Marketing Maxims for Today’s Challenging Times

These are turbulent times for all businesses – necessitating streamlined marketing processes that are finely honed to mesh with today’s sputtering global economy.

1. Don’t stop advertising because the economy is sluggish – increase it, as many of your competitors are foolishly slowing down and you can grab market share! Look at what Dell has done to Gateway in the last eighteen months – Gateway has lost 10-20% of their market share and are pulling in their horns, while Dell’s slice of the pie has grown bigger.

2. Negotiate aggressively with media sources – its tough right now for online and offline publishers to generate advertising revenue and they are being forced to consider any and all deals. Note the number of “house ads” being run by major portals like Yahoo and Internet.com, 20-30% of their banner ads or sponsorship buttons are promoting their own businesses.

3. It’s no secret that many e-commerce sites pay to mirror existing market leaders’ web site design. People always resist change and familiarity is one of key reasons why they shop on and offline in the same stores.

4. Niche marketing has almost become a homily – but it enables your company to leverage your marketing expenditures and R&D costs by concentrating on a narrow market segment.

5. What’s unique about your company, services and/or products? When you understand this you’ve just created “brand uniqueness” – make sure you integrate these themes with all of your marketing; customers need to know what’s different about your company versus your competitors. Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream did a wonderful job of developing brand uniqueness in a commodity market (ice cream) that enabled them to build a great company.

6. A key attribute for any successful marketing campaign is repetition – your company may not have the marketing resources of an Intel (their “Intel Inside” campaign far exceeded their marketing goals) but you do need to repeat your message and reinforce the branding and market awareness by touching your market segment via multiple reinforcing marketing processes; i.e. search engine ranking, print, opt-in e-mail, radio/TV, sponsorship buttons, newsletter inserts, etc.

7. Make it easy to do business with your company by offering pricing and terms of service that fit your client’s needs software and or ASP services to its customers by offering them terms of services that can be flexed to fit their needs, not the other way around.

8. Switching costs are high in this challenging market – companies and individuals don’t want to change their habits, as this can cost them more money. So, figure out how you can adapt your products and services to fit their needs to minimize their switching costs. Then, communicate this effectively via all of your marketing processes.

Remember The “Generation Gap”?

The techniques of managing relationships between parents and their children is as old as.. well, parents having children. It’s not an easy job, either for the parent or the child. But, the key to any relationship inside or outside the family is the ability to relate; to have an empathy that allows us a slightly special way in which we can communicate with one another in order to understand, and to be understood. We make friends because of the similarities we may have in certain areas and we sometimes can build lifelong relationships on that basis. But, having children means we do not have a choice to make that relationship as we might have in meeting a perfect stranger. It’s a relationship forced upon us, albeit willingly in most cases. We as parents accept that as part of parenting. After all, as parents we have the opportunity to influence the development of our children to be just like us.. thus creating those similarities that enhance a lifelong relationship. Now, note that I used the word ‘opportunity’ in that sentence. I think as parents we all realize that in spite of what we do to manipulate their young lives our children will turn out as individuals just as we did with our parents. And that could very well mean that the relationship you have with your child is not based on similarities but more of accepting the respective family roles of parent and child.

Trying to relate with our children and getting them to relate to us is a great challenge to even the most determined and dedicated parent. Sometimes the frustration level is so great we wonder as parents why we had kids at all; especially when they reach the teen years and become demanding in their own right as they expand social contacts in their own high school social systems and expect us to conform to (and finance) that lifestyle yet requiring us to stay in the shadows so as not to embarrass them.

I often ask myself how it is my folks raised me in one method and yet I have helped to raise my kids using another totally different method and the end result appears the same. While our child-rearing is not quite over we have nonetheless been fortunate to have raised three wonderful children reflecting the values we feel are important; having developed socially and academically beyond our wildest expectations. Yet my parents felt that about me and my sister as well. And many other parents can also claim these same ‘successes’. So, what is really the key here?

The key is in a term I call ‘relational adaptation’; you might best know it as the ‘generation gap’. When us boomers were born after World War II there were such vast numbers of us that our mere presence forced social upheavals in every facet of life. Our Depression Era parents had to adapt to raise us.. they had no choice. With the economy booming they had the natural desire to provide all of us newborns with the things they never had when they grew up. We were the first generation to be raised in an era of relatively instant mass communication, opportunities for college education, better jobs, etc. The morals and ideals which were prevalent in our parents’ day were being challenged daily.. many becoming obsolete and passe’ (I overheard my grandmother one day commenting to my mother as to why mother needed a book by some baby doctor named Spock to raise a child when she herself considered her own job at motherhood quite a success without it.). By comparison to previous generations we were indeed, ‘spoiled’. The generation gap was broad.. and to bridge it between parent and child in those days was a fairly gut-wrenching transformation.

So, how does all that translate to how we raise our kids now? Well, for the first time in the industrialized history of this country the generation gap between how we were raised and that of our children is the shortest. Our children do not have parents that were raised in a totally different lifestyle or social environment? we had rock and roll, and our children have rock and roll. We had instant mass communications and our children also have instant mass communications (albeit technologically far more advanced). It was our generation that blazed the trails to bring social taboos like sex and drugs to the forefront, which our children also deal with today. Our generation brought change on all frontiers and as we aged we accepted change as a norm.. and we adapted. In other words, as parents we can identify.. and RELATE far more with our children than in all previous generations back to the 30′s.

But while that gap has been closed to a great degree there are some significant differences within the generations. Us boomers realized that certain life compromises can be made.. that life is short and not necessarily a life to be dedicated to just child-rearing or career. When I was growing up there was the distinct attitude that the family centered around the child’s upbringing. By comparison we now feel that the family centers around a more equal distribution of quality of life; that kids can be allowed to develop on their own at certain levels; that parents don’t have to bust their butts to pay for their child’s college; and maybe understand that kids don’t necessarily need direct 24/7 supervision, but rather intuitive guidance.

Ok, so how can all these similarities and differences explain one method of child rearing being any more effective from one generation to the next? It seems the similarities make a great basis in forming a relationship with our children as they grow up; a way to broaden and enhance the ability to ‘listen’ to each other. The differences reflect the times we live in at that moment.. and our abilities to adapt to the ever-changing social pressures. And that adaptation is done in the togetherness of a relationship. For example, I may identify as a parent your need and desire, as a child, to take the car to work rather than walking, but there is a real economic problem going on in the here-and-now that makes gasoline pretty expensive, and we need to conserve money for other things. I was never raised in this situation before so this is not simply a parental control thing. So, let’s reach a compromise that works.

Play up the similarities with your children between your two respective generations and use that to establish a relationship. Then when those expected differences come along in life your relationship will be better armed for compromise, cooperation, and understanding. Make your children identify with you by sharing how you were raised as not being that much different. You may not have the family sitting around the dinner table like in the ‘old days’ but you just might have a greater closeness with your children because you did indeed ‘walk a mile in their shoes’.

Oily Skin Can Get Dehydrated Too

All skin types – normal, dry, and oily – needs to be moisturized in summer. Your face may appear to have a shine without a morning lotion, “but what you may be witnessing,” says Jacquie Hutchinson, national product trainer for Almay, “is a false sense of security.”

The skin, she says, has the life-sustaining role of protecting our veins, arteries, blood and organs from exposure to the environment. “It is such an important role that even with the first sign of dehydration, the oil glands immediately pump out more oil to protect from potential damage. Non-moisturized, dehydrated skin therefore can easily look oily and as a result it ruins that flawless, matte look you are trying to achieve.

“Instead, all skin types should be moisturized at least twice a day, but if you like, tuck-away the heavier cream for winter use and apply a lighter lotion in summer.”

Sunscreen Reminder

For those of us concerned about applying too much product on oily or normal skin during the humid days of summer, specialists do suggest “the easiest solution is to get skin protecting and enhancing benefits, all in one.”

Right Strings for Electric Guitar

As an artist, you are looking for the right strings on your electric guitar, then visit at thehub.musiciansfriend. They provide all the information about musical instruments with specifications that help you find the right strings on electric guitar with the best possible price. Every type of string has its own sonic qualities and playing characteristics, with the help of their buying guides, you can choose the perfect one that really match to your electric guitar, music, and playing style.

Protect Your Computer and Business

We all take the computer for granted. I mean, all we have to do is switch it on and it’s ready to go. But did you ever stop to think what would happen if your computer suddenly crashed? And that is the only computer you have to work on!

What will happen to your work and your business for the next few days or weeks?

Do you have the original or a copy of all your programs?

Do you have the setup configurations, eg for your ISP?. You will need this to re-install some programs.

Do you have a copy of your email address book? Your email list or address book is vital to your business.

Do you remember all your passwords – for retrieving email, connecting to your ISP, membership sites, etc?

So what can you do to ensure that your computer will run as well as you’d expect, and continue working when your computer is down? Here’s a few simple tips:

1.Is your computer protected from viruses? Install an anti-virus software, and make sure to get regular updates. New viruses are coming out more often these days so you need to have updates regularly. Anything more than 3 months old needs to be updated today.

2.Install a firewall. Anytime your computer is connected to the Internet without a firewall, it is operating under an “open door” policy to intruders. Hackers can get in, take what they want, and even leave open a “back door” so they can turn your computer into a “zombie” and use it to attack other computers, distribute porn and spam.

Your bank account and credit card information, passwords, documents and personal files can be stolen while you’re busy surfing. Don’t let that happen!

T-Style Tele Pickup Set

As a tele guitarist, you are interested in buying a new model of dual blade t-style telecaster pickup set with greatly expanded fidelity, then danny gatton is very ideal option for professional Tele players. The dual blade ensures balanced response on the outer strings. It has adjustable output that helps greatly the level of stock pickups and eliminated any kind of noise perfectly. The Danny Gatton brought the full spectrum of Telecaster guitar with three distinct organ tones and help using both pickups to use in the front, back, and middle positions. Using this and enjoying play

Making Your Kitchen Work for You

The kitchen often becomes a family hub, the heart of the home for daily activity and entertaining. For this reason, the design of a kitchen space should address how the room is used on a daily basis. Identifying how you like to cook, eat and entertain are important steps in creating an efficient kitchen space.

Whether you are building from the floor plan up or simply reorganizing, kitchen tools and space planning have the most powerful impact on a kitchen’s effectiveness.

The Kitchen Pro

Ask any chef and they’ll tell you that cooking with the right equipment makes all the difference in the world. While a full kitchen overhaul can be costly, here are a few innovative ideas that blend functionality and fashion.

* Mix and match. It is perfectly acceptable to equip your kitchen with appliances you like, one by one. Most culinary experts do not choose an entire matching set of appliances from one manufacturer. Instead look at individual appliance features and stick to easy-to-match finishes like black, white and stainless.
* Stainless steel fixtures and appliances are in vogue for good reason — they work with any color palette and many are built for standard sizes so they are easily retrofitted to your space.
* Streamline food preparation and cleanup with specialized fixtures. American Standard’s new coordinating kitchen sinks, faucets and accessories that work extra hard. For example, the remote access drain feature allows you to drain the basin without sticking your hand into dirty dishwater. The line also features nonslip cutting boards and metal dish racks sized to fit snugly over the sink surface.
* If frozen dinners come flying out of the freezer door every time you open it, consider adding refrigeration or freezer drawers in your kitchen work island. These products are specifically designed to keep certain items, such as produce, at the exact temperature and humidity to stay their freshest. These compact units can add as much as 30 to 40 percent more refrigeration and freezer space to a kitchen.

Gadgets and small appliances can be very handy but tend to gobble up space. Consider these tips to manage clutter so that nothing interferes with your culinary projects.

* What’s good for your wardrobe is good for your kitchen — donate items that you have duplicates of or that you no longer use and replace them with sleek versions of must-have kitchen elements. Sinks with integrated accessories, like the sink and its integrated drainboard and colander, are more efficient, stylish and eliminate kitchen clutter.
* Create more counter space by adding a small center island or rolling cart. Look for a cart that is decorative but also offers storage space below the work surface.
* Trade in your kitchen table for a bar-style counter and stools. Not only will this free up floor space to add more cabinets or extend counters, it will also prompt you to use your formal dining room more often for family meals.
* Annex space from another room to create a walk-in

Conquering Space

Gadgets and small appliances can be very handy but tend to gobble up space. Consider these tips to manage clutter so that nothing interferes with your culinary projects.

* What’s good for your wardrobe is good for your kitchen — donate items that you have duplicates of or that you no longer use and replace them with sleek versions of must-have kitchen elements. Sinks with integrated accessories, sink and its integrated drainboard and colander, are more efficient, stylish and eliminate kitchen clutter.
* Create more counter space by adding a small center island or rolling cart. Look for a cart that is decorative but also offers storage space below the work surface.
* Trade in your kitchen table for a bar-style counter and stools. Not only will this free up floor space to add more cabinets or extend counters, it will also prompt you to use your formal dining room more often for family meals.
* Annex space from another room to create a walk-in pantry. This is one of the most popular features for home-buyers. It allows for storage of bulk food items and large appliances like chafing dishes that are used infrequently. Get creative to better utilize deep cupboards and organize drawers. Rotating trays and stack-able spice racks are just the tip of the iceberg — install shelves that pull out for easy access items in the back. Also, fit a horizontal knife block next to your flatware caddy to protect your fingers and the life of the blades

Trade Show Table Covers

As a businessman, you want to be organized a trade show to display your products and looking for the Trade show table covers with logo, then avail the service of Premier Table Linens. They offer custom printed tablecloths and table throws at a very reasonable price. The several options of sizes, fabrics, and colors are available here, you can choose your choice of one for your trade show needs and display your products that will reach the customers in a proper way.

Healthy Feet While Travelling

Whether hiking in Canada’s Rocky Mountains or admiring art at the Mus’e du Louvre in Paris, traveling takes its toll on the feet, and sore feet can ruin the pleasure of a vacation.

Destinations around the world and requires to spend countless hours on her feet, visiting various tourist and cultural attractions.

After years of experience caring for and treating her feet, some basic tips on how to keep feet healthy and happy, no matter where travelers adventure to this summer.

1. Wear comfortable walking or athletic shoes

It may sound simple, but wearing comfortable shoes is essential when spending hours of vacation time on your feet. Comfortable shoes can help to alleviate the discomfort caused by corns and calluses and help to prevent blisters.

For those travelers with corns and calluses, plan to see your podiatrist before embarking on your trip. You may wish to ease the discomfort by packing over-the-counter cushion treatments to protect feet while on vacation. Blisters are one of the most common traveling foot injuries. Avoid missing out on enjoyable vacation excursions by using over-the-counter treatments to help heal and prevent blisters.

In addition, comfortable shoes with proper arch support delay the occurrence of tired, achy feet, a common culprit that hampers the enjoyment of much anticipated travel activities, such as hiking. Many over-the-counter insoles and devices can improve the arch support of a shoe, allowing for more “on your feet” time during a vacation.

2. Do not pack shoes that need to be “broken in”

Always avoid shoes that require a break-in period and instead, purchase shoes that feel comfortable right away. This also applies to packing for a vacation. If the shoes hurt your feet at home, they’ll hurt them on the road as well. Always be conscious of how vigorous the vacation activity is and how comfortable your shoes are.

3. If shoes do not have sufficient padding or support, improve the performance of your shoes by adding inserts/devices

Quite often the shoes that “best match” a vacation outfit – whether for an afternoon shopping in New York City or an evening of entertainment on a cruise ship – are not beneficial to our foot health. Wear shoes that support feet, allowing for ease of movement wherever your vacation adventure may take you. For additional support, there are a variety of over-the-counter inserts that provide additional cushioning and support.

4. Soak feet nightly

Treating feet each night with a specially designed soak or foot bath will help to ease the discomfort of tired, achy feet. It also moisturizes and softens corns, calluses and rough, hard skin; a luxurious comfort that can be enjoyed in the privacy of a hotel room that will prepare your feet for a comfortable travel adventure the following day.

5. Moisturize and exfoliate feet

Moisturizing and exfoliating feet can help to reduce the build up of dead skin that results in corns and calluses. It is also a nice, relaxing treat at the end of a long day of sight-seeing. Foot and leg lotion softens skin, as well as provides a soothing peppermint fragrance.

New Trend

Increasingly, we’re spending our waking hours worrying about the health of our environment. Maybe that’s because the ever-growing list of ecological concerns is keeping us up at night. To turn the tide, Americans are making a concerted effort to drive less, recycle more, and reduce our collective carbon footprint. But what if making a difference could be as easy as turning in for a night’s rest?

The green movement has now inspired a new approach to the design of the traditional mattress.The Boulder, Colorado-based retailer of environmentally friendly sleep products, is now offering natural mattresses that incorporate renewable resources and sustainable natural fibers throughout their construction. Unlike many memory foam mattress that use a variety of chemicals during the curing process, Beds are made chemical-free, offering you a healthier sleep environment over years of use. Inside every mattress are functional natural technologies like green tea extract that eliminates odor and keeps the sleeping surface feeling fresh. These beds look and sleep like the mattress you depend on now, but add Eco-friendly attributes to improve both their comfort and longevity.

As a company, considers their products to be only part of their environmental commitment. They’ve rethought traditional shipping methods, compressing their natural fiber beds in to more efficient packaging that is recyclable. By reducing the size of the packaging, it’s able to ship their mattresses, sheets, pillows and other natural bedding to your door, eliminating the need for excess shipping facilities and delivery trucks. Not only does this reduce shipping costs, it also greatly shrinks the company’s carbon footprint in the process.