Four Marketing #Fails You’re Probably Making Right Now

Four Marketing #Fails You’re Probably Making Right Now

Running a small business or non-profit is a tough these days. The dismal economy created a lack of willingness to spend or donate. Etsy & eBay are creating online “local shops” that replace brick & mortar stores. Mobile apps are creating an easy way to shop at big box retailers over local retailers. Kickstarter & Causes are taking dollars away from local non-profits. Even Google & Amazon are testing same-day delivery of merchandise & fresh food. How do these businesses create such innovative services that attract thousands of interested customers?

It’s all marketing. Creating the perception that their services are better, cheaper & more convenient. The good news is you can do the same thing. If you haven’t re- examined your marketing, you get a big marketing #FAIL, hashtag and all. Chin up, there’s room to improve. Here’s four marketing fails to notice and improve on:

Paying for Art, Not Ads

You may have a graphic designer creating Louvre-worthy ads with the latest fonts & images but if they’re shrugging their shoulders when you ask them “what market, which outlet & how often should I place this ad?” you just wasted money. Create without strategy is simply art. Creative design with strategy & market research is marketing.

Since you’re probably not in the art collecting business, focus on finding a marketing consultant that will research your industry, analyze the SWOT out of you, and creative a marketing strategy that is cohesive, effective and measurable. Whether it’s storefront design, a brand revamp, smarter social media, or ecommerce, marketing experts will design successful strategies. Graphic designers just design graphics.

Not Measuring Response

Oh, look, your ad came out nicely. Yes, it did, thanks, you say. Did it work? Um, well. Ok, stop, that’s a big #fail.  If you’re advertising without measuring ROI, you’re just gambling. This isn’t AC; this is your business. Every ad you place should have a value proposition, consistency, an internal expectation of ROI, and a method for measuring response.

Don’t sit back and expect ads with a “great deal!” to drive traffic. Every dollar you spend on marketing should come back to you with at least a story about what worked or what didn’t work. Consistency is the key to response and ROI measurement. Follow the advice of Glengarry Glen Ross – A.I.D.A (Attention, Interest, Decision, Action). It will take a consistent, reinforced marketing effort for customers to take action. Just like stocks, marketing is an stable investment, not a one-time gamble.

Impersonal vs. Personal Marketing

Magazines, newspapers, paid email lists & websites are all “media middlemen” that let you reach their audience. Key word: their audience. It’s a good option for reaching potential customers impersonally, but is not a substitute for reaching current customers personally. Key words here: impersonal and personal.

Refocus on personal marketing. Best way? Social media. A business page creates conversation, buzz and feedback around you. And build your email list. Sending a weekly email will keep customers noticing you. Don’t just talk about sales when you communicate. Poll people. Chat with them about anything. Share highs and lows with them. Bring your in-store personal experience to them when they’re not actually in your store. Personal marketing should be primary, not secondary.

Fear of Changing The Game

Remember when Apple personalized mobile phones with the App Store? Or how about when Netflix started steaming movies online to the chagrin of Blockbuster? Saw the stories about how a Silicon Valley mobile app called Uber took over the NYC taxi business? Google it.

These brands all changed the way business is done, setting new standards & creating new opportunities. They changed the game entirely. Fast fact: everyone wins when change is created; the customer gets more for less and the business becomes the hero to the customer.

Don’t wait for your sales to go red before scratching your head. ABC. Always Be Changing. If you don’t create change, a competitor will. Run a SWOT analysis every quarter to determine where you stand against competition. Can’t change? Then freshen up your look. Customers will always be attracted to freshness. You never lose looking fresh. The end goal, though, is to match a your fresh image with new offerings as a result of change.

We’ve all been caught off guard before when it came to missing opportunities or failing to see change coming. Refocus your efforts on creating new opportunities, changing the game & communicating your unique value in smarter ways. That’s the start of a marketing #success.


henry Isaacs Marketing | 646.833.8604 | info@henryisaacs.net | www.henryisaacs.net

7 Trends in Jewish Marketing & Communications

7 Trends in Jewish Marketing & Communications

2014 TrendsIt’s 2014. And that means it’s time to re-evaluate your marketing & communications plan. Your focused on ensuring your business or non-profit is at the forefront of people’s minds in print, digital & social media channels. So here’s 7 marketing & communication trends relevant to the Jewish community you should be aware for 2014.

7 Trends in Jewish Marketing & Communications

LOCAL & HYPERLOCAL JEWISH MEDIA OPTIONS

With printing costs at all-time lows & growing populations within Orthodox Jewish communities, niche newspapers and penny savers keep popping up in Five Towns, Bergen County, Queens and Brooklyn. Hyperlocal email lists focused on communities and regions, such as eBergen BlastTeaneck Blast & eFiver (Five Towns) are adding a hyperlocal digital & social media option for advertisers as well. The end result is low cost, targeted advertising options (the trade-off is that these media options have questionable circulation & readership numbers). When creating a marketing campaign, enlist the help of an expert media buyer who understand the nuances of each media option & is able to determine what will work for you and what is a drag on your budget. (Learn More About Hyperlocal…)

THE MOBILE JEWISH ENTREPRENEUR

All you need to start a business these days is a business card, mobile device, social media page & a handshake. We’ve always known that the Jewish market was full of entrepreneurial souls but these days, with iPhones & Android devices becoming the office of choice, Jewish entrepreneurs can launch a business in days instead of months. Apps can replace office services, such as faxing, office reception & scanning, and can also conduct business, including mobile banking & credit card processing.

Numerous Jewish startups will rely on image & visibility to sell, which increases their need for marketing, PR & branding. A co-op marketing strategy with an established complementary business – such as a startup interior designer teaming with a real estate management company – is a smart option for 2014. It mimics the trend of digital companies teaming up with brick & mortar stores to gain offline customers. (How To Market Your Startup…)

CONTENT MARKETING IS WHERE IT’S AT.

We’ve all seen articles on BuzzFeed such as “10 Reasons to Celebrate Denver’s Playoff Berth” and “9 Ways to Protect Yourself In The Event Of An Alien Invasion” that may sound ridiculous. In reality, content marketing- or branded content – is highly contagious within social media. Essentially, the goal is to create content that is not only useful but interesting; similar to a business blog but without the formalities. For established businesses & non-profits, content marketing can help make your brand more approachable to the 18-32 year old demographic. Here’s how we used Content Marketing in our favor.

When creating content for the Jewish market, you’ll need to take their location, language, habits, denomination & standards before creating the content otherwise your content will be lost in translation. Relevant content marketing is a delicate balance between what you want to say and what customers want to read.   (See how you can create content marketing…)

MEDIA BUYING = AD + ARTICLE 

You used to have to pitch an article to the press in order to get it published. In these recessionary times, though, all you need to do is be an advertiser. Similar to the trend of content marketing, advertorial options & blurbs have become part of an advertising media buy – with a paid ad, newspapers & websites will throw in a free mention in their briefs or an article in their paper.

Reputable newspapers & websites will limit these articles to certain sections or online only while other media outlets will publish material all the time.  The advantage isn’t just getting free content; it’s about creating content that is worth reading. Jewish media buyers know which publications will provide free content but connect with content creators (see below) that will make your content compelling & optimized for SEO purposes (Start media buying…)

ISRAEL TARGETS AMERICANS

With sales edging higher & e-commerce websites creating more demand, Israeli companies and startups are starting to look towards the American market in more ways than just print advertising. Israel-based companies have started to sponsor events & create “satellite” offices in the U.S. as a way to attract the Jewish customer more often than just Passover or Sukkot vacation. Google Voice and Skype allows Israel entrepreneurs to create video & chat meetings with American customers, selling items from jewelry to travel services to real estate all online. As a result, more Israel companies will be looking to target Americans through more than just media buys in print. They’ll be looking for events, branding & direct sales. (Learn more…)

FROM WRITER TO CONTENT CREATOR

Just like cops moonlight as security guards, writers are using their talents for marketing purposes. As the newspaper industry staggers in the digital age, seasoned writers & editors are using their talents in the copywriting & branded content arena. Blogs, content marketing, advertising & press releases are all areas where an experienced writer comes in handy. Jewish writers in particular have a loyal established following that can come in handy when targeting the Jewish market through content.

SOCIAL MEDIA OUTSOURCING & FOCUSING

The days of merely posting up a Facebook & Twitter page are over. At the same time, joining every single social media service in existence is a huge timesink & dilutes your core network. What worked for the nascent social media audience in 2006 won’t work for a 2014 audience (Facebook turns 10 years old this year, did you know that?). Mobile devices allow customers to get content quickly and on time. News breaks in minutes and goes viral in seconds. Push notifications provide app alerts, breaking news and social media messages. Focusing social media efforts on the strongest ones for your business is the key to a successful social media strategy. Posting consistent and timely messages, video’s and content on your best networks is smarter than having one or two pieces of content on every social network.

However, employees sitting on Vine, Pinterest or GoFundMe all day long could make for highly distracted workers that are out of touch with the end goal, which is sales & marketing.In a 2012 Intuit survey, one third of business owners said they want to spend less time on social media though they know it’s valuable. The 2013 solution has been outsourcing social media; specifically, companies are outsourcing social media design, content creation and analytics. From a cost-benefit analysis, outsourcing quality social media control is a better method than hiring full-time employees or college kids. (Read more about social media…)

BUSINESS IMAGE MAKEOVER FOR 2014

Redesigning your website, brochures & advertising to suit the needs of digital customers that browse with tablets, mobile devices & iOS 7 is the first step towards a successful 2014 marketing campaign. Responsive web design with swipe navigation or one-page navigation has become the best way to reach customers on iPhone’s and iPad’s. Creating interactive brochures and business “storybooks” that resemble a magazine is a hot feature on Flipboard. Focusing on pictures & video for your marketing is more important than a PowerPoint.

Overall, it’s important to ensure your brand’s image & logo looks as relevant for 2014 as it did in 2005. Creating a badge, Favicon and Icon for your company is an important branding technique for being seen in browser windows & in social media; a badge is just as important as a logo! Designing social media components that are consistent with your advertising, brochures & website are often overlooked areas of design. With social media threatening to replace traditional websites, remaking your look for the digital age should be on your marketing budget for 2014. (Learn about a brand makeover…)


Henry Isaacs Marketing | Isaac Hyman, Founder

 www.henryisaacs.net | info@henryisaacs.net | 646.833.8604


Wonder Bread: Soft. Delicious. Nutritious. and KOSHER! (but will it catch on?)

Wonder Bread: Soft. Delicious. Nutritious. and KOSHER! (but will it catch on?)

Wonder Bread is KosherEver pass by the bread aisle and have the Wonder Bread logo & colors catch your eye, only to be turned back by the questionable Kosher certification of the Triangle K? You need not put the loaf down anymore.

Wonder Bread has gained OU Kosher certification in the New York market, according to The Jewish Week of New York’s Food & Wine website. Apparently, after Hostess Brands went bankrupt and sold off their reputable brands, such as Twinkies & Dolly Madison (Twinkies recently made a reappearance on store shelves though not with any Kosher certifications), the Wonder Bread went to Flower Foods, which, according to the OU, is a “very old & important OU account” and has a strong line of Kosher-certified products such as Nature’s Own and Home Pride breads. The result is that Jewish mothers & families can now try the bread they’ve desired to try ever since they were kids!

Will Kosher customers respond to the new Wonder Bread option, though? Depends on which Jewish consumers Flower Foods will try to target. In the mainstream New York Jewish marketplace, there are already dozens of Kosher breads available, both national (such as Home Pride) and Jewish start-up brands (such as Mehadrin Bakery) as well as the store generic brands (such as Shoprite & Fairway Market brands), so the marketplace is already well stocked. However, Jewish consumers very much enjoy the novelty of trying new Kosher iconic brands (remember the Kosher consumer’s craze & fall over Subway, the desire for Oreo’s & the long agonizing wait for Skittles?) so there will be a nice surge in sales at the very beginning, especially now that the Jewish holidays are over and school is in full swing for the next two months until Hanukkah.

The Orthodox market has generally opted to stick with brands that are baked by Jewish bakeries because of “pas akum” issues (pas akum, bread baked by non-Jews, could pose some problems according to Jewish law: see the rundown of “Pas Yisrael” laws & products here) but the OU brand is the king of Kosher certifications for the Orthodox Jewish consumer (OU does stand for Orthodox Union after all). With OU certification, Wonder Bread has definitely secured the highest Kosher certification covering all Jewish consumer markets but it remains to be seen if it’s too late in the game to get Kosher families to switch their bread. And, occasionally, even Jewish bakeries slip up in their high Kosher standards (see our article on Zomick’s).

The main marketing & PR goal for Wonder Bread will be trying to get Jewish customers to “give a second look” at Wonder Bread and try it out. Many Jewish shoppers have become used to simply bypassing the red, yellow, and blue bubbles logo on the bread shelf in favor of other brands so getting those same customers to take another look and discover the OU logo is key to getting new Jewish customers (Hebrew National had the same Kosher certification issues although meat products require a much more stringent Kosher certification approach). Apparently, Wonder Bread must taste extremely delicious so keeping customers shouldn’t be a problem…. they just have to get over the habit of not putting it in the basket! The Jewish customer is a loyal one and, having large families, price conscious about their groceries, so a marketing campaign that incorporates a coupon or discount to try out Wonder Bread would be a smart move.

Although it’s a crowded playing field, we definitely welcome Wonder Bread to the Kosher marketplace! May your stay be like Oreo and not like Subway!


Henry Isaacs Marketing | Isaac Hyman, Founder

 www.henryisaacs.net | info@henryisaacs.net | 646.833.8604


Jewish & Kosher | What’s The Deal?

Jewish & Kosher | What’s The Deal?

Jewish & Kosher | What's The Deal?Sometimes the best way to describe Jewish and Kosher is through a presentation that covers some of the burning questions out there. So we created one that helps say exactly what people are thinking and wondering. Yes, it may be a bit self-serving (we are a business after all!) but some of the slides show how the Jewish and kosher market is a group you don’t want to overlook these days!


Henry Isaacs logoJewish Marketing & Communications

P. 646.833.8604  |  E. Info@Henry-Isaacs.com  | www.Henry-Isaacs.com
Marketing | Social Media | Public Relations | Event Planning | Brand Consulting

Response to BuzzFeed: The 16 Most Annoying Things About Keeping Kosher

Response to BuzzFeed: The 16 Most Annoying Things About Keeping Kosher

Although Emily Orley does make some valid points about kosher, in reality, it’s not that hard to keep a kosher lifestyle in the tri-state area. Outside of a major metropolitan area or large Jewish communities however, keeping kosher can get extremely difficult or, for lack of better word relevant to the article, “annoying”.

Thanks to the impact of kashrut certification agencies as well as food & beverage companies increasingly looking for new ways to monetize stable product lines, more and more products are becoming kosher, like Newman’s Own Organic Chocolate Cups recently. Furthemore, kosher has become synonymous with “healthy” and “organic”, a title that bodes well for increased sales and allows for higher profit margins for the Coca-Cola’s and Nestle’s of the world. National grocery chains like SuperValu, Whole Foods, and Kroger’s now carry more and more kosher products every day.

Check out our posts on the “The Kosher Trend” or “Kosher vs. Kosher Style” to learn about why Kosher is stil going strong and not so annoying anymore.


Henry Isaacs Marketing | Isaac Hyman, Founder

 www.henryisaacs.net | info@henryisaacs.net | 646.833.8604


The 16 Most Annoying Things About Keeping Kosher

Oy vey, where do I begin?posted on February 25, 2013 at 5:15pm EST

Emily OrleyBuzzFeed Staff
Share
Tweet
Email
114
Pin it

1. For starters, people have no idea what “keeping kosher” actually means.

For starters, people have no idea what "keeping kosher" actually means.

2. Explaining it takes forever and gets very complicated.

Explaining it takes forever and gets very complicated.

In simple terms, you can’t mix meat and dairy, you can’t eat anything from a pig (yes, that includes bacon), and you can’t eat any shellfish. There are some acceptable fish — any fish with both fins and scales. Eggs are OK and can be eaten with meat or dairy. Also, after eating meat or dairy, you have to wait a certain amount of time, depending on where your ancestors are from, before you can eat the other category. Any questions?

3. After that whole explanation, people assume that you’re super-religious.

After that whole explanation, people assume that you're super-religious.

Well, I’m not. I use electricity on Saturdays. My male family members don’t have “those weird curly sideburns.” I didn’t even attend a Jewish day school as a child.

4. And they think keeping kosher isn’t as “cool” as other diets.

When people act like it’s a second-class diet compared to eating vegan or gluten-free, I’m like…

The 16 Most Annoying Things About Keeping Kosher

5. But despite your best efforts, people can’t grasp the concept, especially waiters.

The 16 Most Annoying Things About Keeping Kosher

Source: www  /  via: Tumblr
For some reason, it’s impossible to explain the very basic rules of keeping kosher to a waiter. Ordering a Cobb salad can take 10 minutes because you need to hold the bacon, decide if you want turkey or cheese (you can’t have both), and change the dressing if you stick with the turkey. No big deal.But at this point the waiter is either is too confused or doesn’t care and will most likely bring out your order completely wrong.

6. And restaurants always serve you a cheeseburger instead of a hamburger.

And restaurants always serve you a cheeseburger instead of a hamburger.

Regardless of how hard I try, every time I order a PLAIN hamburger, it arrives with melted cheese all over it.ALERT: A hamburger isn’t supposed to have cheese on it. That’s why they created an entirely different name for burgers with cheese.

7. Or they refuse to cook your meat in oil instead of butter.

Or they refuse to cook your meat in oil instead of butter.

Most kosher meals cannot have butter, so it makes eating all the more difficult when restaurants (and everyone else) secretly put butter in everything.In the end, I usually just lie about having a butter allergy.

8. And you always have to ask the world’s most detailed questions about food.

The 16 Most Annoying Things About Keeping Kosher

Source: www  /  via: Tumblr
Asking “What’s the base of this soup made of?” makes you sound a little OCD. But knowing if that liquid is vegetable or chicken stock can make or break a meal.

9. Also, having dessert is extremely difficult.

Also, having dessert is extremely difficult.

In my family, you have to wait an hour after eating meat before you can have dairy. So that makes the whole dessert situation very complicated: If you want dessert that has any dairy in it, you have to make sure nothing in your meal is meat (and awkwardly ask for the dessert menu before the waiter can tell you the specials). I have, in fact, sat around for a full hour after I finished my entree because I just had to have dessert.

10. At home, you need to have two of everything.

At home, you need to have two of everything.

Kosher law requires you to have separate plates and dishwashers for your milk meals and your meat meals so that the two never, ever cross. This is not cheap or space-efficient, and it makes you feel like you have double vision.Also, if you ever mess up and put meat on a dairy plate or vice versa, you have to bury the plate in the earth for eight years. We did this once at my old house and moved three years later. We couldn’t take the plate with us.

11. And kosher meat is always double the price of regular meat.

The 16 Most Annoying Things About Keeping Kosher

Source: www  /  via: Tumblr
Seriously, this diet is so expensive.

12. Furthermore, when you try to adjust a recipe to be kosher-friendly, it doesn’t quite work.

Furthermore, when you try to adjust a recipe to be kosher-friendly, it doesn't quite work.

Apparently there’s no way to make a dairy-free cake taste decent.

13. Traveling, which is supposed to be relaxing, is always stressful because you’re starving the entire time.

Traveling, which is supposed to be relaxing, is always stressful because you're starving the entire time.

Cruises always have amazing buffets. Unfortunately, the only kosher item is usually the bread basket. Most trips, I just pack granola bars in my suitcase.

14. And you can never, ever eat the free lunch.

The 16 Most Annoying Things About Keeping Kosher

Source: www  /  via: Tumblr
Office catering? Event buffet? Just turn around and go back to your seat.Sometimes you can’t even eat kosher Jewish food ordered to your office. One time, a batch of hamantaschen arrived at the office right after I finished eating chicken noodle soup. By the time the hour had passed, everyone in the office had devoured the dessert. True story.

15. The most annoying thing of all: all the amazing-looking food that isn’t kosher.

The most annoying thing of all: all the amazing-looking food that isn't kosher.

Source: diamondcat

Like this:

Like this:

Sorry, have to pass.

And this:

And this:

Nope, ugh.

And this:

And this:

Fifty shades of not-kosher.

Source: gawker.com
Yes, I think this food looks delicious and it’s THE WORST that I can’t eat it.

16. In fact, not being able to eat bacon is enough for most people to question why you do this diet at all.

Bacon is pig, and pig is the treifest of treif (non-kosher). But people are in love with bacon. And people LOVE to feel dramatically terrible for you when they hear you can’t eat bacon. The pitying looks are almost as bad as sitting and watching someone eat a BLT.

In fact, not being able to eat bacon is enough for most people to question why you do this diet at all.

BUT! Here’s a little good news: lots of packaged goodies are actually kosher.

Like cookies.

Like cookies.

And some surprising chip flavors.

And some surprising chip flavors.

Artificial bacon ranch flavoring: It’s a mitzvah.

And most sugary candy.

And most sugary candy.

They may be terrible for you, but they fit the guidelines!

L’Chaim!
This post is specific to how I keep kosher and is not as strict as the practice of some orthodox Jews who, for instance, only eat meat slaughtered under Rabbinic supervision. There are many different levels based on how observant you are.
Jewish PR 101 – El Al’s Ticket Mistake and Stellar Recovery

Jewish PR 101 – El Al’s Ticket Mistake and Stellar Recovery

El Al Discount TicketsEl Al’s newest ticket pricing issues doesn’t come from high fuel prices. A daily deal site offered bargain basement rates on flights to Israel from the U.S. Over 5,000 tickets were sold in a matter of hours before the price was corrected. Maybe this is the year of the technology glitches (see NASDAQ’s Facebook IPO glitch and Knight Capital’s $400 million software error). Perhaps this is a major flaw in the “daily deals” business model; perhaps this mistake was plain old human error. From a marketing perspective, this is an example of how social media can distribute one’s marketing message in one arena and have it spread virally in a matter of moments. Although social media is great for it’s virality, it’s extremely hard to recuperate after letting negative or wrong information go viral. No matter who’s to blame, the bottom line is that El Al has planes full of passengers paying extremely little.

Those rare companies that disregard the last three words of that sentence and instead focus on “planes full of passengers” is a company that deserves praise and loyalty. El Al opted to go “cup half full” and see past their lack of profit, focusing instead on the thousands of new passengers they’ve obtained and honoring all tickets purchased at the discounted rate. For most companies, quarterly bottom lines and stock prices dictate the basics of business; El Al is a company focused on profits like any other, but they’ve elected to ignore the bottom line for now and accentuate the positives: thousands of happy and overjoyed passengers that get to take an El Al flight to Israel.

Which exemplifies how valuable good old customer service can be for even the occasional Jewish customer. El Al did the absolute best thing by honoring the ticket sales, no matter what the cost to their bottom line or lack of profits. Perhaps this deal glitch was even a daring marketing tactic for the slow winter months, when packed El Al flights are few and far between – offer extremely reduced rates and fill your flights (you’re flying half empty planes anyway; why not try to fill it by offering remnant prices?) Currently, El Al is even offering stopover ticketed passengers an upgrade to non-stop flights which will enable El Al to gain some additional revenue per passenger.

Beleaguered on all fronts by high gas prices, stiff competition, and the constant fear of a potential war in the Middle East, as well as the lingering resentment by Ultra-Orthodox flyers over meat meals during the Nine Days and flights on Sabbath, El Al has struggled mightily in the past decade. Many Jewish passengers today feel little loyalty to an “Official Airline of Israel” (not to compare at all, but it’s reminiscent of how the Jewish community, over time, doesn’t mind driving Mercedes Benz’s or BMW’s in the 21st century when just twenty years ago it was highly taboo to drive a “German car”.  With this daily deal snafu, El Al may have finally gotten a chance to show their passengers what makes their flights and service special as the official airline of Israel. Back to basics, in a way. El Al needs to take this opportunity to charm the hell out of their riders – great attendants, warm smiles, excellent food, little delays, and stocked cupboards – and ensure passengers remember the value of a dedicated Israeli airline. El Al has the attention of their passengers and a great marketing and PR strategy on board is extremely important.

An airline is only as good as it’s last flight. El Al has already done a great job ensuring the ticket buyers are happy with their purchases. Now, bring the satisfied experience full circle with a flight to remember by the official airline of Israel.


Henry Isaacs logoJewish Marketing & Communications

P. 646.833.8604  |  E. Info@Henry-Isaacs.com  | www.Henry-Isaacs.com
Marketing | Social Media | Public Relations | Event Planning | Brand Consulting

Jewish Marketing 101 – American Express Small Business Forum – 6 Tasks You Could Be Outsourcing

Jewish Marketing 101 – American Express Small Business Forum – 6 Tasks You Could Be Outsourcing

6 Business Task You Could Be Outsourcing

 

 

 

6 Business Tasks You Could Be Outsourcing

Royale Scuderi Freelance Writer and Life Fulfillment Expert

April 3, 2012

Some businesses can handle normal daily activities but need outside help to take on new projects that don’t justify another employee. Other businesses are just struggling to manage day-to-day business. Still others are seeking ways to get more done or cut expenses in this challenging economy.

There are many valid reasons to consider outsourcing, but here are some of the most compelling.

  • Focus on core business activities. For many businesses, the primary motivation to outsource is that it frees owners, managers and employees to spend their time on income generating activities.
  • Improve opportunities for growth. Frequently opportunities for company growth and a desire to expand business operations exist, but resources to make it happen are lacking.
  • Increase efficiency and effectiveness. In many cases, outsourcing allows access to expert talent. Outsource service firms can offer innovative approaches, the latest technology, and creative, cutting-edge solutions that otherwise aren’t available.
  • Improve your bottom line by decreasing your expenses. A skilled contractor or firm can generally perform work less expensively than a full-time employee can, and the costs of hiring, training, and maintaining employees are eliminated, as are taxes and benefits.

Here’s what you can, and should, be outsourcing.

1. Administrative tasks. Scheduling, travel arrangements, data entry, typing and other administrative tasks can usually be handled by a virtual assistant or administrative service. While these tasks are crucial to the proper functioning of any business, they are not usually core business activities.

Where to find help: Assistant MatchAssistU and IVAA help match businesses with screened administrative service providers and offer directories of professionally trained virtual assistants.

2. Lead generation and customer service. Sales calls are often a matter of numbers; more calls equal more sales and leads. Once the initial outreach has been made, closing the sale can be handled by the internal sales force. A talented salesperson’s skills can be better utilized to close sales and handle clients, rather than make cold calls. It can also be a great deal more efficient to outsource customer support than it is to maintain a qualified support staff, especially for product-based companies.

Where to find help: Global Response and The Connection are recognized sales and customer service providers to many of the world’s top brands. Resource Nation allows companies to get quotes from pre-screened business solution sources.

3. Accounting and financial duties. Accounting firms or individuals can help with many financial services including bookkeeping, invoicing and accounts payable and receivable, as well as financial reporting, analysis and planning. Outsourcing payroll processing alone can save considerable hours, headaches and dollars. Many financial contractors will bundle these tasks for even greater savings.

Where to find help: BookkeepingHelp is a popular source of experienced financial professionals. This is one area to be very careful when outsourcing. It’s a good idea to check with certifying organizations, such as the American Institute of CPAs or American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers.

4. Marketing. Effective marketing determines how both brand and company reputation are perceived in the marketplace. A marketing firm or consultant can often provide an outside perspective that an internal marketing staff cannot. Professional freelance writers can develop higher-quality, polished content that will improve marketing efforts. Website design, brand development, press releases and online marketing duties such as social media, blogging and search engine optimization are good candidates for outsourcing as well.

Where to find help: Guru and Elance are two of the best-known sources of freelance contractors. They cover many areas of outsourcing, but excel in the areas of writing and design.

5. IT operations. It can be extremely expensive to handle IT operations in-house. The average business has limited ability and knowledge to manage all of its IT needs. Unless you’re an IT company, IT is a maintenance and repair function, not a core business activity. The potential advantages of outsourcing IT tasks are enormous.

Where to find help: CrossLoop and Tech Guru both offer access to full spectrum of IT remote services.

6. Human resources. Employee acquisition and human resource functions can easily be administered by an outside agency. Outside firms are more skilled at advertising, screening suitable applicants and checking references. Using an HR or employment service to manage employee benefits can also be wise, since they must stay up to date on the latest employment laws and standards.

Where to find help: Ceridian and Trinet are both well-known HR service providers offering a wide range of resources from recruitment to payroll to benefits administration.

Final word

Often, the best way to locate high-quality outsourcing prospects is through recommendations from your professional network. A referral from someone you know and trust is a much more reliable gauge of quality and is usually based on the level of skill and not simply the cheapest cost. Professional groups or associations and LinkedIn can also be great sources.

Royale Scuderi is a freelance writer and success coach. She is the founder of Productive Life Concepts and has been featured on top rated blogs such as Stepcase Lifehack and The Huffington Post. You can also find her musings on life and business at GuardWife.com andTwitter.com/RoyaleScuderi.

Photo credit: iStockphoto


Henry Isaacs logoJewish Marketing & Communications

P. 646.833.8604  |  E. Info@Henry-Isaacs.com  | www.Henry-Isaacs.com
Marketing | Social Media | Public Relations | Event Planning | Brand Consulting

Jewish Marketing 101 | Bloomberg Businessweek article on Outsourcing your Marketing

Jewish Marketing 101 | Bloomberg Businessweek article on Outsourcing your Marketing

Businessweek Outsourcing Your Marketing

 

 

Outsourcing Your Marketing Services

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 14, 2008

Have you ever considered outsourcing some, or even all, of your marketing? Doing so can help you achieve your business goals if you don’t have a marketing department, or it can give you more hands and fresh ideas if you do. Here are some benefits to consider:

• Fill skill gaps. Since media is increasingly fragmented, communications programs are more complicated. You can’t be an expert in every medium and understand the needs of each of your target audiences if your products are sold across vertical industries or have key purchase influencers from several departments.

• Reduce overhead. You don’t need to hire an individual or team for a specific program. Just outsource an expert. That way you don’t bear the hidden costs of recruiting, training, furnishing an office, and employee benefits. Salary is just a fraction of employment costs.

• Eliminate bias and leverage a broader, different perspective. Outsourcing eliminates the “We’ve always done it this way” mentality. You can access the strategic thinking and creative expertise of a marketing professional free of internal political baggage.

• Improve your focus. Outsourcing helps you to focus on the core competencies of your business. Talk to your customers or your sales team. You can then provide strategic, insightful direction and play to your strength. You’ll help to reduce your risks and maximize the return on investment in your marketing programs with input from the front line.

• Jump-start your marketing instantly. Outsourcing gives you access to experienced marketing professionals who can quickly develop plans and campaigns on the tightest of schedules. You can just say “Run with it” and start focusing on the crush of your other competing priorities.

Colleen Edwards
President and CEO
The PowerMark Group
San Juan Capistrano, Calif.


Henry Isaacs logoJewish Marketing & Communications

P. 646.833.8604  |  E. Info@Henry-Isaacs.com  | www.Henry-Isaacs.com
Marketing | Social Media | Public Relations | Event Planning | Brand Consulting

Jewish Advertising 101 – What Hebrew National Didn’t Mean To Say

Jewish Advertising 101 – What Hebrew National Didn’t Mean To Say

 

Hebrew Nations - Kosher or Not Kosher?
Hebrew NationalWhat Hebrew National Didn’t Mean To Say

In no surprising news to the mainstream Jewish market, Hebrew National has been sued over allegations that they aren’t officially considered kosher but rather are non-kosher. I’m not going to explain the lawsuit – you can find all the details about it here – but rather its important to focus on what Hebrew National is generally telling the world, the Jewish market, and kosher customers each time it says “We answer to a higher authority.”

Hebrew National’s claim to adhering to the highest Kosher standards available is quite puzzling and inaccurate to those who reside within the Kosher world. The Jewish market recognizes numerous Kosher certifications around the world – there are more than 1100 global and local certifiers – including the Orthodox Union, OK, Kof K, Tablet K, Scroll K, CRC, and more. The OK and Orthodox Union kashrut certifications make up the two largest agencies, represented by their OU and OK symbols. If Hebrew National was looking to adhere to an internationally recognized and respected kosher certification that was synonymous with quality and strict standards, the logical choice would be either the OU or OK symbols. By not using the brand that is recognized by all Jewish affiliations across the board, Hebrew National is not merely alienating an entire group of Jewish customers, they’re also creating a vocal protest against their claim of being kosher. Doesn’t seem like an effective marketing strategy – target a non-Jewish non-Kosher market while frustrating the Jewish & Kosher market.

Hebrew National’s use of the word “kosher” is merely a play on similar popular themes such as “going green”, “all-natural”, and “healthy”. Kosher, like Halal in some ways, has always been viewed as a preferred and healthier alternative to regular foods. The rigourous inspection and cleaning process, the supervision by Rabbi’s, and the use of only certain animals for consumption are all foundations of true Kosher processing. The controversy isn’t arising out of the kosher, but rather who the supervising agency is – in this case, Triangle K & Associates.

In many Orthodox Jewish circles, using Triangle K branded products has been frowned upon for MEAT & POULTRY items. Although many Orthodox Jews won’t eat any Triangle K branded products, meat and poultry is the main problem area that is cited for why Orthodox Jews shun the symbol. Hebrew National is not GLATT KOSHER, which is a red flag for many Orthodox Jews who swear by glatt kosher for all meats. Rabbi Jason Miller has a great blog post on the case and on Glatt Kosher . Furthermore, many Hebrew National products are sold in high traffic areas such as baseball games and theme parks and, while Triangle K may indeed be supervising the meat in-house, there is zero supervision over the cooking process, which is an entirely different set of kosher requirements. Triangle K knows this and by not taking steps to advise the final buyer (such as double bagging in a microwave) shows a lack of initiative in allaying any negative perceptions about their symbol. (Bear in mind, we’re ignoring the claim that AER employees have claimed certain procedures are rendering the meat entirely NOT Kosher; this blog isn’t qualified to rule on that at all!)

Overall, Hebrew National (well, really ConAgra) doesn’t quite understand that the best market for a truly kosher product is the Jewish kosher market; the fact that they nearly avoid marketing the brand to them, while also ignoring their shouts for change, should indeed raise a red flag about how Kosher they really are. A marketing strategy that consists of promoting a Kosher product to a prospective non-Jewish, non-Kosher marketplace while alienating and frustrating the actual Jewish, Kosher market seems to be a recipe for disaster. In an age of social networking and word of mouth, Hebrew National should start by getting the Jewish, Kosher market on their side before promoting to a non-Kosher (and potentially non-interested) market.

The saga reminds me of the parable of why a pig isn’t kosher even though it has split hooves (an animal needs to chew it’s cud as well, meaning chewed a second time). It’s like the pig is saying to laymen, “Look, I have split hooves, I’m kosher, trust me!”; it takes a full understanding of kosher to know that above the surface and below the surface are two entirely different things. Until Hebrew National starts understanding that their claims can be misleading, all they’re saying is “Look, we have the symbol, we’re kosher!” Maybe that will be the new slogan.

If Hebrew National wants to ensure a solid core market that is both Kosher and interested in Kosher/healthy products, they should reach out to a more comprehensive base of Kosher & Jewish consumers to see how to improve their marketing and product.


Henry Isaacs logoJewish Marketing & Communications

P. 646.833.8604  |  E. Info@Henry-Isaacs.com  | www.Henry-Isaacs.com
Marketing | Social Media | Public Relations | Event Planning | Brand Consulting

Jewish Marketing 101 – Choosing between Print or Online Marketing to the Jewish Market

Jewish Marketing 101 – Choosing between Print or Online Marketing to the Jewish Market

Reaching the Jewish marketing in print and online

Reaching the Jewish customer used to much easier. You put an ad in the paper and usually you had success. That way of thinking has gone the way of  The New York Sun print edition – it’s become outdated, unnoticed, and simply unnecessary. But don’t think print marketing isn’t still valuable; on the contrary, for the Jewish market, print may still be the strongest option for getting Jewish clients. Here’s a marketing and Jewish market exploration into Why Print and Why Not Print?


Why Print?

The Jewish market will always have Sabbath (Shabbos/Shabbat). The fastest growing denomination of Jewry is the Orthodox market (link) and this is a market that turns off all iPads, iPhones, TV’s and computers in favor of relaxation and reading. Print advertising is the top method for reaching a market with complete attention span for a dedicated amount of time. There are currently more than three dozen print media outlets (both newspapers and pennysavers) that serve the Greater New York Jewish community, a well above average number (and overly disproportionate to the size of the New York Jewish community) and testament to the vitality of print media to the Jewish community. Furthermore, the Ultra-Orthodox market has recently protested overuse of the internet due to morality standards so print marketing is generally the best and only way to promote successfully to their market.

The original social network: Synagogue – Jews are no strangers to social networks. For thousands of years, Jewry has been a close knit, often “clique-ish” and isolated community that relied on their networks to do business, buy goods, and create opportunities – they had their own social network for generations. The synagogue is the original hub for Jewish social networking – simply look at each community’s Yahoo “shul group” membership and responses rate to see how important – and as such, anything that was discussed in person, with an offline component such as a newspaper clipping, flyer, coupon, or ad, was of great value. Although the Jewish market is constantly involved in web, digital, and mobile applications, there’s always an inherent return to the old ways of doing business by word of mouth and through Jewish social networking. Although online and social marketing is a valuable supplement, print advertising and offline marketing is one of the most basic tools that the Jewish community has always been attracted to.

Why Not Print?


We’re All Connected. Finally. – The Jewish market has never been slow to change and adapt. Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Yahoo have all been embraced for their speed, connectivity, and usefulness in connecting Jewish ideas to new Jewish markets. Although the Orthodox market is the fastest growing, the non-religious and unaffiliated Jewis market still remains the largest (Facebook and Google were both founded by Jewish but non-affiliated innovators). Since the Jewish market is extremely small, connecting to Jewish communities and people in diverse regions of the world make online marketing and presence extremely important. Measureable – Online media is much more measurable than print media and, without question, is growing faster than print marketing. In fact, print media responses requires a conscious, purposeful “next step” such as calling the number, visiting the store, arranging a consultation, etc., let alone an actual purchase. Online marketing only needs a “click” to be redirected to all the information, feedback, price, and benefits one can need before buying, which is much easier than other ways. Furthermore, not only is the chance of purchase much higher, the advertiser now has a nice amount of information on his customer and his marketing – depending on privacy settings, they know age range, geographical location, where they browsed, when and where they clicked, and how long they spent deciding on a purchase or not. Remember the line from John Wanamaker, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half”? Through online marketing, you can finally see what you’re wasting.

Instant Response by Email –Be it a Groupon daily offer, breaking news e-mail, or a dedicated stand alone email blast, email marketing offers the opportunity to reach your market instantly and on your schedule. Although the Jewish market is reached no differently by email than American consumers, they do have a dedicated Jewish email marketplace (Negev Direct has a Jewish philanthropic postal mail marketplace as well). Starting with Groupon-style Jewish/Kosher daily deal options, Jdeal.com, Jewpon, Kosher Kouponz, and Yipit are some of the top Jewish daily deal sites with large email lists. Axiom33 and Sephardic Daily Blast are two dedicated email marketing options that target specific ethnic groups, such as Jewish women and Sephardic Jews respectively. And, of course, the top Jewish news outlets in the nation, such as The Jewish Week, The Daily Forward, and Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, all have dedicated email lists of their readers as well as print, web, and social media components all tied into one. There are instant ways to reach the Jewish market – choosing the right one requires an expert in the Jewish segmenting, though.

Overall, the best solution when deciding between online and offline/traditional forms of marketing to the Jewish market is to obtain an expert in the Jewish market and in marketing/social media. By navigating your choices better, you’ll see more success no matter which direction you head in!


Henry Isaacs logoJewish Marketing & Communications

P. 646.833.8604  |  E. Info@Henry-Isaacs.com  | www.Henry-Isaacs.com
Marketing | Social Media | Public Relations | Event Planning | Brand Consulting