Howard Larson's Blog – October 2008 Archive (41)

You can Compete In the Global Economy!

What does it take for a small, family-owned business with older, yet functioning equipment to compete in today's market?



In an article in Industry Week magazine this question was tackled in its article Small and Mid-sized Manufacturers: Flexible and Focused.



Quality Float Works Inc., a 93-year-old family business in Schaumberg, Ill. The company builds ball-like metal floats used to control liquid flow in applications ranging from water desalinization to gas… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on October 31, 2008 at 3:29pm — No Comments

Is Twitter Doomed?

Twitter Says It Will Finally Figure Out a Revenue Model ... Next Year. . Really!



As the future of Twitter gets more and more difficult, I keep thinking that it'd be really sad if Twitter went away, because, golly gee, there'd be no way to Twitter its funeral.



A lot of media and marketing people have been singing the twitter ending for a while now.



Yet could it be? Does Twitter's abrupt replacement of its CEO suggest the end is in site?



The New York… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on October 31, 2008 at 9:08am — 3 Comments

Increase Sales with Inserts; Thought 4

If you have now decided to try an insert for your business remember above all it needs to grab a readers attention



Words: Free, Save or Special Offer comes to mind

Color: Red, and Orange become a vision in my minds eye.

Size: Be bigger or small than your competition as long as you are different.

Feel: Special paper stocks for look and texture

Understandability: Make the rules to use the coupon understandable to people like… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on October 30, 2008 at 3:46pm — No Comments

Where's Mom? IM or Twitt Her And Find Out

Traditional nuclear families, you know, those with two married parents and one or more children—are more likely to use technology to stay in touch during the day than other types of families, according to a Pew Internet Research report. Married couples with minor children have higher rates of Internet and cell phone usage, computer ownership and broadband adoption than other household configurations, found the survey of 2,252 households. (The "married couples" designation included approximately… Continue

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

Increase Sales with Inserts; Thought 3

Most direct marketers I know of still use the AIDA formula (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action). Inserts are much more dependant on easy to view, quick hitting copy draw in and hard hitting copy.



An insert has less room that a brochure or tri-fold so you need to stay totally on focus, not letting yourself get diarrhea of the mouth.



If you want to connect quick and fast you need to include one of more of these tips.



1. Have empathy for the recipient targeted… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on October 29, 2008 at 4:46pm — No Comments

Sri Lanka Mall Ties-In With Harry Potter

A leading shopping mall in Sri Lanka teamed up with international hit franchise Harry Potter and used a little bit of magic to help promote itself



Using some fun ground-breaking technology, the mall planted a coffee cup on a table in one of its coffee shops and placed a mock copy of the soon-to-be released "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" next to it.



Eagle-eyed shoppers soon noticed that the spoon in the cup was stirring the coffee on its own, as if by magic. The… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on October 29, 2008 at 9:24am — No Comments

Increase Sales with Inserts; Thought 2

I have been reading about where Christmas sales are going to go this year. One source (TNSRetail Forward) is thinking 1.5%. Another source (US Department of Commerce) is predicting 2.2%



As a marketer I could sit back and just say it’s the economy. Yet there is that part of me the aggressive part that refuses to give into the talk on the street. So I would say to you, there is not a better time to attract customers to your store or business than now. And one of the major ways to do… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on October 28, 2008 at 3:43pm — No Comments

Backshoring: Moving Jobs Back to America

Some big corporate names—Dell, Apple and American Express, to name a few—have made news by bringing some of their offshore operations back to the United States. Is this a trend that will continue?



In Booz Allen Hamilton’s online magazine, strategy+business Online, partner Vinay Couto, principal Ashok Divakaran and senior associate Mahadeva Mani write that companies can expect a natural rebalancing as they determine what work can best be performed where as the concept of offshoring… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on October 28, 2008 at 9:32am — No Comments

World Wide Social Networking

Year over year growth in unique users of social networks but worldwide region, Comparison of the month of June 07 and 08



Worldwide . . . . 464,437 / 580,510 / 25% growth

Asia Pacific . . . . 162,738 / 200,555 / 23% growth

Europe . . . . . . . 122,527 / 165,256 / 35% growth

North America . . 120,848 / 131,255 / 9% growth

Latin America . . 40,098 / 53,248 / 33% growth

Middle East/Africa 18,226 / 30,197 / 66% growth



*ComScore Inc



Larson… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on October 27, 2008 at 2:41pm — No Comments

Increase Sales with Inserts; Thought 1

Times are tough. So what? What are YOU going to do about it?



How are you going to get someone to spend money on your product or service? Simply make them and offer they can’t refuse. When you’re selling real estate they say location location location. When selling a product or service it is offer, offer, offer. With an insert you do both. Location, newspaper or trade magazine inserts and offers!



There are a number of offers that can be highly effective depending on what… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on October 27, 2008 at 10:48am — No Comments

The Week Ahead for October 27 – October 31

Monday: September New Home Sales

Tuesday: October Consumer Confidence, August Case-Shiller home price index

Wednesday: Federal Reserve Meeting, September durable-goods orders

Thursday: Weekly Initial Jobless Claims

Friday: September Personal Income and spending



Larson note: What can I say? As we start to peak out of the bale out things will start to get better, not that they were really all that bad in the first place. I… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on October 26, 2008 at 11:06am — No Comments

BBDO Closes In on Starbucks Business?

Starbucks is prepping to shift ad duties to Omnicom Group's BBDO just weeks after its former agency, independent Wieden & Kennedy, split with the coffee chain.



Starbucks which works with a number of advertising agencies around the world, As other coffee suppliers are hitting hard at Starbucks, McDonalds and Dunkin’ Donuts to name a couple, they are asking a number of their agencies to provide ideas on how to move the brand forward but have.



BBDO currently has ties to… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on October 24, 2008 at 5:22pm — No Comments

New Dunkin' Spots Say Chain Beats Starbucks on Taste

Dunkin' Donuts is going after Starbucks with a new campaign claiming it beats Starbucks on taste. Backing the claim with a company-commissioned "independent taste test," Dunkin has begun a round of broadcast spots from agency Hill Holliday, Boston.



Dunkin had a double-blind survey conducted by A&G Research this summer in 10 major cities, including Seattle. Of the 476 adults surveyed, 54% preferred Dunkin', 39% preferred Starbucks and 6% had no preference.



"The results… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on October 24, 2008 at 10:49am — No Comments

It's NOT the economy

I know you, like me, are probably totally fed up with hearing about the stock market. But when you're done reading this, maybe you won't want to shoot the messenger.



Okay, the stock market, the number most often reported by the media is the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Yes, yes, nightmare isn’t it? In the pits. It reflects the value, or perceived value, of a collection of 30 stocks thought to represent U.S. industry. That's it. Nothing more, nothing less. Only 30 stocks! It's not a… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on October 23, 2008 at 5:55pm — No Comments

Role of Customer Experience for Business Strategies

Critical 5. . . 64%

Critical 4. . . 27%

Critical 3. . . 7%

Critical 2 . . . 2%

Critical 1 . . . 0%



*Forrester Research 2007 sample 280



Larson note: If the object of your business is not to give exemplary service to your customers. If it is not to put the customer 1st in every way you can. If it is not to be a perfect supplier to your customer, why are you in business?



It is really sad that making the customer experience is only… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on October 23, 2008 at 10:45am — No Comments

Put Your Personality in Your Direct Mail

If you asked me what is the most important part of a direct mailing program I would be hard pressed to give you a good answer.



The offer

The Headline

The PS

The Envelope

The Price Point

The Design



All important and crucial aspects of a well designed put together mailing piece.



But if you pressed me, I mean really really backed me into a corner and pushed me to identify one element that causes a mailing package to flop (note the word flop… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on October 22, 2008 at 3:24pm — No Comments

US Postal Service Revenue vs. Volume

US Postal Service Revenue

First Class Mail. . . 37.6B

Direct Mail . . . . . . 20.8B

Priority Mail . . . . 5.2B

Package Services . 2.3B

All Other . . . . . . . 9.2B



US Postal Service Mail Volume

First Class . . . . . . 95.9B

Direct Mail . . . . 103.5B

All Other . . . . . 12.8B



*Newsweek



Larson note: We are blessed with a for the most part very efficient and inexpensive postal service. If direct mail was… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on October 22, 2008 at 10:26am — No Comments

Using Twitter for PR

As I lean back in my chair I have to wonder as to why more companies are not using the power of twitter to at least monitor there reputations in real time . I mean where else can you get right down at the customers level and hear what they are saying. The immediacy of the format gives both PR directors, customer service as well as sales people an opportuniy to respond to low level crises before they escalate out of control. It also gives these same people unique insights to up and coming… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on October 21, 2008 at 2:49pm — No Comments

List Procurement Price Drop

For the first time in more that 20 years the prices have declined across the board for list procurement.



There is no doubt that the direct marketing industry on the whole is taking a big time hit as the economy goes sour. Yet we can all be sure that once we are though this mess the over all industry will rebound just fine. Until then, we are seeing some price dropping for buying lists not seen in over 20 years.



Permission based email business to business, the highest… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on October 21, 2008 at 9:25am — No Comments

The Week Ahead for October 20 – October 24

Monday: September Leading Economic Indicators

Tuesday:

Wednesday: Weekly Crude Oil Inventories

Thursday: Weekly Initial Jobless Claims

Friday: September Existing-Home Sales



Larson note: It will be a week of same-old/same-old as we look back as September. On the bright side look for plenty of Crude Oil in inventory If I was to stick my neck out, I think that there will be some nice economic developments as we go through the rest… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on October 20, 2008 at 11:51am — No Comments

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