Thursday, April 4, 2013

Tips for Better Mobile Email Marketing

Smartphones have changed the way mobile marketing works. Typical smartphone users will use their device to tweet, change their social networking updates and of course read and handle email. With all of the things that one can do with a smartphone, it makes sense to consider that you are vying for valuable attention of your target. In fact, your primary goal is to get your target audience’s undivided attention. But how do you do that?

There are three things your target audience will see when it comes to your mobile message:

·         The Pre-header: Your reader will see the sender (you), the subject line (should be attention-grabbing) and the pre-header which is the first few lines of your email. If your subject doesn't make your reader want to open your message, your pre-header better do the trick or your message will be deleted without being opened.
·         Make it easy: If you are using images in your message, make sure they load properly and that your overall message is easy to navigate. Find a design that you like and experiment with it before turning it loose to your audience.
·         Remember your audience is on the go: Mobile marketing and mobile emailing – mobile being the keyword here. You have to remember that your audience is on the go and they don’t have time to read a book when they’re in a hurry.

Make the most of your mobile emailing efforts and follow these tips – you’re sure to see success. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Bring statistics to life when you speak

Numbers don’t lie, but they don’t necessarily convince people on their own. When you’re giving a presentation, or just talking informally to co-workers or customers, keep these tips in mind to give your facts added heft:

• Supply some context. Tell your listener what the numbers mean. If 27 percent of consumers buy your product that may not mean much unless you explain that you’re the top-selling brand, or that your biggest competitor captures only 9 percent of the marketplace.

• Get specific—and general. Concrete figures, like $287,642, give your statistics credibility, but expressing them in round numbers (“over a quarter of a million dollars”) makes them memorable. Use both: Start with the specific number, and then later round up or down to drive home your point.

• Put it in print. When possible, give your audience something tangible. A one-page summary with hard facts can emphasize that you stand behind your words.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Commercial real estate: The big profits

Real estate is often termed as the safest investment avenue. In fact, real estate investments done with proper evaluation of the property (and its true value), can lead to good profits. This is one reason why some people pursue real estate investment as their full time job. The talks of real estate are generally focused towards residential real estate; commercial real estate seems to take a back seat. However, commercial real estate too is a good option for investing in real estate.

Commercial real estate includes a lot of different kinds of properties. Most people relate commercial real estate with only office complexes or factories/ industrial units. However, that is not all of commercial real estate. There is more to commercial real estate. Health care centers, retail structures and warehouse are all good examples of commercial real estate. Even residential properties like apartments (or any property that consists of more than four residential units) are considered commercial real estate. In fact, such commercial real estate is much in demand.

So, is commercial real estate really profitable? Well, if it were not profitable I would not have been writing about commercial real estate at all. So, commercial real estate is profitable for sure. The only thing with commercial real estate is that recognizing the opportunity is a bit difficult as compared to residential real estate. But commercial real estate profits can be real big (in fact, much bigger than you would expect from residential real estate of the same proportion). You could take up commercial real estate for either reselling after appreciation or for renting out to, say, retailers. The commercial real estate development is in fact treated as the first sign for growth of residential real estate. Once you know of the possibility of significant commercial growth in the region (either due to tax breaks or whatever), you should start evaluating the potential for appreciation in the prices of commercial real estate and then go for it quickly (as soon as you find a good deal). And you must really work towards getting a good deal. If you find that commercial real estate, e.g. land, is available in big chunks which are too expensive for you to buy, you could look at forming a small investor group (with your friends) and buy it together (and split the profits later). In some cases e.g. when a retail boom is expected in a region, you might find it profitable to buy a property that you can convert into a warehouse for the purpose of renting to small businesses.

So commercial real estate presents a whole plethora of investing opportunities, you just need to grab it.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

3 Myths That Ruin Meetings

These myths have cost companies billions of dollars in wasted payroll money.

Myth #1) Structure spoils spontaneity.

I once attended a two-day long disaster that easily cost over $40,000. Thirty people spent the first hour seeking an issue to discuss, then spent the next 15 hours arguing over insolvable problems. When I asked the manager who called the meeting, "Where's the agenda?" the reply was, "I didn't want to spoil the spontaneity by imposing a structure."

Reality: If spontaneity were a universally sound business practice we would build buildings without blueprints. Of course, no smart business leader works without a plan.

The Fix: Set a goal and then prepare an agenda. Ideally, this agenda should be so clear, complete, and specific that someone else could use it to lead the meeting to obtain the accomplish the goal.

Myth #2: Since it's my meeting I should do all the talking.

Some meetings are run like a medieval court. The chairperson sits on a verbal throne while the subjects sit in respectful silence. The big talker justifies this by thinking: if the other people in the meeting knew anything worthwhile, they'd be leading the meeting.

Reality: If you're the only one talking, you're working too hard. In addition, realize that most people protect themselves from extended monologues by sending their thoughts off on a holiday. That is, no one is paying attention to you: they're busy daydreaming, doodling, or dreaming.

The Fix: Convey large amounts of information by a memo or email. Then call a meeting based on participant driven activities that test or reinforce comprehension.

Myth #3: Meetings are free.

Most meetings are paid for with soft money. That is, it's money that has already been spent for wages. In addition, no purchase request is necessary. No budget needs to be approved. All someone has to do is call a meeting.

Reality: Meetings are very expensive. They use people's time, and payroll is the largest part of running a business. When people hold bad meetings, they waste the most important resource in a business - the time people that spend working to earn a profit for the company.

The Fix: Design meetings to earn a profit. After all, a meeting is a business activity, not a company picnic.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Best Social Media Tools To Use

Whether you’re using social media to grow your business, look for a job or keep up with friends, there are certain tools that can be better to use than others. There are plenty of options out there when it comes to social media, but too much of a good thing can actually be a bad thing. Rather than jumping from tool to tool, it’s better to find a handful of ones that are working well and stick with them. In order to help you decide which tools are right for you, we’ve outlined a few favorites below.  Please keep in mind, these are tools you should be using above and beyond Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.
Hootsuite is a definite must, if for no other reason than it combines your favorite social media tools in one place. This dashboard allows you to stay in front of your followers on all of your social media outlets at the same time. You have complete control over what messages you send out as well as customizable reports for you to see how well your social media efforts are working.
Bufferapp is another great tool that allows you to schedule your Twitter tweets to be delivered when you want them to be and in any order you choose. If you want to use Twitter but don’t want to be stuck to your phone or computer all day, this is a great social media tool to use. is a great tool to help spread all of your content across the Internet. This is a matter of simply linking your RSS feed to and then your content is spread out across Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Buzz and more. This handy little tool also provides statistical reports for you to see how others are responding to your content.
Finally, the best, most effective social media tool is…YOU. That’s right! All of these tools are great and can be effective, but unless you are using them and engaging your followers and practicing the basic fundamentals of social media, none of the tools we just mentioned will do you any good. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Mobile Content Marketing Attracts New and Keeps Current Customers

I'm sure you know by now that the only real Internet marketing is content marketing, and now we have another way to market our content and that is via mobile content marketing. Mobile content marketing is one more platform in your overall content marketing strategy. Another way to market your content to your clients as well as a way to attract new clients who are too busy to sit down at a computer to look at your website.
In your ongoing effort to build a relationship with your potential clients and customers mobile content marketing is becoming an essential part of that mix. We have to remember that the quantity of users using mobile phones and other devices to access online content is growing by leaps and bounds, and by some reports even outgrowing personal computer adoption. Mobile content marketing cannot be ignored by the savvy Internet marketer who wants to remain relevant.
Mobile access to the net has increased social network use by over millions and is expected to continue to climb. You start by offering your current clients the ability to read, watch and listen to your content via the mobile device that most of your current readers use, or code the site to detect what device is reading. Then you make it easy for your current clients to pass on the information via texts.
The "Queen of the Internet" Mary Meeker stated in her "State of the Internet Report" that "Rapid Ramp of Mobile Internet Usage Will be a Boon to Consumers and Some Companies Will Likely Win Big (Potentially Very Big) While Many Will Wonder What Just Happened." Don't be one of those who just wonders what happened.)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Art Of Employee Motivation

If you think that your employees’ poor performance on their designated jobs is costing you a whole lot of lost profits, then instead of just doing a total overhaul of your employee roster, why not try to do some employee motivation tactics to get them to actually come around and be able to save your company from looming bankruptcy. It really is fairly easy and simple to rouse some employee motivation, you just have to take these techniques to heart:

People nowadays are concerned of the lack of importance that is being put into health care plans. Is your company one of those companies that do not provide their employees with the health benefits that they should be entitled to? This is a possible reason why your employees’ morale are down. You need to reassess the situation and try to give them the health benefits that will ensure them that they will be protected by the company that they have been loyal to even in their times of sickness. Always remember that a happy worker is a satisfied worker so make sure to use this employee motivation tool in order to give your employees' morale a much needed boost.

Remember, companies are usually employed with some women who will, most often than not, become mothers. So it is highly important that you know their needs especially during the time when they would want to avail of their maternity leave. It is important that your company, no matter what kind of product or service you offer, is always sensitive to your employees needs, no matter what their gender is.

When it comes to having a good health plan for your employees, you must be sure that your health plan is actually of any good or else it would not really do any good to your employees’ morale. Make sure that the health plan will be able to cover all their basic needs and it wouldn't really hurt if you throw in some added kicks.

Basic health care plans that you can use for employee motivation actually covers the following: full coverage for any basic illness or injury, coverage of hospital payments in case the employee has to be checked-in at the hospital or if there are some minor surgeries that need to be done.

Added benefits to further boost employee motivation through a health care plan is through having their dental health covered as well as their optical needs, eyeglass subsidies as well as free dental cleaning and check-ups will be a good treat for your employees and will surely be a great added employee motivation move.

Apart from having a good health care plan for your employee motivation tactics, you must also be able to provide for them some other additional care such as an insurance plan which they can rely on in case something bad happens to them when they are still of service to your company. Even if this employee motivation move will not be availed by the employee’s family during the time of his or her service, your employee can still choose to continue on paying for the premiums of the insurance plan even after he or she has retired from your company. Unfortunately for your employees, once they resign from a job position at your company the said insurance plan will be revoked since the company will not be able to pay for your insurance premiums anymore (remember, all the payments from these employee motivation tactics will actually come from the employee’s salary).

Another great employee motivation move for loyal employees of your company is to have a car loan ready for them, employees who have already served some considerable amount of years in the company should be entitled to a car plan wherein deductions from their salary will be used to pay for their vehicle of choice. This is a great employee motivation move since those who are cannot afford a car (a brand new car at that!) would actually want to continue staying in your company because of this added employee motivation benefit.

From time to time, especially during special occasions, you need to be able to give your employees some added morale boost by organizing events or parties that will foster camaraderie among your employees. A little good time certainly wouldn't hurt anyone and this will all be in the spirit of good ole’ company fun. Employee motivation directed events such as Christmas parties and company picnics are surely a welcome treat to your seemingly overworked and over fatigue employees.

You must also remember to give your employees some time to unwind like providing your regular employees the benefit of having a two-week paid vacation leave. That’s the least you can do for your employees who you have been held captive for the majority of the year in your office.

These are really simple and easy employee motivation tactics that you can do in order to boost your employees’ morale and to be able to ensure a good upkeep of your company.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Challenge of Leadership

“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude.
 Be kind, but not weak. Be bold, not a bully. Be thoughtful,
 but not lazy. Be humble, but not timid. Be proud, but not
 arrogant. Have humour, but without folly.” Jim Rohn

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Why You Want to Use Twitter

It’s true – social media is the new way of life, and Twitter is where politicians, famous people, news reporters, rock stars, and dictators hang out – and then there’s the rest of us regular folks.

Become part of CNN’s newsroom just by clicking follow. You will have the latest up to date news streaming to your computer or your smart phone. Of course, you can choose which news you follow. Perhaps you’d like to follow a local anchor and newsroom, or maybe you have family in another part of the world and you would like to follow there. Maybe you’d rather rub tweets with the president. You can feel pretty important pretty fast.

Twitter has also become a great way to make your income. Start a thread on Twitter about the product or service you sell. Embed your own links so followers can click and arrive at your website. It is all pretty impressive that you are able to do internet marketing and there is no cost to you to achieve this.

Many like to use Twitter and it’s become a way of life for an unimaginable number of people. Twitter is used to keep in touch with friends, family, and people that are important to us. You can quickly find out what important people are doing at any minute from the “Tea Party” group, to athletes, and the numerous screen stars you can feel like you are in the loop. It’s fun and it can make you feel important.

Don’t be surprised if you become a Twitter addict. Many do. After all, you can know what’s going on with everyone who is anyone, from anywhere… that’s a bit enticing, and it’s certainly can be exciting when you are the first to hear of something big going down. Best of all Twitter is free to use.

Why You Want to Use Twitter

It’s true – social media is the new way of life, and Twitter is where politicians, famous people, news reporters, rock stars, and dictators hang out – and then there’s the rest of us regular folks.

Become part of CNN’s newsroom just by clicking follow. You will have the latest up to date news streaming to your computer or your smart phone. Of course, you can choose which news you follow. Perhaps you’d like to follow a local anchor and newsroom, or maybe you have family in another part of the world and you would like to follow there. Maybe you’d rather rub tweets with the president. You can feel pretty important pretty fast.

Twitter has also become a great way to make your income. Start a thread on Twitter about the product or service you sell. Embed your own links so followers can click and arrive at your website. It is all pretty impressive that you are able to do internet marketing and there is no cost to you to achieve this.

Many like to use Twitter and it’s become a way of life for an unimaginable number of people. Twitter is used to keep in touch with friends, family, and people that are important to us. You can quickly find out what important people are doing at any minute from the “Tea Party” group, to athletes, and the numerous screen stars you can feel like you are in the loop. It’s fun and it can make you feel important.

Don’t be surprised if you become a Twitter addict. Many do. After all, you can know what’s going on with everyone who is anyone, from anywhere… that’s a bit enticing, and it’s certainly can be exciting when you are the first to hear of something big going down. Best of all Twitter is free to use.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Do You Let Your Staff Daydream?

How much time do you let your staff think? I mean “think” in all shapes and forms. Such as planning and reviewing, brainstorming and creativity, decision-taking and problem-solving, logical thinking and free-flow thinking.

And, yes, daydreaming, too.

Well, if it’s not up to a quarter of their time, then maybe they’re not doing enough.

There’s a rather good story told about the first Henry Ford, founder of the Ford motor company.

Ford, wanting more and more productivity from his workers, decided to hire a consultant to identify areas of improvement in one of his factories.

The consultant went round the site and returned with a list of names of people who he thought weren’t up to scratch.

Ford took one look at the list and exclaimed in horror when he saw the name at the top. “You can’t fire him!”

“Why not?” said the consultant. “Every time I observed him he was sitting doing nothing.”

“I know,” replied Ford. “But he’s the most productive guy in the plant.  I pay him to think.”

For all we know, this was the guy who ensured the phenomenal survivability of the Ford empire.

The fact remains that thought has much greater power than anything else that people do. It’s much more powerful than words or actions. Thoughts inspire. Thoughts motivate. Thoughts lead. Thoughts will take your business much further than any other commodity you possess.

That’s why, when Mike Pedler and Tom Boydell carried out a study of top managers, over half of the top 10 qualities they possessed related to thinking skills, such as mental agility, creativity, learning and analytical skills.

So, if you want your team and your business to shoot ahead, give them some daily thinking time. And don’t worry if you find them daydreaming for some of it. It could be to your advantage!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Brainstorming Techniques

Have you been in a "brainstorming" session where each person just defended their own ideas? Worse is when people don't suggest ideas at all, for fear they'll be attacked. That's no way to brainstorm. Brainstorming is using the power of many minds, and ideas should flow freely and trigger other ideas. How do you make that happen?

The Key To Good Brainstorming

You have to have a good leader to have good brainstorming. The leader isn't there to impose his will, though, but to stop the imposition of anyone’s will. His role is to stop criticisms, arguments, and even strong opinions, at least in the first part of the session.

A brainstorming session needs to be spontaneous, open and uncritical. "Bad" or "silly" ideas can lead to helpful ones, so suggestions have to be left un-judged at first. To brainstorm effectively, you can't stifle the creative process. The leader’s job, then, is to make everyone feel free to suggest any ideas.

An Example Of Good Brainstorming

The scenario: your business needs to cut delivery costs. The group throws out ideas and thoughts. "Let's not deliver," someone suggests, and when another starts to criticize, you remind him of the rules. "Negotiate lower rates," somebody says, "Or just find a company with lower rates," another adds. Ideas like reducing package weight and charging customers more are suggested, and lead to other ideas.

You keep it civil, take notes, and eventually call a halt to this free-for-all part of the session. Now it's time to evaluate and develop the ideas for whatever usefulness they may have.

To keep the creativity flowing in this stage, have participants defend or develop ideas that are not their own. This brings new insight to the idea, and prevents the problem of ego-identification that causes people to get "stuck in a rut" with their own ideas.

For example, ask the man who was critical of the idea of not delivering to work with that idea. "We have to deliver," he might start with. Then he thinks for a second and says, "I suppose we could deliver to central distribution points instead of to the individual customer. The customer could drive a short distance to pick up their order. That might save us on shipping."

Someone else suggests that the customers may like the arrangement. They would be able to return the product immediately if they were dissatisfied, with no need to pack and ship it. You assign a couple people to look into it, and move on to the other ideas.

Good leadership keeps the whole process working. In the last example, you've even used a "bad" idea to come to a possible solution. That's good brainstorming.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Absolute Auction February 26th, 2013 Dayton, OH

2 Great Absolute Auctions on Tuesday February 26th, Dayton, OH 
Held onsite - No Minimum - No Reserve

Property 1: 217,000±sf Industrial building on 9.7+ acres. Light manufacturing, warehouse and multi-use office space.  Full sprinkler system, 28' ceilings, dock height and ground level roll-up doors. Located near I-75 and I-70.

Property 2: 27,000±sf brick office building on 1.601± ac, mins from I-75 & I-70. Renovated in 2002 & featuring many updates since. Zoned B-4. Tax appraised at $875,000, now selling absolute!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Mobile Marketing is Today Not Just Tomorrow and Beyond

If you are a mobile marketing holdout, you've already missed the boat – at least where the starting point is concerned. Mobile marketing is no longer “on the way” – it’s here and here in a big way.

It’s not too late to start, but if you continue to wait for the official start of the mobile marketing revolution, you’re already being left behind by your competition. By getting started now, you’re going to get a jump on those competitors who have been holding out like you.

Not only is the revolution here, it’s being used and it’s producing results – the most important part of any successful marketing plan.

Mobile marketing is here but the technology that powers it is moving fast and there are no signs of it slowing down. The longer you wait to get involved, the more advantage your competitors are going to have.

Are you using mobile marketing in your business? 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

10 Best Tips to Write Effective Emails

Nowadays, we communicate more and more through email. We use Email communication to write something to friends, relatives, colleagues or clients. Whoever the recipient of your email, it is becoming very important that you write email effectively.  As you know, by writing effective email, you can save your time, other person’s time and you can win more trust & confidence from the other end.

Give Reply of Email As soon as Possible

More and more people contact each other through email. Even if they mention directly or not, they expect prompt responses. One of the study by Jupiter Research indicates that 35% of customers expect a reply within six hours, an additional 55% expect a response within 24 hours. Though many people focus on response time, content is just as important. The same study indicated that lack of a thorough response (45%) will cause on-line customers to view a company negatively when considering future purchases.

Learn the art of writing Email

Poorly crafted emails will generate additional emails back & forth, which potentially eating up more of your time. Worse, they can drive unnecessary calls to your most costly channel – your phone. And at that point, customers are bound to be angry and frustrated.

Here are some tips for writing email responses that are both thorough and appropriate:

1.         Format your response so that it’s easy to read on a screen. Do not write email using very long sentences, which are lengthy horizontally. Each line must be short. Ideally, write 5-6 words in each line only and not more than that.

2.         Make sure the subject line is concise and meaningful to the recipient…not just a generic “Response from Marketing Team” But also be careful that it doesn’t look like spam.

3.         Have one subject per paragraph. Mention this separately by blank lines, so that its easy to read and understand.

4.         Be brief. Use as few words as possible to convey your message. More is not better when it comes to email. An email is not perceived as an electronic letter.

5.         Use simple, declarative sentences. Write for a third or fourth grade audience, particularly if you’re creating templates that are sent automatically. You do not know the education level of your sender or the sender’s level of comfort with the English language.

6.         Be sensitive to the tone of the original email. If the sender is upset because of an error on

your part, acknowledge the error. Clearly state what you are doing to correct the situation.

7.         Make sure you answer all the questions posed in the original inquiry. A partial answer frustrates the sender and results in additional contacts. It also makes the company sending the response look inept.

8.         Make it clear what actions you will be taking next and when the writer can expect the next contact from you.

9.         Don’t ask for an order number/case number or any old information which you remember out of your mind only when one is included in the original email…sounds pretty basic, but sometimes people miss very obvious info in email.

10.       Don’t just tell the sender to go to your web site. In many cases, they have already been to

the web site and couldn’t find the answers they were looking for. If you want them to go back to the web site, provide a direct link to the exact information the reader needs.





Thursday, February 7, 2013

Researching Competitors – Social Media

Social media is a great way to get involved with potential consumers. This is certainly what the majority of businesses use social media for. There is now a new use for social media though, and that is to research what competitors are doing. Nearly every business is using some sort of social media, so it is a worthwhile task to try and determine what they are doing and why.

Like you, your competitors will be using the likes of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and forums to try and get hold of as many customers as possible. The problem for them is that they are exposing their marketing tactics to you. You will be able to browse through all the different social networks that you find them on and will be able to see what they are doing.

Once you are seeing what they are doing, you can start to make a log. Researching competitors that are using social media is incredibly easy, because they have left all of their cards on the table. They are showing you exactly what they are doing, but also exactly what is working for them.

Once you have figured out where they are operating online, you can monitor their progress. If you see them on forums, see what the members have to say. If they are on Twitter, see what promotions they are offering. You can get the big picture and see what works and what doesn’t. This means that when you start your next social media marketing campaign, you’ll have a much better idea of what to aim for and what to expect.

Build this monitoring process into your every day promotion. This will hopefully help determine the best marketing tactics and therefore, save you both time and money, helping you to grow your business.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Mobile Marketing Trends and How They’ll Affect Your Business

Mobile Marketing Trends and How They’ll Affect Your Business
There's no doubt that Mobile Marketing is here to stay. But just as with any new technology that comes down the pike, there is going to be a learning curve that goes along with it. This is no more true than when it comes to creating a Mobile Marketing campaign or a series of these campaigns if you're really feeling ambitious. We've done our homework and gone through the trials and tribulations of developing new mobile campaigns and have come up with the following tips to help you avoid the pitfalls.
·    Know your goals and know your target audience. Just as with any other marketing strategy, it's important to know what goals you want to reach with your Mobile Marketing campaign. If you are looking for some type of customer feedback, crowd-sourcing has become a hit (i.e Hershey letting consumers pick the next M&M color) so an SMS (text messaging) campaign would be a good start.
·    Determine your budget. Mobile Marketing isn't as expensive as you may think, but there will be some overhead involved. There's no real right or wrong answer as to much how to allocate, however, for your first campaign especially, you may want to plan for a little more than consecutive campaigns to allow for list building, mobilizing your website, etc.
·    Plan for ongoing engagement with your customers and prospects. It's important to give your campaigns, especially the first one, time to build. A key point to remember is successful business is all about building solid relationships - Mobile Marketing is no different. It's about building long-term relationships so always be on the lookout for ways to weave campaigns together over long periods of time.
Mobile Marketing, at least for now, is the most personal marketing platform for businesses that consumers can engage in. Make sure you have a plan in place to make the most of the opportunity.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Your Image is Important

Say you are about to launch a new product. You spent months or even years developing the product and studying your target market. And after what seemed like eternity you are finally ready to introduce your creation to the market. The big day arrived; you opened up early and are ready to flaunt your biggest smile to everyone who comes in. By mid-day you noticed that even though many people come in to check out your product only few actually buy it. Now this gave you something to think seriously. What could possibly be wrong with your product? Perhaps there is nothing wrong with your product but there can be something terribly wrong with your marketing strategy. 

When people are looking for products or services to avail they usually go for ones that they are familiar with or have long used. This way they can be sure that they are getting the most of their money. So for a business owner like you who is just starting up in the business industry, it is important to make a good first impression. Sure, you can do this by offering discounts and other special offers. You can even put a large banner in front of your store announcing your special opening sale. But when are not able to offer the right image you may as well consider hiding in your den and reflect on what you need to improve in your marketing strategy.  

But then again you may be doing the right strategy and using the right advertising trick. But have you looked at your logo? That’s exactly what I’m thinking. You could have overlooked the most important part of your product – your logo design. Logos often tantamount to a company’s image, hence, whether it is hip, chic, interesting or boring it is essential to create a logo that gives the right impact to the customers. It doesn’t really matter if you, your friends or employees like or does not like the logo. What is important is the impression that it gives to your customers.  

A good logo must represent the business image appealingly and effectively. It must likewise be practical and functional as complicated logos often leave customers confused and wondering what is actually being sold or presented. Keep in mind that less is always more. Hence, a simple logo design will most likely seal the deal and help you grab more customers. Certainly a colorful and over-designed logo will catch more attention but no company achieves success based solely on their logo. So a simple flexible logo is more likely to entice prospects to actually buy your products and avail of your services. 

A combination of art, science and psychology often creates a good logo. A designer should know this, so if you do not know how to design your logo you can ask their help. Remember that a poor logo can ruin your image but a good one can instantly create name recognition and can boost company sales and services.

Monday, January 21, 2013

What Is Brand Identity?

Brand Identity is a promise. One given from business to customer to expect certain things. Whether that promise involves product quality, service, price or a million other things varies from brand to brand. But the one thing common among all brands is the need to be a strong brand.

Why is brand identity so critical?

A strong brand identity can position a company above its competition all by itself. But having a brand that strong takes time, money and effort to develop. It’s not as simple as just redesigning a logo or rewriting a tagline. Brand identity is the reason you offer for your customer to choose you instead of your competition.

How to rework your brand identity

Successful re-branding involves “evolution,” not “revolution.” You must impress upon your existing customers that your new brand is just a new and improved version of the same you. It’s important to not get too crazy with a re-branding effort because you could end up destroying fragile emotional ties and customer loyalty.

Brand identity is much more than marketing

Having a brand identity that resonates with your market is important, but not at the expense of the people within your company. They need to not only get it, but also be your brand’s most fervent ambassadors. Do your employees believe in your company? Do they feel like they have a vested stake in its success? Companies with solid brand identities can say yes to these questions. Can yours? If not, here are some things you can do:

1. Get every aspect of your company on the same page: Easier said than done, right? Well, that doesn’t mean it’s not necessary. Get all your departments talking to each other and understanding each other.
2. Promote everyone to the position of brand ambassador: Give everyone a common understanding of the company, its mission and their part in it. They should feel like they have ownership—even if they don’t.
3. Reinforce brand values and behaviors: To do this, use the tools you have, such as internal communications…and like a good basketball coach, consistently promote these fundamentals until they’re second nature.

Your employees will ultimately determine your success or failure. That’s why it’s so important to have them buy into your company’s brand identity. However, that’s not something that can be forced. You, as leadership, must earn it. But once you do, you’ll have a company that is full of happy, motivated successful brand ambassadors. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Folds of Communication

It’s hard to communicate to a multitude. You may not know whether the message has reached them or not. You have no idea whether communication is a success or not.

When you are talking about your business, the process, tool and message must be effective enough to capture the audiences or readers. One way to do it is by means of effectual communication tools such as brochures.

Brochures are folded printed promotional materials which are distributed for the purpose of information dissemination. It is commonly used by savvy businessmen to promote their products and services. 

In order to attract the target market, brochure printing uses eye-catching illustrations. With regards to its functionality, brochures usually provide a brief and succinct description about the company and its line of business.

The texts used are also made compact. It means that in every fold, new and interesting information can be had. The images must also be used for easy relaying of the message. Product information must be whole and satisfying. These folds of communication will not only make the readers informed but it will create a bond that will eventually result to a craving that in the future time they can resort to your business as an ultimate solution to their needs.

Brochure printing companies, usually suggest utilizing more colors in printing. Black and white is classy, but when it comes to brochure, it might bore the readers and will not elicit attraction. This is the reason why, most of the businesses use full color printing in their brochures. There are also a few that uses more than four colors to ensure that colors are comprehensive enough to cater to their illustrations.

Brochures may come in several folds. In fact, it can go as far as eight folds far from the usual which is three. Glossy papers, coatings, cut and design may also vary depending on the customer’s specifications as well as the trend in the printing industry.

You can choose brochure printing companies either online or through a friend’s recommendation. One thing that you must make certain is that the printer must be reliable so you will not worry about your printing job the moment you leave them in the printer’s custody.

Also, make certain that all your specifications and demands are clear with the printer so as to yield professional and outstanding results. It will be worry-free on your part that your printing job or your communication folds are in good hands!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

What Your Mobile Device Tells Marketers

By now you should be aware that we are in the middle of a mobile revolution. We are slowly but surely being over taken by smartphones and mobile devices, but what does that mean for business owners?

Marketers now have an entirely new demographic to consider: mobile devices. Now instead of the traditional marketing methods of determining what a customer will buy based on previous purchase behavior, ads based on users who belong to specific groups can be placed at the fingertips of mobile users.

The types of mobile devices we use tell marketing experts a lot about our behaviors, giving them a more complete consumer profile. This allows campaigns to be customized specifically to consumer preferences and with this type of information, they can tell just which consumers are going to visit and which are going to buy.

Mobile marketing helps to fill in the gap of certain areas of the ROI, allowing marketers to modify strategies in real-time.  

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Mobile Websites are Still Rare among Small Businesses

Small businesses do believe that mobile marketing will be a serious factor and will see a steady rise in popularity over the next five years – yet only a few are adopting the idea of mobile websites now.

According to recent studies, most small business owners (69%) agree that they will need to make a significant investment in mobilizing their website within the next five years, only 26% has taken the plunge now.

Big mistake.

Now is the time to establish yourself in the mobile market place and tweak your campaign as technology continues to evolve.

Traditional marketing methods are going by way of the do-do, as smartphones are now replacing the yellow pages as the number one search method. While you may have gotten away with having a delay in adopting a website for your business until the last minute, waiting until mobile marketing is at its peak is just asking to be trampled by your competition. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

How to Shoot Your Videos with a Camera Phone

 I’ve said repeatedly in past posts that beginning a video marketing campaign doesn’t have to be costly. You don’t need fancy equipment or expensive cameras – in fact you can create your videos using nothing more than your mobile phone. Using your mobile phone to shoot your videos is a great if you want to shoot a quick video or to make the video look user-generated.

The way you hold your phone while filming – either landscape (side to side) or portrait (up and down) makes a difference in the outcome of your video. Again, neither way is right or wrong, just your preference based on what type of effect you’re after.

Finally, just a few tips to make your mobile phone video the best it can be:

·         A short video is better;
·         Make sure you hold your phone completely still when recording – nobody is going to watch a video that jumps around;
·         Record from different angles;

That’s it! You’re on your way – so get recording!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Start off 2013 by Getting More Customers

Getting More Customers
Surveys show that 85% of success in life relates to your communication, human relations skills, and "emotional intelligence”.

Joe Batten, an American motivational speaker said: "Before you tell, ask; before you talk, listen; after you listen, relate; and always show that you care. When you can translate care, people will want to do business with you and details will not get in the way."

From a business viewpoint you also have to build relationships and get customers to trust you. To do that you have to:

1. Be Reliable

Do what you say you're going to do.
Do it when you say you're going to do it.
Do it right the first time.
Get it done on time.
Under promise and over deliver.

2. Be Responsive

Be available
Be accessible
Be willing
Be helpful
Be informative

3. Solve problems

Solve customers’ unique problems and they will continue to be your customer. Put yourself in the customer's shoes and feel what they feel.

Does this mean that all your marketing and advertising needs to be “touchy feely”?

No. You can still create calls to action that increase sales whilst observing all these principles.

For example:

Tell them about a price increase!

People want a 'good deal'. If prices are going up on a specific date, let your customers know. They'll want to buy before the price increases.

Offer a trial period

Trial periods are a great way to get new customers. Offer a special deal, extra service or a lower price during your trial / introductory period.

Offer a Guarantee

People want to know there's no risk involved if they're not satisfied with the product/service. Let new customers know they can cancel for any reason before the trial period expires.

Offer free extras

Buy X and receive Y. This works with a whole range of products and services. Be sure to include an end date on your offer. This politely urges people to take advantage of your offer before time runs out. Give a deadline for ordering. Order by the 10th and receive.... That way, your customers know they only have a limited time to respond and they won't fall victim to the "I'll do it later" syndrome.

Offer a FREE gift

As an added incentive for ordering, offer your free gift to the first 100 or 1000 people that respond or walk through your doors.

Offer an upgrade

One simple line can boost your sales. "Order within 10 days and we'll upgrade you to ......."

Whatever you offer be sure to include action phrases:

* Call Now

* 24 Hours a Day

* Mail today in the prepaid envelope

* Fax your response card.

Business success also relates to communication, human relations skills, and "emotional intelligence”, but in a business context.