Category Archives: Uncategorized

Fastest Way to Lose Customers

Fastest Way to Lose Customers

Any business owner will tell you that retaining your customers is low-hanging fruit. Understanding how to create loyal customers so you can retain them is one of the most important things for a business. For starters it’s critical to know the fastest ways to lose customers so you stop making these mistakes and start retaining customers. This graphic highlights the fastest ways to lose customers.

  • 9.5 minutes are spent on average trying to reach a human when trapped in an automated phone system
  • 61% of consumers take their business to a competitor when they end a business relationship
  • 71% of consumers have ended their relationship with a company due to poor customer service
  • Globally, the average value of a lost customer is $243
  • $83 billion is the cost of poor customer service in the US
  • Rookie mistakes on @Twitter can push a customer away
  • 65% of Fortune 100 global companies utilize @Twitter to engage with the world
  • Companies focus on acquisition more than customer retention, even though it can cost 7x more to acquire new customers
  • 63% of marketers felt that new customer acquisition is the most important advertising goal

lose-customers-lrg

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Good Stuff to Live By

    1. Love. Perhaps the most important. Fall in love, if you aren’t already. If you have, fall in love with your partner all over again. Abandon caution and let your heart be broken. Or love family members, friends, anyone — it doesn’t have to be romantic love. Love all of humanity, one person at a time.

 

    1. Get outside. Don’t let yourself be shut indoors. Go out when it’s raining. Walk on the beach. Hike through the woods. Swim in a freezing lake. Bask in the sun. Play sports, or walk barefoot through grass. Pay close attention to nature.

 

    1. Savor food. Don’t just eat your food, but really enjoy it. Feel the texture, the bursts of flavors. Savor every bite. If you limit your intake of sweets, it will make the small treats you give yourself (berries or dark chocolate are my favorites) even more enjoyable. And when you do have them, really, really savor them. Slowly.

 

    1. Create a morning ritual. Wake early and greet the day. Watch the sun rise. Out loud, tell yourself that you will not waste this day, which is a gift. You will be compassionate to your fellow human beings, and live every moment to its fullest. Stretch or meditate or exercise as part of your ritual. Enjoy some coffee.

 

    1. Take chances. We often live our lives too cautiously, worried about what might go wrong. Be bold, risk it all. Quit your job and go to business for yourself (plan it out first!), or go up to that girl you’ve liked for a long time and ask her out. What do you have to lose?

 

    1. Follow excitement. Try to find the things in life that excite you, and then go after them. Make life one exciting adventure after another (with perhaps some quiet times in between).

 

    1. Find your passion. Similar to the above tip, this one asks you to find your calling. Make your living by doing the thing you love to do. First, think about what you really love to do. There may be many things. Find out how you can make a living doing it. It may be difficult, but you only live once.

 

    1. Get out of your cubicle. Do you sit all day in front of computer, shuffling papers and taking phone calls and chatting on the Internet? Don’t waste your days like this. Break free from the cubicle environment, and do your work on a laptop, in a coffee shop, or on a boat, or in a log cabin. This may require a change of jobs, or becoming a freelancer. It’s worth it.

 

    1. Turn off the TV. How many hours will we waste away in front of the boob tube? How many hours do we have to live? Do the math, then unplug the TV. Only plug it back in when you have a DVD of a movie you love. Otherwise, keep it off and find other stuff to do. Don’t know what to do? Read further.

 

    1. Pull away from Internet. You’re reading something on the Internet right now. And, with the exception of this article, it is just more wasting away of your precious time. You cannot get these minutes back. Unplug the Internet, then get out of your office or house. Right now! And go and do something.

 

    1. Travel. Sure, you want to travel some day. When you have vacation time, or when you’re older. Well, what are you waiting for? Find a way to take a trip, if not this month, then sometime soon. You may need to sell your car or stop your cable bill and stop eating out to do it, but make it happen. You are too young to not see the world. If need be, find a way to make a living by freelancing, then work while you travel. Only work an hour or two a day. Don’t check email but once a week. Then use the rest of the time to see the world.

 

    1. Rediscover what’s important. Take an hour and make a list of everything that’s important to you. Add to it everything that you want to do in life. Now cut that list down to 4-5 things. Just the most important things in your life. This is your core list. This is what matters. Focus your life on these things. Make time for them.

 

    1. Eliminate everything else. What’s going on in your life that’s not on that short list? All that stuff is wasting your time, pulling your attention from what’s important. As much as possible, simplify your life by eliminating the stuff that’s not on your short list, or minimizing it.

 

    1. Exercise. Get off the couch and go for a walk. Eventually try running. Or do some push ups and crunches. Or swim or bike or row. Or go for a hike. Whatever you do, get active, and you’ll love it. And life will be more alive.

 

    1. Be positive. Learn to recognize the negative thoughts you have. These are the self-doubts, the criticisms of others, the complaints, the reasons you can’t do something. Then stop yourself when you have these thoughts, and replace them with positive thoughts. Solutions. You can do this!

 

    1. Open your heart. Is your heart a closed bundle of scar tissue? Learn to open it, have it ready to receive love, to give love unconditionally. If you have a problem with this, talk to someone about it. And practice makes perfect.

 

    1. Kiss in the rain. Seize the moment and be romantic. Raining outside? Grab your lover and give her a passionate kiss. Driving home? Stop the car and pick some wildflowers. Send her a love note. Dress sexy for him.

 

    1. Face your fears. What are you most afraid of? What is holding you back? Whatever it is, recognize it, and face it. Do what you are most afraid of. Afraid of heights? Go to the tallest building, and look down over the edge. Only by facing our fears can we be free of them.

 

    1. When you suffer, suffer. Life isn’t all about fun and games. Suffering is an inevitable part of life. We lose our jobs. We lose our lovers. We lose our pets. We get physically injured or sick. A loved one becomes sick. A parent dies. Learn to feel the pain intensely, and really grieve. This is a part of life — really feel the pain. And when you’re done, move on, and find joy.

 

    1. Slow down. Life moves along at such a rapid pace these days. It’s not healthy, and it’s not conducive to living. Practice doing everything slowly — everything, from eating to walking to driving to working to reading. Enjoy what you do. Learn to move at a snail’s pace.

 

    1. Touch humanity. Get out of your house and manicured neighborhoods, and find those who live in worse conditions. Meet them, talk to them, understand them. Live among them. Be one of them. Give up your materialistic lifestyle.

 

    1. Volunteer. Help at homeless soup kitchens. Learn compassion, and learn to help ease the suffering of others. Help the sick, those with disabilities, those who are dying.

 

    1. Play with children. Children, more than anyone else, know how to live. They experience everything in the moment, fully. When they get hurt, they really cry. When they play, they really have fun. Learn from them, instead of thinking you know so much more than them. Play with them, and learn to be joyful like them.

 

    1. Talk to old people. There is no one wiser, more experienced, more learned, than those who have lived through life. They can tell you amazing stories. Give you advice on making a marriage last or staying out of debt. Tell you about their regrets, so you can learn from them and avoid the same mistakes. They are the wisdom of our society — take advantage of their existence while they’re still around.

 

    1. Learn new skills. Constantly improve yourself instead of standing still — not because you’re so imperfect now, but because it is gratifying and satisfying. You should accept yourself as you are, and learn to love who you are, but still try to improve — if only because the process of improvement is life itself.

 

    1. Find spirituality. For some, this means finding God or Jesus or Allah or Buddha. For others, this means becoming in tune with the spirits of our ancestors, or with nature. For still others, this just means an inner energy. Whatever spirituality means for you, rediscover it, and its power.

 

    1. Take mini-retirements. Don’t leave the joy of retirement until you are too old to enjoy it. Do it now, while you’re young. It makes working that much more worth it. Find ways to take a year off every few years. Save up, sell your home, your possessions, and travel. Live simply, but live, without having to work. Enjoy life, then go back to work and save up enough money to do it again in a couple of years.

 

    1. Do nothing. Despite the tip above that we should find excitement, there is value in doing nothing as well. Not doing nothing as in reading, or taking a nap, or watching TV, or meditating. Doing nothing as in sitting there, doing nothing. Just learning to be still, in silence, to hear our inner voice, to be in tune with life. Do this daily if possible.

 

    1. Stop playing video games. They might be fun, but they can take up way too much time. If you spend a lot of time playing online games, or computer solitaire, or Wii or Gameboy or whatever, consider going a week without it. Then find something else to do, outside.

 

    1. Watch sunsets, daily. One of the most beautiful times of day. Make it a daily ritual to find a good spot to watch the sunset, perhaps having a light dinner while you do so.

 

    1. Stop reading magazines. They’re basically crap. And they waste your time and money. Cancel your subscriptions and walk past them at the news stands. If you have to read something, read a trashy novel or even better, read Dumb Little Man once a day and be done.

 

    1. Break out from ruts. Do you do things the same way every day? Change it up. Try something new. Take a different route to work. Start your day out differently. Approach work from a new angle. Look at things from new perspectives.

 

    1. Stop watching the news. It’s depressing and useless. If you’re a news junky, this may be difficult. I haven’t watch TV news or read a newspaper regularly in about two years. It hasn’t hurt me a bit. Anything important, my mom tells me about.

 

    1. Laugh till you cry. Laughing is one of the best ways to live. Tell jokes and laugh your head off. Watch an awesome comedy. Learn to laugh at anything. Roll on the ground laughing. You’ll love it.

 

    1. Lose control. Not only control over yourself, but control over others. It’s a bad habit to try to control others — it will only lead to stress and unhappiness for yourself and those you try to control. Let others live, and live for yourself. And lose control of yourself now and then too.

 

    1. Cry. Men, especially, tend to hold in our tears, but crying is an amazing release. Cry at sad movies. Cry at a funeral. Cry when you are hurt, or when somebody you love is hurt. It releases these emotions and allows us to cleanse ourselves.

 

    1. Make an awesome dessert. I like to make warm, soft chocolate cake. But even berries dipped in chocolate, or crepes with ice cream and fruit, or fresh apple pie, or homemade chocolate chip cookies or brownies, are great. This isn’t an every day thing, but an occasional treat thing. But it’s wonderful.

 

  1. Try something new, every week. Ask yourself: “What new thing shall I try this week?” Then be sure to do it. You don’t have to learn a new language in one week, but seek new experiences. Give it a try. You might decide you want to keep it in your life.

Be in the moment. Instead of thinking about things you need to do, or things that have happened to you, or worrying or planning or regretting, think about what you are doing, right now. What is around you? What smells and sounds and sights and feelings are you experiencing? Learn to do this as much as possible through meditation, but also through bringing your focus back to the present as much as you can in everything you do.

christmas-winter-wallpaper-large-5-1

October 9, 2012- Using Advertising Media More Effectively

The following article, as you will read, was written to assist advertisers in planning their advertising to achieve better results. ADP is posting the article, which lists several strong “Pros” for the Yellow Pages, in the belief that the better Yellow Pages salespeople understand the thoughts driving advertiser decisions, the more effective they will be in demonstrating the effectiveness of the Yellow Pages, both as a stand-alone medium or as part of an effective media mix.

-ADP President Larry Angove

Using Advertising Media More Effectively:

How To Pick The Best Media

What advertising media should you use to promote your business? Simple. Use the one that is most influential and believable, and that comprehensively reaches the highest percentage of your target audience for the lowest cost.

Is that easy? No.

There are many advertising media options for reaching your target audience. This chapter covers the relative strengths and weaknesses of different types of advertising media, and specifically explains how to choose the most effective printed advertising media.

This is a long chapter with a lot of important content. The information will help you to plan your advertising and to get better results, even if you are only choosing what local paper to run your ad in.

Pick An Advertising Media Category

The first decision to make is what category or combination of categories of advertising media to use [newspaper, magazine, radio, direct mail, television, telemarketing, direct sales, yellow pages, outdoor, etc.]

Note that we did not say that the first decision was what the company could afford. It is a fundamental mistake to buy any advertising media that you can’t afford to use effectively, or that will not generate the volume of sales you need to stay in business.

Many companies decide what advertising media to use too fast, and they base the decision on too little information. Don’t make assumptions about what you should do until you get some information. And you absolutely do not want to make media decisions based on what media sales rep knocks on your door.

A clearly defined set of goals for your advertising campaign will help you to choose the best advertising media available. Know what you want your advertising to do, so that you can measure the results and make decisions accordingly.

A realistic budget should indicate which advertising media could be effectively used for your campaign. And understanding the relative strengths and weaknesses between the different advertising media will help you to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time.

Advertising Media Strengths & Weaknesses

Very broadly, different advertising media are better at doing different things. Depending on your type of business and your target audience, one advertising media will be better than another for effectively conveying your message.

For example, photo reproduction quality may be critical to your products. Or information content might be critical. Having a personal conversation may be important. Offering a coupon or a sale price may be the key to success. Timing may be critical. Receiving information from an expected and credible source is hugely important.

Newspapers As An Advertising Media

 Pros

  1. Newspapers get 21.5% of all U.S. advertising expenditures.
  2. Newspaper ads rank highest for believability for all media.
  3. High local coverage and immediate [daily] delivery of your message.
  4. Excellent mass media [almost everybody reads the newspaper].
  5. An interactive medium [people hold it, save it, write on it, cut coupons, etc.].
  6. Flexibility in production: low cost, fast turnaround, ad shapes, size, excellent quality for inserts.
  7. Special targeted sections and shopping guides.
  8. Extraordinarily high Sunday readership.

 Cons

  1. Very busy/cluttered competitive environment [must compete against other ads and the newspaper copy].
  2. Little control over ad placement.
  3. Low production quality.
  4. Hard to target your specific audience.
  5. Short life span [24 hours].

Radio As An Advertising Media

 Pros

  1. Radio gets 8% of all U.S. advertising expenditures.
  2. Immediate delivery of message and high frequency of message [you can repeat several times per day].
  3. Local audience. Selectivity by format. High availability.
  4. Low cost per thousand [CPM] exposures.
  5. Low cost production.
  6. Reach an exclusive and captive [mobile] audience.

 Cons

  1. Limited to audio message.
  2. High channel switching.
  3. Your message expires immediately [no shelf life].
  4. High advertising clutter.

Television As An Advertising Media

 Pros

  1. Broadcast and cable television combined get 23.4% of all U.S. advertising expenditures.
  2. Immediate delivery of message and high frequency of message [you can repeat several times per day].
  3. Very high impact – TV is the best for stimulating the senses.
  4. High mass audience coverage, high prestige.
  5. Low cost per thousand [CPM] exposures.
  6. Local regional emphasis, cable audience availability, some audience selectivity.

 Cons

  1. Very high costs of production and airtime.
  2. Limited audience selectivity.
  3. Your message expires immediately [no shelf life].
  4. High advertising clutter.
  5. High channel switching.

Direct Mail As An Advertising Media

 Pros

  1. Direct mail gets 19.2% of all U.S. advertising expenditures.
  2. Highest response rate of all media.
  3. Highest level of selectivity of all media.
  4. High quality control.
  5. A measurable media for cost and response. Easy to test.
  6. High personalization.
  7. Creative flexibility.
  8. Long life span.
  9. No advertising clutter [once they open your piece].

 Cons

  1. Highest cost per exposure.
  2. Over-saturation of market – people get a lot of mail.
  3. Negative connotations about buying through the mail.
  4. Negative connotations about “junk mail”.

Magazines As An Advertising Media

 Pros

  1. Magazines get 5.3% of all U.S. advertising expenditures.
  2. Excellent photo reproduction in full color.
  3. Long shelf life with high pass-along readership.
  4. High readership rates and reader loyalty.
  5. High ability to select audience.
  6. Regional editions for a more local audience.
  7. Proven selling power. High prestige.

 Cons

  1. Long lead times. Unable to deliver your message immediately.
  2. High CPM for mass audience advertising.
  3. Heavy advertising clutter – often half of a magazine is advertising.
  4. Poor local coverage.
  5. Can’t deliver your message with a high frequency.

Outdoor As An Advertising Media

 Pros

  1. Outdoor get less than 1% of U.S. advertising expenditures.
  2. Highest reach of all media.
  3. Lowest CPM of all media.
  4. Neighborhood level selectivity.
  5. Very high frequency of reach.
  6. Potential high impact because of size.
  7. Some good location of message availability.

 Cons

  1. Only very short, simple messages work.
  2. Some image problems with poor locations.
  3. Hard to measure results.
  4. High initial costs.
  5. Negative connotations about visual pollution.

Yellow Pages As An Advertising Media

 Pros

  1. Yellow Pages get 5.9% of all U.S. advertising expenditures.
  2. Very high percentage of new buyers [over 50%].
  3. Very high percentage of active buyers [over 88%].
  4. Completes the marketing process by bringing customers in.
  5. Second highest media for believability.
  6. Reaches 76% of U.S. adults in the average month. [Available in almost every home and business.]
  7. Longest shelf life. Open 24 hours per day.
  8. A measurable media for cost and response. Easy to test.

 Cons

  1. Highest advertising clutter [100% ads].
  2. High cost for competitive positioning.
  3. High CPM [but highest active buyers].
  4. More directories mean lower reach per directory.
  5. More headings mean lower reach per heading.
  6. You can only change your ad once per year.

Using Advertising Media In Combination

Large advertisers almost always use a combination of different media to promote their products. This strategy makes sense for a number of reasons, but mainly because it is cost effective. So, is this a good idea for a small, local business?

The answer is a resounding YES, but on a slightly different scale. You certainly want to maximize your marketing through coordination.

Let’s take a look at how your advertising reach is increased when you use different media in combination.

Consider the percentage of people in your total target audience that you reach when you advertise in the newspaper. Here is a good example of what is going on in the real world:

With a newspaper ad you reach 25% of your total target group. Add a yellow page ad, and you reach an additional 18% of the people. Add a direct mail piece, and you reach an additional 19% of the people. Add television advertising, and you reach an additional 15% of the people. Add radio, and you reach an additional 8% of the people.

By using multiple media outlets you have reached more of your target audience with your marketing and advertising. You have also reached them multiple times because they get messages from different places.

Your messages reinforce each other. The result is an overall higher response at a lower cost. You have created synergy with your marketing and advertising.

It works because different people pay more attention to [and have more faith in] different types of media. When seriously reviewing ads for a product, about 25% of people review and trust the newspaper. 18% consider direct mail, 21% the yellow pages, 8% television, 4% radio, and 4% magazines.

Choose Your Best Media

Each kind of media has advantages and disadvantages. How can you figure out what to do? Understand what kinds of media are available to you. Understand what they cost and whom they reach. Understand where your customers are looking for information. Test different ads and media, and measure the results. [And keep testing over time]. Your work will be richly rewarded.

Don’t forget that the media you select has a great influence on your advertising effectiveness and believability. What is the difference between an ad in the newspaper and a flyer on your car? Effectiveness and believability. What is the difference between a column listing and a display ad in the yellow pages? The difference is effectiveness and believability. What is the difference between the smallest ad, and the biggest, most professional ad? A whole lot of customers.

http://adp.org/node/399

More Customers are Expanding their Search to Find Local Businesses

Make sure your business is found when someone is looking for you

Having your business name and number listed in print, available online, an on mobile devices is important. However, it is more about getting your business exposure in the right places. Remember, the Yellow Pages is no longer just in book form.  The medium continues to deliver large volumes of high-quality, cost-effective business leads through multiple platforms.

There are many advertising options available to a business when it comes to advertising; however, there are only five (5) basic requirements for a successful advertising medium, often referred to as “CURER.”

Circulation – how is the advertising message received by the end user?
Usage – what is the usage, or visibilty of the medium?
Retention – when is the advertising available?
Economy – is it cost effective, generating a return on the investment?
Results – does the medium generate measurable results?
Many forms of advertising media are “creative” or “non-directional” — sellers are trying to create a desire, or need, for a particular product or service through media such as television, radio or direct mail.  Generally, it may not be when someone is ready to buy. This type of advertising encourages or recommends to a potential buyer where to go to make a purchase.
Yellow Pages is considered a “directional” form of advertising — it is always available when someone is ready to buy a product or use a service.  Consumers will use a directory when a need has been identified.  Yellow Pages directs the buyer to the “point of sale”, and is the ultimate “permission-based” medium.

Try to think of an advertising program like a circle.  If you were to draw a line through the middle of the circle, or cut it in half, the upper half would represent “non-directional” forms of advertising. This intention of this type of advertising is to create brand awareness, identify needs, and make impressions.

Alternatively, the lower half of the circle represents the “directional”form of advertising. This portion of an advertising program should support the creative aspects of a campaign, or make sure the buyer knows where to go when they have made a decision to make a purchase, or use a service.

Don’t miss out on customers looking to buy from you!
Always make it easy for customers to find your business by advertising with a complete Yellow Pages program.

Did you know there are two types of Yellow Pages users?

Those who are familiar with your business are:
  • Recommended by your existing customers
  • Influenced by other forms of your advertising
  • Contacted by your salesperson
  • Passing-by your storefront
  • Are your former customers and shoppers
*48% of buyers making a purchasing decision have one “1” name in mind…
Those who do not know your business are:
  • Newcomers to the community
  • In need of an emergency service, or product
  • Dissatisfied with your competition
  • Infrequent shoppers
  • Comparison shoppers
*18% of buyers have two “2” or more names in mind, and 35% have no name in mind
*So…53% of purchasers have a decision to make at time of search

Now that you have decided advertising is a good decision for your business

Contact your local independent Yellow Pages company, and ask who can help you design a complete program, discuss pricing and placement, as well deadlines.

Next . . . think about some questions you may want to ask yourself, and your local sales representative:

  • What is the coverage area of the directory? (sometimes a directory will cover a wide area, but books are only delivered to certain parts of the area)
  • When and how is the directory distributed? (door-to-door, mail, pick-up)
  • How many copies of the directory are distributed to the market area (s)?
  • Is there more than one directory that I need to consider?
  • What products and services are offered by the directory publisher that allow me to reach my prospect? (e.g., print, electronic, mobile)
  • What are my competitors doing in the way of advertising?
  • Do my competitors advertise in other places – non-directional/directional forms of advertising?
  • Does the advertising program recommended satisfy my business needs?
  • Do I have a complete advertising program – non-directional/directional forms of advertising?
  • What can I expect in terms of my return on investment (ROI)?
  • Does the publisher have usage data to support my buying decision?
  • Is there a way to track my results? (call measurement)
  • How will I be billed?

http://adp.org/node/58

Print is Alive and Well!

Print is Alive and Well!

 Amy Rybczynski 

 When I joined DAC Group’s research department six years ago, one of the tasks that landed on my desk was to track monthly the number of Yellow Pages directories in print in both the U.S. and Canada.  I never gave the task much thought, but the figures recently have been hard to ignore.  The U.S. is now at its lowest directory count in over seven years.  North of the border, in the wake of Yellow Pages Group’s acquisition of their top competitor, CanPages, Canada’s directory count is nearly a hundred directories less than when we first began tracking in 2003, and more than 150 directories less than its peak over three years ago.

While this may sound like bad news for the industry, it’s not.  The directory explosion that occurred during the second half of 2008 made Yellow Pages a bigger business than ever, but it also led to a lot of confusion for the folks who came home to half a dozen directories on their front step.  Who could blame them for tossing the extras out or getting frustrated when the one they happened to grab didn’t have what they were looking for?

However, we know that people are still flocking to the Yellow Pages in droves.  According to the most recentLSA Local Media Tracking Study, the top print heading, restaurants, still receives over one billion references annually.  Sixteen other headings draw over 100 million references each.  That’s a lot of shoppers who are ready to buy and actively searching for their product of choice. For many categories, particularly those involving home maintenance and improvement (i.e., pest control, plumbers, electricians, HVAC, appliance repair), DAC Group’s Search Landscape Study, in cooperation with Kantar Media, showed that print Yellow Pages ranked either first or second as the media that consumers reference first when shopping for a product or service. [1]

DAC Group’s Search Landscape Study also found that 53% of shoppers use search engines first when searching for business information to make a purchase.  In fact, four of the top five sources are all online-based. [1]  But the one that isn’t—ranked second overall—is none other than print Yellow Pages.  How can this “archaic” method still rank high?  Simple—it works.

Over the years, survival of the fittest has taken root, and a once-bloated industry has come back down to size.  Many small publishers have either sold off their business or closed up shop altogether.  In addition, the recession has weeded out weaker businesses and eliminated advertising budgets for others.  The good news for advertisers is that there’s less fragmentation and the directories that remain are more useful than ever.  All the top competitors are in one place and shoppers can easily find what they’re looking for.  There’s less of a need to spend little bits of money in small directories just to maintain a presence.  Instead, that money can be pooled for higher-impact ads in the strongest books in the market and even extended to online offerings.

In the face of negative media reports about the industry’s health, as well as legislation restricting automatic home delivery, it may be tempting to drop print Yellow Pages in favor of other media.  However, it only takes a look back to one of the worst economic times in history to see why that could be a catastrophic mistake.  During the Great Depression, many advertisers pulled back on their advertising, including cereal maker C.W. Post.  At the same time, competitor Kellogg’s doubled their advertising budget.  When everyone else was absent from the advertising landscape, Kellogg’s was there and consumers took notice.  Kellogg’s profits increased by nearly 30% in the midst of the depression and set the foundation for dominance in their industry for decades to come.

The best news of all for DAC Group’s clients is that no matter which directional media you choose to promote your business, we have the tools to make your advertising successful.  We can craft an integrated media plan that fits your needs and ensures that you will be where consumers are shopping.  Maybe print Yellow Pages aren’t the right fit for your category, but if they are, rest assured that rumors of their demise have been greatly exaggerated and we’ll be happy to prove it.

-Amy Rybczynski, Marketing Research Analyst

http://adp.org/node/361

Still An Effective Media

Good Morning Folks!

Labor Day is upon us and summer is almost over. I decided to learn about labor day. Here is a short version of what I found.

Labor Day is an American federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September (September 3 in 2012) that celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers.
Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers. It also symbolizes the end of summer for many Americans, and is celebrated with parties, parades and athletic events.

Notice that the labor day observes the “Social Contributions” of workers.
What does that mean exactly? My thoughts of the meaning are, contribution of Mind, Heart & Spirit. Giving of yourself not only for pay, also for building up the workplace & the community. Cheers to the American Worker!

Today’s Article is a culmination of ADP articles on the Value of Paper.

Still An Effective Media
By: Paper Because

There’s a reason why more than 300,000 American small businesses depend on paper products like direct mail to reach their customers and prospects. And it’s the same reason why larger businesses rely on it for 35% of their marketing budgets, printing direct mail pieces that 81% of consumers still read every day. After hundreds of years and countless innovations — from postcards, magazines and catalogs to email marketing and social media — paper still works. And according to the numbers, it’s working harder than ever.

Paper is not only sustainable and personal — it’s purposeful.
And it’s getting even better. With technological innovations like variable data printing and targeted mailing, direct mail allows businesses and organizations to communicate personally, effectively and efficiently with a very precise group of customers. Paper is flexible, measurable, and economical, and that’s why it’s still growing — even in the digital age.

Paper is effective.
If you print it, they will come. There’s something about the printed page that people can’t ignore — simply put, paper still works because people still pay attention to it. While junk e-mails are often sent straight to spam filters, 81% of consumers still read or skim their advertising mail — and business owners are taking notice of the trend. According to a Pitney Bowes survey, 85% of businesses were pleased with their direct mail response rates. Maybe that’s because they were even higher in 2009 than in the previous year.

Paper is efficient.
Small costs. Big results. Direct mail is a very efficient marketing medium — and it shows in its response rates, which are typically measured in whole, single or even double-digit figures. In contrast, response rates for other media types are usually measured in the hundredths or thousands of a single percentage point of the total audience reached.

Paper is targeted.
Point, aim, shoot — and if necessary, re-aim. While billboards and broadcast advertising cast a large net on a largely disinterested audience, paper lets you market your message to only the customers you choose, and deliver that message directly to their door. It’s a more personal way of connecting with people based on their interests; and with variable data printing, you can even address them by name. Once you get the word out to your targeted audience, you can easily test, measure and track responses, and make adjustments as needed.

Paper is measurable.
By sending your message on paper, you can directly measure its response, and gain valuable information about how well it works. Then, you can use this information to track inquiries and orders, and direct your target marketing for future campaigns. Businesses or organizations may choose to print a small run of a direct mail piece, magazine, or catalog, and send it to a test group first — then expand or revise their mailer depending on the initial response.

Paper is flexible.
Everyone likes a (pleasant) surprise. Paper is the only medium that gives you the flexibility to reach out to your customers and give them something they can touch, feel and hold in their hands. From magazines to postcards to mailers, to extras like sample products, scented panels, CDs, and more, paper has the power to touch users — and let them touch back.

Paper is comfortable.
Reading a magazine at the kitchen table over morning coffee. Browsing a catalog from the comfort of an armchair. Clipping out coupons on a Sunday afternoon. Paper gives consumers the choice to respond to advertising on their own time, and in their own way. It doesn’t yell. It doesn’t flash. It just sits, patiently, and waits to be read. Maybe that’s why, most of the time, it is.

Paper is central to economic growth.
Paper is critical to helping small businesses grow. Direct mail is less expensive than broadcast or other media, and helps them compete with larger companies. Paper also helps the economy on a larger scale. In 2008, advertising mail contributed more than $702 billion in increased sales to the U.S. economy. Nonprofit organizations also depend on it, to help them raise billions for charitable causes.

Paper works with other media.
Using paper along with other types of media can increase the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. Catalogs can encourage website purchases, direct mail pieces can lead to phone calls or store visits, and magazines can reinforce brand connections across many mediums.

Paper creates a stronger connection.
Paper and communication have evolved together — so it makes sense that people still feel a connection to it. In a Neuromarketing study conducted by Royal Mail through Millward Brown, it was reported that direct mail triggered more activity in the parietal cortex, which is associated with the integration of visual and spatial information. This suggests that print-based material may be more easily integrated into the brain. Because we can see and touch paper, it’s seen as more concrete, and can act as a cue for memory. Subjects also formed more connections between the printed material and their own memories and personal experiences. In contrast, online materials elicited responses in the temporoparietal junction, which has been associated with filtering out irrelevant information.

Jakob Nielsen, Web-usability expert, has also commented on a ‘filtering’ through studies in which he monitored the eye movements of people reading web pages. “The online medium lends itself to a more superficial processing of information. You’re just surfing the information. It’s not deep learning,” Neilsen notes.

1 Direct Marketing Association (DMA), 2009
2 Direct Marketing Association (DMA), 2009
3 Direct Marketing Association (DMA), 2006
4 Printing Industries of America
* Print’s Strong Suit – Dr. Joe Webb

http://adp.org/node/360

 

August 16, 2012 Yellow Pages by the Numbers

Good Morning People,

I know that you have previously read our Blog on the sustainability of Yellow pages. However I felt compelled to ad this article as well. You see when you really get the idea that yellow pages and especially Lakeview Publishing Yellow Pages is a job creator as well as a green product. You’ll start seeing the misleading of John Q public as a personal attack on your community.
Notice this statement in the article: ” Historically, waste paper has been the backbone of a curbside recycling program as it generates a significant income on the sale of waste paper.” Wow! We create Business & Jobs!!!

Did you know that yellow page directories has carbon Footprint less than iPhone production alone.

ARTICLE:

Catalyst Paper USA has a long-standing commitment to sound environmental stewardship. We aim to tread lightly and work cooperatively in our communities. The resources we use, the manufacturing processes we follow, our transportation choices, and how we work with people — everything we do is aimed at efficiently, respectfully, and safely using less and wasting less. It’s with that context in mind that we hold and offer an alternative perspective on the often negative perception of print directories.

Yellow Pages and Paper Recyclin
g

A great recycling opportunity.  Yellow Pages represents seven million pounds of clean, recyclable fiber to help offset a growing shortfall in the availability of quality recycled paper, whose prices continue to rise across North America.
Hidden Costs of Yellow Pages

Recycling is costly for all collected materials but is a key part of a sustainable society that recognizes items at the end of their useful life can contribute to the creation of new products.  A “throw away”  culture is not in the best interest of a city’s landfill costs.  However, targeting specific wastes, like directories, is unfair; all wastes have different marginal collection costs as well as different market prices. Historically, waste paper has been the backbone of a curbside recycling program as it generates a significant income on the sale of waste paper.
True cost of directory collection and recycling is difficult to gauge; however, eliminating directories is unlikely to yield much, if any, savings since curbside collection programs will still be maintained.  There will be a slight reduction in collected recyclable waste but trucks and crews will maintain the same routes, the same daily mileage, and likely the same schedules.  The city will maintain the same sortation centers, and disposal and recycling infrastructure.  Actual impact on disk screens in a recycled papermill is caused by many factors; not just directories.
Protecting the Environment

No trees are cut down specifically to make Yellow Pages.  Rather, paper manufacturers convert the wood chips from the lumber making process into paper that would otherwise go to waste in the processing of round trees into square boards.
The carbon footprint of the Catalyst Paper mills making Yellow Pages paper is amongst the lowest in North America with 87% of the energy for our Canadian mills coming from renewable sources like hydro power and biomass fuel.
The company’s supply chain is dominated by low carbon, fuel efficient railway delivery and most of the company’s freight suppliers participate in the EPA Smartway program.
The environmental impact and carbon footprint of many waste materials collected and recycled is far greater than paper telephone directories.  For example, collection and recycle of computers and e-waste is becoming a widespread problem.  Miniaturization of microchips with reduced quantities of precious metals has made it cost prohibitive in many cases to handle e-waste locally, forcing the offshore export of wastes to countries like Ghana, Nigeria, China and India.  Unlike telephone directories, e-waste is associated with problematic substances such as mercury, lead, fire retardants, and PVC leachates.
Alternatives to Yellow Pages

The Internet doesn’t eliminate sustainability worries.  The Internet creates a massive, unseen carbon footprint.  Based on a 2010 Dell study, the manufacturing carbon footprint of a U.S. laptop is about 330 pounds CO2e.  A Valley Yellow Pages directory, for example, produced at a Catalyst Paper mill has a footprint of about 1 pound CO2e.  Distribution of the laptop is 110 pounds CO2e while the directory book is about 0.5 pounds CO2e.  One year of a laptop’s life has a carbon footprint of about 90 pounds CO2e while a directory has zero usage carbon footprint (and is more effective).  Disposal of the laptop creates another 70 pounds of CO2e while the phone book creates 0.5 pounds CO2e.
Energy usage in operating U.S. network equipment like servers to support on-line Internet searches is considerable with estimates equivalent to powering almost 6 million homes.
There is no single solution to shared concerns about responsible production, consumption, recovery, and recycling of materials. That’s why Catalyst Paper works continuously with supply chain partners and non-governmental groups to promote wider understanding of the environmental issues affecting the use of paper products, such as telephone directories.

Graham Kissack, P.Eng., MBA
Sustainability Specialist
Catalyst Paper USA

http://adp.org/node/347

The slim margin of success

The slim margin of success

Posted on August 7, 2012 on YPTalks
Written by Ken Clark
In sports, just as in business, the margin between success and failure can often be a very thin line.
Case in point:  in this most recent Olympics the difference between first and last in the men’s 100 meters sprint came down to just .035 seconds.  Essentially, little more than the blink of an eye.  One more stride. A quicker start out of the blocks.  anything could have substantially changed the outcome of that race.
After nearly 4 years of work for some of these athletes, the hours and hours of practice, weightlifting, dieting, and conditioning, all came down a preciously short total time spent in the actual preliminary events /qualifying races, and the final medal race/event.  For example, the actual time spent by contestants in the men’s shot put, actually in competition, was less than 15 seconds.  For the woman’s all around gymnastics’ event, less than 8 minutes (Go Gabby!).  Certainly some events do have a longer actual participation time such as the men’s cycling road race which took just under seven hours.  But overall, most of the sports in which gold medals have been handed out this week are usually culminated in less than 10 minutes.  And this after years of preparation and work.
Many of these athletes also participate at a great personal cost to themselves and their families.  The afore-mentioned Gabby Douglas’s mother, Natalie Hawkins, has apparently filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy recently, to reorganize the family’s finances and pay down debt accrued during her many years of training.  Swimming star Brian Locke’s parents are also facing foreclosure issues on their home.
The takeaway from these athletes to the Yellow Pages industry, is that in sales, it appears that the margin between an outstanding, highly paid, top performing sales reps and those  who are just average at best seems to come down to several simple things which may only take an investment of minutes each day:  preparation , and planning their sales day.  And then, they need to go through doors.  Many doors, to find those sales and be successful.
The thing each of us needs to consider is what the impact would be if each of us made one more call, opened one more door, shared the Yellow Pages value story with one more small business owner each and every day.  Imagine how many additional sales that would yield over the course of a month, a year, or if you’re truly Olympic, over four years.  The results would be staggering.
Today make just one more call.  One.

Life Events Drive Yellow Pages Usage Part II

No one uses the Yellow Pages because they love them.
Unlike the Internet and other media, the Yellow Pages did not gain its usage base as a source of entertainment, socialization, or news.
People come to the Yellow Pages with a single mindset: to find information that will help them make their “ready-to-buy” shopping decisions.
I believe in giving credit where credit is due and no one understands the reality of the above statements more fully than Dr. Dennis Fromholzer, whose research data will be liberally sprinkled throughout what you are about to read.
In a recent commentary, I opined that every Yellow Pages salesperson would be wise to incorporate into their advertiser presentations the fact that the people with the most money to spend are the people who use the Yellow Pages the most.  Those 50 year-old and older consumers are the sweet spot for both the Yellow Pages and those businesses that are strongly represented in their pages.
Let me go another step further to support Dr. Fromholzer’s conclusion that it is the events of life, including those created by dramatic changes in personal circumstances, that create significant marketing opportunities for businesses.  It is a message that every advertiser must also understand and embrace.
Simmons’ National Consumer Survey collects data on events in people’s lives.  Their recent study shows both Yellow Pages usage and online activity for people who experienced major events in the past year OR who anticipate such an event in the coming year compared to those who experienced or anticipated no major events.
In 36 distinct life event categories, ranging from “Graduate College”, “Get Married” or “First Child Born” all the way to or “Grandchildren Born”, “Make Last Mortgage Payment”, or “Buy a Retirement Home”, Simmons’ found that, in every instance, those experiencing life events used the Yellow Pages and online sources more than those who did not experience such events.  This was true in all life event categories, illustrating that Dr. Fromholzer’s theory holds true for all age demographics.
The Simmons’ data also reveals that print Yellow Pages usage ranged from 1.6 to 3.53 times more among those experiencing life events then the no-events control group.  Comparatively, online usage ranged from 1.08 to 2.6 times more than the control group.  In 30 of the 36 categories, print usage was greater than its online counterpart.
The data also shows clearly that major life events lead to print usage levels       on average 2.3 times higher than those who experienced or anticipated no events.  Similarly, those experiencing or anticipating major life events are 89% more likely to use Internet Yellow Pages than those with no events.  Overall, 85-90% of Yellow Pages usage is by people who experience or anticipate out-of-the-ordinary events and changes.
Importantly, those who use the Yellow Pages the most are shown to be far more likely than the rest of the population to experience life events.  For example, these “heavy” users are 102% more likely to have made or plan to make their “last mortgage payment” than the general population.
The connection between “life events” and the Yellow Pages usage “sweet spot” becomes more and more obvious.
Dr. Fromholzer explains why the implications of life events are so valuable.
  • Life events are “moments of truth” when consumers are uniquely open to messages pertaining to the event at hand.  There are few advertising occasions that can capture such a high level of consumer interest as at the point of time of life event-driven shopping;
  • Life changes invoke an entirely new consideration set of impending purchases, often the first time a consumer comes in contact with a new set of brands.  These are brands that advertisers can wrap their messages around to provide helpful advice to win the hearts and wallets of consumers.
  • It is at this time of brand-introduction when loyalties may and will be formed.
Because of life events, the majority (53%) of Yellow Pages usage in the top 210 headings is by new customers.
Finally, an advertiser’s Yellow Pages ad is a rare opportunity to sell its brand and overall value to a set of individuals that are ready-to-buy, are uncommitted to a single brand or company, and are simply asking for businesses to “sell” to them.
I now opine that life events, too, should be a core element of every Yellow Pages sales presentation.  After all, the Yellow Pages offer businesses the ultimate in target marketing.
 By Larry Angove,  August 23, 2012