Men have choices too! Take a look at the top ten suggestions for men to improve their visual brand. Frankly, some women can probably take a few lessons from this list, too. http://ping.fm/GR7OB
Business & Management
A few weeks ago DCTC hosted a panel discussion facilitated by Jessica Bartram on the topic of sustaining green in the hospitality industry. Questions and debate in the classroom about how green is green, coupled with discussion about employer and client motivations to color things green, brought about what we all agree was a fabulous discussion among meeting planners, luxury properties, and restaurants at the Shades of Green Forum.
Results of MPI’s recent event marketing survey http://www.mpiweb.org/Archive/250/56.aspx included a measurement of green implementation by marketing and sales professionals working in industries that host meetings – surprisingly, 65 percent plan on implementing or have already implemented green initiatives within events. Not so surprisingly, this measurement was part of the marketing survey – apparently many people are becoming aware that green is not just an environmental and human initiative – it’s a marketing one as well.
Let’s hear about your green experiences. We’re never too old to learn – especially from each other.
Autism Hangout shares hope, news and resources
by Carie Statz, Marketing and Sales Instructor
Dakota County Technical College
Autism has become part of our everyday vocabulary. The Autism Society, the foremost grassroots autism organization in the country, defines autism as a “complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first two years of life and is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain, impacting development in the areas of social interaction and communication skills.”
An estimated one out of every 100 newborns in the United States will develop some form of autism. Today, at least 1.5 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed as autistic¾and that number is on the rise. Autism is considered a “spectrum disorder” that affects each child differently, altering behavior in varying degrees. No single cause for autism has been identified.
Inspired by a stepson with autism, Craig Evans needed a better way to learn more about the disorder and then share his findings with others. He eventually founded the community Web site, www.autismhangout.com, which is a for-profit site specifically designed to bring timely and relevant news, reports, resources and hope to individuals touched by the autism spectrum.
Evans pointed out that Autism Hangout provides not only information, but also offers a perfect opportunity for the greater autism community to share experiences through discussion forums, videos, photos and blogs. Individuals with autism as well as their caregivers can create their own homepages on the site. Autism-related events and programs are also showcased.
As an informational clearinghouse, knowledge base and networking center covering the full scope of autism, the Web site offers a one-stop solution for people seeking educational resources and up-to-the-minute news on an extremely complex and increasingly prevalent disorder. Visitors to the site are reminded that some children show minor forms of autistic behaviors while others may have mannerisms that affect every aspect of their lives.
Parents may browse the site to identify the typical signs of autism such as:
- Lack or delay in spoken language
- Repetitive use of language
- Little or no eye contact
- Little interest in peer interaction
- Lack of spontaneous play
- Persistent fixation on parts of objects
Another feature of Autism Hangout, webinars are live presentations, lectures, workshops or seminars transmitted online that Evans moderates to help educate caregivers on the various challenges posed by autism.
“You can be passionate about a cause, help others with your work, and still be compensated for your work while serving those in need,” said Evans. “A good portion of my work is now focused on helping caregivers find products and services to help with their challenging aid to people with autism.”
By promoting these products and services through paid advertising on Autism Hangout, Evans is able to uphold his commitment and continue putting in the extensive work hours required to keep the site comprehensive, accurate, relevant and up to date.
“I have a drive to provide useful and current information to help others, but it also takes a commitment and long hours to provide this site,” Evans said. “The best advice to give people who have a desire to help others, but also have their efforts compensated, is you can do both if you stay committed to your passion.”
Billions of dollars are spent annually on treating individuals with autism. Evans stresses that this cost could be cut by two thirds through early intervention. He recommends that caregivers know the signs of autism and seek out professional advice for assistance. Autism Hangout is one of the best resources available to get the most current facts about autism. The right knowledge at the right time can make a huge difference not only in individual lives, but also in changing the course of the disorder¾perhaps in the direction of a future cure.
One important lesson Craig Evans can teach anyone interested in community service is that sound business and marketing models can be applied effectively for good causes, greatly increasing the potential for beneficial results both socially and fiscally.
As the founder of Autism Hangout, Craig Evans is available to answer specific questions about autism and his Web site at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on how you can successfully launch your own for-profit community service Web site, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com¾or visit www.dctc.edu.
If you have a topic for the Make It Happen columnists, please contact Chris Hayes at 651-423-8266, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the last few years, a new generation pops up every ten years or so. Sounds strange doesn’t it?
The new generation is called Generation Jones.
It is tucked neatly between the Baby Boom Generation and Generation X.
Just to recap the “Generations”:
- Mature (born 1941 and before)
- Baby Boomers (1942 to 1953)
- Generation Jones (1954 to 1965)
- Generation X (1966 to 1978)
- Generation Y (1979 through the 1990s, also called the Baby Boomlet)
Of course, these dates are really fluid and each author of a book who wants to define the generations use slightly different dates.
It is funny to me to think that a generation now consists of a decade. I remember the good old days when a generation meant a 20-30 year span.
As far as Generation Jonses, I am sure there are some very good reasons to single out a decade from the end of the Baby Boomer generation and give it a new title. The primary reasons are experiences during the decade a person “grew up”.
Here’s my two cents. As I write this blog, I take into consideration the following:
- A generation by definition is somewhere between 25 to 30 years.
- Every year offers new experiences based on music trends, major political events, major social change, advances in technology, etc.
- Most importantly, people have an innate need to stand out.
Why is number 3 so important? Three main reasons:
1. Primary Reason: People want to be known for something. They have a desire to be understood. They want to be seen as different from those who go before them or those after them. This is a natural desire. For this reason, to define a generation every 10 years with slightly different characteristics gives a person a sense of indivdualism. I know people who regularly say, “I think this way because I am from Generation X” or “I purchased this because it is expected of me - a Baby Boomer”. Really?
2. Another Important Reason: Marketers need terms to define the target audience they are selling to. It combines two really important demographics, at least this is what marketers think: age and psychographics (although the latter is more sketchy to nail down).
3. Reason 3 – It is the very thing needed to sell more books! It combines information that allows people to stand out more and helps marketers sound like they are more directly hitting their target audience by defining it more “clearly”.
However, I think, and this may be just my cynical Generation X in me, that an author is making millions defining yet another “generation” and taking on a book tour. However, if you look up the characteristics of Generation Jones, many of the characteristics “cynical, experimental” are very similar to Generation X.
Hey, no one has officially claimed the decade…opps… I mean the generation from 1991 to 2002. I should take up that decade, write a book, and make a million. My older nieces fit into this group. They are great kids, but some of their characteristics are defined as cynical, experimental… Wait, that defines Generation Jones, no Generation X, wait the Generation Y is like that too. See where I am going with this?
|Modest Increases in Travel Volume, Spending Demonstrate Industry’s Unique Ability to Quickly Create Employment Opportunities|
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Travel Association today announced that projected modest 2010 increases in leisure, business and international inbound travel will enable the industry to add nearly 90,000 American jobs. Leisure travel is expected to rise 2.0 percent, business travel is projected to increase by 2.5 percent and international inbound travel will increase by 3.0 percent. These job gains come on the heels of 400,000 combined travel industry job losses in 2008 and 2009.
“The travel industry shares President Obama’s goal of putting Americans back to work. Our industry is uniquely capable of adapting to economic upswings and quickly adding tens of thousands of jobs,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. “What we announce today is based upon modest increases in travel. Given its immense potential, we call on the Administration and Members of Congress to build a plan for economic recovery that drives significant increases in travel.”
A federal economic recovery plan to significantly increase travel and create jobs would include:
The travel industry employs 7.7 million Americans, supporting one out of every eight non-farm jobs in the United States.
Domestic leisure travel is expected to increase 2 percent in 2010, with a corresponding increase in leisure travel spending of nearly 5 percent. Domestic business travel volume will grow 2.5 percent next year and business travel spending will increase 4 percent.
“Projected growth in leisure travel is an indicator of rising consumer confidence and disposable income,” said Dr. Suzanne Cook, senior vice president of research for the U.S. Travel Association. “Following a difficult 2009, businesses have a heightened focus on the value and bottom-line benefits of travel. We expect to see a slight increase in business travel next year based in part on pent-up demand for face-to-face meetings that drive growth and productivity.”
International Inbound Travel
International inbound travel will increase nearly 3.0 percent in 2010; however, growth in overseas travel (excluding Canada and Mexico) will remain stable at about 1 percent. Overseas travel visitation in 2010 will remain below 2000 levels (23.5 million versus 26.0 million, respectively). The concern about the lack of substantial growth next year from this market is that overseas travelers contribute significantly more to the U.S. economy, spending an average of $4,500 per person, per trip compared to about $900 per person, per trip for Canadian and Mexican travelers.
The U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the $770 billion travel industry. U.S. Travel’s mission is to promote and facilitate increased travel to and within the United States. U.S. Travel is proud to be a partner in travel with American Express. For more information, visit www.ustravel.org.
John Moore, an emerging technology specialist, woke up one morning to a familiar sight. However, he didn’t know where he was.
Momentary amnesia seems to happen a lot to the frequent business traveler. Waking up in a hotel room that looks similar to the one before, but not knowing what town it’s in.
Moore knew something needed to change and this realization led him down the path to starting the Apple Valley location of Speed Pro Imaging in January.
Speed Pro Imaging is more than a signage company. It provides high-resolution visual messages for everything from customized tradeshow marketing materials to vehicle and building wraps.
“This was fit for me. I spent my whole career working with emerging technology, and this business allows me to continue my work in a cutting-edge industry,” says Moore.
Partnering with companies to find a way to tell their messages may not be cutting-edge thought, but the method of delivery is.
Speedpro Imaging offers visual messages with stunning clarity up to 1440dpi, and the facility’s printer can create signage as large as 74 inches by 150 inches long with quick turnaround time.
Consultation is part of the full-service experience provided by the company. A graphic designer is also on staff to handle creative development.
“The organizations we work with like the sense of control because nearly all their marketing materials can be created within our facility,” says Moore. “I can deliver on the promise of high-quality to my customer every day.”
Anyone who attended this summer’s Apple Valley Golf Outing will remember the vibrant sponsors’ logos wrapped on the golf carts for the event.
Moore adds, “We also made the lawn frame signage bibs for the Hope Kids Festival, a St. Jude’s Hospital fundraiser. It was an upscale presentation of the sponsors’ logos for the event.”
The high-resolution vehicle wraps, which is a moving billboard, can last up to seven years since it is UV-resistant. While traditional, expensive billboards need to be changed frequently to avoid message wearout, the vibrant vehicle wraps exposes potential customers wherever it travels for often a fraction of the billboard costs.
Other new visual message technologies include window clings, rough surface applications, sidewalk and floor signage.
The window clings allow a person to view out but not in, which is fairly inexpensive and has many uses for businesses looking to promote to passersby.
When restrictions at leased facilities interfere with a business’ desire to promote through signage, SpeedPro Imaging offers solutions through rough surface applications, sidewalk and floor signs, and building wraps.
“We use heat technology to install brilliant signage on rough interior or exterior surfaces. It is long-lasting but also can be easily removed through heat,” says Moore. “Businesses like the signage because it installs in hours vs. days, has incredible imaging, and is not permanent.”
The sidewalk and floor signage can be used to advertise sales, lead potential consumers to a business through customized messages, or provide continuity to a special event’s themes.
“Your business is a big deal. Let us show it in a big way,” adds Moore.
To take a tour of SpeedPro Imaging, located at 5708 Upper 147th Street in Apple Valley, or call 952-432-6779 for more information. Examples of the company’s projects can also be viewed at www.speedproMN.com.
Making more of your senses can be done through th internet. See the article on a new machine that makes smells through the internet. Imagine playing your virtual game on the internet and you can smell gun smoke, a man’s cologne, or even the smell of cookies baking at the bakery you walk next to in your computer game.
Article Retrieve from http://www.alternet.org/columnists/story/9928/ on January 21, 2009:
A company called DigiScents has developed a digital smell machine. The iSmell! It plugs into your personal computer and creates virtual odors for the user. The iSmell gadget uses 128 chemicals that can be combined to create many different smells. Imagine enhancing a sales experience by activating the sense of smell!
What happened to ethics in business? I know this is a loaded question. In my career spanning over 20 years, I have personally seen or heard of many bad decisions made by employees.
Of course ethics, defined as the set of rules or standards governing a person’s conduct, is up for interpretation by every individual. Because of the gray area surrounding ethics, many organizations have set in place a fluid code of ethics. I use the word fluid since many companies know society and technology change constantly. For this reason, an organization may find itself needing to update its code of ethics on a regular basis due to potentially new ethical violations.
I have heard of or seen many bad ethical decisions through the years. Here are some typical ethical codes set by organizations and examples I or my colleagues witnessed which violate these codes:
1. Conflict of Interest: This is when employees of an organization allow their connections to unethically influence their business practices. Many companies require their employees to conduct business in a fair and impartial manner. An example of personal conflict of interest would be a manager of a non-profit organization, who purchases items at a higher cost from businesses where his friends and family members work, instead of getting bids.
2. Gifts and Gratitudes: This is when a person accepts a gift which their company constitutes has a higher value than allowed and may influence the company’s decisions of purchasing. I have seen whole departments taken out to dinner by sales reps who receive the organization’s business in return. Many companies have added to their code of ethics in this area by stating that any employee, who procures goods and services (purchases), cannot accept any item of value over a small specialty item like an inexpensive pen or key chain.
3. Behavioral Conduct During Work or at a Company-Sponsored Event: Often managers set the standard by which their employees conduct their behavior. We’ve all heard of a version of a story when a manager who drinks too much in front of his subordinates. I’ve heard of a manager who drank too much at an organization-sponsored trip then walked out in front of moving traffic to stop it, all the while his subordinates watched. Can you imagine the talk after that incident around the company?
4. Protection of Sensitive Information/Confidentiality: I have to say I personally have not had witnessed much violation in this area. I worked with confidential information most of my career through client databases. This was highly valued and protected information. I do recall, however, on a few occasions stopping people from telling me confidential employee information, such as disciplinary actions, which I had no right of knowing.
5. Personal Use of Organization’s Assets: This is defined as borrowing or using assets like office equipment or corporate credit cards inappropriately. I know of people who borrowed an organization’s tents, tools, corporate cars, etc. for personal uses, some of these employees were let go for these actions. I know a few managers who didn’t think twice when they took their friends out on golf outings or to restaurants on their companies’ expense. (I personally feel guilty if I find my company’s 25 cent pen in my purse.)
6. Others: There are many other unethical practices such as stealing, being under the influence while at work, sexual harassment which can include dating a subordinate and racial discrimination.
How do you know if something is unethical so you don’t jeopardize your job? Here are some tips:
a. Ask if you are not sure. This can save your job.
b. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t ethical.
c. Anything unlawful is automatically unethical.
d. Ask yourself: Is it fair and honest? What would others think of my actions? How would my actions look to the public if they read it in the press?
e. Check your corporate code of ethics. If your organization does not have a standard, create one.
A sales promotion is basically a marketing effort that encourages quick sales through short-term incentives to a company’s target audience or through the distribution through the manufacturer down to a retailer. It promotes quick sales and helps affect the bottom line profits.
Most people know the consumer sales promotions like sweepstakes, contests, coupons, rebates, sampling, and free gifts. However, few people realize that more money is spent on the trade end of the sales promotion marketing strategy.
Objectives for trade promotions vary. Most are administered to create distribution for new products, maintain support for existing brands, encourage display of products at retail stores, build retail inventory, and reduce trade inventory.
The trade strategies include point of sale displays in retail stores, in-store demonstrations of the product, trade shows and exhibits, buying allowances, trade trial promotions, promotional allowances, incentive programs, co-op advertising, and training programs.
Trade trial promotions include line fees and slotting allowances, which the manufacturer pays the retailer to stock a new product, and returns, where the manufacturer agrees to take back unsold quantities of product.
Buying allowances allow retailers to free goods or a discount off their invoices when they purchase product during a promotional period.
Promotional allowances encourage retailers to perform specific tasks in relation to the brand.
Trade training is an important aspect to help sell manufacturer products. Staffs at the retail level are given in-depth exposure to a product. Often the manufacturer staffs offer the training to retail employees.
Contests and incentive programs encourage the people in the distribution channel to move product by offering special monetary or other gift incentives to sell their products.
Co-op advertising allows retailers an incentive to advertise a manufacturer’s products. The manufacturer will pay some or all of the advertising cost of promoting the retailers’ advertising costs in their flyers, broadcast and print, online media, etc.
The ultimate goal of sales promotion strategies is to promote quick sale of product through the use of both consumer and trade promotions. The cost of implementing these strategies can be high but it in the end, more product is sold which positively affects a company’s bottom line profits.