December 2008 Blog Posts (54)

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

Natural Summer Spectacle - Sea Turtles at Rocktail Bay

The far northern Kwazulu Natal coast of South Africa hosts an annual natural spectacle that has remained unchanged for thousands of years. Every summer, hundreds of Leatherback and Loggerhead turtles complete their breeding cycle and emerge from the Indian Ocean to lay their eggs on this stretch of coastline – incredibly most returning to the exact beach on which they themselves hatched!

Witnessing a 250kg to 750kg Leatherback Turtle, averaging 1 ½ to 2 metres in length, heave… Continue

Added by Claire Dinnie on December 31, 2008 at 12:46am — No Comments

African Safari Adventure at Pafuri Camp

Have you ever packed your bags in anticipation of a vacation of unrivaled proportions? Have you ever felt your inner voice saying, ‘This is going to be very SPECIAL’, Well, for Claire & me, our visit to Wilderness Safaris Pafuri Camp found these thoughts firmly entrenched in our mind as our charter flight from Johannesburg’s Lansaria airport approached their landing strip a mere few kilometers from our troubled shamwaris (‘friends’) in Zimbabwe to our north and within sight of Mozambique to… Continue

Added by Claire Dinnie on December 31, 2008 at 12:30am — No Comments

Magical Panorama Route and Oliver's Restaurant and Lodge

Imagine… dramatic mountain scenery with isolated buttresses, sheer cliff faces and unusual geological features; imagine spectacular gorges, fairytale waterfalls and thick lush forests. I introduce to you ‘The Panorama Route’ in the Magical Mpumalanga Province of South Africa. Mpumalanga meaning ‘The place where the sun rises’.

The Panorama Route offers the traveller a number of spectacularly scenic viewpoints to experience this wonderland and includes views of the Blyde River Canyon… Continue

Added by Claire Dinnie on December 31, 2008 at 12:30am — 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

Do you connect with the same people in multiple online social networks?

As I was making quite a few new connections this morning on Twitter--with people in my hometown that I don't already know--and then reading an article re: automated direct messages (ADMs) via a link that Vincent posted--I realized that I have, for the most part, kept my professional and personal networks separate.

At this point, I spend most of my time in 4 networks online: LinkedIn, MVPF/MLPF, Facebook, and Twitter. For me, LinkedIn & MVPF are mostly… Continue

Added by Robin Burgoon on December 27, 2008 at 4:04pm — No Comments

Amazing Technology

This technology is so powerful that it boggles the mind, first we all know about Google Ad words and all of know that the web searches have replaced over 60 percent of the yellow pages. Additionally we know that advertising your product on line is growing much faster than the brick and mortar stores. With that said let me give you an example; lets say you were a business that was very localized and only drew from two or three zip codes i.e. a barber shop, if your barber shop used this… Continue

Added by Robert Chapman on December 25, 2008 at 11:51am — 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

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