Howard Larson's Blog (556)

Consumer Products Companies Lower Growth Targets

The uncertainty in the economy is forcing consumer products companies to lower their revenue growth targets for the upcoming 12 months to 3.2 percent in the second quarter from 5.7 percent in the prior quarter, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers' Consumer Products.

Despite the drop in growth targets, senior executives from the 59 large, consumer products businesses surveyed do not anticipate a drop in revenue contributions from international sales. The projected contribution from… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on September 19, 2008 at 4:02pm — No Comments

Global competition puts U.S. manufacturers, employees, at odds

Today's cost of operating a manufacturing business in the U.S.-including employee compensation and benefits-is a topic that is flying around a lot and I’m sure next week when I attend two different trade shows I will be questioned about. Everyone is looking for the magic answer.

At the same time, we are all trying to balance rising fuel, food, utility, education, housing and other living costs with incomes that have not kept pace.

The over all perception is that we not… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on September 19, 2008 at 10:39am — No Comments

Is Audience or Offer More Important?

In any marketing attack there are two big issues that can divine success, it the target audience more important or is the message paramount?

Now me, I’m an audience kind of guy. Give me a target that fits the company and its product or service line and bingo I believe we are on our way.

Others believe that the audience will self-select itself based on the offer and how enticing it is. They believe a good offer will turn a loser into a winner.

Time and time again… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on September 18, 2008 at 10:30am — No Comments

Marketers Use of Emerging Channels

Here are the marketing channels the major interactive marketers are using and planning to use as well as us here at Larson’s. Where do you stack up?

E-mail: less than 1 year- 6% / Greater than 1 year – 90% / not using but plan to – 4% / will not use – 1% / Larson’s – long time user (over 9 years)

Search: less than1 year- 14% / Greater than 1 year – 71% / not using but plan to – 9% / Will not use – 6% / Larson’s – Planning stages

Video: less… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on September 17, 2008 at 2:42pm — No Comments

Marketing Into Students Mobile Preferences

If you want to attack students you need to go where they are and how they want to be approached. Yes a new trick for an old dog (me).

According to Student Monitor, a college market research company 9 out of 10 incoming students own some sort of a mobile devise and more then 50% of them say texting is their main source of communicating. Not this old goat here, you text my phone (see previous blog post) and I’ll have your hide. The College Demographic is a digital society and has grown… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on September 17, 2008 at 9:38am — No Comments

How to start and measure B2B Social Media Marketing

So the question was posed to me: How did I start a B2B social Media Marketing Campaign and how in the world can you measure something so illusive?

The whole goal in B2B Social Media and a marketing campaign is to learn and understand and utilize Web 2.0 technologies and to build excitement about a business, your business!

You can use B2B SM to build an audience, a following of ideas and thoughts that will be interested in what you do at your company or what you sell. That… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on September 16, 2008 at 3:03pm — No Comments

New Lists and Databases – reference 9108

Food for the Poor Lifetrends:

This file contains donors to Food for the Poor, a nonprofit Christian Relief Agency and ministry dedicated to improving life in developing countries especially in the Caribbean and Latin America.

Count: 229,039.

Smart Debt

This file contains individuals who are seeking assistance with their finances.These individuals are looking to take care of their outstanding debts by consolidation teir debts into one monthly payment. They… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on September 16, 2008 at 12:00pm — No Comments

It Takes Time to be a Blog Marketing Success

Bloging is work, hard work and it takes time to gain a following for your blog of people who read your work. Then there is getting a following of people who will comment on your work.

The popularity of bloging and gaining links and traffic doesn't happen overnight. It takes time and work.

Is content is king? Some say yes, others no. I am a content bloger. I know that what ever I put down someone, anyone can come along and say it and write it better. Whatever ideas I have,… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on September 16, 2008 at 10:48am — No Comments

B2B Social Media simply a new way for Businesses to interact?

B2B Social Media is quite simply a new channel (way) for businesses to interact. It offers promise and pitfalls for those that use it as the newest in spamming tools. As you get into the B2B Social Media arena you need to evaluate if you are really ready.

How do you plan to engage with your customers?

There are many reasons why you may not be ready to enter into the B2B Social Media arena. If you think it is a fad, go with conventional marketing you have lost already. If… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on September 15, 2008 at 11:50am — No Comments

The Week Ahead for September 15-19

Monday: August Industrial Production

Tuesday: Federal Reserve meeting, August Consumer Price Index.

Wednesday: August Housing Starts

Thursday: August leading economic indicators


Larson note: As August figures come out, don’t be surprised at a not nice picture. August was not a good month despite back to school buying and a major drop in oil pricing (which as not shown itself at the pump). We still need to build new refineries.

Howard… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on September 15, 2008 at 9:54am — No Comments

Is It Raining?

How dumb can a man get? Don’t answer that.

A tower crane rental operator in Ohio is being sued by an ex-employee for sexual discrimination after her boss suggested that she follow the example of male crane operators and urinate off the back of her crane is she needed a toilet break.

Now of course the company has denied giving her those instructions, but her testimony plus evidence that crane operators are working 12 hours shifts was enough to suggest that it was a… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on September 12, 2008 at 11:44am — No Comments

Exports are a Major Key for American Businesses

The exports of American manufactured goods have played a major role in the current U.S. economic growth over the past year. And represent a growth opportunity for U.S. manufactures seeking to expand their businesses and create the new jobs that go with that growth. Over the past 6 months if you have been one of my blog readers you have head me say over and over again and again that if you can export, export, if you can hitch a ride to and with a company that does export do it and enjoy the… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on September 11, 2008 at 2:18pm — No Comments

Business to Business Social Media Evolution continues

Social Media continues to evolve through different platforms and applications for business people to connect, to interact and to do business.

I see this as a marketing tool for people who know understand guerrilla marketing. I am guessing as the big buck boys want to more in, and they are, it will be made easier for them to use and advertising on. We are seeing that next step as a way for the different sites to make money now.

In this evolution we see designated topic… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on September 11, 2008 at 10:43am — No Comments

Making Magic Mail Moments

In recent months (years) everything has been so focused on revision of web site designs and customer relationship platforms that the poor lowly mailing piece is getting left in the background. This main stay of quite a few target marketing campaigns is getting left in the dust as far as reformulating it to be a key component and center piece of your marketing attack.

A direct mail piece can be as powerful and intimate as a web site. You have the customer’s full attention with there… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on September 10, 2008 at 11:13am — No Comments

Changes in Direct Marketing since last year

1% Decline in prospecting Direct Mail

69% Revenue coming from multichannel buyers

5% Increased revenue from consumer offers

Source: Abacus a division of Epsilon

Larson note: Companies are finding that they can not use one channel to attach themselves to a customer that they need to hit them on multiple platforms on multichannels to capture their attention. The old adage is that it takes 9 contacts to make a sale and that your target customer only sees 1… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on September 8, 2008 at 4:25pm — No Comments

Walgreen’s in-store behavioral coupon strategy

Walgreen Drug Stores are beginning to use behavioral targeting to engage customers in its stores.

The nations largest drugstore chain has partnered with Catalina Marketing to print targeted coupons in its 6,000 stores which are then given to customers based on their purchasing behaviors as the receive their receipt. Catalina is already doing this kind of target marketing at about 25,000 grocery stores and about 14,000 other pharmacies nationwide. This is triggered by the UPC code… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on September 8, 2008 at 11:07am — No Comments

The Week Ahead for September 8-12

Monday: July Consumer Report

Tuesday: July Wholesale Inventories, July pending home sales.


Thursday: July Trade Balance, Weekly initial jobless claims

Friday: August producer price index, August retail sales, July business inventories

Larson note: Remember this is all past history. July, August information is just that, old information. Look for good things in the July Trade Balance and I would suspect the Consumer Report for July (we were still… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on September 7, 2008 at 11:00am — No Comments

Ever Consider a Virtual Trade Show? Or should you?

Have you ever visited an Online Trade Show? Have you ever participated in an Online Trade show?

With no travel costs, low cost do-it-yourself booth design and ability to quickly access the leads from the visitors to your “booth” the virtual trade sow does present an interesting opportunity for a small business.

They are out there in all sorts of forms. From actual time based shows to malls to walls. You may have to search a little bit to fine a virtual trade sow that fits… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on September 5, 2008 at 5:35pm — No Comments

Are Trade Shows Still a Viable Option?

Think trade show and what comes to mind. Back slapping good old boys club? Party time? Night on the town? Forget it. Not going to happen (much) anymore. Yes a trade show makes one think of the days of excess a time for directors and senior management to get out on the companies pay check and have fun. So why should you still exhibit at a t4rade show?

Costs, time planning.

Yes the costs can mount up, traveling, hotel, food. Then there is the trade booth cost, time on your… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on September 4, 2008 at 3:06pm — No Comments

My Current Trade Show Schedule

I do a lot of trade shows over the course of a year. Most in Chicago and Milwaukee but I do (sometimes) travel out for them.

Howard’s current show plans include:

Sept 23-25 The Motivation Show - McCormack Place Chicago IL

Sept 23-25 Assembly Show - Stephens Convention Center Rosemont IL

Oct 6-8 FabTech - Las Vegas Convention Center Las Vegas NV

Oct 10-11 Chicago Marathon Expo - McCormack Place Chicago IL

Oct 22-23 MidPak - Minneapolis Convention Center… Continue

Added by Howard Larson on September 4, 2008 at 10:38am — No Comments

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