Confidence is the Key to Recovery From This Recession

Trying to find anything to be confident about with regards to our economy is extremely difficult at present. Earlier this week, we saw the American’s being full of confidence and optimism for the future as they heralded in their 44th President Barack Obama. We are constantly bombarded with information by the media. Today the media have released figures showing that we have a 1.5% contraction in our gross domestic product (GDP). This means that if we looked at the UK being a company or a household then we would see that we are making less and producing less than last year. This suggests that our economy is shrinking at around 6% per year and all sectors of our economy are affected by large falls in output. The pace at which our economy is shrinking was last witnessed three decades ago.

For recovery to happen we need a global recovery that is lead by the United States. The US have a significant fiscal stimulus on the way with very low interest rates and the policy levers are in place to try and nurture this recovery. But we are still a long way away from the resumption of any growth and recovery at this moment. A lot is expected of Barack Obama, the newly elected president of the United States. He is seen as the saviour of the free world economy by a rainbow of nations around the world. Barack Obama has put forward a staggering and eye watering package of $850billion to create new jobs, refinance ailing banks and lead them to the Promised Land. This will certainly add to their multi-trillion dollar debt they already have. What a challenge this newly appointed rookie president has!

There are a lot of forecasters predicting how deep this recession is going to get for the UK. It seems that the European Commission are warning that we in Britain are going to have an ‘economic shock’ not seen since world war two. This recession is likely to be similar to the 1980’s recession which lasted for two years.

Other pundits believe that we have seen dole queues lengthen, industrial production fall, retail contract despite heavy discounting and its likely to get a lot worse before it gets better. Whilst a 1.5% drop in GDP might seem bad today; these pundits believe that you need to hold on to your seat as things are still expected to get a lot worse before the end of next year. They feel we could still see up to 2.5% contraction in our GDP and unemployment will continue to rise to 3.1 million people by the end of 2010, if the pundits are to be believed.

Recessions cost an enormous amount of money and many countries don’t believe that they can afford to borrow a lot of money to spend their way out of a recession. If you fail to prevent a really long recession; then it will end up costing more in unemployment and in a reduction of tax revenues received by the government. It is a balancing act for any government when they know that they don’t want to borrow more but they don’t want a long recession. It might be wiser for a government to borrow more now and have a shorter recession by spending money to create jobs and support the banking industry.

The governments’ money is being used by the banks at the moment to avoid engaging in aggressive restructuring that is desperately needed. The banks are haemorrhaging money, billions and billions have been lost over the last three months. Banks around the world have reported losses, like Merrill Lynch lost £50 billion, Citi Group lost £8 billion, and the Royal Bank of Scotland is due to post losses of £28 billion from it take over of ABN Bank and its losses in the US subprime market. Currently all these banks are doing at present is just buying time at the moment. If the banking sector doesn’t significantly restructure itself soon then they will just continue bleeding money. This is grime news!

There no chance of this recession ending until the housing market has bottomed out and the financial sector has completed the really serious restructuring that is required for it to be restored to profitability. It is thought that house prices will continue to decline through the remainder of this year and probably at the same rate next year. So whilst confidence is the key to recovery from this recession we will all need to remain upbeat and focused on improving our economy. We should all be involved in this recovery and work together.

Affirmative action required

We need our government to stop responding to situations as they occur. We do not need a government that continually fire fights the situations as they happen. They should stop now and start taking decisions to prevent situations happening – they need to be pro-active. Its time for the government to nationalise the Royal Bank of Scotland and the Lloyds TSB Banking Group and provide the funds to kick start our banking system to start them lending again and to lead the other banks. The government has already reversed their original decision with the nationalised Northern Rock Bank. They instructed them to start lending to new borrowers and allow their existing customers to remortgage to new mortgage deals without having to move lenders. This is leadership in action!

Mark Aucamp

Why Public Relations and SEO Should Become Best Buds

Website promotion is a competitive, lucrative industry where everyone from Manhattan Public Relations(PR) Firms to smalltime Search Engine Optimization (SEO) companies are vying for a piece of the pie. Ironically, on the information super highway, it is because of this lack of knowledge that most SEOs and PRs have for one another, which hinders their ability to offer a truly effective and affordable online-visibility solution for their clientele.

Let me explain.


PR is an industry that creates visibility across several different media for its clients while adhering to a pre-defined budget. It is an industry of communicators, with the ability to disseminate information to selected outlets armed with a rolodex, a press release and some serious people skills. Yet, with all of their strengths, one of the greatest criticisms of PR is their lack of ability to produce measurable ROI.

Large companies see the overall benefit of a well executed PR campaign, but medium-sized companies don’t see the immediate value in a bunch of blog links or they can’t afford to have Custom Myspace Tools developed for a product launch. As a result, many medium sized companies are leaving PR out of the marketing mix.


On the other side of the spectrum are search engine optimizers (SEOs). Technically savvy problem solvers, SEOs can tweak a website to maximize its exposure in the search engines (the tools that over 90% of internet users turn to when finding new resources or information online). SEOs rely on their technical expertise as well as their ability to build “backlinks” (links coming from other websites) to achieve success in the search engines for their clients.

In the past few months, however, (06-07) search engines have gotten “smarter” and have made traditional methods of building backlinks less effective. Many SEOs have turned to what they call “link bait”, tapping into social media (blog forums and others) to build backlinks. Of course, “link baiting” is really just a nerdy term for online publicity. It’s something that only the best of SEOs have mastered, and many PR Practitioners are now diving into.


Where “link baiting” (and really online promotion in general) is concerned, Public Relations firms have a distinct advantage. With their preexisting experience, contacts online and off, and other resources already dedicated to building online visibility, PR firms are much better equipped to get mentions and links on authority websites than their SEOs counterparts.

Of course just because a PR firm can get mentioned in a dozen blogs posts, or make the first page of, doesn’t necessitate an increase in their client’s bottom line. With the help of an SEO consultant, or SEO company, however, PR firms could present actual numbers to prove the value of their service by converting online publicity into search engine dominance.

If PR could tap into the technical expertise of a search engine optimizer they could solve the problem of tangible ROI and expand their services to more medium sized companies, ecommerce sites, and others. What if you as a PR Practitioner could hand your client a piece of paper saying “Look, we’ve gotten your name out to your niche here, here, here and here – oh, and as a result of this, you are now number one in the search engines when searched for these top keyphrases…”

Likewise, SEO firms, what if you could cut your workload in half by completely cutting out link building, show your clients better results, and get them mentioned in related high-traffic blogs or ezines? How much more would they be willing to spend with you? For how many more keywords would they want to rank?


It is a symbiotic relationship. Yes, you have to pay another company and cut away at some of your margin, but the relationship is mutually beneficial. Furthermore, if each party is accommodated with solutions specific to the other’s industry where both stand to make a buck from offering the other’s services, the relationship will grow.

By putting stock in SEO as well as outsourcing it, Public Relations Firms will be able to retain their larger clients with greater frequency as well as set their sites on medium sized businesses that previously hid their wallets when someone mentioned the words “press release.” Similarly, by outsourcing to PR firms, Search Engine Optimization companies will be able to service more clients, while providing all around better results.

The most important point to remember here is that neither SEO nor PR firms have the whole of the online promotions pie yet. PR’s strengths lie in creating visibility, but not technical prowess. SEO is just the opposite. They’re a veritable Ying and Yang, an Odd Couple, Bonnie and Clyde, Simon and Garfunkle, Best Buds just waiting to find each other out there in the entangled world of bandwidth, servers and free information that is the internet.


Sensor Boards Unable to Stop Addshells to Making People Expose

If you run an online business and coerce no traffic to search engines, your attempt will go futile. There is no use scuttling the business if there is no profit! What is necessary is a top unique placement for your site in the fast moving search engines and drive traffic. Here, AddShells helps you rank best, welcome traffic and increase profit.

At AddShells “We build your office”. Your web site is your 24h office open to the world. Since the web has almost unlimited functionality we have to carefully consider what functions of your business to bring online.

Your web site may be only a company and products presentation showing the product and giving full detailed info about it. It may include some interactive guides to help the user identify the right product for him. Or even have e-commerce functionality letting the users order your product/service directly. Also the web site can include teaser scenarios to attract visitors to it.

About AddShells

AddShells is the team of young professionals headed by two young entrepreneurs. You can expect us to start by getting a deap understanding of your business or product, acting as consultants for selecting the best ideas which suits your business.

Our technical team is capable of building very complex and sophisticated tools that can do anything the Web will allow, all the while maintaining simple functionality and ease of use. There’s no Web software application too big or small for AddShells.

The Impacts of Bad Web Design

As per International Research estimates several costs of bad website design. The two most striking are:

  • Loss of approximately 50% of the potential sales from the site as people can’t find what they are looking for.
  • Loss of repeat visits from 40% of the users who will not return to the site when their first visit resulted in a negative experience.

AddShells can either design your site using world benchmark standards in website usability, or provide consultancy services for you outlining the problematic areas in your website. Please contact us today to discuss your requirements.


Value of Lean CRM

According to Rebecca Gill, vice president of Technology Group International, ( an ERP supplier that incorporates CRM into its offering, “We believe that CRM should not be a separate module; it must be an integral part of any ERP or distribution package. To have a complete 360 degree view of the customer, CRM must be throughout the entire enterprise.”

Gill also noted that aftermarket sales are driving significant industrial CRM technology solutions because manufacturers recognize the value-added profit opportunities available with increased service and aftermarket sales. Only when the minutia of industrial customers` content is detailed in a CRM system can aftermarket sales opportunities be effectively exploited.

PARTNER CONSULTING DO BRASIL is aligned with the client and the market, with differentiated services, practice and efficient methodology, and focus in results and has a mission: Contribute to business development of the clients, adding competitive differences and maximizing results. The company recently published a feature article by leading Manufacturing Journalist Thomas R. Cutler ( regarding the role of Lean CRM. The article may be read in its entirety at

About Technology Group International, Ltd.

Founded in 1990 and headquartered in Toledo, Ohio, Technology Group International is a proven technology leader delivering Tier 1 application software functionality at a price performance level that can be readily accepted by organizations of all sizes. Specializing in software systems for small and mid-market manufacturing and distribution companies, TGI’s integrated Enterprise Series software suite is a complete business process management solution. The product offering includes Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP), Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP), Supply Chain Management (SCM), Warehouse Management System (WMS), Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS), Decision Support System (DSS), Business Intelligence, Manufacturing Execution System (MES), and eCommerce. TGI implements, maintains, enhances, and supports its packaged distribution and manufacturing software solutions directly and via its channel partners.

Thomas Cutler

Small Business Web Design

In today’s web world, online marketing and e-commerce is an integral part of any business strategy. Small businesses are less on capital and marketing funds. A website helps the small business to reach a greater customer circle and be known to clients worldwide. Also the customers can get an easy access to the services of the business. The investment on designing a website for small businesses is less. Hence, the web site will not be known to all the targeted viewers.

More and more small businesses are investing more on web marketing in order to increase the viewers to convert them into potential customers. Small business web designing is an easier process since the web pages required is lesser. The links to the pages are however very less. This results in the web site not appearing in the top results in a search page.

A small business web designing is done by various firms that are expert in the field. Since the amount invested into designing is less, the website contains lesser contents. The designers create simple looking pages with fewer contents. Precise articles regarding the business and its service is displayed in the web pages. The designers see to it that the most likely targeted keyword appears in the HTML title text. The keyword should also appear frequently in the HTML body text. This ensures the web page to be displayed to the viewers who are searching with the targeted keyword in mind. The next objective of small business web designing is to optimize the site. This can be done by search engine optimization technique which helps the website to appear higher in ranking in search results.

The above methods help the business to market itself to the targeted customers and also establish them in the desired market. But in order to design the right web site as mentioned previously, the owner of a small business has to invest considerably more on designing. Although an online marketing and e-commerce can provide an increment in customers, it does not necessarily contribute in complete success of the business.

Grant Lee

Modern Man and His Mobile Phone

Since the earliest mobile phone became accessible in the 1980’s, there were numerous changes on the trend and features of these handsets. You might be one of those of millions of fanatics around the globe who depend on their city phones for more than just their communicating needs. What is it about mobile phones that make them essential items?

The UK is always in the know when it comes to the current trends in the mobile phone industry. The average UK mobile phone shop makes tons of revenue from the sales of handsets alone. By 2006, revenues from mobile handset income from retail stores in the UK reached as high as £38.5 billion. In 2007, more than 70 million residents of the UK use mobile phones for various purposes, and they are not just for making calls.

You can easily buy the newest models of phones at your closest phone shop and even online from websites, too. The four top mobile service providers in the UK, based on the number of subscriptions are O2, Vodafone, Orange, and also T-Mobile.

These companies put up their stores online, so interested clients can easily check and avail of phone models that suit their active and busy schedules. The great deals offered by these four mobile giants include cheap mobile phones with equally affordable subscription plans, which can be pay-as-you-go, or paid on a monthly basis for a 12 month contract.

As part of the editor’s top picks from CNET UK, Nokia and Sony Ericsson models are fast becoming crowd favorites in the country. Among the top selling models are the Nokia N95 and Nokia 6500. These handsets are adored for their multimedia features, messaging options, as well as 3G connectivity. 3G allows users to get online at speeds faster than WAP or GPRS. This allows mobile lovers to check mail, browse sites, watch streaming video, and download files on their mobile phones in less time than usual.

Even the younger UK population is never behind when mobile phones are being discussed. As a matter of fact, nearly half a million children were documented to already know how to use a mobile phone. The teenage group and young adult group of 13 to 24 years old are also very active mobile phone users, especially for text messaging and calling. The National Statistics Office in the UK also found out that more than 70 percent of households own a mobile phone.

David Webster

Brand Planning Models – Kevin Lane Keller

There are many reasons why Kevin Lane Keller is widely regarded as one of the most notable strategic brand planning and marketing thought leaders in the world today. His resume is impressive. He is currently a Professor of Marketing at the prestigious Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College in the USA, but as a consultant he boasts big-name clients such as Unilever, Disney, American Express, Proctor and Gamble, Levi-Strauss and Starbucks.

Kevin Lane Keller’s proven track record, as well as an impressive list of credentials has lent authority to his marketing models – many of which are taught in MBA courses around the world.

In addition to all of this Kevin Lane Keller has written a number of books including well-known titles such as Marketing Management and Best Practice Cases in Branding. His most notable work is perhaps Strategic Brand Management (1998 & 2002, Prentice Hall), which is standard reading for marketing students on the topic of brand management. Other published work includes Marketing Management which he co-authored with Philip Kotler who was listed in 2008 by the Wall Street Journal as the sixth most influential person on business thinking.

Through this collaboration Kotler and Keller form the gold standard in marketing management. The latest edition of Marketing Management (published in 2009) reflects the latest changes in marketing theory and practice. The topics covered in the book include brand equity, customer value analysis, data-base marketing, supply chain management, segmentation, targeting, positioning as well as newer disciplines such as e-commerce, hybrid channels and integrated marketing communications.

To be a marketing thought leader you must come up with a seminal piece of thinking that changes the way people think. Kevin Lane Keller’s models for managing brands are used all over the world and taught on many MBA programmes.

Great brands do not just come about by accident. They are as the result of careful and creative planning. For a brand to succeed, creative brand strategies need to be developed. In an eBook entitled Brand Planning, Kevin Lane Keller proposes three tools, or models, to assist in brand planning.

These are complementary models that build on each other in terms of size and scope. Much like Russian dolls, the first model is a component of the second, and the second is a component of the third.

The three models as described by Keller can be summarised as firstly the brand positioning model. This model describes how to establish competitive advantage in the minds of customers in the market place. The second model is a brand resonance model which describes how to create intense and loyal relationships with customers. The third and final model is the brand value chain model that describes how to trace the value creation process in order to better understand the financial impact of marketing costs and investments.

When these three models are combined, they provide crucial micro and macro perspectives that are required for brand building. This enables marketers to create brand strategies that maximise profits and long-term brand equity, while being able to track their progress as they implement these strategies.

Keller’s extensive research into the understanding of consumer behaviour has improved the way many companies apply their marketing strategies and the way they build, measure and manage brand equity. This helps brands improve the design, implementation and evaluation of integrated marketing programs.

Jonathan Andrews

Real Estate Indya – the Ultimate Resource for Indian Real Estate(property) Search

Whenever one tries to buy a new property or shift from his current property to a newer one he or she often has to face various hassles. Various problems arise in the process of property search in India, which satisfies his or her criteria. If one manages to find a house which satisfies his requirements and which is equipped with all the necessary facilities of water and electricity he may still not be able to make the deal due to failed negotiation between him and the seller. For instance, the buyer may be agreeable to the cost of the property but he is not in a position to make a one time full payment and at the same time the seller is not happy with the idea of payment through installments that may take a period of up to a year or so. In this scenario Real Estate Agents in India comes in the picture. A good real estate agent can be handy in such situations.

India has seen huge growth in the real estate industry in the past years. It is still growing with tremendous pace. Real Estate Indya will enable or provides a platform to search all leading real estate agents and brokers, real estate services, real estate sites dealing in commercial and residential properties, realtors, mortgage, foreign direct investment, real estate book, polls, articles, career in real estate and many more. You can also search for India Real Estate agents, property dealers, builders, developers across India and other resources such as Vastu Shastra/ Feng Shui consultants, Home Loans for residential Real Estate sector in India. It also maintain’s a comprehensive list of residential and commercial properties across India and our alliance with major real international real estate portals provides our clients with options to invest in International property. Find out the true Real Estate Property Search Engine.

Over the years advancement of Technology has made things easier for us both in terms of cost and comfort. E-commerce is a technology via which one can conduct online exchange of goods and services for money. This also involves online transfer of money from one person’s bank account to another person’s. Websites like E-bay, Real Estate Indya and E-wallet acts as a mediator between the two dealing parties and also the medium for exchange of goods or services for money. Another important area that facilitates real estate business India and other parts of the world is websites like 99acres and India bricks, which allows the property seekers to conduct property search India via these websites.

As a result of wide access, these websites are equipped with large databases that constitute diverse type of properties and office space India. Many foreign investors are also willing to invest in India by setting up an office in India. The growing trend of Indian economy has attracted many MNCs towards Indian properties over the last several years. Sky is the limit for economic position of India provided the benefits of technologies are efficiently utilized for growth of various sectors like property and alike. It is up to our government as to how it formulates and alters various policies pertaining to technologies like telecom etc for the good of their own country.

Jack Macferson

Cyber Crime Law Separating Myth From Reality

Remember Bruce Willis, the main protagonist in the fourth installment of the Die Hard series last summer?Live Free or Die Hard depicts Willis as the New York police department detective John McClane who is commissioned to capture a gang of ‘cyber terrorists’ intent on shutting down the entire world’s internet. In today ‘sincreasingly volatile world of mobile activated bombs and websites of various militant groups, it is not hard to imagine the Die Hard scenario materializing in real life as well.

One of the most fascinating aspects of modern technology is how it has penetrated every scope and strata of society. Everyone from the uneducated mechanic to the high-profile chief executive officer of a firm now carries a mobile and is aware of what a computer is. This infiltration of technology in our communities has, by and large, proved to be beneficial. But like every other good thing, technology too can be exploited. This exploitation, among other things, has resulted in certain crimes being committed through or against
computers, their affiliated networks and the information contained within them.
Thus, came about the neologism of cyber crime.

Even though the term is now widely used in law circles, disagreements are
aplenty regarding what actually entails cyber crime. President of,
India’s largest cyber law information portal suggests that the term is a
misnomer. “The concept of cyber crime is not radically different from that of
conventional crime,” says in a report on the portal, “Both include conduct
whether act or omission, which cause breach of rules of law and [are]
counterbalanced by the sanction of the state. Cyber crime may be said to be [one
of] those species, of which, the genus is conventional crime, and where either
the computer is an object or subject of the conduct constituting crime,”

However, despite the similar legal nature of both conventional and cyber crime,
they are substantially different in practice. Cyber crimes are far easier to
learn how to commit, require fewer resources relative to the potential damage
caused, can be committed in a jurisdiction without being physically present in,
and until recently, their status of illegality has been, at best, vague. As the
global technology policy and management consulting firm McConnell Institute
notes in a comprehensive report on the subject, many countries’ existing archaic
laws threaten the global information dynamic

“The growing danger from crimes committed against computers, or against
information on computers, is beginning to claim attention in national capitals.
In most countries around the world, however, existing laws are likely to be
unenforceable against such crimes”.

The report added, “Existing terrestrial laws against physical acts of trespass
or breaking and entering often do not cover their ‘virtual’ counterparts. New
kinds of crimes can fall between the cracks.”

Furthermore, efficient law enforcement is further complicated by the
transnational nature of cyberspace.

“Mechanisms of cooperation across national borders are complex and slow. Cyber
criminals can defy the conventional jurisdictional realms of sovereign nations,
originating an attack from almost any computer in the world, passing it across
multiple national boundaries, or designing attacks that appear to be originating
from foreign sources. Such techniques dramatically increase both the technical
and legal complexities of investigating and prosecuting cyber crimes.”

To protect themselves from those who would steal, deny access to, or destroy
valuable information, public and private institutions have increasingly relied
on security technology. But in today’s rapid world of e-commerce, self
protection, however essential, alone cannot make up for a lack of legal
protection. Many countries, therefore, now have separate legislation against
such activities.

The bill covers two basic types of cyber crimes. One in which computers
themselves are targets (such as criminal data access, data damage, malicious
code, and various other kinds of information theft on computer networks), while
the other in which computer and other technology are used as a tool to commit
virtual versions of various conventional crimes (such as cyber terrorism,
electronic fraud and forgery, cyber stalking and spamming, etc).

For the average internet surfer, unaware of the technical definitions of most of
these offences, the law may appear quite confusing at the first glance. It shall
come as no surprise, therefore, that disagreements regarding the ordinance’s
interpretation persist even in the broader legal fraternity. In particular, it
has come under fire from civil rights groups and a section of lawyers who
denounce it as “effectively and practically […] useless against cyber crimes”
but nevertheless creating “enormous obstructions and nuisances for IT enabled
[…] businesses and individuals” as well as considerably sacrificing individual
liberties such as that of privacy.

Mark Tamale (former member of the information technology law forum and the
ministry of science and technology) who has been at the forefront of the
awareness campaign, ‘Take a bite out of the cyber crimes law’ has criticised
this and other sections of the ordinance as being too ambiguous. He implies that
the law could, as a consequence, render even something as innocuous as googling
‘how to make an atomic bomb’ a ‘terrorist act.’ Surely however, the ‘knowingly
engages in’ portion of the statue as well as the subsequent definition of

‘terrorist-ic intent’ should make this a highly unlikely possibility.

A more pressing concern however, at least for the average citizen would be of
privacy. Sections of the law pertaining to corporate responsibility require all
internet service providers to store up to 90 days of data regarding consumers’
internet usage. Service providers are also, in turn, legally bound to comply
with federal law enforcement agencies if they require such data. Such broad
ranging powers for the law enforcement agencies are a common feature of the
ordinance, which also empowers the Federal Investigation Authority to issue an
arrest warrant without any direct involvement of the judiciary.

This means that in effect if the peoples found out how you took a picture of the
man that always stands at the beginning of your lane and then posted it in your
blog, then you may end up in jail (section 13 (d) of the bill renders it illegal
to distribute any image on the Web without the prior explicit consent of the
person in the picture). You may also be arrested for bombarding all your
‘frands’ with Valentine Day wishes (section 13 defines cyber stalking as
‘communicating obscene, vulgar, profane, lewd, lascivious or indecent language,
picture or images with an intent to coerce, intimate or harass any person using
a computer network, internet, network site, electronic mail or any other similar
means of communication’).

Worse still, if you committed any of 21 crimes enlisted in the bill in your
office premises, you will not only end up in jail yourself, but land your bosses
in hot water as well. For section 21, on offenses by a corporate body, holds any
corporation responsible for any action which was committed on its instruction or
for its benefit. Some of these definitions, even by layman standards paint very
abstruse criteria.

Even if one puts aside valid concerns about the lack of procedural safeguards
and due process to protect the rights and the liberties of individuals, one
cannot help but wonder how it will become a nightmare to implement the law, and
then prove any accusations in a trial, especially given the international nature
of cyber crime. Unless the crimes mentioned in it are defined in a manner
consistent across other international jurisdictions, coordinated efforts by law
enforcement officials to combat cyber crime will remain largely complicated and
unsuccessful. There is also a most pressing need to educate law enforcers
themselves about the nature of technology involved, so they can distinguish
aptly between a casual surfer and genuine cyber criminal. The past reputation of
our law enforcement agencies does not leave one with a lot of confidence in this

In short, a separate ordinance for cyber crimes is in it self a step in the
right direction. After all, rule of law in any capacity always constitutes
towards blossoming a trustworthy environment for business and individuals to
work in. But merely passing a law has never been enough to curtail any crime;
the real deterrent will be its implementation and awareness among the public.

Howard Haines

Desperate For Customers, Too

Television commercials, radio interviews, magazines ads, newspaper classifieds, direct mail, and etc. are just marketing tactics. Tactics are wasted when applied without a strategy. Take chess for example, you can apply the tactics without a strategy. You can pin pieces, fork pieces, double check, skewer pieces, and apply discovered check. Tactics may win you a few pieces but alone it will not win you the game. The same is true when marketing without a strategy. A good strategy will suggest what tactics to use based on the situation.

A strategy is nothing more than a well thought out plan or method. Your strategy should have a stated objective or outcome. No matter what, your strategy must motivate the prospect to take some action. You have to determine what that action will be.

Your objective could be to get the prospect to come to your website. Or your objective could be to get your prospect to sign up for a newsletter or coupons. Or your objective could be to get the prospect to call you. Or your objective could be to get the customer to visit your place of business. Be crystal clear about your objective.

You need to be clear about your objective because it dictates your actions. If your call to action is a phone call then ensure you answer with a friendly and upbeat voice. If your call to action is to visit your place of business then make sure you open on time. If you offer a coupon then make sure you honor it. If you offer a one-hour free consultation then be sure it’s one-hour and free. Make sure you can meet the demand of your call to action, no matter what it is.

What if your objective is marginally successful? What happens when your call to action does not result in a sale? Your marketing strategy should address this. Should you have a process in place to follow up with the prospect? Of course, you should have a process in place to follow up with the prospect.

Do you want to know a secret? Your prospects will do exactly as you ask. My early articles asked readers to sign up for my weekly ezine. And that is exactly what prospects did. Prospects came to my ecommerce website and signed up for the ezine but rarely bought my products. Ouch! Don’t repeat this mistake. Ask for the sale first then offer an ezine or newsletter if a prospect does not buy.

So, if you don’t get a prospect to buy on first contact then offer to send them a brochure or newsletter. You just want capture contact information. Maybe the prospect wants to buy but has another barrier such as no money today. Remember a prospect is not a stranger! It may take periodic contact to turn a prospect into a customer.

Tactics are more effective when used within the framework of a strategy. Your marketing strategy should have a stated outcome. You must call your prospect to action. You must be able to meet the demand of that call to action. Your marketing strategy should have a contingency to maintain contact with a prospect if they don’t buy. It’s also good business sense to maintain contact after a prospect becomes a paying customer. It’s cheaper to keep a customer then get a new one.

Failing to have a marketing strategy will leave you desperate for customers.

Sean Caruthers