes such an assumption futile. We are all different and as a result doing business across borders (whether political, religious, cultural or linguistic) requires cultural sensitivity, meaning a sense of empathy, flexibility and creativity informed by cultural knowledge. As with most things in life, business has learnt the hard way.

To illustrate how these lessons have and are still being learnt we will look at some examples where a lack of cultural sensitivity has let a company, individual or product down. For the sake of brevity these have been summed up in two simple categories: culture and language.

Culture

Culture comes in many shapes and sizes. It includes areas such as politics, history, faith, mentality, behaviour and lifestyle. The following examples demonstrate how a lack of cultural sensitivity led to failure.

* When colouring in 800,000 pixels on a map of India, Microsoft coloured eight of them a different shade of green to represent the disputed Kashmiri territory. The difference in greens meant Kashmir was shown as non-Indian, and the product was promptly banned in India. Microsoft was left to recall all 200,000 copies of the offending Windows 95 operating system software to try and heal the diplomatic wounds. It cost them millions.

*The fast food giant McDonald’s spent thousands on a new TV ad to target the Chinese consumer. The ad showed a Chinese man kneeling before a McDonald’s vendor and begging him to accept his expired discount coupon. The ad was pulled due to a lack of cultural sensitivity on McDonald’s behalf. The ad caused uproar over the fact that begging is considered a shameful act in Chinese culture.

* A nice example of how pictures don’t translate well across cultures is the time staff at the African port of Stevadores saw the ‘internationally recognised’ symbol for “fragile” (i.e. broken wine glass) and presumed it was a box of broken glass. Rather than waste space they threw all the boxes into the sea.

* When the US firm Gerber started selling baby food in Africa they used the same packaging as in the US, i.e. with a picture of a baby on the label. Sales flopped and they soon realised that in Africa companies typically place pictures of contents on their labels.

* Pepsodent tried to sell its toothpaste in South East Asia by emphasizing that it “whitens your teeth.” They found out that the local natives chew betel nuts to blacken their teeth which they find attractive.

* The film “Hollywood Buddha” showed a complete lack of cultural sensitivity by causing outrage and protest on the streets of Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Burma when …

Different Types of Advertising Signs Used For Commercial Purposes

Different Types of Advertising Signs Used For Commercial Purposes

Advertising signs lay emphasis on your business by elucidating the business message, intending to arrest the customer’s attention. They are a less expensive medium to convey the core dealings of the business to the clients.

Now with an array of advertising signs used by the business owners, they are categorized based on several aspects. Here is an outline of few different types.

Frequently used advertising signs

Light outdoor signs – These are with scrolling message or neon signs. They are popular with businesses like banks and restaurants where the signs display messages.

Billboards – They are regarded as a little expensive type. Billboards are placed in prime locations to attract viewers and spread the business across thousands of potential customers at a comparatively less price.

Building signs – To convey a brief message, related either to the functioning of your business or the location of your work place, building sign is quite effective. They are available in different varieties and are often lit up to attract the attention of the passer by or the motorists in the area.

Transit signs – These are usually noticed on the side either of a bus or the bus benches or covered shelters and also are placed on top of taxis or cabs.

Types of advertising signs based on location

Window sign – It is a very common location where these are placed, direct on to or behind or adjacent to the store window.

Canopy sign – These are located on a protective or covered place, over entrances or exit of businesses.

Roof sign – As evident from the name, these are placed on the roof of any commercial establishment or service building.

Wall sign – These are generally painted or printed and are called commercial when they uphold any types of logo, trademarks, location and contact detail.

Projecting sign – These extend from a building and are aimed at pedestrians.

Types of advertising signs based on constituent material

Commercial banners, flags and emblems are usually made of fabric, plastic or paper, attached to poles, vehicles or buildings with nails, rope or adhesive. However, their longevity is not much.

Bulletin board – Important information is displayed on bulletin boards providing vital news, announcements or restaurant menu items.

Freestanding sign – It is free from any kind of attachment to any construction and stands alone with the support of a wooden or metal frame.

Portable sign – This can be transported from one location to another, the common examples being for sale or open house real estate sign.

Pole sign – This is an advertising sign not adhering to any building and is supported by a pole.

Different forms of advertising signs

Neon sign – It is a dazzling, gas-filled tubular-glass sign, which is very effective in drawing attention.

Animated sign – It can be a neon, LED or LCD that is endowed with some special effects similar to video and motion pictures.

Why advertising signs are used?

Low cost – Advertising signs are quite budget friendly compared to other forms of advertisement such as newspaper, television and radio.

Identify your location – The advertising signs point or demonstrate your location to potential customers.

Advertisement – These displayed on your company building reaches out to a mass of customers, enabling them to utilize the benefits of your products or services.

Always there – The advertising sign stays at a site for a longer period and is continually viewed by the people of that locality.

So, if you are a potent business owner, choose according to your own preference from the huge range of advertising signs that will be best suited for your business.



Source by Danielle Sage

Strategic Window in Dynamic Market

Strategic Window in Dynamic Market

What is a Strategic Window?

The term strategic window is the limited periods during which the “fit” between the key requirements of a market and the particular competencies of a firm competing in that market is at an optimum. In this paper we will use VXL Instrument’s case to elaborate the concept.

What is VXL’s Business?

VXL Instruments is enabling companies around the world build a flexible, secure, manageable and cost-efficient IT infrastructure. Its range of thin client devices helps enterprises beat the cycle of desktop obsolescence, free internal resources from non-productive functions, and save millions of dollars that is spent in securing systems. The thin client is a server-centric computing model in which the application software, data, and CPU power resides on a network server rather than on the client computer.VXL Instruments won “Highest IT-Hardware Exporter Award in Non-SSI category” for year 2006-2007.

VXL’s Dilemma

VXL Instruments is leading manufacturer of thin client devices and commands 11% share in global market. Its major chunk of sales comes from export to US and EU. The company is trying to explore new market in India for its thin client devices. Competitors like Wyse and HP offer diverse range of product not only in west but also in India. Therefore, it’s high time that company starts thinking about Indian market.

How to market TC in India?

Company’s products like TC23xx and TC73xx are reliable and cost-effective. The (thin client) TC can help in eradicating various pain in server based computing. It is very useful in case of SME’s (Small and medium scale enterprises) where computing requirements are pretty specific. In case of sectors like hospitality, we need to explore various value unlocking features so that they can charge a premium. The major challenges are following:

1. How to provide maximum utility without making product too much complex?

2. How to convince existing clients to change from fat clients to thin clients?

3. How to market TC in India?

Actually the answer of third question will give us a frame work for finding the answers for first two questions.

I will consider VXL a minimum risk taking company. It’s more product centric than customer centric. Therefore, its products are world class but market penetration is not that impressive. Presently, VXL markets its products through client interaction and third party distributors like Priya Limited. This approach reduces marketing expenses but the approach has its own limitations.

In 2005, Mumbai-based distributor Priya Ltd invested $2 million (around Rs 10 crore) in equity in VXL Instruments. The investment was part of the trade finance arrangement that gave VXL $9 million (around Rs 45 crore) aimed at funding its growth.

VXL chalked out expansion plans and a growth strategy with a view to increase its market share of thin client to 25 percent by 2007-2008. It has made inroad in different verticals like ERP, Health, Telecom, Education and Banking with client list including SAP Belgium, Birmingham City Hospital UK, DOT India, British Telecom, IIM Lucknow, IIT Roorkie, Haga Bank Jakarta and HDFC India etc. But presently its market share is much below its target.

Product Awareness & Customer Perception

We can roughly divide the customers into two categories:

* Techno Savvy Customers with financial Muscle: These type of customers, already know about the products (TC) and we need to convince them that thin client is a better option over Fat client. For example Velankani group’s upcoming 5-Star hotel in Electronic City, Bangalore. The Velankani’s are in IT and infrastructure and they are aware about technology and its implementation. According to Mr. R. Shiva Kumar (Manager Information System, Velankani), these types of customers should better be approached when the product is in its embryonic stage. Once they acquire fat clients (FC) for their project, they won’t be interested in TC due to switch over cost. Here we need to market TC as a device which will not only reduce the total cost of ownership but also provide simple solution for all comfort requirements.

* Less Techno Savvy with Medium Range Investment Capabilities: These types of customers don’t have their own IT department. They generally play safe and go for the fat client technology being used by other players in their segment. More over they consider their computing needs are minimal and don’t find IT investments much attractive. Here, we need to educate them about various advantage of server based computing and advantage of TC over FC. These types of firms should be approached for providing total solution.

Market Redefinition

Frequently, as markets evolve, the fundamental definition of the market changes in ways which increasingly disqualify some competitors while providing opportunity for the others. The trend towards marketing “system” of products as opposed to individual piece of equipments provides many examples of this phenomenon. We will discuss this point …

Do Article Marketing and Bum Marketing Still Work?

Do Article Marketing and Bum Marketing Still Work?

If you’ve been involved with online marketing for any length of time, you’re probably at least relatively familiar with the terms “article marketing” and “bum marketing.” If you’re not, don’t fret. This article will explain these two things for you. They’re actually really simple concepts to grasp, so it won’t take long for you to learn them. Then, we will discuss their current effectiveness (or lack thereof) as an internet marketer’s business model.

What Is Article Marketing?

Quite simply, article marketing is the process of writing simple articles and submitting them to websites known as “article directories.” Such directories include sites like EzineArticles, ArticlesBase, and GoArticles. At the end of each article you submit, you are able to include links back to your website (or landing page), where you make your offer.

What Is Bum Marketing?

“Bum Marketing” is a term that was coined a few years back by a top internet marketer named Travis Sago. It is essentially the same as article marketing, but incorporates the use of all types of free social media sites, commonly known as “web 2.0 properties.” In addition to the article directories, bum marketers will be submitting their articles to sites such as Blogger.com, WordPress.com, and the “big daddy” of the bum marketing world, Squidoo.

How Effective Are These Business Models?

The truth is, both bum marketing and straight article directory marketing were once incredibly powerful business models. All sorts of folks were making healthy online incomes using one or both of these methods. Unfortunately, if you fast-forward to a few Google updates later, the story changes dramatically.

You see, the name of the game in the world of free online marketing is to get your content ranked high in the organic results of the search engines, especially Google. And articles submitted to article directories and web 2.0 sites used to consistently rank on the first page of the engines, sending droves of free traffic to these articles, which would in turn send lots of great targeted leads to the marketer’s offer pages.

Sadly, this is no longer the case.

Today, self-hosted websites get the lion’s share of search engine love. This is not to say that article marketing and bum marketing techniques don’t still have their place. They most assuredly do. But their primary role has shifted dramatically.

Instead of using these particular strategies to send direct traffic to your money sites, it is now far more advisable to use both the article directories and web 2.0 sites to gain valuable, in-content, anchor text backlinks pointing to your self-hosted web pages in an effort to get these pages themselves ranking in Google and other search engines.



Source by Robert W Harris

H2H – Human to Human Social Selling Strategies

H2H – Human to Human Social Selling Strategies

Many professionals in sales and marketing today have been charmed and persuaded to believe that success in today’s hyper-competitive business climate is predicated by how many digitized B2B or B2C contacts you have? Successful sales and marketing is simply not defined by the sheer numbers of Twitter followers, LinkedIn connections, Facebook likes and Instagram followers one has. Feeding these purported “must update” social channels and checking them 12 times per day can be mind-numbing, boring and counter-productive.

But you can enhance the “social selling experience” with people by following a few of the suggestions I am presenting in this article. I have been utilizing various social media channels for the past decade to leverage my sales and marketing footprint, but doing so to create a genuine and rich experience for the individual.

How sales professionals think about and utilize and execute social selling strategies for a competitive advantage will ultimately determine their success. The future of sales today relies on one’s ability to engage with qualified people (human to human) in an authentic and personal way. We want to build these relationships that are more human, more real and more valuable.

All businesses and working professionals are time-starved and do not and should not waste time on non-productive sales and marketing practices. Before you embark on a social selling/marketing initive, you should define what is the goal of utilizing these social media channels? Part of any good business plan is a well developed, practical and creative marketing plan. This includes digital marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click (PPC), content management, reputation management and video optimization. These are the primary areas to consider in your digital marketing plan. The old business adage, “if it can’t be measured, it can’t be managed”, is even more relevant today.

These key performance indicators (KPI’S) should be linked to key business, sales and marketing metrics to ensure success and adequate ROI for senior management to make well-informed business decisions.

The real challenges for sales people in social selling/marketing are:

– Marketing automation and having the right technology stack in place

– Seamless integration of existing and future technologies to the “tech stack”

– Aligning compelling content that will resonate with each constituent group and facilitate a conversion to a goal, e.g. Completion of a contact us form, email or phone call.

– Aligning content to business and revenue goals.

– Understanding how content strategy can scale to meet the companies needs over time.

I submit to you and invite you to consider that the power and reach of a well developed and executed social selling plan can pay huge dividends. Initially, it will take more time and effort as you launch your plan/campaign, but after launch, it should not take more than 30 minutes per day to manage and feed. And before you know it you will be connecting more effectively and easily with an H2H (human to human) social selling approach.



Source by Doug Dvorak

10 Reasons Why You Should Manage Your Business Ethically

10 Reasons Why You Should Manage Your Business Ethically

Why are ethics in business so important? Isn’t it enough to comply with the letter of the law and the rules of society? What’s in it for the business enterprise?

These are all interesting questions. Many business owners feel that maximizing profits is the chief obligation of the firm. Other owners feel that operating a business in a transparent, ethical manner is also important. Both business management and business ethics are about making the right decisions. Does one have to exist to the exclusion of the other?

I think not, and here are the reasons why managing a business ethically is important:

1. It sends the right message to customers and clients. With all the choices available nowadays, who wants to do business with a shady, ethically-challenged company?

2. It sets the right example for the firm’s employees. The temptation to cut corners or behave illegally, immorally, or unethically is reduced if employees are familiar with the firm’s code of ethical conduct and the certainty of its enforcement.

3. It can make the firm a desirable place to work. Recruiting, and then keeping, high-quality employees is far less costly than managing a turnstile where people come and go in bulk quantities.

4. It establishes a prism through which a company views not just normal business dealings, but the handling of extraordinary events or crises. When all options have been considered, asking “What is the right thing to do?” ultimately becomes the basis for action.

5. It provides a clearer focus for the firm. That clear focus is found not just in the tactical day-to-day operations, but in the firm’s strategic planning, as well.

6. It helps protect the interests of the firm. Ethical behavior doesn’t always insulate a firm from lawsuits, bad publicity, or other such negative and costly conditions, but it can certainly reduce the probabilities or mitigate the damage.

7. It helps protect the interests of everyone with whom the firm comes into contact. Will suppliers become more reliable if they know they will get paid on time? Will regulatory agencies be more helpful and accommodating? Will clients be more trusting? There is an obvious higher likelihood of the foregoing answers becoming “Yes” with a company who is seen as highly ethical, than with one who is not.

8. It promotes mutual respect and integrity. This can happen both within the company and from those whom the company deals with.

9. It promotes accountability. This can occur not just within the ranks of the employees, but with the top executives and owners, as well.

10. It can yield a reputation in the marketplace that can be beneficial and sustaining. Isn’t this a desirable condition for any company? If it isn’t, it certainly should be.



Source by Gerald Gillis

What to Look For In Coin Collecting: The Do’s and Don’ts of Coin Collecting

What to Look For In Coin Collecting: The Do’s and Don’ts of Coin Collecting

With so many hobbies one can choose from, coin collecting is one hobby that’s pursued by a lot of people. It’s also a hobby that takes some time for you to declare yourself a professional. The only thing to tell yourself is that it’s a hobby worth pursuing that’s why they call it the “Hobby of the Kings”.

When you want to pursue numismatics to make profits you should be prepare your self for hard work ahead. People who make money from collecting coins are full time in this industry and travel places looking for profitable coins. If you not prepared for that then its best you do this as a hobby.

To become a successful numismatist you have to get as much knowledge as you can about this hobby. Places where you can get information are newsletters, brokers, investment magazines and online articles like this one. The quicker you get the information the sooner you will start making a precious collection.

In order to succeed in this industry you have to be always researching more information.

To know the true value of a coin a beginner collector has to educate himself on how to grade coins. Getting knowledge on how to grade coins will help you in determining fake coins and prevent you from being scammed. You will also know how to value coins so you don’t buy worthless coins.

Collecting coins also trains one to be patient because collecting lot of coins can take years. So you have wait some time to reap the reward from collecting coins. But most definitely it’s worth the wait.

To be successful in numismatics requires you to start thinking like an investor. Make sure that the people you take advice from are a reliable source because getting the wrong advice will make you lose lots of money in buying priceless coins.

When starting out in this hobby requires you to have lots of money to invest. Not only do you need money to buy the coins but you also need it to buy numismatists equipment and have money to travel places in search of coins. Also stay up to date with market news because prices of coins can drop due to various reasons. This will help you be aware of the right time to buy valuable coins.

Just like any other hobby collecting coins needs you to give it time to excel. Just be on the look out for good deals and use a little common sense here and there and you will most definitely see good results from your new found hobby.



Source by Adam E Franklin

The Fundamental Role of Marketing In Business

The Fundamental Role of Marketing In Business

One of the things that I think most people in the marketing world take for granted is that everybody understands the fundamental role of marketing in business. Through my daily interactions with other business owners over the past several years, however, I have been amazed at the relative lack of understanding about the importance of marketing. More often than not, marketing is a back seat, tertiary thought that comes after their product/service and daily operations, if it’s even that high of a priority.

One of the phrases that my business partner, James Orr, has coined in the real estate investing realm is that “everything starts with motivated sellers.” Without motivated sellers, there are no properties to buy, rentals to put tenants in, fixer uppers to flip, or deals to wholesale. This is such an important aspect of real estate investing that it’s almost a mantra for the way that James and scores of other successful real estate investors run their businesses. The key to getting in touch with motivated sellers happens to be marketing.

I guess that a good place to start in this discussion is to define what marketing is. Google define tells us that marketing is “the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion and distribution of ideas, goods and services to satisfy customers.” Marketing really does consist of more than what most people think it does. Marketing is more than just the activities that drive sales. Rather, marketing encompasses all the activities that seek to identify what consumers want and how to promote and deliver those goods and services.

Before an individual or company ever even makes the decision to produce a particular product or service, they should first spend the time to determine if there’s even a market for that offering. If there is a demand, they then need to figure out how to get that offering to the consumers that want it, how to tell consumers that it’s available, and how to price it such that there is money left over for a profit. This is all part of the marketing process, and really should occur before the product itself is even produced.

In more common usage of the term, “marketing” is often seen as only the promotional aspect of a product or service that is already available. This part of marketing consists of making the consumer aware of what you’re offering, and convincing them to buy it. There is a tendency in corporate environments to separate the marketing and sales functions into disparate departments, which is often a mistake. The purpose of the promotional element of marketing is to drive sales, and therefore the two functions are intricately connected. A good example of the disconnect between these two departments is when companies that sell capital equipment have vastly more people in their marketing departments than they do in their field sales force. Another example is when marketing and product development folks ignore the input from the field sales personnel. This input is often derived from actual customer contact, which most employees of large organizations don’t experience.

The prime purpose of one of my blogs is to test marketing promotions using a vast array of messages, media, and markets, which are often referred to as the three M’s of marketing. Before we conduct a test, we first do some background research to determine if there is even a market for what we’re considering selling, and we analyze whether or not we can at least break even on the marketing test using certain realistic assumptions about sales ratios. Pricing strategy is also something we discuss a lot before launching a new test. The actual development of sales copy, writing and placing ads, setting up measurement systems, etc., comes later in the process. Making sales and tracking metrics, then tweaking the marketing, comes next.

Sadly, many business owners don’t understand the importance of marketing. Because of this, they fail to plan for rough spots in the business cycle, such as off seasons, economic downturns, and other events. As the cliche goes, “failing to plan is planning to fail.” Every business should have a marketing plan of some sort, and it should be in writing. Companies that don’t “do” marketing will invariably fail.

In short, without marketing there are no sales. And without sales, there is no revenue. And without revenue, any business will quickly succumb to the statistics that show that nearly 2/3 of all businesses fail within their first 4 years.



Source by Jassen Bowman

Top Level Secrets of Promoting Your Products to the Right Audience

Top Level Secrets of Promoting Your Products to the Right Audience

This encompasses everything to do with the way an organization communicates persuasively with people to influence them towards making a purchase. Marketers use many different tools to promote their products and services. Promotion is sometimes seen as the most important part of marketing; certainly it is the most visible, with elements of it advertisements, posters and so on – all around. It should be known that even the producer of the best product or service will do no business if no one knows it exists. Similarly promoting a bad product is certainly the fastest way to kill it. The combination of promotional tools an organization uses is referred to promotional mix.

1. Advertising: This is paid non personal communication through various media by organizations and individuals who are in some way identified in the advertising message. The medium of advertising include; television, radio, handbills, billboards (electronic and non-electronic), newspapers, magazines, music and internet. The best medium is a function of the product being advertised and the target customers to be reached. Generally speaking, securing airtime for advertorials in television is quite expensive for most small businesses. Radio jingles and handbills are fairly more affordable and fit into local advertising. Advertising is carried out with the following objectives in mind: informing potential customers of a new offering; increasing the frequency of purchase; increasing the use of a product; increasing the quantity purchased; increasing frequency of replacement; presenting a promotional programme; bringing a family of products together; and making the organization behind a range of offerings known. In summary, advertising can help promote a business but it is important to be aware that it has its limitations. Some small business owners believe that if their business is failing they can advertise their way out the problem. Sadly, this is not the case because advertising cannot force people to buy unneeded goods and services. If the business is in the wrong market advertising will not be able to help. Furthermore, it cannot improve an inferior product. If the product is not adequate or does not fit the overall marketing mix, advertising cannot compensate.

2. Personal selling: This is face-to-face presentation and promotion of products and services. It also involves the search for new prospects and follow-up service after the sale. Effective selling is not simply a matter of persuading others to buy. In fact it is more accurately described as helping others to satisfy their wants and needs. The major strength of personal selling over advertising is that it provides a two way communication where the prospect can ask questions and seek clarification where necessary as against advertising which is strictly one way. For large businesses this medium is very expensive because their customers are spread all over as against the small business operator who usually has direct access to his customers and sees them often.

3. Public relations: This is defined as the function that evaluates public attitudes, changes policies and procedures in response to the public’s requests, and executes a programme of action and information to earn a public understanding and acceptance. In essence, a good public relations (PR) programme has three steps. Listen to the public through marketing research. Change policies and procedures to accommodate the concerns and aspirations of the public. Inform people that you are being responsive to their needs. For most small businesses PR means obtaining free publicity via stories placed in newspapers, radio and TV with the objective of bringing attention to the business. The value of this approach is that it has a higher degree of credibility than an advertisement. Sponsorship of a local sporting event is also good publicity. Many businesses tend to overlook the importance of PR. Some are prepared to develop their own PR strategies and have the talents within the business to achieve satisfactory results, whilst some are unsure how to correctly handle this area and will employ outside expertise.

4. Publicity: This is talking arm of PR. It is one of the major functions of almost all organizations. Publicity is any information about an individual, product or organization that is distributed to the public through the media and that is not paid for, or controlled by the seller. In essence, it can be viewed as a form of free advertising. To use this properly, a small business owner must attempt to feed to the media information that is of public interest. Whether the media uses the information submitted to it depends on whether time and space are available and whether it is considered “newsworthy”. Different publications have different audiences and only stories that have high interest to the readership are likely to be chosen. Imagine establishing a small kindergarten school where primary education has been a major challenge or a small business engaged in nymph oil extraction for the treatment …

The Good And Bad About Online Data Entry Jobs

The Good And Bad About Online Data Entry Jobs

There are many sought-after positions on the Internet but none of them as popular as online data entry jobs. The reason they are so popular is that mothers can make extra money without leaving home. Other men and women decide to work from home full-time for companies that will information research and then uploaded.

However, people should always be on the lookout for frauds. There many of them and the bait and switch routine is the most popular. The offering may look very legitimate in the beginning. It is not until after a person pays money will discover more money will be required. For instance, they may have to promote a product, sell that product, before they receive any pay. Furthermore, if they get a refund there will be a charge back.

This can frustrate a lot of honest people. They earnestly seek for a job only to get deceptive practices and exaggerations of the truth. A person should be cautious about any offering that requires money be paid first. There will be a good likelihood the company is hiding something. Always make sure research the offer and the company. There several good reviews sites that do in-depth analysis and show the results.

Also, if a website uses phrases like, our system is guaranteed, and this should be a warning. Phrases like that are a giveaway that the company is not offer a service but selling a product instead. Hundreds of people discover this is a fraud after they waste their money.

However, this should not discourage people from looking for legitimate work at home positions. They will not get rich but they will make extra money. The key is to deal directly with the business. Avoid using an intermediate company that makes false promises. A real opportunity will train a person and value that person’s skills without first charging money.

Additionally, do not accept free software if the website promises they will provide software for the job. Many of these free software offers are poorly written programs. Some of them will compromise the computer. In addition, be concerned about websites that want to exchange information for an e-mail address. Chances are all they want is e-mail. At best, a person will get a book is poorly written with generalized Information.

Discovering good jobs to work and home is going to be similar to locating any other kind of job. Find a company that needs your skills and then apply. In the beginning, the work will be slow until reliability incompetency is demonstrated. So expect only a little bit of work. As necessary skills become demonstrated, the company will offer the person more jobs. Having several companies can equal full-time employment.

In conclusion, it is great to work at home. This thing to remember is to investigate the opportunity first. This is to avoid jumping into a scam. Finding worth from home is like discovering any other regular job. The business will require an application and some references. However, they will provide all the necessary tools and software as well as train a person. The best place to begin looking at on line data entry jobs is on the Internet.

Copyright (c) 2011 Jayden Harris



Source by Jayden Harris

How Does Marketing Create and Satisfy Consumer Needs?

How Does Marketing Create and Satisfy Consumer Needs?

A. Marketing merely reflects the needs and wants of customers. B. Marketing shapes consumer needs and wants. 

Part A  

‘Marketing merely reflects the needs and wants of customers.’ We all need to eat, drink and sleep and reproduce, this is all part of who we are as human beings. Therefore at the basic level companies will strive to satisfy these functions and keep doing so by once in a while showing advertisements that tells the public that they are around and can provide the products they need.  

The other aspect is that needs vary depending on what country you live in. “For example a consumer in the United States may need food but may want a hamburger, french fries and a soft drink and a person that lives in Mauritius that needs food may want a mango, rice, lentils and beans. Wants are shaped by our society.” The other part is wants, everybody can want something but only a few has the means to acquire it. A good example would be that everyone wants to eat out at expensive restaurants everyday but in reality only very few people can actually afford that lifestyle. This is why various segments have been created to target different groups and classes of people.

Marketers must therefore continually be creating and developing attractive products and then in turn devising a brilliant marketing strategy to win the consumer over to buy their product over other competing products. Companies strive to retain their customer base by delivering value and satisfaction from their products and this is formulated in consumers’ minds as a combination of service, quality and price. Some consumers would not mind paying a higher price for an item or service if they received very good service.

This is all part of what a consumer’s expectations on a product are, if these perceived expectations are met time after time then they become a loyal customer to that particular company. We as people like consistency and if a marketer provides consistent service in addition to great products and price then we will keep on going back for years. A good example would be Ben’s Chili Bowl located in Washington DC. It is an eatery that has been in business for decades and the fact that it had kept so many loyal customers is because they have offered consistent service and great food over the years and people who used to go there to eat as kids still go there as adults. They even have patrons fly into Washington DC just to experience their food and service. Companies also create brands and these brands have an effect on people’s purchasing habits.

These brands can mean several aspects of the company combined to form a perception in the consumer’s mind such as products, services, information and experiences. The more unique and interesting a brand the better it will perform. One brand that comes to mind is the Coach Company that manufactures accessories in the retail sector. They produce items such as handbags, purses, belts and other items. Coach has built a strong brand name for themselves by being unique in their style and service and this is primarily the reason that customers create a high demand for their products. This has also allowed the company to maintain an above average price for their products compared with their competitors with the knowledge that consumers would pay that higher price. Segmentation is another way that companies target the consumer to satisfy their needs and companies use this technique to target where they should market their products. There are various criteria that companies use to segment their products and some of them are geographic, demographic, psycho graphic and behavioral.

They would use factors such as how populated and area is or how wealthy the population of a specific area is and target products that fit that mold. This has proved to be a very successful tactic for companies in marketing. Marketing channels are also used by companies to reach their consumers. They use three types of marketing channels which are communications, distribution and service channels. Communications is important to get the company’s message out to the public and this could be in many forms such as the radio, television, the internet, posters and the like. They also need to distribute their products to the consumer and this means they will need a physical location like a store, or be a wholesaler and have others retail your products for you and also sell your products on the internet. Service channels are needed to effect transactions with the consumers and these could be banks for credit card purchases and transportation companies such as UPS to deliver the products to homes and businesses.

Marketing has relied on four marketing skills and tools and …

Market Forecasting Secrets for Traders and Investors

Market Forecasting Secrets for Traders and Investors

Market Forecasting is the science and art of determining in advance when a market is most likely to change direction and may also include the likely duration of the anticipated move.

Market Analysis is all about taking current price data and applying technical analysis and/or fundamental analysis in order to determine what the market has already done and what it is doing now, and may or may not include Market Forecasting.

If Market Forecasting is included, the degree to which it is included will vary widely from one analyst to another. The method of forecasting may be as simple as anticipating the crossing of an indicator line or the reaction to the breakout of some level of resistance, or as sophisticated as to predict the very date when the market will likely change direction (new trend direction or the beginning/end of a trend correction).

The method of forecasting involved in my analysis of price data is very sophisticated and naturally proprietary. The science behind my work is based strongly in the mathematics of market cycles. Market cycles provide a roadmap to future price direction and the likely culmination of one move into a new one.

There are various approaches to analyzing price data for cycle footprints. These cycles expose themselves to oscillators and moving averages (indicators), the tracking of seasonality, and even the monitoring of various planetary bodies and the effect it has on the earth (produce and psychology).

A trader or investor can do quite a bit of market forecasting without having to delve deeply into the really technical aspects that I use for my clients. Here are some suggestions to help you get started in determining the trend and likely duration.

Start with the WEEKLY price chart.

Using a weekly price chart, where each price bar represents one trading week, locate the start of a new move. What that means is to find a clearly defined swing bottom or top where the new direction starts from.

Usually, prices tend to change direction at Fibonacci points in time. For example, look for a possible turn 3 bars later, then 5 bars later, than 8 and so-forth. If you are not familiar with Fibonacci, there is much written on this subject.

Keep in mind that not only can you do this for every clearly defined swing top or bottom, but that they will overlap. For example, you may note that a certain week is 8 weeks from a previous top/bottom, and also 3 weeks from the most recent top/bottom.

Never expect exact counts all the time. If you count out 55 weeks from a previous top/bottom, it is possible that it could occur on week 56. In fact, it is possible that it won’t occur at all. Be mindful of these pitfalls.

The key here is to get a ‘time period’ to focus on for a possible weekly turn. Then, turn to your daily chart and look for evidence of a possible trend change, such as your indicators being overbought or oversold and possibly looking to reverse. You can even apply the time-count approach to your daily chart and look for clustering within the weekly time frame you are analyzing for. Clustering is when you have two or more results pointing to the same time period (within a day or two) based on counting from different previous tops and bottoms. These are time periods you want to watch.

There are so many valuable market forecasting techniques you can use to help you predict future market turns. I have included 12 powerful methods in my Market Forecasting Secrets book. By adding Market Forecasting to your chart analysis, you can be ready at the right time to either plan new trades or exit existing trades. Another big bonus is that it helps lower your risk exposure, since there is no better place to enter a trade than near the very beginning of a new move.



Source by Rick Ratchford

Brand Coherence With Customer Experience Model

Brand Coherence With Customer Experience Model

Coherence between a company’s brand and the service delivery operational model is critical in the pursuit of extraordinary customer experiences. Coherence is a critical element in the successful design of any firm’s operational model for service delivery.

Two simple examples of “coherence” may clarify the concept.

One luxury travel company advertises itself as expert in identifying “the best fit” between your vacation desires and various properties around the world. Yet, when consumers ask about specific details associated with a hotel (i.e., how convenient is the hotel to the Bilbao Guggenheim?) it rapidly becomes clear that the service representatives are not skilled enough, nor familiar enough, with the travel destinations to support a high-end clientele. There is an obvious coherence mismatch between the “luxury” brand identity and the experience or training of the service representatives.

In another case a major credit card company advertises its service as world class. However, billing disputes cannot be resolved over the phone or web, requiring instead written correspondence with supporting evidence gathered by the consumer from the merchant. Truly world class companies handle these same requests by phone and intercede on behalf of the customer with the merchants; requiring the merchant to provide proof rather than the consumer. As the bar for service has already been set extremely high, a new entrant trying to attract high-end consumers must match or exceed competitive offerings. Promising high-end service, then not delivering, has a more deleterious impact on loyalty than setting expectations low and consistently meeting a clear standard.

Coherence encourages self-selection among potential customers, increasing the likelihood that investments in advertising, marketing and sales will payoff in revenue growth. A strong, clear brand identity reduces the cost of sales by chasing away the vast pool of prospective customers who are unlikely to convert to paying customers.

A clear brand identity that is married to a coherent service strategy also establishes an expectation threshold that can dramatically decrease the number and intensity of customer complaints, thereby reducing the cost of exception handling tremendously. Consumers who know they are shopping in the bargain bin at Wal-Mart will have lower expectations than the fanatical fashionistas scouring the Manolo Blahnik seconds at Century 21. Sure, they’re only paying $250 for the $725 Tuccio Watersnake Pumps, but they want perfection slipped into that discount wrapper.

A lack of coherence may be evidenced in relatively subtle ways, but these discontinuities are picked up by the consumers, consciously and subconsciously, creating a barely perceptible unease or discomfort which reduces the customer’s propensity for repeat business. Customer deviations from the norms of loyal behavior creates, at a minimum, excessive marketing costs, at the extreme, this lack of repeat business translates into adverse word-of-mouth and the ultimate collapse of the business. Restaurants, bars and nightclubs are the classic canaries in the coal mine for this phenomenon. Without a solid core of repeat business (or extremely high non-repeating tourist traffic) a restaurant without this word of mouth cannot generate sufficient traffic through advertising alone to stay open.

Consumers easily compartmentalize their expectations and are quite comfortable shifting their demands as they enter different expectation frameworks. Parents may eat at The Fat Duck in Bray (selected best restaurant in the world in 2005) one night and take the family to Outback Steakhouse the next night; still viewing both of those disparate experiences as entirely satisfying. A consumer may drive their Maserati Quattroporte to Central Park for a $2 hotdog and not sense any dissonance because their expectations are bifurcated appropriately. Travelers can comfortably stay in the Taj, New Delhi, one night and camp under the stars in Rajasthan the next. Consumers are not, typically, demanding of the utmost in luxury and refinement from each experience they are simply demanding that each experience fit within an appropriate framework of expectations.

A company’s brand identity is one of the most powerful ways in which that framework of expectations is set. The service environment supporting the brand is the other critical factor. If the brand identity is diffuse or dissonant, and the service standards unaligned, then the consumer is unable to settle on an expectation framework that fits and they do not establish a pattern of “loyal” behavior relative to that company. Repeat business is diminished and the consumer does not provide positive feedback to the word-of-mouth buzz that is so critical to long-term revenue growth.

By establishing coherence between the brand identity and the service delivery model companies can begin to establish a strategy that will lead to extraordinary customer experiences.

Copyright © 2007, Lotus Pond Media



Source by Steven Grant

Payroll Puerto Rico, Unique Aspects of Puerto Rico Payroll Law and Practice

Payroll Puerto Rico, Unique Aspects of Puerto Rico Payroll Law and Practice

The Puerto Rico State Agency that oversees the collection and reporting of State income taxes deducted from payroll checks is:

Department of the Treasury

Bureau of Income Tax

Intendente Alejandro Ramirez Bldg.

Paseo Covadonga, Stop 1

P.O. Box S-4515

San Juan, PR 00905

(787) 721-2020

http://www.hacienda.gobierno.pr/

Puerto Rico has no State Income Tax. Therefore, there are no State W2’s to file, no supplement wage withholding rates and no State W2’s to file.

The Puerto Rico State Unemployment Insurance Agency is:

Department of Labor and Human Resources

Bureau of Employment Security

Prudencio Rivera Martinez Bldg.

505 Munoz Rivera Ave.

Hato Rey, PR 00918

(787) 754-5262

The State of Puerto Rico taxable wage base for unemployment purposes is wages up to $7,000.00.

Puerto Rico has no provision of quarterly wages on magnetic media.

Unemployment records must be retained in Puerto Rico for a minimum period of five years. This information generally includes: name; social security number; dates of hire, rehire and termination; wages by period; payroll pay periods and pay dates; date and circumstances of termination.

The Puerto Rico State Agency charged with enforcing the state wage and hour laws is:

Department of Labor and Human Resources

505 Munoz Rivera Ave.

Hato Rey, PR 00918

(787) 754-2119

http://www.dtrh.gobierno.pr/

There is no provision for minimum wage in Puerto Rico.

The general provision in Puerto Rico concerning paying overtime in a non-FLSA covered employer is one and one half times regular rate after 40-hour week except under contract, custom, nature of work.

There is no provision of new hire requirements in the Puerto Rico law.

There is no provision of rules for direct deposit for Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico has no Wage and Hour Law provisions concerning pay stub information except that employees paid by direct deposit must get a voucher showing all deductions.

Puerto Rico requires that employee be paid every 15 days.

In Puerto Rico there are no statutory requirements concerning the lag time between when the services are performed and when the employee must be paid.

Puerto Rico payroll law requires that involuntarily terminated employees must be paid their final pay by next regular payday.

Puerto Rico has no general provision on when voluntarily terminated employees must be paid their final wages.

There is no provision in Puerto Rico law concerning paying deceased employees.

There is no provision of when unclaimed wages should be paid in Puerto Rico.

There is no provision in Puerto Rico law concerning record retention of abandoned wage records.

There is no provision in Puerto Rico law concerning tip credits against State minimum wage.

In Puerto Rico the payroll laws covering mandatory rest or meal breaks are only that all employees must have 1-hour meal period after 3rd and before 6th hour of shift unless agreed otherwise.

There is no provision in Puerto Rico law concerning record retention of wage and hour records therefore it is probably wise to follow FLSA guidelines.

The Puerto Rico agency charged with enforcing Child Support Orders and laws is:

Child Support Enforcement Program

Department of Social Services

P.O. Box 3349

San Juan, PR 00902-3349

(787) 767-1500

Puerto Rico has no provisions for child support deductions.

Please note that this article is not updated for changes that can and will happen from time to time.



Source by Charles Read

In Direct Sales – Ditch Your Frank List and Use Target Marketing

In Direct Sales – Ditch Your Frank List and Use Target Marketing

For most of us in Direct Sales, 10 new recruits equals a promotion – either for someone in our organization, or for ourselves. Sometimes it equals qualifications for a special incentive – perhaps a trip to some exotic locale, or maybe some designer jewelry.

Most of us, who follow the out-dated ideas that our upline offers have been spinning our wheels watching THEM earn trips and recognition, while we sit scratching our heads, wondering why we aren’t getting in on the action. I mean, after all, we’re doing exactly what they told us, exactly the way they told us to do it.

Is this happening to you?

Our upline said make a list of 100 people. Check.

Our upline said contact them all and ask them to “help” you get started. Check.

Our upline said it’s a numbers game, talk to everyone. Check.

Our upline said to stay away from running ads in the paper. Check.

Our upline said to do 3 way calls. Check

Our upline said bring our recruits to the opportunity meetings. Check.

Our upline said pass out 500 business cards each month. Check.

Is your team growing by leaps and bounds?

Our upline never told us to be an authority on our company’s best product (that would be YOU!).

Our upline never told us to market ourselves first, and the company second.

Our upline never presents us as the authority. They become the “guru” instead of us!

Our upline never told us we could use the Internet to build our businesses on autopilot.

It means you need to position yourself as the expert. Set yourself apart and start thinking and acting like a leader NOW. Change your mindset – even if you’ve been in the business for years, start thinking like a leader at the next pay level. Already at the top of your game? Great. Start thinking like the owner of your company.

By the way, YOU are the owner of your company. You have the best product to offer anyone – and that is YOU. You can’t get that product from any other company.

Christie Northrup, the Lemonaid Lady, is a champion of ditching the FRANK list. She talks about using “WILMA” instead:

“Who

Is a

Likely

Marketing

Audience?”

Target marketing is the best way to see desirable results. The Shotgun methods still work, but the amount of time and energy you put into growing a business that way is, to me, excessive.

Let’s break down the numbers. ASSUMING you can buy 500 business cards for just the cost of shipping (there are online companies that run specials periodically), You’ve got a $10 investment in materials, plus the time it takes to deliver all of them. From here, we have to make a lot of assumptions:

  • Assume you give away 30 at every party (3 to each guest – who needs 3 business cards?)
  • Assume you have 8 parties per month (that’s pretty standard in Direct Sales)
  • Assume you give away 1 to every person you meet outside a party (that’s another 260 people each month)
  • Assume it takes 1 minutes to deliver each card outside a party (and really, you’re not building a relationship, you’re just shoving a card into their hand)
  • Assume a 1% conversion rate

You’re spending 4 hours each month just giving away cards, plus the additional 24 hours you’ve spent preparing and doing your parties. And I must reiterate – who really needs 3 of your business cards? More to the point, who’s going to TAKE 3 of your business cards?

And if you give away 6,000 cards each year, you’ve got 60 new leads (about 5 per month) that may book, buy or recruit. Most of those will probably come from your shows anyway, to be honest. For $120 in business card expenses (plus other show and travels costs) and 336 hours of your life. Each POTENTIAL lead costs you $2 and 5.6 hours of your life!

Is your head spinning yet?

Now if you really, truly have no other method of building your business, it’s a start. But I hope you realize that there are other, better options to growing your business. You could definitely be putting that time (and money) to better use elsewhere.

Find a niche and fill it.

In direct sales, there are targeted groups of prospects for every product line available. All you have to do is ASK your home office what the target demographic is for your direct selling company. If they can’t tell you, you’ve got bigger problems. If you sell kitchen tools, who it your target market? Men? Women? What about age, income, ethnic origin? The more you focus, the smaller your market will be.

Smaller market=bigger return on investment

If you invest your time …

Marketing Alchemy: 3 Ways To Turn Marketing Expenses Into Profit Centers

Marketing Alchemy: 3 Ways To Turn Marketing Expenses Into Profit Centers

Are you tired of writing checks for advertising and promotion expenses, month after month, and feeling like you have nothing to show for it? Learn 3 ways that you can turn your advertising and promotion activities into profitable assets, shift from marketing expenses to income, and begin to think of your marketing activities as a profit center instead.

1. Save the money you are now paying to advertisers.

Does the idea of writing checks to yourself each month rather than writing them to someone else for advertising expenses sound good to you? Here’s how to make that happen.

When you run a typical ad, you have no idea who has seen it unless they come to your establishment, call you, or buy something from you. In order to make your marketing a profit center, you have to know who those people are and how to contact them.

Don’t run another ad unless you can use it to capture the contact information of everyone who sees that ad and is interested in what you are offering. If you are advertising to get new customers, then be sure to make them an irresistible offer in exchange for their contact information. For example, a restaurant offers a two-for-one coupon that is delivered after the contact information is provided. What irresistible offer can you make to your prospective customers that they can’t refuse?

You can even test different offers to learn which ones are most popular, and have a record of which people responded to which offer. Is that valuable information to have for your future marketing campaigns? Of course it is! You can just deliver more of what your customers have already told you they want. And as you build a list of those people who have raised their hands, the list you are building becomes an asset for your business.

With a list of prospective customers and how to contact them, you no longer need to run blind ads. You can send targeted offers directly to your list in an email, so there is no mailing cost.

Instead of putting a coupon in an envelope with lots of other offers and hoping that someone will respond, you will be able to send a coupon directly to your list. You can even suggest that they share it with their friends and co-workers who might be interested in what you have to offer. And watch those “advertising” dollars go right to your bottom line!

2. Send special offers to your list that they can’t get anywhere else (and cash checks from other business owners that are providing the offers for them).

What’s even better than saving marketing dollars? Earning marketing dollars! Imagine how excited your customers will be to get “secret, special deals” that no one else gets! Of course, they can pass those offers on to their friends too, but those friends have to give you their contact information to get the deals!

You can send the offers to your list in a monthly newsletter, an email, or several other options. All can be done at low cost or no cost — but you won’t pay a dime without getting a check from another business owner first to cover the cost.

Send offers for other local businesses (that don’t compete with you, of course). Look for complimentary products, or even just products that have a similar target market that matches your customers. If your customers would be good customers for another business, that business can pay you an “advertising fee” to connect the offer to your list.

Partner with local museums or other non-profit arts organizations. Even if you don’t earn cash for your mailing, you can likely take a tax deduction — but check with your accountant so you will know what you have to do to earn the deduction. Just make sure you are getting a “special” deal for your list members.

If you have other business owners who are your customers, ask if they would be interested in having you do marketing for them.

Get in the habit of thinking of marketing as a profit center, and you will see many possibilities for profit.

3. Write a review for your customers that is included in your newsletter or an email, making a recommendation and including an offer.

Start with your customers who are business owners themselves and think about how you can promote their businesses with a review and a recommendation. Then approach the owners of those businesses and offer to provide a review and recommendation of their business (or product or service). In exchange, they will provide an irresistible offer (exclusive to your list, of course) which you will send for a small fee to cover your “expenses,” along with your review and recommendation.

This is powerful in marketing …

Optimal Value Chain: Effective Value Creation and Value Capture Strategies

Optimal Value Chain: Effective Value Creation and Value Capture Strategies

How do firms create, deliver and capture values? What is the nature and function of effective customer relationship management? What are the critical phases of the Value Chain? What are some policy implications of the Du Pont model in formulating effective pricing strategies? These policy questions relate to the optimal value chain model of a business enterprise-the appropriate mix of profitability and productivity that maximizes the return on investment and shareholders’ wealth while minimizing the cost of operations-value creation and capture, simultaneously.

Clearly, effective creation of value, delivery of value, and capture of value is critical to a sound business strategy designed to maximize the wealth producing capacity of the enterprise. In these series on effective value creation and value capture, we will focus on the pertinent strategic margin and volume questions and provide some operational guidance. The overriding purpose of this review is to highlight some basic price theory, strategic margin relationships, and industry best practices in effective value creation, value delivery and value capture. For specific financial management strategies please consult a competent professional.

A preliminary analysis of the relevant academic literature suggests that the optimal value chain process and appropriate value creation, value delivery, and value capture for each firm differs markedly based on overall industry dynamic, market structure-degree of competition, height of entry/exit barriers, market contestability, stage of industry life cycle, and its market competitive position. Indeed, as with most market performance indicators firm-specific value chain strategic posture is insightful only in reference to the industry expected value (average) and generally accepted industry benchmarks and best practices.

In practice, firms capture value through competition and persuasion. At least two strategic value propositions and pricing options based on Du Pont ROI model are available to most firms: Premium pricing (focusing on profitability) which seeks to maximize the profit margin from each sale; and High turn-over rate (focusing on productivity) which seeks to maximize number of sales and effective use of available assets instead of profit margin. There is significant empirical evidence suggesting that when the marginal revenue is negative, the firm cannot be profit maximizing. This is because loss in revenues due to price effect tends to outweigh gain in revenue due to output effect. Additionally, there is growing empirical evidence suggesting firms that opt for scale and volume tends to outperform those that opt for segment and premium, ceteris paribus.

In designing effective pricing strategies at least two critical variables must be considered: Pricing objectives and price elasticity of demand. These important variables converge to inform optimal specific product price and value propositions, in general. Customer relationship management (CRM) consists of customer data analytics, practices, strategies and technologies that firms use to analyze and manage customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, with the goal of enhancing business relationships with customers, assisting in customer retention and driving sales growth efficiently and effectively.

Additionally, firms must create and sustain effective relationship with customers. Effective customer relationship is a function of at least three critical variables: Empathy, trust and commitment. In designing effective value capture strategy, firms must maintain effective customer relationship. Carefully managing such relationship averts and or mediates the loss of sales attendant to price hikes by firms with limited market power. There is mounting empirical evidence which suggests that explaining price hikes to customers before implementing them tends to reduce the adverse impact on sales and the derivative loss of revenue.

According to relevant academic literature, firms create value through the Value Chain process: A set of activities that are performed to design, produce, market, deliver and support firm’s products. At least two critical activities are required: Primary activities which consist of inbound logistics, operations, outbound logistics, marketing and sales, and service in the core value chain directly creating value; and Support activities which consist of procurement, technology development, human resource management, firm infrastructure supporting the value creation in the core value chain. Therefore, based on this formulation and concept, a Value Chain disaggregates a firm into its strategically relevant activities in order to understand general costs patterns, the behavior of specific costs, existing and potential sources of differentiation.

Based on current industry best practices, there are at least three critical phases of the Value Chain: Phase One-Product design, research and development; Phase Two- Production; and Phase Three- Marketing, sales and service. The Value Chain is the process by which firms add economic value to the product concept. As the product idea is conceptualized and proceeds through the Value Chain process, value is created for customers. However, the product concept can fail and the value creation and capture terminated at any stage of the process. The optimal value is efficiently captured for the end-user through careful execution of effective service strategy and programs.

Some Operational Guidance:

In sum, effective value creation and value capture …

Small and Midsized Company Marketing and Marketing Communications – Important Forecasts For 2017

Small and Midsized Company Marketing and Marketing Communications – Important Forecasts For 2017

2016 ended with Americans exhausted by emotionally wrenching politics, stories of foreign entanglements and violence at home. Businesses, too, have struggled with modest economic growth and a turbulent stock market. As 2017 begins we all, consumers and organizations alike, face uncertainty in a variety of arenas.

With this as backdrop, businesses still have to develop, plan and execute strategies for profitable growth. After speaking to various colleagues and clients, and reading the comments of a number of pundits and prognosticators, here’s my take on what’s in store for small and midsized B2B and B2C businesses in the coming year:

1. A significant number of marketers – both large and small – will conduct agency reviews in 2017. The current report from Advertiser Perceptions (based on 420 marketers representing about 90 percent of the Top 100 US advertisers) reveals a staggering number of planned reviews:

· 66% plan creative agency reviews;

· 65% plan to review search agencies;

· 64% plan to review media agencies;

· 61% plan to review digital agencies.

Why? Beyond the lack of trust in authorities in society as a whole, rightly or wrongly trust has also been lost between marketers and their agencies. So if you’re feeling concerned about your agency relationship, recognize that you’re not alone.

2. There will be major increases in the number of companies hiring “contingent workers”, i.e., independent contract workers and freelance specialists. Faced with rises in the minimum wage, increases in healthcare costs and increasing payroll taxes, companies are obviously doing everything they can to cut their fixed labor costs. But the ability to hire top notch talent for the short or long term is also a practice gaining much momentum. In fact, a recent survey by Deloitte University Press showed a “7 percent significant increase” plus a “44 percent increase” in planning to hire contingent workers in the next few years.

Keep in mind that these “outsiders” bring fresh energy and fresh ideas to any type of organization while also perhaps providing some savings to your bottom line.

3. Media fraud and ad blocking will increase in 2017. Much was uncovered by the Association of National Advertisers’ eight month investigation of undisclosed rebates flowing from digital media companies to agencies. However, there’s incentive for fraudsters to keep doing what they’re doing because of the ability to circumvent fraud detection systems. This widespread practice can influence agencies’ media recommendations (and bottom lines), while obviously not being in the best interests of clients.

Perhaps more importantly, the stunning growth of ad blocking across markets poses a huge threat to digital media. At least 419 million people worldwide are blocking ads on their smartphones, nearly twice the number blocking on desktops. That’s 22 percent of the world’s 1.9 billion smartphone users (PageFair – Ad Blocking Goes Mobile).

Digital and mobile media aren’t going away but using them effectively is challenging. Find trusted professionals to make sure you get what you bargained for.

4. As customers and supporters are the life blood for any business or nonprofit, organizations will need to significantly increase their efforts to gain insight into their real world wants and needs. A recent McKinsey & Co. study of about 700 senior executives concluded that: 1) only 6 percent of companies felt they understood the needs of their customers extremely well; and, 2) seventy-two percent considered customer insight budgets inadequate.

There has been an explosion in the amount of customer data available, with new software programs mining all sorts purchase and opinion information, including social media. To be competitive, organizations will have to keep expanding their knowledge using this new information. It just doesn’t seem smart to even consider developing a targeted strategy or plan without knowing your customers, so make sure you have the skills to obtain and interpret the right information.

5. Developing and maintaining a positive customer experience will become the new king of marketing. Distrust of institutions appears to be rampant — products are recalled, passwords are stolen, on-line tweets have as much credibility as government agencies. Starting with employees, make sure they have the knowledge and tools to better serve the customer, create a positive experience, and champion repeat purchase and customer referrals.

Trust is the new black. All aspects of a brand’s life should convey trustworthiness, consistently delivered in a believable manner, at every touch point.

6. The acceptance and use of direct mail by millennials will continue to explode. Yes, millennials. And, yes, snail mail. This demographic is the most likely to open and read direct mail. In fact, 63% reported that they made a purchase based on a direct mail piece they opened within the last 3 months (Info Trend Study of direct marketing in the US).

Perhaps their inundation with spam, interruptive advertising and meaningless content leaves them tired of looking …

Instagram Marketing, Pro’s and Con’s

Instagram Marketing, Pro’s and Con’s

When looking to bring in more clients, people turn to social media. While true, a lot of website and business owner forget about Instagram as it’s a smaller operation when compared with other sites. However, this is a mistake, and a smart entrepreneur needs to use Instagram if he or she wants to find more clients. With this in mind, there are some drawbacks. Here are three pros and three cons of using Instagram.

Pros:

A picture is valuable: As is often said, a picture is worth a thousand words. Think about it, when running a company, one will want to use images to show off their product or service. This is especially important when selling food, weight loss products or any other items that people love to look at and enjoy. However, one can take it further and show off travel destinations or any number of things. Simply put, this is one of the best tips for using Instagram for business as a picture will really show visitors the true value of a product or service.

Viral: Without a doubt, when using the Internet to market a product, service or idea, one will want it to go viral. If a site or idea goes viral, one will make a lot of money and find plenty of new and excited visitors. For this reason, when using Instagram, one needs to make sure they provide true value to a visitor. Then, and only then, one can see the photo go viral, which will result in a lot of new visitors to the site.

They do the work for the company: Finally, as mentioned, when one shares a photo with their friends and so on, it can go viral. Not only that, when using Instagram, the followers will do most of the work. Provided a company offers an interesting photo, it will likely go viral. In the end, one should follow the best tips for using Instagram for business. That way, the followers will do the legwork.

Cons:

Younger crowd: Now, when looking to find new clients, one will usually want to go after an older crowd. Yes, while a lot of teenagers and young adults use Instagram, not all of them have the cash to spend. However, there are chances to get them hooked and coming back when they are older. Either way, when looking for the best strategy for Instagram, one must remember that not all people can lay out any cash.

Not business-minded: When following their favorite celebrity online, a lot of people are not interested in anything but wasting idle time. Meaning, while on Instagram, a lot of people are simply looking to pass some time on the train and have no intention of spending any money.

Not household name: While the likes of Facebook and Twitter are famous, a lot of people don’t even know about Instagram. This is changing, but not quickly, and a smart entrepreneur should realize that he or she needs to follow the best strategy for Instagram if they want to find success as it’s not as easy as using other social media sites.

When running a website or business, one needs to use Instagram. While not the best game in town, it’s beneficial to use this social media site to find new clients from all over the world.



Source by Russell D Armstrong

Bound Manuscripts – Four Simple Steps

Bound Manuscripts – Four Simple Steps

Bound manuscripts are essential to establish a prepublication marketing strategy and exposure before the book is sent to the printer. Used in place of the Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) or the galley, the bound manuscript takes the least time to create.

Bound manuscripts can be printed on copy paper using a desktop printer. Label the title and the author of the book on the front. All pertinent information about the book must be included in the text.

Send the manuscript to book reviewers, book clubs, radio stations, websites, magazines and newspapers for publicity. Before you run off and print a bound manuscript, first check the submission guidelines and follow the four simple steps below to avoid embarrassment or no response at all.

Step 1: Edit – Edit the manuscript, thoroughly. Proofread the text for the last time. Did you use a professional editor? Still line edit and review – your reputation is on the line.

Step 2: Typeset – Typeset the manuscript or hire a professional. If you layout the pages on your own, research the process and apply all technical specifications a layout designer would.

Step 3: Print– Print the typeset manuscript from your computer. If possible, print two-sided pages to reduce paper and give a novel feel. Shorter books can be printed on one side of the paper.

Step 4: Bind – Bind the manuscript using binding tape or punch holes in left column and use the spiral bind. Punching holes and using the spiral bind provides a more finished look to the book. A plastic comb bind also provides a professional end product.

Package the manuscript with a press release, a sell sheet, a business card and a cover letter. For the best results, send the press kit and follow the submission guidelines. Stick to the four steps. Some book reviewers will let small errors pass, but a professionally produced bound manuscript will present the best opportunity for maximum exposure.

If you do not have the equipment to produce the bound manuscript, hire a company to complete the project or research print shops for binding services.



Source by QB Wells

Why The Radio Is Still Popular Today

Why The Radio Is Still Popular Today

Over the years, many technologies have become popular in the entertainment and leisure market, have remained for some time, and eventually faded away into oblivion. First, it was the cassette player. For almost a decade, many music companies flourished by manufacturing cassette players, and recorded cassettes. It was closely followed by the advent of the walkman, which further popularized cassette players and the cassette industry. When Sony launched the Discman, it revolutionized the music industry, and companies that were into cassette manufacturing underwent a transition to manufacture music CDs. Discmans provided excellent playback quality, and for a long time it seemed things could not be improved upon much as far as playback quality is concerned. People strongly believed Discmans were there to stay forever. However, with the popularity of internet increasing day-by-day, Discman lost its fan club to online music portals and websites. As on today, you can listen or hear almost anything on the net. It is worth acknowledging that amidst these inventions and emerging market trends, the radio has still managed to retain its popularity, and is still an important means of entertaining one self. Why? The answer is obvious. While you have to spend money to buy new CDs and DVDs, or load your MP3 player with sound tracks downloaded from the internet, the radio offers everything instantly – without having to spend a single extra dime. With many FM radio stations offering a very good choice of songs and music albums, the potential of FM just cannot be ignored.

FM stations and popularity of the radio

The basic advantage with the radio is over the years it has become very compact in size, can be easily carried everywhere, is very easy to afford, and it does not cost much. You can slip a small radio unit into your pocket and go about almost anywhere. Radios have a dedicated fan club following the FM stations. Moreover, the most important fact is even a century after its invention, the radio is still “going strong”, and it looks as if it is still good for another century, unless of course some other modern invention or discovery takes its place. So why is the radio still popular?

• Excellent choices for FM music stations

There are many radio channels available. You have a huge variety about what you like to listen to. Whether it’s music, news, sports updates, weather related information, new movie launches, reviews, commercials, etc, you can find it all in FM stations.

• Hearing the news

Some individuals still prefer to listen to news stories over the radio. You can avail many radio news channels, and remain updated with what’s going on in the political arena.

• Listening to commercials

Radio commercials are a great way to know about new popular product releases. You get to know what’s in and what’s out. You can also find what the new superstore is selling, and what new offers are available to the listeners.

• Market updates

Many radio programs offer stock market and other important updates. You get an idea which company is doing well, and which one is struggling in the market.

• No extra expenses

You don’t have to subscribe to radio channels. They are free to listen to.



Source by Urvi Tandon

Top Ten Tips for Writing a Professional Overview or Biography

Top Ten Tips for Writing a Professional Overview or Biography

A professional biography or overview, showcasing your background, experience and expertise, is a necessity for every business owner. This often overlooked marketing tool is an excellent way to introduce you and your business to potential clients and possible strategic business partners. Potentially, it might open up opportunities for speaking engagements, radio or television interviews, or a feature print article. While any information about you and your business is helpful, information that is presented in a professional, well-polished manner can make all the difference in how others perceive you. Consider these important points as you craft your own professional biography.

1. One page wonder.

Your professional biography should be a few paragraphs and kept to one page or less. One page is perfect for copying on the reverse side of a handout or flyer. Several paragraphs, left justified make it easier to read and skim.

2. First, second, or third person?

Always write your biography in the third person. That is, refer to yourself by your name or she/he as appropriate. It sounds more professional as it appears that a third party wrote the text. For example, “Alexandra has been featured in the New York Times, Forbes, Newsweek, and Time magazines.”

3. Business in brief.

Not only do readers want to know what you do, but also they want to know who you work with – because they might want to work with you! A professional biography should include a sentence or two about your business niche (or niches) as well as the types of clients you serve. A modified version of your 30-second elevator pitch might be perfect.

4. And the winner is….

Make sure that you include a list of awards that you have received. Readers are interested in knowing about your talents and the organizations that recognize you for them.

5. Organizations.

Include names of the organizations, clubs, or associations to which you belong. A reader’s interest might be highlighted at seeing that you belong to the same alumni association or professional business group. Again, these connections might possibly lead to some interesting and exciting business opportunities.

6. Certifications and designations.

Include any professional certifications or designations you hold. Make sure you write out their names in full, rather than use abbreviations. Not everyone might know that CMA stands for Certified Management Accountant. And, perhaps, in a different discipline, it might represent something else – like a Certified Materials Analyst. If you no longer hold a particular designation, but it has played a major role in who you are and what you do, don’t hesitate to make a reference to it. For example, “Ann is a former Certified Data Processor and spent the last decade as an adjunct faculty member teaching higher mathematics at the University of Colorado, Boulder.” Don’t include abbreviations of college degrees, like MBAs as it looks unprofessional. The only exception to this would be for a Ph.D. designation.

7. Published?

Have you written any articles, books, e-courses or e-books? Self-published or not, your works add to your level of professionalism and credibility. Showcase them in your biography and you might earn additional royalties in terms of new clients or other opportunities.

8. Did I mention the media?

Have you been a guest on talk radio or television? Were you or your business featured or even mentioned in a newspaper article? If so, readers want to know. Again, these types of “mentions” add to your credibility and presence.

9. Call me any time.

People who want to know about you will read your biography for just that reason. And, if its compelling, rich, and includes the information they’re interested, in, they’ll want to contact you. Include complete contact information like your title (if any), name, address, telephone, fax, email, and website address. Make it easy to find this information by including it in the last paragraph of your professional overview.

10. Write, rewrite, and do it again.

After you have written your biography, edit, edit, and edit again. You may need to do a dozen or so revisions before you get it just right. Eliminate extra words, use descriptive words, keep the sentences short but varied in length, and write in the third person. Ask some friends to provide input as well. Make sure to revise your biography regularly to keep it up-to-date and refreshed.

Copyright 2004 by Tara Alexandra Kachaturoff.



Source by Tara Kachaturoff