Sunday, April 23, 2017

A Pencil Case is a Highly Customisable Promotional Item

There are lots of advantages of a having a pencil case as a promotional device for your advertising strategy.

There are hundreds of branded goods around, thus the ways they function are different: some of them are frequently used, the others are shovelled in the furthest corner of one’s working table. Some branded items are on display, they are actively borrowed, shared and passed around, and the others hold their static position on the wall or on the shelf in your office. Some of them have plenty of space for all the information and images you would like to include into your promotional message, and the others have merely the space for a tiny logo design. So what are the advantages of a pencil case in this context?

  • It makes it easier to keep all those pens, pencils and other stationary items which usually laying around in a mess. Therefore, a case helps to keep them organised and makes your working place cleaner, more suitable and comfortable to work.
  • A case is usually within a view of its owner, as it is frequently used on the daily basis. It is usually placed on the desk, or shelf, and often carried to the meetings, seminars and training courses, so even more people can see your brand printed on the surface of elegant cases.
  • A suitable pencil case can be easily chosen from the large variety of cases represented on the market. They are available in different shapes, colours and designs. They can be shaped as a box, tube or mini bag. They can be made of hard or soft plastic, vinyl, wood, metal, fabric or combination of these materials. As for the colours, there are no limitations to the manufacturer’s fantasy in this regard, so you will be able to choose the most appropriate.
  • A case for pencils is a part of one’s image, not only storage for your pencils, markers and pens. That is why think about a person’s style and professional characteristic before giving him or her a pencil as a gift.
  • A pencil case is small enough to fit into your bag, it also does not occupy too much of your working territory. At the same time it is big enough to place all the necessary promotional information. You would not be able to print your contacts, slogan, message and logo design on a pen or key chain, but with a bigger surface of a case it is possible. Just do not overdo the things, nobody is going to read a message which is too big, it is too obtrusive and boring.
  • If a case for pencils is metal, you can even engrave your information on its side or on the cover. Engraved text and artwork very often have a more sophisticated and elegant look.

In general, a pencil case may be simple and ordinary, but still high quality, or exquisitely decorated and beautifully designed. So you can use them for any purpose: everyday handing out, promotional giveaways during some corporate events, giving as a present to your loyal customers, devoted employees and reliable partners.

Source by Paul Sung

5 Tips on How to Get Customers For Your Window Cleaning Business

In this article, I will give you tips in starting a window cleaning business, specifically how to get a customer base. Many of the principles will help you become a professional window cleaner.

1. Be professional.

Being professional starts before you even look for window cleaning customers. You need to make sure your image is appealing. Small things like having neat clothing, neatly trimmed hair, good personal hygiene and wearing a smile, have a massive positive impact on someone when they open the door to you. Would you let a slovenly dressed smelly individual who you don’t know work on your house? I thought not. Next, have a well prepared message in mind. Something along the lines of “Hello, I am a local window cleaner and I was wondering if you needed a window cleaner yourself?” It is short, polite and to the point.

2. Get business cards.

The business card is the foundation of all of your advertising for your window cleaning business. Your business card should be well designed and have all of your relevant details without being cluttered. You must put your card into the hands of everyone you can including friends, family, current customers and prospective window cleaning customers. Now you are ready to hit the streets!

3. Canvass, canvass, canvass!!!

Canvassing for window cleaning customers to some may seem demeaning, almost ‘begging’ for work. For that reason, many send out thousands of flyers by hand, which is not effective use of your time, or via local newspapers or magazines, which can be costly. In my experience, householders like to see the window cleaner they will deal with each month. In my experience, the most effective way to canvass is by knocking every door in the street, and by making sure you speak to the owner of each house, not the kids, babysitter, gardener etc. Speaking to each individual is far more effective than pushing a flyer through the door. When was the last time you looked at a flyer and bought that product? Probably never. Going in person to advertise your window cleaning business gives it an instant personal touch that is essential. After all, as their window cleaner you will have access to their property and they want to be able to trust you. The first key to trust is knowing what you look like!

4. Respond professionally.

Should the householder refuse your window cleaning services, politely ask to leave a business card should they need a window cleaner in the future, or if they have a friend that needs a window cleaner. This has the same effect as a flyer, but at least they have met you and will recognize you when you are window cleaning in their street in the future. If the householder asks you to give them a quote, be sensible in your price for them, but more importantly, for yourself. Pricing for window cleaning is an article in itself. Should they accept your quote, again, be professional. Have a neat A5 book that you can write their details in, not some old scrap of paper that can easily be lost. Record accurately the house number, road name and surname of the individual. DON’T ask for their phone number. This is a step too far in terms of getting personal information on your initial call. They will offer you this when they are ready. Next, try to give an idea of when you will call to clean the windows. Be as prompt as you can, i.e. “I can call to clean your windows the day after tomorrow.” Whenever you agree a time, make sure you stick to it. The key to a successful window cleaning business is being reliable.

5. Have your own website.

Gone are the days when people used that big colored book to find a window cleaner. Now, more people use the internet than ever before. With some research, you can crack Google and get to top spot without sending a penny! My website was designed by a friend of mine initially, but I have taught myself how to adjust it to increase my Google rank. My website is now top for virtually all of the following searches: window cleaner in Telford, Telford window cleaner, window cleaning Telford, etc. These are the likely searches someone will make in my area for a window cleaner. A website will generate you a surprising amount of interest for a relatively little outlay. In many cases, it is cheaper than ‘paper’ advertising.

In conclusion, if you are to gain a good customer base for your window cleaning business, you cannot beat having a personal touch to your service. As their window cleaner, you will be in frequent contact with the same people and their property. Be reliable, be polite, be professional and pay attention to detail. These are the tips and secrets to starting a window cleaning business by way of canvassing.

Source by Stephen K Williams

Four Types of Marketing For Small Businesses

As a small business owner, you most likely spend quite a large amount of time trying to discern new ways to gain customers. Marketing can be a fun or stressful business. They key is to understand the types of marketing.

Instead of sending your marketing budget in many different directions, you can choose a specific type and be consistent with it. You will quickly see that your marketing budget pays off much more quickly.

Here, you will find information on four of the main types of marketing. This way, you will be able to choose the marketing actions that will work best for your business. You will then be able to point your marketing budget in the right direction.

1. Blanket marketing is a type that is often used by larger business. Blanket marketing means that you spend money advertising to everyone. Many people choose to do blanket marketing by advertising in magazines or newspapers. You will not really have control of who sees your advertising, but you will have the potential to reach many people.

The downside to blanket marketing is that it can be quite expensive, and you could be wasting money marketing to people who may never become your customers at all. Blanket marketing is best for those who have plenty of funds available and who feel that they will be able to gain many customers from the plan.

2. Targeted marketing is a method in which you choose a certain demographic and only market to them. This could mean that you advertise to everyone in a certain area. Alternatively, you could advertise to everyone in a certain age range.

The great thing about targeted marketing is that you will have a much better chance at getting customers since you will be advertising to the types of people who would most likely become customers. The downside is that it will take a little legwork to determine who your target is and then find the right way to advertise to them.

3. Social media marketing could be called the new kid in town since it is relatively a young concept. With this marketing, you use any one of the many popular social media sites to advertise your company. You can also use a daily blog to garner business.

The downside to this type of marketing is that you will be sending your information out to many people who may not be interested at all. With blogs, you will have to take the time to keep the blog up to date. Otherwise, people may stop reading it.

4. The last type of marketing is not marketing at all. There are not upsides to this. It may seem like a way to save money, but when your business fails, you will actually lose a great deal of money. It is extremely important to find marketing funds within your budget.

Source by Melissa B Evans

Three Types Of Marketing Strategies

There are three basic types of marketing strategies that all businesses, big and small use. All marketing plans can be broken down into one or all of these types. They are:

  1. Online or internet marketing.
  2. Offline marketing.
  3. Word of mouth or relationship marketing.

There can be some cross over of these categories mostly between online and relationship and as we get into our topic you’ll see how this is. Also, you’ll find that there can be a wide range of marketing costs between these different types and I know that this is important to all people who are just starting up a new business. Remember that marketing can be the most exciting part of a business start up because you can see your business grow and become successful.

Online / Internet Marketing

Many people today are starting businesses online. Like all business start ups, online or brick and mortar stores, not all who start will succeed and what will determine if they do is their marketing plan. Online marketing combines creative and technical aspects of the internet, including advertising, design, sales, and development. It also uses search engine marketing (such as Yahoo and Google), banner ads on websites, search engine optimization, and email marketing strategies. There are some definite advantages to online marketing. Internet marketing is fairly inexpensive when you compare it to the cost of reaching your target market with traditional marketing techniques. There are many companies that have found that they can reach a very large audience for a significantly lower cost than their standard offline advertising methods. Offline Marketing This is the traditional type of marketing strategy. If you are old enough, if not ask some old guy you know, think back about 20 years, before there was an Internet. All the types of marking that was used then fall into this category.

  • Newspaper ads.
  • Radio.
  • Television.
  • Bulk mail.
  • Billboards
  • Magazine ads.

As you can imagine offline marketing will be the most expensive type of marketing because unlike online marketing, every time you want to get your name out there, you’ll have to pay. So keep in mind how much of a budget you have to commit to marketing. You may want to concentrate more of your efforts to internet and relationship marketing but as always the choice is yours.

Word of mouth or Relationship Marketing

This type, if you commit to it, can and will be your most important marketing strategy. You will build trust in your customers that can’t be built by the other ways. Think about your own experiences when purchasing a new (fill in the blank). If what you want to buy is recommended by a trusted friend the chances you’ll buy is greater than if you just see an advertisement. Trust is HUGE in any marketing strategy. The trick here is building networks of people who know and trust you.

Offline Relationships

  • Friends.
  • Relatives.
  • Business Acquaintances
  • Community Involvement Coworkers
  • Fellow Churchgoers
  • Anybody you meet in town.

When the opportunity presents itself, talk about your business! Tell them what you are doing, your plans, your dream of eventually want your business to look like. Opportunities present themselves all the time, all you have to do is recognize them and put yourself out there! As these people get to know your business and like what you have to offer, they will tell their friends, who will tell their friends and so on.

Online Relationships

Since the advent of the internet and depending on the nature of your business, (if it’s local or more far reaching in who your customers are) this could be the greatest part of your marketing strategy. I’m not telling you anything you probably don’t already know but today the internet is built on relationships. People reach each other on:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • MySpace

And this is only the tip of the iceberg! There are more places to meet and get to know people than you can shake a stick at. Like online marketing. These are the 3 types of marketing strategies and they will work for you and your new business but you must commit yourself to them. It is work but you can do it. Believe in yourself! (if you made it this far, I believe in you too because you have proven that you have the will to succeed) You believe in you and so do I. That’s 2 people – see, your plan is already growing!

Source by Gordon Zill

President Trump’s Planned Corporate Tax Cut and the Effect on Globalization

President Donald Trump is a very controversial figure and he has been ever since he decided to run for president, and maybe even before that by some people. People either hate him or like him there is not much in between. The same goes for most of which he is trying to accomplish as the new President of the United States. One of his proposed plans is to cut corporate taxes down to 15 percent from 35 percent. This proposed tax cut has a major effect on not only the U.S., but the whole world. This tax cut effects globalization and has a possibility of having a positive impact for the country.

Globalization is affected by the change of where companies want to be because of tax laws. A lot of companies decide where they locate some of their businesses and headquarters by the tax laws in the countries they are considering of setting up in. With President Trumps plan to cut corporate taxes from 35 percent to 15 percent it will make companies want to come back to the United States. One reason companies would want to come back to the United States or start their business there, if this corporate tax cut does happen, is because it would put the United States as tied for third lowest corporate tax rate in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). This organization includes 35 different countries, some of which are Japan, France, Germany, Mexico, and Italy to name a few. The only countries lower than the United States would be Ireland and Switzerland, plus the U.S. would be tied with Canada at 15 percent. Compared to where the country is now, which is the highest in OECD. Having this low of a tax would entice companies to come to the United States to operate their business because a lower corporate tax allows companies to keep more of their profits.

This plan does not only benefit the corporations. It also benefits shareholders around the world. As mentioned before with the lower tax rate comes more profits for the companies taking advantage of the lower tax rate. This could also mean that those companies will declare more dividends because they have more revenue. This would directly benefit the shareholders. Even if the company does not declare dividends, whether because they have not declared dividends in the past or if they just did not feel like declaring extra dividends from the revenue increase, there would still be a positive impact on shareholders from the proposed corporate tax cut. The benefit they would receive would be that it would probably lift the stock market earnings up. This would help stockholders because they would be getting more money from their investments even if the companies they invested in did not pay out dividends because of the increased revenue that would likely come with the lower tax rate.

Trump’s corporate tax plan goes even farther than helping the corporations and the stockholders. His corporate tax cut plan helps Americans. The first way his plan benefits Americans is that when corporations decide to build their factories and companies here they are going to need workers to work there. Thus, creating jobs for Americans that are in desperate need of jobs. Another way his plan benefits the American people is that it could bring prices down on goods. The reason for this is because the companies that would move or start up here would have the products in the United States already. So, they would not have to pay to have them shipped back into the United States, thus allowing them to lower the costs on some of their products to help them sell more of the products. Globally this does not really help other countries. The exact opposite that is happening in the United States would happen in the countries where the companies move from. However, it should not be as dramatic of a change because some companies may be loyal to the country they are in and not move just because of the tax cut that Trump plans to enact in the U.S.

Whether President Trump’s proposed corporate tax cut comes into effect or not remains to be seen. However, no matter if it passes through congress and becomes the new corporate tax, it will affect everyone around the world. The tax plan would help the U.S. out with a lot of things, but also has a huge effect on globalization.


OECD. “Corporate Income Tax Rate Table.” Table II.1. Corporate Income Tax Rate. OECD, n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2017. < >

Source by Colin A Struckmann

Step by Step Guide for ERP Software Lead Generation

Most people do not know the existence of ERP softwares. ERP (or Enterprise Resource Planning software), are computer applications for businesses to integrate internal and external functions for the entirety of their organization. These applications aid them in various departments such as financing, manufacturing, sales and marketing, customer and client relationship, and many others.

Manufacturers, programmers, and resellers of these ERP softwares brace themselves of the hardships of marketing their computer application. Since not every business in the globe knows or even needs such software, it can give them a run for their money. Other sellers of these software will be competing and vying to generate more software leads than others. As such, companies who market such computer applications need to find a quick way to get ahead of their competitors lest they lose out on the entire race.

First of all, generating software leads requires precision targeting. ERP manufacturers and resellers need to know, first and foremost, the target that will greatly benefit from the acquisition of their software. Without a target, the software company will just randomly contact prospects in the hopes of acquiring a sales out of them. This is neither beneficial nor cost efficient as it is a great waste of time and money.

Once the target has been sighted, the next step is for the software company to provide their campaign with the right marketing means. Outsourcing to a reputable telemarketing firm is by far the leading option for many. The main reason is that the aid of professional telemarketers are second to none. They know who to talk to and how to pique their interests. As such, they can provide the maximum probabilities for leads to be converted into certified clients for the software company.

Outsourcing to a telemarketing firm is not the last step on our list. Next up is for the software company to work together with the telemarketing firm in perfecting the campaign. It does not mean that the campaign is outsourced the software company will just have to wait for the results. In helping telemarketers, the ERP company should first give the representative’s adequate information about the product. After which, both parties can devise a calling script to attract the attention of prospects. Simply put, these two parties should always work hand in hand to come up with a successful lead generation campaign.

If outsourced to the right group of telemarketers, the software company can expect to get a number of qualified sales leads from their campaign. Manufacturers and resellers of these softwares now need to consider their options on what they should do next for their company; should they stop generating software leads for the moment or renew their contract with the telemarketing firm? The choice is theirs to male. They can start by closing deals first out of the generated leads or, if their finances call for it, continue on with their outsourced campaign.

In the end, the right telemarketing firm allows for a greater chance to acquire quality sales leads for the software company’s ERP applications. Owners of companies that market these ERP solutions should pay due diligence in outsourcing their campaign for their own good.

Source by Claire M Hansen

All about Brie Cheese

Brie appetizers are not only mouthwatering, but they are so versatile. It’s amazing

what you can do with a Brie cheese. How did “real” Brie cheese come about in the

first place? Well, according to cheese experts, producing Brie cheese started in the

French province called, not surprisingly, Brie – a town 60 miles from Paris!

The oldest recorded evidence of its existence was found in the chronicles of

Charlemagne. The Emperor at the time, tasted the cheese in the city of Brie around

the year 774 BC. And here’s another interesting tidbit about Brie cheese… Louis

XVI’s last and dying wish was supposedly to have a final taste of Brie.

It is sometimes called Brie de Meaux and is considered one of the most popular of

the 400+ cheeses from France. Brie de Meaux’s popularity can be attributed to a

competition that took place around 1814. During a Vienna Congress, an argument

broke out regarding which country made the best and finest cheese.

As a result, a Frenchman by the name of Talleyrand, suggested a competition

between the different countries and their national cheeses, as he was convinced that

France would win. And of course, they did! Brie de Meaux was the winner and

became known as the “King of Cheeses” and as you can imagine, instantly became

an overnight success that swept Europe and has retained that distinction ever since.

As a matter of fact, Brie Cheese from France won a gold medal from the Brie

National Contest in both 2000 and 2001.

What makes it so darn good? Brie is made from unpasteurized cow’s milk and has

an appealing combination of flavors including hazelnut, fruit and herbs. And it takes

approximately 6.6 gallons of milk to make one round of brie cheese!

The process of making it consists of heating the milk to no more than 37 degrees C

– but only during the renneting stage. Therefore, the cheese is never cooked. After

being put into a mold with a special, perforated shovel called “pelle à Brie”, it is

salted with a dry salt. This salting process is used to balance the sweetness that

occurs because of the high quality of milk used.

Maturation takes place in a cool cellar. The cheese develops a white mold around it

and the creamy part turns to a light straw color. The whole process takes at least 4

weeks and sometimes more.

In France, there are only 5 or 6 real Brie de Meaux producers left. Apparently it’s an

economically-challenged industry to get into. Brie has a very fragile curd that is

easily broken and requires a special room built only for the use of making Brie and

Triple Crème. It has to maintain just the right temperature or the maturation

process will not work. This, in itself, makes Brie hard to make and evidently requires

quite an investment. Therefore, farmers are not as inclined to invest their time and

money on such a delicate, not always reliable process.

To serve Brie cheese properly, it’s best to allow it to come to room temperature.

Some good suggestions of wine to serve with any kind of Brie appetizer is a red

Côte-du-Rhône, a red Bordeaux or Burgundy and it always goes well with a good

quality Champagne.

In the United States, we don’t sell “real Brie” because of the pasteurization laws that

have been installed in this country. US FDA regulations say that you can only make

cheese with our pasteurized milk. Our “Brie” is not true Brie, but it’s as close as we

can get to make it taste like Brie de Meaux from France. If you were to put true

French Brie next to Brie made in the United States, the difference would be highly

noticeable. You would get hooked on the French Brie and have to make yearly trips

to France to feed your new craving!

In lieu of going to France, try this savory Brie appetizer. You’ll be glad you did!

Amaretto Brie Appetizer

There’s nothing like serving this yummy Amaretto Brie appetizer. Especially when

you watch everyone diving into it without leaving a trace behind. Your friends and

guests will beg you for this recipe. It’s simple to make and the creamy almond flavor

is fantastic with a baguette or gourmet-type crackers.

What you’ll need:

– 1/2 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)

– 1/2 cup butter

– 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

– 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

– 1 oz. of amaretto liqueur

– 1 round of Brie cheese

– 1/4 cup sliced almonds (chopped walnuts will work also)

– Toast points, sliced apples, baguette or crackers

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Then melt the butter and add the brown

sugar in a heavy sauce pan. Stir until heated through and consistency is smooth and


Remove the pan from the heat and add cinnamon, nutmeg and the Amaretto. Mix

ingredients well.

Next, place the Brie round (remove Brie from packaging) in an oven-safe dish. Take

the sauce you just created and pour over the Brie. Then, top the sauce with the

sliced almonds.

All you need to do is bake it for 10 or 15 minutes until the cheese is soft. You could

also microwave it if you are in a big hurry. But only put it in the microwave for 30

second intervals until it is soft and warm. If you microwave it for too long you will

end up with Amaretto Brie appetizer soup, and that is not what we want here!

You can serve the melted Brie on a pretty plate surrounded by apple slices, sliced

baguette and crackers. It will fast disappear!

If you are interested in other Brie appetizers and other easy to make appetizer

recipes, please visit Easy Appetizer Recipes found at the URL below where

you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the variety of choices.

Important: Feel free to republish this article on your website. However,

you are not allowed to modify any part of its content and all links should be kept


Source by Sara Gray

Economic Turmoil and the Future of Brazil

For many years, Brazil has been an emerging economic hub, attracting investors from all over the world. The Brazilian economy saw an 368% increase in Gross Domestic Product growth from 2003 to 2011. In addition, Brazil took in almost half of Foreign Direct Investment flowing into South America during 2015. This doesn’t come as a surprise since it reigns as one of the major emerging national economies. However, Brazil has seen a recent economic downturn with increasing unemployment and a contracting GDP. In fact, the Brazilian government cut 2017 GDP expectations from 1.6% to 1% growth. Having been one the most lucrative foreign investments for governments to individual investors, what happened to the so-called “Country of the Future” and can Brazil regain its momentum?

Back in 2015, recession hit Brazil hard and the country is still struggling to get back on track. According to the CIA World Factbook, the economy contracted 32% from its peak in 2011 and unemployment reached a new high at 12.6% in 2016. Being based mostly on services, agriculture and oil, Brazil’s economy has a direct correlation with global demand. With global recession looming, Brazil is feeling the effects of a slow world economy.

Brazil is a top tourist destination offering beautiful beaches, a diverse culture and exciting festivals. However, with the world economy slowing down, people are less likely to travel abroad. Since the majority of the country’s GDP derives from the service industry, Brazil will not be able to rebound any time soon unless there is a major boost in consumer confidence.

The demand for Brazilian exports was slashed when its largest trading partner, China, entered into an economic slowdown of their own. The decrease in exports caused massive layoffs throughout the nation. The notorious economic downward spiral began by wary consumer spending as unemployment rose. Companies that tried to gain capital by borrowing in U.S. dollars found it difficult to pay back those loans as the Brazilian Real crashed 25% in the span of a year in 2015.

One of the major hits came from low oil prices and the corruption of Petrobras, a large oil company and Brazil’s largest source of investment. Brazil is major producer of oil, exporting $11.8 billion worth in 2015, according to the Observatory for Economic Complexity. OPEC delivered a major blow when the cartel decided not to cut oil production, causing oil futures prices to plunge. In order to cope with heavy losses, Petrobras was forced to sell off assets and halt future research and expansion plans.

As if things weren’t going poorly, Petrobras was also caught in a scandal with former Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff and other high office executives. From 2004 to 2012, the company had spent over $2 billion on bribes to politicians whom would allow the company to charge inflated prices for construction contracts. Now that the scandal has unfolded, Petrobras executives face jail time and the company as a whole is forced to pay billions in fines.

So what does the future hold for Brazil?

Although at the moment the future looks dim, there are still signs of hope Brazil can turn itself around. The Real has seemed to stabilize in 2016 and heads into 2017 with an upward trend. Moreover, experts’ GDP projections for 2018 through 2020 show promising figures that Brazil can restore pre-recession level growth.

Even more promising, U.S. companies are still showing faith in Brazil’s future. American Airlines plans to invest $100 million in an aircraft maintenance center in Sao Paulo. Brazilian Investment Partnership Minister Wellington Moreira Franco and many countries like the United States, United Kingdom, France and Japan agree there are still reasons to invest in Brazil. This should be seen as a sign of confidence that the Brazilian market will grow soundly with the support of both national and international investment.

“The World Factbook: BRAZIL.” Central Intelligence Agency. Central Intelligence Agency, 12 Jan. 2017. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.

“Brazil.” OEC – Brazil (BRA) Exports, Imports, and Trade Partners. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.

Source by Matthew Sands

Business Brochure Writing: What is "Tone" and Why It’s Important

The “tone” of a written piece – like your brochure – can best be defined as the “feel” or “emotional effect” this piece has.

Many things make up “tone.” The words you use in your brochure. The length of your sentences. The colors you use. The font. The punctuation. The type of graphics or photos. The graphic design.The type of paper you use.

To give your brochure its proper “tone,” all of these elements need to come together, giving it one particular feel.

“That’s nice,” I bet your saying right now. “Wake me up when you’re done with your artsy lecture.”

Whoa, pardner! Back up the Mac–or park your PC–right now & listen up.

This is not some fancy-schmancy, high-falutin’, artsy-fartsy, fuzzy-wuzzy concept. It’s real. And it has real (read: “bottomline”) consequences.

I’ll start by describing an actual brochure I saw, one that I’ve used as a very bad example, during the brochure workshops I’ve given in the Detroit area.

This brochure was on a very sensitive and heart wrenching topic: domestic violence. It was done by a metropolitan agency to either a.) make the public aware that domestic violence hurts children and is, by extension, child abuse b.) warn the perpetrators of the crime that it is, well, a crime. (For starters, this brochure was so poorly written, it was hard to decipher who it was aimed at. In fact, it stumped my workshop participants.)

Now, writing this brochure unsure of the target market wasn’t the least of its problems. Here is where we get to tone.

It was a harsh 1-color (yes, 1-color—-black type on white paper.It looked like something dashed off and photocopied.) brochure with large type & sentences that seemed to scream at you. The header read: “There is NO Excuse, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE It’s A Crime!” The word “you” was used, but in a harsh, high-handed tone: “What you should know about . . .” followed this screaming headline.

It got your attention, alright. But its tone was so shrill and harsh, it didn’t invite me in, to learn, to get help. It only pushed me away.

So you see, “tone” is very important.

Now, I’ll explain another example – also from a government agency and dealing with children – that does a much, much better job.

This brochure was 1-color also. Only it was done by a graphic artist who knew how to use many shades of grey, screens, and other techniques to make what was originally black into a soft, warm, inviting picture.

In the center of the brochure were black and white photos of 4 smiling children, each of a different race.

Above the kids was the header: “The Health Insurance You Need”

In the center of the kids was a circle with the words “MIChild,” the acronym for low-cost children’s insurance, playing on the zip code abbreviation for the state of Michigan. Instantly known to its target market.

Then, at the bottom of the brochure–still on the cover–were the words “At a Price You Can Afford,” followed by the toll-free number.

The whole tone of this brochure is “We want to help you. We respect you. We understand you.” (And that’s just from reviewing the cover!”)

See the difference? Even though both brochures were from government agencies, even though both brochures were only 1 color, the difference between them is vast. As, I’m sure, were the results.

In these brief paragraphs, I’ve given you just a tiny glimpse of what tone is and why it’s important. There are many more examples in kinds of “tone;” how each “tone” is accomplished with the words chosen, the sentence length and structure, the type of paper, etc.I hope, however, that in these brief paragraphs you can begin to understand tone and its importance. And, most important, you can understand how you can apply it to your own brochure.

(c)CSC Group, LLC

Source by Sandra Eggers

How to Promote A Christian T-Shirt Business – Effective and Low Cost Marketing Tips

Quite a lot of people today are turning towards Christian businesses since these are highly targeted niches that receive much success. Starting a Christian t-shirt store online can be a great way to earn additional income. However, you don’t really have to spend a lot for marketing your business. If you learn how to promote a Christian t-shirt business at low cost, it is quite possible for you to enjoy good revenues. The marketing tips that have been discussed here will provide you several helpful ideas to start with.

How to Promote A Christian t-shirt Business

• One of the best ways to promote this type of business is to get an article or an advertisement published in your local Christian newsletter or church newsletter. If your local church has a website you can also get your company promoted there so that you would be able to target a huge amount of audience. Provide a few good pictures of your t-shirts along with effective text.

• One of the best, free and the most effective way to market your business is by wearing your t-shirts yourself. If your t-shirts are unique you would certainly be generating a lot of enquiries from everyone. Hand out a few t-shirts to your family and friends so that they can wear them and advertise your business for you without shelling out any money at all.

• If you are wondering how to promote a Christian t-shirt business online then you should know that article marketing is one of the most effective marketing methods. Write articles and get them published on various article directories for free. Include a link to your website and you would be generating a lot of traffic in very less time.

• Join a few online forums for Christians and talk to others. Ask questions, leave comments on the profiles of others and answer questions regularly. Ensure that you leave your signature and a link to your website.

• Create attractive, interesting videos and post them on YouTube. This is one of the best and the most effective ways to market a t-shirt business online. Creating videos is not really difficult. If you make it personal your videos would generate even more interest and would be very effective.

• Offer good discounts and attractive schemes on a regular basis to your customers so that they would be able to take the benefit and save money.

These were only a few good and low cost methods in which you can save money while promoting your business. If you learn how to promote a Christian t-shirt business, you would be able to generate more revenues over time.

Source by Thomas Freers

Common Errors and Misconceptions in Writing Business Card Titles

What’s in a title? A lot, especially if it is placed on a business card. Business card titles are one of the main highlights of this identity card.

Look at how much information is written there. There’s your name, company or organization, phone number, cellphone number, office address, email address and your title, of course. Given the very limited space of business cards, usually set at 2″ x 3.5″, you need to put in only the most significant information about you. And these are not just to tell people about your contact details. It is also a powerful tool to build a big impression, especially if you have a nice title to go with a sleek business card.

Notice that you really can’t include anything much other than the data mentioned above. This means that, unlike brochures, postcards, flyers and other advertising tools, you cant say much about who you are, what you do and what you are offering. With business cards, recipients pretty much have a lot of deducing to do from the info found in the card, especially from the business card titles and logos.

Selling points

Having an office space in a posh and renowned commercial district leaves a mark. Being in a company that belongs to the Fortune 500 list is even more impressive, but having a highly regarded title/position either because of your educational achievements like getting a Doctor of Philosophy degree, or due to your well-deserved rise in the company hierarchy as vice president certainly speaks a lot about who you are and what you are capable of. So isn’t it important that you write it properly?

Of errors and misconceptions

A person with a degree in Medicine is a doctor, and earns the suffix M.D., but should you write ‘Dr. John Doe, M.D.’? Some people do. Here are some of the common errors in title-writing that you should avoid:

1. Do not include both your degree and your title. Choose one.

For doctors, either write ‘John Doe, M.D.’, or ‘Dr. John Doe’. If you are done with your doctorate degree, write ‘Dr. John Doe’ or ‘John Doe, PhD’. Lawyers, on the other hand, can write either ‘Atty. John Doe’ or “John Doe, Esq.’

The same follows if you have different titles like CPA and Esq. Do not write ‘Atty. John Doe, CPA’.

2. Do not place ‘Mr.’ or ‘Ms.’ before your name in business cards.

Don’t write Mr. John Doe’ on your business card. ‘Mr. John Doe, M.D.’ is especially a big no-no. This also applies to other writings. Do not use ‘Mr.’ if you want to include your title or degree in your name.

3. Not all Abbreviations and Acronyms require periods.

PhD should actually be written as Ph.D. but more recently, the former has become accepted and widely used. The same goes for MD. Some of the other proper abbreviations and acronyms include: D.Ed. (Doctor of Education), D.M.D. (Doctor of Dental Medicine), RD (registered dietitian), RN (registered nurse), CEO (chief executive officer) and COO (chief operating officer).

So remember, before you venture into online printing for your next set of cards, check if the business card title is written correctly. It should be an asset, not a turn-off.

Source by Zoe Phoenix

The Advantage of Using Feedback Form to Improve Customer Service

Feedback Form is one excellent medium for gathering comments, suggestions and customers’ views about your business. It is a good way of knowing how you are faring in your customer service.

If you have a feedback form attached to your website, you deliberately provide a gateway for continuous customer engagement. Of course, it is assumed that garnering more information from your customers through the feedback form means that you are actively responding to the information submitted to you.

With the ongoing trend where most of your customers are buying or shopping online, it is very important that your website has feedback form. It is also important that you must be candid about how you deal with the feedbacks being submitted to you.

Make sure that your feedback form is accessed easily. Offer several ways in which your customers could give their feedback. The customary feedback form will do but you must also provide email address, fax number, mobile and land phone. You may place an invitation for your customers to visit you personally if they wanted to.

Customers would be delighted to read your gracious attitude when after they submitted the feedback form they filled up a message of appreciation would pop up to welcome their comments. This creates the impression that your customers have great part in shaping your business as you express your gratitude and you are happy to act on their feedback.

Some sites provide animation and video to spark the interest of their customers to fill up the feedback form. For them, getting feedback from their clients is their way of gauging how they may improve their customer service. It is also through this feedback mechanism where they learn about the status of their products, especially those newly launched.

Feedback form could be presented as a poll where customers could tick their choice for the specific matter that you are presenting. You may opt to provide venue for discussing further their opinion.

Take note that you must be able to collate the information gathered through your feedback form and provide immediate actions, especially to feedbacks that need urgent response.

Expect more customer engagement when they are getting responses for the feedback that they submit to you. Meaning, you must clearly state in your website how your company responds to customer feedback. Present a customer-friendly feedback policy that is easy to read, understand and follow.

Don’t fret about the thought of being inundated with customer feedbacks, the effort and expenses to process the information. Think about what your business can gain successfully in your customer service engagement if you have a solid feedback form system.

Find the interactive feedback form that provides complete portal for getting customer comments and suggestions that is vital for improving your customer service engagement. Make use of innovative customer feedback form program that enables you to process and update information that comes through your site and other media.

Source by Jonan Castillon

Creative Marketing Ideas For Shoe Stores

During an economic recession, the retail industry has taken a big hit as customers simply don’t have as much discretionary income as they used to. Whether your shoe store is part of a large chain or is just a small independent retailer, you should always be on the lookout for new, interesting marketing ideas that can stimulate business. Here are some great ways to put your best foot forward.

  1. In-store events– Customers need to know the benefits of your shoes, be it that they are edgy and fashionable or that they provide a comfortable walking experience. Hosting an in-store event like a fashion show or a teaching session will not only generate buzz and awareness for your store, but also sell a lot of shoes! Have your featured products fully-visible using a vertical banner or even a window cling so customers know which shoes they’re going to learn about.
  2. Loyalty cards– Most women have a shoe fetish, so create a loyalty program that keeps her coming back for more shoes. This could be a punch card or you could even use a computer-tracking system. After a certain amount of pairs purchased, your customer will receive a free (or at least discounted) pair. Not only do you sell more shoes, but you also retain loyal customers.
  3. Shoe care– A great way to make your store more marketable is by offering shoe care services such as shining, stretching, and even minor repair. If you really want to offer a first-class experience, offer complimentary shoe repair services. You probably won’t be able to do this in-store, but set-up an agreement with a local shoe hospital or cobbler. Your client will appreciate the VIP treatment, and this ensures they’ll visit your store at least twice (once to drop off the shoes and again to pick them up). Odds are they’ll find a new pair in at least one of those visits. Display vinyl decals at your cash wraps letting customers know these special services you offer, and make sure your sales team is mentioning it as well.
  4. Sponsorship/donation– Sponsoring local events is a great way to build a positive business reputation. In exchange, you’re usually able to advertise at these events with a vinyl banner or in the program. Another unique idea is to create a shoe-donation program. Work with charity groups such as the Salvation Army to donate a pair of shoes for every X amount you sell. This is a huge PR boost and makes your business socially-responsible. It has certainly worked for TOMS.
  5. Family bundles– If you are a shoe store that caters to all customers (men, women, and children), create a family bundle package. Offer a special discount when customers buy a pair of shoes for every member of the family, or even have a buy one-get one special. You’re a one-stop shop for the family, but it may take a special deal for customers to realize that.

Source by Michael K Allen

Marketing Tips for Selling Honey On A Small Scale

One of the biggest challenge when you start to sell honey at first is how to go about doing it? Many people are not experienced in this sort of stuff.

The key thing is to start small. Small steps will eventually get you where you want to go and you will definitely learn tonnes while at it. This will keep the cost low and flexibility to change any time.

There are a few things that you have to consider, namely the target market, how you will distribute to them, i.e. your marketing channel, the packaging of your product and how you will promote it.

Most people when starting will not have many hives. Typically you can start with one or two just to get a hang of how to do beekeeping. So to test the water in marketing honey, first off and easiest to promote it amongst close friends or relatives. It could be that when you start just invite them for tea with a spread of honey and let them taste it! You can get their feedback and take it from there.

Essentially for a start, the target would be market locally within your circle of friends or neighbours and you can also set up a road side store or if your place is the near the road, to have a clear sign board informing them that they can get fresh honey from you!

It is worthwhile to take time and come up with a simple yet attractive sign board and something that is big enough for drivers to notice and want to drop by. Graphics and visuals attract. Put on your creative cap to come up with ideas and get feedback…gosh there are many ways, maybe even create a variety of design as ask people to vote which is best. Nowadays you can do it online even – ask your Facebook friends:)

Besides your signage, the product packaging is also crucial. Even though there’s a saying “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover”, you know for a fact that in the real world most of us DO judge by how someone or something looks! How many times have you pick up that “cute” little box in the supermarket because it looks great (even though you didn’t initially plan to buy it)?

Creativity does play an important role. You don’t have to have a million dollar research to do that, but the packaging should be decent enough that someone will want to buy it. That means that the labels should be stick properly and it’s clean. Usually the winning strategy in honey is to put it in clear glass or plastic bottles so that people can see what’s the color.

You may want to also do some branding, by including your company name and type of honey and probably contact no. or website if you have. Well, you knows what opportunity this will bring.

Yes, there will be some cost. Take this as part and parcel of business. Nowadays you can source for cheaper solutions like getting the containers for eBay or Walmart.

Source by Mike Jasons

Pros and Cons Of Door Hanger Marketing

There are many pros and cons when it comes to using door hangers for your marketing and advertising needs. Here are a few examples of why.

PRO – They are personal. Some people appreciate this aspect of door hanger marketing. They need to be hand delivered, which shows effort and care on the part of the advertiser or company. This is great, especially when you are trying to motivate a specific target market of people. Custom hangers are great for local marketing. Local events, campaigns, etc. can all be promoted positively with printed door hangers.

CON – A lot of people who receive see them as an automatic throw away piece. Because there are so many postcards, flyers, and other types of advertising materials that come through the mail every day, you really need to make your hangers stand out in a positive way. This is why the design phase of your door hanger creation is so important, you must catch someone’s attention before your creation ends up in the trash can. Also, there is no envelope for a potential customer to open or other piece to distract them or make them look twice. So, this is why the look and design of your door hangers means so much.

PRO – They are one of the more unique pieces of advertising materials you could choose to use. While you do have the “throw away” hurdle to overcome, if you do a great job during the design phase, you will end up with a beautiful, unique hanger to distribute. This is definitely a pro. If you can grab attention and deliver a powerful message, yours will be a definite success.

CON – Some people view them as a weaker form of marketing material due to their lack of reach. Due to their delivery demands, hangers just cannot get to as many people as say, a postcard that goes through a stamping machine. Because each door hanger needs to be hand delivered, the amount of people you can contact is going to be smaller. Direct mail pieces are going to be able to reach more people due to their delivery method alone. This is why door hangers are great tools to use when you are trying to contact a local group of people.

Overall, they have several pros and cons but ultimately they are best suited to promote a local business or organization and be distributed to homes in the surrounding area. You are going to get the best response this way, especially if you design your door hangers well and make the consumer feel as though you care about them and value their business before they have decided to give it to you.

Source by Valentin Tyrone M Cooke

The 7Ps of Marketing Mix

Marketing professionals and specialist use many tactics to attract and retain their customers. These activities comprise of different concepts, the most important one being the marketing mix. There are two concepts for marketing mix: 4P and 7P. It is essential to balance the 4Ps or the 7Ps of the marketing mix. The concept of 4Ps has been long used for the product industry while the latter has emerged as a successful proposition for the services industry.

The 7Ps of the marketing mix can be discussed as:

Product – It must provide value to a customer but does not have to be tangible at the same time. Basically, it involves introducing new products or improvising the existing products.

Price – Pricing must be competitive and must entail profit. The pricing strategy can comprise discounts, offers and the like.

Place – It refers to the place where the customers can buy the product and how the product reaches out to that place. This is done through different channels, like Internet, wholesalers and retailers.

Promotion – It includes the various ways of communicating to the customers of what the company has to offer. It is about communicating about the benefits of using a particular product or service rather than just talking about its features.

People – People refer to the customers, employees, management and everybody else involved in it. It is essential for everyone to realize that the reputation of the brand that you are involved with is in the people’s hands.

Process – It refers to the methods and process of providing a service and is hence essential to have a thorough knowledge on whether the services are helpful to the customers, if they are provided in time, if the customers are informed in hand about the services and many such things.

Physical (evidence) – It refers to the experience of using a product or service. When a service goes out to the customer, it is essential that you help him see what he is buying or not. For example- brochures, pamphlets etc serve this purpose.

Source by Medha Behera

Marketing Strategies and Tactics I

– Marketing dominance strategies

In this category of strategies, you see the world and the market in terms of market share; you know your market share, classify yourself as a leader, challenger, follower or nicher. Then you plan your marketing strategy accordingly.

Leader: you have market dominance, you need to stress that you are the dominant business in your market because you are the best.

Challenger: you are the next big thing, you should point out that the industry leader has gotten too big to care about customers, that you will change how things are going in the industry. You should project an image of being the next edgy thing to hit the market.

Follower: you should consolidate your position never directly challenging the leaders while making alliances in the market. You wait for your opportunity to be a challenger or a leader.

Nicher: you concentrate on your niche, taking care not to venture out unless you are confident of your odds outside of your niche.

– Innovation strategies

Here it is all about who is on the cutting edge, who churns out the new products and technologies before anyone else. You are a pioneer, close follower or late follower.

Pioneer: You concentrate on being the one with the newest, hottest products around. You promise your customers will get the new technology before anyone else does.

Close follower: You wait for other to pioneer in different direction, and when they are on to something, you quickly adopt it, improve it and make it your own.

Late follower: You adopt only the most stable of technology, you stress to your customers that your products will be stable, tried and tested, with no bugs or last minute recalls.

– Growth strategies

When operating under growth strategies, your focus should be on how to make your business grow. You use:

Horizontal integration: You try to expand by acquiring or starting new business in the same field as your main business, this way you control a bigger market share, and sideline the competition.

Vertical integration: You try to acquire or start businesses that supply your current business or sell its products. This way you can have a stable production and delivery structure.

Diversification: You try to conquer new markets with new products, expending in unexpected direction where you predict that there are great profits there.

Intensification: You add new features to your existing products. You release new versions of your products. Trying to consolidate then expand your market position.

Source by Ahmed Mohey El-Deen

Marketing – Target Marketing or Mass Marketing?

Mass marketing versus target marketing, which one will you use? I suggest integrating both. Target marketing simply explained is marketing to an audience more likely to be receptive to your marketing messages. Understanding and evaluating a key market for your goods or services and successfully launching an advertising campaign requires acquiring data through various sources and segmenting these sources into refined data that can then become your target market.

Many starting businesses focus on mass advertising strategies hoping to catch as many customers as possible but working in this fashion can put a strain on your budget and ultimately waste money that could have better well spent on increasing customer satisfaction or expanding your business. There is nothing wrong with mass advertising, what is wrong is advertising to the masses without understanding the mass you are advertising to. I don’t care if it is a branding campaign, there must be some focus and discipline, even in a large branding campaign.

Creating an ideal market for you to advertise to will require the understanding of some key elements in marketing. One of the most important elements is demography. Demographic data is very important in finding particular information within a geographic region such as gender, age, income, religion, race, etc. Through the harvesting of this data you can better understand what types of marketing message will work or not in reference to what you are selling.

Consumer’s might perceive certain advertisements differently and some advertisements may even insult them. Certain audiences can be turned off by a particular message, make sure that you don’t offend who you might want as a customer in the future.

If you were to be advertising in BZ City through a mass advertisement you would use demographic information to see how your product might reflect on the majority of the people living there first and what type of advertising messages will be better received. How much of the particular market might actually find value in your goods or services can be determined almost entirely through demographic research.

1.) What you want to do first is research the regional demographic data for your campaign.

2.) Segment the largest percentages into the top two of each demographic trait.

3.) From there start thinking on how your product can benefit each group positively and what their perceptions might be of your goods or services.

4.) Now start to brainstorm what types of advertising and what messages would appeal most to the seniority of these groups.

NOTE: This may require psycho graphic data to be appended to the demographic data for better evaluation of behavior.

5.) Study case studies for marketing for your demographic market to get an idea of what you may be up against.

6.) Now cram all that data together and see how you can create a compelling and inspirational advertisement for your product to all the top two demographic groups in one message. Is it possible? Let the idea stew for a while, you might be surprised.

HINT: This same demographic information can now help you figure out what medias and what media niches will work for your campaign. Ingenuity and creativity will always be fundamental, just make sure it is backed with some hard fact data. Good luck.

© TopSavings.Net

Source by Aaron Siegel

Definition of Marketing Mix – Product, Price, Place and Promotion

Getting the marketing mix right for your product or service means you are covering all of the important bases in your marketing campaign. Here is a definition of marketing mix and a description of its main components.

The term marketing mix refers to the primary elements that must be attended to in order to properly market a product. Also known as The 4 Ps of Marketing, the marketing mix is a very useful, if a bit general, guideline for understanding the fundamentals of what makes a good marketing campaign. Here is a brief description of each component of the 4 Ps of the marketing mix.

Product: The marketing mix concept has its roots in the 1950s U.S. corporate marketing world, and the practice of marketing has obviously evolved tremendously since this term was invented. One of the changes is that there are a lot more services available nowadays, such as those available online. Also, the distinction between product and service has become more blurry (e.g., is a Web-based software application a product or a service?). Either way, product here refers to products or services. The product you offer needs to be able to meet a specific, existing market demand. Or, you need to be able to create a market niche through building a strong brand.

Price: The price you set for your offering plays a large role in its marketability. Pricing for offerings that are more commonly available in the market is more elastic, meaning that unit sales will go up or down more responsively in response to price changes. By contrast, those products that have a generally more limited availability in the market (but with strong demand) are more inelastic, meaning that price changes will not affect unit sales very much. The price elasticity of your offering can be determined through various market testing techniques.

Place: This term really refers to any way that the customer can obtain a product. Provision of a product can occur via any number of distribution channels, such as in a retail store, through the mail, via downloadable files, on a cruise ship, in a hair salon, etc. The ease and options through which you can make your product available to your customers will have an effect on your sales volume.

Promotion: Promotion is concerned with any vehicle you employ for getting people to know more about your offering. Advertising, public relations, point-of-sale displays, and word-of-mouth promotion are all traditional ways for promotion. Promotion can be seen as a way of closing the information gap between would-be sellers and would-be buyers. Your choice of a promotional strategy will be dependent upon your budget, the type of offering you are selling, and availability of said promotional vehicle.

Marketing has come a long way from the 4 Ps of yesteryear, and yet understanding this marketing mix is for your product remains very relevant today. The marketing mix serves as an excellent touchstone for continually checking that you are covering all of the bases in your marketing campaign.

Source by Jed C. Jones Ph.D.

What Do Monkeys, Lions, Elephants and Dolphins Have to Do With Marketing?

About a year ago now, I went along to a presentation on sales. The presenter advised us to think about people’s personalities when selling as four key animals – Monkeys, Lions, Dolphins and Elephants. Although all of us have a mixture of these personalities within us, we’re all dominated by one of them too.

Knowing this information can be especially helpful when writing sales proposals; going to sales meetings and writing websites. Ideally you need to have something in there for all of these different types of personalities. Here’s a quick guide to making sure you have something in there that appeals to all sorts of different people.

For instance – for the Lions – those people who like to be leaders:

• Keep things brief and to the point

• List the key benefits and results right at the top of your proposal in bold

• Add in a testimonial of someone who they respect

• Concentrate on RESULTS

For the Elephants – those people who like detail:

• Add in EXACTLY what you’re going to do for them

• Throw in a couple of charts/graphs/facts/statistics

• Detail the metrics/results that they’re likely to see

• Concentrate on the DETAILS

For the Dolphins – those people who like people and also reassurance

• Give an example of a story (not a case study though, but a story) of someone who has benefited from your product / service

• Show an emotional testimonial

• Ideally include some pictures too

For the Monkeys – those people with ego and like value and shiny objects

• Add in things of value i.e. joint ventures, joint press releases, joint newsletters etc

• Add in additional benefits or extras

• Add in some things to stroke their ego


It will also help if you identify the dominant animal personality right up front in your sales meeting and then you can tailor the words and phrases that you use to make sure you’re appealing to their nature. This is especially important if you’re a different dominant personality than they are.

I got caught out with this recently by not giving enough detail to an elephant (I’m more of a monkey) and I am now writing my proposals and sales letters to include elements from all different personality types.

Make sure you do too and you may find that by including information relevant to that personality, you have more chance of securing the business.

Source by Helen Dowling