Advertising Your Products and Services on Cars

Marketers have a massive problem trying to cut through the advertising 'clutter.' Without a customer is looking for something specific, they switch off and avoid adverts, they change the channel during television intermissions, skip pages in magazines to get past the ads and talk through advertising breaks on the radio.

Ideas are constantly implemented to overcome this, some work, some do not and some simply irritate the audience who are not interested at all. But some of the best ones are transported out by portraying the message exactly where the interested customer will be.

A lot of people can not avoid driving. There is no much more to do on the road than look at other cars. These creates an opportunity. There are a lot of firms nowdays that arrange to have cars covering in advertising graphics. The car owners are paid a small amount to do so. The owners themselves are free to choose what company's graphics their vehicle is covered in.

For the advertiser the key advantage is that the cars will be seen driving around, stuck in traffic, in car parks and spaces. They in effect become a constantly moving billboard banner. This is a way of reaching people who may be awkward difficult to contact in any other way.

The vehicle graphics are applied with a convenient plastic wrap, which means they can be changed very easily. The drivers are also chosen by the kind of places they go, so it is quite straightforward for an advertise to recognize who will be best to reach their specific target market. For example a golf club manufacturer would be very comfortable to advert on a driver who played golf and parked their car in their local club's car park twice a week.

Car adverts need to be short and sweet. Often the audience will only have a few seconds to see the ad as the vehicle drives by. The right kind of driver is extremely important to find your specific advertising audience. Also if possible a driver who likes your products or service is a good idea, since they are more likely to talk to their friends and family about it and further promote it themselves.

Revolutionizing the Learning Experience With Electronic Interactive Education

What was required?

With an understanding of the value of Kinesthetic Learning, solutions were thought that would assist teaching methods, increase student interaction and improve outcomes across the curriculum.

The productsought needed to be environmentally friendly (ie reduce the use of photocopied materials), user friendly, comprehensive, and not require constant software upgrades.

After a thorough evaluation Di Prust selected Promethean interactive Whiteboards and the Elmo Document Camera from a Melbourne-based ICT company DatacomIT.

The Solution
Promethean Interactive Whiteboard

Promethean's Activboard + 2 is an interactive whiteboard that makes learning fun. Designed by teachers, the Activboard reflects the growing trend in visual learning; The idea that children respond to visual stimulation. After comparisons with other products on the market, Albert Park Primary School trialled the whiteboard over a period of two months and found that teachers were able to develop engaging lessons through Promethean's award winning suite of hardware and software.

The Interactive whiteboard comes with many tools that bring lessons to life. The Activboard, where all content is displayed is available in 95, 78 "and 64" sizes with an adjustable height function. Albert Park Primary School purchased 17 78 "whiteboards in total, positioned at the front and center of the classrooms. Di found students were drawn to the whiteboard and managed to focus on lessons with ease.

The battery free pen known as the Activpen, wrists like a pen but functions as a mouse. It is a supplied tool that initiates all the action; Its use also helps the development of children's handwriting and motor skills, a key factor in Albert Park Primary School's selection of the Promethean product over its competitors.

The interactive software means that teachers can create, save and share lessons. The teachers at Albert Park Primary School appear to be enjoying this aspect of the product, as Di highlights the freedom of the flipchart software: 'the flexibility in using the flipcharts makes lessons more accessible.'

The flipchart is like a blank artist's canvas, where the teacher can create a lesson plan that Picasso would be jealous of 'we are more in control of what we can actually do and are not limited by software.'

This is significant for teaching difficult concepts, as complicated lessons can be simplified and then shared among teachers, furthering the possibility of student understanding.

Di has also recognized a shift in the attitudes of her students who are showing a new enthusiasm to learn. Students at Albert Park Primary School relish in the opportunity to use the whiteboard and the tools it boasts.

With its basic suite consisting of the Activboard, the Activpen and the Activstudio lesson creation software, the Promethean interactive whiteboard creates a vibrant and energetic learning experience. Other tools are the Activote, the Activslate, the Activtablet, the Activpanel and the Activwand.

Albert Park Primary School was suitably impressed by the Whiteboard, along with DatacomIT's vast support and experience in this area.

Such an interactive and innovative product will prove its significance over and over again. It will capture and re-capture students and teachers for years to come.

The ELMO iTech Document Camera / Visual Presenter

The Elmo iTeach Document Camera has seen tremendous success in the classroom environment.

The ELMO was selected by Albert Park Primary School to display lessons on the Interactive Whiteboards. Since its implementation the ELMO has managed to project more than just an image or lesson, but a new method of understanding.

A portable alternative to an overhead projector, the ELMO acts to support lessons with its multimedia and interactive capabilities. It produces a large image that can capture moving pictures at 20 frames per second. The camera is positioned above an A3 sized capture area where you can undertake science experiments, present maps, diagrams and handwritten work to students.

'It's terrific, says Di who believes the ELMO compliments the Promethean Interactive Whiteboard,' I use it regularly. Usually I'll draw something on a sheet of paper and then use the ELMO to project it while I'm still drawing or writing on that same piece. '

Teachers can also connect the ELMO document camera to teaching tools other than interactive whiteboards, such as computers and microscopes. Its numerous interfaces (USB, XGA, Video out) and SD memory card availability, means that teachers can generate lessons for their students at home and can re-use and adapt these lessons for classes in years to come.

With the ELMO product new forms of media can be used to reach students, rather than just old videos, DVDs or CDs. Learning becomes a refreshing experience for both teacher and student.

The interactive nature of the ELMO also increases opportunity for more teacher / student interaction; Communication is becoming a two-way experience, rather than the old one-way model of information exchange from teacher to student.

'The general feedback on the Elmo camera from teachers at Albert Park Primary School is very positive' says Di. Their observations include:

1 Increase in pupil concentration
2 Instructions quickly learned
3 Ability to absorb and retain information
4 By enlarging objects, pupil's understanding is improved and academic curiosity is noticeably increased.

Conclusion
The Promethean Interactive Whiteboard and ELMO iTech Document Camera has positioned Albert Park Primary School at the forefront of leading edge teaching techniques.

More time is spent on the learning process itself, involving Kinesthetic Learning with leading educational technologies. Students are generally more interested in the classes where the Interactive Whiteboard and Document camera are used, and get a real buzz from this real time method of teaching.

Successful Investing – Helping Investors Avoid Common Investment Mistakes

The Top Mistakes made by Investors

In my dozen plus years of advising individuals and businesses I have found a number of common mistakes that have derailed even the best laid financial plans. I thought by sharing them I might be able to help others sidestep the pitfalls and the negative impact they can have on your portfolio and long-term financial plans.

1. Failing to establish a time horizon and investing accordingly -

If you have expenses that need to be funded in 3 years or less, you should not be investing the cash for them in the stock market or other risky investments. These monies should be carved out of your investment portfolio (the money earmarked for long-term investing) and invested appropriately in liquid assets such as money market funds or term-certain fixed income offerings. If the money is not going to be needed for 3 years or more, an investment plan should be established based upon specific a time horizon and risk tolerance for these funds.

2. Failing to thoroughly diversify your portfolio -

Many investors know about the concept of diversification and think that by owning different investments, they are diversified. Diversification of an investment portfolio makes good sense on an intuitive level. However, it wasn’t until Harry Markowitz published his model of portfolio selection that this concept became a formalized part of sound investment practice and formed the basis of today’s Modern Portfolio Theory. Beyond this basic concept of diversification, the key to Markowitz’s premise is the revelation that the risk of any investment can be reduced and/or performance increased by forming a portfolio of diverse and non-correlated assets. That is, it is important not just to seek a diversity of asset types, but also to seek assets that have low or near-zero correlations to one another. It’s not about owning different investments; it’s about owning different, non-correlated investments.

3. Letting potential tax implications rule your investment decisions –

Many investors delay selling an investment that has done well regardless of how good or bad the future looks for the holding. Their response is, “I will have to pay taxes if I sell.” By not selling, they set themselves up for not having to pay taxes at all – usually because the investment starts on a decline and their concern switches from “having to pay taxes” to one of “hoping for a turnaround.” Don’t be afraid to take some profits off the table. While taxes are an unpleasant result of investing, I prefer to look at them as a positive sign as it indicates you are making money and your investment plan is working.

4. Buying a stock based upon a “hot tip” -

Too many investors listen to a friend’s advice because he or she always seems to have the next “great” money making idea. They don’t take the time to assess the idea personally and jump in because it’s only a few thousand dollars they are investing. Unfortunately this is not investing – it’s gambling. If you want to gamble, go to Vegas and at least get free drinks, dinner, a show and a room for the risks you are taking. Any investment that is being considered for your portfolio should be thoroughly researched and have passed a comprehensive financial screening scrutiny.

5. Attempting to time the market -

Waiting an extra day, week, or month to try and buy in at the “right price” just doesn’t work. No one can predict the future. If they could they most likely wouldn’t be sharing this knowledge with you for free. Successful investors use time, patience and a disciplined approach to increase the likelihood of maximizing their investment returns – not trying to time the market. If you have done the research and the investment is sound and meets your criteria then buy it, regardless of timing.

6. Failing to regularly reevaluate your investments -

Over time all investment styles, strategies and types fall out of favor. So, like timing the market, it becomes virtually impossible to know what is going to be “hot” in the next bull market and what isn’t. For this reason it is always prudent to stay up-to-date on your investments to insure they are still the same investment that you originally purchased (segment drift and manager changes can be one reason they may have changed). If your investments consist solely of mutual funds then an annual review is a good place to start.

7. Basing investment decisions on emotion -

Maybe the stock market is going through a bad time because of a short-term geo-political or economic event. Stay calm and make an educated, well thought out decisions about what, if anything, to do. Assess whether the event will affect the economy long-term or if it’s just a short-term blip. The best move is often no move at all. If it is a short term incident, many times the smart, prudent investor will make additional investments because the current decline provides them with an excellent buying opportunity. The key to successful investing is to have a disciplined strategy and to stick with it.

8. Cashing out gains and dividends rather than reinvesting -

Once you’ve realized gains or had distributions and dividends paid out, insure they are reinvested back into your portfolio. If you pull out your capital gains, dividends and interest, your money won’t compound as quickly, thereby leaving you with a smaller chunk of change down the line. Letting your investments compound is one of the major tenets of successful investing.

9. Owning too much employer stock -

Many people get over-weighted in employer stock because of options and stock purchase plans made available in today’s competitive compensation packages. While these are great supplements to their annual salary they can put an employee in a position of having too much money invested in their employer’s stock. Additionally, it is quite common for people to invest in “what they know” and what do you know better than the company you work for? To compound the problem many people will add more employer stock to their 401k holdings and individual brokerage accounts. Not only does this create a diversification problem in their portfolio but it also subjects them to excessive single stock risk. A good rule of thumb to follow is to insure that no more than 5-10% of your entire investment portfolio is in any one single stock. If you find yourself in this situation the importance of creating a well thought out reduction strategy cannot be overstated.

10. Following the herd -

The most successful of all investors are moving in the opposite direction of what everyone else is doing. They buy when most are selling and sell when everyone else is buying. By following this simple plan you can preserve your capital and potentially sidestep the next bubble (can anyone remember real estate, internet stocks, and technology growth funds?).

11. Not investing at all –

Somehow in today’s society that Mocha Cappuccino Latte seems to take precedence over saving for the long-term. We are a society who wishes to satisfy the “here and now” rather than the securing our future. The important fact here is that those two are not mutually exclusive. In fact, BALANCE is the key in any long-term endeavor, but by always keeping an eye on the end goal you can make sure it is not out of mind while satiating the here and now.

12. Investing without a plan -

Investing without a plan and lacking the discipline to follow it is a sure way to lower your chances of success. The chances of obtaining any long term goal can be greatly enhanced by creating a strategy, following it and regularly reviewing it frequently enough so it reflects any changes that have taken place since implementation. Many investors start off with a small amount of money and start putting it to work without a plan. As time progresses they find they have a mish-mash of investments in their portfolio with no clear strategy or direction. It’s never too early to invest but it’s even better to invest early with a plan.

13. Taking too little risk -

Some people don’t want to take any risk and cannot stand the volatility involved with risky investments. While it may seem like you are keeping your money safe and secure by not taking risk, it is more than likely you are not because of inflation. If your time horizon is greater than 5 years it is recommended that you have no less than 25-30% in growth investments (i.e. stocks) in your portfolio to ward off the effects of inflation. The actual percentage to own is dependent upon many factors including but not limited to age, time horizon before money is needed, current financial situation, etc. A good general rule of thumb to use as a starting point for the percentage of equity you may include in your portfolio is “120 – your age.”

10 Email Marketing Strategies to Dramatically Increase Your Sales

Email marketing is one of the most profitable strategies available to the online entrepreneur (and offline business owners, too).

Consider this: About 99% of your website visitors will leave without buying anything from you on their first visit. But by creating a great opt-in offer you can at least get their contact details – and then use email marketing to follow up, build relationships, and turn them into paying customers.

And email marketing is by far the BEST and CHEAPEST way to stay in touch with your customers and build rock-solid relationships with them – so they'll buy from you again and again! (This is called the "lifetime value" of your customers, and it's extremely profitable.)

Email marketing just plain works! Just take a look at these statistics from PostFuture:

  • There are now more than 1 BILLION Internet users worldwide – and 90% of them use email.
  • 70% of users receive opt-in email from online businesses.
  • 82% of online buyers have made at least one purchase in response to an email promotion.
  • 32% have made an immediate online purchase in response to an email.

With numbers like these, you can understand why I'm always amazed to hear about a business that STILL has not started to take advantage of email marketing strategies.

If you're stuck for ideas on how to use email marketing to ramp up your profits, here are 10 proven email marketing strategies to get you started …

Email marketing strategy # 1: Develop relationships and establish credibility by offering free information

Sending your subscribers valuable, free information – such as an author eBook – will help them get to know and trust you. Once you've established your credibility, you dramatically increase your chances of converting subscribers into lifelong customers.

You can offer anything from a free report to a free trial version of software … whatever you think your subscribers would like!

Email marketing strategy # 2: Encourage repeat visits by announcing regular specials

Once you've started collecting email addresses, you can send your customers and subscribers regular updates letting them know what your specials are. Sending regular discount offers is a great way to get your customers familiar with you and your site – and turn them into regulars who will buy from you again and again.

Email marketing strategy # 3: Host "Customer Only" events

Suppose you own a restaurant, and you've been collecting your customers' email addresses. You could send each of them an email invitation to an exclusive wine-tasting evening for regular diners only. Rewards like this are one of the best ways to capitalize on the lifetime value of your customers.

If you own an online business, you can set up a special page on your site that is accessible only to customers – and then send them an email telling them how to take advantage of the specials you advertise on that page.

Email marketing strategy # 4: Include promotions in appointment reminders

If you are running a service business, as opposed to a retail business, you can still capitalize on the power of email marketing by sending appointment reminders to your clients.

If you're a karate teacher, for example, you could send your new clients an email three days before their first lesson, reminding them where you are located and when they need to arrive. In that same message, you could include a coupon that offers them 25% off their lessons if they bring a friend to enroll as well!

Email marketing strategy # 5: Follow up with your hottest leads

You can use email to follow up with people you have spoken with personally, but who have not made a purchase. Offer to answer any additional questions they may have, and let them know that you are available to speak with them at their convenience. This can dramatically increase your chances of closing a sale by providing your leads with extra information they're not expecting.

Email marketing strategy # 6: Offer electronic "loyalty coupons"

This is a great way to get your existing customers to buy from you again and again. Simply send each of your customers a coupon that they can print and bring with them into your store or use on your website. It is always a good idea to make your coupons valid for a limited time only to motivate your customers to make a purchase from you as soon as possible.

Email marketing strategy # 7: Send follow-up offers to your customers

Follow-up offers are one of the most powerful ways to build a profitable business. Because they build on the trust you've established to close the initial sale – and turn first-time Buyers into regular customers.

How profitable can follow-up email be? My team once sent our customers a follow-up email introducing them to a product that we thought they might like. The entire process of writing the email and sending it out took about 20 minutes – and the result was a direct profit of $ 74,000!

Email marketing strategy # 8: Encourage "Send to a Friend" referrals

Email is a great way to encourage referrals because it's easy for people to forward messages to their families, friends, and coworkers. Make sure every newsletter, offer, or eBook you send to your subscribers reminds them that they can forward your message to anyone they think might be interested.

You could even run a promotion that gives your existing customers something for free every time they personally refer a new customer to you.

Email marketing strategy # 9: Deliver your product electronically

Suppose you've written a book and you're currently selling paperback copies through your site for $ 29 each. By creating a digital version of your book – which is WAY easier than you're probably thinking – you can simply email it to your customers.

And since you will not have to worry about things like printing costs, warehousing, packaging, and delivery, you can DRAMATICALLY increase your profit margin!

Email marketing strategy # 10: Use email to sell your knowledge and create recurring revenue

If you are an expert on a particular topic – and just about everyone is – then you've got a successful business based on a paid-subscription newsletter waiting to be born.

Of course there are tons of other email marketing strategies you can put to use. And once you realize just how easy it is to use it to drive sales, you'll be thinking of all kinds of new strategies yourself!