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Showing posts from June, 2014

Print Coupons Are Valuable Tool for Driving Business

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With the advent of the Internet and mobile technology, it may seem that print advertising has gone by the wayside. However, that is simply not true. In fact, there are still many legitimate, valuable uses for print advertising. One of those opportunities is coupons.

We see coupons in grocery stores constantly. Every Sunday paper has coupons that give customers incentive to try new products or new versions of older products. Why is that? Simply put, coupons work.

So how can you use coupons effectively if you're not running a grocery store? Here are some ideas to consider:

Return Business

Coupons are one of the best ways to obtain return business. For example, consider creating a "Buy 10, Get 1 Free" card. This type of coupon works well for businesses that sell multiples of the same type of product. Examples might include "Buy 10 earrings, Get 1 Free" or "Buy 10 ink cartridges, Get 1 Free."

Another option is to offer a coupon to every customer who ma…

Making Friends and Finding Customers: Using the Same Process to Find Both

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Young children tend to be relatively indiscriminate when it comes to making friends. As long as the other child is remotely interested in playing the game at hand, they tend to quickly run off together at a playground. As people grow up, however, they tend to become a little more selective when it comes to choosing friends. As we age, we look for people who share interests with us and possess a similar life outlook. When we find people who share these particular qualities, we begin to form relationships and bond with them.

Why we care about finding friends with similar interests

We seek friends who share our interests because these common touch points make it easy to find things to discuss with them. Friends who share our interests can anticipate our needs, answer our questions, and engage us in a way that people with whom we have nothing in common cannot.

Of course, these similarities don't have to revolve around particular activities. Sometimes, personality traits or beliefs wi…

What Marketers Can Learn at the Farmers' Market

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Imagine walking into a farmers' market. Like many other visitors making their way through the stalls, you've become increasingly concerned about where your food comes from and the techniques used to grow it. The farmers' market offers you a distinct advantage because here you can actually speak with the people who grew or raised the food you're looking to buy. You can ask them questions.

You approach the first stall. The farmer offers a variety of foods -- fruits, vegetables, and even a bit of meat and cheese. You try to ask some questions about what pesticides were used when the plants were growing, what the animals ate, and whether or not the chickens were allowed to roam. The farmer seems annoyed by your questions. He gives you gruff, brief answers that don't really address your concerns but seem focused instead on getting you to make a purchase or move along.

The next stall is similar, except you note that the prices are about 10%-20% higher. Still, you rea…

Marketing Your Brand to Every Palate

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One of the joys of eating out as a family is the opportunity to let each person choose their own meal. For those with a bit more daring palate, that might mean trying something new. For others, it might mean ordering an old standby they know they'll enjoy. In either case, the person is more likely to enjoy their dining experience because they have the chance to order something that suits their own individual taste.

Distinct appetites and marketing

Just as every person has their own unique palate when it comes to food, your customers have their own appetites when it comes to how they want to receive your marketing messages. Keep this in mind as you plan your marketing campaigns. Work to tailor your message (and media) to address the needs of the various types of customers you're trying to reach.

Begin the process by developing several key buyer or customer personas. Your marketing campaigns should be carefully tailored to address the particular characteristics each of those …

Management Lessons From Our Elementary School Days

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Think back for a moment to your elementary school days. Chances are, some of your best memories revolve around celebrations. Whether celebrating a classmate's birthday, a favorite holiday, an accomplishment for the class, or even the 100th day of school, everyday celebrations are an essential part of many elementary school classrooms.

Why are these types of celebrations so popular?

For one thing, they offer everyone, including the teacher, a bit of a mental break from the daily grind. When people return from a break, they're ready to sit down and work some more. Without a break, it's easy to get burned out.

Secondly, they help to keep the atmosphere happy and joyful in the classroom. Everyone functions better when they work in a positive atmosphere.

And finally, they offer the teacher and classmates the chance to recognize the accomplishments of the group as a whole, as well as those of individual students. When students know their efforts are recognized, the motivation…

Writing an Amazing, Effective, Brilliant Press Release

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What's the first tool you turn to when you need to get the word out about a new product, service, or innovation from your business? If you're like many small business owners, it's probably not the press release.

While some marketers have pushed the press release into the background -- throwing it under the bus in favor of newcomers like Twitter, Facebook, and banner ads -- this venerable marketing tool has definitely not outlived its usefulness. In fact, some even say that with today's focus on content, the press release is more valuable than ever... that is, as long as it's done right.

We've collected best practice tips and advice from the experts to help you take full advantage of this tried-and-true marketing strategy, so you can write a brilliant, amazing and -- most of all -- effective press release that'll get noticed.

Press Release 101

First, the basics: What, exactly, is a press release, and why does it exist? In a nutshell, a press release is …

Networking Tips Straight Out of High School

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Back in high school, there were always a few classmates who seemed to find schoolwork effortless. They were able to easily achieve the top grades while the rest of the class struggled. As finals week rolled around, these students often found themselves inundated with requests for study help. Some would come from friends, but many came from complete strangers who would suddenly try to buddy up with the smart kids in an effort to curry their favor.

Typically, the smart students would react to these requests in one of two ways:


The requests that came from friends -- people the students socialized with outside of class -- were met with assurances of help.
The requests that came from strangers were often dismissed.


Why the disparity?

No one likes being taken advantage of. While it may have been just as easy to offer study help to members of either group, the smart students didn't like people suddenly trying to be their friend, only to be 'dumped' once the other person passed an …

Outside the (Paper) Box: Creative, Innovative Uses for Paper

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Chances are, you already know how indispensable paper is to marketing and business. But did you know that paper can -- literally -- save lives?

Around the world, some very bright, creative people are coming up with some very innovative uses for paper that truly represent "outside the box" thinking. Here are a few of our favorite paper inventions that have the power to change the world for the better.

Origami Microscope

When you hear the word "origami," your mind probably imagines cranes, paper airplanes, and funny pointed hats. But Stanford University professor Manu Prakash and his team of researchers have taken this folded paper art to a whole new level with the Foldscope.

This ground-breaking invention consists of a flat sheet of paper, an LED, a watch battery, and a few tiny optical units that can be folded together -- just like origami -- to create a functioning microscope. This portable microscope offers a number of benefits, especially for medical personne…