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Successfully Marketing a Business Without the Internet


It might be really hard to imagine, but there are actually some business owners who are marketing their products successfully without using any online technology. I have to admit that I was somewhat leery myself when I first heard this, until I had a chance to speak with several of these business owners. Some of the owners I had a chance to speak with included owners of catering companies, candy shops, bakeries, beauty salons, and bookstores. One catering company owner is using weekly tasting events to promote his new food items. This includes weekly events that provide customers an opportunity to taste items directly from the catering menu, and also see how various recipes are made. After hosting these events consecutively for eight months, the owner has seen a eighteen percent increase in new business. You are probably asking how the owner is promoting these events without using a blog or social media. Instead of using any of these online tools, this owner promotes his events by using signs and posting announcements in local area magazines and newspapers. The owner admits that this may not work for everyone, but these marketing strategies have been very effective for his business.

Another person who has successfully marketed their business without using the internet, is the owner of a beauty salon located in Cleveland, Ohio. This owner has used on-site hair demonstrations and hair fashion shows to promote her business. Although the owner does admit that she uses social media to promote her services, she says that her on-site marketing events have been much more effective. The on-site hair demonstrations for example have really helped to attract a lot of new customers. In an effort to attract a more diverse set of clientele, the owner has started hosting hair events that are tailored for women who like to wear both long and short hairstyles, and also those who like to wear wigs and weaves. These events are designed to educate women which hairstyle looks best on them ,and also educate them on how to properly care for their hair between appointments.

To broaden her client base even more, the owner also recently started hosting on site hair fashion shows. These shows involve women modeling various hairstyles which are suitable for a variety of different purposes and events. For example, there are hairstyles modeled which are ideal for weddings and also some conservative hairstyles that are appropriate for job interviews. Some of these hairstyles range from a slicked back ponytail with bangs, to a short pixie style haircut. These events have not only been successful in attracting new customers, but they have also helped to generate local media attention as well. The owner is loving the media attention she is receiving because it provides free publicity for her business. This owner does believe that the internet can be useful in terms of promoting a business, but she also believes that the most effective form of marketing is meeting potential customers face to face. That's just not something you can easily do on Pinterest, Twitter or Facebook.

As you can see from above, you don't always have to rely on the internet to successfully promote your service or product.



The Players are Changing in the Advertising Revenue Game


I attended a marketing workshop last week that included a video presentation about how advertising is drastically changing. Most people in the marketing industry already know that print ad revenue has significantly declined, but some don't realize that this decline has affected even large publications. There was a time when publications like Business Week, Life magazine and the New York Times ruled the advertising revenue industry. But unfortunately today that is not the case. The fact is there really is not any publication today that is generating high percentages of print advertising revenue. The reason for this is because many advertisers have started transferring their advertisements to online publications. This has included industry websites, search engines and blogs. The creation of advanced technology has literally transformed the way many companies advertise today. Some of the things I learned in this workshop is that many companies are having a hard time adapting to this new advertising format. In most cases their in-house advertising staff consist of individuals who have years of experience creating print ads and negotiating print advertising rates. Now these same individuals are having to learn how to create ads in a digital format, and they are also having to learn how to negotiate ad prices with bloggers instead of magazine publishers. This may be surprising to some people, but many of today's major companies are advertising on small online magazine websites and independent blogs. The reason? Many of these online sites are generating between ten thousand to two hundred thousand visitors per month. From an advertiser's perspective, this gives them a chance to promote their products and services to thousands of potential new customers. This is also a winning situation for online magazines and blog writers, because this provides them an opportunity to generate a new source of income. Depending on the site and the level of online traffic, this additional income can range from five thousand to over fifty thousand dollars per year. In my opinion that's not bad money at all.

Another topic that was covered in this workshop was how to create a memorable eye catching ad. Unlike some print advertisements, online ads have a lot more competition because they are on the internet. For an online ad to generate interest, it must be content specific and very visual. In addition to these two features, an online ad must also be very strategically placed. This means that the advertiser has to be very strategic where they place their ads. For this reason, many online bloggers and writers are creating “content specific” sites. However, in order for these sites to attract advertisers, they must be consistently updated and promoted. This is why attracting advertising revenue these days is almost a full time job.

Along with the responsibility of creating quality content, online magazine editors and bloggers also have to make sure that their online traffic numbers steadily increase and stay consistent. This is very important, because having consistent online traffic will make it much easier for them to keep generating ad revenue year after year.



Another Discussion About CEO Compensation


Whenever I see an article about how much CEO's are paid, I often wonder if most are really worth this type of money. As an example, I just saw a recent article about CEO Reed Hastings getting a significant pay increase in 2013. According to the article, this increase will raise his salary to about four million dollars. Since Hastings is one of the founders of the company, part of me agrees that he should get a raise. However, I do have a problem with the raise being two million dollars. I also have a problem with a CEO getting a pay increase when their company's are having major problems. If you are a Netflix customer then you know what I am talking about. Over the past year alone Netflix has had some major issues with their online video streaming service. This has included customers not being able to see the entire movie they paid for, and also the Netflix streaming major outage that occurred on Christmas Eve. The customer complaints about online streaming issues has been going on for sometime. In regards to the Christmas Eve power outage, Netflix blamed Amazon for the problem. I have no idea which company is truly responsible, but I do know that it severely affected Netflix customers. Since online video streaming is a major revenue source for the company, I think CEO pay raises should be put on hold until issues like these are resolved.

I also have a major problem with CEO's getting huge payout packages when they have royally messed up a company. I think about the CEO that recently left Best Buy, who resigned for having an inappropriate relationship. Although this was not acceptable behavior, this was not the worst thing he did to the company. What he did that literally destroyed the Best Buy company was his ineptness to develop a new marketing and business strategy to help improve sales. This guy also did nothing in terms of positioning Best Buy to effectively compete with their competitors. At the end of the day however, this man was able to leave the company with a multi million dollar payout package. At most jobs I have worked at if you make this type of mess, you are given a pink slip and the potential to collect unemployment. This type of scenario has also occurred at many other companies over the past several years. Paying a person who has messed up a company a lot of money, not only hurts the company, but it also sends the wrong message. This includes sending the message to up and coming young adults that it is more financially lucrative to do a bad job then a good one.

I also think that the board of directors of these companies should be held accountable when they know that questionable things are going in the CEO office and they do nothing about it.

In my opinion a CEO should only be paid based on his overall business performance. If this were to truly happen, some CEO's would probably be making minimum wage.




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