Although I don’t profess to be a marketing guru, I have spent a good deal of time in my 40 years of work experience drafting or approving marketing budgets and coming up with creative strategies to stretch the value derived from the dollars spent. Here are some observations I have made in my own business that have helped to take a more hands-on and individual approach to marketing. I hope these practical strategies help you as well.
- Make Sure to Measure This is listed as point #1 for a reason. So many businesses blindly run marketing campaigns because, a. it’s the way it’s always been done and, b. because it’s an afterthought. Measuring responses through to new clients will help you keep track of each initiative while justifying the effort and dollars spent.
- Social Networking is Worth It I’ll start out by saying most social networking mediums are free. With this said, it’s imperative that a business doesn’t take a carte blanche approach and slap whatever they feel like up on the web. Make sure what you communicate via LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and blogs is educational, valuable and most important consistently done.
- E-Communication From the mid-1990s on, e-newsletters and digital communication has become a leading way to get in touch with prospects. The only downfall is obvious; people are sick of it. This is why targeted messaging is so important. Avoid poor execution and watered down information by knowing your audience(s). Educate them, don’t “sell” them.
- Try Some New Stuff Many businesses are afraid to branch out a bit and go outside the norm. Although I’m not advising that you throw away all sense and decorum and send out smoke signal messages in the center of Times Square, sometimes utilizing existing mediums to “test” new concepts such as special event invites or a survey may be the best way to see what works without blowing the budget. It’s also easier to track success rates and interest this way.
- Repurpose and Outsource As Needed Ramping up your marketing campaign can be expensive, no matter how thrifty and wily a marketer you are. Sometimes it may be best to outsource a campaign and some of the grunt work. It may sound crazy when you’re trying to save money, but often freelancers can do things quicker and with quality because, simply stated, they have practice.
Whatever you do, make sure your marketing money is spent with purpose. So often it’s easier to do things because competition is doing it or because it’s a challenge to come up with creative marketing solutions. Do your research and cross your fingers that it will pay off.
I’ve done a little research and found out some interesting facts about a certain persons business failures. A guy we all know by now had to file for bankruptcy after a failed project. He left town with $40 in cash, and an imitation-leather suitcase containing only a shirt, two undershorts and two pairs of socks. He suffered what he called, “a heck of a breakdown.” He was anxious about the ability for his projects to really deliver serious profit. The breakdown included sleepless hours in bed at night. He even plunge into crying spells at a moment’s notice. He was forced to dissolve his company and at one point could not pay his rent and was surviving by eating dog food.
One more point of interest. When Walt tried to get MGM studios to distribute Mickey Mouse in 1927 he was told that the idea would never work– a giant mouse on the screen would terrify women. The man I described above is, of course Walt Disney.
Come on ladies, REALLY? REALLY?
There appears to be an “uber” type business for everything these days, need a doctor to make a house call, need groceries, need whatever …..
Yes, now for the ladies there is an “uber” for underwear. No, seriously there really is.
I read about this “must have” service for women at the following site: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/startups-gamble-on-the-lazy-and-entitled-2015-08-06
Here is the actual web site: https://www.underclub.co/
Even the San Francisco Chronicle has picked up on the story.
If you just want to buy ladies Uber underwear you can go here.
Maybe next their will have their own pink cars delivering them right to your door front.
Yesterday a very nice house in our gated community was struck by lightning and exploded into flames. Fortunately the owners of the house were out of town when the lightning struck and there were no injuries. The house was totally destroyed. See the video here.
Standing there watching the firemen and the shocked neighbors I couldn’t help but wonder how protected my family would be if this had happened to our house and I was no longer around to handle all of our needs.
My New Year’s resolution this year was to fine tune our “In Case of Emergency” plan and update all of our documents. I’ll share this with you and you are welcome to download it and make the changes necessary to fit your needs.
Most Important Issues:
- Do you have an updated Revocable Living Trust?
- If not at least an updated Will. (See these issues with Wills. Also see issues with Widow taxes)
- Make a written 3 year financial, income, tax and expenses plan the includes the loss of income from any spouse and the effects on the family.
The “In Case of Emergency” document is a complete explanation of everything someone (like my wife, family or executor of my estate) would ever need to know about everything in my/our lives. It also includes immediate specific steps to take in case something happens to me or “us”. Keep in mind that the emergency may not be your death, but may be you becoming incapacitated, there is a difference.
It is an on-going document that is constantly being updated and enhanced. This document is stored on my computer, on a secure web site and in our safe deposit box. Every family member knows about it and understands what it is.
A “In Case of Emergency” document should include:
- The location and attorney involved with the creation of:
- Revocable Living Trust,
- Individual Wills,
- Durable Powers of Attorney, Healthcare Surrogate and other legal documents.
- The names, account numbers, and contacts information for all:
- bank accounts,
- investment accounts,
- pensions, and past/current employers
- Annuities, life insurance policies
- Also confirm the structure of each asset and in the case of IRA’s the beneficiary since these may fall outside of your Revocable Living Trust.
- How income is generated, what steps are necessary to keep income coming in. Budget for living income and expenses. If you are still working, who at work to contact and what benefits might a spouse of a deceased worker get, like unused vacation pay, life insurance etc.
- Location of safe deposit box and the location of the keys. It might be best to give multiple family members access to the box.
- Business owned (if applicable) with complete details on tax and ownership structure, location of stock certificates and other important documents.
- Birthdates, social security numbers and contact information for all family members.
- The location of tax records, past returns and contact information of tax preparer.
- If your spouse has never done taxes before explain any complicated items.
- Social Security information. Explain if any benefits are currently being provided and the strategy for future benefits including how to file for Survivor benefits.
- Your digital information including all login and passwords information, it’s best to have a software program or web site where these are stored and protected. All family members email accounts, your digital photographs, music, key documents on your computer and location of all back-ups.
- Best practice – stored ALL your documents on a service like DropBox that can synchronize with multiple devices. If your house goes up in flames quickly, you’ll never get your computer and back-up devices out in time.
- Your home information:
- Mortgage holder (if applicable), how payments get made, contact
- Account information for utilities, trash collectors, newspapers, landscaping and other service providers. How property, school and other taxes are paid
- Insurance information, including location of policies, account numbers, contacts, etc. Be sure to include homeowners, car, healthcare and life insurance
- Automobile information, including loans (if applicable), location of title, registration #’s, license plate #’s etc.
- List all healthcare providers like family doctors, insurance policy renewal information and an updated history of healthcare issues. Reference any Durable Powers of Attorney, Healthcare Surrogates and other healthcare information.
- Credit Cards, loans and other obligations. List all account numbers, and toll free numbers to call to cancel cards or pay off balances.
- Family cell phone accounts and structure of plans.
- Churches, Clubs and organizations along with contact information
- Neighbors and friends that should be notified with full contact information.
Finally, include a list of specific steps to immediately take in the days after an emergency.
Step #1 …………………..
Step #2 ………………….
Step #3 ………………….
You can download a copy of this Emergency Document here.
The NASDAQ 100 has is up about 284 points year to date, about 7%. However not all stocks in this index are treated equally. This index is 100 of the largest non-financial companies listed on the NASDAQ. It is a modified capitalization-weighted index.
Capitalization-weighted tends to reflect the movement of the largest companies based on “market capitalization”.
Therefore here is how the NASDAQ 100 really performed:
Amazon: 86 points – 30% of the 284 points
Google: 66 points – 23% of the 284 points
Over 50% of the entire NASDAQ rise in 2015 has been in just 2 stocks.