Business Video Marketing: Can Your Business Afford to Miss Out?

The explosion in Internet marketing boils down to one significant point – the Internet has provided video advertising opportunities that businesses could previously only dream of. In the modern business world, video streaming and sharing have made it possible for anyone to reach a global audience in seconds. This monumental amount of power turns everyday browsers into engaged and enthralled potential customers, and modern production methods have made corporate video marketing affordable, attention-grabbing, and best of all within reach of businesses of all sizes.

Video marketing is all about unlocking the global potential of a company. The most important factor to consider with corporate video production is that the content needs to be memorable, eye-catching, and effective. Paying close attention to the content will prevent a target audience from moving on before the message within the business video has been put across. Video is the way forward for businesses as well as the utmost power of video marketing. Promotional corporate video is vital for getting a marketing message seen by as many people as possible, and as a result all marketers must get a plan in place to develop their own video content.

Unfortunately, it isn’t always quite as straightforward as simply making a promotional video and getting it uploaded online. One major stumbling block for businesses that desire to have an online video presence is sometimes a lack of available content.

With the right corporate video producer in place, that vital gap can be bridged between having a few ideas on paper and getting a masterpiece corporate video online for the whole world to enjoy.

If the success of video for online marketing needs explaining further, there is a simple statistic that was made popular by the Harvard Business Review. According to their research, people remember 20% of what they hear and 30% of what they see. Yet by ‘hearing’ and ‘seeing’ the same content at the same time, it is likely that the audience will retain 70% of the information that is being communicated – which fits in perfectly with the very nature of video marketing. The power of the human brain to process and retain information should never be underestimated. We can process multimedia-rich content 60,000 times faster than plain text, and this is another reason why businesses should ignore video marketing at their peril! (3M Corporation / Nabisco)

Studies and statistics are all very well, but businesses must consider what corporate video is truly capable of. Software products can be showcased with screenshots and walkthroughs, and physical items can be demonstrated to show off their best qualities in real time through promotional video. This live action can be combined with brief text labels to really leave an impression upon the viewer, and catchy onscreen graphics and an appropriate soundtrack apply the finishing touches to create a polished and effective advertisement. Each piece of content can be filmed and published to suit the client base of any business, and it can be as formal or friendly as the product that it represents – this video is then visible on millions of devices within seconds.

9 Reasons Why You Need to Apply “Lean” Thinking to Your Sales and Marketing Process

“It’s just the way things are done around here.” This may be the most costly thought process of all time, and unfortunately a lot of companies live by it.

Are there inefficiencies in your Sales & Marketing processes today? These inefficiencies are costing YOUR Company money. Because they are hidden costs that do not reveal themselves in your financial statements, they are continuing to do harm to your business.

As “Lean” is really tied to removing costly inefficiencies, it applies to all aspects of business – YOUR Company’s Sales & Marketing effort included.

If YOUR Company’s sales and marketing program contains “non-value added” aspects, your potential for gaining additional market share is suffering because these activities are costing you money. You are either

passing these costs on to your customer by increasing your sell price, absorbing these costs and reducing your profitability, or suffering from doing a combination of both.

In any of these scenarios, YOUR Company’s ability to win incremental business is being compromised, but also your CURRENT business is not as profitable as it could be.

Too many companies, whether they are manufacturers or distributors, are spending time and money repeating sales and marketing steps that are unnecessary to help them grow their sales profitably.

To determine if you need to implement “Lean” practices into your Sales & Marketing process, see if any of these 9 questions apply to your business.

1. Does YOUR Company have a “Sales Process” that is as effective as it could be, or is your sales team not advancing sales opportunities through the pipeline?

2. Does YOUR Company advertise in a way that reaches your desired customer and is producing a good ROI, or are you spending money on the hope that your desired customer will see it?

3. Does YOUR Company have an authoritative and educational website that is working for you as a sales tool, or is it just another website?

4. Does YOUR Company implement price increases efficiently and timely, or does the process take too long?

5. Does YOUR Company generate qualified sales leads and follow up on them to secure new business, or do you treat all leads equally?

6. Does YOUR Company appropriately segment your marketing initiatives, creating communications that “speak” directly to the desired customer or do you take the same approach to reach all potential customers?

7. Does YOUR Company have sales aid information that is organized and readily accessible for your sales team, or are they having to search in multiple places for that, including contacting your Customer Service?

8. Does YOUR Company effectively and consistently on-board new hire sales and marketing personnel, or is the approach inconsistent, resulting in a missed opportunity to instill your corporate strategy from the outset?

9. Does YOUR Company introduce products to the market timely and powerfully, or are you missing out on the great opportunity to draw attention to your brand?

All of the above are areas where inefficiencies can become common practice and hurt your top and bottom lines.

“Lean” thinking – it’s not JUST for manufacturing!

The Most Effective B2B Sales and Marketing Strategies?

Taking advantage of business-to-business (B2B) sales opportunities is important to the bottom line for a growing number of companies. With a lingering recession and high unemployment figures in the background, businesses of all sizes are allocating additional time and resources to their B2B communication activities. This marketing approach can be even more effective by adding two common-sense strategies:

  • Improved B2B Negotiations
  • Improved Business Writing

However, many companies overlook these prudent steps in their rush to make a sale.

Negotiating Delivery Terms and Prices

While many business owners dislike negotiating, the negotiation process should not be overlooked during the B2B sales cycle. “Everything is negotiable” can be a helpful reminder to negotiate the best financial terms even when a customer appears unwilling to be flexible.

In addition to applying this strategy to a pending sale, companies should be equally attentive to the value of negotiating when buying from a supplier. As noted by Roger Dawson, “You will never make more money than when you are negotiating.”

Improving the Bottom Line for Business Writing

Most business executives are eagerly searching for a more effective way to tap into the world of internet sales and marketing. In many cases, the most straightforward approach to do this is to improve the quality of online business writing. Why? Here are two inescapable reasons:

  • Google and other search engines are increasingly becoming more discriminating about what passes muster in search algorithms.
  • Business customers frequently use a company’s written message as a proxy for judging the overall excellence of a business enterprise.

A high percentage of contemporary online business publishing content was produced at the whopping expense of one to five cents per word by some thrifty business buyers observing a “lowest bidder” mentality. Should business owners really expect this approach to put their best foot forward for either smart search engines or smart customers?

The Bottom Line Keeps Moving

The power of search engines to influence internet users is still evolving. The roles of keywords, images and unique text in search algorithms are changing. What worked 10 years ago is not necessarily a viable strategy today.

The costs of operating any business are subject to constant review. Business writing clients regularly attempt to improve the bottom line with improved efficiencies for writing expenditures. Marketing and public relations are not immune from budget cuts. Business writing costs must be scrutinized along with all labor expenses. Persuasive business writing increasingly needs to be cost-effective as well.

However, common sense suggests that there are practical limits to what B2B marketing can achieve when too much attention is devoted to keeping business writing expenses throttled at prices that preclude consistent quality. What does anyone realistically hope to achieve when attempting to buy a high-quality commodity for between a penny and a nickel per word? Of course, discerning search engines and customers will not be fooled – and will often punish companies that try to sacrifice quality at the expense of unsuspecting clients.

The Need for Expert Solutions: Business Negotiating and Business Writing

The increased value of expert solutions poses a serious challenge for businesses everywhere. The working definitions of expertise are a moving target – but are qualified expert negotiators and writers likely to be consistently available at the same price as unqualified personnel?

The jury is still out on the impact of social media, but popularity appears to be an inadequate proxy for either writing or negotiating expertise. The importance of internet visitors and keyword density has been superseded by a need to supply specialized answers and help. This quality shift deserves applause by everyone in the internet and B2B community.

Getting Creative With Accounts Advice

Understanding more about Credit Card Processing

Thousands of credit cards are processed across the world on a daily basis. A credit card processor can be described as a third player which ensures that money flows smoothly from the credit card holder’s account to the merchant’s bank account. The key players in any credit card transaction are the cardholder, the merchant, the merchant bank (acquiring bank), the cardholder bank (issuing bank) and the card associations.

The cardholder is the buyer who uses the credit card that has been issued to them by their respective banks for various purchases. The merchant is the owner of the business. This business owner has systems that facilitate payment through client credit cards. The acquiring bank is the bank of the merchant that offers services for credit card payment. The merchant bank issues the business person with the means to conduct sales through credit cards. Another name for the issuing bank is the cardholder bank. Its role is to provide customer with the credit cards. The cardholder banks have special agreements with card associations. The link between the merchant bank and the cardholder bank is the card association. The role of the card associations to see to the correct transfer of funds between the merchant and cardholder banks.

Before the trade can be sanctioned by the merchant; the credit card has to be authorized first. The merchant receives the credit card from the buyer (cardholder) and then uses the provided software and equipment to obtain a green light from the acquirer bank. In the authorization process, the merchant receives a code of authorization from the acquirer bank which is an indication that there is sufficient credit available for the transaction. In case more than one purchase was authorized by the acquirer bank, the seller then sends the list of the previously approved transactions to the acquirer bank in a batch.

During the process of clearing, the batch is sent in request for payment from the issuing bank via a card network. The funds are then transferred to the merchant bank by the card association. The interchange fees are deducted from the money by the merchant bank before it is transferred to the merchant/ business person. According to their terms of trade, the interchange fee is divided between the card associations and the merchant bank.

The funding stage marks the last process of card processing. Before finally transferring the money to the merchant, the merchant bank charges its discount fees. The figure that is finally sent to the merchant as payment is, therefore, less than the initial price for the goods and services as the interchange charges and discount fees are subtracted from it. This process marks the completion of the credit card processing with all the key players of the transaction satisfied.

Source: More Help

Interesting Research on Resources – What You Didn’t Know

Planning You Child’s Post Secondary Education with RESP

Not every parent in North American can make their children take post secondary education because it is very expensive. If you want to let your children go to college someday, you should make plans for it because you might find yourself with a large financial burden if you don’t. This will only happen if the family has some financial security of some sort.

If your children want to go to college then it can be possible through RESP or Registers Education Savings Plan. The RESP is a savings plan that can grow tax free and is something that is sponsored by the government. When the plan money matures, it is considered income for the student and can be taxed.

This savings plan is administered by private companies and persons who will collect the contributions and invest them accordingly. The yearly contributions per student can reach up to $4,000 per student and the lifetime limit is $42,000 without any tax implications. Students sometimes get more than one plan but the limit is strictly per student.

Before reaching his 17th birthday, the government adds 20% to the amount that is contributed to the RESP. This is called the CESG or the Canada Education Savings Grant and any amounts paid in are not included in the annual limit for tax purposes.

The maximum amount that any student can receive from the CESG is $7,200 over the plan’s lifetime. Any unclaimed contribution of the CESG each year will accumulate and $800 can be paid which was not previously claimed. All money added by the CESG to the RESP should be returned to the government in the event that the money is not used for educational purposes.

If you are a resident of Canada and have a Social Insurance Number or SIN, you can apply for the RESP. This SIN must be provided to the promoter at the plan inception, and the one making the contributions are also required to provide their SIN.

The three different RESP plans are given below.

The non-family plans allows other people to contribute to the plan without limit, but there can only be one beneficiary.

The family plan can have one or more beneficiaries as long as they are blood relatives or adopted by the person making the contribution. There are no restrictions as to when and how much is paid.

The group plans have requirements of the amount that is paid and when it should be paid and are usually offered by foundations. The students are divided into age groups and they are equally given a share of the contributions. Because of the complicated rules attached to the group plan, there is a need to do a thorough research together with the plan provider before committing to this plan.