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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Since Content is King, Use it Wisely; Syndicate

Since the paradigm has shifted from 100% “interruption marketing” (i.e. commercials and advertisements) to a balance of that and “inbound marketing” (marketing by attraction) the need to produce and disseminate great content has become paramount.

Nobody wants a Billy Mays spewing product features in their face any more.  What people appreciate is honest information delivered honestly.  The theory is that if you deliver enough of this great information, when people have to make a buying decision regarding that particular field, they will consider you the expert and at least consider making their purchase from you.

Step one, then, is to create helpful content in a form from which your target audience can most benefit.  That in itself is a formidable task, but then what do you do with this great content once it is created?  You can post it to your website, either as an article or a blog, but that assumes that your prospects are indeed visiting your website.  If your goal is to draw prospects to your website, there needs to be more distribution.

Broadly put, you need to syndicate.  There are now hundreds of “social media” sites, dozens of guest blog sites, and myriads of press release and article publishing venues.  It would be impossible to fill out the profiles and establish accounts with all of them, so the first task is to prioritize which ones are most effective, and affordable.  Most of the social sites and blog sharing ones are free, but press release publishing can be relatively expensive.

Once you have made your decision regarding budget and time, you need to establish you profiles and accounts.  I provide my clients with a standard summary page that has been optimized to contain the keywords that are most relevant and competitively available for their business.  Then, with the help of Chrome, it becomes a relatively simple matter to establish these accounts; fill in all the contact data, and paste in the summary and you have an account.

Now comes the fun part.  Instead of taking your story or article and pasting it into 10 or 50 accounts,   syndicate it so you post it in one place, and it goes out automatically either as an RSS feed, or is posted automatically on all of your other accounts.  WordPress has the ability to set up your blog posts so they go out to several accounts under the “share” button on the left sidebar.  There are several other sites where you can set up your slave links to receive your posts automatically.  There are some things that you will still have to do by hand, like posting to LinkedIn groups, but this gets your message out to tons of “followers” with a minimum of effort.  The key to keeping yourself “top of mind” is not running in circles spending your day on the internet.  Being a though leader requires you to get out from behind the desk and out with your “peeps.”  This is a great way to free up some time to do just that.

Please submit questions to:  steve@bayintegratedmarketing.com

 

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Three Neuromarketing Questions and Answers to Help Your Business Succeed

Have you ever wondered why some companies succeed and others do not? With all of the money and time that can be spent on sales and marketing, how do you choose which strategy leads to making that all-important sale?

The key is actually all in your mind—quite literally, as a matter of fact. Are you not sure where this is going? Marketing messages that are optimized for the human brain will deliver the greatest impact. The following are three frequently asked questions about the concept and amazing power of neuromarketing.

• What is neuromarketing?

Neuromarketing is essentially using sales and marketing techniques that appeal directly to the human brain on a biological level. To understand how consumers make buying decisions, you must first understand the brain and how it works.

According to scientists, the human brain has 3 different parts.

1. The “New” Brain “thinks” and rules rational thought

2. The“Middle” Brain “feels” and processes emotions

3. The “Reptilian” Brain “decides” and responds by instinct

According to neuromarketing experts, the Reptilian Brain, the oldest part of the brain,  plays a key role in all decision-making.

• How can I use this powerful phenomenon?

There are four steps to effective neuromarketing.

1. You must do what is called “diagnose the pain.” 

Due to the fact that the Reptilian Brain is mostly concerned with survival, you have to show this aspect of the mind that there is a problem/need that needs to be solved/met. (And, of course, your product or service is what will fix it.)

2. You will need to “differentiate your claims.” 

The Reptilian Brain seeks out novelty in order to choose between one item and another. It is of the utmost importance that you can say how and why your product/service is different than a competitor’s product/service; this will help the Reptilian Brain of the customer see your business as special and thus make the decision to buy from you.

3. You will need to “demonstrate the gain.”

This step requires that you show your potential customer how they can benefit from choosing your item or service over all others. You will need to show that your company offers a value that others do not. This makes it more convincing to the Reptilian Brain.

4. You will need to close the deal.

The combination of these three steps culminates in “delivering to the Reptilian Brain,” or closing the deal. This final step creates a condition that makes the mental atmosphere favorable for you to swoop in for the sale.

• Where can I learn more?

If you are interested in discovering more about neuromarketing and how it can help your business succeed, websites like SalesBrain.com can give you valuable information on the subject. You can also arrange neuromarketing speaking engagements at your company to help you and your team tap into this exciting niche of marketing.

Raymond really enjoys writing about different things. One of his favorite things to write about is markeiting. For more information on neuromarketing speaking engagements, please visit http://www.salesbrain.com/

 

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5 Tips to Getting Started with Event Promotions

With the global economy in turmoil, you’d think that people would tighten their financial belts and concentrate on spending on necessities. However, the way the entertainment industry has thrived in recent years says otherwise. In fact, if you’re running a business right now, you might want to consider promoting a company event with the help of event promotion services. Here are some tips to get you started on the right foot. Remember, just because there’s a downturn in the economy, doesn’t mean you should neglect your efforts to promote your business. In fact, with consumers more careful about whom to buy their products and services from, it’s imperative that you convince them to check out what you have to offer.

Set aside 2 weeks for promotions and advertising

If you want your advertising efforts to have results, it’s always best to advertise in advance for at least 2 weeks. You can discuss your method of advertising with your event promoter, whether it be flyer distribution, posters, perhaps even a billboard in your area. Your promoter will understand what your needs are and how to make the most out of your budget.

Make use of traditional media

The Internet may have grown to become a popular platform for promoting events and interacting with customers, but that doesn’t mean traditional media platforms are already ineffective. You can still benefit from contacting radio stations and newspapers to advertise your event. You can have them promote your event in exchange for promoting them in return through posters, flyers and announcements at the event.

Take advantage of social networks

If you already have a Facebook page for your business, then go ahead and make a Facebook event. You can invite your customers who ‘like’ your page, and give special perks to those who confirm their attendance. You can also send out frequent updates via Twitter and your official business blog.

Spread the word yourself

Convincing your target audience to come to your event can be a difficult endeavor, so it pays to make use of your network of friends and acquaintances to at least guarantee that some people will show up.  Tell your friends about your event and have them tell their friends in turn. Word of mouth is the best form of advertising, so make the most out of it.

Keep a cool head

If there’s one thing that’s true for all events, it’s that something is bound to go wrong. Deal with the fact that no matter how hard you try, your event will run into some minor difficulties here and there. Some things will never go according to plan, so be prepared for it. Keep a cool head, maintain your composure and be ready to adapt to the situation. When in doubt, you can always hire an expert like www.venderepartners.com to help.

Mark Doyle is a freelance writer who needs a little help from time to time with demand generation.

 

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Easy as Pie: Time Management for Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurial endeavors generally require a lot of time, attention, and detailed organization. The difference between success and burn-out many times boils down to the ability to manage time. Most entrepreneurs are willing to work hard building their business and ideas. However, avoiding the trap of one’s personal life and entrepreneurial venture merging into one can be the difference between succeeding in an entrepreneurial venture and disappointment, physical exhaustion, and business bankruptcy. Taking the time to learn these essential time management concepts will help increase the likelihood of success in both personal and business life.

Here, is the crucial time management concept that every entrepreneur needs to understand and use, every day!

It’s as easy as PIE: Planning, Intervention, and Evaluation. Making lists, developing a budget, and a business plan is a “must have,” but useless if not regularly evaluated and modified.

Planning can be defined as developing a business plan or list. The planning division of “PIE” is where most entrepreneurs excel. The planning stage tends be exciting with the sky being the limit.

Intervention is the point where most entrepreneurs say rhetorically, “where to next?” The intervention stage is where the plan has been hatched, a venture begun, and possibly money has been used to set-up a business front or web-site. Many hard-working entrepreneurs, if completely honest with themselves, might have thought of everything to get their concept started and the business up and running, but never developed a concrete long-term plan.

Evaluation is the most crucial stage, yet the most ill-defined. This is where an entrepreneur takes a hard look at where their ideas have succeeded or failed. This can be difficult because it can have an emotional tie-in. Emotion needs to be removed because business is just looking at what is functioning well and what needs to be changed or discontinued. Keep doing what works and stop doing what does not work!

The two most common aspects of a business venture that need to be “fed PIE” on a regular basis are the business plan and financial budget. Examples of, how to manage time effectively by utilizing PIE with the business plan and financial budget:

- Nearly every successful entrepreneurial venture starts (and continues) with the plan. A well written business plan can be a painless one page document or one-hundred pages of minute detail. Either way, once executed this plan needs to become a living and usable document.

A theoretical example of how to use PIE on a business plan is as follows:

Planning – The target sales audience for selling cookie bouquets is to business professionals, executives, and schools. Intervention – Advertising e-mails and pamphlets have been sent to area schools and businesses. Evaluation – 95% of cookie bouquet sales have come from school secretaries and 5% from corporate executives.

The business plan can be adjusted to tailor advertising resources (i.e. now 95% of advertising is directed to school secretaries to grow that business) or change the marketing message to corporate executives. Knowing how much has been spent and where to change the business plan for future efforts will save immense time and effort.

Utilizing “PIE” is an effective strategy to manage one’s time and efforts for the beginning and experienced entrepreneur.

Terry Ford is passionate about helping entrepreneurs succeed. She strives to make her writing clear and professional by using a Grammar Checker

 

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5 Top Tips for International Exhibitions

As well as the plethora of local exhibitions and trade shows, it is important to spread the word about your company internationally. Before making the transition to foreign tradeshows, you need to make sure you’re fully prepared:

1) International Etiquette

First of all, don’t assume that everyone speaks English. Make an effort to learn the language, or at least some basic words and phrases that will prove beneficial. This looks polite more than anything and international peers will respect your effort.

Take your time to learn international greetings. In the USA and UK we shake hands but in other countries such as Asia, body contact should be completely avoided. This will help you come across as respectful and culturally aware. First impressions are key.

2) Understand the Significance of Colours and Numbers

This follows on from learning about a country’s etiquette. Many colours and numbers hold varying significance for different cultures. For instance in China the colour green should be avoided on packaging. It has negative connotations of adultery.

The Chinese also associate the number ‘4’ with death. Avoid this on your packaging and displays. For Japan and other Eastern cultures, white is associated with death so do your research.  Where possible ensure that goods are packaged in different amounts to avoid causing offence.

3) Go Portable

There are now many quality exhibition stands that are both durable and portable. You want a stand that is easy to assemble and clear away so you can move from one venue to another efficiently.

Portable displays are also much easier to transport than large, fixed displays. This will reduce and hopefully prevent damage in transit. Any damage caused can easily be removed from the display to keep you looking tidy and professional.

4) Manage and Maintain Your Marketing

Even international exhibitions will require a certain amount of preview marketing. Target the appropriate social media platforms and maintain your posts. Where possible live blog and live Tweet your event using the appropriate ‘hash tags’ and key words.

It is also a good idea to research what marketing methods hold the most authority in that specific country. For instance, some places may limit social networking so you will need to revert to more traditional methods.

Make sure any printed marketing such as business cards and flyers are printed in two languages. That way your international peers and potential clients will be able to see exactly what you have on offer. Just make sure any translations are accurate as this could end up in mis-communicated messages or offence.

5) Network

As you would on home soil, keep up with your networking. Your business may be new to the host country and it may take a few visits before you achieve what you have set out to. Use social media and the Internet to keep in touch with fellow exhibitors or clients you have met abroad.

Preparation is key with any exhibition, both here in the UK and abroad. Make sure you have done all of the background research and leg work to ensure a smooth transition and an effective exhibition.

If you’re looking for an exhibition stand design that will help your business stand out abroad, look no further than RB Displays. Contact them today to transform your next exhibition.

 

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Non-Profit Fundraising

All non profits depend on various streams of funds to support their overall mission. By their very definition, they rely on different forms of assistance as they work to address different problems within their communities. Since they do not sell a product or service- or at least not enough to carry the total needed to support the operating budget, non profits have to rely on a variety of different fundraising methods.

Grants

By and large, non profits attempt to build a solid grant base. With a mixture of city, state and federal grants, many non profits rely upon multiple streams of grants to fund the different programs they operate. Many will have a city grant for one program, a federal grant for another program and use state grants for yet another program. A non profit has to be careful that they do not “double dip”. One example of this might be counting a client receiving services under a federal grant. If client John Q. Smith is counted in your federal Department of Housing and Urban Development grant as receiving services; you cannot count Mr. Smith through your State Housing Finance Grant. The main reason being that the State’s Housing Finance money came from the federal HUD money and federal money cannot generally touch a client twice.

Your program’s mission will guide your grant research. In addition to government grants there are also foundation grants that a non profit can seek. Government grants tend to be more cumbersome and foundation grants– depending on the size of the foundation- less so. There are also significantly more rules a non profit must follow when using federal dollars. It is best to have a mix of grant sources just to serve as a protection for the organization.

Donor Based Fundraising

This is another name for individual fundraising. Regardless of what you call it; this, too, requires research. Often called prospect research, this requires a non profit to determine levels of funding compatibility each donor solicited is comfortable with giving. A non profit looks into the giving history of individuals and then approaches them to seek funding for their own organization. This requires a skillful touch and often, the person responsible for the research is not the person doing the asking. This is a task best left to the Executive Director or the Chair of the Board of Directors. The request is a separate task and may require multiple meetings with a prospective donor. Please remember, the process is not completed when the check is received. It is imperative that an organization foster a continued relationship with that donor. The donor must be thanked and thanked often. This will help a non profit turn a one time donation into a repeated donation.

Corporate Based Fundraising

Fundraising with corporations will vary from corporation to corporation and from business sector to sector. It will pay you to do your research and find out what their community goals are before you approach them. An example of this would be one local international insurance company is actually interested in reducing their carbon foot print. A community non profit rehabs housing near their world wide headquarters. The non profit approached the corporation and with a program related investment in the non profit, the Corporation awarded the non profit a quarter of a million dollars to rehab and sale properties near the headquarters so that employees could purchase homes close enough to work to walk. Do your research and find a way your organization can meet the needs of the corporation before you approach them. Be flexible and willing to negotiate so that the program resembles what the corporation wants but still fits within your mission.

Terry Ford is a fundraising expert who uses an online grammar checker to make her grant applications error free.

 

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Kyle Williams is my Hero. Harbaugh is the “Coach of the Year” for a Reason You Might Not See.

What a stand up guy.  Two days after Kyle, filling in for Ted Gin who happens to be one of the best in the business, had the ball supposedly brush against his leg, then had the ball stripped out of his arm while trying desperately to get his team to the super bowl.  Two days after his father met him outside the locker room and asked his son “are you man enough, are you tough enough to get through this?”  Two days after a nation (Niner nation) cried itself to sleep, amid death threats, Kyle was indeed man enough to sit through a very tastefully performed interview on the Dan Patrick show.  The man has huge balls, and class.

That said more to me about the character of our team than 13 and 3 ever could have. Asked what he took away from the loss, Kyle only said that it was the way his team and coach never even thought of throwing him under the bus for the loss. I love and respect many former coaches, but there is no way they would ever have gotten that kind of integrity out of a team. It certainly was not on Kyle that we lost that game. We can think of 30 other plays where we just didn’t get it done.

We did far more than was ever expected.  In a way it is great that we didn’t make it all the way to the big dance the first year.  There is so much we can do to improve our team.

Give us a world class wide receiver or two, keep the team healthy, and we will have another shot next year.  It would not really have been reasonable or accurate for us to have gone to the super bowl this year. Not that the way we lost was how anyone had it pictured, but it seemed to me that the Saints game would have been the tougher of the two.

I can’t stress the words “team” and “character” enough.  This comes down from the top.  Jed has done lots of growing up, and we have a coach that (hopefully) won’t be going anywhere for a really long time.  The way these men conduct themselves on and now off the field is an inspiration.  In every way, I feel that we had a “perfect” season.  Something left to shoot for, but all in all an inspiring performance.  Thanks Jed, Jim, Alex, Frank, Alton….  I’m a relative rookie; I only had season tickets for 23 years.  It makes me proud to be a “Niner” again.

 

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