How to make buyers THINK that they’re destined to buy your product

Behavioral AdvertisingAdvertising is getting more and more convenient for Marketers! The smart technology is making it very easy for companies to invest marketing dollars more wisely than before. Small to medium business often times shy away from advertising and marketing plans but I assure you that it is so easy to get exactly what you want for more bang for your buck!

Take for example, behavioral based advertising. Several agencies (i.e. newspaper companies with online presence, online advertising companies, etc) are able to offer online advertising that utilizes browser’s cookies and caches. Your ads can be targeted to a specific audience with your requested criteria.

Let’s say for example, that you are a Los Angeles based swimwear boutique with an online shopping cart. You can request that your ads appear on the screens of those who have recently visited your website along with Nordstrom’s swimwear pages, Tommy Bahama, Expedia beach vacations, and Cruise vacations who are within your targeted region (targeted by zip codes, cities, or distance). The next time internet browsers go to a page where there are ad spaces, there’s a chance that your ad will appear.

In the consumer’s point of view, it is not by coincidence that the product you were just researching about happens to show up on the corner of another website you are visit. It is not serendipity that the Jimmy Choo shoes you were looking at showed up on the ad spaces when you logged on facebook. The truth is, your online behavior is being tracked and marketers can finally get a decent ROI with an ad that can be tracked and analyzed.

Needless to say, I am no longer in the market for print advertising.

CREATIVE MINDS BELIEVE IN GREY AREAS

I usually blog about business, marketing, and events. Seldom will I share sentimental thoughts but I think this one can also be relative to all walks of life, not just in love. My comment was derived from the post realization that this video is a perfect example of believing in “grey areas.”

You shouldn’t give up on people especially when they need you the most. Some selfish minds may think “get out now, no kids, not married… no ties… just leave.” But those are advice from people who understand less the grey areas of life. Some things aren’t that simple. Will the sacrifices feel better if marriage and kids were in the picture? Do you need to say your vows first before you make ultimate sacrifices? If you can’t be there for the person you love now, then how can you expect a lifetime together? I think that the events prior to the vows are just as important. It’s not always about black and white. To think that you aren’t meant for each other because life got a little challenging is exactly the mentality that divorced couples suffer from.

Life got tough, let’s break up! We don’t feel the fire anymore let’s give up! You are not the man/woman I married, let’s give up! WRONG! When things aren’t the way you want them to be, you can either accept the change or change with it. I’m sure plenty of people are on the verge of giving up and their friends and family aren’t supporting “togetherness” because selfishly, whether people admit it or not, they hate to see victory. Stop advising separation and start advocating for togetherness. If you are the friend who gives the separation advice, let me ask you, will you be willing to really be there for your friend through thick and thin? Or perhaps only when she calls you because you have your own life, too? Don’t let your first advice be about separation. Be cognizant of the message you are sending… hold your friends hand and tell her to be strong and to be there for her spouse or other half. Support what the heart truly desires.

Marriage and kids need not come first for people to decide to make ultimate sacrifices for their other half. Perhaps, their love isn’t following your own chronological ideas of relationships but it’s still a valid relationship. Needless to say, I believe in the existence of grey areas.

How does this relate to business you ask? Let’s replace the idea of “spouse” in this blog with the idea of a “dream.” DON’T LET ANYONE TALK YOU OUT OF YOUR DREAMS! It’s your right to make the necessary sacrifices to accomplish the feeling of success the way you measure it.

3 SURE FIRE SIGNS THAT YOU ARE READY TO START YOUR BUSINESS

Act on your dreams!Starting a business is the new black. It seems that there are one too many ENTREPRENEURS nowadays. Starting a business is sexy, to say the least. Being an entrepreneur means you are creative, you think well under pressure, you take risks, and most especially, you take ownership. There are plenty of small business owners who lack the entrepreneurship skills. Business owners who lack entrepreneurial skills refuse marketing planning, advertising strategy, and any other promotional investment.

If you’ve been contemplating on joining the entrepreneur community, here are 3 sure fire signs that you are ready to start your own business:

1. YOU ARE CONFIDENT ABOUT YOUR PASSION. Passion is an important element in the entrepreneurship equation. When things get very challenging, you have to have enough passion in what you do to continue your work and not give up.

2. YOU ARE READY TO SACRIFICE FUN FOR WORK. Yes, the ultimate goal is to live a life “boss-free” but the beginning stages wouldn’t necessarily seem that way. When you are first starting your business, it’s all about work and you’ll have to remind yourself to have play once in a while just to keep your (in) sanity.

3. YOU TRUST YOUR INSTINCT WHEN IT COMES TO TAKING RISKS. Unfortunately, running a business is all about instinct. Most of the time, there are no right or wrong choices, but you’ll definitely need a sound instinct to lean towards a choice that you know, without a doubt, will work best!

3 WAYS TO INCREASE HOLIDAY SALES AT THE LAST MINUTE!

Holiday Sale Tips

If you are a small business owner and don’t have any holiday sales promo or campaign then you are definitely behind! But don’t fret, I have a few last minute ideas that you can personalize and make your own but you must act FAST!

1. CREATE LOST LEADERS - simple but easier said than done. There are only a few days left before Christmas! If you don’t have a plan, then you must roll up your sleeves and start this last minute process by doing a little research. Who are the top players in your industry? What holiday gift deals are they offering? Start looking for examples online! Lucky for you, most things are now online.

A “lost leader” is a merchandise that you are willing to sell at or below cost just to get the people in the door! Offer it as a gift with purchase or a discounted purchase with purchase or a BOGO (Buy One Get One, free or half off). Whatever your offer is, make it a “too good to be true” promo AND offer it only at a limited time.

2. SUGGEST GIFT PACKAGE IDEAS – Have you heard of the term “out of site, out of mind?” Well, this also implies to retail. Shoppers are already very distracted, if you don’t feed them ideas for the perfect gift for him, her, or the kids, then you will be missing out on possible sales. Take some time to group complimentary items together and arrange it as a package deal.

3.  OFFER REWARD POINTS – Reward customers who chose to buy from you. Allow your shoppers to redeem their points earned and encourage them to come and shop with you again after the holidays.

Bill O’ Reilly and John Stewart shouted about “white privilege” – was this a stunt?

So, this video of Bill and John (yes, we are on first name basis) has gone viral because these two older white men discussed and argued about white privilege on national TV. Now, I don’t have a long blog about this but I simply want to pose the question: Where they sincerely indifferent or was this a plot to increase their “minority” viewership and popularity? Because now, as you can imagine, many Blacks and Asian Americans are sharing and arguing about this as well.

If you are a “fair-minded” person, I’m sure you can agree that everything they do is all about the ratings. Sad to say, we will never find out if they really meant what they said.

The Ice Bucket Challenge is Brilliant! This is how it started…

Iggy doing the #ALSICEBUCKETCHALLENGEI honestly wish I thought of this first!

How else can you get J.LO, Chris Brown, Tyrese, Bill Gates, Tyler Perry, Oprah, a whole football team, Lebron James, and many more to buy into your charitable efforts?

This is one of the most brilliant marketing strategies and the ALS foundation didn’t even come up with it!

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has quickly gone from a fundraising campaign to a viral Internet sensation, raising $15.6 million so far for the ALS Association to research Lou Gehrig’s disease.

But how did a campaign that has drawn in celebrities from Oprah and LeBron James to Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg actually start?

Chris Kennedy, a golfer in Sarasota, Fla., was nominated by a friendto participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge, which at the time, had nothing to do with ALS. The campaign was not tied to any specific charity, and participants would select a charity of their choice for donations. Kennedy’s friend had selected a charity that benefits a young child with cancer in the area. Kennedy, passing the challenge along, then selected ALS because a relative is suffering from the disease. Kennedy nominated his wife’s cousin Jeanette Senerchia, whose husband Anthony is the one suffering from ALS. Kennedy posted this video on July 15—what appears to be the first instance in which the Ice Bucket Challenge and ALS were linked. To read more, click here: http://time.com/3136507/als-ice-bucket-challenge-started/ 

So how can something something this brilliant not planned? Mainly because we are all suckers for the Social Media and the word “challenge.” Yes, plenty of teens are into unproductive challenges but this one is actually for a good cause.

Here are five ways you can emulate the success of the ALS BUCKET CHALLENGE: 

1. Make it simple but extraordinary.

2.. Make it meaningful or charitable.

3. Make it fun.

4. Design it to be “shareable”

5. Create a hashtag.

You can view more celebs participating in the challenge, here http://www.rap-up.com/2014/08/18/drake-chris-brown-justin-bieber-iggy-azalea-lady-gaga-take-als-ice-bucket-challenge/

The Survivor’s Fashion Show 2014! See You in 2015…

MY HORROR STORY WITH PAYPAL (Lesson Learned)

My Horror Story With Paypal (lesson learned)

I have been using Paypal for a few years now. First as a buyer and now, as a business owner. Let me preface this by saying that Paypal was not the only one to blame but if they keep allowing this to happen, then there is no hope for small business owners who provide services versus products.

Let’s call the perpetrator “Joe.” Joe purchased two tables for a charity gala worth $2,000 that we produced. Six days after the event, Joe issued a charge back claiming this was an unauthorized charge. Clearly, I was perturbed because this has affected the amount of donation that we had promised the charity to donate after all was reconciled post event.

At first I was hopeful because Paypal allowed me to show them evidence that this was an authorized charge. I sent them text messages and emails and photos of the event for proof that the gala happened and Joe and his 19 guests ate their dinner. Paypal said it takes 30 days for them to review the case but on the 15th day, they sent me an email stating:

As you know, one of your buyers opened a chargeback with their credit card issuer. This means that the buyer has asked their card issuer to reverse the money for this transaction.
We want to help you fight this chargeback, and are disputing it with your buyer’s credit card issuer.

In the meantime, the disputed amount has been debited from your PayPal account because of the following reason(s):

– Intangible items are not covered under Seller Protection.

In addition, you have been debited a chargeback fee.

When I called them to rebuttal this unfortunate conclusion, I told them “Of course it was tangible! Joe and his 19 guests ate all their 20 dinners! Am I wrong?” The Paypal Associate calmly replied: “But it wasn’t something that was shipped.” – PAUSE RIGHT THERE!

You’re reading this… you mean to tell me if I had shipped their dinners then Paypal would cover this with insurance? So the difference between tangible and intangible is “shipping.” Complete nonsense but hey, what’s done is done!

Then the Paypal Associate continued “We have the best dispute team and they are working on disputing this with the credit issuer. It will take up to 80 days to find out whether or not we were successful with the dispute.”

I was speechless so I hung up!

I just felt like I was molested! I work hard to do something great and help raise money for a charity and this is what I get in return? Joe pretty much screwed me and Paypal was not able to help with the situation? On top of that, I was charged $100 more because of a (false) chargeback? I’ve been doing events for almost 10 years and this was a first.

Don’t worry, As mad as I was, I now realized, why the CREDIT CARD AUTHORIZATION form exists and I will be using one moving forward!

Can Your Brand Increase Profit Using a “Gender Segmentation” Strategy?

We all know that men and women have different shopping/buying habits. Can your brand increase profit using a “Gender Segmentation” Strategy? 

5 TIPS FOR POST EVENT MARKETING STRATEGY

5 TIPS FOR POST EVENT MARKETING STRATEGY
Post event marketing is just as important as ticket sales, advertisement, promotions and more. Why? Because your post event marketing strategy will determine the success of your next event. A strong post event marketing strategy can set the tone for the next event by re kindling your guest’s experience and showing the absentees what they’ve missed. Great photos and videos can be a reason for your guests to share it on social media.
Events in the City Post Marketing Tips blog photo
1. Watermark all your photos

- before posting images online, find an app that would allow you to either watermark your logo or your website on the photo. Why? well for the simple reason that once these photos are online, people will find the photos and will be interested to participate for the next one but wouldn’t know how to get in contact with you.
2. Write a blog about it or ask someone to

 – blogging is more than just telling a story online. It’s a way to get “found” online. So when you blog, use the right keywords and always remember to add information about where they can signup to get more info or get more details.
3. Publicly thank everyone who helped make it happen

- You have to exhibit a grateful attitude to keep having successful events. Make people feel good about helping you. People will forget what you say but will never forget how you made them feel. Present certificates to your volunteers and  your sponsors. Then post those photos online and thank them again. You can never thank them enough!
4.   Share and re-purpose your photos and videos
After editing your photos and videos, plan a schedule for when to post them. Naturally, after an event, you want to post all your photos on an album on facebook or other social media means but you should also hold back on some photos, design it by adding text about the event or information about the next event and plan on posting a photo 2x or 3x a month until your next event. Don’t let people forget how great your event was.
5. Create a special tab/archive
On your website, you can create a tab dedicated to archived photos and on there, you can store all your past event photos so when you are getting ready to promote for you next event that potential sponsors and guests can view past event photos. Make sure that you label all your photos correctly and caption them as much as you can.
BONUS TIPS:
When saving your photos on your computer, make sure that you save it using the name of your event and the year for two reasons:
a. Easy navigation – it will be easier for you to search for your photos whenever you need them.
b. Searchable – when people search for your event on Google, the photos that were labeled properly upon upload will show up on the results.
When uploading your photos on your website/blog, make sure that you change the “title” of the photos to your event name and year for the same reason as above. Make it easy for people to find your event and label all your photos correctly!
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