When you ask someone who has had a business fail, why, they usually give you one reason. We all know that there is never one singular reason why a business fails, it usually is combination of things; market size, competition and demand all feature highly on external factors while operations, leadership, complacency, technology, marketing and lack of investment feature highly as internal reasons.
But the real story that we all should be following is 'why businesses grow and succeed' because in that, there are lessons and patterns we all can follow.
That’s right: there are the haters and then there are the DM lovers. Some are the in-betweeners (no reference to the teen TV show). Whatever it is, as a small business you need to know where DM stands in the digital age of 2011.
In his book, The Complete Guide to Direct Marketing, Chet Meisner refers to an Orlando newspaper which ran a hateful story about direct marketers. The headline was “Spammers, Telemarketers Share Secrets in Orlando”. According to the story, direct marketers were “making way too much money to stop the suppertime phone calls and endless emails.”
An action packed weekend, filled with laughter, good friends, great food and a few bottles of french Bordeaux, it is fair to say, I am ready to get my teeth sunk in to the week ahead.
While it may seem all fun and games, it isn't always and is definately dependent on how you look at it.
For small businesses, it is very hard for many entrepreneurs or business managers to ascertain what is the best marketing solution for their business and what will help them get to the next level.
As a business owner and entrepreneur, it is paramount to understand our competitors and do the complete opposite to what they are doing.
Then, I come home, shower, and turn on my computer. Mainly I write, but at least for an hour or so, I work.
Unlike most people, I rarely go into my emails. That to me is a Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 job. Instead I look at the Marketing Eye website and think of ways to market our business.
I am THE SUNDAY MARKETER.
And, to some extent, I won't.
However, today I received in the mail a book and it was a reminder that 'everything happens for a reason'.
I travelled around the world twice in six weeks for business and when you do such an exhaustive trip like that, twice, you immediately get a feeling that 'it had better be worth it'. Fortunately, it always is. Afterall, its a journey and when we embark on any journey with an open and honest mind, we move that step forward to realising whatever it is that we were meant to realise.
Both trips were different. Other than for the business aspect, they could not have been more different. The first trip was one of adventure, excitement, opportunity and putting in place things for the future that needed to be put in place.
Retailers were slower to discover the benefits of using bloggers and affiliate sites to reach their target audience, but those who have taken seriously the trend that has absorbed the world in the past five years of social media engagement are seeing a lower cost marketing platform that is complemented by a more loyal and trusted customer base.
If you have spent any time at all reading any of the three novels in the series, you would realize that other than a basic storyline, it is all about porn. Albeit soft.
1.5 million people have already read this book. I have read it. My friends have read it. It is addictive and completely trashy, but let's face it - women love this type of stuff. Look at how successful Mills and Boons was and still is.
My theory though, having read two of the New York Times Bestseller Trilogy series, that the book was commissioned by a large chain or perhaps online sex store. Bare with me as I explain...
There is little storyline other than the fact that there is three families in the Trilogy and the main characters are Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. At least nine-tenths of each book is just about sex and in particular, S&M.
50 Shades of Grey TrilogyThe books are not even particularly well written but their descriptive blows on sex with whips, blind folds, kinky toys and alike is like opening a window for housewives around the world to get excited about sex again and go out and try a few different positions with the aid of a few toys.
Adultshop.com has recorded a 40 percent increase in sales. Any shop selling grey ties, has without doubt, sold out. And sex shops around the globe are selling out of any props or toys discussed in the 50 Shades of Grey. This, I believe, is no accident. On top of that, the twitter accounts for Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey are followed by millions and if you follow them, they will follow you back. If you ask them a question, they will answer in character.
It's marketing. Now, I could be wrong, and a genius marketer may not be behind it, but I really doubt that that is the case.
No different to episodes in sex in the city about the "rabbit" or any other shoe or dress design that Carrie saw fit to wear, a product can sell out just by a sheer mention on television, in a movie, online and in books.
Do you think that 50 Shades of Grey is a commission or a naughty author obsessed in S&M?
Caribou Coffee Shop on Peachtree Street in Buckhead Atlanta.
As I ask for a coffee with skim milk, they ask my name. Not too dissimilar to a Starbucks Coffee shop but for some reason, I like the coffee more and I love that it is conveniently located near where I am staying.
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