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first_imgSinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has described the Troika’s targets for the banks to reach agreements with distressed mortgage holders as lacking ambition.Deputy Doherty said the government needs to be breathing down the necks of the banks to ensure that they are offering homeowners fair agreements.Speaking this evening as details of the Troika’s targets emerged Deputy Doherty said: “Last week we had the farce of the banks coming into the Dáil with massaged figures as it was revealed that they were including letters threatening repossessions as part of their figures to reach their targets. “We now need to see the government breathing down the necks of these banks to ensure that they are offering fair solutions to distressed mortgage holders and that they are meeting their targets.“The target suggested by the Troika of 25% of agreements finalised by the end of next March is lacking ambition and fails to acknowledge the depth or urgency of the crisis. To think that 75% of distressed mortgage holders would still not have their agreements settled one year on from when the government set these targets is unacceptable.“These baks benefitted from public money when they were bailed out by the taxpayer. The government now needs to act in the interest of those taxpayers and start putting pressure on the banks to act appropiately.”  DISTRESSED HOME OWNERS LET DOWN AGAIN – DOHERTY was last modified: September 11th, 2013 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:DISTRESSED HOME OWNERS LET DOWN AGAIN – DOHERTYlast_img read more

Twice the Curry: Warriors star chows down for YouTube series

first_imgThe two talked about their career paths, Oakland pride, the Warriors’ upcoming move — with a … CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile deviceIt’s about time that Stephen Curry met the Curry Up Now folks.The Warriors superstar stopped by one of the restaurant’s food trucks while filming a spot for his “5 Minutes from Home” YouTube series. On this trip from Oracle Arena, he was joined by “Hamilton” and “Blindspotting” star Daveed Diggs, an Oakland native.last_img read more

Sensory garden will be haven for blind learners

first_imgTheo Konqo (striped shirt) and Liyanda Kabani (white cap), learners from Zisukanya, in the sensory garden. (Images: Botanical Society of South Africa) Smell and touch will be the main senses the blind students at Zisukanya Early Childhood Development Centre in Cape Town will use to enjoy their new sensory garden.The Botanical Society of South Africa has launched the sensory garden at the Athlone School for the Blind for the young pupils from Zisukanya. It is a collaboration between MySchool, the Rotary Club of Kirstenbosch and the Redhatters Bridge Club, and will be a place where the children can engage with nature through touch and smell instead of sight.The MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet fundraising programme is one of South Africa’s biggest community support programmes. It raises essential funds for schools, charities and environmental organisations through a system that encourages cardholders to swipe their cards at retail partners. In turn, these donate a percentage of the purchase value to the beneficiary of the buyer’s choice.According to the Botanical Society, the sensory garden will promote educational opportunities and exposure to biodiversity not only for the Zisukanya pupils but for the children at Athlone School for the Blind and their families, as well as for staff.“It is the first step in what the Botanical Society hopes will become a multi-functional garden – a place where the children can play freely, enjoy the tranquillity of nature and have picnics with their friends, family and school staff.”AN ON-GOING EFFECTZaitoon Rabaney, the executive director of the Botanical Society, believes this initiative will have an ongoing effect.“As the garden grows and develops the school aims to involve the learners in maintaining the garden at each stage,” Rabaney said, “such as supplying the kids with watering cans and spades to maintain it, creating a sense of awareness and responsibility, so it becomes a space that they don’t just visit, but nurture and develop.”Zoë Mjoli (striped cap) and Likuwe Mgweba from Zisukanya experiencing some of the plants in the garden.This project speaks to one of the 16 targets set out in South Africa’s Strategy for Plant Conservation, according to the Botanical Society. The strategy emphasizes the importance of plant diversity and the need for conservation incorporated into communication, education and public awareness programmes.“It has been great to support this project and play a part in creating a space for special needs learners,” said Pieter Twine, MySchool’s general manager. “The garden allows for students to express their sensory and learning capabilities with a hands-on approach, while also promoting the education of healthy eating and an environmental awareness.“In addition to donating funds towards the garden, MySchool donated two benches made out of recycled material to be placed in the garden for teachers and learners to enjoy outdoor lessons and during break.”PLAY YOUR PARTAre you playing your part in transforming South Africa? If so, submit your story or video and let us know what you are doing to improve the country for all.last_img read more

Unfortunate reason boosts Ohio in egg production rankings

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest With avian influenza taking a terrible toll on egg laying operations to the west, Ohio has moved to the top of the list of egg production by state.“We were No. 2. and Ohio is now the No. 1 egg producing state in the country. Darke County just went to the No. 1 egg producing county in the country,” said Sam Custer, Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension educator in Darke County.The loss of upwards of 44 million birds in nearly 200 different locations, many in Iowa and Minnesota, devastated the U.S. egg industry and is still sending economic shockwaves throughout agriculture. Though summer heat has slowed down the highly contagious pathogen, Ohio poultry producers remain on high alert.“I think we have probably survived this spring. The warm temperatures have really slowed the virus from spreading. Waterfowl do carry the virus and there will be more concern when the birds start migrating in the fall. Each spring and fall are a concern for us for the next three to five years. We hope that mutation will change the virus to something not as severe as what we are seeing with the current virus,” Custer said. “Biosecurity in Ohio is at a whole new level compared to some of the states out west. It has only increased. You’ll see poultry farms with concrete barriers directing all foot and vehicle traffic to a central location to be sprayed with a disinfectant to kill the virus both going in and out. Guys are really watching it. If we would get an outbreak, guys would not leave the farm. They are still going to church, but that will change if there is an outbreak.”As the current top producing egg state, an avian influenza outbreak in Ohio would have major economic implications.“In Ohio, if we lost six months of production for half of our birds you’d look at 10% less corn consumed over all. It would really affect our grain market,” Custer said. “When we look at Ohio and our poultry production, and if we get avian influenza — and many people say it is not if but when — we are looking at up to a $1.8 billion loss per year. If we get an outbreak in this area, it would be devastating to both Darke and Mercer counties. Our concentration of poultry is very high. We hate to see this poultry show ban for our junior fair exhibitors, but what a great learning experience for them to be able to see the big picture. Agriculture is the No. 1 industry in Ohio and we have to protect that.”There are many logistical concerns with avian influenza as well.“There are big questions about how you dispose of 2.5 million birds from a facility. In Iowa layer operations, they are still trying to remove birds that have been dead for four to six weeks, so you can only imagine that process,” he said. “After three to four months it is possible to repopulate, which is what they are doing in Minnesota. The virus is fairly easy to kill with disinfectant once the building is emptied. But sometimes getting to all of the virus can be complicated. We also look at how that will affect swine producers as the animals in those areas of the quarantine will probably not be able to be moved either.”Some parts of the country are seeing egg shortages and increased prices as local supplies are feeling the crunch of reduced layer numbers nationwide. For now, the nation’s new top egg producer is preparing for the worst this fall and hoping to remain free from the devastation of avian influenza through increased biosecurity, vigilance and cooperation at the farm, county and state levels.last_img read more

The 6 Biggest Risks Today’s Internet Entrepreneurs Must Battle

first_imgTrends Driving the Loyalty Marketing Industry Related Posts Frank Landman How OKR’s Completely Transformed Our Culture AI is Not the Holy Grail of Sales, at Least Not…center_img The internet has opened up new opportunities and lowered the barriers to entry in almost every industry. But it has also given more entrepreneurs the chance to be bold and take risks. Knowing how to embrace certain risks while avoiding potentially costly ones is integral to maximizing success.The Role of Risk in BusinessRisk is defined as the possibility of losing something of value. It’s also described as the purposeful interaction with uncertainty (specifically when something of value can be lost).Naturally, most people are hardwired to be risk averse. It’s a survival mechanism that’s ingrained in our DNA to prevent us from walking into dangerous situations without some degree of safety or preparation. It’s why our ancient ancestors wouldn’t walk around the woods without a weapon and a hunting partner. They understood the risk of being vulnerable and implemented proven steps to lower their chances of being mauled by wild beasts.While you don’t face the risk of being eaten alive by a hungry tiger every time you walk outside your front door, you do face daily risks in your entrepreneurial pursuits. And even though you’re genetically trained to avoid risk, you find yourself in situations where you’re forced to confront it. And if you peel back the layers and look beneath the surface, you’ll find that close proximity to certain risks can be healthy (granted you take the proper steps to avoid the negative consequences).In the business world, we call this risk management. The proper risk management strategy helps you prepare for the unexpected, minimize threats, and counteract negative consequences through proactive decision making that increases your likelihood of experiencing positive results.6 Big Risks Internet Entrepreneurs FaceAs an internet entrepreneur in 2019 and beyond, you face a unique set of risks. And just as any business needs a risk management strategy, you need to develop your own approach to understanding and neutralizing threats. In particular, you must be aware of the following:1. LawsuitsWe live in a litigious society where lawsuits are filed with shocking frivolity and without apology. This has lead to a vicious cycle where restrictions are put in place to avoid lawsuits; lawsuits are filed when restrictive rules aren’t in place; and more restrictive rules are created in the wake of lawsuits. Lawsuits feed restrictions and restrictions feed lawsuits.As an internet entrepreneur, you don’t have to agree with the litigious nature of today’s consumer marketplace, but you do have to respect it. Whether you sell physical products, a service, or advice, understand that you can be sued for virtually anything and make a small investment in defenses that will help you survive a lawsuit.Business insurance is your best friend. In particular, you need professional liability insurance, which offsets some of the risk that comes from potentially damaging lawsuits from errors and omissions.Insurance won’t prevent a lawsuit from happening, but it can offset some of the financial ramifications of a settlement or judgment. For the small amount of money it costs each year, it’s worth having in place.2. Cyber AttacksSmall business owners and entrepreneurs know that cyber attacks happen, but generally assume that hackers focus their efforts on large businesses and corporations that are worth billions of dollars. However, this isn’t true.The reality is that hackers prefer to target smaller businesses because they’re more likely to be unprotected and vulnerable to simple attacks. They view smaller internet companies and websites as easy prey and can execute a well-coordinated attack before you even recognize what’s happening.Hackers who victimize your website can wreak havoc on your venture – leaving you with issues like:Malware. When a hacker infects your website with malware, it can leave you with glitches, exposure to future attacks, and an array of consequences that leave you and your customers unprotected.Ransomware. The rise of ransomware has been one of the hottest topics in the cyber defense field over the last three or four years. Ransomware is especially dangerous because it leaves you unable to run your website and on the hook for a ransom (which is typically a pretty sizeable amount of money).Data theft. Data breaches are, unfortunately, quite common. If you aren’t careful, a data breach could compromise the trust that exists between you and your customers, leaving you with a mess to clean up.Content hijacking. While it gets much less attention in the media than malware, ransomware, and data theft, content hijacking is just as costly and frustrating. This occurs when someone else takes your website content, media, and brand personality and attempts to create their own website or blog using your sweat equity.Smaller businesses find it nearly impossible to recover after a cyber attack. In fact, the vast majority end up failing within six months to a year of the attack. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be this way.Being aware of the cyber threats you face is just half the battle. You need a proactive strategy that prevents these attacks before they happen. As your company grows, it may even be helpful to hire a full-time cyber security professional to work on your behalf.3. Stiff CompetitionMost entrepreneurs misunderstand the idea of competition and, in one way or another, it comes back to bite them.Contrary to popular belief, you don’t want to start a business in an industry where there is no competition. This typically indicates there’s no market for whatever it is you’re trying to sell. And unless you have deep pockets and lots of time, you simply won’t be able to educate people on why they need your product and then convince them to buy.As the old saying goes, pioneers get shot, but settlers get rich. In other words, the first one to market is rarely the most successful. It’s the ones who follow the pioneers who generate the best results.On the flip side of things, you don’t want to start a business in a niche where there are already two or three businesses with double-digit market shares. This indicates that the marketplace is already locked up and you’ll face an uphill battle trying to break in.What you want is a niche where there’s already some competition, but it’s spread out across a handful of different businesses. This indicates that there’s demand for the product, as well as an opportunity to become one of the market leaders.Competition is good – but there’s a sweet spot. Keep this in mind and don’t get involved with an industry where your potential is stunted from the start.4. Rip-Off ProductsWhen physical products get ripped off, it’s fairly easy to step in and do something about it. But when you’re selling a service or education, rip-off brands can really put a dent in your profits and pull customers away from your business.In an online world where you put your products and services out there for the world to see, there’s always the risk that someone could come in and steal your thunder. The best way to avoid this is by (a) filing for all of the proper trademarks and patents, and (b) creating such a magnetic brand that it’s impossible for another company to come in and take your customers away without first creating an equally powerful brand of their own.5. Social MediaYou probably view social media as a business asset, but this isn’t always the case. Whether you realize it or not, social media can actually introduce your business to numerous risks and challenges.In terms of branding and reputation management, today’s online businesses face serious risks at the hands of social media. One ill-worded tweet or poorly timed Facebook post can lead to negative backlash and serious consequences in the court of public opinion.The best thing you can do is create very strict rules and processes around what can be posted, who can post, and how content is reviewed, edited, and revised prior to posting. A strict social media policy is necessary for even the smallest, one-man operations.6. Reliable EmployeesBeing able to hire a remote workforce is great, but it doesn’t come without its risks. One of the risks is a lack of reliability and accountability.Being unable to meet with employees face to face makes it harder to keep them in line, but it doesn’t have to leave your business weak and disorganized. What you need is a strong approach to online hiring that allows you to carefully vet and onboard employees so that they understand what your organization is all about.It’s also important that you manage remote employees well. This means keeping track of work activity, establishing clear expectations, promoting collaboration, encouraging employee engagement, and providing them with the right tools to succeed.Set Yourself Up for SuccessThere’s no switch you can flip or button you can press to guarantee yourself success as an entrepreneur. In fact, the numbers are against you in almost every regard. However, if there’s one thing you can do to lower your chances of succumbing to the same failures as many of your peers, it’s to educate yourself on the challenges you face so that you can implement appropriate defenses and antidotes.As you know from firsthand experience, you face dozens of risks in running a business. The key is to understand the ones that are most pertinent (and potentially detrimental) and to manage these risks in such a way that you have a better chance of being successful in the long run. Frank is a freelance journalist who has worked in various editorial capacities for over 10 years. He covers trends in technology as they relate to business. The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videoslast_img read more

5 Steps for Successful Social Media Marketing

first_img If you’re one of the lucky companies who only has enthusiastic and happy customers, recognize their desire to interact with you and be generous with your time. Be open to engaging with them on their turf. They’ll reward your brand with greater enthusiasm – which is a message that spreads through social networks like wildfire, and solidifies your brand. your site is designed well to convert visitors into leads The first step to measuring success in social media marketing is proper scope. There are new social networks popping up each week. It’s a waste of resources to join every new social network only to find you have no time to manage them. Find out where your most active customers & influencers spend time online – then listen and take notes. – Visitors (first-time and repeat) Topics: In fact, the lack of good metrics is cited as the biggest barrier to marketers’ adoption of social media. Particularly in this shaky financial climate, measuring impact is one of the definitive measures of a marketing strategy’s value. If you want to skip the blind experimentation, particularly in view of our current global financial crisis, we’ve assembled a list of 5 tips to help you start leveraging social media with minimal investment and with strong systems in place to measure success. , – Inbound links The end goals is lead generation and sales. But, there are plenty of leading indicators as you ramp up your efforts.  – Social networking connections , Social Media Marketing For instance, on Twitter both Starbucks and Whole Foods share customer comments, local specials, and ask customers what their favorite items are. It’s casual and open, yet subtly appeals to the attractiveness of the brand. Check out some of the Twitter Search Bloglines Peter Caputa IV Step #1: Identify Your Target Market and Listen to Them – Search engine ranking , Photo Step #2: Get Involved in Conversations AideRSS here , The second step towards success is consistently utilizing social media to engage prospective customers. When you start listening to conversations, you might hear some things about your company that aren’t very complimentary. That’s ok. Your job now is to engage these customers and find a way to help. Be willing to acknowledge mistakes when they happen. Customers are surprisingly forgiving if a company engages in an honest and egoless manner.  . – Mentions of your brand , It’s critical to tie your business strategy to your social media strategy. However, without a knowledge of what social media and social networking sites enable you to do, it’s hard to know how to do that. It’s important to establish a blog as your home base. Then, learn the capabilities of each site to help you interact. For example, Twitter provides an almost unfettered ability to connect with your prospective clients. But, it only allows you to type 140 characters at a time. So, maybe a video posted to youtube would be a better way to publish a “how-to”. Linkedin & Facebook let you see who your contacts know. But, facebook makes it much easier to connect with them. LinkedIn Answers is a much better place to answer business focussed questions than any other social network. from HubSpot & How involved is your team in communicating with prospective customers, influencers and current customers on social networking sites? How often are you publishing great content that helps your prospects do their jobs? How often do you blog, Tweet, post photos on Flickr, comment on other blogs, Podcast, upload videos, etc? The more content that you produce and publish on social media sites, the more traffic you can attract back to your website. If Let’s say you’ve gotten the approval to get your company involved in social media marketing and are ready to launch your efforts. How will you define success? This is an important question, because a large number of companies have jumped into social media without any clear business strategy. Before the financial meltdown of the last few weeks, some companies had the resources to experiment with social media without worrying about financial accountability. But now, most businesses must demonstrate an ROI on any new effort.  This article was co-authored by – Number of times people search for your brand Use tracking codes, a solid analytics package and closed loop marketing , and implement some of their conversation techniques. It’s important to learn how to use these sites in order to get business value out of your social media activity. Talk to an expert to determine where to spend your time to get the best return.  Socialized PR – RSS subscriptions 4_EveR_YounG. Ice Rocket Step #5: Use Website Analytics Software to Measure Leads and Sales. – Video/podcast views/listens .  Many experts agree that social media will affect the next generation of search engine optimization techniques as search engines start to use the signals we collectively leave as we network and share media online. Even today, social media activity affects the success of many other inbound marketing techniques:  Ghennipher Step #3: Give! Give! Give!  Google Blog Search in order to track the visits, leads and sales that occurr as a result of your social media activities. Techrigy and  – Comments on your blog Here’s some tools you can use to tune into the conversation: and – Leads & Customers! brands on Twitter , these activities will help you increase sales. Radian6 , a 10 year veteran of the Internet Marketing world. Ghennipher is an independent Social Media Marketing consultant and writes on Social Media’s effect on business. Subscribe to her blog “Social media strategy should tie to business and communication strategy, rather than being based on the available tools. But it is not possible to develop a social media strategy without at least having an understanding of the various tools that are available, their functionality and purposes, and the kinds of audiences and conversations for which they might be best suited.” – Joel Postman, Principal Originally published Nov 3, 2008 9:26:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Technorati by Step #4: Master the Tools of the Trade . More advanced social media monitoring tools include HubSpot’s HubFeed – Social bookmarking activity Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Chart of the Week: What Buyers Want from Your Website

first_img  Success stories / case studies (73%) However, if you want to win clients, don’t overlook the remaining six elements. Even podcasts and audio content, at the bottom of the list, were rated by 40% of decision makers as being “extremely” or “very important” when deciding to make initial contact with a service provider.  .  Description of industries served (78%) Pull People to You HubSpot has compiled over 50 original marketing charts and graphs on topics including Lead Generation, Blogging and Social Media, Marketing Budgets, Twitter and Facebook Free Download: Marketing Data: 50+ Marketing Charts and Graphs to have access to these charts for use in your own presentations Topics: Buyers may not indicate elements such as blog posts, podcasts, and video as being the most important features of a website, but leveraging content can really help your product or service stand out in a crowded marketspace. We all know our website is a key part of our marketing and . As more people use the Web to find services, you want to make sure you have compelling content that is findable in search engines and draws people to you.  Professional website design and presentation (69%) Whatever marketing you are doing, the first stop for most buyers is a visit to your website. It can either , podcasts, videos, and news, or it can say the same thing as your competitors’ sites, providing a laundry list of services and a nice look, but neither helping nor hurting your chances to start or enhance a relationship. The top 4 elements should come as no surprise: Originally published Feb 10, 2010 5:15:00 AM, updated July 03 2013 Say you are going to run a webinar. You may send an invitation by email (a top way to generate attendance at webinars), directing buyers to register for the event on your website. During the registration process, you can ask them to sign up for your newsletter, allowing you to add them to ongoing marketing communications. And, on the confirmation page, you can direct them to Designcenter_img , case studies, or podcasts on related topics to the event, further engaging them with your brand and thought-leading content. more than 200 buyers of B2B services — in companies of all sizes — to rate the importance of various elements of a service provider’s website. You can go a step further and share information about the webinar and the related content items such as Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. Doing this allows you to reach your followers and fans, some of whom may not be on your email list, as well as blog posts But when prospects visit your site, what are they looking for? What do they want to see, and what do they consider most important? To find out, RainToday These elements are the core of most firms’ websites. If something is amiss here, it will raise major questions with buyers from the get-go. Getting these elements in place is just the price of entering the game. What type of content do you have available on your website? lead generation strategy surveyed draw them in further with online resources and content  Service descriptions (87%) Web Elements Working Together – An Example via social media enhancing your Web presence Download the ebook now! Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

New Research: 5 Twitter Charts For Marketers

first_img Twitter Facebook Twitter is dominating Access the Internet From Multiple Locations Marketing Takeaway: Originally published Apr 29, 2010 2:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 . The report is the most recent data from a three year tracking study conducted by Edison and Free Download: Marketing Data: 50+ Marketing Charts and Graphs Facebook While are nearly equal when it comes to awareness. This is just one of many interesting data nuggets that were uncovered in a new survey conducted by Arbitron Internet and Multimedia research in usage in the United States, but the two Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Marketing Takeaway: : Twitter users are actively discussing products and services. Make sure you monitor conversations about your business and provide compelling content for them to discuss.  Marketing Takeaway Download the ebook now! Twitter usage Marketing Takeaway: is the dominate social platform in terms of usage, Twitter is still growing rapidly and driving consumer awareness.  4. Today, email marketing can be a powerful driver for marketing results. As SMS use grows, marketers need to plan ways to leverage this type of communications method to become a valuable part of the marketing mix. center_img Marketing Takeaway: While the survey can be downloaded in its entirety social platforms Edison Research Topics: 3. Despite Equal Awareness,Twitter Significantly Lags Behind Facebook in Usage  Twitter Users 2. Twitter and Facebook Are Almost Equal in Awareness , we have reviewed the research and selected the top five charts and findings that you need to better understand is becoming popular, it is still far behind Facebook in terms of use. This data should remind marketers that an effective 5. Twitter Users (Like Most Americans) Are Very Frequent SMS Users Marketing on the social web is becoming about multiple screens. Users are engaging on social networks on different types of devices including laptops, smart phones and tablets. It is important to make sure that your online properties are optimized to take advantage of different screens.  to have access to these charts for use in your own presentations social media marketing 1. Twitter Users Frequently Exchange Information About Products and Services HubSpot has complied over 50 marketing charts and graphs on topics including Lead Generation, Blogging and Social Media, Marketing Budgets, Twitter and Facebook and apply this information to your business and marketing efforts. Which of these charts is most important to your business?  strategy should include multiple platforms in order to maximize results.  . Twitter Marketing Data Despite the fact thatlast_img read more

3 Steps to Driving a Focused Lead Generation Strategy

first_img to focus our attention on the values and benefits customers care about and how our product can uniquely deliver them. This tool identifies the target audience (persona), names the product, its category, primary benefit meaningful to the persona, and relevant points of differentiation compared to the most likely competitive alternative. Intended for internal use only, this tool is instrumental in helping marketers stay true to the values and benefits that matter most to customers. While the positioning statement is The “engagement message” is the hook, usually expressed as a problem or opportunity designed to literally engage the target audience in a dialogue.  , now available on Amazon. He is also a speaker for our persona The “solution criteria message” suggests criteria that must be met to address the problem or opportunity shown in the engagement message, regardless of the vendor selected. We’re approaching the mid-point of 2011, and it’s time to take stock. How well are your lead gen programs performing? Be honest. the message to the prospect or customer, customer-friendly messaging can be derived from it easily. The most difficult part of the positioning statement exercise is that it forces marketers to make sacrifices. Intuitively, we know we can’t be “all things to all people.” Yet, that’s what most companies end up trying to promote. That misstep only adds to the noise and confusion in the marketplace. The positioning statement exercise is a forcing function that will lead marketers to produce clearer, tighter, and more consistent messages that prospects will hear and understand. lead generation programs they are, Step 2: The Positioning Statement Here’s the good news: it’s easier than you think to get out of this cycle of noise-producing marketing that feeds the black hole of spam filters everywhere. All it takes is a small bit of back-to-basics marketing discipline with three steps designed to help you understand the buyer. After all, in our competitive business climate, whoever understands the buyer best, wins. Hands down. When fail, they do so mainly because the messages communicated are irrelevant or ill-timed for the target audience. Our target customers are bombarded with thousands of messages every day. Unfortunately, we (as a society) have become so used to information overload, it’s become the white noise of the marketplace. As a result, the knee-jerk reaction from companies is the “ready, fire” execution of promotional offers. It’s easy for marketers to fall into the trap of believing that volume replaces the need to “aim.” they work, and Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Putting It All Together where With a keen sketch of our target persona in mind, we now need a crisp The “value message” is designed to show how life for the customer will be better than before by using the product. It’s benefit-focused. Step 3: The Message Box Lead Generation is a fictional representation of a set of real people who share similar traits or experiences. A client I was working with was interested in reaching IT leaders of the Global 3000 companies. That’s a fairly wide range of folks. We needed more specific information in order to construct an effective integrated marketing plan. To help narrow the field, we built the persona of our ideal prospect, focusing on positioning statement When it comes to effective lead gen programs, there is no substitute for a clear and crisp positioning and messaging strategy. These three steps will put you on the path to the marketing high ground.Photo Credit: Mark Hunter The “product reinforcement message” is when we introduce the product by name. Whereas the engagement and solution messages are about the buyer, reinforcement is about our product and how it is the best option for satisfying the conditions stated in the solution message. Message Box A is the best technique I know to craft a concise “elevator pitch” using language the persona will understand. Imagine a blank sheet of paper with a box in the middle. Put the name of your product in the box, and put the name of your persona in the upper left corner of the page. Surrounding the box are places for four messages: engagement (top), solution criteria (right), product reinforcement (bottom), and value (left). Each message leads into the next, transgressing in a clockwise fashion. This is a guest blog post by Mike Gospe, author of Topics: When combined, these four key messages create an effective 30-second “elevator pitch.” With a solid persona and positioning statement in hand, the Message Box exercise takes about 45 minutes. Of course, this is just the beginning of a messaging strategy. Use the Message Box to create a solid foundation from which to what characteristics Originally published May 12, 2011 9:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 not who build a full content strategy Marketers must stop yelling at prospects. Successful marketing today is less about direct selling and more about story telling. And people pay attention when the story is about them. The Step 1: The Persona . Lead Generation Quick-Start Series made them a good target for us with respect to our products and services. By the end of our brainstorming session, we zeroed in on this label to summarize them: “the skeptical futurist.” Key to each persona is more than just basic demographics. We also want to include information about what they think and how they make purchase decisions. Unsure where to start?  Ask a sales rep about their latest win. that will help you map the right messages (and the required content) to each stage of the prospect’s buying cycle. The Marketing High Groundlast_img read more