Cruise travel has got to be the most pampered way to see the world, one cocktail at a time. While hard core backpackers are out climbing mountains and fighting third world bus systems, many people prefer to lounge on the main deck, get a tan, and get in early for the dinner buffet. I’ve worked closely with several cruise specialists in my career as a travel agent, and would like to offer the following cruise travel tips:Pack plenty of clean napkins. Those hand sanitation napkins are the swiss army knife of cruising. You can use them to remove stains, rather than dealing with laundry services. Also, if used before every meal, they may help prevent you from catching a bug.Prepare for more sun you ever thought possible. Think about it, most of the activities on a cruise involve exposure to the sun. Protect yourself by bringing a wide brimmed hat, sunscreen (at least SPF 15) and shades that provide 100% UV protection.Avoid purses and large day packs. If you spend the day at port, try not to brandish your brand new camera or moneybelt. This makes you a target for local pickpockets.Pack precisely. The key to good packing is to strike a balance between loose and too tight; either extreme will leave you with a wardrobe full of wrinkles. Here’s a bit of advice: pack a dryer sheet in with your clothes.Post-Its. One of my more obscure cruise travel tips. Post-Its allow to communicate with other passengers, housekeeping, and other guest services. Leave a message inside your room to let your shipmates know where and when to meet.Extra bags. These are right up there with the hand napkins in terms of usability. They are great for storing wet shoes, dirty clothes, and provide added protection for packing valuables.
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While shopping for a home, you should expect yourself to start feeling a little confused because of all the available choices that you would have. The rising amount of property sales in the real estate market makes the process of home selection more complicated than it should be. However, finding a perfect new house for you and your loved ones should not be a headache. You can actually make good and sound choices once you understand the different housing styles and types that are available on the market.When choosing the right style and color for your home purchase, you should be conscious about your needs and preferences as a buyer. Once you have a detailed image of a property that you would like to buy, it would be easier to choose among the wide selection of real estate properties. Here are some home buying tips that you should remember while choosing the right style and color that your prospective house should possess.Understanding various housing stylesYou can always choose from the numerous housing styles that are available on different property listings. However, you should focus on the major types in order to avoid confusing yourself with too many options. These styles include the bungalow, colonial style homes, high-rise condominium units, luxury homes, townhouses.Bungalows are the popular choice among most home buyers. A bungalow is a compact house that contains two or more smaller rooms. Usually, it is finished with either a basement or an attic, where additional rooms, living areas, or storage rooms can be situated. It also has a front porch or bay windows that make its structure look classy and elegant. If you want to have high levels of privacy in a one-story home with additional room options, a bungalow would be the best choice for you.The popularity of high-rise condominium units is also increasing. These housing options are for those who cannot afford to live in traditional house types. These units are usually located in a high-rise building, where a number of condominium units are situated adjacently to each other. This is the best housing option for you if you cannot afford to buy a piece of land together with your property purchase.Townhouses, usually confused with condominiums, are entirely different. A townhome is also found beside a chain of apartment-like units, but its terms of ownership are different from those in condominium units. Its price is inclusive of the land where the structure is built, hence granting the buyer ownership of the land where his house stands. This is why a townhouse is more expensive than the price of a condo unit. If you want to earn more control over your property, a townhouse would be suitable for you.A luxury house is the most expensive property type. It has a very big space and a very sophisticated design that meets the preferences of those living in high-end neighborhoods. If you have enough money to buy a luxurious property, you can prioritize this housing style in your list of other viable options.Comparing different paint colorsOnce you have chosen a specific housing style, you should start considering your preferred exterior and interior paint colors. The main rule in this step is to remember your distinct preferences when it comes to choosing house colors. If you want a home that can catch the attention of passersby, you should look for a property with unique and bold colors. Meanwhile, if you like a classy-looking house that looks neat and simple, purchase a property with neutral to light colors of exterior paint.Always remember these things while looking for your dream house. Capitalize on your opportunity to invest on a real estate property by knowing all your available options.
Leadership in education has so many different dimensions and definitional issues that it’s very elusive, and has become more complicated since the involvement of business and political communities. Principals had for a long time served as managers of schools, but in the last 10 or 15 years there’s been a sea change in their responsibilities. Now, at long last, the focus is on instructional leadership. But the problem facing principals is that their preparatory institutions did not offer courses in curriculum programs until the mid-1980s, and many principals are not prepared for this new role; they need crash programs in instructional leadership. They now also are being asked to make contacts with community leaders and even in some cases state legislators to garner support for schools and programs. It is impossible for principals, as well as superintendents, to handle adequately the managerial, instructional, and political dimensions of the job. It is not surprising that these multiple demands are creating a shortage of educational leaders. It now takes 8-14 months to fill superintendency positions, as opposed to 3-5 months in decades past; and 85% of principals are scheduled to retire within a decade.
So what do we do? We have to find new kinds of team approaches to the job. We need to rethink the role and rethink who is best equipped to provide certain kinds of leadership. It is important to remember that while change occurs from the top down-business and political leaders are pushing change-it also has to come from the bottom up. Unless the teachers, principals, and frontline people “buy in,” not very much will happen. So one of the challenges is to build connecting mechanisms from top to bottom. Leadership will span these boundaries.
The issues of authority and accountability need to be addressed by schools seeking to restructure. To be successful, school-based decision making too must be characterized by coherence in its authority structure and accountability system.
Citizen accountability facilitates the accountability of educators and students. And authority for change must include students, must focus on them as vehicles for change, not just objects of change. Educators and parents need to acknowledge that students have a role in change and should even be on the board for school-based decision making. Establishing coherence is the key to leadership throughout an educational structure; it creates a system of checks and balances, with the community and state united in working towards a common goal: the students’ academic success. All the vision in the world won’t lead to much without coherence. Furthermore, before restructuring can begin, educators must be keenly aware of two principles: Cooperation and collaboration are necessary because they are key to establishing coherence in an educational system; and all students can learn at higher levels. Finally, schools need to focus on beliefs, standards, assessment, and accountability and have a system of change, incorporating in a coherent way all of these factors that are valued. After all, in the end, successful education systems are about values. Schools just need the courage to move and lead.
Education reform now involves high-stakes accountability. If schools are asked to have accountability to this degree, then the schools should be in charge. School accountability involves schools having the power to implement their own policies, which means school-based decision making. Stability in the schoolhouse is critical, and the principal is the agent for change-but in that comes no security. Yet, the principal is charged to rally teachers, who have total security and who have little reason to attend to the vision of a person who holds a tenuous appointment. The principals are finding that the illusion of power is worse than no power at all. Successful school reform necessitates an ingenious interweaving of responsibility, accountability, and authority. Intrusive behavior is a board member’s act of interfering with a school administrator’s assigned operational task(s) that exceeds the board of education’s delegated responsibility. Intrusive behavior can substantially hinder consistency in leadership, which is extremely important to organizational health. The problem with such intrusive behavior is that people in the educational framework become confused and wonder, “Who’s the boss?” and “Who do I listen to?” resulting in a monumental problem with role conflict and role ambiguity. This confusion wastes valuable time that could be spent on matters related to educating children. Instead of inspecting school facilities or instructing superintendents and principals on how to perform their duties, boards of education need to focus on student achievement.
Too often, board members do not have a clear understanding of their role and how they are to enact it unless they are specifically educated about that role. In short, the training of board of education members before they sit on a board should be mandated, and they should be contractually educated, not just taught. The time spent on training should be measured not in hours per year, but in numbers of issues covered in the training.
In a new survey, superintendents indicated principal shortages in all types of districts; there were simply not many applicants for the positions available. Reasons cited for this principal shortage included the following:
- Compensation is not enough.
- Too much time is required.
- Board interference makes the job too stressful.
Since 2004, the principal’s role has changed dramatically. Now, the scope of the principal’s role is exploding, and principals are expected to take on many new responsibilities. Principals have been taught to be managers rather than instructional leaders, but they are now being asked to fulfill that duty as well-along with increased involvement in litigation, in special education, and in preventing school violence.
The digital revolution has made amateur photography more popular than ever before. The days of Fuji film and print processing have been replaced with talk of mega-pixels and memory cards. With hundreds of cheap digital cameras on the market, it’s possible for anyone with a good eye for photography yet little practical knowledge of the mechanics of cameras, to capture great shots with simple “point and shoot” digital models.For some, a love of photography can turn into a profession. If you’re looking to take your photography to the next level, it’s a good idea to first build up a portfolio of work, and then submit your work to the many dedicated photography websites or competitions. There are hundreds of amateur photography forums and websites where members can submit their work for critical appraisal by other members. Such websites also offer advice and tips on photography techniques.Another way to get recognition and even payment for your photographs is to submit your shots to magazines. Either choose a general photography magazine to do this, or try specialist consumer magazines. For example, if you are a keen skier, submit your ski shots to a winter sports magazine; or if you enjoy fishing, try an angling magazine. Local papers are also a good place to submit photos, as they are often on the lookout for pictures to accompany their stories.When submitting your photography to magazines, it’s important to remember that photography is an extremely competitive field and that you will be up against professionals. Therefore, don’t get disheartened if your shots aren’t accepted at first – just keep on shooting and continue submitting; in the world of photography, persistence pays.Amateur photography competitions are another great way of getting your photography seen, and can win you fans, prizes and even commissions or customers. A good idea is to start small; your local photography club will probably hold various contests; also keep an eye out for other competitions that are within your field of expertise. There are hundreds to enter, and they tend to have set themes – covering everything from travel to sports, nature to nautical and portrait to planes.The ‘Million Places on Earth’ competition, for example, is offering a top prize of one million dollars for unique location images from anywhere in the world. Other competitions include Embassy Suite Hotels ‘Happiness in Motion’ competition, which carries an all expenses paid trip to Hawaii as their top prize; while UKplus are also holding an online photography competition with a top prize of £1000 for photographs taken within the UK.Whether it’s for fun, glory, or perhaps a new career path, photography is an extremely rewarding hobby. And you never know – you might just see your picture on the cover of National Geographic one day!
You have several options when it comes to choosing the your top long-term investments. Your choice depends on several factors like exactly how much you can afford to invest, what type of returns you are looking for and how long is long-term for you. But the most important thing to keep in mind is that you should invest in markets with which you are familiar. For instance you should understand how to invest in real estate before you opt for this market and not just jump in because everybody is saying that it is a good opportunity. The same holds true for any other investments.Most people are attracted by the notion of a quick profit, but at least a part of your portfolio must include some long-term investments. You must be pragmatic about this. As your age increases, your income potential is likely to fall. Long-term investments will give you financial freedom after retirement. Whether it is medical expense or fulfilling a long cherished dream, you will be able to decide for yourself if you have made wise investments.There are some negative sides to even the best long-term investments. When you have made an investment, your money is also blocked for a long time and you will not be able to access it before your investment matures. Apart from this, long-term market trends cannot always be predicted correctly. If your investment performs poorly, you are liable to lose all your money.However, that is a common risk of every type of investment. Since we do not know what will be the condition of social security or Medicare in the future, it is safer to choose longer term investments.There are many different avenues of investments. These include stocks, bonds, real estate, funds and precious metals. It is difficult to decide which of these would be the best long-term investments.So, the golden rule of investment is that never invest in anything which you do not understand. Real estate is often a viable option, especially if you can locate a property with a lot of potential and can afford to buy it. You can remodel it and sell it for a profit. Renting can be quite lucrative depending upon the location of the property. It is recommended that real estate form at least a part of your long-term investment.Stocks are another option, but except for certain well established companies, they are not a good bet for longer term investments. Bonds are generally less risky. Most experts recommend that precious metals like gold form a part of your long-term investment because it is the best available store of value.Whichever option seems the best investment for you, you should follow a few ground rules. You need to be systematic about your investments. A good rule of thumb is to keep aside about 15% of your pay-check for investments each month. Finally, be careful when choosing your stockbroker or mortgage company so that your investment remains in safe hands.
Transportation can be so much more than just a means of moving from one place to another. When you can sit back and not worry about traffic or directions you will find that some transportation can be a comfortable and pleasant way to socialize with your coworkers, sort of like a pre-party before the event. When you plan transportation the right way, you will comfortably arrive at the event on-time and with style.Plan AheadPlanning a corporate event? Whether it’s a weekend company retreat or a reception event for your executives from overseas, be sure that the transportation plan is prepared. Transportation is one of the most over-looked aspects of corporate event planning, but where would you be without it?The first thing to think about when planning the transportation for a corporate event is the number of people that will be in attendance and from where each attendee will be arriving. For example, at a reception event for incoming executives or guests, there will be several people needing to be picked up from either an airport or hotel. If your office is planning a retreat, you may just need a vehicle or two (large enough to accommodate all of the employees) to arrive at the office. If people will be driving themselves to an event, consider a valet parking service for the guests.Next, you will need to consider the event’s itinerary. Is it a weekend corporate convention full of travel from one activity to the next or just a one-night, one-stop event? After you have built a complete itinerary of the event’s schedule, don’t forget to factor in transport to and from each location for all members.Lastly, but definitely not least important, keep in mind the theme of the event. If the event is formal, consider using formal transportation (i.e. limousines), but if the event is a casual team-building outing, a party bus may be more fitting. Sounds like a lot of work just to plan the transportation of your event, huh? In order avoid worrying about the timing and coordination of transportation; call a transportation consultant to accommodate all of your travel needs.Transportation ConsultantsAll the planning is done, the itinerary is scheduled and the transportation is booked. Finally, you can rest easy. But what if a plane gets delayed, an activity runs long, or a meeting finishes early? You need to find a company that can adjust to the last second changes in the transportation schedule. Choose a transportation consultant that understands the importance of a good impression and guarantees an excellent and customized service at an affordable rate and let them take care of the rest.
The world is evolving in all industries. The transportation industry especially comes with new innovations and methods each and every day. Expanding companies create the need for fast and reliable transportation of goods internationally, over large distances. Pilot services have provided great transportation for users such as large companies. Air transportation has proven for many years now that it is capable of transporting large quantities of goods over very large distances in the smallest time possible. Also, air transportation has proven to be one of the safest ways of delivering goods, eliminating the risk of road accidents. Whether you’re transporting personal goods, gifts or if you’re transporting sophisticated machinery and expensive goods, air transportation is the safest and most time-saving means of transportation available at this time.In the following lines, we will cover the most important and commonly used pilot services available both for transportation and for personal use.Covering the history of air transportation in a few lines, all begins in the 1920′s when the first attempts at Air freight transportation were made, although the first commercial transportation flights took place later in the 50′s.Because of its speed and safety, pilot services are preferred by most companies not just in the transportation industry, but also in the medical industry or for personal use in travelling over long distances.Of course, the costs of transporting goods through air services are much higher than transporting goods by road or by sea, but the advantage of air transportation is that the goods should be transported to the destination in one week if not days during an express transport.The transportation cost is also determined by the weather and climate changes in the transportation area. Also, if the price of the fuel increases, the prices will also increase as well, so companies prefer to only transport small and very expensive goods which might pose a risk of breaking if you’re getting it transported by road.Pilot services also include private travelling for people who have to get in many places all the time. If you’re such a person and if you have the money, you can get yourself a private jet. But since not many people have this opportunity people who travel around a lot use an aircraft charter service which provides them with an aircraft and a pilot. Choosing an aircraft charter service over buying a private jet is a great idea since you don’t have to worry about the aircraft maintenance and repairs in any way.Another one of the many aircraft services out there, without a doubt one of the most important one is medical air transportation. Equipped with modern technology, helicopters which act as air ambulances can travel anywhere, even into remote places, at extreme speeds and get you transported to the hospital fast and safe. Flight services revolutionized the medical world, medical air transportation saving countless lives during the last years.As a conclusion, flight services have revolutionized the world in many industries such as the transportation, medical and travelling industry. This technology improves every day bringing new innovations and improvements to the quality of air services.
When salespeople are not selling; – look to the sales manager.
When they are not motivated to see customers; – look to the sales manager.
When there is no enthusiasm in the team; – look to the sales manager.Sales Managers don’t look to themselves in these cases, they blame the Salespeople and the Salespeople blame the Sales manager.The other evening, after a talk, a sales manager came up to me and told me that they were having a real problem with their sales team. “They are just not performing,” “they are not motivated,” “I talk but they don’t listen,” “there is no drive, no commitment, nothing happening.”Now, all of what’s missing in this team is actually missing in the sales manager!It all starts with the sales manager.This particular person who told me this has been with their company for over 30 years and has been the sales manager for just over 20 years. They have been doing the same old thing over and over and are now wondering why it’s not working. The answer is simple. The enthusiasm has died. Not the sales people’s enthusiasm but that of the sales manager! It’s not the salespeople who are bored and have no drive, it’s the sales manager.Only when sales managers understand that the success of their team is their responsibility, will they start to make some headway to improving the situation.The sales manager first has to manage and motivate themselves before they can manage and motivate the team.When the team is motivated it’s not a new light that’s been turned on. It’s a light that was always there and will continue to be there. But it needs the switch to be flipped before it comes on.”That makes sense but how do I do that?”By sticking to the simple basics of Leadership and Motivation and using “The 6 key elements” to keeping the Sales team motivated.1. Provide inspiration.
2. Build positive attitudes.
3. Show recognition.
4. Goal setting.
6. Build team spirit and create fun.Yes, enthusiasm and excitement are what the salespeople need more than any skills training. They need to be reminded of the basics but most importantly, they need their enthusiasm ignited.Enthusiasm is everything in sales!When salespeople are enthusiastic and excited about themselves and their profession, they will start feeling motivated and look forward to getting out there and seeing their customers.Skills or no skills, this is what makes salespeople successful. When salespeople are enthusiastic, nothing will stop them. The customer can’t help getting enthusiastic as well, it rubs off on everyone.Only when sales managers accept full responsibility for their team’s performance, will they realize that the buck stops with them.They need to be the role model, the manager, the leader and the coach; all in one. They make it happen!They set the tone. That’s their job. They get results through their people. Their success depends on the success of their people. They need to manage less and LEAD more!A good sales manager spends less time in the office analyzing everything and playing with numbers and spends more time out in the field with his salespeople and their customers.”Our sales are down. If we increase the call rate by 10% and close 1 in 4 instead of the current 1 in 7 we will achieve target” This may be the answer (On paper) but how do you achieve it? What has to happen to increase the call rate and closing ratios?”The salespeople must want to achieve this. The sales manager has to sell the idea to the salespeople. They have to get buy in from the team and this is where good leadership comes in. Only a good leader can get the team to work together to achieve a common goal, budgets, the sales targets etc.It is at this point where the sales manager usually fails. They stay in the office and spend their time analyzing numbers and coming up with all sorts of solutions – only on paper.A good sales manger will get out of the office and lead by example. They will spend a full day working with a salesperson, finding out firsthand what the problems are and how to fix them. They need to speak face to face with their customers to gain information that will help them to come up with ideas for increasing sales.By doing this they will get respect from the sales team and will get support for their ideas to increase call rates and closing ratios because they are talking from the point of being there and experiencing the situation first hand.YOU CANNOT MANAGE OR LEAD A SALES TEAM FROM BEHIND A DESK.By spending time out in the field with salespeople, sales mangers will experience what the salespeople are experiencing and can then coach them on how to improve and what to do to start getting more sales.Salespeople will perform for a sales manager whom they respect. And that respect will only come from a trust and belief that the sales manager can do what they are asking the team to do.The Sales Manager MUST LEAD BY EXAMPLE!It’s all about enthusiasm and excitement. Sales people continually need motivation in order to sell well. They require Inspiration from their Manager to promote enthusiasm and drive.They need a Manager who leads by example and provides an exciting environment in which to perform. Salespeople should feel enthusiastic about making a sales call.Remind yourself that you are in the best profession in the world!Feel good about yourself and your profession and then get the sales team to feel the same way.So it’s no use complaining about the Salespeople not performing, not being enthusiastic and not listening.If this is the case, then you are not performing as an effective Sales Manager.Salespeople need a Manager who CARES!!!
Having spent many years working with small and midsized B2B and B2C organizations on their marketing and marketing communications strategies and plans, I believe I’ve got a good sense of the issues facing them. Generally, at the top of the list, is the lack of a real marketing plan. How is it possible that something so basic is missing? My conclusion is that, despite possessing the skill sets that drive their organization’s success, founders and/or management simply do not have:
Time to think about marketing at all, because there is always something “more important or urgent” that needs their attention;
A real understanding of the power of marketing and how it can significantly improve profits and return on investment (ROI);
The resources, budgets and people available – marketing and marketing communications is “unfamiliar and scary”, and there are always other areas that need support first;
The knowledge of how to seek out and evaluate professional marketing help.
These are concerns regardless of the type of organization – start up, early stage or established companies, and even nonprofits for that matter. And, without real planning upfront, many brands are operating with a “Ready, Fire, Aim” reaction to the marketplace.What Will Hiring A Marketing Or Marketing Communications Professional Do For You?In order to accomplish short and long-term objectives you need to develop a meaningful marketing strategy and an integrated marketing communications plan and tactics. At its core, having a professional marketing program will improve a brand’s profitability and ROI. This task is often outsourced, frequently with a part-time Chief Marketing Officer.The process starts with the outside consultant learning about the brand – its strengths and weaknesses, competition, distribution, business plan objectives, existing communication materials, employee involvement. During this learning period, the consultant also avails himself of any pertinent primary or secondary research. Most important, this period is also the time for establishing trust between the organization and the consultant.While some tasks may be completed directly during this learning period, an outside professional would use this knowledge to prepare:1. A marketing and marketing communications strategy, along with a positioning statement. The positioning statement is a succinct description of the core target audience to whom the brand is directed, and a compelling picture of how the marketer wants the audience to view the brand.Sound simple? Take a minute and answer these four questions about your brand:
The target audience, in very specific detail?
The category in which the brand competes, and its relevance to customers?
The brand’s benefit and point of difference?
A reason for the customer to believe – the most compelling proof?
The positioning statement is the credo for the brand to live by. All marketing and marketing communications should flow from this positioning and be understood by all employees, agents, partners and management.2. An integrated and holistic plan with tactical expressions – media programs; creative executions, including new and/or traditional advertising; public relations; content marketing (social media, articles, blogs, white papers, video); packaging; point of purchase; employee engagement; and, events.The use of internal or external staff to create the above will be directed and evaluated by the consultant or, if necessary, specialists may be recommended.3. Recommendations for primary or secondary research when clear cut answers don’t exist on specific subjects. Marketing depends on a complete understanding of the customers’ “wants and needs” as well as how they relate to your brand and competition. Not just what your staff thinks; rather, information. Facts beat opinion every time.4. A procedure of measurement and evaluation of the objectives of the agreed upon plan, as well as the established objectives to be accomplished with each target audience and marketing communication task. Benchmarking and on-going analysis is key to successful marketing programs, allowing for change or refinement as you proceed.5. A format for informing and discussing the reasoning behind the marketing planning, so that everyone in the organization understands why the specific strategies, plans and tactics were developed and implemented. The consultant becomes a “teacher” and the entire organization becomes brand advocates.Marketing consultants have increasingly become members of the C-Suite because of today’s turbulent and rapidly changing environment.What Talents Should A Marketing Consultant Have?Look for a consultant, full or part-time, who is:1. Willing to learn your business from the ground up and doesn’t have a “one size fits all” mentality;2. An established professional, with extensive experience across industries and brands in B2B, B2C and nonprofit organizations, large and small. Expand your horizons and don’t settle for experience in only your niche or industry;3. Media neutral and willing to embrace analytics to develop a variety of programs as well as to measure them. In today’s complicated marketplace, a consultant must understand new and traditional media, the difference between efficiency and effectiveness, “likes” vs. “sales”, the dangers of digital ad fraud, etc., etc.;4. Apolitical and willing to tell it like it is, so candor will flourish in your relationship. Having your consultant free to demonstrate the discipline of marketing and marketing communications will build trust and a meaningful partnership;5. Has an established network of marketing communications specialists who can be called in to provide solutions when necessary.The marketing and marketing communications strategic and tactical challenges of today are growing exponentially. But, as with our uncertain economic and political environment, putting your head in the sand isn’t a viable response. As Will Rogers said, “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
Should I use inbound or outbound marketing? Where do you find that balance between outbound and inbound marketing to maximize and grow the flow of leads? What should you consider when concocting a synergic marketing mix to include both? To answer all these questions, let’s start by understanding each of the marketing techniques, its strengths and weaknesses.What is Outbound Marketing?
Outbound marketing can be simply described as a straightforward business exchange proposition. “Hey there, want to buy my thing?” is your basic message and approach of outbound marketing. It’s the oldest and most fundamental part of any marketing strategy, and is also what non-marketers assume marketing is all about.Examples of outbound marketing include telemarketing (“cold calls”), paid mailings (both electronic and “snail mail”), advertising (banner ads, radio ads, billboards, etc.) and even door-to-door sales. It’s all about reaching out and pulling the prospect in.Strengths of Outbound Marketing
Not only is it the older and better polished set of techniques, outbound marketing generates sales leads almost immediately. It goes beyond saying that it’s no magic wand, but when it comes to “sealing the deal”, your go-to tools are those in your outbound toolbelt.1. Easier to measure ROI2. Quicker to show impact3. Potentially PersonalizedWeaknesses of Outbound Marketing
Many businesses and brands love outbound marketing for its quick and easily measured results. However, they equally hate the cost and too often the reaction of the target audience, which can easily manufacture a negative sentiment toward the brand.1. Intrusive2. Expensive3. Ineffective on its ownWhat is Inbound Marketing?
In short, the idea of inbound marketing is to create a pull effect to bring in pre-qualified leads instead of pushing intrusive messages.Inbound marketing activities include opt-in email marketing, content production and promotion, social media, and search engine optimization efforts (SEO), among other things.Using this method, a type of funnel is created with leads coming in at the top of the funnel (TOFU) and being “nurtured” down the funnel with marketing messages tailored to the stage that the lead is in until they are “ready” to be approached with a message directed to start the purchasing process.Strengths of Inbound Marketing
Though it existed long before social media and even online sales, the inbound methodology has taken over digital advertising by storm in the past decade. With growing banner blindness, do-not-call lists and the rising cost of users’ attention, it’s no wonder so many brands and businesses include inbound marketing in their strategies.1. Cost-effective2. Unintrusive3. BroadWeaknesses of Inbound Marketing
For B2B marketers, it’s often hard to explain the value of inbound marketing to executives who just want to see those leads flowing in and converting. It’s no longer a new approach and methodology, and yet there are reasons brands sometimes hesitate to prioritize inbound marketing activities.1. Slow to show results2. Harder to measure3. ImpersonalBrewing Your Marketing Mix
Let’s go back to the question we started with: which should you be using – inbound or outbound? Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each, you can see why both are necessary ingredients in your marketing mix. But how much of each, and when?A number of variables affect the inbound to outbound ratio of every brand, product, campaign, and even specific transaction. The impact of some might be less than of others, depending on your unique business and product.Deal SizeProduct TypeFunnel StagesThe Marketing Mix and Match
Combining inbound methodologies and outbound marketing techniques in your marketing mix is not always easy, but is usually worth it. By defining the correct balance between the pull techniques of inbound and the push techniques of outbound, you can combine both to create an optimized lead nurturing and conversion process. It all depends on how well you know your target audience, and how willing you are to make the effort to cater to their needs along the journey down the funnel.