Do Heavy Vehicles Always Have A Negative Impact On Road Traffic?

Jan 14 2024 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Heavy vehicles can be defined as any type of motorized road vehicle that requires a special driving licence for its operation according to the law. A few examples would include: large buses or coaches; goods-carrying trucks with three axles or more; certain agricultural tractors and trailers, such as those used for transporting hay bales, etc.; certain military/army transports (e.g., tanks).

Since heavy vehicles are so big, they can be hard to operate, which is why drivers require specific heavy vehicle training in Melbourne. Heavy vehicle drivers should also be aware of what they are permitted to do and when, such as driving during certain hours or in particular areas, and all heavy combination training courses make sure to include these points when getting a light rigid license in Melbourne.

The size and weight of heavy vehicles can make them a hazard on the road if not driven properly. However, there is no need for all heavy vehicles to receive bad press just because some drivers fail to follow safety procedures and regulations. Many people who drive heavy trucks have been trained appropriately and know how best to handle these big rigs, but even well-trained truckers require additional training in order to learn about safe practices that will improve overall traffic flow across our highways.

Heavy vehicles can be a strain on roads.

Heavy vehicles can be quite a strain on roads and highway surfaces due to their weight and size. When these vehicles are not driven properly, they can cause accidents or traffic jams.

Heavy vehicle tyres wear down the road surface more quickly than lighter vehicles.

The weight of a heavy vehicle also puts more pressure on the road surface. This means that the tyres wear down the surface more quickly, creating potholes and damaging roads. This can mean a lot of damage to our local roads and highways. Heavy vehicles are not always to blame for wear and tear on roads, but they are usually the biggest culprits.

Heavy trucks require extra maintenance to keep them in working order, which can lead to more traffic delays and accidents.

In the event of breakdowns or malfunctions, heavy trucks require more maintenance than lighter vehicles. This can often lead to traffic delays and even accidents. When a truck breaks down on the side of the road, it can block lanes and cause serious traffic jams. Drivers of smaller cars are not used to sharing the road with such large vehicles, so they may not be as careful when passing them. This can result in dangerous situations and collisions.

The weight of heavy vehicles puts extra stress on bridges and overpasses, leading to damage or even collapse.

The weight put onto bridges by large trucks is much greater than that applied by lighter vehicles, which causes damage or even collapse, eventually leading to road closures. This also causes severe traffic issues for people living nearby, who must then take alternative routes home, etc., adding further delay time in most cases.

Another important factor to take into consideration when using roads with heavy traffic loads, particularly during peak hours, is related to signal timing. Here, drivers should always be observant of the traffic lights and ensure they are able to clear intersections in a timely manner. Often, when heavy vehicles are stuck at an intersection, this can cause other road users to become impatient and attempt to weave through gaps that may not always be safe.

There are many affiliated institutions in Australia that provide heavy vehicle driver training, including training on specific types of vehicles. This is essential for any person intending to drive a heavy vehicle, as they will learn the rules and regulations for driving such large vehicles. It may also be possible that some institutions provide training on specific types of trucks or trailers, depending on their area of expertise.

Any driver who has been properly trained in driving a heavy vehicle should feel confident behind the wheel regardless of what route they take. However, there will always be an element of risk involved with having these types of trucks on the road, which is why drivers need to be extra cautious. The professional training that a driver of heavy vehicles receives should make them aware of all these risks and how they can manage them safely.

Some people may feel that running heavy vehicles on normal roads is not safe in itself. It is true that heavy vehicles are more difficult to turn, stop, and park than other types of vehicles, but this does not necessarily mean they will cause accidents, and this is why drivers of these vehicles need to get proper training.

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How Effective Are Simulator-Based Training For Heavy Vehicle Operators?

Jan 14 2024 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Some people might say that simulator-based training isn’t effective when getting their light rigid license training in Melbourne, because there’s no real-life experience behind it, but in reality, these simulations can be quite accurate when it comes to testing certain skillsets.

What is simulator-based training?

Simulator-based training uses a computer or video game to recreate a real-life experience. This type of medium rigid truck training is often used for heavy vehicle operators because it can help them learn how to handle difficult situations they may encounter on the road. Training institutions that carry out heavy vehicle training may use simulators to teach students how to handle difficult road situations.

Simulator-based training is often used by heavy vehicle operators because it can help them learn skills they will need on the job, including things like driving through hazardous weather conditions and avoiding crashes with other vehicles. While simulator-based training isn’t 100% accurate when compared to real-life experience, it still helps trainees develop crucial safety and defensive driving skills that may save lives in future scenarios while also reducing injuries and costs associated with accidents. The biggest advantage of simulator-based training is that people get a realistic idea about what driving such large vehicles entails before actually getting behind the wheel themselves, which allows for better judgement during testing or employment opportunities, as well as greater time management between learning new techniques and skills and reality.

The advantages of using simulators for heavy vehicle operators

There are certain advantages to using simulated training sessions for these types of vehicles. These include:

The possible reduction of crashes and injuries
The ability for people to be better prepared before driving the vehicle in real life.
This allows drivers time to practice certain skills without distractions that would otherwise happen behind the wheel.
Spending less time learning new techniques while also improving judgement between what is learned during training sessions versus on the road.

Disadvantages to using simulators for heavy vehicle operators

While the advantages are many, there are some disadvantages as well, including:

An expensive investment is required by companies or individuals looking to purchase simulators for their own personal use, due mainly to the sensitive components used within these types of machinery that may wear down over time, making them unsuitable for repeated multiple uses. The amount of money saved depends entirely on how often they will be using it too.
The fact is that simulators are not always able to replicate the exact conditions drivers will face on the road. Weather, traffic, and terrain can all play a part in how a driver will react and handle their vehicle in different situations.
Due to the level of concentration required to operate these types of machinery, driver fatigue may set in more quickly when using a simulator as opposed to being behind the wheel of an actual truck or bus. This is especially relevant when conducting long-distance training exercises.

Despite these disadvantages, simulation-based training continues to grow in popularity with heavy vehicle operators around the globe thanks to its ability to provide a realistic environment where judgement between what is learned during training sessions and on the road can be improved. As technology advances, there are many new ways in which simulator-based training can be used to improve safety outcomes for heavy vehicle operators.

One such way is through the use of virtual reality (VR), which allows drivers to experience real-world scenarios, including hazardous weather conditions and challenging road layouts, in a controlled environment. VR has been shown to improve driver confidence and situational awareness, as well as reduce stress levels. In addition, it can also help identify potential errors or mistakes before they occur on the road, allowing trainers to provide feedback that will help prevent these from happening in live traffic.

How to use a simulator for training purposes

This technique of training drivers uses the same principle as flight simulators. However, instead of training pilots in their own cockpit, it is used to train heavy vehicle drivers on a big screen with realistic driving conditions and road scenarios.

The simulator provides an interactive experience for drivers through its motion platform, which moves around like a car or truck does when turning left or right, etc., at the same time providing similar movement sensations associated with travelling over different types of ground surfaces (i.e., gravel roads). It also includes real lights and sound effects that make it feel truly immersive—almost like being behind the wheel. The synchronous nature of these features can contribute towards building driver confidence and situational awareness, as well as reducing stress levels. In addition, it can also help identify potential errors such as inappropriate or incorrect gear selection, speed, road position, etc. The motion platform can also help drivers to generalise the experience outside of the simulator; for example, in extreme weather conditions or when operating at night (where there is limited visibility).

Technology has become increasingly important in heavy vehicle training over recent years, with industry demand increasing exponentially both here in Australia and around the world. However, one area where technology could play a significant role is through simulation-based training, which involves using computer-generated replicas of real driving scenarios and environments. With this type of system being utilised more often by companies who need to train large numbers of drivers quickly without having to take them out on site constantly, it is likely that their effectiveness will increase over time.

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How expert call handling impacts revenue and ROI

Jan 14 2024 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Call handling as a service has many definitions; the perceived value of this function varies dramatically and is often underrated.

Call handling is a far more skilled and diverse function than simply answering a phone and responding to basic customer queries. Expert Call Handling can fulfil multiple tasks from pre- and post-sales customer support, multilingual global response and product recalls, to inbound lead management and lead qualification. This broad scope and the alignment to emotional customer experiences gives this function arguably greater potential impact on the health and wealth of a brand than pure acquisition-based activity.

Call handling isn’t typically viewed as a revenue generating service in the same way as lead generation or appointment setting but is nonetheless intrinsically linked to the bottom line. Here’s how:

Brand reputation

If a customer or prospect reaches out to you at a time when they really need support and reassurance, how you respond dramatically impacts how they perceive your brand. Studies show that negative experiences stay with us longer and, in the age of social proof, an unhappy customer sharing their views on social media can seriously damage your reputation and future revenue.

Product acceptance and utilisation

If customers have problems or issues with your products or tools, they need to be able to rely on your support line. Particularly in the early stages of on boarding when there may be greater need for support and greater likelihood of churn, the quality of support will influence their acceptance, enjoyment and future usage of your product or service. This in turn will directly impact their levels of adoption, future upsell, and cross-sell opportunities, subscription renewals, loyalty and retention.

Marketing ROI

If customers interested in your proposition are calling but you aren’t picking up, you are leaving money on the table. Turning your back on customers who already have an appetite to buy whilst spending heavily on acquisition is throwing good money after bad. If you have invested in an expensive product launch or marketing programme that creates high demand, responses need to be fulfilled in a timely manner so that investment doesn’t go to waste.

Not only does lead backlog eat into your acquisition budget, qualifying and routing leads quickly and efficiently ensures a consistent flow of sales-ready leads to your team, improving conversion, driving revenue and ROI.

Compliance

If your call handling agents are well trained and supported with the right systems and processes, you are much better placed to meet client SLAs (Service Level Agreements). If agents fully understand policies, procedures and industry-specific legislation, your business will avoid fines for regulatory non-compliance and damage to brand reputation.

Customer experience

It isn’t as easy to measure as pure acquisition but there is strong evidence to link high levels of customer satisfaction with increased revenue, retention and profitability – simply put, why would an unhappy customer want to buy again or recommend your brand to others? Brands that understand the significant cost of a poor customer experience elevate their CX and differentiate their brand through high-quality, responsive call handling.

These are just some of the ways that a call handling service has potential to either enhance or detract not only from brand reputation, customer satisfaction and loyalty but significantly, the bottom line. If you are interested in solid growth and profitability, this function needs to be given the status it deserves and developed to realise its full potential.

If you don’t have the skills or capacity in-house to meet your call handling needs, outsourcing is a good solution. An outsourced option can manage unforeseen, short-term or fluctuating requirements to ensure SLAs are met. It can deal with lead backlogs if in-house resourcing is limited so marketing investment isn’t wasted and no opportunity is missed. And, it can help you remain compliant and protect your brand reputation in the case of a crisis or product recall.

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Internet Marketing Vs Conventional Marketing

Jun 27 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

In this article I will contrast the differences between the mediums of Internet Marketing, Conventional Marketing and their future together. What I refer to as “Conventional Marketing” are all those things that have been established forms of advertising for the last 50+ years such as; Television, Newspapers, Mailers, Billboards and Radio. What I refer to as “Internet Marketing” are all the new forms of advertising only recently established in the business world such as; Search Engines, Social Networks, Banner Advertisements and Mobile Media. The integration of these two mediums is one of the focuses of this article as well and how they will be interacting over the next few years according to market projections and corporate planning. It is a new and interesting time we are entering that will feature many new services, advertising mediums and great possibilities for your business to see personal return on investment. It is my goal to bring light to a misunderstood change in market shares and effectiveness, as well as to show how both markets are slowly becoming one big conglomerate.

First it was Mail, which was first enacted as an official system all the way back to 2200 BC and perhaps further, the government and major merchants of the times would send mailers to wealthy individuals hoping to obtain donations or customers. Second came Newsprint in the mid 17th century, this was the medium of the day and its inception was much accepted and heralded as no other forms of publication were available other than authoring a book, which was expensive at the time. Next came Billboards as lithography became widespread and again boomed after the creation of the motor vehicle when more and more citizens would use the highways, giving them more exposure. Then you had Radio come triumphantly into the scene, revolutionizing the way people communicated and entertained themselves on a daily basis. Last of the Conventional Marketing types was Television and oh how did television explode the advertising market, entire industries were built around it until now when the average person has 3-4 T.V.s in their home.

Then in the 80′s there came the Internet, it was not anything near the behemoth we know today but it was innovative and highly useful to government and science. The first advertising was Banner Ads and was pioneered by a company that was sub-corp. of Sears and IBM. Today these types of advertising are still effective and widely used by many of the top websites. Then came Search Engines, creating a way to find websites without needing to know a Directory or the direct URL, this opened the door for PPC and SEO creating a multi-billion dollar industry. Social Networks began popping up online and then when Myspace attained millions of users massive ad campaigns were launched targeting those potential clients and created another multi-billion dollar industry. Last with the invention of the Mobile Web and Cell Phone Internet, Mobile Media flourished and now Smart Phones make it more profitable than ever.

Now that I have defined the major markets that each category refers to I would like to discuss the current state of affairs of each of these mediums. Conventional Marketing has seen a HUGE decrease in investment and return on investment with the advent of the Internet, Television is the only one of this demographic that is still growing. The success of Newspapers and Mailers have fallen to drastic all time lows, billboards have become effective only for local products and Radio has nearly gone extinct in some areas of the country. When this decline began each of these industries realized it was get with the times or get off the train, so they began to integrate their services into the Internet, forcing a share of the pie that had been taken away. Radio got Pandora and the other various Internet Radio services, Newspapers began creating digital copies of the daily paper and Mail has been nearly eaten up by the Internets quick and cost effective E-Mail systems. Even Television realized the need to create mediums of its services available online and sites such as Hulu were created. According to the Gallup Polls as of 2011 84% of the American populace had Internet Access in some form within their household. eFrontiers Market Analysis and Projections show that by 2015 Internet Marketing will account for 25% of America’s overall ad spend each year. The various forms of Internet Marketing have proven extremely successful, Banner Ads and Social Networks are moving along strong and many niches have been created allowing marketers to directly reach clients that have shown an intrinsic interest in their products or services. PPC and SEO consist of the majority of marketing dollars online making Search Engine the most invested in and Mobile Media is exploding at the moment as Smart Phones become more prevalent.

It is inevitable, in theory, that over the next two decades they will slowly merge into one multi-media delivery system, most likely in a mode we cannot foresee, as we do not have the technological advancements yet. But what we can foresee is that they will, in majority, become one large Internet based medium. With the merging, it allows for new forms of marketing to develop such as T.V. Banner Ads, Radio PPC Campaigns and Internet Based Digital Billboards. It is a new marketing frontier and if you have not already gotten on-board this is the time. If you are a business that plans on operating in the next decades you need to create websites and advertising campaigns online, you need to follow the changes in the market that are projected and lastly you need to stay open to new technological developments and not turn a blind eye to huge investment possibilities that appear in the next few years.

Internet Marketing gives businesses of any size access to the mass market at an affordable price. Also Internet Marketing focuses on advertising to refined groups of people who are looking for your services whereas conventional focuses on pushing goods or services to as many viewers at once as possible. In this Digital Age we cannot try to cling with the marketing tactics of the past, the world is ever changing and so must we. At the moment Internet Marketing is the frontier, fifty years from now it will be something we can’t comprehend at the moment. Conventional methods should still be a large part of your budget but as the years pass and the markets merge, where will you be if you have no website?

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Successful Direct Sales 101: Getting Started

Jun 27 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

When you want to get involved with a direct sales company, you are joining a process that does take some work for you to make money. In order to do this, you need to properly get started with the direct sales. Here is an introduction to successful direct sales and how to make money.

The first part of successful direct sales involves knowing exactly how the system works. This is where a company manufactures products and sells them through external, individual salespeople. These people get a discount on anything that they buy and make a commission from the sales that they do achieve. The company doesn’t have to have a store, so their costs are lower, and they can keep a lot of the profits. As a salesperson, you will work through the company selling their products.

To get involved with a direct sales company, you need to first go shopping. Successful direct sales starts with a successful company choice. You need to pick a company that other people will want to buy from on a regular basis to make the most money possible. There are a lot of choices out there, so take your time finding the right company.

When you choose the right company, all you have to do is contact them through a phone number or email to express your interest. You usually don’t have to do a lot to get involved with it, and you will be started. You will get a starter kit with books, samples, order forms and sometimes a few other things as well. This is what you will need to get started.

When you are ready to start selling, then it involves successful marketing and advertising of your business. You need to take advantage of every advertising opportunity that you possibly can to gain as many customers as you can. Place an ad if you can afford it. Of course, this may cost you a little bit. Use your social network to advertise. And of course, you can always tell everyone that you know that you are selling a product. Word of mouth is one of the oldest and most successful ways of advertising, after all.

After you get your advertising taken care of, another great tip is to throw a party to get some orders and some customers as well. Parties are always a great tool of successful direct sales. You can throw a fun party with samples, games and even a demonstration of how some of the products will work. Of course, you will have to buy some of the products to get a demonstration going, but you get a discount on the products, so whatever you buy will be a lower price.

Successful direct sales is not a hard thing to do if you know your way through the process. This article will tell you how to start your direct sales successfully so that you can create a great income from your sales. And successful direct sales is the goal if you get involved with such a company.

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Internet Marketing for Small Business – The Vital Truth

Jun 27 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

As a small business owner it’s our natural tendency to approach everything with a hint of skepticism. There are so many ‘next big things’ that it’s oftentimes difficult to distinguish between a passing trend and a legitimate evergreen marketing strategy for a small business.

Skepticism or no, I’m willing to bet that by now you’ve started seriously eyeing Internet marketing for small business as a viable addition to your advertising repertoire; you’re starting to realize that this is something worth jumping on.

Let’s face it – Your competitors are doing it, so you should do it too lest you unknowingly give up a foothold in your niche.

Wait Just a Minute – What is Internet Marketing, Exactly?

Before we go any further I think it’s worth taking some time to clarify exactly what we’re referring to when we say ‘Internet Marketing’. If you’ve done any research at all on the topic of small business online marketing, you’ve probably seen a wide array of terms thrown about. It can be very confusing to learn anything at all about Internet marketing with a seemingly endless amount of ideas out there… How are you supposed to know what’s what? Well, below I’d like to briefly go over a few of the most common terms and methods that you should concern yourself with:

#1. Small Business Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Small business search engine optimization refers to getting your business’ virtual property listed on the first page of search engine results (most commonly in Google) for a select group of keyword phrases. Whether it’s a Google Places page, a YouTube video, a Facebook page or even your own website, the goal is to position yourself so that local searchers see YOU before your competition.It sounds complicated, but that’s why we’re here. The results of a successful SEO campaign can be enormous.

#2. Small Business Email Marketing / List Building

Small business email marketing is without a doubt one of the most powerful forms of lead generation out there. Imagine having the power to reach your loyal customers any time day or night with your newest and greatest promotions? Imagine being able to send your customers coupons, newsletters and other interesting content so that you’re constantly in contact with them, remotely building your brand in their mind’s eye? I’m sure with a little imagination you can start to see the possibilities… Email marketing is one of the most viable long-term marketing strategies for small business owners to consider. Your customers aren’t going to stop using email anytime soon, and the ability to stay in frequent contact with a customer even if they’re not visiting your actual place of business is too good to pass up. If you take nothing else away from this article, at least learn more about small business email marketing.

#3. Social Media Marketing for Local Businesses

This is the newest and greatest trend in the world of Internet Marketing for small businesses. Facebook alone has over 800 Million users worldwide, and most users spend a minimum of 6 hours per month on this website. As Facebook grows it’s an increasing amount of time YOU could be using to further your business. Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites are going to be some of the greatest marketing mediums of 2012 because they give you the ability to keep up with interested customers on a daily basis through websites that they’re spending lots of time on anyways. Why not take advantage of this opportunity?

#4. Pay-Per-Click Advertising for Direct Marketing

The next time you’re searching for something in Google I want you to pay attention to the right side of the screen. You should notice a few small ads that are separate from the search results. These are actually paid advertisements from Google’s AdWords program, and they’re a crucial aspect of small business online marketing.

The pay per click advertising (PPC) works is a simple 3 step process:
• Write a small ad for your business
• Pick keywords or locales to target
• Pay per click for traffic directly to your business’ website

Pretty easy, right?

This is a great way to start off your Internet marketing campaign because with Pay Per Click you get exactly the results you pay for. Want to give 100 new customers the chance to fall in love with your business? Pay for 100 clicks to your website… Done. I’m sure you can see the value in this kind of cost-per-lead advertising. Through proper lead generation and analytics you can have yourself quite a profitable campaign that runs virtually on autopilot.

And hey, want to really explode your customer base? Why not use PPC advertising to drive targeted traffic to your email newsletter so you can stay in contact with your new potential customers?

Why Internet Marketing for Small Businesses is a Good Investment

What holds back most small business online marketing campaigns that the business owners fail at marketing automation.

We’ve all learned this lesson: When you try to do everything yourself you inevitably fall behind in the areas you’re best at, and don’t get far enough in the areas you’re good at. The result is that your business slows down, and you don’t see as much revenue as you should / could. If time is money, then you can’t afford to spend an increasing amount of time on something that someone else could be doing faster.

That’s why when approaching Internet marketing for small business I recommend enlisting the assistance of a trained professional.

Time and time again we’ve seen a much greater ROI when the business owner focuses on running an outstanding business, while the Internet marketers do what they do best – Capture the interest of potential customers. Whether you decide to pursue small business search engine optimization to bolster the rankings of your website or social media marketing to get the word out through Facebook / Twitter, you can rest assured that you’ll see better results from someone who’s done it before.

Internet marketing for small business doesn’t have to be time consuming, and it’s certainly doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, an Internet Marketing campaign can be relatively cheap when compared with other marketing strategies for small businesses! As a small business owner you’d be giving up a lot if you limited yourself to offline marketing only, so I urge you to consider the techniques and methods outlined in this article. I’m sure you can find an Internet Marketing company or service provider who would be more than willing to help you with these internet marketing services so you can start finding new potential customers on autopilot. What are you waiting for?

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Old Marketing VS New Marketing

Jun 27 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

I woke up this morning catching up on LinkedIn’s ‘Top Headlines in Design, Marketing, and Advertising’ and ran into a post from Mashable that caught my interest. If you haven’t read it yet, you can follow the direct link below this article.

It talks about the new age of marketing—how ‘inbound marketing’ is whopping the nation vs the old era of ‘outbound marketing’. Of course, Mashable made it much more exciting with their excellent, cute little easy-to-understand infographics (kudos to them), but it sure sparked a big debate on their comment feed.

To get you up-to-speed, Mashable’s definitions are:

NEW Marketing is “any marketing tactic that relies on earning people’s interest instead of buying it.” aka Search Engines, Referrals, Social Media.

OLD Marketing is “any marketing that pushes products or services on customers.” aka Print, TV, Radio Advertisements, Billboards, Cold Calls.

The following statistics were also listed:

44% of direct mail is never opened. That’s a waste of time, postage and paper.

86% of people skip through television commercials.

84% of 25 to 34 year olds have clicked out of a website because of an “irrelevant or intrusive ad.”

The cost per lead in outbound marketing is more than for inbound marketing.

200 million Americans have registered their phone numbers on the FTC “Do Not Call” list.

91% of email users have unsubscribed from a company email that they previously opted into.

So what’s the big hype and mumbo jumbo debate in Mashable’s post? Some marketers are seeing it as ‘harsh’ and that it’s bashing the print industry, as well as providing misleading infographic material to business owners that inbound marketing is the only way to go and outbound marketing is squash.

Well my friends…take the post with a grain of salt. I think there were excellent key factors within it, and that it CAN help new, start-up business owners but you still need outbound marketing. The thing is, businesses need to know information like Mashable’s posts too to weigh out their OWN options, not just relying on those who have a career in marketing. I don’t know how many times I’ve run into businesses that were clueless to social media marketing, wondering how a blog, Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn can benefit your business. Having those four things really can make a huge difference in building traffic toward your business, but I, personally, think it’s best to have a ‘happy medium’. Why? Well let’s start from when it started long ago…

In the beginning…

Before man had cars, people used to walk to businesses. Advertising was whatever you found at the front of the window of a store. Remember the song “How much is that doggy in the window?” You walked up to the counter and paid for your gumball that you found in a jar sitting beside the register. And then the age of cars happened where people’s attention spans became just a tad more ADD because bigger signs came to happen, billboards, neon lights, a giant juicy burger on a poster (hungry much?). Nowadays, it’s on TV, it’s in your email, it’s in your mailbox. So why is this bad? It isn’t, not in retrospect.

Branding

As Mashable puts it, this is ‘old marketing’ aka ‘outbound marketing’, shoving products in your face where you don’t have the option to ‘opt-out’ of them. Let’s face it, the media is everywhere and in everything! You can’t get away with it! Drinking a glass cup of water? Well guess what, I’m sure the name brand or logo of it is at the bottom of the cup.

So again — why use old, outdated, outbound marketing? You’ll gain “physical” exposure. You know what the McDonald’s arch looks like, right? Only because there are a bijilion out there, it’s on TV, it’s on the radio, on billboards, and numerous other places. While most of the world has their own computer (families that have kids with an iPad each), you still need to create a physical presence of your whereabouts in your city or town. People use their cars to get to and from work, and buy groceries and clothing at the store (have you checked the back of your receipt and ever found an ad?). No matter how much we all become zombies to the infamous world wide web, you still have to go outside of your home to catch up on the necessities. As a friend once told me, “Exposure, exposure, exposure!” Your brand is your identity. People are still visual, touchy-feely people. Put a face to your brand. I’m sure you’ve said numerous times, “Oh yeah…I’ve seen or heard that somewhere…” Or, you’ve printed out coupons or a discount from the LivingSocial email newsletter you subscribe to.

So what about Inbound Marketing?

SEO: Intro

SEO, or search engine optimization, is what connects your website to search engines. SEO takes time and it requires a lot of work, patience, and trials and errors, which is why it costs so much to hire a professional to do it for you. How does it work? Well think about how you use search engines like Google or Bing, how do you find information on the internet? You type in “keywords” like ‘Photographers in Charlotte, NC’ and you get a list of photographers or topics about photography. There are different methods of using keywords for your website, and can mostly be found in the written content of your site, in your non-flash images, or within the HTML code itself. Keywords are found by search engines who have spiders or bots to crawl through your website.

If you did the search on Google, that’s a lot of photographer’s eh? Well how do you be #1? Being #1 on a search engine is not so easy as you think, and there are no real guarantees (at least not organically or the ‘non-paid’ way). Search engines are always evolving and always changing their mathematical ‘algorithms’ in how their search engines work. Google, for one, has been evolving algorithms for quite awhile now because some website developers were using tactics to ‘cheat’ the system, which can land your website in a permanent banned situation.

SEO: Backlinks

Ever heard the term backlinking? Probably not. If you use any type of analytics program with your website, you should be pretty familiar with this. Backlinking, also known as incoming links or inbound links, are links to your website from other websites or pages. Basically, the more you give the link of your website away to various other places, the better ranked your website will be. Think of it like a popularity contest. Of course, there are proper techniques and etiquette for posting a link to your website, so before you run off and post a link to your site on every website you see, make sure you do your research first or ask permission first. And this is where Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs come in because you can use any of those four items to backlink to your website.

Social Media

Mashable stated in their post, ‘Inbound Marketing’ is much more ‘polite and friendly’ compared to Outbound Marketing. Well…you pretty much have to. Using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and a blog helps to boost not only traffic to your business, but your reputation. Remember, all four of these items listed are “face” of your company when you can’t be there physically. This is why I highly suggest my clients to try to be a little more personal with their audience.

Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn wouldn’t be called ‘Social Media’ if they weren’t “personal”. People love it when others can relate to themselves and stoop down to their level. Why do you think Reality TV shows are still being made? Mind you, when I say ‘personal’ I don’t mean ‘drama’. It’s best to talk about positive, uplifting topics…unless that’s what your business or brand is known for. Instead, post about the latest fashion trends (if you’re in the fashion industry) or talk about what’s going in your own city. You can even get people talking by getting a poll going. Creating a social media weekly calendar can also help as well, such as providing tips and calling it ‘Makeover Mondays’.

Blogs

I had a meeting last week with a woman who runs a well-known bridal blog, and she stated to me when she first started writing she only talked about bridal stuff. However, she received a suggestion to talk about other personal topics that people can relate to. Needless to say, that person gave her some sound advice! You can find her at The Thirty Something Bride.

So to all my current clients and future clients, please take the same advice. If anything, stick to about 70% on topic, and 40% about personal matters. Wouldn’t you get tired of eating the same ole omelet everyday?

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5 Marketing Secrets to Guarantee Trade Show Success

Jun 27 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Trade shows are an increasingly popular way for businesses of all sizes to reach out to their clients. A successful show can dramatically boost your profile and increase sales. Here we explore five of the best marketing secrets that can guarantee you trade show success:

1) Advanced Planning
While it may seem obvious, some businesses neglect to set in place a clear planning strategy. However, forward planning is vital to securing trade show success. This includes having the appropriate amount of fully trained staff in attendance on the day, a clear budget, and a creative display.

If your budget allows, a custom built exhibition stand is a great way to attract crowds at any trade show. Spend some time planning a design, and the style of exhibition stand that is best for you. These can take some time to construct so ensure you order with plenty of time to spare.

2) Engage with Existing Customers
Using your existing client base to help grow your business is a simple and easy tip. Ask for advice on what customers would like to see at the event and encourage them to spread the word. Customer testimonials are a great way to demonstrate the quality and success of your products.

Simply spreading the word about your attendance is a great way to ensure success. If your clients know you will be showcasing new products for the first time, they are more likely to visit the show to see the products for themselves.

3) Integrate Your Marketing
Don’t underestimate the power of direct mail and social media marketing. Contacting customers has never been easier with so many options open to marketers. Create a conversation about the event, encouraging visitors and attendees to share experiences.

If you are launching a new product or service, send out flyers directing clients to a YouTube video where they can see sneak previews. It is important to show your business’s diversity and integrated marketing is a simple but effective way to do this.

4) Check out the Competition
Do your research on the competition you’ll face at the trade show. Learn their strengths but more importantly their weaknesses. Focus on pushing your unique selling point (USP), and the benefits associated with you and your products.

Make sure you stand out on the day. Creative exhibition stands, giveaways and product demonstrations are a great way of encouraging visitors to your stand. You are investing time and money into your exhibition so make sure you get a return on your investment.

5) Follow Up
After your exhibition, review your success. Collect customer details on the day so you can ask them for feedback on your stand, products and the trade show in general. This will help when planning your next exhibition. If you know what you’re doing well – and not so well – you can improve your tradeshow success every time.

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How Offering Too Many Choices Can Hurt Direct Mail Response

Jun 27 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Research on jam can teach us how to improve our direct mail’s profitability. That’s right. Jam. The stuff we spread over our toast.

In a gourmet market, Professor Sheena Iyengar of Columbia University and her research assistants set up a booth offering samples of Wilkin & Sons jams.

Every few hours, the researchers switched from offering shoppers a selection of 24 jams to offering a group of only six jams.

Regardless of the number of jams offered, participating customers received a $1 discount coupon and tasted, on average, two jams.

The results may surprise you.

Of those customers who were offered the full selection of 24 jams, 60 percent stopped to taste the jams. Yet when researchers switched the display to offer only six jams, only 40 percent of prospects stopped for a sample.

But of those shoppers who sampled the smaller display, 30 percent bought the jam while only 3 percent of those offered a wider choice made a purchase.

The display with more choices drew the largest crowd but customers presented with fewer choices purchased more.

Researchers repeated the test using a wide variety of products-everything from speed dating to chocolate. And each time, regardless of the product tested, offering shoppers fewer options resulted in more sales.

Professor Iyengar concluded, “In reality, people might find more and more choices to actually be debilitating.” And while it may be too simple to conclude that offering a large number of choices is bad, we shouldn’t assume that providing more choice is always better.

What does this have to do with our direct mail?

Review the mailings you receive-especially the letter’s offer and the response device. You’ll see nonprofits offering a choice of five, six or seven asking amounts. And the combination of offers found in a cable company’s promotion for its bundle of Internet, television and telephone services can be overwhelming.

Forcing the reader to select from too many choices can freeze their decision-making and cost us the sale.

For nonprofits, three suggested contribution amounts plus an “Other” option is plenty.

Littering surveys with too many questions is no different. Surveys are a great way to involve the reader with our mailing but we need to keep it simple.

You’ve probably have received a telephone call asking for your participation in an “important survey.” You’re interested in the subject so you say, “Yes” and 20 minutes later, you’re wondering why you even answered the phone.

We can’t afford to make the same mistake when designing our direct mail.

When the objective of your direct mail package is to make a sale or generate a contribution, the survey’s purpose is to help generate response, not to gather information.

Limit yourself to five or seven questions and allow the reader to move quickly to the order form. If you need to collect information, reserve the survey for a special mailing that isn’t expected to make a sale.

If you feel you have to give your reader plenty of options to express the full value of your offer, re-think your list segmentation. Better segmentation of your mailing lists will allow you to offer fewer, better targeted choices.

Be careful not to overwhelm the reader with too many options. Whether you’re asking for a contribution, a lead or a sale, make it easy for the reader to make a choice and you’ll increase response.

There’s a lot we can learn from Professor Iyengar’s research on how to sell jam. Make it easy, quick and simple for the prospect to respond and you’ll enjoy the results better than jam on your breakfast toast.

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Midsized Company Marketing and Marketing Communications – Four Keys To Success in Today’s Market

Jun 27 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

“It’s a buyer’s market!” We seem to be hearing that everywhere these days, whether it’s for a consumer or business to business (B2B) product or service purchase, this economy has taught our customers a new way to purchase. And, with the plethora of new technology providing information sources to evaluate and compare a brand’s attributes and reputation before purchase, how we now market to our customers – both new and existing – represents a series of challenges.

As a B2B or consumer marketer in this new marketing environment, how marketing and marketing communications plans and tactics should be developed and employed is a dilemma for everyone. But it’s possible to overcome these challenges – here are four critical keys to success.

Know Your Target Audience
Knowing your target audience is a major priority. Like the management of many midsized companies, you probably think you know what your existing and potential customers want and believe about your brand. But do you really?

Before you spend your limited marketing dollars, isn’t it a better idea to use market research to determine – beyond price – what is most important to your target audience? And how they rate your product and its attributes compared to your competition?

Also, don’t forget to conduct research with your own employees and channel partners to find out how their opinions match up with your customer’s wants and needs. Employees and channel partners can be your best brand advocates, but they’ve got to be in sync with the priorities of your customers and prospects.

Investing marketing communications dollars to uncover and then promote what your customers actually want is key to improving your marketing ROI. The old adage, “Look Before You Leap”, has never been more true.

Value Both New and Traditional Media
Traditional media, such as print and broadcast advertising, events, direct mail and public relations, still remain very important marketing tools. But, becoming equally important, are blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, webinars, online videos, and a whole host of new media alternatives. All have value, and learning how to use them in concert is vital. But you must take the time to understand their relative effectiveness, not just their efficiency.

The question to address is which media mix of these marketing communications tactics to employ to keep existing customers, much less gain leads for new customers. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of these tactics with your target audience presents some interesting challenges, and you have to be able to separate the myths from the facts. For example, did you know that:

47 percent of Americans, between 50 and 64 years of age, are now actively using social media, up from 22 percent in April, 2009 (Pew Research);
Magazine readership has actually increased over the past five years, even in the 18 to 34 year old segment (MPS);
While U.S. advertising spending declined by 9 percent in 2009 to $117 billion, cable television advertising increased by 17 percent, and Spanish language television advertising increased by 32 percent (Media Reports);
Nearly two-thirds of consumers “value their direct mail”, but only 36 percent of marketers believe this – clearly a disconnect (USPS):
Retailers who post messages online have found that shorter posts (with fewer than 80 characters) receive 66 percent higher engagement that longer posts. And specific “dollars off” messages receive higher redemption than more general “percentage off”, “deal” or “bargain” phrases (Buddy Media).
Clearly, understanding the benefits of both traditional new media, especially for a midsized company with limited resources, is very important. Both are impactful, and finding the right mix for your business is another key to your success.

Participate in Content Marketing
Recently, there has been an explosion of content marketing to meet the demand for information by inquisitive buyers. Whether in the B2B or consumer marketing communities, existing and prospective customers have started looking to blogs, videos, articles, white papers and case studies to provide them with ongoing and fresh sources of information.

The depth of information now available to customers, and the speed at which it is available to them, when they want it, can raise brand awareness, improve reputation, develop qualified leads and achieve profitable sales engagement. It cannot be ignored. But there are issues. In a recent B2B Marketing Trends Survey Report from HiveFire, among nearly 400 marketing professionals:

Nearly 70 percent of content “curators” say lack of time hinders their efforts;
Two-thirds say a lack of original and quality content is a major disadvantage;
37 percent say lack of expertise to do the work is a major problem, while a like number have difficulty in measuring ROI.
But, recognizing the importance of content marketing and addressing these problems could be another key to your success.

Don’t Go It Alone
Truly understanding your audience, learning about new as well as traditional media opportunities, and developing an impactful content marketing program represent major keys to improving your marketing and marketing communications ROI. But there’s more.

Probably a lot of smart thinking has already gone into creating your business strategy, plans and tactics. But, like most midsized companies, you may be understaffed and underfunded to make the changes to take advantage of these marketing tools in today’s environment. The solution – don’t go it alone.

Consider partnering with established senior level consultants to help you and your team develop, refine and implement your programs. Above all, look for consulting groups who are “media neutral”, and aren’t selling one particular marketing discipline. And be sure they have extensive experience across industries and brands, as well as a willingness to “tell it like it is”, so candor will flourish. And, happily, finding the right consulting partner to work with you could turn out to be the fourth key to your marketing success.

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