The Benefits Of Direct Marketing Services

Plenty of sales professionals fail to remember that even with all of the latest prominence on social media marketing, conventional direct mail marketing is still versatile, inexpensive and astonishingly efficient. Even if your organization has improved its social media efforts, it should nonetheless give thought to including direct marketing as a part of its overall marketing and sales method. Here’s why:

Direct mail will grab your prospects’ attention right away. Both the Canadian and American postal services supervised research projects that demonstrated most folks categorize and read their mail on precisely the same day it is acquired. In contrast, emails can languish inside Inboxes for days, and by their very nature, social media messages are ephemeral. Direct mail will permeate through the electronic mess created by never-ending social media posts, emails and texts to bear a tangible, targeted marketing communication your prospects will remember.

Direct marketing is a lot less highly priced than other kinds of marketing like newspaper and magazine advertisements, radio and television spots and tradeshow booths. For mere pennies per piece, you can create a direct mailing campaign to contact thousands of potential patrons. Direct marketing is also comparatively uncomplicated to carry out; no artwork or layout talents are needed. Using a regular package of office software products, you can develop a postcard or flyer on your own. Alternatively, you can use a direct mail design service online. These services normally possess hundreds of customizable templates you may use to announce your merchandise, services or events. Volume printing makes it affordable to reach hundreds or thousands of customers with enticing, flashy and attractive. You may also be eligible for postage discounts if you send bulk volumes of direct mail.

Another reason why direct mail marketing and advertising is so popular and powerful is it’s a functional tool–you can circulate to your customers anything from flyers, brochures and postcards to three dimensional pop-up advertisements or merchandise samples. The number of possible direct mail layouts is almost breathtaking, and there are a lot of creative and attention-grabbing alternatives.

A major benefit of direct mail promotion is personalization. You can divide your mailing-list into separate categories like “first time buyers” and “repeat buyers,” and afterwards construct separate marketing communications to captivate each class of client. You can further personalize the propositions and advertisements you send by addressing each direct mail piece separately. Personalization and segmentation each culminate in elevated response percentages, which in turn translates into greater sales for you.

Direct marketing is also measurable. Simply add a voucher, a reply card or a particular redemption code in your direct mail, and next use this process to keep track of how many people take action in comparison with how many people do not respond. Your simple direct mail investigation will shed light on your subsequent direct mail marketing campaign, so that you may always polish and enhance the call to action you send to your potential customers.

There are lots of other benefits to direct mail marketing. undertake a preliminary mailing and examine for yourself. You should be happily amazed by the positive and prompt developments you reap. You’ll additionally be dazzled by how direct mailing can produce such a major ramification at such a nominal financial value.

Six Steps To Selling Investments In Financial Institutions

Oil and water just don’t mix; there is no point in trying. Both are needed for a high performance engine to run at maximum efficiency, but they have different functions. In banking, the oil is the bank products and the water is the non-bank products that are becoming essential for meeting today’s consumer demand while providing fee income to the bank. If traditional and non-traditional financial products are properly positioned, success in the form of substantial fee income is a direct outcome.

The banking business is no different than any other; banking has changed tremendously over the last thirty years. In the past, the majority of bank income came from Interest Income, but the trend continues to shift towards fee income. With deregulation in the form of the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act (1980) and the Depository Institutions Act (1982), and repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999, banks responded by offering alternative financial services. In the 1990’s, increased consumer awareness led to customer demand and banks saw investment programs increase dramatically. However, many banks have had difficulty successfully integrating investment brokerage and insurance into their institutions.

The radical difference in products, delivery systems, and sales cultures has prevented many banks from maximizing the potential offered by these additional financial service opportunities. Some banks use Dual Employee” structures, while others use third party marketing arrangements. Other issues include differences in compensation structure, one-way” referrals, and the different risks associated with non-bank products, as opposed to FDIC insured instruments. Additional compliance concerns only exacerbate the gap between bankers, brokers, and insurance agents.

This is not a new problem, and much has been written on this subject. The question is simple; what can a bank do to successfully integrate non-bank product sales more effectively? Fortunately, the answer is also simpler than you think. The following six steps are critical in having compliant, successful, and profitable non-bank sales units:

1. Do all you can to learn about non-bank product sales
2. Work to incorporate non-bank product sales units into all bank events and meetings
3. Manage activities, not results
4. Have realistic dual expectations
5. Have regular two-way communication
6. Have a workable, mutually agreed upon business plan

Do all you can to learn about the investment business

Many bankers do not have experience in non-bank product sales, and as a result often spend little time on it or ignore it entirely. You need to make a concentrated effort to understand the culture and structure of non-bank product sales units. Many broker/dealers offer Banker Broker Conferences.” In addition, many banking trade groups provide educational meetings and resources. Take advantage of these opportunities to help you better understand the differences in delivery systems and cultures employed to sell non-bank products.

Work to incorporate non-bank product sales units into all bank events and meetings

The more you include non-bank product salespeople and their colleagues in bank functions and meetings, the more cordial and productive their interactions with your bank officers and staff will be. Encourage them to become familiar with your bank’s marketing and product emphasis, so they refer you appropriate business. The more they feel a part of the bank, the better ambassadors they will be for you when they are out in the community, and your cross-selling results will soar.

Manage activities, not results

Often banks have expectations of their investment and insurance sales units, but have limited knowledge of what activities are required to generate those results. If bank management does not have a working knowledge of the alternative product sales process, they are reluctant to participate actively in the management of these programs. If your program is set up with duel employees, do all you can to learn about the activities required to maintain it successfully.

If you utilize a third party marketing firm, ask them for guidance on what is expected of their reps and what you can do to assist them in the management of the program. Regardless of the compliance firewalls between your bank and a third party firm, the public perception is that they a part” of your bank, so a hands-on approach will pay off.

Have realistic dual expectations

When non-bank sales programs are installed, each party establishes certain expectations with which to gauge success. Often those who have a vested interest in the program’s installation deliver these expectations. Make certain your bank considers statistical averages for the type of program you have in your bank. Banks should examine the production and revenues of their programs compared to national averages, as well as averages from their program’s broker/dealer or insurance companies.

Also consider expectations related to marketing activities, such as referrals. A common complaint of non-bank product sales people is that they don’t get enough referrals and then upon further examination, it’s becomes apparent that neither party is maximizing the referral opportunities. Systems should be installed to monitor all referrals within institutions. Following compliance regulations and guidelines related to cross-sales marketing efforts prevents regulatory issues.

Making Your Marketing Accountable

One of the biggest problems when it comes to marketing is the lack of accountability. If you look at other areas of a corporation there is rarely a department or area where a person cannot account for everything that happens including where all the finances go. They can also show the direct relationship between a particular action and the success or failure of that action.

Marketing however is different. While positive results can be and often are generated it is rarely the case where the results can be directly linked to a particular action. This is because marketing lacks the metrics and standards, in other words, the units or ways to measure action to result. The result of this is can be felt in a number of ways. There is no way to measure success or failure based on a particular aspect of a marketing plan and more importantly there is no way to predict the success of a particular tool, strategy or plan when it comes to marketing.

In part this is not because markets cannot decide on what type of unit to use to measure, they cannot even decide what exactly it is they are attempting to measure. This makes it difficult to assign accountability when it comes to marketing. A number of plans have been put into action that create some level of accountability when it comes to finances and marketing.

It is common for as much as a quarter of a company’s income to go towards marketing. It is therefore not unreasonable that there be some accountability and some ability to project the results of the marketing campaign as well as to justify the necessity of the size of the marketing budget. In fact, certification is required and the accuracy of financial statements is essential. The practice of guessing and the attitude of it is close enough is falling under increased scrutiny. However, marketing firms and departments having no accepted units of measurement are having a difficult time supplying the necessary answers that executives are requesting.

In order to combat this, professionals in the marketing industry have begun to develop individual and personalized standards, which are then used to measure the efforts, the risks and projections. This reduces the standards to an in firm matter that becomes part of the tactical activities of the firm rather than an industry wide standard.

Generally the only way to measure the success of marketing is through financial means. However, while marketing may use standards of measurement to claiming a successful operation there has been very little done to define what qualifies as success for marketing. As an increasing amount of companies have increased the marketing budgets in an effort to draw in an ever increasing number of customers the need for justification and tracking has become more of a necessity. In turn this has started to move marketing out of the inherently creative and necessary evil categories and into more traditional business positions with more traditional and understandable standards.

Standards of quality are necessary in any aspect of business. It helps to maintain a consistent level of production that is predictable and effective. Having a standard that is defined in clear terms and in a language the entire industry and more importantly related industries can understand is essential in allowing a corporation or industry to make long-term plans.

Here are a few of the things that standardizing and establishing units of measurements can do even with marketing. It can help to allow for more effective use of resources, improve the ability to predict results and provide an increase in the ability analyze and plan for what if situations, which often occur in marketing. It can also allow for the investment return to be asset. This allows a business to create a financial balance, which provides an increase in the overall benefit of marketing to the company.

These are some of the benefits as well as some of the problems that have arisen when it comes to creating accountability within the marketing industry. As a result the question then becomes how to create the standards necessary to eliminate the problems and increase the benefits. One of the biggest obstacles in developing standards is the fact that it is difficult to measure marketing against the standards of measurement common to industries.

This has created a resulting standard of measuring marketing success by cash flow in after campaign reports. Many people do not realize how frequently standards are taken for granted or how difficult it can be to create them. In order to create a recognized and consistent standard, which can allow for market accountability there must be first, a link between the marketing action and a financial return.

This link must be set up and held to the definitions of financial return, risk, the cost and value of capital and money. These are industry standards and help to provide a stable point of reference to from which to work. It is also important to create an accurate way of forecasting. In marketing this is best done through retrospection.

Take The Effortless Road To Your Future

One of the few positive effects of the impending explosion of the retirement rolls as 77 million “Baby Boomers” approach the age of 65 can be found in the outlook for employment of Personal Financial Advisors. Few ‘Boomers’ have made adequate plans to extend their lifestyles beyond their working years and are in desperate need of the assistance of Personal Financial Advisors.

This is excellent news for anyone seeking a lucrative new career opportunity.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2008-2009 Employment Outlook, reports that “Personal Financial Advisors are projected to grow by 41%, which is much faster than average for all occupations”.

The Baby Boomer, a creature with the life expectancy of a Galapagos sea turtle but with less than two years of income saved in a qualified retirement plan, is in urgent need of solutions to his or her retirement quandary.

Independent Financial Advisors consult with individuals or families who are in need of various financial products and services to meet their long term and short term financial goals. Independent Financial Advisors are not tethered to or employed by a specific company, but can offer a range of products and services from a variety of providers.

For the ‘cold war generation’, the rules of the game have changed. It’s no longer about asset accumulation. We have run out of time to build significant assets and need a strategy that addresses the three quadrants of our personal balance sheet which have, up to this point, gone largely ignored.

Income: For this generation, it’s not how much we have that matters. What matters is how much sustainable lifetime income we can get from what we have. Independent Financial Advisors have access to newly developed financial products that enable us to grow our retirement income bucket with a high rate of return, and then, guarantee annual income distributions for life, regardless of how long we live.

Expenses: We need to start saving as much as possible, as quickly as possible. Independent Financial Advisors can assist us in getting control of our monthly expenses and enable us to save much more money for our retirement.

Liabilities: We know that the ‘UFO’ generation is up to its’ pointy ears in debt. We can’t afford to carry this debt into retirement. An advisor can recommend new and innovative equity based strategies that will enable us to get completely out of debt, including our mortgage, before we retire.

If you’re considering tapping into this emerging career opportunity, here are two valuable tips to help you get started.

1. Avoid involvement with any kind of securities products as a new advisor. You would need to become a “registered representative” under the guidance and control of the NASD and the SEC. Your clients may not need these risk based products and you don’t need all of the regulatory compliance headaches that come with this title.

2. You’ve got to plug into an independent marketing organization’s system. If you think you can do it your way, you’ll have enormous difficulty starting and maintaining a successful practice.

Independent Marketing Organizations, in exchange for commission overrides, provide turn-key systems including advisor training, product training, product access, provider contracts, assistance with licensing, marketing, lead generation, and regulatory compliance.

In any business model it’s all about positioning. If there is a problem and a solution to that problem, by positioning yourself between the two, you become valuable. The bigger the problem and the easier the solution, the more successful you will be.

There is an enormous need for new personal financial advisors to lead this generation down the path of financial freedom. Those that come forward will discover a career that offers a great deal of personal satisfaction as well as significant income potential.

Best Tools For Internet Marketing

As a new internet marketer you will be tempted to handle things manually by yourself. This will make you feel more comfortable and not overwhelmed. At the same time, trying to run your business this way can take up quite a lot of time. Why waste your time when there are all sorts of tools out there that you can use to smooth out your process and speed things up? These resources cannot be labelled as shortcuts only. They can do more to help maintain your business in an effective manner. Here are some of the resources that you should utilize.}

A website is one of your most basic needs if you want to start an online business. That’s why you need to choose a web hosting service right away, so you can start to build your site. The web host you choose can have a big impact on your business, so it’s an important choice. It can be a little daunting to make this choice, as it’s something you have to focus on immediately. You want to consider the reputation of the company, along with their rates and the variety of hosting plans they offer. It’s best to choose a company that not only gives you several hosting options, but that makes it simple to switch from one to another whenever you want. Try to find customer reviews for the web hosting company. Can you call on them any time that you need help? Consider all of these things before making a final choice.

Across the board, Internet Marketers use PayPal for transactions for their products and services. Universally accepted, and easy to use, PayPal is the transaction company of choice. That doesn’t mean that you have to use it for your business. Payment processing systems are in abundance – that’s for sure. You might want to try Google Checkout also. Payment processing can be set up through your bank or credit union. Just be sure it is a reliable payment processor. It needs to have a good reputation. It needs to be secure. Before you settle into one payment processor, make sure that you can verify all of these things before going with them.

It is certainly possible to keep track of the money you bring in and the money you send out with a pen and paper. Using Excel would serve you better. If you cannot afford an accountant, the best choice would be to purchase solid bookkeeping software to help you. Using the software will allow you to go from simply jotting numbers down to taking into account your expenses and income made. So when you go to file taxes, your financial information from your bank will be much more easily accessible. Quicken and QuickBooks are just a few of the programs available.

There are all sorts of things that can make your life as an Internet Marketer easier. Sure, when you are just starting out, you are going to be tempted to try to take on everything yourself. Many tools, however, can enable you to build your business faster and make it more profitable. These are just a few things that will help you get properly set up.Source1: view
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Marketing Program Combines Basics And Specifics

This article about Business Administration – Marketing at Centennial College explains why an approach that offers both basics business courses and specific marketing courses is useful.

Any college program that ensures students have a solid combination of basic knowledge plus specific knowledge of the field in which they will work is beneficial, as both of these types of studies have a purpose. The basic knowledge serves as a base for students to understand the wider field. Meanwhile, specific knowledge gives them the ability to understand the underlying processes needed for success.

At Centennial College, students can attend business marketing training (known officially as Business Administration – Marketing), which, as the name suggests, balances an overview of business with marketing specifics. As such, students attend three years’ worth of classes that begin with an exploration of broad-based business training. During this time, topics that are covered are actually common to many of the School of Business programs. This structure is in place not just to offer a general idea of business but also to ensure that students have the opportunity to determine whether this is the right program for them. Among specific business courses in this offering are: Fundamentals of Business, Strategies for Business Success, Financial Accounting Concepts, Business Operations, Business Communications, Human Resource Management, Business Analysis, Business Ethics and others.

In terms of more specific training, this business marketing program takes a practical approach to ensuring that students are prepared for the field. Students learn by applying theory to hands-on activities such as case studies, guest lectures, presentations, projects, and computer simulations and technologies. They are guided through these activities by knowledgeable faculty members who have much experience in the field and are equipped to dole out advice, personal anecdotes and facilitate class discussions while teaching marketing topics such as principles of marketing, marketing communications, professional selling, practical applications in marketing, marketing research, brand management, interactive marketing, consumer analysis and more.

As each Centennial program offers a cumulative practical experience, this program sees students complete an industry project. In teams, students complete a project that is sponsored by an entrepreneurial endeavour, small business or major company. Additionally, Centennial sponsors selected marketing students in national and province-wide academic competitions, including the Ontario Colleges Marketing Competition (OCMC), BDC and CMA competitions.

Grads may enjoy membership privileges with the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) – the only marketing association in Canada that embraces Canada’s major business sectors and all marketing disciplines, channels and technologies. Meanwhile, examples of positions in which graduates of this Business Admin – Marketing program excel include: marketing coordinator, marketing analyst, promotions assistant, sales representative, assistant brand manager, public relations assistant and advertising assistant. On the other hand, those who wish to pursue further studies may do so through Centennial College’s educational partners, which allow them to apply academic credits. Among this program’s university partners are: Laurentian University, Royal Roads University, University of Guelph, University of New Brunswick, University of Windsor and more.