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Could it be a diamond?
Jewelers Optimistic About Upcoming Holidays
How will the holiday season be for jewelers this year? Better than expected due to the rising popularity of silver and consumers' penchant for gifts of enduring value, according to Buxbaum Jewelry Advisors.
In a news release issued last week, Buxbaum President Stevan Buxbaum said that today's consumers have an increasing appreciation for items that offer enduring value, unlike "throwaway" imports or nearly instantly obsolete electronics.
"People are using their hard-earned money to buy fewer items," he said. "The dramatic increase in the price of gold has not been lost on them. So there is more respect today for the intrinsic value of jewelry, and that is helpful for jewelers."
But the battle for customers' dollars this holiday season will be fierce, Buxbaum adds. In order to compete, independents need to offer deals but also emphasize their knowledge, experience and customer service. During the holiday season, retailers need to leverage the relationships forged from bridal sales made throughout the year.
"This year, jewelers should promote more than ever," Buxbaum said. "After all, we are already starting to see a barrage of aggressive promotion from department stores, the large chains like Zale and the warehouse stores like Costco and B.J.'s Wholesale Club, which have been doing big business in jewelry lately. The reality is that the promotional landscape will be extremely robust. If you do not join the fray, you will be left behind."
Product-wise, he said silver and beads would be popular in 2010, noting that many jewelers already have wisely expanded their price points with silver. Retailers are offering higher-priced silver products, such as diamond-studded silver bracelets, as well as new products such as Pandora's silver and silver-core Murano-glass beads, which allow consumers flexibility in how much they spend.
"This will be the year of silver and the year of the bead, with many consumers expected to put together their own bracelets," he said. "Maybe dad buys mom the bracelet wire along with a $200 diamond-inset bead that goes with it, and the kids each buy her a $25 or a $50 bead. The next thing you know, mom has five or six beads, and she can go buy herself a bead a month later. It is clever and gives people control over cost."
Buxbaum Jewelry Advisors is comprised of a team of jewelry professionals who have provided financial solutions to retailers and wholesalers for more than 20 years. It is an affiliate of Agoura Hills, Calif.-based Buxbaum Group, a liquidator of consumer products and appraiser of retail and wholesale inventories.
(Source: National Jeweler, 11/12/10)
Saturday, November 20, 2010
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The GI Generation: 1901-1924
The Silent Generation: 1925-1942
The Boom Generation (Boomers): 1943-1960
Generation X: 1961-1981
The Millennials (a/k/a Gen Y): 1982-2004, and
The Homeland Generation: 2005-????
The great news is that dividing the entire marketplace into these six distinct and addressable segments is really helpful. Generations share characteristics and attitudes that make them easier to communicate with as well as target.
Generations are not monolithic. My first statistics professor liked to say that while you can accurately describe a lake as having an average depth of three feet, a six-foot man trying to cross it would surely need to swim at some point. There are subtle nuances within a generation that, thankfully, make it necessary to abandon averages and dive into the variation.
The largest shift that we've witnessed within Gen Y is an accelerated use of mobile. In our recent syndicated research on Back to School shopping, we were amazed to see that high school students were twice as likely to have been aware of summer mobile marketing campaigns than college students. They were also much more comfortable making a purchase on their mobile device based on these campaigns.
Just as social networking hit early members of Gen Y at an opportune and impressionable time, mobile capabilities are hitting later members of Gen Y at the early onset of their marketplace consciousness. While Facebook is by no means under siege from any current competitor, its long-term prospects depend entirely upon its ability to get in front of an intra-generational shift to the mobile web.
Another difference between early and late members of Gen Y presented itself to us in the past week as we were studying data that we had collected both before and after the mid-term election on Gen Y's participation and engagement. While political analysis focuses on participation amongst those aged 18+ in general and those registered to vote in particular, we conducted a nearly identical survey among a representative sample of 1,000 members of Gen Y that had reached voting age as well as among more than 300 kids aged 13-17, probing their thoughts on the political landscape.
Here, too, we found a fascinating intra-generational inversion. In answer to the question, "In general, do you approve or disapprove of the job that Barack Obama is doing as president?," a slight majority of Collegians (51%) approved of Obama's job performance, compared to slightly more than a third (35%) of high school students. Similarly, in answer to the question "Do you generally approve or disapprove of the job that Barack Obama is doing in handling the economy?," only two-thirds as many high school students (27%) than collegians (41%) approved of Obama's economic stewardship.
What's driving these differences is twofold: for high school-aged members of Gen Y, the election of president Obama was a pseudo-event, witnessed on the web and on TV. For those members of Gen Y aged 18 and older in 2008, the Obama campaign was a visceral activity in which they were actively involved. While this heightened level of involvement has made it that much harder for older members of Gen Y to set aside their dreams of hope and change, their disappointment with how little things have changed in the past two years was evident in their lack of participation at the polls.
Another important consideration is that younger members of Gen Y still live at home and are therefore much more influenced by how their parents think and feel. While we can see a slight shift to the right between early versus late members of Gen Y, intra-generational differences quickly evaporated across a number of other issues such as what issues they found most important to them, where they seek out information and how they share that information with others.
One tempting reaction to variance within a generation is to "call a new generation"; however, identifying differences between early versus later members of Gen Y is in no way a repudiation of the integrity of the generational theory that declares those born between 1982 and 2004 to be a distinct unit. In the end, efforts to divide the world into smaller and smaller addressable segments based on common characteristics are an imprecise art and, while one can always find reasons to re-draw the lines on the generational map, moving the goalposts doesn't serve us well as we attempt to understand the markets that we serve.
What is helpful for us as marketers is to understand that new technologies as well as critical events will shape and sometimes redirect the flow of the generational stream. Our jobs would be a lot less interesting if it were otherwise ...
|Dan Coates is president of Ypulse, a leading authority on tween, teen, college and young adult insights for marketing, brand and media professionals, providing news, commentary, events, research and strategy. A veteran opinionista, Dan and his Ypulse colleagues tweet an endless stream of Gen Y news, factoids and insights at www.twitter.com/ypulse and can be contacted via email at email@example.com. You can also reach him here.|
From my Sales Tip Archives:
Daily Sales Tip: Customer Relationships are Recession Busters
Your customers are your personal recession buster -- but only if you focus on them more completely, deeply and consistently than ever.
Think about it this way -- your customers are the source of all revenue for your organization; your customers write your paycheck. It makes sense to build and deepen your relationships with them always, but that is never more true than in times where they are buying less and probably distracted by the economy themselves.
Your customers are looking for new solutions. Your customers want help. Your customers need you.
Here are five ways you can focus on deepening your relationships with your customers, starting right now.
Get in touch. Stop by, make a call, send a handwritten note, send an email (in that order of priority -- the further up this list the more valuable the contact will be). Let them know you care, take the effort to be connected.
Stay in touch. Don't make this contact a one-time event but part of an ongoing process of staying in touch, connected and at the top of mind for your customer.
Ask how you can help them. No strings and no qualifiers. Do you appreciate it when someone offers to help you with something? So will your customers, even if they don't take you up on the offer.
Educate them. Send an article, share an idea. After you know how you can help or what their challenges are, it will be easier to determine the best things to share based on their interests and needs.
Focus on serving, not selling. People buy from those they like, trust and respect. Sales will come. Focus on the person, building the relationship and serving them.
These are just five ideas -- you probably can come up with 55 more. Your challenge is to find ways to be relevant, helpful and available to your customers.
Source: Business consultant/trainer Kevin Eikenberry (www.kevineikenberry.com)
Friday, November 19, 2010
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No one is anymore.
From AdAge.com this week:
Why You Can No Longer Sell to the Average American Household
New Census Data Finds No Majority in Household Types but Hints at Housing Growth to Come
By Peter Francese
Published: November 16, 2010
What will finally drive some growth in the housing industry? It might be nothing more dramatic than a release of demand that's been pent-up since the start of the recession.
Last week the Census Bureau published results from a March survey that found 117.5 million households in the U.S., up a mere 0.3% from 2009. That's about one-third the average annual increase over the past decade. Coming on the heels of an equally meager increase of 400,000 from 2008 to 2009, this suggests a coming wave of new households once the economy loosens.
As of March, 12 million American families are living with 21 million of their adult children, a record high. One fourth of those "kids" are age 25 or older. As the economy improves, most of these adult children will probably (hopefully?) leave the nest and jump start the housing market's recovery.
Other noteworthy trends
The fraction of households that are married couples with children under age 18 is edging ever closer to just one in five households. The number of U.S. married couples with children has not changed in over 40 years. Now, as in 1967, there are 24.6 million of them.
One-person households, at 31.4 million, are significantly more numerous than married couples with children and now make up 27% of all households. The reason: People who live alone (most of whom are women) have more than tripled since 1967, while married couples with children have stagnated. Another reason is the aging population: The average age of people who live alone is 56.6 years old, and among ages 65 or older, almost half of all households (45%) are single individuals.
|U.S. Census Bureau|
|The number of households in the U.S. by age and type (in thousands)|
The chart above shows just how segmented U.S. households are by age and type of households. The average American household no longer exists. Even the largest household type, married with no children under age 18 living at home is only 29% of households. All married couples, which used to be the vast majority of households has slipped for the first time to a minority position of only 49.7 percent.
Non-family households with more than one person are almost all made up of two so far unrelated people, some of whom are gay or lesbian couples. They are now just 6% of households, but may diminish if same-sex marriage become more common.
The chart below shows graphically just how segmented US households have become.
|U.S. Census Bureau|
|Married couples are now less than half of all households in the U.S.|
|ABOUT THE AUTHOR|
Peter Francese is the founder of American Demographics magazine and is Ogilvy & Mather's demographic-trends analyst.
One thing I've learned from my years in the sales world... If you wait for success, it will never find you. Take the action steps and responsibility for yourself...
from my email:
Daily Sales Tip: Master the Critical Skills
If you're going to sell more every year, you need to get better every year. Let's look at this a different way. If what you are currently doing would produce the results you are looking for, the results should have already shown up.
So what skills should you focus on improving? Start by honestly answering a few of these questions:
-- How much preparation are you putting into each call?
-- Are the questions you ask thought-provoking or mind-numbing?
-- Do your ideas have value for the prospect or do you find yourself just pitching the "latest" widget from the factory?
-- When was the last time you got feedback on your presentation skills?
-- What are the top three obstacles prospects throw at you?
-- How do you clearly and concisely address these obstacles?
-- What are you doing every week to help build better relationships?
It takes courage to admit you could be a better sales rep and confidence to believe you can change. It takes nothing to create excuses.
There is an abundance of sales books, tele-seminars, podcasts, webinars, and sales training programs available today. What are you waiting for?
Source: Sales trainer/consultant Tim Wackel
Thursday, November 18, 2010
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Out of control kids.
All of my kids are over 21 now.
So we eat where you have to be 21+.
When the grand-kids arrive, we'll go back to the family room.
Families Return to Restaurants
Families with kids visited restaurants in slightly greater numbers this summer, ending a three-year downward trend, the NPD Group said last week.
For the August-ended quarter, restaurant visits by parties with kids increased 1 percent over the year-ago period, according to the NPD Group's data.
Bonnie Riggs, restaurant-industry analyst for the Chicago-based market research company, said the uptick in restaurant visits suggests that many families have become "recession-weary."
"They need to get out of the house a bit," she said. "(Restaurant dining) is a relatively inexpensive treat compared to taking the family to a sporting event or the theater or to the movies, because that's gotten very costly."
Riggs said the 1-percent rise in restaurant visits by families with kids in the summer followed flat traffic trends in the spring quarter and a 7-percent decline in last year's June-to-August period.
"That's a positive sign, but we have to keep in mind that we are going against very weak trends a year ago," she said.
Even though families with kids have cut back on dining out for much of the past three years, they still represent a sizeable market for the industry, accounting for 14 billion meals and snacks and $70 billion in sales in 2009, according to the NPD Group.
About 36 percent of all visits to restaurants are made by parties with kids, Riggs said. Of those visits, 81 percent are made to quick-service restaurants, 9 percent to family-dining eateries, and 10 percent to casual-dining concepts.
Operators can capitalize on the changing pattern, Riggs suggested, by targeting parties with kids with promotions, especially those that recognize families' financial concerns. For example, she pointed to the "kids-eat-free" promotions that many family-dining chains have offered over the past year.
"I think that has resonated with consumers, because if you look at casual-dining for the same time period they are still struggling in terms of parties with kids," Riggs said.
Riggs warned that municipal regulations, such as restrictions on toys in kids' meals, will be an issue to watch.
San Francisco's Board of Supervisors recently gave final approval to an ordinance that would prohibit the use of toys and other incentives in restaurant kids' meals that fail to meet certain nutritional requirements. Supervisors in the nearby California county of Santa Clara passed a similar measure in April.
(Source: Nation's Restaurant News, 11/10/10)
Amy's at it again....
Gaming goes mainstream. With a name like Effen Vodka, you have to expect ads laden with double entendres. Let's launch!
You can have your brownie and chocolate-chip cookies -- and eat them, too, in a print campaign for Sugar In The Raw and its zero-calorie sibling, Stevia Extract In The Raw. "It's Only Natural" offers a variation of recipes for cookies, brownies, hot chocolate, apple cider and iced coffee, depending on whether you're watching your weight or splurging. Print ads will run nationally through 2011. The copy is sharp. My favorite is the intro for making brownies: "Cocoa brownies to heal a heart broken by a man who promises it wasn't you, it was him, and by him he means a girl named Stacey Lee. Count the years you dated. If it exceeds five, double the recipe." See ads here, here, here, here and here, created by Mother New York
Zugara, using its ZugMO motion-capture augmented reality software, launched a fun AR game for Nestlé's Nesquik drink. Remember, you need a webcam to play along. Participants take on the role of new employee at Nesquik's drink factory. The object of the game is to fill the right Nesquik bottle with its matching Nesquik flavor. The higher the level, the harder the game becomes. Players can also post their results to their Facebook profile. Click here to see a demo.
Activision launched a great TV spot promoting its latest game, "Call of Duty Black Ops," proving that gaming is played by men and women of all ages. Not to mention a pair of celebrities. "There's a soldier in all of us" takes place in a war zone, where women rock machine guns and business attire, a short-order cook packs grease and guns for each hand, Jimmy Kimmel launches a missile and Kobe Bryant keeps cool under pressure. See it here, created by TBWA/Chiat/Day Los Angeles.
[yellow tail] wine gave me a bird, alright, in a Thanksgiving TV ad called "Gobble it Up." Just not the one I was expecting. The 15-second spot consists of gobbling wine bottles scurrying about until they come together and form a turkey. Only problem is, the first two times I watched the ad, I thought the turkey was giving me the finger. Watch the ad here and let me know if you agree with me. The BurnsGroup created the ad, running on TLC, A&E, TNT, USA, Food Network and TBS.
Blast Radius created a Twitter campaign and Web site for Movember, a moustache-growing campaign that takes place every November to raise funds and awareness for prostate cancer. Stachetag.com culls together a live feed of Movember pictures uploaded to Twitter. Users can browse pictures from a variety of moustache categories, including biker, pornstar, FuManchu, Zappa and Dali, among others. Check out the growth progress, now at the halfway point!
T-Mobile 4G allows users to video-chat without needing WiFi. Take that, iPhone. "Piggyback" pokes fun at Apple's popular "Mac Vs PC" campaign by showing a T-Mobile user next to an iPhone user, who's carrying the weight of AT&T on his back. He's heavy. The ad, seen here, is running on ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and TNT. Publicis Seattle created the ad.
I'm usually quite the fan of double entendres, but these are too much, even for me. EFFEN Vodka launched "Provocatively Premium," a print campaign depicting a bellhop, snow bunny and flight attendant attempting to sound risqué when namedropping EFFEN. "Nothing warms me up like EFFEN by the fire," says the snow bunny. The flight attendant finds "nothing more satisfying than EFFEN on a plane." I bet you saw that coming, though. See the ads here, here and here. Euro RSCG Chicago created the campaign and Starcom handled the media buy.
Random iPhone App of the week: We're effin sticking with EFFEN Vodka. The brand recently launched an iPhone app, dubbed the "EFFEN Bar Locator." Also created by Euro RSCG Chicago, the app locates the nearest bars and restaurants that serve EFFEN. The app uses augmented reality technology that combines with GPS, a live camera feed and compass to create an image of directions to bars and restaurants carrying EFFEN. The App is free from the App Store.
from my email:
Daily Sales Tip: The Trial Close
There comes a point when salespeople need to determine whether or not they're better off walking away from a sale.
One way top negotiators draw the line is by using a trial close. If the prospect is putting off signing a contract and requests another concession, the salesperson can regain control by asking:
"If I can get approval for this one final detail, do you see anything else that would keep us from doing business together?"
It's a question that lets the prospect know they'll work hard to get the details squared away. But at the same time, it puts prospects in a position to make a verbal commitment pending the one final condition being met.
Source: Professional negotiator Michael Soon Lee
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
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Sending email is free, creating a Facebook page is free, Twitter outreach is free, cold-calling is free, publicity is free, referrals are free, and advertising costs money.
So why is it that even with all of these wonderfully low cost and free ways to promote your business I contend that you must make advertising one of your core lead generation tactics? (Actually one could argue if anything is free, but the items listed above don’t come with a direct cost.)
Advertising is in fact one of the marketing tactics that comes with an invoice. You must write a check to run ads or send direct mail, often before seeing any results. In my experience people shy away from advertising, not because of the cost, because they don’t know how to get results and they don’t understand the long-term residual effects. Think about it, if you knew that for every $100 you spent you could produce $200, you would get out your check book and spend away, right?
To get results from advertising today you must
- Be laser focused on a specific ideal client
- Create awareness for valuable content with a call to action
- Measure leads and conversion fanatically
But, that’s a topic for another post, today I want to first get the leverage to help you understand why you must add advertising to mix and then we can start to talk about how.
When done effectively advertising is an essential part of mix because:
- Advertising is the only medium you can control – if you want your message to hit on the day a product launches or event is about to happen, this is the only vehicle you control completely.
- Advertising allows you to target ideal customers only – when you match a very personal message to a very select audience you get far greater connection.
- Advertising creates awareness for your content – The force that drives a great deal of conversion and trust building these days is educational content – ebooks, seminars and blog posts – advertising is a great way to help get that content found and consumed once you’ve gone to the effort to produce it.
- Advertising adds credibility to your message – Don’t ask me why this is exactly, but every time I run advertising people comment that business must be going well. The perception that you can afford advertising is often enough to sell and resell prospects and customers alike and makes it easier to get attention for your entire message.
- Advertising amplifies everything else you’re doing – When you are using advertising to create awareness for your content you automatically create more awareness for everything you are doing. Journalists find companies that advertise, referral sources remember companies that advertise, people fan and follow and friend from ads, and employees can point to well-placed ads as a source of pride in place they work.
And for your information, I work in the traditional media and advertising world with 4 Radio Stations in Fort Wayne, along with a Hispanic Newspaper, Advertising & Media Consulting, Social Media Training and I serve on the board of Directors of the Fort Wayne Chapter of the American Advertising Federation.
Need some help? Contact me by clicking here: http://www.scloho.net/ Sphere: Related Content
from Jill Konrath's blog & email:
Posted: 08 Nov 2010 05:32 PM PST
I just came across this ebook, How to Create a Seven-Minute Rifle-Shot Presentation, by Joey Asher. It's excerpted from 15 Minutes Including Q&A, his new book.
It's excellent. Definitely worth your time to download it. It starts out with this:
For most people, requiring that they give their presentation in seven minutes or less will seem absurd. "How can I do that? I've spent a month on this project! Now you want me to say everything in seven minutes? Impossible!"
But it's not that hard if you keep a simple principle in mind. Your goal isn't to tell everything you did. It's to help your listeners with their lives...
Start your presentation by putting your finger on the key issue or question that your audience cares about. Then detail how you plan to help them with that issue...
If you'd like to find out how to do that simply and elegant, click here to download your copy now.Sphere: Related Content
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Click & Read:
First off, I'm not against getting quality information before you take action.
But I work with a number of advertising agencies who place media buys on my radio stations and sometimes what they do is pretty stupid.
I've tried to teach some of these media buyers how to place commercials for their clients that will get better results than the schedules these folks have been trained to do based on formulas (and not common sense).
For more on the Dangers of Demographics, look at what I wrote here: http://sclohonet-thebook.blogspot.com/2010/11/who-and-where-are-your-customers.html
And check out what Pat McGraw says too:
Posted: 15 Nov 2010 06:00 AM PST
What you really need is information. Actionable information. The kind of information you can use to make well informed decisions.
Then you need to act. You need to take the appropriate steps necessary to bring that opportunity to life.
And in order to prove to all those doubters that you made the right decision, you need to have a clearly defined goal that signifies success combined with a clear, accurate way to measure and report on how your actions delivered specific results.
For most of us, data is noise that distracts, annoys. Information and insight is what we seek – and that takes a plan for quickly, accurately sifting through all that data so you can find the nuggets of gold.
So, do you need to capture more data? Or do you need to figure out how to turn data into insightful information so you can make better informed decisions?Sphere: Related Content
Not everyone is aware of this sales tip, from my email:
Daily Sales Tip: Get An Early Start
Many decision-makers get to the office early before strategic gate-keepers are in place.
They might just pick up their phone or answer the door if a salesperson calls early. They also have more time to listen to a sales presentation before the constant interruptions that may occur later in the day.
Source: Adapted from Selling When No One is Buying, by sales consultant Stephan Schiffman
Monday, November 15, 2010
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Great advice from Drew:
Posted: 01 Nov 2010 09:42 AM PDT
But none of that is love. And if you really want to get and keep a customer for life -- you have to be willing to stick your neck out and love them. You need to put your heart on your sleeve and woo them.
You need to create a love affair
with your customers.
Why? Let me give you 5 good reasons.
It feels good: No matter what you sell -- it feels better to serve people you care about. It's easier to go the extra mile for customers that are special. It helps elevate your work to noble work. As my friend Steve Farber says..."do what you love in the service of people who love what you do."
It's easier to sell more to a current customer who loves you, than a new customer: In fact, recent studies show that it 6-7 times more costly to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an old (in love) one.
It's more profitable: Boosting your customer retention up by as little as 5% can elevate your profits by 5-95%. New customers are more price sensitive and require a huge amount of up front time, even after you've closed the deal.
It generates word of mouth: When a customer loves you, they can't help but talk about you to others. When you make them feel special and go out of your way to love them -- they will be your most powerful marketing tool -- advocates who spread word of mouth.
It's incredible for employee retention: Who doesn't want to work at a place that gives them permission to be incredibly kind and considerate? Who wouldn't love to hear customers rave about them? Who isn't looking for a way to put more meaning into their work? Why not make it a labor of love!
Is there a business who has created a love affair with you? How does it feel to be on the receiving end of that kind of attention?
The real question in my mind is -- why wouldn't you create a love affair with your customers?Sphere: Related Content
from Jim Meisenheimer: