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  • June 04, 2012 1:16 PM | Strategy Plan One (Administrator)

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    June 4, 2012 

    Digital Marketing

    Digital marketing, promoting and adverting your suite of products, services, and brands through electronic means, is on the forefront of businesses’ marketing strategies.  With a massive universe of electronic media, businesses struggle with important, critical connections with customers leading to coveted greater long-term relationships and revenue streams.  Converted the casual viewer and information gather into a repeat valued customer is a sought after goal of the astute marketer – entrepreneur.


    Straight off of a fresh survey, Adobe has produced a great infographic on top conversion opportunities for digital marketing.

    Five key strategies are identified to increase digital marketing ROI:

    1. Site optimization
    2. Addition of data driven automation
    3. Using video to maximize conversion
    4. Tapping into and maximizing mobile channels
    5. Maximizing social engagement

    digital marketing - conversion opportunities

    Infographic courtesy: Adobe


    Social Media blogs and infographics:

    Digital marketing information:

     

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  • June 03, 2012 11:25 AM | Strategy Plan One (Administrator)

    Strategy Plan One                                                                                                          

    June 3, 2012 

    Travel Industry

    When it comes to industries in the US, every sector generates massive economic benefits.  The US travel industry is no exception, approaching $2 Trillion in economic benefits generated from this industry.  The US Travel Association has developed great fact sheets illustrating the huge impact this industry has on the US economy.

    Interesting to note on the travel industry:

    • $759 Billion in travel expenditures 
    • An estimated $118 Billion in taxes generated from travel industry
    • Over 14 Million jobs are supported; two-thirds of jobs in leisure travel sector

    Travel industry - statistics

    For those entrepreneurs in tourism and travel interested in the top sources of travel spending:

    • Food Services:  $189 Billion
    • Public Transportation: $140 Billion
    • Accommodations: $136 Billion

    Travel industry - leisure travelTravel Industry – Leisure Travel

    US statistics from 2010, showed domestic and international travelers spent $526 Billion, generating a tax base of $82 Billion.  Targeting the domestic travelers, the majority of trips (77%) are for leisure purposes.  From the US Travel Association surveys, top leisure travel itineraries include visiting family and friends, travel for shopping and hitting recreational spots.

     


    Tourism and travel businesses may develop and craft their business and marketing plans around such important survey information.

    Travel Industry – Business Travel

    Travel industry - business travel

    Business travel represents a significant share of the overall travel industry, at approximately $233 Billion and over 2 Million in jobs in 2010.  It’s staggering to see the 448 Million trips logged by US residents for business.  Another statistic of interest is the fact business travel acts as a catalyst for other business revenue, with an estimated $12.50 in additional revenue to businesses with every dollar spent on business travel.


    Additional Blogs and articles:

    Travel:


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  • June 02, 2012 11:54 AM | Strategy Plan One (Administrator)

    Tourism Industry                                                                                                     

    As we head into the busy summer tourism season, many businesses and entrepreneurs will be zoning in on forecasts and hoping for a favorable, profitable tourism season.  Many economic indicators of the recent months are showing signs of positive economic recovery.  The recent decline in oil and gas prices, if prices hold steady over the summer, will definitely build into stronger tourism economics.

    US Travel Association – Tourism, Travel Information and Forecasts

    The US Travel Association, a National organization providing support to businesses in the travel and tourism industry in the US, has provided the following travel forecast.  For 2012, the Association has projected 3.2% growth for expenditures in the sector, and positive growth for both domestic and international visitor travel expenditures (3.0 and 4.7% respectively).   Trends also look favorable for the 2013 and 2014 tourism seasons.


    tourism industry - travel forecast

    The following information was extrapolated from the Association’s recent survey reports:

    • 64% of US adults are planning leisure travel from April – October 2012
    • 154 Million US adults plan to take at least one leisure trip this year
    • Business travel has been forecasted to increase by 4.6% to $265-270 Billion
    • 65.4 Million international travelers will visit the United States in 2012

    Tourism and travel businesses should sharpen their strategic and business plans to reflect global travel trends… the next few years look favorable if the forecasts play out.


    Here are some other blogs on recent economic indicators and business opportunities:

     

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  • June 02, 2012 10:34 AM | Strategy Plan One (Administrator)

    London Olympics – Statistics Show Business Opportunities                                     

    At a quick glance at this London Olympics infographic from Timeout.com, you can see the plentiful business opportunities for the period of the games itself and the lead up to hosting the games.  If you have the ability to supply major events, these opportunities may give your business massive global exposure.

    Just some of the business opportunities you can see in this infographic:

    • Food services and catering (whopping 14 Million meals to be served)
    • Audio visual, technical services, broadcast center services
    • Information management
    • Infrastructure development, construction, landscaping, field maintenance
    • Maintenance, cleaning crews, security services
    • Sporting goods suppliers, sporting event officials
    • Tourism and accommodation booking companies
    • Even biological services (relocation of species)


    If you are interested in last minute supplier or procurement opportunities, check out the business opportunities on the official page at London Games.

    London Olympics - business opportunities

    Infographic courtesy: Timeout.com

    Other Olympics business links:


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  • May 31, 2012 9:24 AM | Strategy Plan One (Administrator)

    Strategy Plan One                                                                                                      

    May 31, 2012 

    Solar Power – Subsidies

    In a recent news article on Reuters, Germany has announced that almost half of its electrical power on the grid originates from solar power.   An estimated 22 gigawatts of electrical power is produced per hour, by solar panels in Germany, the equivalent of 22 nuclear power stations.  In Germany, the government is in full support of green energy production with heavy subsidies, which is quite different in the US.


    Here is an interesting infographic from 1bog.org , comparing the two countries energy production and subsequent subsidies for solar power.  It’s an interesting look at the potential that could be there is government is willing to step in with heavy subsidies for solar.  With the huge solar potential in the US, focus and subsidies could result in a dynamic shift on dependencies and on the economics of energy in this country.

    solar power - subsidies


    Other articles and infographics on energy and green topics:

     

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  • May 30, 2012 9:36 AM | Strategy Plan One (Administrator)

    Strategy Plan One                                                                                                          

    May 30, 2012 

    presentation tipsPresentation Tips

    Whether you are going into a business meeting, interview for job, or to pitch an idea to an investor or financial institution, there are certain tactics that could push your presentation from mediocre to brilliant.  It’s not necessarily the gadgets, techie presentation tools you bring along to illustrate your points, but rather how you present and what you do in the presentation to convince the crowd.  Here are some tips to assist in your presentations.

    Knowledge is King

    Ensure you are well versed in the subject matter.  If you are pitching an idea in an industry, know that product, industry and markets inside and out.  Conducting deep research and digging into as much information prior is going to make you look like you know your stuff… and that will impress the audience

    If you are going into an interview, know the information around the position, company, and industry.  Chances are you will be slammed with knowledge questions in the interview and your presentation of answers should demonstrate your deep knowledge in the subject matter.


    Presentation Tip – Be Clear and Concise

    Oral presentation can be stressful, and that stress can cause some to ramble on with too much speech, or technical babble that would throw off the audience.  Going into a meeting well prepared through practicing your presentation, ensure you get your message right down to the exact clear points to the audience.  Speak with clarity on the topic, illustrating the benefits you want and need to present, that would be relevant to the audience.  Keep the non-relevant stuff off the discussion.  As you remember who your audience is, keep the technical or operational specialist information to a minimum if the audience isn’t at that technical level.  If technical questions are asked, then it opens the door for that detailed discussion.

    presentation tipsPresentation Tip – Confidence

    You will need to exude a high level of confidence in front of the Boards, partners, or employers.  Confidence is high when you know your stuff, have a great track record, know that your personality is right fit.  With high confidence you should not be sheepish in promoting yourself, your strengths and your great ideas.  External interested parties gravitate to persons with a high level of confidence as that will transfer over to other aspects of business life.  Once parties are confident in you, they will be confident in your ability to lead projects, lead organizations, achieve goals and company objectives.

    Be Strong, Composed and Limit Emotions

    Interviews and business meetings are pressured, stressful situations.  These parties may use interviews or business presentations as a tools to see how well you react under pressure.  Business presentations and interviews can be full of questioning that is trying to draw out behavioral responses from you.  It is best to stay strong and composed to adequately answer questioning.  In staying composed in the stressful situations, you are limiting those emotions that may alter or hinder your ability to make decisions or achieve a goal under pressure.  Parties will take positive notes on your ability to handle high pressured situations with ease.

    Ability to Adapt

    As you move forward in your discussions and presentations, gauge your audience. How well is it going?  Don’t be afraid to stop at points and ask the questions, “Was that point clear?” or “Is further discussion or detail required on that point?”.  As an astute presenter and speaker you may need to revise your speech, your presentation methods on the fly to get a differing response or to motivate the crowd in another way.  If you are getting negative responses in one area or topic, switch gears to adapt to discuss the constructive positive points or benefits, or have the ability to discuss the alternate pathways to mitigate those negative points.

    Preparedness with Contingencies

    Along with having a solid knowledge base and that strong confidence level, you will need to show how well prepared you are for situations, and how well you plan.  For interviews or business presentations, you need to undertake a high level of preparation in advance.  Thinking along the lines of business scenarios that may arise.  Not only must you prepare for the known circumstances, but you must be a pro-active planner around the unknowns or the what-ifs.  Demonstrating that you solidly analyze scenarios and develop action plans and contingencies will win you big bonus points.


    Articles and blogs you may be interested in:

    Communication and presentation information:

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  • May 27, 2012 11:26 AM | Strategy Plan One (Administrator)

    Twitter Statistics                                                                                               

    In the past 8 months, the Twitter user base has tripled to approximately 580 Million users…  almost 1/12 of the world’s population.

    Where are your business markets?  The biggest percentage of users by country:

    • US :  24.5%
    • Japan: 6.9%
    • India: 5.6%
    • UK: 5.1%
    • Spain: 4.2%
    Consider the marketing impact of using Twitter to get your targeted business message out to approximately 140 Million active Twitter users.   Here are some other statistics of interest in this infographicby RIA Novosti


    Twitter StatisticsCourtesy: Rian



    Other business blogs and Infographics on social media:

    Social Media Marketing Information:


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  • May 26, 2012 11:17 AM | Strategy Plan One (Administrator)

    Strategy Plan One                                                                                                

    May 26, 2012 

    Contract Proposal

    For many businesses in the services field and other industries, a fair amount of work needs to be completed prior to landing a contract providing services and/or products to clients.  This may include writing up an estimate or a contract proposal.

    In this infographic from BidSketch, the benefits of providing a contract proposal rather than an estimate are highlighted.


    Key points of this infographic on using a contract proposal:

    • 57:43 Win:lose ratio landing contracts, work and clients with a Contract Proposal
    • 35:65 Win:lose ratio when writing up an estimate
    • A contract proposal is persuasive (persuasive marketing), identified the issues, benefits of services and provides recommendations
    • Contract proposal include a call to action, which can lead more deal closing, more revenues

     Key tips from the infographic:

    • Go online – online contracts are accepted 60% faster
    • Keep them short – Contract proposal under 5 pages have a 51% success rate
    • Be speedy – sending a contract proposal sooner results in a higher success rate

    contract proposal

    Other Strategic Business Blogs you may be interested in:


    Other information sources on contracts:

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  • May 25, 2012 2:47 PM | Strategy Plan One (Administrator)

    Strategy Plan One                                                                                              

    May 25, 2012 

    communication strategiesCommunication Strategies

    Businesses come across difficult scenarios which require careful external and internal communications.  Depending on the severity of the situation, communication strategies, plans, policies and procedures need to be developed for staff and leaders to respond appropriately.

    Communication Strategies Plan

    Like business and marketing planning, you need to develop a communications plan.  Ensure you have a communication strategies plan which may include:

    • Communication policies
    • Education and development opportunities in communications
    • Process for gathering information from area experts
    • Procedures for approved external communication lines
    • Designation of approved spokespersons within your organization
    • Development of action plans following communications


    Communication Policies

    Communication policies in your organization will set the rules and help staff get organized around communications needed internally and externally.  These guidelines and rules will illustrate how staff should discuss issues and who can handle communications in the organization.  It will help organize staff in the event that a serious situation arises that requires carefully controlled communications.

    If your organization is large enough, your may have policy specialists who may undertake a formal policy development process.  Drafting clear and concise policies will assist in establishing solid guidance and help with a thorough understanding of company policies.

    communication strategiesEducation and Learning Opportunities in Communications

    It would be advantageous for you as the leader in your organization or your designated communications lead to hold sessions for your staff.  Staff need to be aware of the policies and procedures around communications to ensure situations are handled appropriately.  Learning sessions will keep everyone informed on the proper protocol for communications and staff will be well informed on the “what ifs” that pop up from time to time.

    Internal capacity building should include opportunities for staff to build skills in communications, whether those skills are centered on oral or written communications.  Building individual capacities will build organizational capacities – worthy investments.

    Gathering Information for your Communication Strategies

    As a leader, you should have procedures to delegate some of the responsibility around information gathering to area leads, area experts.  As an executive you may not be the professional at all operational levels… that’s why you hire area experts to inform your decisions.  Have a procedure for circulation of communications to area experts to fill in the appropriate level of detail.  Following through the track of approvers, you and your communication specialists will craft the communications for the audience.

    Approved Communication Lines

    As part of the policies and procedures, you communications person along with management will approve of the appropriate communication lines that either a spokesperson or communications lead will use.

    Approved Spokesperson

    Appropriate communications is an art and a professional career.  The organization should have procedures around who in the organization should be talking to the public, external parties or the press.  A dedicated, trained spokesperson would be approved by the organization and would know the appropriate tactics to use to adequately handle the situation with press, ensuring the organization does not get into hot water.  They would be able to temper the press or stakeholders appropriately, taking an inflamed scenario and turning it into a positive one.

    Action Plan

    Internally your team should be developing an action plan following the release of information.  Depending on what type of message it is and how severe, you can gear up your team to be pro-active.  This preparedness will lessen the blow externally or internally.

    Example

    An organization has been rumored to lay off several hundred people at one location which would have severe economic impacts for a small town.  This information may have been stretched and fabricated.  The press has been notified and is looking interview the company for more information for their news story.  This could gain the wrong attention for the national corporation and could have a wide-reaching negative impact for the public company.

    Communication unit and all management would develop a communications plan around this scenario and ensure that approved communications lines have the corrected information in it.  The organization would then move forward with having the approved communication person who has been trained to handle external pressures, be interviewed by the press and provide the correct information about correct job training programs in place, with no negative employment effects.

    Strategic Business blogs:

    Other communication information you may be interested in:


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  • May 25, 2012 6:33 AM | Strategy Plan One (Administrator)

    Social Media Buttons                                                                                                 

    Many businesses need to consider what social media platform to use when messaging and targeting audiences, as each represents slightly differing markets. Some provide great referral traffic and significant volumes of traffic to your business.  Some social media platforms are dominated by male users, while others have a majority of female users.

    Whether you are focused on Business to Business (B2B) or Business to Consumer (B2C), here are some of the highlights of the business perspectives from this infographic:

    • Largest volumes of uses:  FacebookTwitter, LinkedIn
    • Female audience majority: LinkedInPinterest, Twitter
    • Male audience majority: Google+, Facebook
    • B2B: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook
    • B2C: StumbleuponDigg
    • Referral Traffic:  Facebook, Stumbleupon, Twitter, Pinterest

    Here is another infographic on social media buttons for business from TheSearchAgents.

    social media buttons for busines

    Other Social Media blogs and infographics:

     

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