Marketing to Millennial Women

If you read our blog about millennials last month, you know that there are currently 80 million millennials in the U.S. with an annual buying power of over $600 billion. With a prediction of millennial spending power of $1.4 trillion in the next five years, it is not a stretch to say that women will hold at least half of this trillion-dollar bank.

With that being said, it would behoove your company or business to have a female-driven millennial marketing campaign in mind.

For some agencies, marketing to millennials can be intimidating. According to a NewsCred study, 30% of millennials flat-out refuse to read content that doesn’t either entertain or inform them, 60% will only share content that is thought-provoking and intelligent, and 70% share content that makes them laugh. That is a pretty tall order.

However, marketing to specifically millennial women might be a little easier. After all, since “70% of millennial women consider shopping to be entertainment,” you have ample opportunities to put your company in the line of fire. 

Here are some tips on how to get to know female millennials to make the most out of your marketing campaigns:

Great Personal

If you take anything away from this blog post, this is it. Millennials want you to get SPECIFIC. Part of the reason your marketing campaign isn’t working is because it’s too broad. Millennial women want to feel like their brands “get” them. Know your audience well, and create smaller segments or niches to make them feel like they have your full attention.

According to NewsCred, “Sephora is doing an amazing job with this by using their “Beauty Insider” in-store buyer rewards along with their customized skin tone-matching technique to target products to specific shoppers based on their previous purchases and coloring.” If you don’t have the technology to personalize your product this way, you can start by personalizing your emails. “That will give you on average a 26% higher open rate.”

According to NewsCred, “Sephora is doing an amazing job with this by using their “Beauty Insider” in-store buyer rewards along with their customized skin tone-matching technique to target products to specific shoppers based on their previous purchases and coloring.” If you don’t have the technology to personalize your product this way, you can start by personalizing your emails. “That will give you on average a 26% higher open rate.”

 

Social Media

Millennial women make up the majority on social media platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram. Both of these as well as Facebook and Twitter are fertile grounds for brands to grow awareness as well as click-throughs. To get female millennials to engage with your brand, create lots of opportunities for open communication: Get them talking about your product, commenting on and sharing posts and reviewing your products online. Find ways to be part of their ongoing research and dialogue by responding to comments. Create hashtags and giveaways. Optimize all your content for multiple devices, and make sure your content is shareable. And finally, use attractive photos and aesthetically pleasing graphics to coincide with your brand’s theme. Millennial women are attracted to beauty, and we look to create beauty in our surroundings. Naturally, they want products, services, and offerings that look and feel professional. 

Millennial women are attracted to beauty, and we look to create beauty in our surroundings. Naturally, they want products, services, and offerings that look and feel professional. 

 

Be Inspirational

If you want your brand to succeed, make it inspirational. This generation of Millenials believes they can change the world or at least make it a better place. They’re thinking big, optimistic of the future, and are looking to be inspired. 

According to YFS magazine,”think of your brand as a movement and work to build a platform for realizing your customers’ aspirations. The goal here is to align your product or service with a bigger idea that transcends any single transaction.”

 

Diversity

43% of millennial are not white, according to a 2014 Pew survey. Since authenticity and relevance are two of the most important factors for successful content marketing, marketers should be doing their best to reflect the diversity of this generation. This includes race, gender identity, sexual orientation, family makeup, body type, and cultural background. 

A great example of a company utilizing this approach to marketing is  Dove’s Real Beauty campaign. With a clear agenda in mind, Dove features women of all sizes, shapes, and races. They not only show the value of millennial women through this campaign, they also showcase the realistic variety of women’s bodies. Campaigns promoting self-love, diversity and embracing your natural body are embraced by millennial women because they have been void of them for so long. As I mentioned before, millennials want to be inspired. 

Tips for Balancing Work and Family Life

Work-life balance seems to be a common struggle for entrepreneurs and business workers, alike. In fact, according to a Harvard Business School survey, “94% of working professionals reported working more than 50 hours per week and nearly half said they worked more than 65 hours per week.” And according to Forbes.com,”nearly 20% of today’s workforce is a family caregiver during “off-work” hours.” Stress from an almost never-ending workday is damaging to your health, family, relationships, and overall happiness. And on top of that, it actually decreases your productivity.

Balancing work and your family life means something different to every individual, but there are ways to find the harmony between the two. Here are a few of our tips to help you harmonize both aspects of your life so that everyone is healthy and happy.

Scheduling

Kevin Kurse, Forbes.com contributor, wrote an article entitled, “Work-Life Balance: Tips From 24 Entrepreneurs Boiled Down To 1,” where he interviewed 24 leaders of start-ups and entrepreneurs, asking about their work and life balance. Out of all the tips and tricks, the most mentioned piece of advice was keeping a schedule. If you schedule time for work projects, shouldn’t you do that same for family and other areas of your life?

Kurse also says to schedule but don’t make a to-do list. Instead, put all your to-dos on your calendar. “If you want to have an amazing life, you have to be intentional about it. Your calendar is the plan for your time. And time equals life,” said Kurse.

Think about your top priorities and create block times on your calendar to accommodate them. Dinner with the family, going for a jog, date night with your significant other…treat all of these as you would a doctor appointment. You decide what means balance for you and create the life you want for yourself.

Unplug

Let’s face it. We are all glued to our phones. Whether for business or pleasure, your smartphone is as big of a distraction as it is a helpful tool. However, when it comes to working, it has also created expectations of constant accessibility. The workday never seems to end as co-workers and clients can have constant contact with you.

Instead, make quality time true quality time and turn your phone off. This act of self-control can actually make you a stronger person, as well as more present in your own life.  According to Robert Brooks, a professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and co-author of The Power of Resilience: Achieving Balance, Confidence and Personal Strength in Your Life,  “Resilient people feel a greater sense of control over their lives,” says Brooks. Inturn, reactive people have less control and are more prone to stress. If you have scheduled a time to hang out with your family, then be with your family, wholeheartedly.

Slow Down

You are no use to your company or your family if you are burnt out. Not only will you be tired, but your creativity will be greatly stunted, affecting your job performance.

Slow down. Stop striving for perfectionism and start aim for excellence instead.

Healthy Self-care 

Self-care is the kind of activity that yields big positive benefits from just a few simple acts. A bit of self-care each day boosts your physical and mental health, and your work performance, as well.

Make sure you are getting your basic needs:

  • At least seven hours of sleep a night
  • Eat healthy food and avoid junk food and excessive eating or drinking.
  • Exercise.

Among these basics, schedule in time to meditate. Short, meditative exercises like deep breathing or grounding your senses in your present surroundings, are great places to start. “The more you do these, the more you activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which calms everything down, (and) not just in the moment,” says Psychotherapist Bryan Robinson, author of the book Chained to the Desk. 

Although self-care isn’t complex, it can be difficult to practice. It may feel selfish at times, but you won’t be able to help those around you if you don’t care for yourself first. Whatever you do to care for yourself will maintain your positive energy and capacity to juggle work and family caregiving.

 

Comment below and let us know how you stay balanced!

 

7 Ways to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills

Fear of public speaking is on the same list as fear of spiders and even death. We are all at least a little afraid to speak in front of a group of people. Whether it’s in a board meeting with your peers or on a stage in front of strangers, the fear is the same. But resisting public speaking engagements can hold an entrepreneur back since workshops, presentations, and pitches are a great way to network and gain support. With this in mind, here are some ways to improve your public speaking skills to get you out of your shell and into the spotlight.

1. Begin with the End in Mind

Like everything in business, you need to have your plan. Before you start working on your presentation, know your purpose. A great way to figure this out if you are struggling to articulate your main points is to ask yourself some focus questions. Such as:

  • What are you trying to accomplish?
  • What impact do you want to have on your audience?
  • Are you looking to inform? Inspire? Persuade?

Knowing your ultimate purpose and the desired outcome will help you stay focused on the preparation process.

2. Simplify Your Message

You are probably where you are today because of the depth of knowledge in your field of expertise. With all the information you have floating around in your brain, it is difficult to know where to start. Your impulse might be to impart as much of your knowledge as you can to your audience. However, don’t do this! You will overwhelm or bore your audience with unneeded details. Plus, you will lose sight of your focus points. Convey a few powerful ideas that your audience will remember. Simplify your message to include only the information you want your listeners to walk away with.

3. Prepare and Practice

Practice makes perfect is a popular saying for a reason. It works!

Don’t just wing your presentation. Have a clear roadmap of what you are going to say and rehearse it. It also helps to practice speaking in front of another person. Whether it be your spouse, partner or co-worker, get comfortable with speaking your points out loud onto listening ears. They might be able to give you feedback on something that you may have missed practicing alone. Preparation will also allow you to avoid the nervousness associated with being not quite ready.

4. Memorize Concepts, Not Content

While you are preparing and practicing, a helpful tip is to memorize your concepts, not your content. If you have a lot of information you wish to convey to your audience, you might feel overwhelmed when it’s time to starting memorizing. Memorization can lead to sounding over-rehearsed and unnatural. Plus if you forget something, you are left in an awkward silence.

Instead, create bullet points of the content, stories, data and key takeaways that you want to get across in each part of your presentation. Then you will be able to speak naturally about them and give a more flexible presentation, which in turn will be engaging for your listeners.

5. Connect with the Audience

Your speaking engagement will be far more effective if it’s tailored to your specific audience. Spend time learning as much as possible about attendees and gear your speech accordingly. Remember you are on the podium for a reason. You are there to inform, not prove that you are smarter than everyone. By trying to impress your audience with your intellect, you create more distance and could come across as arrogant.The more connected the audience feels to you, the more they’ll pay attention to what you have to say.

6. Body Language

90% or more of communication is nonverbal. Your audience will read your facial expressions, the tone of your voice, the way you use your hands, how you stand and move. A warm, easy smile and calm body immediately tell the audience that you’re comfortable and confident. Pent-up energy can be the death of a powerful speech. If it helps, roam the front of the room or the stage to expend some of that energy. And when the speaker is comfortable, the audience is, too. This is also true is you aren’t comfortable! Practice your speech in front of the mirror and critic what your body language is emulating to others.

7. Let Your Passion Show

Passion is infectious and contagious. Your enthusiasm will also keep your audience engaged. People like seeing passion radiate from someone. It is inspiring and entertaining to watch. If you are truly passionate about what you are speaking about, don’t be afraid to show it. Keep your personality throughout your speech and your listeners will feel a connection to your words.

 

 

Overcoming Challenges Female Entrepreneurs Face

Entrepreneurship was once considered a man’s domain, but times are changing. According to 2015 data from the National Association of Women Business Owners, “more than 9 million U.S. firms are now owned by women, employing nearly 8 million people and generating $1.5 trillion in sales.” New York has far more women- owned businesses than other major cities in the United States. The finding of a study done by Capital One’s Future Edge initiative shows that “the number of women-owned businesses in New York between 2002 and 2012 grew by a colossal 65 percent or 45 new businesses every day. This added more than 56,000 jobs and $3 billion in payroll to the city’s economy.”

Although this is encouraging, women still face a set of challenges not typically shared by male entrepreneurs. Here is a list of 5 of those challenges with some tips on how to overcome them.

 

1. Defying social expectations

Women may feel as though they need to adopt a stereotypically “male” attitude toward business. Traits like being competitive, aggressive and sometimes overly harsh. But successful female CEOs believe that remaining true to yourself and finding your own voice are the keys to rising above preconceived expectations.

It might be difficult to walk into a crowded boardroom meeting and find that you can count the number of women in the room on one hand. It can be unnerving, to say the least.

Hilary Genga, founder, and CEO of Trunkettes says,”Be yourself and have confidence in who you are. You made it to where you are through hard work and perseverance, but most importantly, you’re there. Don’t conform yourself to a man’s idea of what a leader should look like.”

Don’t worry about this idea that you need to be aggressive. Clearly state what you want and need and be firm in your decision making.

“One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes… and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Forty-eight percent of female founders report that a lack of available advisors and mentors limit their professional growth, according to Inc.

Knowing where to find the right support network isn’t always easy. Since the majority of the business world is dominated by men, it can be difficult to make the connections in certain business networks. After all, sometimes it’s not what you know; it’s who you know.

Make connections in other female-focused networks. According to businessnewsdaily.com, a few good places to start include women-focused networking events — such as Womancon, Women in Technology Summit and WIN Conferences— as well as online forums and groups created specifically for women in business, such as Ellevate Network.

There are also 100 women business centers located across the U.S. that run programs and training specifically design for women entrepreneurs.

“The way to achieve your own success is to be willing to help somebody else get it first.” -Iyanla Vanzant

Work life balance is a popular topic among entrepreneurs and anyone in business, regardless of gender. Mothers who start a business have to simultaneously run their families and their companies, which can be challenging and stressful.

Find your balance. Don’t beat yourself up over shortcomings on either front. Finding ways to devote time to business and family is the key to success. And know that you are a force that can handle anything!

“We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own ‘to do’ list.”- Michelle Obama

4. Limited access to funding

One contributing factor that explains why women founders attract less funding is the fact that of the top 20 most active venture capital firms in the city, just 11 percent of the investment teams are women. According to womensuccesscoaching.com, “Firms with a woman partner are more than twice as likely to invest in companies with a woman on the team, and more than three times more likely to invest in companies with women CEOs.”

But according to the Babson report, only 6 percent of U.S. firms are women-run startups.

A great way to overcome this issue is by working to get more female investors involved in supporting each other. Sponsoring and aiding in the growth of other female entrepreneurs companies can help build your network and find supportive investors. Women helping women is always a good thing.

“Support women on their way to the top. Trust that they will extend a hand to those who follow.” – Mariela Dabbah 

According to Babson College’s 2012 Global Entrepreneur Monitor, the fear of failure is the top concern of women who launch startups. Failure is a very real possibility in any business venture regardless of gender.

“You need to have massive failure to have massive success. You may need 100 ‘noes’ to get one ‘yes,’ but that one ‘yes’ will make you more successful tomorrow than you were today,” said Delia Passi, CEO of WomenCertified and founder of the Women’s Choice Award.

Work through the self-doubt and STOP comparing yourself to others. Work through this feeling of fear and harness that energy into motivation to work your hardest.

“The phoenix must burn to emerge.” – Janet Fitch

Women’s History: The Rise of the Female Entrepreneur

Women’s History Month is a big deal for us at Media Partners. As a women-owned business, we want to see the triumph of female entrepreneurs and businesswomen everywhere. In honor of this historical month, we are spending the entirety of March posting blogs, articles, motivational posts and information centered around women in business and entrepreneurs.

Women’s History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981. Congress passed Pub. L. 97-28 which authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week of  March 7, 1982, as “Women’s History Week.” Later, in 1987, Congress designated March the month to celebrate Women’s History for the entire country, after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project.

 

To show how far women in business have come, here is a look provided by National Women’s History Museum’s online exhibit. To see their full slideshow, click here!

This exhibit defines the term “entrepreneur” to refer to a woman who had an idea for a service or product and started a business of her own. American women have owned businesses as far back as colonial settlements.

Women did not historically use the word “entrepreneur” to describe their businesses until the late 1970s; before that, they called them “sidelines” or part-time projects and understood entrepreneurship to describe what men did.

But looking back, it is clear that women’s business ownership deserves a place in the broader history of entrepreneurship; hence the use of the term in this exhibit.

1910-1939

Up through the nineteenth century, women-owned businesses primarily included taverns and alehouses, millinery and retail shops, hotels, and brothels, and were often operated as a way to provide an income for women who found themselves without a breadwinning man. Business, then, was a way for a woman in potentially dire circumstances to provide for herself rather than become a social burden. 

From 1900 through 1929, Progressivism, feminism, consumerism and immigration all gave rise to a climate that was not only conducive to women’s entrepreneurship but also highly accepting of them. Like many women’s ventures at this time, their primary markets were typically other women, but New Women entrepreneurs often tinged their businesses with a sense of purpose beyond simple economics.

1940-1959 

World War II brought many women into the workforce, filling jobs so men could go off and fight. That same patriotic fervor also inspired many women to consider starting businesses of their own. The Boston Globe’s “women’s pages,” for example, featured Polly Webster’s column, “War Time Wife”, packed with tips for weathering the hardships of the war years—including how to generate income from home-based businesses. 

When World War II ended, women were pushed from wartime jobs for returning soldiers, and many went straight into businesses of their own.

 The Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs and state officials—first in New York and then nationwide—ran workshops for aspiring entrepreneurs with advice from trailblazers such as Elizabeth Arden and male business leaders. There were advice books and free pamphlets. Reader’s Digest included women among the winners of its 1946 competition for best business ideas. The press hailed women entrepreneurs for helping to rebuild the economy by increasing the number of women-owned businesses from 600,000 in 1945 to nearly 1 million by 1950. 

By the 1950s—the age of celebrated domesticity—the home became the new site of, and justification for, starting a business. Everywhere women turned, they received messages that home and family were their primary roles. But the baby boom and an assortment of new consumer goods—from cars to clothes to appliances—also meant that even middle-class families needed more cash. Women stepped up, often capitalizing on homemaking skills to build businesses. They defined their home-based businesses as part of being a good mother. 

1960-1979 

By the early 1960s, the changing social and cultural landscape provided new incentives for would-be women business owners. Divorce rates escalated during the 1960s and single mothers struggling to balance childrearing and their new roles as providers saw in business a possible solution. Women, like beauty maven Mary Kay Ash and advertising executive Mary Wells, started companies of their own as a way to assert their independence in the male world of business. 

The Civil Rights and women’s movements of the 1960s and 1970s brought a new sense of purpose and a language of rights and empowerment to women entrepreneurs. Nonetheless, the result was a change in the way women understood themselves and their ventures, seeking not just to start businesses but to be seen as equals in the world of enterprise.

Feminists founded businesses along movement principles, such as publishing ventures that would give voice to women’s words and perspectives, including the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective, the Feminist Press, and Ms. Magazine. Women entrepreneurs also began to move beyond traditionally female categories and into previously male bastions of technology, metals, and finance.

1980-1999

By the 1980s, the hard work of the previous decades was paying off: women entrepreneurs like Martha Stewart and Vera Bradley…owned 25 percent of all US firms. What’s more, the public and politicians widely acknowledged that women entrepreneurs were a vital component of the nation’s economy. New initiatives, including how-to seminars and government programs, sought to ensure that women had the resources necessary to start and grow their businesses.

In 1988, urged on by the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), Congress passed The Women’s Business Ownership Act, which ended discrimination in lending, eliminated state laws that required married women to have a husband’s signature for all loans and gave women-owned businesses a chance to compete for lucrative government contracts.

2000-Present Day 

It’s been a bumpy ride for women entrepreneurs in the early 21st century: on the upside, their numbers continue to grow, and Key Bank, Goldman Sachs, and other institutions have increasingly launched financing initiatives targeted solely at would-be women entrepreneurs.

Technological innovation ramped up fast as the 1990s became the 2000s. That not only enabled women entrepreneurs to break into technology-based businesses in record numbers but also to use technology to start, run, promote and accelerate all types of companies. With faster and cheaper Internet, cloud and mobile technologies, women can manage a business from anywhere, with far less startup capital. 

But small and big, women’s ventures came to comprise 30 percent of all U.S. businesses—many of them today in categories that were once men’s alone. The lesson they teach is the power of possibilities and passion for transforming lives.

The next century promises to be even brighter for women’s entrepreneurship. 

 

 

Cold Call Tips and Tricks

Cold calling is challenging, but it doesn’t need to be something that’s feared. Even in a world of ever-evolving technology and multiple ways to contact potential clients, cold calling still remains one of the most cost-effective ways to reach new customers. Like any skill, cold calling takes some time to master.

It involves a lot of preparation, research and evaluating your approach. Thanks to social media and online databases, salespeople have the power to conduct pre-call research and learn important details about a lead before picking up the phone. This is extremely helpful, however, it isn’t the only step to mastering a cold call.

Here are some tips and helpful hints to keep in mind when making contact with potential customers:

Attitude is Everything

Your attitude affects all areas of your life. Even sales. Before you pick up the phone, you need to have the right attitude. Give yourself a pep talk. Stand up tall and make the call.

Be Persistent

You’ve got to be willing to keep calling people back again and again until you reach them and they are willing to speak with you. Adopt a mentality that won’t quit. The prospect will see (or hear rather) your dedication and commitment and could be more receptive to your call.

Believe in Your Product

At the risk of sounding robotic or unconvincing, you need to believe in the product you are selling. Your passion will come through in your voice and can be contagious to whomever you are speaking to. You also have to believe that your product has the best value. Convince yourself that even if your price tag is higher than the competitors, it is still the best value. If you convince yourself and tailor your pitch accordingly, you can convince your prospect as well.

Respect Your Prospects

Treat everyone with respect. After multiple calls in a row and a number of rejects, it can be difficult to keep your morale up. However, you need to start fresh with every call and treat each new prospect with respect and as if it is your first call of the day. Respect goes a long way!

Diversify

Never depend on one call. As Grant Cardone says from InsideSales.com, “Disappointment and rejection are not emotions, they’re indications that your model is broken and you don’t have enough business going on.” So don’t put all your eggs in one basket. You need a lot of calls to be successful. Don’t give up!

 

6 Ways to Boost Morale in the Office

Since employee morale can quickly make or break a company’s success, it is important for business leaders to keep spirits high. After all, low morale can lead to low productivity, poor teamwork and an increase in turnover. An effective leader will keep a close eye on the general morale in the office with simple and creative approaches.

Here are a few of the ways we at Media Partners Worldwide boost morale.

1. Show You Care

At Media Partners, we recognize every single employee’s birthday with a special lunch and themed decor. If someone is getting married or having a baby or celebrating a significant time in their life, we make sure to send gifts in acknowledgment. CEO, Natalie Hale, believes that being involved in employees lives let them feel loved and valued. Not just as employees, but also as family members and human beings.

“When people are loved, they will give more than you can imagine they could for you and your cause,” Hale said. “My employees are the lifeblood of the agency and I want them to know that they matter.”

2. Get Employees Involved 

“Whenever possible, I try to get my employees involved with office decisions. Recently, we were looking for a new buyer and several of the employees were involved in the interview process,” said Hale.

Delegating as a team to make decisions for the office on things like new software or new companies to work with can definitely boost the morale. Involving employees in the conversation, makes each person feel they are a valued member of the company. Everyone has their own individual thoughts and suggestions and it’s important for everyone to feel engaged and that their feedback makes a difference

3. Create a Comfortable Environment

Currently, we are in the process of rearranging the office to make it more comfortable for the staff and more welcoming to visitors. As I mentioned above, this is a collaborative effort. We are bouncing ideas off one another and giving our suggestions to our CEO. Comfort in the office is important because we spend the majority of our week in this building. People are more productive when their environments are healthy and happy.

4. Provide Lunches and Snacks

Food is always a great morale booster. Our CEO provides lunch on a weekly basis which the entire staff greatly appreciates. It is a way of showing us that we matter as well as a special treat to look forward to. Rewards such as these, or snacks, significantly improve the morale, as well as bond the entire office more closely together. In addition, outings like lunch at restaurants or a company happy hour are fun ideas to switch up the day to day routine.

5. Be Flexible About Time Off When Necessary

Your employees shouldn’t have to dread asking for time off. As dedicated as each staff member is to the business, they do have a personal life outside of the office. Necessary requests for family or health purposes require business leaders to be flexible and giving. This improves morale because employees know that if something comes up in their life, they won’t be penalized for it at work. Getting rid of any sense of dread, if possible, will allow your staff to actually be happy coming to work! And that is what every company wants. Happy employees!

6. Find Ways to Give Back to the Community 

Everyone feels great when they give back. During Christmas time, our office sponsored a family with the Long Beach Women’s Shelter. Our entire staff contributed generously and we eventually had bags and boxes full of presents to give to the family in need. Finding ways to contribute to your community will not only develop notoriety within your city, but it will also boost the attitude in the office.

 

 

How Direct Response Can Work For Your Business

Deciding what type of marketing campaign will be best for your business is the first challenge when it comes to advertising. There are basically two types you can choose from. The first is “branding” or mass marketing. The goal of branding is to remind customers or prospects about your brand and the products and services you offer. The more times your ad is run, the more likely people are to have this brand in mind when they are considering making a purchase.

 

However, if you are a small or new business, this approach is not always feasible. This brings us to the second type of marketing: Direct Response.

Direct response marketing is all about giving your prospective customer a specific action, such a picking up the phone and calling for more information, following a link to a web address or joining your email list.

Here are some of the main benefits of creating a direct response ad:

Tracking

With direct response, you are able to keep track of what ad or which media compelled your customer to pick up the phone, visit your website or place an order. This tracking information will show you would advertisement is actually working for your business, which can save you a lot of time and money in the future.

Targeting

Because you are able to measure just how effective your ad is, you can also get your hands on value information such as specific niche markets, geographic zones, and demographics based on the clicks and calls you receive. Marketing is extremely effective when it can appeal to a narrow target market.

Special Offer

Usually, direct response marketing contains a special offer decided to get prospects to engage in your call to action. It doesn’t necessarily have to sell something; it is merely a device to get more traffic to your call centers or website. The offer focuses on the prospect rather than on the advertiser. It speaks of the prospect’s interests, desires, fears, and frustrations.

Demands a Response

Instead of simply presenting information, like advertising a 50-percent off sale, direct response marketing requires the customer to respond to receive the offer. Therefore interested prospects have an easy way to respond and learn more about your products. Whether it’s calling a toll-free number to hear more information or visiting your website, your customer is obliged to respond directly to you.

Personal

Overall, direct response is the best form of advertisement when it comes to establishing a relationship with prospective customers. If you want your business to excel, there needs to be some form of connection between you and the rest of the world. You need a personal touch to make a lasting impression.

 

For more information on direct response and how to market your business, visit us at mediapartnersworldwide.com or give us a call at (562)439-3900.

 

How Being a Good Listener Can Help Your Business

As Greek philosopher, Epictetus once said, “We have two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we speak.” This sounds like something your mother may have said to you as a child when you were too busy back talking instead of doing what she said.

However, with this logic -either Epictetus or your mother’s- good listening can affect every aspect of your life, even business.

Research shows that the average person listens at only about 25% efficiency. While most people agree that listening is a very important skill, most don’t take the time to improve their own skill set. We might focus on the mechanics such as nodding or eye contact, but a truly good listener goes beyond that.

Since the purpose of marketing and advertising is to influence peoples’ perceptions and behavior, good listening should be at the forefront of business skills to master.

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Why Listening is Important

Most companies try to listen to their customers as they are invested in their customer’s satisfaction. But are they understanding their customers?

Listening is more than the ability to hear what people say. It’s about being curious and contemplating someone’s desires and motivations. Empathy plays a huge role here.  In order to truly get a grasp of what your customers want, you need to able to put yourself in their shoes and be able to narrow down their incentives. Recognize that your customer has human feeling and emotions.

This capability is essential for marketing professionals who want to create messages people will notice, like, care about and remember when making a purchasing decision.

You can notice the ones that miss the mark. The ads feel strained or fake or the message fails to engage the audience.

Don’t let an ad fail due to simple miscommunication. Listen with full attention and implement your ability to understand.

Listening contributes to a personal connection between you and your customer. It also creates openness. If you are focused on listening to your customer instead of speaking as much as you can, there will be room for new ideas and brainstorming. Their authentic brand or ideas will be able to shine through.

So what is your next step?

Here is a list of 10 Tips for Being a Better Listener by Gianfanga Marketing Strategy that we found particularly helpful, and hopefully you will too:

1. Take the time. Marketing is a fast-paced business and there’s huge pressure to create campaigns and strategies quickly. But if you really want to succeed, you need to build in the time and budget up front to gather input from the client, customer, and prospect

2. Listen to the right people. Talk with the people you’re actually targeting with marketing – customers and prospects – not just your marketing colleagues or people like you.

3. Learn the lingo. If you want prospects to relate to your marketing messages, you need to know the terms and phrases they use when talking about their needs and your product.

4. Delve deeper. Go beyond the obvious questions (“Are you satisfied with our product or service?”) to more probing queries that help you understand the motivations that drive behavior. Make questions open-ended so people can use their own words.

5. Feel the emotion. How do people feel about your company and themselves when they use the products or services you provide? Do they feel confident, happy, pretty, smart, safe? Listen for the emotions underlying the purchasing decision.

6. Listen with your eyes and ears. People reveal a great deal with their body language when they talk. They lean in, make direct eye contact, and use their hands to emphasize their points. Watch carefully and notice the details; see what makes their eyes light up.

7. Don’t be judgmental. Be impartial and neutral when listening. Remove your own biases. It’s not about what you think – it’s about what they think.

8. Avoid stereotypes. Don’t assume you know what someone is thinking because they are young, old, male, female, married, single, a high school dropout, or a Ph.D. Making assumptions based on stereotypes or demographics is a common mistake.

9. Take careful notes. Relying on your memory can be dangerous, even if you’re under 30. It’s too easy to remember what you think someone said, not what they actually said. Record and transcribe the discussions. Focus groups always should be recorded for the marketing team.

10. Reflect on what you’ve heard. Think about the totality of the discussion afterward. What was the customer or prospect really telling you? What stands out most in your mind? What do they truly care about? This is what you need to know to create marketing campaigns and content that engage people on a human level.

U.S. Presidents Who Started as Entrepreneurs

President’s Day was created in 1879 and first celebrated the following year. It was originally intended to honor and celebrate the life and achievements of the “Father of the Country,” George Washington. Now, we commemorate all past US presidents, and in particular Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson. Originally held on Washington’s actual birthday (February 22), it was changed in 1971 to the third Monday of February. It was also the first federal holiday to be created in honor of an American citizen.

Today, most are probably just happy for the day off. However, there is a lot we can learn from these past leaders. There are actually a number of former U.S. Presidents who started as business owners and entrepreneurs.

1. Harry Truman

After serving in World War I, Turman opened a men’s clothing store with friend Eddie Johnson upon returning home to Kansas City. It is said that the saying “clothes make the man” could have been coined by Truman. The store was open from 1919 to 1922 but eventually fell victim to the post-war recession. Truman found himself just barely escaping bankruptcy, however, he managed to eventually pay off all his debts.

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2. Franklin D. Roosevelt

Roosevelt founded the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation in 1927. As a sufferer of polio, he raised funds to turn a spa into a for-profit healing center for victims of polio. Still operating today, the Warm Springs, the Georgia-based institute serves about 4,000 people with all types of disabilities each year.

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3. Abraham Lincoln

The only U.S. president to receive a patent, Lincoln invented a device to lift riverboats over sandbars. In 1833, he opened a general store with partner William, Berry. Even though the business folded within a year and Lincoln’s possessions seized by the sheriff, Lincoln didn’t quit. He went on to own a law practice, becoming a symbol of perseverance, for his resilience even in hard times.

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4. Warren G. Harding

In 1884, when Harding was 19, he and several partners purchased a small, struggling newspaper in Ohio called The Marion Star. The newspaper became quite profitable, thanks to his wife Florence who helped manage the business operations of the newspaper. The newspaper eventually provided Harding with the income needed to fund his campaigns for public office.

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5. Herbert Hoover

Hoover launched his own mine engineering business in 1908. His company employed 175,000 workers and specialized in reorganizing failing companies, as well as sought new mining prospects and finding investors to pay for developing the best mines.

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6. Jimmy Carter

After Carter’s father died in 1953, the family farm was in danger of being lost. Carter ended up leaving the Navy that same year and returned to Plains, GA to run the peanut farm. With hard work and dedication, he eventually expanded the Golden Peanut Company by 1959, into an international business with multiple warehouses and a peanut-shelling plant.

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7. George Bush

In 1951,  Bush started the Bush-Overby Oil Development company with his neighbor John Overby, after graduating Yale. By 1953, Bush-Overby had merged with another independent oil company to form Zapata Petroleum, which would later make him a millionaire. By 1959, Bush moved to Houston to become the president of Zapata Offshore.

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