Howard Larson's Blog – February 2009 Archive (36)

Why Buying Local Matters

Where did you go last time you bought a CD? Online or down the street to the local store? How about that digital camera or I-pod?



Where you buy things does matter. It does not have to be a choice on what is cheaper, faster, better, or more convenient. Right now there should be one more element that is important. If you don’t buy from a local or at least US company (if you are not an American company just plug in your own countries name) why should those same people buy from your… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on February 27, 2009 at 10:30am — No Comments

SEO is Both Important and Misunderstood

In a survey companies said overwhelming said that search engine submission optimization (SEO) is an active part of their online marketing efforts and that they believed it accounted for a significant portion of their web traffic, but many of those same companies identified SEO tactics, like purchasing links, as an effective way to boost their pages' performance.



The survey was conducted over the entire month of January 2009, and had 117 qualified ecommerce merchants respond.… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on February 26, 2009 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Still More Bottom Line Priority Thinking

Here are still more low-cost CRM ideas and strategies for when your money is tighter than tight.



1) Conduct interviews with your best customers to find out what they want form you or how you might improve.

2) Fire your worst customers. The ones that are the black holes of your bottom line no matter how you try to do the right thing.

3) Engage in innovation discussions with your employees at the lowers possible level.

4) Set Plans and goals for the future and share them… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on February 26, 2009 at 10:30am — No Comments

Low Cost Ways to Market Your Business

It’s not nice out there. You, me, everyone is getting hit from all sides. You want to push your business ahead but funds are running on empty for marketing. So what can a business owner or marketing manager do?



First change the way you are thinking from spending on marketing tools to investing on smart strategic execution.



You need to use this slow down to think about how to make smart investments rather than more. Take a hard look at the assets you currently have in your… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on February 25, 2009 at 2:30pm — No Comments

How To Be An Industry Expert

If you want to be the (Wo)man in your industry. The person people think of when they need answers. That special go-to person you need to define what your specialty is. Mark your territory. Claim your rightful place.



Think about who you are, your knowledge base, your experience, your background and how you can relate them to the world as we know it today. Then find a way for potential clients and editors to make the connection between you, your topics, your answers and the issues… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on February 25, 2009 at 10:30am — No Comments

Consumer Food Spending

Consumers are cutting their food spending by 3.7% in the fourth quarter from the previous 3 months.



-15.9% Beer at home

- 2.7% Wine at home

- 0.9% Liquor at home

- 1.2% Fast food

- 3.8% Eating out

- 5.1% Candy



Larson note: The most disturbing thing (keep in mind this is form a month and a half ago) is that this was during the holiday season. If it was at different time I would not wonder so much.



Howard Larson

Larson &… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on February 24, 2009 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Targeting Profitable Customers Online

When putting together an online campaign, marketers should push down past general demographics to include pockets of the population that have been identified as profitable new customers such as, students, business travelers, health club members, trade show attendees.



Pushing past that level to further pinpoint behaviors and interests such as travel or technology brings in a complex mix do demographics, geography, contextual and behavioral factors that should go into making your plan… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on February 24, 2009 at 10:30am — No Comments

Most Effective Use of Telemarketing in B2B

In an economy like the one we are going through it is normal to see companies that use telemarketing in alignment with sales efforts will probably be increasing their telemarketing dollars and those that use the phone as a broad based awareness for surveys and general awareness campaigns will most likely decrease their dollars in this direction.



Focus the majority of your telemarketing efforts on measurable activity that drives leads to your sales team. As you are rolling out the… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on February 23, 2009 at 2:30pm — No Comments

The Week Ahead for February 23-27, 2009

Monday:

Tuesday: February consumer’s confidence

Wednesday: January existing home sales

Thursday: Weekly initial jobless claims, January durable-goods orders, January new-home sales

Friday: 4th quarter revised GDP, February Chicago purchasing managers index



Larson note: It starts in these reports. Not across the board good things but I’ll go out on a limb and say to look to home sales to pick up a little bit.



At the… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on February 23, 2009 at 9:37am — No Comments

10 Practices To Make A Marketing Impact!

1. Revisit inventory management.

Yield-management and scheduling tools can help get more value from your inventory and bolster thinning margins. You need have it on the shelf you can’t sell it, yet too much inventory is death.



2. Use facts for your business.

Making decisions is often a rushed practice based on perception rather than facts. Necessary information can take too long to collect into digestible, actionable analytics. Take in all the facts you can then go for… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on February 20, 2009 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Oversized Postcards

In a recent poll a week or so ago the direct marketing association’s members 50% felt oversized postcards were not worth the cost. I disagree.

Personally I love oversized, oversized anything to me the biggest waste of money is not getting noticed. Larson note: Postcards, over sized postcards, over sized envelopes, letters that are bulky. Anything to get looked at, noticed, opened. The key is your ROI not your overall cost in any marketing… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on February 20, 2009 at 10:30am — No Comments

Top 4 Tech Tips

You have the right approach to technology, regardless of the economic circumstances. You need to take the time to know what you need before you waiste your time and money,



1. Generate different business models: Stay relevant not just through innovation but with organization structures, competencies, processes and partnerships.



2. Harness the creativity of all your employees: Look internally to drive grassroots innovation, creatively address leadership and social media… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on February 19, 2009 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Larson’s Stimulus Bill Report Card

Larson’s Stimulus Bill Report Card

ON a scale of 1-5 with 5 being high (good) Total Score 203 Grade 4.06



Spending $506 Billion (total points 154) Grade 3.5 C+

Health Care $141.3B - Grade 2.6

Assist States with Medicare $86.6B - Grade 3

Subsidize heath care of unemployed under cobra $24.7B - Grade 4

Modernize health information technology $19.0 - Grade 3

Construction of National Institutes of Health facilities and research $10.0B - Grade… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on February 19, 2009 at 7:30am — No Comments

Social Media Advantage for B2B

How can a B2B company take advantage of the various Social Media Networks running around out there?



I would start but staring with the creation of a company blog. If you don’t, can’t or don’t have time to write there are companies (like ours) that offer blog writing services. This will or can get you into an interactive situation with your customers as they make comments on your blog. A side benefit is that a blog can make and get your company web site a higher ranking as… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on February 18, 2009 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Improving Your Direct Marketing Program

All direct marketing programs from the biggest to the smallest have three parts. A pre, a mid and a post. To get better results you should always be doing and getting feedback and keeping records of the results of what you find out to improve your program (or your next effort) as you move along. For example using contests, coupons or incentive offers might work wonders and be getting replies but unless you record the information do you know?



If one kind of offer is working, why is… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on February 18, 2009 at 10:30am — No Comments

The 80/20 Rule of Being In The Now

We are still basically at the start of the year so in an a way I am looking back at 2008, In a down economy one area I am looking at is being in the now, the moment, and when I stop being in the moment how I waste my time.



Waist might be too strong a word, but I must say I have knocked myself on the side of the head some days when I see what I have accomplished over what I could have gotten done. Looking at wasted time and missed opportunities. Sound familiar?



Tinkering… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on February 17, 2009 at 2:30pm — No Comments

7 Rules to Work Less and Get More Accomplished

In order to get more done, you need to invest more time, right? Working ten hour days will make you more accomplished than a colleague that only works seven, right? Studying three hours a day will get you better grades than the guy who skims through a few chapters before the test, right? More work = more results.



Not necessarily. If you learn to work smarter you won’t have to work as hard and in some cases working more can actually diminish the amount you get accomplished. I know… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on February 17, 2009 at 10:30am — No Comments

More Bottom Line Priority Thinking

Here are some more low-cost CRM ideas and strategies for when your money is tighter than tight.



1) Sit down with your people and explain the rationale behind company decisions.



2) Streamline your companies technology to make sure it is all interconnected so there is no redundancy of keyboarding and that there is a free flow of information between departments .



3)Develop a process and a culture to use equipment to its fullest potential.l



4) The Pareto… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on February 16, 2009 at 10:30am — No Comments

New Web Site Going Up

Ok its happening. Yes finally. After a few set-backs and an out of business web site designer last year, the new Larson & Associates set is officially under development and construction at:



http://www.larsonassociates.ws/



This site will as all sites are a work in process.



Phase 1: Will entail me putting down the general concept in basic pages; get the flow going, working on some of the basic text, number of pages, page names and all that good web type stuff.… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on February 13, 2009 at 10:15am — No Comments

Going on Twitter?

Some users of Twitter have turned the issue of followers into a bit of popularity contest. PR and marketing pros follow thousands of people to keep an ear to the market, a titled one but still there is some street talk going on and in some cases to help tout their brands over the service. But following a lot of people can create an unnecessary distraction that will make the service useless for other than tracking comments. When choosing to follow someone I would hope they have some kind of… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on February 12, 2009 at 2:30pm — 1 Comment

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