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7 Reasons Your Company Should Podcast

by Mike Consol

If you’re still not sure what a podcast is don’t feel bad. You are one of millions of intelligent, informed people who are missing this piece of the New Media puzzle

Having excused you, now permit me to chastise you. All businesspeople should know what a podcast is, especially considering there are tens of thousands of them and their legions of listeners are growing. Podcasting can also be very beneficial to your company or you as a business professional.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First, a few basics.

Podcasts are audio files, mostly composed of people talking and often including music and sound effects. They can be downloaded and listened to on a computer, or transferred to your iPod (hence the “pod”-cast name) or other MP3 player. The vast majority of podcasts are free of charge through iTunes, Podcast Alley and other outlets.

To give you some idea, I subscribe to more than a dozen podcasts that range from audio versions of TV shows such as Meet the Press and Face the Nation to Nation Public Radio interview programs Fresh Air and the Diane Rehm Show, to academic and business programming like the Harvard Business IdeaCast, McKinsey Quarterly Podcast and The Economist magazine.

It’s great stuff that will feed your head and keep you atop modern day events.

Podcasts are convenient because they can be listened to while driving, pumping iron at the gym, hiking, zipping to the office on the train, sitting on your sofa or dozing in bed at night (one of my favorite ways to enter the Land of Nod). It is this kind of flexibility that helps make podcasts so popular.

That’s one of the big advantages audio podcasts have over video – they require one rather than two senses, meaning they don’t require your undivided attention. You can listen to audio while participating in any number of activities. It’s probably not a good idea to watch a video while you’re riding a horse or trying to stay balanced on a treadmill.

All one need do is check out some of the organizations that podcast to realize its value and implications. There’s the legendary consulting firm of McKinsey & Co, accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers and academic icon Harvard Business School. These are sophisticated organizations that don’t waste time on useless activities. Why do these organizations podcast?

Here are seven good reasons.

DISPLAY EXPERTISE. When McKinsey & Co. conducted its annual global survey of business spending on Web 2.0 technologies, it not only released a written report, it produced a podcast consisting of an interview with one of the research report’s authors. Another example is a podcast titled Connecting Climate Change and Economic Recovery, featuring an interview with economist Nicholas Stern. People seek out expertise. Demonstrate it and you will win customers and respect.

DISPLAY LEADERSHIP. Harvard Business School does exactly that with its IdeaCast. The Harvard Business IdeaCast has tackled subjects bearing the following headlines:

>> Use right incentives for Gen Y, Gen X >> Winning in a turbulent economy >> Redesigning health care >> When high performers struggle >> Is executive pay broken? >> The 5 leadership essentials >> Being a good boss in a bad economy

EDUCATE. The Britain-based podcast The Naked Scientists uses British humor and interesting topics to teach people about scientific and technological breakthroughs. It’s an effective and entertaining approach. Some recent subjects were:

>> Where do lost socks go? >> The diseased brain >> High altitude adventures >> Why does water expand when it freezes? >> Catching up with cancer research >> Building bodies and mending broken hearts >> Can you run faster on the moon?

PROVIDE VALUE. Grammar Girl and her brief 10-minute podcasts have become widely popular in part from publicity she has received in magazines such as Business Week. But she has sustained that audience by giving them valuable information pertaining to the proper use of grammar. She makes it fun and easy to learn proper English skills. And who doesn’t want to sound like they didn’t fall asleep in English class?

BRAND YOUR COMPANY. If you’re British Petroleum and you’re trying to position yourself as a forward-thinking company, wouldn’t producing podcasts about clean and sustainable forms of energy help immensely to burnish your image as a company operating in future tense? Podcast about topics that core to the company’s brand.

BRAND YOURSELF. If you’re the brilliant management consultant or life coach you claim to be, prove it with a weekly or monthly podcast with a snappy title. Consider how much credence would be lent to your reputation by podcasts that offer terrific advice and success stories about your own clients? Demonstrate your ability and your podcasts become testimonials.

CONNECT WITH KEY PLAYERS. Imagine you’re a regional bank that wants to reach out to key players in your market. Rather than your standard sales letter or cold call, what if you invited your target to be featured on the bank’s CEO Spotlight podcast? Now the CEO can share his or her wisdom and is likely to be flattered by the invitation. You get a face-to-face interview out of the deal and the start of a personal relationship that could be parlayed into a client relationship. The caveat, of course, is that no one will be interested in subscribing to your podcast unless you provide interesting and educational content. So don’t make the mistake of using it strictly as a relationship building tool. That will bore or offend people and cost you listeners.

About the Author

Mike Consol is president of MikeConsol.com (http://MikeConsol.com), which provides business writing seminars, PowerPoint presentation skills training, Web 2.0 strategies and media training. Consol spent 17 years with American City Business Journals, the nation’s largest publisher of metropolitan business journals.

Five Quality Marketing Gift Ideas

By: Gareth Parkin

man with giftOrganisations and business enterprises these days strive hard to find and choose the best marketing gift that will match with the company products and also win the hearts of their target audience. Marketing gifts are usually selected from the range of useful and practical commodities of daily use and personalised with the company name and message and designed with creativity. There are a wide variety of marketing gifts that companies use to gift their customers and clients.

However, going by the market trends and reviews five quality marketing gifts that are popularly used are jotted down below:

Pens and writing materials: although it is a quite traditional and age old approach to use pens and other writing materials like writing pads, pencils etc. as marketing business gifts, they are popularly used by companies even in this century. The significance and utility of pens is all pervading and is used universally by all age groups and gender. Pens and writing materials are used on a daily basis to serve the very purpose of business marketing.

Calendars: calendars also fall into the category of traditional gifts but their functionality and usage in 365 days a year make them valuable and effective marketing gifts. A calendar with nice, colorful pictures and your company name and brand printed at the bottom remind your user everyday about you and the brand. They also get your contact information and can reach you anytime with ease. Calendars serve as great advertisements to those whom you never gifted but they are associated with the user thus building brand awareness and popularity and attracting new potential customers.

Branded products: many companies prefer using branded gift items and branded products as marketing gifts for getting more visibility and importance in the business world. Instead of using simple ball point pens, they go for branded pens from Parker or Cross to make their marketing gifts distinguished from others and alluring to the customers and clients. Likewise branded caps, t shirts and many other products are used as marketing gifts as a mark of show and prominence.

Gift Cards: use of gift cards are in fashion for the past few years and have proved to be very effective in attracting traffic. Instead of gifting customers and clients with gift items that will be of no use to them and will be thrown in the trash bins, it is much wiser to present gift cards. They can use the gift cards at their own will. Such a gift reminds the users more about the company and the freedom of choosing the gift on his own is liked and loved by all.

Wine and gift baskets: marketing gifts are not only associated with business encounters and business dealings. They are often distributed in the peak holiday season like Christmas and New Year. Many companies make the holidays memorable by gifting their valued customers with gift baskets full of chocolates or candies, dry fruits or coffee and a bottle of wine along with a warm holiday message. Nothing can be better than such a marketing gift in the festive season which brings in warmth, a personal touch and in the long run helps to build stronger business relationships.
For a vast range and variety of promotional gifts and corporate marketing items visit www.ideasbynet.com . You will get a fair idea about which product to use as your marketing gift that will yield you maximum benefits

Marketing gifts are usually selected from the range of useful and practical commodities of daily use and personalised with the company name and message and designed with creativity. There are a wide variety of marketing gifts that companies use to gift their customers and clients.

Gareth Parkin is the co-founder of Ideasbynet, the UK’s leading online source of marketing gifts and supplier of marketing business gifts. He has taken the UK gift market by storm by the application of modern business thinking and the latest search engine marketing techniques. For more details visit www.ideasbynet.com

Provided by ArticleGOLD: Website ContentArticle Directory

The Many Different Forms of Marketing

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Photo by lissalou66
by Katie Marcus

Marketing deals with so many different things, you just cannot simplify it into a single kind of advertisement. I have seen many occasions when I felt a company was attempting to do just that.The time comes around for more marketing material so they immediately fall back on the staples of the industry. They might print off some more brochures or put up some more posters, maybe churn out another TV commercial, write up another radio ad, but they do not go into new territory.

Marketing is anything that helps promote your business, and even that statement can deal with a lot of different things.

For instance, there is what could be considered direct marketing and indirect marketing. A postcard promoting a sale or a brochure talking about how great your services are is going to be a form of direct promoting. It tells people to buy from you and everyone who picks it up knows that it serves no purpose other than promoting.

Now, that is not a bad thing, but it is still exactly what these kinds of marketing devices are.

The next is indirect marketing, where the point is not to tell people to buy from you, but get your brand name engrained in their minds. Calendar printing is often a great example of this style of marketing.

Often when it comes to calendars that companies hand out, they do not directly divulge about their company at all. They will have calendars dealing with natural wonders in nature, or tips for improving something in a person’s life, maybe funny jokes each month. In short, nothing that tells people about how good the company is.

However, there will be a company logo in the bottom corner of every page. You will know when you look at that calendar which company covered the costs of the calendar printing, and that is all it really needs to do. The purpose of direct marketing is often to make your name always close to people, so when they naturally need your services, your name will be there for them to find.

There are so many different kinds of marketing that work well with both of these forms of marketing, and the same kind of advertisement can be interchangeable between the two. For example, a calendar can be more direct in the way it markets. You can have posters, which are very subtle, just as you can have posters that make their point very clear.

Each situation will dictate which kind of marketing you should use for your company. However, to know what the right kind of marketing to use you need to first understand exactly what they are. Figure out whether direct or indirect is the best for your customer base, and go from there. You never want to use the wrong type or you will end up wasting your marketing budget.

Know more about the calendar printing technologies used by businesses for their marketing and advertising campaigns.

About the Author

Katie Marcus writes information about printing company and printing technologies.