December 2008 Blog Posts (44)

Thank You...and Happy New Year!!!

Though I started the original Power Forum in 2005 to help members strengthen themselves in terms of professional networking, I could not end this year without offering my deepest thanks to those members who strengthened *ME* in 2008...

I'm still not quite prepared to thank all the members individually by name but, I count myself as being super-blessed to have encountered so many super people over the past 4 years - but, especially those super people who raised their hands to help… Continue

Added by Vincent Wright on December 31, 2008 at 8:01pm — No Comments

Viral Video?

Is viral video marketing a standard practice today?

69.2% No

30.8% Yes

When will viral video become a standard marketing practice?

23.1% Never

38.5% 1 year or less

33.3% 2-3 years

5.1% 4 or more years

Larson note: I don’t know if I will ever go this direction. I think it is a company by company decision. The SE are making in-roads to being able to search sites for video, but to create one of good quality is still cost prohibitive to the… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on December 31, 2008 at 1:06pm — No Comments

Obama’s Plan May be Boost to E-tailing

Obama has said he wants to expand the accessibility of broadband to US communities that now lack it in his push to have hospitals connected with each other thought the web. In order to share medical records easier and faster.

This proposal could open a whole new market area to online marketers.

This initiative will probe into areas where phone and cable companies are involved in, and they, as an industry are still financially solvent, so any government intervention, as we… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on December 31, 2008 at 1:04pm — No Comments

Infrastructure Upgrade

This is the government’s job! President elect Obama has said he wants to revive the economy though a job creating public works plan on a scale unseen of since the building of the interstate highway system. I whole heartily endorse this!

He offered no price estimate for the plan or how the money might be divided or the effect on the country’s financial heath at a time when we are bailing out industries left and right, investment banks and autos at the writing of this… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on December 30, 2008 at 9:40am — No Comments

Reinvent Your Company

The New Years is upon us. Did your company meet its goals this last year (2008)? Is your company going strong or is it under distress?

Looking at projections for 2009 and most of the ones that people have shared with me are either not so good or pie in the sky. Job shops are not getting the final ok on projects to proceed. Schedules are being pushed back for a couple of months.

You first task is to evaluate your business to get out of the self-fullfiling prophecies. All… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on December 29, 2008 at 2:30pm — No Comments

The Week Ahead for December 29, 2008 thru January 2, 2009


Tuesday: December consumer confidence

Wednesday: Chicago purchasing managers index



Larson note: I would not be expecting much in the way of good news until February or March at the earliest. Remember we are looking in hind iste not forward looking thinking when looking at these satistics. You should always be thinking how each of the reports that come out inpact your business so you can take advantage of… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on December 29, 2008 at 11:15am — No Comments

Business Relationships Built thru Mail

New Business Relationships

Have you ever used a new business for the first time because of information you received in the mail?

37% Yes

63% No

Renewed Business Relationships

Have you ever renewed a relationship with a business after a period of time bercuase you received a mailing or promotion offer?

68% Yes

32% No

A Careful Look at the Mail

Are you looking though your mail more… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on December 24, 2008 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Women Rule Mail

As much as people like to get mail offers and coupons woman, on in a greater percentage than men take advantage of them.

It is woman who usually collect and sort the household mail. It is woman much more than men who are more likely to try a new business or renew and old customer relationship (67% to 59%) over their mail counterparts. It is women who show a greater level of price sensitivity compared to men. They are also more likely to be on the lookout for promotional offers and… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on December 24, 2008 at 9:56am — No Comments

Coupon Price, Use and Size

Coupon Price

How important is price when making a purchasing decision on various items?

65% - VI 25% - SI / Travel

62% - VI 30% - SI / Electronics

57% - VI 32% - SI / Groceries

56% - VI 32% - SI / Home furniture

53% - VI 31% - SI / Auto Parts

46% - VI 36% - SI / Entertainment

46% - VI 29% - SI / Paper and Office Supplies

41% - VI 39% - SI Health & Wellness

* VI very important / SI somewhat… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on December 23, 2008 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Responding with Direct Mail vs. E-mail

E-mail vs. Direct Mail. That is the question.

It is very easy to make a nice looking electronic email ad and zap it out to an email list of thousands and thousands of people with the click of a mouse. Simple, appealing and Lazy!

If you look at the back end and see the open rates and the click though rates you will find a channel that is declining.

There is only one way for a buyer to respond to an e-ad, click it. If you have shopping carts on your web sites look… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on December 23, 2008 at 9:09am — No Comments

Young Consumers Respond to Mail

People, all people read mail. My (under 25) kids come home and ask is there any mail for me. People love to receive mail.

If you look at the habits of your own families you will know I am right. The under 30 group of consumers are moving away from email and phone and into im and texting. I have had to put on unlimited texting options on all our phones. This is a mode of communication not advertising. Instant and now.

They are a very wary segment of people who know and… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on December 22, 2008 at 1:30pm — No Comments

The Week Ahead for December 22-26, 2008


Tuesday: Third quarter domestic product, November existing home sales, November new home sales

Wednesday: Weekly initial jobless claims, November durable good orders, November personal income and spending



Larson note: Still looking too far back to really see any good things there. The gov should have put in place an individual stimulus package last August-September which would have started flowing out in November to… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on December 22, 2008 at 12:44pm — No Comments

Number of Offers or Coupons

How many promotional offers or coupons do people receive in a week by MAIL?

1% 0

48% 1-5

28% 6-10

11% 11-15

12% 16+

Larson note: Stores are getting more saficitated I the usage of coupons and promotional pieces. As they learn the fine art of CRM they can track who you are and what you but and put the right promotions into your mail box. They can and they are. Are you?.

Howard Larson

Larson & Associates

Target Marketing… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on December 19, 2008 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Are you hoping or planning?

As we more rapidly towards 2009 we see a disintegration of the world as we know it. Financial, political, health, energy.

Adjusting to changes is not easy and we more times than not are left wondering what to do. As a long distance running every day, or 6 days a week I train to get ready for those deciding moments when I need to be my best. Things might be going fine when in the middle of a race my race plan starts to fall apart I learned to improvise to change tactics do a surge,… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on December 19, 2008 at 10:21am — No Comments

The Importance of Price

Is price more or less important to the buying decision?

69% More important

29% Same

2% Less Important

Larson note: This should come as no surprise, when doing a coupon or incentive driven piece. People are either going to go because of price or location or offer but price is the biggest pull. Do a little research and see if you can find out what your competition has in mind, then beat them at their own game. You only have to win by a little to win it… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on December 18, 2008 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Direct Mails Unique Advantages

Many people, my self included, have been pushing other channels for promotion. We here at Larson’s have been pushing our marketing message though bloging harder than a year ago. But then has not diminished our Direct Mail Marketing attack.

When people receive a piece of mail, they can do 3 different things with it. Act on it immediately, save if for future use or share it with other people in the business or household. Possible with e-marketing? Yes, but not as prevalent. I have… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on December 18, 2008 at 9:24am — No Comments

The Current State of the Mail

In a time like we are now in, people are looking harder and more closely at the promotional mail, or do you call it junk mail, that is coming into their mail boxes. If done correctly you can get some of the best hit rates possible, possibly more so than even a year ago. Direct mail and lists can be very targeted to the people you want to get in front of. When we consider that 85% of direct mail actually gets read or viewed and that over half of all consumers have requested promotional materials… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on December 17, 2008 at 9:57am — No Comments

Mail enjoyment

Do you enjoy reviewing your USPD mail more than your email?

50% Yes

50% No

How often do you go though your USPD mail

85% Daily

13% Often

2% Sometimes

Larson note: Can’t say enough about a marketing tool that has a 85% hit rate. With that kind of penetration if your target is right your message is right and your pull is right you got them.

Howard Larson

Larson & Associates

Target Marketing &… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on December 17, 2008 at 9:30am — No Comments

Looking at the Mail

Are you looking over your mail closer then 6 months ago? Hoping, looking, actually wanting to find promotional offers and coupons in your mail box.

64% Yes

36% No

Larson note: Everyone is looking to expand there shopping dollars and promotions, discounts and coupons are what they are looking for. With gas prices down we all have a little breather but everyone is still on edge

Howard Larson

Larson & Associates

Target Marketing &… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on December 16, 2008 at 2:30pm — No Comments

The Aggravating ARROGANCE Of AOL's AIM!

I've never been the biggest fan of AOL's AIM instant messenger. And I haven't used AIM in probably 3-4 years. However, because I have lots of friends who like it, I occasionally revisit using it from time to time. Within the past week, I re-installed it just to make it easier for some of my key friends to IM with me. But, guess what? I just can't take the OBNOXIOUS ARROGANCE of AIM!

For example:

1. AIM automatically changed my browser and added AIM Search, AIM Mail, New IM, IM… Continue

Added by Vincent Wright on December 16, 2008 at 12:34pm — No Comments

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