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Secrets to winning with Aging Consumers June 21, 2010

Posted by utehagen in Boomer Marketing, Marketing 101, Understanding Customers, Your personal success.
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I just read a very insightful article on Mediapost:

Understand What And How The Consumer Thinks by Jim Gilmartin

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=130551&lfe=1

If you want to be successful with your business endeavors, you must understand the demographic trends that are a fact of life: the Boomer Generation is coming of age, they are starting to age, and therefore the majority of your potential customers are changing in terms of their needs. What worked for you 10 years ago marketing to them, will no longer work. Therefore it is critical that you spent the time to really understand how the Boomer generation thinks and therefore how to relate to them.

As human beings move through the different seasons of their life, their deep motivations change completely.

I highly recommend to read the referenced article and to stop and spend the time to understand your aging customer base.  It will have a positive reflection on your turnover and bottom line, whatever your business is.

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How to be healthy and successful June 16, 2010

Posted by utehagen in Delivering Happiness, Marketing 101, Understanding Customers, Your personal success.
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I just found the below information on the Harvard University Medical School Health Beat. And while it talks about personal Health, my experience of more than 20 years in the corporate business world tells me that this connection also exists for organizations, teams and companies.

And also: only a happy, healthy person can be truly successful.

Now: think about it as a MARKETER — this gives you tremendous insight into our potential customers. What can you do with your product or service that will help your customers to feel good, to fully engage and to do good? Always think about these BENEFITS, they are in the final end why people buy a product or service.

The happiness-health connection

Want to improve your health? Start by focusing on the things that bring you happiness. There is some scientific evidence that positive emotions can help make your life longer and healthier.

But to produce good health, positive emotions may need to be long term. In other words, thinking positive thoughts for a month when you already have heart disease won’t cure the disease. But lowering your stress levels over a period of years with a positive outlook and relaxation techniques could reduce your risk of heart problems.

Pathways to happiness

In an early phase of positive psychology research, University of Pennsylvania psychologist Martin Seligman and Christopher Peterson of the University of Michigan chose three pathways to examine:

  • Feeling good. Seeking pleasurable emotions and sensations, from the hedonistic model of happiness put forth by Epicurus, which focused on reaching happiness by maximizing pleasure and minimizing pain.
  • Engaging fully. Pursuing activities that engage you fully, from the influential research by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. For decades, Csikszentmihalyi explored people’s satisfaction in their everyday activities, finding that people report the greatest satisfaction when they are totally immersed in and concentrating on what they are doing—he dubbed this state of intense absorption “flow.”
  • Doing good. Searching for meaning outside yourself, tracing back to Aristotle’s notion of eudemonia, which emphasized knowing your true self and acting in accordance with your virtues.

Through focus groups and testing hundreds of volunteers, they found that each of these pathways individually contributes to life satisfaction.

Things that won’t make you happy

People tend to be poor judges of what will make them happy. While most people say they want to be happy, they often believe in myths or carry assumptions that actually get in the way. Here are some widely held myths about what will bring happiness:

  • Money and material things. The question of whether money can buy happiness has, for more than 30 years, been addressed by the “Easterlin paradox,” a concept developed by economist Richard Easterlin. His research showed that people in poor countries are happier when their basic necessities are covered. But any money beyond that doesn’t make much difference in happiness level.
  • Youth. Being young and physically attractive has little or no bearing on happiness. In a study published by Richard Easterlin in 2006 in the Journal of Economic Psychology, not only did being young fail to contribute to happiness, but adults grew steadily happier as they moved into and through middle age. After that, happiness levels began to decline slowly as health problems and other life problems emerged.
  • Children. Children can be a tremendous source of joy and fulfillment, but their day-to-day care is quite demanding and can increase stress, financial pressures, and marital strife. When ranking their happiness during daily activities, mothers report being more happy eating, exercising, shopping, napping, or watching TV than when spending time with their children. In several studies, marital satisfaction declines after the first child is born and only recovers after the last child leaves home. Personal relationships of all types are important, however. In studies, being married, having more friends, and having sexual intercourse more often are all moderately or strongly associated with happiness.

How do you know if you’re in flow?

  • You lose awareness of time. You aren’t watching the clock, and hours can pass like minutes. As filmmaker George Lucas puts it, talent is “a combination of something you love a great deal and something you can lose yourself in—something that you can start at 9 o’clock, look up from your work and it’s 10 o’clock at night … .”
  • You aren’t thinking about yourself. You aren’t focused on your comfort, and you aren’t wondering how you look or how your actions will be perceived by others. Your awareness of yourself is only in relation to the activity itself, such as your fingers on a piano keyboard, or the way you position a knife to cut vegetables, or the balance of your body parts as you ski or surf.
  • You aren’t interrupted by extraneous thoughts. You aren’t thinking about such mundane matters as your shopping list or what to wear tomorrow.
  • You are active. Flow activities aren’t passive, and you have some control over what you are doing.
  • You work effortlessly. Flow activities require effort (usually more effort than involved in typical daily experience). Although you may be working harder than usual, at flow moments everything is “clicking” and feels almost effortless.


Possibilities of Change for Marketing Success June 16, 2010

Posted by utehagen in Delivering Happiness, Marketing 101, On line Marketing success, Understanding Customers, Your personal success.
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The below quote strikes me as very real:

“Change has a considerable psychological impact on the human mind. To the fearful it is threatening because it means that things may get worse. To the hopeful it is encouraging because things may get better. To the confident it is inspiring because the challenge exists to make things better.”

The very good thing for EVERYBODY, no matter what your initial inclination: Change ALWAYS opens up NEW POSSIBILITIES.

This is a very important Aspect of becoming a SUCCESSFUL MARKETER: You need to understand your target audience and importantly their state of mind and then figure out how YOU can help them to attain the new possibilities. But to do so, you also must understand your own state of mind.

On-line Traffic and Lead Generation Blueprint June 16, 2010

Posted by utehagen in On line Marketing success, Traffic and Lead Generation, Your personal success.
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As a student of Personal Branding and Internet Marketing, I am amazed on what is possible. I am an experienced International Marketer in the Corporate World and am now eager to help others to be successful as well. It really is not that difficult if you are willing to spend some time and energy to learn and execute what successful Internet Marketer are already doing and sharing for free.

I just discovered this 136-page Traffic Blueprint…

http://www.mlmtrafficswitch.com/?ref=swzgvce

created by Internet gurus David Schwind and Jim Yaghi. You can download it totally FREE.

They used a simple tweak they call the “Google Switch” to exponentially increase their leads & profit…

There’s nothing to buy either… just a free 100+ page traffic blueprint that you can download and put to use right away!

I’m implementing it right now, and I would like to hear from others how it goes…

Delivering Happiness – Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh shares the secret June 7, 2010

Posted by utehagen in Delivering Happiness, Marketing 101, On line Marketing success, Understanding Customers, Your personal success, Zappos.com.
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Many people have already joined a new movement: Delivering Happiness — triggered by the release of the new book by Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh. You can find more information about the book at this link: http://www.deliveringhappinessbook.com

I received a free advance copy of the book and devoured it over the weekend. However, my review of the book is in no way influenced by this.

I highly recommend this book to any entrepreneur as well as corporate executives who are serious about their commitment to create enduring success for their business. The formula, that is both simple, but still so hard to executie is: Purpose, Passion and Profits. Although in the book the order is the other way around, it is really this order that generates sustained business success. Tony writes in a very direct and refreshing style about his personal development journey and how it has influenced his entrepreneurial endeavors. He clearly is an entrepreneur at heart, but what he has learned by experience really does apply to any successful business undertaking. It all culminates in the rise of Zappos.com, which is a great branding story and at the very core of it all is a commitment to creating happiness for customers, employees, vendors and shareholders. As an experienced Brand Builder, who passionately believes in the value of brand purpose as I have experienced the power of it, I highly applaud Tony for taking it one step further from “serving consumers” to “creating happiness”.

Do yourself a personal favor and pick up the book (it’s available on Amazon.com at http://www.amazon.com/deliveringhappiness ). It is a pleasant read and if you truly “listen” to the message, it will change your life for ever.

Boomers — revolutionizing the workplace again June 2, 2010

Posted by utehagen in Boomer Marketing, Marketing 101, Understanding Customers, Your personal success.
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It is an undeniable fact that the Babyboomers are going to live longer and will hence also work longer. This leads to a significant revolution in the workplace that most companies and governments in the Western Industrialized World have not yet realized. There is a huge opportunity here.

For more on the subject, read Experts Weigh in on Older Americans and Work by Michelle V. Raffer on the Second Act Blog     http://tiny.cc/6ot74

The very interesting fact is that people in this period of their lives (40-60) have very different drives and motivations than younger people. They are more likely focused on giving back, which is a huge opportunity if harnessed correctly.

What do you think?

Zappos: How to deliver Profits, Passion and Purpose May 25, 2010

Posted by utehagen in Marketing 101, On line Marketing success, Understanding Customers, Your personal success.
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Sounds impossible?

Well, it isn’t and Tony Hsieh has proven it with ZAPPOS by creating a $1.2 Billion business from scratch. Many of you may have heard about Zappos and others may say “who?” Tony has written a book about his experience that will start shipping on June 7th, 2010. He has also teamed up with others to create the “deliver happiness” movement.

Sounds slightly weird? Well, that’s what Tony and the Zappos culture are. Check out the preview at http://www.deliveringhappinessbook.com/ and pre-order your book immediately.

How to win the hearts and minds of Boomers May 24, 2010

Posted by utehagen in Boomer Marketing, Marketing 101, Understanding Customers.
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I just saw a great article published by Matt Thornhill of the Boomer Project which whom I worked while I led customer understanding at the world’s leading consumer goods company.

Boomers are a very important, yet today underserved, customer group. They are underserved because they are entering a life stage (50+) at which time they typically get ignored by companies, who generally target the 18-49 year old demographic.

There is a huge opportunity in figuring out to win the hearts and minds of Boomers because they are the biggest generational group in the US and other Western countries and they are here to stay for a lot longer.

Matt points out that with entering the “middle age life stage”, people’s motivations change dramatically as they move on from “becoming someone” to “being someone”. Please read the attached article which gives a great illustration of this phenomenon.   http://tiny.cc/i6s7q

17 Revelations On How An Online Retailer Went From Zero to $1.2 Billion May 22, 2010

Posted by utehagen in Marketing 101, On line Marketing success, Your personal success.
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I highly recommend to read this post on Jeff Bulla’s Blog. It is a great case study on how the single-minded commitment to fulfilling consumer needs is not only creating a great financial success, but also happier people — both the customers and the employees. This is how you create true profitable differentiation by better fulfilling customer needs. It’s not difficult, it just requires a personal commitment and change of mind-set.

http://tiny.cc/fpwke

Follow your mind or your heart? May 22, 2010

Posted by utehagen in On line Marketing success, Your personal success.
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I just saw a very valuable piece of advice on this topic by reknown author Tamara Erickson:

I’m a big believer in following your heart.  My research shows that we do our best work when we’re engaged in and committed to our task.  Achieving high levels of engagement is very clearly a “heart” issue – not a head one.

This goal, by the way, is a win-win proposition.  It’s good for the individual to do work you care about and enjoy; it’s also better for the company, because you’re much more likely, if you’re engaged, to go that “extra mile” – to innovate, collaborate, provide extraordinary customer service, and so on.

In all three of my books written to the generations, I offer a framework of “Life Lures” – different characteristics of the workplace, each of which seem to touch the hearts of some of us, and not others.  My research has discovered primary archetypes, for example:

  1. Expressive Legacy – people who crave a sense that they’re doing work that will have lasting value – that they’re building or creating something, or making something better.  In same way, to feel really engaged, People for whom this is the dominant archetype find engagement in the fundamental meaning of the work itself.
  2. Secure Progress – people who do their best work in environments that are stable and predictable – ones in which the rules governing success are clearly understood and followed.    Individuals in this archetype are unable to engage fully in their work, no matter how important it is, if the environment is unstable and chaotic.
  3. Team Victory – people who really enjoy being part of a well-functioning team — who find great satisfaction to contributing their expertise to the success of the whole.  People for whom this is the dominant archetype obviously like team-based work, in smoothly functioning teams.
  4. Risk and Reward – people who are adrenaline junkies – who thrive on change and almost impossible challenge.  Individuals in this archetype crave flexibility and leading edge opportunities.  They don’t accept the possibility of significant failure, in exchange for the excitement of the immediate challenge.

Tools to assess your archetype are available in the trilogy books (Retire Retirement, What’s Next, Gen X?, and Plugged In).  I’ve also extracted the tools and posted them on my website (www.tammyerickson.com) .

Please find the full post under http://tiny.cc/mli4r