Posts Tagged Business

Business Promotional Products Explained – What They Are and How They Are Used

Business promotional products are any items that may be used to promote something about a business. That might be the whole brand – or it might be a specific product or message from within that brand.

Promotional items may be anything at all, as long as they are either directly branded or used in a way that has immediate relevance to a promotion or campaign. Such a promotion or campaign can be targeted for immediate return (as in a product launch) – or it can be a long term promotion, like getting workers within a company to wear branded protective clothing when they do a job.

The overall purpose of many business promotional products is the creation of a fun or interesting/exciting brand message. The product selected for use in a campaign becomes part of the language of that campaign, and hence is included in the lexicon of the brand itself. The message thus created is imparted by a juxtaposition of the promotional item with the product or brand it is being used to promote.

The use of branded flip flops in a bottled beer promotion is a perfect example of how this works. Flip flops are not, in and of themselves, items associated with the manufacturer and ale of bottled lager. They are, however, associated with holidays, sunshine and fun. So branding flip flops with the logo of a beer manufacturer, and using them in pub giveaways, may associate the name of a particular beer with the idea of summer fun.

Items with some kind of use to the recipient are also highly thought of as business promotional products. A USB stick or other piece of digital media is a prime case in point. In business terms, portable data is always useful – and the cost of printing USB sticks with personalised messages and logos is negligible in terms of the amount of visibility the brand gets when business clients begin using its memory sticks to carry their files with them.

The length of time an end user keeps business promotional items (on average) may be used as a factor in deciding which items to use. It is not always necessary, however, to select the products that have the longest average uptake. The item selected by the promotions manager will depend on the thrust of the promotion itself.

Some kinds of promotion specifically require products that won’t be used for very long. Often, business promotional products of this nature are novelty items, which can be used to enhance a message in the moment rather than dispensing it over a longer period of time.

The short-term message is usually associated with a giveaway promotion; or with promotions designed to help specific brands take ownership of important festivals and holidays. In this last sense, some business promotional products are no more nor less than the packaging in which a normal product is presented. As long as the item associates the brand with the holiday, that’s all that matters. You only have to look at the distinctive red and white branding of a particular soft drink over Christmas to see that in action.

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UK Replaces Japan as World Leader in Mobile Use

The United Kingdom is now a global leader in the mobile market, with its residents who consume more data on their phones or tablets than any other country, according to an Of com report on mobile use.

The U.K. uses 424 megabytes of data each month. Second-runner-up Japan uses 392 megabytes per month, and the U.S. places sixth using 319 megabytes of data, The Guardian reports.

Were you surprised that U.K. residents are the highest users of mobile data? Let us know in comments below…

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Online Marketplaces: The Future is Now

eCommerce
flickr.com/people/29487767@N02

The mail order catalog in its classic form is mostly dead, thanks to the internet. Given time and more technological advances, even retail outlets will soon be out of fashion as well. Nowadays, anything and everything can be purchased over cyberspace, and I think that’s a great thing.

What does this mean for city-dwelling humanity? The changes will seem small and inconsequential at first, but these alterations to their lifestyles will be cumulative, slowly transforming the way we do things. I’ll put on my futurist cap for this piece and put into words what I think will be inevitable for human society.

Conventional Retail Will Cease to Exist

It won’t be long until the large malls will be mostly service and entertainment centers, with retail being isolated to only perishable items like food or drink. Other minor consumable items like cigarettes will be dispensed via vending machines, as it is is not cost-effective to still have people sell these items directly.

There will still be offline places of trade and commerce, but as I mentioned above, it will be comprised of certain services that can’t exactly be delivered to your doorstep (premium spa treatments, dental work, etc.), and along with that, entertainment (live concerts and shows). To me, that’s a welcome development as malls and other places of business won’t be as cluttered and crowded. Just about every necessity can be shopped for in the comfort of your home, and you rarely ever go out for the purpose of errands.

Goods WIll be More Affordable

With more of the actual buying and selling happening online, the costs of the business will actually go down significantly. You won’t need as many people running the operations of a storefront or a retail outlet. Instead of an actual store with a handful of employees, you could just have one or two people running the website.

Costs from advertising via the conventional tri-media (print ads, radio, television) outlets won’t even be an issue, especially with the smaller entrepreneurs. Online advertising is considerably more affordable, and if you really do excel in your business, good word travels much faster over fibre optics.

It won’t matter if you’re actually operating from an old warehouse in a run-down area of the city (or in your parents’ basement); if your website is snazzy and navigable, you have a responsive customer support service, and you deliver on-time, it’ll be likely that you will do well.

Always Available

The internet does not sleep. Stores will always be open, and if one store does not have what you want to purchase, there are literally thousands of other places to look. The only current hindrance is that most delivery services don’t work round the clock (receiving and delivering, anyway), but I’m thinking that there will be companies that will raise the bar on this as well. Already, I’m already imagining small flying (hovering) delivery drones that can receive or deliver most small items…

The Future is Bright, and It’s Mostly Here

Many of the elements needed for this vision of online commerce to happen is already here. There are just a few pieces left to be filled in, and most of them have to do with logistics. Once those technical challenges are solved, we will have such a grand global symphony of goods being bought and sold over the electronic ether; capitalism super-streamlined!

About the Author

Stacey Thompson is a professional writer, marketer, entrepreneur, and a lover of weird little animals. She is based in San Diego, California, and works with many specialized online marketplaces such as Rock & Dirt, NextTruck Online, Trade-A-Plane, and Tradequip International.

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Google Discontinues Free Version of Google Apps for Businesses

Google is no longer offering a free version of Google Apps for businesses.

Instead of having a choice between a free and a premium version, businesses wishing to use Google Apps now have to pay $50 per user, per year.

This version gets them 24/7 phone support, a 25GB inbox, and a 99.9% uptime guarantee.

On the upside, things won’t change for existing customers, i.e. they’ll still be able to continue using the free version.

Furthermore, Google Apps is still free for individuals, and Google Apps for Education will continue to be free for schools and universities.

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Why your Christmas gadgets aren’t getting cheaper this year

Most of us eagerly wait for the festive seasons as it is accompanied by huge discounts over almost every consumer goods starting from clothes, watches, gadgets, computing devices, jewelries and many other such items. This trend of decline in the price of the consumer goods especially electronic goods has been recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics from the year 1998 i.e. the time from which the electronic goods began to be marketed at an affordable price that was acceptable to the consumers.

The Statistics

The Bureau of Labor Statistics in United States has closely studied this downward trend in the prices of the electronic goods and has come to the conclusion that from the year 1998 till 2005 the decline in the prices of the electronic goods amounted to as much as 85% of the initial price of these goods. However, after 2005 a noticeable change is visible in the percentage of decline. From 85% the price decline figure reduced to only 65% in a matter of just a year. Moreover, in the recent time the percentage of price decline has weakened further and presently it is merely 6% of the earlier price.

The drastic fall from 85% to about 6% within a time span of less than two decades has led the economist and market analyst to wander the probable reason behind such a trend and they have come up with the following conclusions.

Economies of scale

Firstly, analysts are of the opinion that the economies of scale theory was primarily responsible for the declining price of the electrical goods since 1997. According to this theory the price of the goods are bound to fall as the production of the number of units of the same good increases. This decrease in the price of good per unit is primarily triggered by increase in demand.

When the demand for goods increase, the amount of goods manufactured also increases and mass production leads to the reduction of the price of the product. This is exactly what contributed to the decreasing prices of the electronic gadgets like mobile phone, laptops and all the high tech devices.

Wifi enabled phones, Bluetooth enabled phones, iPods, pen drives and other device that were considered unaffordable at one point of time were commercialized. Once the common people began to understand their value and dynamic utility, the demand of the goods increased leading to decrease in the prices of the products.

Explanation behind current stagnancy

So the question that is certainly going to crop up in our mind is: What are the factors that have contributed to the stagnancy in the prices of the electronic goods? The analysts are of the opinion that, in the recent time stagnancy is noticeable in the prices of the electronic goods because the manufacturers of these brands have reached the bottom line as far as their profit margin is concerned. The prices at which they are selling the electronic products right now are giving them the minimum profit. Therefore, there is no scope for further reduction in the prices.

These are the two important factors that have been pointed out by www.gadgetank.com which have contributed to the stagnancy of the prices of the electronic goods this Christmas.

If you have planned to invest in a gadget, then do it right away because this is the best price at which the electronic goods are being offered to the consumers.

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Facebook Stock hits $25

The Social Networking Giant, Facebook’s Stock today hit $25 for the first time since July!

Facebook stock opened at $24.94 a share on Monday and rose more than $25 in early trading, this is the first time the stock has traded above that price since the end of July.


Image courtesy of Flickr, deneyterrio.

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5 Free Ways to Promote Your Business Online

Most businesses can get benefit from free online promotion. We got a useful list of the best free resources for promoting your business on the web. While there are hundreds of free ways to promote your business, these are my picks of 5 ways to promote your business online.

The five ways to promote your business online are:-

Social Media

Social Media for Business
Whether you own a small business or big business but if you haven’t brought it in social media craze then it is a flop. Silence is no longer an option. People are online talking about your business.  If you don’t engage in the conversation, you risk losing your customers. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn. Facebook allows you to create a business page.

Guest Blogging

Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is a powerful marketing strategy to get your business noticed. By posting on blogs, you will get the chance to reap the following advantages:-

  • You can get back links from other blogs to your website
  • You can bring new readers to your blog as soon as they click on your bio and your other links
  • You can get increased traffic for your own business site
  • This is also a perfect way to brand yourself

Guest blogging is one of the best marketing strategies to get your business noticed.

Forums

Another great way to promote your business is to start a thread on forums. Forums are a great way to promote your business. Keep in mind, you don’t have to spam the forums or the administrators will disable your account.

Google Places Business Listing

Adding your business to Google Maps or Google Places has become important. It will bring potential customers for your business. Anyone can add their business to Google Places. It’s easy & Google does not charge anything for it.

Website

Nowadays, having a website for business is important because it drives customers to your business. People can purchase your products online from your website which is known as e-Commerce. This will increase your revenue. The importances of having a business website are:

  • No one is using phonebooks anymore!
  • Opportunity to gain more customers
  • Getting a website is cheap and easy
  • A website provides flexible advertising
  • Using your website to track customer behavior 

 

 

Areeb Majeed writes for TechInUs, a technology and gaming blog founded in Kashmir. He is interested in technology and video games.

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Shortcodeservices – Necessary for Every Business

Shortcode Services are nothing but special telephone number services. They are also known as short number services. Today many companies prefer using these features for advertising, communicating with their staff or for many other reasons.  They are shorter than the normal telephone numbers and are used for quick messaging.

It is considered to be one of the most inexpensive techniques for marketing your products. When compared to media and newspaper advertisement methods, shortcode services are only less expensive but often provide better results.  Companies can now send thousands of messages to their clients, without having to incur any major costs.

They are usually 5 digit SMS services that are quite easy to remember.  With the increase in the number of handset users, this technique has become a major success. Customers are also happy as they get a personalized message that informs them of some special discounted offers.  Instead of walking in to each and every store, they can directly walk in to the store and purchase a product of their choice. This saves considerable time for them, and enhances their shopping experience.

What is Prefix?

These shortcode services are associated with prefix, which helps in identifying the service provider. It is an automated service and is quite simple to use. It is because of this reason why marketing and other promotional companies prefer to go with this method. The sender has to follow the instructions, so that they can easily send group messages for their customers, in an effective manner. This is because this prefix your messages are easily delivered to the desired group of people, within no time.

Shortcode Services and Companies:

The service is quite feasible and easy to operate. Thus big organizations prefer purchasing huge shortcode service packages. The management can then send important group messages to all their employees. It can be about a party, gathering, meeting, transport messages or many others.

With this technique, they save time, effort and money. All they need is their employees’ telephone number, to send the text. In conventional technique, a staff of the company will have to manual call every employee or type in the message personally. It is feasible if the organization is small and there is limited staff.

On the other hand, if there is a large staff, then it will be a highly daunting task. Calling them on their contact number is again an expensive thing. Keeping in mind all such reasons, Shortcode services are much preferred over the other techniques.

Importance of Group Messages:

There are many companies that allow trail period offers to their potential clients. During this time they can learn the procedure and understand the methodology. Once they are satisfied with the services they can purchase a package that will suit their business needs in the best possible manner. You can look around for service providers who offer this service at the lowest price.

If you are a job consultant, then you can never miss upon this service.  You can effortlessly send the message to all your potential candidates, at one go. You can let them know the date, time, venue, and other details of the company as well. All you need to do is choose the mobile numbers of the candidates that you have on your database and send them the message.

Stop Facilities:

These services come with a stop option. If the recipient is not happy with the messages or doesn’t want to receive any of them, they can stop it. They can type in a message of STOP and send it back to the same number. However, this message is chargeable.

Author Bio:

Kevin is a marketing professional who works in a top media firm. He likes blogging about various marketing tools and techniques including shortcode services. In his free time, Kevin likes to work on his fitness and go on long walks along the countryside.

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How LinkedIn Can Leverage Your Business Profile

LinkedIn for SMEs

Massive global brands have utilised the many features of LinkedIn to help promote their businesses, but this form of social media platform is often overlooked by small companies as they do not understand how the network can be tailored to work for them.

The truth is, SMEs can benefit greatly from a LinkedIn account, with the advantages rivalling those who have accounts with Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Here are five ways small businesses can use LinkedIn to get their companies up there with the best in their niche.

1. Increase Your Business Network

New and independent companies may have initial difficulty in attempting to create a strong network, not only with employees in the relevant fields, but also B2B relationships which are essential for growth.

LinkedIn makes this process much easier, especially for SMEs who lack a stable following. By adding existing contacts to your profile, as well as more established companies who have perhaps influenced certain aspects of your business venture, the networking aspect of LinkedIn will continue to grow your direct and third party contacts which will, in turn, increase visibility and traffic to your website.

2. Promote Products & Services

A later addition to LinkedIn, the “products” tab gives companies the opportunity to promote what it is that they do, whether that be product manufacture, product sales or the offering of services.

Using social media for promotion ensures visibility of these products and services is far greater and reaches a much wider audience than limiting promotion to a company website only. Becoming a well-known supplier, both in your area and in your chosen field, can lead to a much stronger following which is a necessity when hoping to boost a business profile.

3. Gain Access to Great Employees

Taking LinkedIn back to its original roots, the job board aspect of the social media site can be massively beneficial when searching for employees at the top of their game. Not only can it simplify the headhunting process, it can also be useful in finding those with a genuine interest in the products and services, the business niche or indeed the company itself.

SMEs who really wish to take the industry by storm can seek out employees who are somewhat of a celebrity in their field, with a huge online presence. LinkedIn can also be beneficial in seeing who rival companies have recently hired and what role they will be taking on in said company.

4. Solidify Your Credibility

This is a very simple way to boost your business profile but is anything but basic when it comes to effect. One of the major obstacles standing in the way of new and small businesses is that they do not have the reputation, and consumers are far more likely to want to deal with companies they are familiar with so they know they are not entering into some dodgy deal that is going to leave them vulnerable to theft.

Tech savvy consumers presented with a new business will strive to confirm credibility before purchasing, and the first place they will go to do that is social media. If a company has social media accounts with a good network behind them, it puts a consumer’s mind at rest and confirms they are who they say they are. Using LinkedIn in this way can greatly increase interest in your business.

5. Display Positive Reviews

Another more recent feature to the LinkedIn network, consumers are now able to review your products and services, giving others an honest insight into your business. LinkedIn members are also able to recommend specific products or services, which acts as yet another way of brand promotion and as a further way to boost credibility. LinkedIn is a free method of getting the word out there and if you are looking for a bit of leverage for your business profile, this is a fantastic way to do just that.

About The Author:
Amy Harrisis a writer for Expert Market – which offers a free service to businesses, providing a sourcing tool for finding office equipment and business services (like reasonable franking machines business prices). She enjoys helping assist businesses in sourcing products and services at an affordable rate.

 

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Why conversion optimization is necessary to enhance your profits

Every company should be looking for new ways to grow their business. Whether it is increasing the number of unique visits your website receives or advertising in new locations, a business will not thrive unless it is actively working towards increasing its profits. One of the best ways a company can increase its profit margins is by optimizing its website’s conversion rate.

Quick Results

Many businesses are eager to increase their profits as quickly as possible. Improving your website’s conversion rate is one of the best ways to rapidly increase your revenue. As long as your website receives a steady flow of traffic, you will see your revenue grow once you start to make changes to your website designed to increase your conversion rate.

These quick results will allow you to see exactly what is and is not working in regards to your website’s conversion rate, enabling you to make further adjustments on the fly. If you are able to find the right set of changes to make to your website to improve your conversion rate, your revenue and profit should increase along with your conversions.

Keep Costs Low

Typically, there are two ways a business can increase its sales numbers – get more visitors to your website and improve your conversion rate. While further promoting your website by adding more keywords to your SEO campaign or increasing your PPC ad spend are excellent ways to increase the amount of visitors your site sees along with your conversions, your expenses will also increase with this strategy. When your expenses increases, your business may not continue to be profitable if you do not get enough conversions to generate the revenue needed to turn a profit.

When you utilize conversion optimization as your strategy to increase your sales figures, you are able to keep your costs at a minimum. It does not take nearly as much money to analyze your website’s data in order to make changes to optimize your conversion rate. When compared to other online advertising methods, conversion optimization is one of the cheapest methods you can use.

Higher ROI

Along with the lower costs associated with conversion optimization comes a higher ROI. By taking the time to analyze your website’s traffic data, you will be able to see which aspects of your site are negatively affecting your conversion rate. Once you make changes to those aspects of your website, your conversion rate will increase, and you will see your revenue increase as well.

Since you did not have to spend a lot of money to see this increase in your conversion rate and sales figures, your business may now be showing a profit when it was once in the red. Something as simple as improving your conversion rate can take a poorly performing product or service and turn it into a highly profitable business venture.

Every company should be thinking of new, unique ways to improve their business. Working to improve your website’s conversion rate is one of the best ways you can grow your business. The quick results, relatively low costs and ability to greatly improve your ROI are just some of the reasons why conversion optimization is a necessity for every type of business.

Emily is a blogger and internet marketer who relies on Who Is Hosting This.com to identify the host of several websites she comes across.

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