Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Spread the Word

Need to spread the word without spreading the dough?

While we won't argue that it's nice to have a monstrous marketing budget, it may surprise you that this is more of a luxury than a necessity - especially for small business.

What's really important is the ability to think and act creatively.

For example: with a little out-of-the-box thinking and a small budget, you can create an attention-getting contest.

If your idea is unique or outrageous enough, it may even garner the attention of the local media.

Contests can be very effective and affordable, especially if the prize is your business' product or service.

Do business a new way.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Morning Smile... Logo update suggestions.

During the current economic times, companies have gotten very creative with their logos. Take a look at these:

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Makes you think...

This story was passed on to me by our President, Diane Lund, and makes a very good point. How often have we been in a rush or too busy and have missed out. I encourage you to read to the end of the story to better understand.

A man stood in a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried, but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats averaged $100.

Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing the best music ever written, on one of the finest instruments in the world - how many other things are we missing?

Let this be a lesson to us to not miss anything - even if we are in a hurry!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Why people yell at each other when they are upset?

Our owner studies Pranic Healing and this is a wonderful story that has been passed down the ranks. It's message is universal in appeal and is really worth the read.

A sage asked his disciples, "Why do we Yell in anger? Why do people yell at each other when they are upset?"

The men thought for a while, "Because we lose our calm," said one. "We yell because of that."

"But, why do we yell when the other person is just next to us?" asked the sage. "Isn't it possible to speak to him or her with a soft voice? Why do you yell at a person when you're angry?"

The men gave some other answers but none satisfied the sage.

Finally he explained, "When two people are angry at each other, their hearts distance a lot. To cover that distance they must yell to be able to hear each other. The angrier they are, the stronger they will have to yell to hear each other through that great distance."

Then the sage asked, "What happens when two people fall in love? They do not yell at each other but talk softly, why? Their hearts are very close. The distance between them is very small...."

The sage continued, "When they love each other even more, what happens? They do not speak, only whisper and they get even closer to each other in their love. Finally, they do not even need to whisper, they only look at each other and that's all. That is how close two people are when they love each other."

Then the sage said, "When you argue, do not let your hearts get distant, do not say words that distance each other more, else there will come a day when the distance is so great that you will not find the path to return."

"Have a good and calm day today."

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

To advertise or not to advertise during a recession?

The article below shares an important, yet counterintuitive point about marketing during a recession: it's actually best to increase advertising efforts!

Advertising in an economic down cycle

In an economic down cycle, is it best to batten down the hatches, hunker down and ride it out? No!

Businesses have been asking this question for decades and every major study reaches the same conclusion: continuing with a marketing budget equal or greater than pre-recession levels produces the best results.

Advertising executive Roland S. Vaile tracked 200 companies through the recession of 1923. He found the biggest sales increases were rung up by those who advertised the most. During the post-World War II recessions of 1949, 1954, 1958 and 1961, the companies that cut back on advertising saw the biggest declines in sales and profits. In 1974, the companies who cut advertising budgets lagged far behind the ones that maintained or increased advertising.

The research firm, McGraw Hill analyzed 600 companies from 1980 through 1985. Results showed firms that maintained or increased advertising expenditures during the 1981 recession averaged significantly higher sales growth, both during the recession and over the next three years as compared to those that eliminated or decreased advertising. By 1985, sales of companies that were aggressive recession advertisers rose 256% over those that cut advertising.

The conclusion is unanimous: advertising aggressively during recessions not only increases sales but also increases profits.

For maximum results both now and in the future, consider these timely tips:

  • Don't cut your advertising budget, increase it! Let your competition cut theirs. Once they abandon their marketing and promotion, your message becomes far stronger and more effective.
  • Don't waste money advertising in the wrong places to the wrong audiences. Develop a strategic marketing plan that tracks your best customers and in turn targets them in your ad placements and messages. You can’t be all things to all people, but you can waste a lot of money trying.
  • Stay in close touch with your most loyal customers. Now’s a good time to develop a customer appreciation program.
  • Maintain continuity. Advertising works cumulatively, so remind people frequently about your brand and don’t deviate from your core message.