Tag: United States

Internet Marketing

How digital continues to influence brand strategy in the travel industry

The travel industry is booming. As of February 2019, it was the second-fastest growing sector in the world, ahead of healthcare, information technology and financial services. There are a number of reasons for this. Millennials are growing in purchasing power—by 2020 their spending in the US alone will total $1.4 trillion annually—and already they spend $5,000 more per year on holidays than any other generation. They also take around 35 days of holiday per year on average.
But the rise of budget airlines has also democratised travel: the Guardian reported in July that at one point in time, you could fly from London Stansted to Düsseldorf for just £7.99—less than a day’s commute in London. This marriage of lower-cost travel and higher-earning young people could only mean one

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Brands and influencers still at loggerheads over campaign control – but progress is being made

How much influence should an influencer have over the material they push? A new study from Takumi has found that half of marketers polled want complete control over influencers’ marketing posts.
The report (pdf, email required), which polled a mix of more than 4,000 consumers, marketers and influencers across the UK, US and Germany, found something of a disconnect between marketer and influencer trust. 86% of marketers polled suggested they trusted influencers, yet Takumi – an influencer marketing platform, it must be noted – suggested brands were likely to ‘stifle results by controlling the creative process.’
Influencers, the report agreed, are facing more scrutiny than ever. When Marissa Casey Grossman (nee Fuchs) unveiled her ‘surprise’ engagement on Instagram in June which was in eventuality a series of carefully-orchestrated stunts pitched

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How To Design Mobile Forms To Boost Conversions

Mobile devices are ubiquitous now.
People use them every day to book hotels, flight tickets, shop online and much more. No wonder there is a constant surge in the number of mobile users and it will increase with each passing year.
According to a report from Forrester’s Retail Wave, smartphones contributed retail purchases of USD $1 trillion in the US in 2018. Because of this, you must consider creating a mobile-friendly user experience so you don’t miss this potential audience.
Mobile forms are a key part of the conversion equation on phones. Be it an eCommerce checkout form or just a signup form. You don’t want users to abandon your website or app because of poor user experience.
In this article, I share a range of effective mobile form design tips that

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Internet Marketing

How Talkwalker is aiming to take social listening to the next level

The marketing landscape today is one where data gathering and customer experience continues to increase at an exponential rate. Brands don’t want the fear of missing out on a good customer review, or a positive mention, or even genuine advice on how to improve their offerings.
In the social Wild West however, finding the golden four-leaf clover amid the field of ill-use and irrelevance is becoming increasingly difficult. Social media monitoring tools are able to collect and filter all the mentions, but the rise of social listening takes things a step further. Instead of collating audience response based on engagement rate and number of mentions, social listening tools promise analysis based on mood for greater insights.
Talkwalker, a provider of social listening and analytics software with offices in the US,

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Deepfakes and distortions, scare tactics and suppression: NYU report examines social and the 2020 US elections

A new report from the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights has explored the various forms of disinformation which could predicate the 2020 US presidential election – and how social media companies need to react to it.
Allegations around interference from Russia in the 2016 elections continue to be prevalent. As the Mueller report put it – and as reported by CNN – Russian hackers compromised local election systems of two Florida counties in 2016. Mueller’s appearances on Capitol Hill in July, as CNN put it, came away with the key takeaway that interference was ongoing. “They’re doing it as we sit here,” said Mueller.
For 2020, there are eight key predictions the NYU report makes:

Deepfake videos will be deployed to portray candidates saying and doing things they

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Internet Marketing

How Video Content Can Help You Boost Your Google Rankings

Google’s search algorithms are inclined to deliver a good user experience. That’s why you need to create content that is authentic, relevant, and valuable to your target audience.
A majority of SEO professionals create and optimize various types of content such as blog posts, infographics, and images to increase their brands’ search visibility. However, one type of content that is quite underutilized in the world of SEO is video content.
Though 87% of brands now use video content as a marketing tool, not many focus on deriving its SEO benefits.
If used effectively, videos can significantly contribute to your overall SEO strategy, in a couple of ways. Let’s see how video content can help you boost your SERP rankings.
Drive more traffic to your website
Consumers enjoy video content. U.S. adults aged 18

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Internet Marketing

How to Sell More on Instagram With Shoppable Posts

How often do people often visit your site?
For you to become successful, you need to rely on web traffic to increase conversions. But the thing is – what if the same people aren’t navigating your site every single day?
In a study about the online shopping behaviors in the US, 40 percent of users purchase products and services online a couple of times each month, while 20% buy every week.
While these numbers are encouraging, you can’t merely rely on your site alone to generate traffic and sales.
You need to utilize other platforms to market your products.
Take Instagram, for instance. It has 500 million daily active users, and approximately 80 percent of those users follow a business profile.
The platform has also become a lot more convenient since the introduction of

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Internet Marketing

Zero likes given: Kahlua’s latest campaign was true to its roots – but portrayed a serious message

Last month, a curious exhibition took place in New York. The photographs showcased would have, by conventional standards, led to the exhibition being a complete dud.
Yet this pop-up showcase, put together by liqueur brand Kahlua and actress Jackie Cruz, proffered to showcase a different form of creativity. The pictures (below) had been uploaded to the ether of Instagram but had not received a single like between them.
For Kahlua, which has long portrayed itself as an ‘un-serious’ brand, the goal was to prick the balloon of solemnity which surrounds social media posting. Take figures from a survey conducted alongside the exhibition; of 1,000 US millennials polled, more than half said they had missed an important moment because they were trying to capture it on social media.
Perhaps more worryingly, three

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Internet Marketing

How Amazon’s ad network fuelled the 2019 Prime Day – and will continue to do so

The richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos, has even more reason to celebrate. Amazon’s 48-hour Prime Day event this year just provided a glimpse of what ecommerce — and most likely, all commerce — might look like in the years to come.
Almost half of online shoppers in the US now begin their product searches on Amazon, compared with 35 percent who turn first to Google. Bezos is also pushing to broaden Amazon’s influence in brick-and-mortar operations, offering Prime member discounts at Amazon-owned Whole Foods markets and the soon-to-be-rolled-out, largely automated, Amazon Go stores.
The latest evidence of the extent to which Bezos has changed the DNA of retail came during the July 15-16, 2019, Prime Day online sales marathon. According to Forbes retail columnist Pamela N. Danziger, last year’s

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Internet Marketing

Who’s taking it to the next level in customer experience? Well… nobody, says Forrester

Amazon may have stolen the crown as the world’s most valuable brand, but who are the companies pushing the boundaries with regards to customer experience?
According to the latest analysis from Forrester, Lexus, Regions Bank and USAA are among the best performing US brands – but nobody is taking things to the next level.
The 2019 US Customer Experience Index ranked brands out of 100, with 75% or above being designated as ‘good’, and 85% or better as ‘excellent’. Not one organisation achieved this latter category, with the industry averages – 74.3 for luxury auto manufacturers, 73.5 for banks – usually equating to slightly above average performance.
A noteworthy outlier was airlines, whose industry average slumped to 61.9 with only three making the cut of 65 or above. Federal government (average

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The age of engagement: Why brands need to interact with customers as individuals

Last month, McDonald’s announced its $300m acquisition of artificial intelligence company Dynamic Yield – a machine learning specialist founded seven years ago – in a rare move for the company. For years the burger giant has avoided acquisitions.
The technology will allow McDonald’s to customise its menu displays based on variables such as weather and the time of day — milkshakes in the summer or McMuffins before 11am.
Dynamic Yield’s technology will also assess McDonald’s customer footfall to suggest food that is faster to prepare when the kitchen is busy, or more elaborate items in quieter stretches. The burger chain, which serves about 68m customers each day from almost 38,000 outlets, plans to roll out the technology at its drive-through locations in the US this year – before expanding it

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Personalisation strategies analysed: Potent brand messages found – if not 100% hit rate

To personalise, or not to personalise? Even though it’s phrased as a question, personalisation may seem more of a proclamation today – and while only half of consumers are actively signing up for a personalised experience right now, the numbers are only going to go up.
The latest study from Periscope By McKinsey, which polled more than 2000 consumers spread across France, Germany, the UK and the US, found brands who were already trusted by users were more likely to be given permission to personalise. Yet not everything is hitting the spot; approximately two in five users overall said most messages they received still felt like mass marketing that ‘wasn’t created with them in mind.’
The material deemed most likely to make it focused around messages about products relating to

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Internet Marketing

Taking personalisation to the next level – from data, to decisions, to design

Today’s shoppers are impervious to mass marketing techniques and expect personalisation that truly reflects their preferences. These were the findings from our recent research, “The Art of Personalization— Keeping it Relevant, Timely and Contextual”, where consumers in all countries surveyed said that most communications they receive still feel like mass marketing messages that weren’t created with them in mind (France 47%; UK 42%; Germany 40%; US 36%).
Despite the fact that shoppers say the vast majority of personalisation messages they receive often miss the mark, however, an impressive number were still prompted to check out an offer or make a purchase. In fact, around one-third of messages received by US (37%) and French (32%) consumers had stimulated them to act, while around one-quarter of messages received by German (27%)

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Internet Marketing

Grad Conn, CXMO, Sprinklr: On changing CMO strategy and the Copernicus effect for customer experience

Grad Conn, chief experience and marketing officer (CXMO) at Sprinklr, is something of a rare breed: a CMO who has been in it for the long haul.
Prior to joining the customer experience management platform last year, Conn spent almost seven years as Microsoft’s US chief marketing officer. Indeed, Conn laughs as he relates the tale of an interview feature he did which riffed on this: “Basically the premise was ‘how did this guy last for seven years?’ What kind of crazy miracle was this?”
Make no mistake though, the CMO’s job is a tough one. It requires the right blend of business savviness, innovation, and technical expertise. As Conn explains, it is a world away from just 10 years ago. “CMOs then were thinking about brand perception, brand preference,

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Internet Marketing

Brian Solis: Digital addiction wounds run deep – but they are being treated like minor cuts

The concept of health when it comes to technology usage is an ever-increasing one – and one where users, brands and vendors need to be equally mindful.
Much of the conversation tends to focus around social or smartphone ‘addiction’, and in particular its effect on younger minds. Yet research on the topic argues that things are a little more complicated. The most recent study, from the University of Oxford, polled 12,000 adolescents and concluded the effects of social media usage on teenage life satisfaction was limited, arguing family, friends, and school life all had a larger effect on wellbeing.
Whether it is through social or otherwise, the smartphone remains a near-impossible temptation to resist whatever one’s age. According to Deloitte’s most recent Global Mobile Consumer Survey, US consumers check their smartphones 52

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How to Create a Successful Business Event

How to Create a Successful Business Event written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Rich Brooks
Podcast Transcript

Rich Brooks headshotToday on the podcast, I visit with Rich Brooks. He is the president of flyte new media and the founder of The Agents of Change conference and podcast.

Brooks created the conference in Portland, Maine to build an event for digital marketers and to get flyte’s name out there as an industry leader. Now in its sixth year, Brooks has learned a lot along the way about creating and hosting successful business events.

In this episode, he shares what he’s learned about events. We cover everything from why a business of any size and in any industry might want to start an event, to how to manage sponsorships, to how to create an event that people are excited to return to year after year.

Questions I ask Rich Brooks:

  • Events are hard. Should all business owners be doing them?
  • How do you create an event that really stands out?
  • How do you get people to attend your event, and how do you get them to come back?

What you’ll learn if you give a listen:

  • Why the three Ss of events (seat, speakers, and sponsors) matter, and how they’re interconnected.
  • What is the role of community building in creating a great event.
  • What makes a great sponsorship for your event, podcast, or content.

Key takeaways from the episode and more about Rich Brooks:

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

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This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by About.US .

Choosing the right domain name is critical to ensuring the success of your small business. Help your business stand out with a .US domain name. Easy to remember, unique, and trustworthy, now is the time to secure the domain name that you want with a .US web address.

We have a special offer just for our listeners. Register your .US domain name for just $1.49 for a full year, plus get access to a free website builder and hosting service for 6 months. To take advantage of this offer, go to www.launchwith.us and use the promo code PODCAST.

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What You Can and Can’t Do When It Comes to Advertising Regulation

What You Can and Can’t Do When It Comes to Advertising Regulation

A modern person is exposed to 5,000 advertisements a day through an array of different media channels.

We can’t imagine spending a day without getting messages or calls promoting any kind of product or service, receiving promotional emails, watching commercials on TV, seeing multiple banners on our favorite websites and seeing targeted ads on social media .

In short, the variety of channels makes it possible for small companies or big brands to have our attention almost 24/7.

While it is a great era for brands and advertisers, there is still a dilemma when it comes to customer protection.

Years ago, when the choice of an advertiser was limited to traditional marketing channels such as radio, TV, and newspapers, it was relatively easy to control what kind of commercials was provided to a large audience. In recent years, advertisements have been rapidly moving to the digital world, and according to Forbes , 2019 will be a year when the spendings on digital advertising pass non-digital.

On the internet, it is a lot harder to control advertisements and how they are targeted. Therefore the subject of advertising regulation and customer protection is on the rise.

Most countries have general guidelines on advertising regulation that prevent businesses from misleading customers with false information or, for damaging the reputation of a competitor. However, there are certain products that might put an individual’s financial well-being or health under risk and therefore, require great care. Considering this, countries have special guidelines and advertising regulation on such products. This includes advertising and marketing financial products and investment services as well as promoting products like tobacco or alcohol. This article will give an overview of the advertising regulation for risk disclosure in promoting these products.

Advertising regulation for financial services

Financial services are one of the most highly regulated industries around the globe. Almost all countries have financial regulators that oversee the financial sector, including the regulatory requirements for risk disclosure in advertising. However, there has been a lot of cases of misleading customers with false statements in advertising. Many of the companies or brokerages that offer financial and investment services mislead customers with false statistics regarding their performance, regulations or return on investments. Therefore, it is important for countries to have a well-designed framework for advertising regulation and for customers to be aware of it to be on the safe side.

Marketing financial services in the EU

The regulatory body that is responsible for fair and proper advertising of financial services in the European Union is the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). In order to ensure the investor’s protection and the safety of their funds, ESMA has made prominent restrictions on marketing certain financial products for retail customers. The companies that provide financial and investment services should have a risk warning that informs customers about the risks associated with the financial services in the clearest way possible.

The risk disclosure should be in a layout ensuring that it is visible, it should be in a font size that equals or is more than the font size of the advertising message. The risk disclosure should be in the same language that is used in communication or published information. Also, a retail client should be given fair information about any relevant skills when referring to any potential benefits that an individual might get from investment service or financial instrument.

When promoting financial services online the risk disclosure must be displayed on the relevant webpages. To put it simply, a person entering a website should understand that the message is important and worth noticing. It should attract attention by the size or a position on the page.

For example, these are the good practices of risk disclosure in the EU:

  • The warning is on a neutral background, the font is easily readable.
  • The size of font occupies a notable portion of the text.
  • Warnings are placed in a way to draw the attention of the reader and remain in their border.
  • On the website, warnings remain in a fixed spot on the screen even if the reader scrolls down.
  • Warnings are repeated on every page.

Warning are repeated on every page for advertising regulation

Some companies and brokers do not follow these rules, therefore one should pay attention if the firms are using a poor practice of disclosure of the risks, which might include:

  • Warnings that are placed outside the main advertisement border and are hard to notice.
  • Warnings that are written in small font sizes or unclear typestyles.
  • Warnings that are not on the website, but are placed in a pop-up box that appears only when the person visits the website first.
  • Warnings that are hard to find as they are located on specific pages such as FAQ, disclaimers, legal information, or terms and conditions.
  • Warnings that are placed on a patterned background that makes them less visible.

Warnings that are placed on a patterned background that makes them less visible for adverising regulation

Apart from this, ESMA has certain rules that must be followed by Forex brokerage firms, for example, disclosure of the information of their customers and the percentage of how many of them have lost their funds. The financial authority also prohibits promoting the status of professional services to their customers and offering different kinds of bonuses (defined as “trading benefits)”. However, some brokerages are still offering these benefits in the EU, and most of them also offer bonuses outside of the EU. You can learn more about XM bonus here to check one of the remaining marketing campaigns that are available nowadays.

Marketing financial services in Japan

As with ESMA in the EU, the Japanese financial authority also ensures that investors are protected and are aware of risks connected to financial services, investments and trading. In order to keep clients well aware of the financial risks connected to trading and investment, companies should provide information that can be classified into four levels:

  1. Actual profit and loss, it can be illustrated in histograms or graphs.
  2. Disclosure of expected degree of risk.
  3. Disclosure of risk management performance.
  4. Disclosure of other information on risk or on risk management.

Usually, the financial providers are obliged to provide this information in each quarter.

In addition to this, promoting welcome bonuses, deposit bonuses or any other promotional bonuses are prohibited in the country.

Marketing financial services in the U.S.

In the United States of America, advertising and promoting financial services is regulated by the Advertising Rule which is under the Investment Advisers Act. As in every country, it is mandatory to have a risk disclosure in the USA as well, which is similar to the one that is in the EU.

However, the advertising rule showcases a mandatory criterion that must be followed by every company that provides financial services.

  • The company must not advertise misleading performance results.
  • It is prohibited to publish and distribute advertisements that employ testimonials.
  • The advertisement should not include specific recommendations that were profitable in the past to any person.
  • The advertisement should not offer a service as “free or without charge” when in fact there is some condition or obligation attached to using this service.

Advertising regulation for tobacco products

For a long time in marketing history, tobacco companies were taking all possibilities to advertise their products through every channel possible, some of which does not even exist today. You would see tobacco products advertised on TV, radio, newspapers and even in cartoons.

Advertising tobacco products around the world for advertising regulation

Famous athletes, celebrities and doctors were smoking on commercials endorsing cigarettes as a great means for relaxation and even for keeping a fit figure. Even more, many of the big tobacco products were claiming that cigarettes were absolutely harmless and were suggested by the doctors and to show how harmless they were – many of the companies featured babies and pregnant women in their advertisements.

Viceroy filter the smoke for advertising regulation

Today, you might consider such advertisements absolutely unthinkable, but it actually worked. During the rise in the advertisement of tobacco products, the number of smokers raised significantly. Thanks to it, tobacco products, that were a thing of a pastime for a gentleman, became a mass consumption product.

However, the crazy times of tobacco advertisements were over when first in 1929 and later in the mid 1950s it was discovered that smoking was not as healthy as doctors in commercials suggested it was. At the time several studies had proven the relationship between smoking and lung cancer. Since then, the powerful and beloved phrase of all cigarette manufacturers “Doctor recommends!” lost its power.

Today, even though people are completely aware of the risk factors of smoking and there is no doubt about the health risks linked to smoking, the number of smokers is still huge. Smoking kills approximately 6 million people each year and is a leading cause of preventable death globally. While tobacco companies have different ways of advertising compared to the previous century, tobacco marketing is considered to be a massive driver of cigarette use around the world. Companies keep spending tens of billion dollars annually to push their products to customers. Many of them are using encouraging words in their advertisements to link certain values to smoking habits and their products – such as freedom, being bold, and thinking out of the box. Some of them try to suggest that their products are less harmful by packaging them using light colors and promoting them with words such as “light,” “low tar,” or “organic.”

The government of different countries are well aware of the problem and are trying to reduce the usage of tobacco. One of the most powerful ways to prevent people from smoking is raising the awareness of risk factors of tobacco usage and regulating how the tobacco companies are showcasing their products. While the idea behind it is the same for all of the countries, they do it differently and hence, in some parts of the world tobacco manufacturers have greater restrictions on marketing their products, and in some countries, they have more space to place their advertisements.

Countries or unions such as the EU have certain advertising regulation about promoting tobacco products. Usually, this framework includes regulating the advertisement of tobacco products and their packaging.

Regulations in  the EU

The EU tobacco advertising directive bans advertising tobacco on radio, print media and the internet. The law also prohibits tobacco companies from sponsoring cross-border events and activities. TV commercials of tobacco products have been banned in the EU since the 1990s and are governed by a different directive – the Audiovisual Media Services Directive. The only space for tobacco manufacturers to advertise their products is cinemas, where advertising is allowed and on billboards or through merchandising. However, some of the member countries of the EU prohibit these means of advertising too.

Regulatory requirements for tobacco usage risk disclosure for advertising regulation

As for the packaging, in the EU it is regulated by the Tobacco Products Directive, that requires health warnings on tobacco and other related products. All packages should include health warnings that cover 65 percent of the front and back of cigarette and roll-your-own tobacco packages. The health warning includes a picture, which illustrates the results of smoking on different organs and parts of the body, text, and information on how to stop smoking. While regulations on e-cigarettes are a bit different from tobacco products, the directive bans promotional and misleading elements on them and on other herbal or tobacco products for smoking.

Regulations in Japan

Regulations in Japan for advertising regulation

Japan has a different approach to reducing the number of people who smoke. Tobacco advertising and promotion are included in but not regulated by Japan’s Tobacco Business Act. To put it more simply, according to this act restriction on tobacco promotion, advertising, and sponsorship are left to industry self-regulation. Hence, there are some restrictions on tobacco advertising but there are no forms of them prohibited by law. The Tobacco Business Act simply calls on advertisers to be mindful when advertising tobacco products not to encourage smoking widely and actively.

The packaging regulation is also not as strong in Japan as it is in the EU, tobacco manufacturers are required to have health warning labels that cover 30 percent or more of the package.  However, as reported, Japan considers increasing the size of risk disclosure on packaging up to 50 percent by 2020.

Regulations in the U.S.

We cannot talk about tobacco advertisements without mentioning the United States of America, where tobacco marketing was flourishing for a couple of years until the negative effects of smoking were confirmed.

Tobacco products advertising regulation started in 1967 when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) determined the Fairness Doctrine. It obliged broadcasters to present contrasting views on matters of public interest, including cigarette ads. Since then, till 1971, cigarette ads were presented alongside anti-tobacco ads. In 1971 cigarette commercials were banned from TV and radio, hence, there was no need for anti-tobacco ads and they disappeared as well. However, smokeless tobacco ads were still allowed on TV and radio till 1986. At the same time, promoting tobacco products in magazines, newspapers, and billboards were still allowed. In 1998, new rules were presented that prohibit billboard advertisements, including cigarettes in cartoons, tobacco brand sponsorships of sporting events and concerts, paid brand product placement and marketing practices that targeted youngsters (under 18 years old). Later in 2006, the law prohibited tobacco companies from using the words such as “light” that fraudulently made customers think that those cigarettes were less harmful when the manufacturers were well aware that there was no difference. Since then, companies cannot put similar words on packages or use them in commercials.

Regulations In the USA for advertising regulations

While there are strict rules for promoting tobacco products through different channels, the rules for packaging is still mild compared to other countries. The law requires that one out of four side panels of a package and at least 30 percent of the front or back side of the package is occupied by a warning, however, these rules are not always followed. There should be a warning on every advertisement as well and should take at least 20 percent of the total area.

Advertising regulation for alcohol

The case of alcohol advertising is pretty much the same as for tobacco. Alcohol advertisements were occupying a big space in media without any proper advertising regulation. Till today, alcohol advertisements are one of the most expensive ones and companies are spending billions to air their commercials or make a product placement. The regulations were brought only in 1995 when the member countries of the world health organization agreed on European Alcohol policy. The policy states that every child and young person has a right to live in an environment that is protected from the negative effects of alcohol usage and promotion of alcohol.

While every country agrees that minors should be protected from the advertisements of alcohol, the regulations on promoting and advertising alcoholic beverages are different in various countries, including the countries in the EU.

Alcohol advertising in the EU

Considering the regulations on advertising and promoting alcohol the countries can be divided into four categories: countries that do not have any restrictions, countries where there is self-regulation or voluntary regulations, countries with partial statutory restrictions (based on time, content, place or audience) and countries with a complete ban.

In the EU the regulations on alcohol advertising are partially statutory and it depends on the content. According to the law, advertising of alcoholic beverages shall comply with all of these criteria:

  • The commercials may not be aimed specifically at minors or show minors consuming alcohol.
  • It should not link the consumption of alcohol-enhanced physical performance or to driving.
  • it should not create an impression that the consumption of alcohol in any way contributes towards social or sexual success.
  • It should not claim that consuming alcohol has therapeutic qualities.
  • It should not encourage moderate consumption or present abstinence of alcohol or moderation of it in a negative way.
  • It should not state in any way that high alcoholic content is a positive quality of a beverage.

Some of the countries in the EU completely ban alcohol advertisements, and many of them allow TV advertisements at a certain time.

Alcohol advertising in the EU for advertising regulation

Alcohol advertising in Japan

There are no particular laws that specifically restrict the advertising and marketing of alcoholic beverages in Japan. However, there are certain governmental guidelines that must be followed by companies in terms of social responsibility. The guidelines regulate the labeling of alcoholic beverages and how they are represented. In addition, companies are required to pay attention to any possible adverse effects on the social environment in advertising of alcoholic drinks in order to prevent minors from drinking.

Japan has adopted self-regulations concerning marketing, advertising, and packaging alcoholic beverages. Which provide detailed rules on how to promote alcoholic drinks. Companies advertising alcohol should fulfill the following criteria when promoting their drinks:

  • The ad should not be aimed or appeal to minors (people under 2o years of age) and/or pregnant women.
  • They should not feature minors.
  • They should not encourage excessive drinking during exercising or coercion of drinking.
  • They must not be about the inducement of alcohol addiction.
  • Should not link alcohol with dangerous activities.
  • Should not show alcohol drinking while driving.

Alcohol advertising in the U.S.

The United States has a similar self-regulatory approach to promoting and advertising alcoholic beverages. The regulations are under the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (FAA) by the Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) hosted by the Department of the Treasury. Advertising alcoholic drinks are categorized into three main categories: Malt beverages and beer, wine, and distilled spirits. The requirement of information included in a commercial differs depending on the class of the beverage. The advertisement should provide the following information:

Malt beverages and beer:

  • The class that the product belongs to, for example, ale, lager and etc;
  • Name, address, city, and state of the advertiser.

Wine:

  • Type, class and distinctive designation that the certain wine belongs to, for example, white or red wine, champagne, sparkling wine and etc;
  • Name, address, city, and state of the advertiser.

Distilled spirits:

  • The class and the type of a certain product, for example, vodka, flavored spirits, Whiskey, etc.
  • Alcohol content as a percent of volume.
  • Name of commodity and percentage of neutral spirits (if applicable).
  • Name, address, city, and state of the advertiser.

Alcohol advertising in the US for advertising regulation

In addition to this, there are certain criteria that need to be followed when advertising alcoholic beverages. The generally prohibited practices for alcohol advertising regulation include:

  • Using statements that are misleading, untrue or false.
  • Showcasing a competitor in a negative way or being disparaging about a competitor.
  • Misrepresenting standards, tests or analysis.
  • Indecent or obscene designs, representations or statements.
  • Falsely stating the health benefits of alcohol consumption.
  • Claiming that alcohol is made, sold or marketed under federal or state regulation.
  • Claiming that malt beverages or wine contain distilled spirits.
  • Using the word “pure” when advertising distilled spirits if the word is not referring to a specific ingredient.
  • Using statements that are not consistent with approved labeling.

Summing it all up

As you can see, each country has its own approach to advertising regulation and risk disclosure. They differ according to the environment in the country and respond to the needs of the residents.

While in some countries and unions the regulatory approach on advertising can be similar, as it is about promoting alcoholic beverages, for some products such as financial products and tobacco it can be different. However, all of them are put in place to protect people from consuming the products that can be harmful to their health or can damage their financial well being.

In any way, knowing what the advertising regulations for risk disclosure are will help you make the right decision and keep a safe environment for you and the people around you.

Guest author: Konstantin has been in marketing and advertising since 2011. After leading marketing efforts of one of the largest financial brokerages and an innovative b2b fintech company, he decided to go solo and is now focusing on consulting financial companies on how to drive the best results from their digital marketing efforts. Next to this, Konstantin has been showing interest in the recent regulation of the most competitive industries – finance and iGaming. Stalk him on Quora  or connect via LinkedIn to learn more. 

The post What You Can and Can’t Do When It Comes to Advertising Regulation appeared first on Jeffbullas’s Blog .

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The Proven Formula For Generating B2B Leads on Autopilot in the eLearning Industry

The Proven Formula For Generating B2B Leads on Autopilot in the eLearning Industry

eLearning is booming , with no sign of slowing down…

People want access to information and learning on demand.

Not in a month’s time when the next conference is on or when the next corporate workshop is planned.

As a society we’re impatient – and if we need a new skill, we need it now, and we need it on our own terms.

eLearning is the Netflix of personal development, it’s the Uber of corporate training initiatives. People can choose their own pathway for development and take lessons all from the comfort of their home.

For businesses that provide eLearning solutions, the biggest opportunity lies with corporations where you can sell programs and software to hundreds or even thousands of employees at the same time. Rather than fighting for every single sale, you can focus on the big-ticket clients and truly scale up the profitability of your business.

In 2017, corporate training expenditure in the United States grew by 32.5% . Basically, organizations are investing more in learning and individuals are seeking better and more flexible access to learning. It’s the perfect intersection for B2B eLearning solutions.

But, how do you generate a consistent flow of B2B leads in the eLearning space without burning out your sales team?

The answer is Inbound Marketing.

Bonus #1: Download a detailed PDF checklist that contains the exact steps to take in order to carry out this lead generation process

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound Marketing is a term popularized by marketing software tool HubSpot . The general idea of this concept is that you attract people to your business by first providing value – predominantly through content – rather than bombarding them with outbound sales messages. Once you have a prospect’s attention, you then engage with them via marketing automation and lead nurturing tactics, before delighting them as a customer of your business. The concept is depicted visually below:

eLearning - B2B leads - image 1

Instapage Founder and CEO Tyson Quick does a great job of summarizing Inbound Marketing in this video:

Why use Inbound Marketing in the eLearning industry?

While Inbound Marketing is an effective lead generation strategy in many industries, it’s especially powerful in B2B environments, and even more acutely suited to the eLearning industry. Here are two reasons why:

Trust and credibility

Perhaps more than any other industry, eLearning is built on trust, credibility, and expertise – be it perceived or otherwise. Companies are putting the achievement of their employee’s goals, ambitions, and career aspirations in your hands. So you need to instill confidence in these people that you are the right company to facilitate this journey.

Given its foundation of helpful content production as a way of attracting leads, Inbound Marketing is custom-made to build trust with naturally skeptical people.

Think about it for a moment, are you more likely to buy something after seeing a banner ad for a business you have never heard of before, or from a business that has gone above and beyond to provide valuable content that has helped you achieve something? It’s a no-brainer.

Cost-effective

When compared to traditional forms of digital marketing, such as cold advertising, inbound is far more cost-effective. Instead of running cold ads to people who have never heard of your business previously, you can remarket to those that have consumed your content. There is already a base level of trust in this situation which reduces your ad spend.

As well, by creating content that is evergreen in nature, you build assets that will deliver you leads today, tomorrow, and next year. Evergreen content can be created once and continue working for your business well into the future as it accrues organic traffic from search engines and social media channels. You are investing in content assets, rather than spending money on ads that will stop running as soon as your budget dries up.

How to use Inbound Marketing to generate B2B leads on autopilot

When it comes to generating B2B leads on autopilot in the eLearning space, here is a 5-step process you can follow. The inspiration for this process has been drawn from the eLearning Industry’s Always-On Conversion Engine (ACE) methodology for Inbound Marketing.

Bonus #2: Watch this free video on how this process works in practice, with real-life case studies and results

Step 1 – Research

It’s tempting to jump straight into creating content aimlessly without any direction. Sure, it may feel like you’re doing something to progress your goals, but in reality, the wheels could be spinning on the spot.

To get the most from your Inbound Marketing efforts, you need to start by researching your ideal customers, competition, industry trends, search engine keywords, and opportunities for brand growth.

Before getting started with your research, you should remember that your inbound marketing strategy must be very specific to your target audience so you can address their specific pain points in a more exact way. In order to build a successful inbound marketing strategy, you should focus on targeting the right buyer personas who will maximize your digital marketing ROI.

Armed with the information from this research process, you can then create an editorial calendar of content ideas that align with your objectives.

Step 2 – Create

According to the Content Marketing Institute , producing engaging content is the biggest challenge for inbound marketers:

eLearning - B2B leads - image 2

Basically, being successful with Inbound Marketing is not as easy as publishing a few blog articles and hoping for the best. Creating content is time-consuming and is far too easily pushed to one side by busy employees.

The thing is, you don’t have to publish every other day to get results from Inbound Marketing. In fact, most eLearning businesses won’t have the time, resources, or know-how to make this kind of content production happen. After all, you’re not a publishing business!

Instead, look at your inbound strategy as a project. Based on the research you have done, create a complete editorial calendar which targets your buyer personas. This will help you increase your Marketing ROI , without wasting your resources, money and time on less valuable audiences and topics.

Your editorial calendar should include 8-10 extensive articles per topic, use case or persona targeted, that will describe all aspects of your specific topic and buyer personas. By publishing high-quality, enjoyable content that is relevant to ongoing conversations in your industry, you can demonstrate your knowledge and authority.

You will write about the pain points your buyer personas face and how they can overcome them using your solution. This process will also help you progress your readers to the next steps of the buyers’ journey. A proven technique is to combine your focus keyword and your buyer persona in the title and text of your articles. That way the readers of your articles are unlikely to deviate from your target audience.

Regarding the content creation, a success factor of your editorial calendar is whether the articles you create will be search engine optimized and easily re-purposed into other formats like eBooks. So, the next step, after your article creation, is to repurpose the articles into an eBook. That way you will have the chance to turn your readers into leads by getting valuable information for them, such as their name, business email, their company, and their purchasing authority among others.

Finally, the last step to further nurture these leads, but also to create another conversion point for interested parties, would be to use the main outline of the ebook and summarize it into a webinar deck.

Step 3 – Promote

A fundamental mistake many would-be inbound marketers make is to focus all of their energy on creating content and neglect the distribution and promotion aspect of the process. One study found that as little as 15 cents of the dollar are spent on content promotion when compared to 85 cents that are spent on content creation . If you want to get serious with inbound, consider flipping this equation on its head.

Effective content promotion is about finding a third-party B2B eLearning publication where your ideal buyer audiences are active online and developing a systematic and repeatable way to access those people when you publish content.

Step 4 – Convert

Put simply, if someone ‘converts’ on your website, they have taken the specific action you intended them to. This is usually an exchange of value. For example, they may give you their contact information in exchange for the eBook I discussed in Step 2.

Those that part ways with their contact information are now your leads because you have permission to communicate with them again in the future – ideally turning them into a customer.

Here is an example of a white paper being used in this way by eLearning Industry:

eLearning Industry: ebook example

Step 5 – Close

The final step of this Inbound Marketing process is the close. It’s when you turn a warm lead into a paying customer. When it comes to eLearning, one of the highest-converting tactics is to run a webinar. It makes sense in this industry because a webinar is essentially a live preview of the product you are selling.

It makes sense in this industry because a webinar is not only a live preview of the product you are selling but more importantly, a webinar is an opportunity to interact with people that have downloaded your eBook, in a live manner. When someone downloads an eBook, you really don’t know how much of the eBook they read, if any at all!? With a live webinar, you can qualify leads more deeply by monitoring their activity.

For example, you can use an intake form to select a few more critical data points, run a poll during the webinar, and foster a conversation during the webinar by taking cues from the chat/Q&A. This makes the experience much more interactive and full of insights, just like a normal sales call would feel.

The beauty of hosting a webinar is that you can record the session, use the recorded version to nurture future leads, and generate sales on autopilot.

Here is an example of a webinar sponsored by eLearning Industry and presented by Jon Graves eLearning Industry’s VP of Sales and Brittni Kinney Ratliff, VP at Influence & Co.:

eLearning Industry: webinar example

Want this process done for you by eLearning Industry? Find out more here.

Wrap

With the rapid growth being observed in the eLearning industry, the opportunity for fast customer acquisition is more prominent than ever.

However, with so much opportunity comes increased competition too. So you need to be smart about the foundations you lay for your lead generation objectives in the long-term.

Creating an Inbound Marketing engine that generates B2B leads on an ongoing basis without significant intervention makes a lot of sense. It’s cost-effective, and perhaps even more importantly, it reduces the trust gap between your business and its cold prospects.

The thing with inbound is that it takes time to bear fruit. So the sooner you start, the quicker you will see rewards.

What’s holding you back?

Want this process done for you by eLearning Industry? Find out more here.

The post The Proven Formula For Generating B2B Leads on Autopilot in the eLearning Industry appeared first on Jeffbullas’s Blog .

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Transcript of Creating Exponential Growth Through Hard Work, Not Magic

Transcript of Creating Exponential Growth Through Hard Work, Not Magic written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

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John Jantsch: This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing broadcast is brought to you by Gusto, modern easy payroll benefits for small businesses across the country. And because you’re a listener you get three months free when you run your first payroll. Find out at gusto.com/tape.

John Jantsch: Hello. Welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch and my guest today is Brad Sugars. He is the founder and chairman of ActionCOACH , and the co-author of a book we’re going to talk about today, Pulling Profits Out of a Hat: Adding Zeroes to Your Company Isn’t Magic . Welcome back, Brad.

Brad Sugars: Hey, buddy. Good to be back, good to chat again.

John Jantsch: I’m a little disappointed in the title of this book because you claim that it’s not magic, and aren’t we all just looking for magic?

Brad Sugars: It was funny. I sat down with a buddy of mine at lunch about two years ago, and he says to me, “It just seems like magic the way these companies like Ikea, and Amazon, it just seems like magic the way they all keep growing and stuff.” I sat there and I said, “You don’t really believe that do you because, you know, magic is just a system as well. Magic is just a methodology of getting a result that looks like accidents. It’s just a system that people follow right behind it.” I think that he looked at me weird, and I looked at him weird. I said, “Do you know what, I’m going to write a book on this,” and so here we are two years later.

John Jantsch: I think you hit on a really good point. I think a lot of companies that do things, not household named company, I mean any company that you look at from the outside, and it just you use magic, or whatever term you use. I think sometimes magic, or genius, or growth it involves so many things that we don’t see, or don’t understand. I think the really great companies just make it look easy, don’t they?

Brad Sugars: Oh look, I think that the greatest of anything, any greats in anything, sport, acting, music, business, you name it, the greats make it look easy. My wife makes it look easy running our house with five kids and all of these things going on and stuff. That’s not that easy. It’s tough.

Brad Sugars: But, I think what we found in writing Pulling Profits is that when you look at businesses that are having real growth, and I mean exponential year-on-year growth, you notice something about them that is just different to other companies. It starts with that mindset of it is possible to have that level of growth.

John Jantsch: Let’s unpack that term because I was going to ask you about it because you use it throughout the book, this idea of exponential growth. I mean how is that different from year-over-year growth?

Brad Sugars: Well let’s think about this, so we go into most business scenarios, and you chat with the average business person, and they’re sitting there saying, “Well you know, what we’re looking for here is we’re looking for 20% or 30% growth.” My first challenge to all of them is, “Well, what about 10 times, 20 times, 30 times growth?” They look at you like you’re very weird. Multiplication growth is different to percentage growth. It’s like, “Well, how would we do that? What would have to happen in order for us to do that?” That’s where just that mental change just has to be there for a person to actually understand it. Probably the best example is that… Do you remember the movie, what was it called, The Founder, The Ray Kroc movie? Did you ever see that one?

John Jantsch: I did not.

Brad Sugars: I use the example of that because it shouldn’t have been The Founder. It should have been The Finder. Ray Kroc came along and he found this business, the McDonald Brothers. The McDonald Brothers were looking for annual growth, percentage growth. Ray Kroc comes in, and looks at it differently and say, “Okay, how do we put this on every street corner in America, and eventually every street corner in the world?” It’s looking at it from a different perspective.

Brad Sugars:  For me as an entrepreneur, right, I mean I just bought a company down in Melbourne, Australia. It’s a commercial cleaning business, and one down in Houston, Texas, a property management company. I look at them and they’re amazing businesses with a singular office. They do phenomenal things, great marketing, great sales systems, good culture, all of that sort of stuff. However, at no point are they considering opening up across the US, or across England, or across the world for that matter, and so it’s really just starting with that mindset, I guess, of exponential growth.

John Jantsch: Well, and you used the word mindset. For a lot of people they can’t ever get past this because they won’t allow themselves think that way.

Brad Sugars: I got to tell you buddy, it’s scary to think, okay, what if we went for 10 times, or 20 times growth and missed it? At least at 30% I’m safe. There is no real risk. All I got to do is work a little bit harder, a little bit more, push my people a bit better, train them a bit better, get a few more customers. Do you know what I mean? It’s that safety march. But, when we go and see companies that are growing exponentially, and we start seeing that level of just domination of a market very quickly, people sit up and go, “Oh, I don’t think we could do that.” Well yeah, you can, but there is a systematic methodology to it.

John Jantsch: Let’s talk about this word profit. I think one of the things that drives a lot of company is that bottom line mentality. That to reach for 10 times sometimes means maybe you won’t make a profit, or worse maybe you’ll have to kill the profit you’re already making because it’s going to require you to do things differently. You actually take profit on, and say maybe it’s not the sacred cow that it used to be.

Brad Sugars: The interesting thing is that what we look at in most business today, and this is where big business I guess has had this understanding for a long time, it’s the value of the company that we’re looking to build not necessarily the immediate profit of the business. Small business unfortunately lives with a day-to-day profit mentality rather than what’s the value of the business we’re building?

Brad Sugars:  Now, in the beginning I know with all of my small businesses when I first started out we needed that profit. We needed that tomorrow because if we didn’t have the profit we weren’t bootstrapping our way through, so I get that whole philosophy. But, I think that where we’re looking for profit, profit can be defined differently as we go forward in business today. Profit can be defined in retention of employees. It can be defined in retention of customers. It can be defined in how we add value to the community that we’re a part of, so there is many different ways to look at it, and within the book we go through the five main constituents and how you build, so that each of them actually gets a win.

Brad Sugars: Absolutely, I’m an accountant by training. The bottom line has still got to be there. You got to have that profitability for valuation. You’ve got to have that profitability to fund growth to do all those things. That’s an interesting debate, my friend, and I’m sure that we can continue it for years and years.

John Jantsch: Well, it’s interesting. You mentioned, and you talked about it in the book, the companies that do what you describe, pulling profits out of a hat, adding zeroes, do meet a win for all these constituencies. Do you find that companies that do that, do that intentionally, or maybe that’s just built into their mission, or who they are, or what they believe, and then it happens, or does it have to really be something that you sit down in a room and say, we’re going to do XYZ?

Brad Sugars: I personally think it’s about planning it because a lot of the companies we look at when it comes to matching the five constituencies, the five core disciplines, and when I look at the five core disciplines in the average organizations what I start to see is they’re pretty good at two, three of them. But then in the other two areas… And it normally depends on where the CEO or where the C level execs are strong. If they’re real strong in that people side of the business then obviously they’re going to have a fairly strong mission, and people development, and that sort of thing. It’s really a balancing act, my friend. I think that some people naturally stumble across it, but in most cases it’s a planned growth strategy.

John Jantsch: Let’s name them, strategy, business development, people, execution, and mission. I think you hit on a really good point. A lot of founders, solopreneurs, they start a company, they’re good at strategy, or they were great marketers, or they’re good at execution, and there is probably not too many human beings that are just wired to be good at all five of those disciplines, so how do you bring them all together?

Brad Sugars: It’s interesting because now through this book we’ve now developed a program for businesses to do that. What we find though buddy is this, and if I can spend a minute defining each one in a moment, but what we find is this, that in a business where the C level execs all just keep hiring other C level execs like themselves, or with an owner who hires people like themselves, very quickly the business leans in one direction. The differentiation of people is a core to a great team, and that’s a big part of it.

John Jantsch: Everyone loves payday, but loving a payroll provider that’s a little weird. Still, small businesses across the country love running payroll with Gusto. Gusto automatically files and pays your taxes. It’s super easy to use, and you can add benefits, and management tools to help take care of your team and keep your business safe. It’s loyal. It’s modern. You might fall in love yourself. Hey, and as a listener you get three months free when you run your first payroll, so try a demo and test it out at gusto.com/tape. That’s gusto.com/tape .

John Jantsch: We will come back maybe in the course of doing this, or you can outline them all, but one of the things I found interesting, most people start with mission. I’m not saying you necessarily put these in order, but I found it interesting that mission was the fifth of the disciplines.

Brad Sugars: If I’m going to start with a business, the first thing I look at is strategy because without strategy the business and how it delivers… And I’m not talking about are we using Facebook advertising? That’s a tactic. A strategy is the core of the business. Let’s say I went into the music business. I can go into the music business and I can be a drummer in a band. I’m still in the music business, or I can be Spotify, or iTunes, or something like that, or I can be right in the middle and be in a music production house, or something. Do you know what I mean? The strategy within which you attack it.

Brad Sugars: Even if you take iTunes, you go back to Apple’s strategy, their original strategy of make a computer sell a computer, they had to change strategy otherwise they were going to go bankrupt. Steve Jobs becomes a brilliant strategist and goes away and runs Pixar, learns leverage, which is one of the four components to strategy as well as learning great management, and leadership skills, comes back to Apple and says, “Hey, we got to get out of this make at once sell at once business,” and so he went into the music business where… And even more genius than me, Steve Jobs never make a song and sell them forever. I mean my definition of leverage is do the work once, get paid forever. If a business has to fight against leverage, if it’s getting a customer once and then they have to go and get another customer the next time, these are some of the things that fall under strategy.

Brad Sugars: Scalability falls under strategy. If a business today has to have human interaction to make a sale then its scalability factor is limited. We look at how Uber took out the human factor from the taxi business. Instead of having to make a phone call to a person who then dialed out and got another person to answer the phone call and then Uber goes straight through technology, no human interaction, boom, got the sale made. That’s how they can scale so fast.

John Jantsch: Do you know what’s interesting about that example is that technology was available to Yellow Taxi, but they choose not to employ it because it was going to shake up the status quo, and consequently they’re struggling now.

Brad Sugars: Well, the MP3 player was invented by Sony who is one of the biggest music companies in the world. Now, they’re paying 30 cents on the dollar to Apple to sell every song they make on a machine they invented, so just because you… That’s where execution comes in, I guess. That’s one of the five disciplines as well.

Brad Sugars: But also mission, I go back to mission because you mentioned that, and I think that one is really important, and whether it’s fifth, or… Because here’s the thing about the five of them, if I go into a company that’s really good at mission, and really good at say people, and execution, but its business development is struggling then it doesn’t matter what order we put them in because every business is different.

Brad Sugars: Apple, again, another success story on mission because mission is all about the word love in my opinion. Do your customers love buying from you? Do your staff love coming to work? In the days of the lowest levels of employee engagement we’ve seen in a long time, or maybe it’s just measured today, and it wasn’t always, we sit here thinking how do we get our people to love coming to work, and how do we get our customers to love buying from us, not just enjoy it, and not just buy from us because we’re cheaper, or we got better marketing, but because they love doing a transaction with us?

John Jantsch: Yeah. I think one of the things that’s tough for a lot of companies is some of these things, some of your disciplines require investment that maybe doesn’t drop to the bottom line, at least not immediately. I mean we all know it does.

Brad Sugars: Yeah.

John Jantsch: You’re happy engaged employees drop to the bottom line whether, or not they’re making a sale. I think that isn’t that one of the challenges for a lot of people? I don’t want to say it’s a leap of faith, but it’s a hey, we’re going to invest in mission and in people, and those may not immediately make a sale.

Brad Sugars: Yeah buddy look, for many years investing in my team, and investing in the humans in my business because that’s if you look at the discipline of people and try, and describe it real quick it’s how you build your people determines how they build your business. And if you don’t build your people then don’t expect them to… You can’t expect people to outperform their training. Let’s just make it that blunt.

Brad Sugars: I remember as a young man going to my dad, I think I was about 20, or 21, and I said to him, “Dad, I just can’t get good people. I can’t hire motivated good people.” He looked me dead in the eye and said, “Son, you get the people you deserve. You’re an average manager running an average business. The highest caliber of employee you should expect is average.” I’m like, “Hey, thanks dad. That was really, really great advice,” and it was. At the time, it stung like anything. I mean it was like thanks, wow.

Brad Sugars: But, what I’ve had to learn and what a lot of people have to learn is that if you don’t build your people… I mean how you recruit, hire, train, induct, mentor, manage, lead your people today determines where your business is at tomorrow. The longevity of business is all about building great people who build great businesses. I think that whole section of the book is quite eye-opening for a lot of people about how they want to build long term.

John Jantsch: I think it really comes down to how the leader of said business views those disciplines because there are a heck of a lot of business owners that I talk to that still think marketing, or business development in this case is a cost and that people are a cost as opposed to an investment.

Brad Sugars: I love that you bring that up because you and I every day agree on this wholeheartedly. The reality of marketing is if you’re doing it wrong it is an expense. If you’re doing it wrong it’s the dumbest thing you can ever do in your business, but if you’re doing it right it’s the world’s best investment, business development, your sales, your marketing, your customer service. I love that you use the word discipline now with me because we put it in this book as a discipline of business development and [inaudible] five disciplines because it’s not something you got right once and then you can just let it run. Your sales team needs to be trained daily, and brought up to speed daily because the markets shift.

Brad Sugars: I was with someone the other day and I said, “Tell me, do your customers know more about your competitors than your salespeople?” He said, “Oh, probably.” I said, “Well, then you’re out of business.” He looked at me and said, “What do you mean?” I said, “Well, if I’m a customer and I know the benefits of your competitor better than your sales people do, you can’t sell me. I can sell you, and what I’m selling you is that you can’t help me,” so yeah. I mean I wrote that whole book, Buying Customers, to teach entrepreneurs and executives about the whole principles of how much money you need to invest to buy customers.

John Jantsch: Does what you’re outlining in, Pulling Profits, change the role of the typical leader?

Brad Sugars: Dang buddy, that’s a tough question. I don’t think it changes it. Actually, I’ll give you an answer that I got. I was in Dublin last year giving a speech. She was a fun one because before me was Lady Michelle Mone who is a baroness and after me was Sir Richard Branson, so it was like the lady, the convict, and the lord. Sending an Australia up between a lady and a lord is funny. But, I got offstage, shook Sir Richard’s hand. He went up and did his gig. There was a question for him that said, “Have you had to change your management now with millennials?” He said, “No, we’ve always done good management.” I thought about that for a minute. To answer your question, does it change, no, it just requires you to actually do it. A great CEO, or a great entrepreneur will cover all five disciplines. I think that’s probably the simplest way to answer it.

John Jantsch: My follow-up to that really is, and I’m sure you hear this sometimes, it’s going to continue to evolve, it’s not… none of these disciplines are static as the company changes. I mean how do you keep this alive and fresh and engaging because it… I mean let’s face it, it’s exhausting to constantly be juggling all five of these balls?

Brad Sugars: Yeah, so is parenting. I got five kids. Juggling that is the same, I guess. I think it comes back to a very simple understanding and that is that do you remember Bill Gates did an interview many years ago where they said to him, “Are you every worried about somebody?” He said, “Listen, there is a kid in a garage somewhere and trying to put Microsoft out of business.” He was right, but it was two kids in a dorm room, Lowrie and Sergei, and they almost got him.

Brad Sugars:  The point behind that is that, that’s what I love about business. I love the fact that it’s always changing. I love the fact that it’s always growing and stuff. I can wait and follow, but the problem with imitation, or following someone else is that you’re second. The view don’t change too much, second, or third, but imitation doesn’t get there, so you’ve got to fall in love with the fact that you’ve got to keep growing and changing. I think the greatest execs and entrepreneurs do love that about business.

John Jantsch: Brad, where can people find out more? Obviously, at actioncoach.com , but also about the book itself?

Brad Sugars: The book, they can jump on pullingprofits.com , or any great bookstore, buddy, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, you name it. It’s sitting on their shelves I’m sure, and they’re selling them for me, or they can jump on any of the social media platforms. You’ll find me on Insta, and Facebook, and LinkedIn, and You Tube, and all those, probably not Pinterest, no you won’t, actually definitely not Pinterest. I’m not that crafty.

John Jantsch: One of those things I meant to point that I forgot, one of the things I love in chapter six you show each of these disciplines we’ve been talking about. You actually had an assessment for us, so we can not only fully, or more fully understand the discipline, but also measure where we are in that. I love books and resources that do that because I think in some cases maybe we learn better by doing that kind of assessment.

Brad Sugars: Yeah, it’s interesting. When we sit with businesses, and they fulfill that assessment they start to really understand a bit of a benchmark as to where they’re at versus other businesses not just within their own realm because sometimes the challenge is we can’t see the forest through the trees. We might think, okay, we’re doing great at the people as a discipline, but then we go and do the tests and we realize, hang on, we’re not keeping up where the market is today.

John Jantsch: Yeah. It’s hard sometimes to… You get really lulled to sleep sometimes in your own business, and it really does take a look outside to, or somebody else, a third party come looking in to help out.

Brad Sugars: Hence, ActionCOACH, buddy. That’s probably the reason why ActionCOACH is still around for that exact reason. It’s hard to see what’s in your own business.

John Jantsch: Pulling Profits Out of a Hat, co-authored by Brad Sugars. Thanks, Brad. Hopefully, we’ll catch up with you sometime out there on the road.

Brad Sugars: Hey John, great to be here. By the way, anyone listening to this for the first time please subscribe. I love what you’re doing, John. I’m really a fan of all of the podcasts. Thanks, buddy.

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Transcript of Finding Hope and Happiness in a Pessimistic World

Transcript of Finding Hope and Happiness in a Pessimistic World written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

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John Jantsch: This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by ZeroBounce, an email validation system that integrates with all the major ESPs to make sure, hey, your mail doesn’t bounce. Check it out at zerobounce.net .

John Jantsch: Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch, and my guest today is Mark Manson . He is a speaker and a blogger at markmanson.net and the author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck and the new book, Everything is F*cked: A Book About Hope . Having thrown my PG rating out the window, I want to welcome you, Mark.

Mark Manson: It’s good to be here, John.

John Jantsch: There is a Mark Twain quote that I love, and when I quote people, I end up paraphrasing. I never get it right, but he advised writers to every time they were tempted to use the word really or very to substitute the word damn because your editor would strike it out, and your writing would be so much stronger, but not so much anymore. Huh?

Mark Manson: Apparently not.

John Jantsch: I’d like to think of these more as concepts than words, but I was walking by… the use of this language anyway. I was walking by an airport bookstore the other day, and there’s an entire section now that I think maybe you started of people using F with some variation of asterisks. With all the issues going on in the world now, is cursing become trifling?

Mark Manson: I guess so. Honestly, I’m fascinated by it too. Clearly, I’ve created a brand, and a bunch of people are jumping into it and copying it, but there seems to be something about vulgarity that the shock value in it or the emotional charge in it that people are getting really excited about for whatever reason.

John Jantsch: Yeah. Well, it might have something to do with some sales that you’ve accomplished as well. Last time I looked, and I’m sure you have it more accurate, but I think I saw somewhere 8 million plus copies of The Subtle Art… Do you have any sense of why that book exploded?

Mark Manson: I think it’s a combination of things. I definitely think part of it’s the title. It definitely grabs your attention, but I also think… I sometimes call my brand of self-help a pessimistic self-help. It’s a personal development that is less about, “Oh, we can achieve anything.” It’s more just, “Humans suck; let’s try to suck a little bit less.”

Mark Manson: I think there’s something about the last few years that I think people are just feeling incredibly pessimistic, and there’s a cultural moment that’s happening where we’re becoming very aware of our own pessimism, and so for whatever reason, my style of writing, my titles, everything, it’s really catching that wave right now.

John Jantsch: Yeah and for those who have… the handful of people who have not read any of Mark’s work, you’re very funny. You tell great stories that are very engaging, and so it’s actually very easy to read. What I enjoy the most is you’re reading along, you’re reading along, and then you just zing us. It’s like in this newest book, the How to Start Your Own Religion, I was like, “Wait a minute. What? Is that… ?”

John Jantsch: I wasn’t sure if you were kidding or not for awhile, and that’s what I love about your style of writing, but I’ve got a really hard question for you.

Mark Manson: Sure.

John Jantsch: Not everybody sells 8 million books. What has that done to your life?

Mark Manson: Oh, well, it’s made my bank account a lot bigger. It’s funny, I was on another podcast recently, and they were like, “Wow man, so tell it. Come on, tell us what’d you go out and buy?” I was like, “Uh, I bought a Nintendo.”

John Jantsch: Well, here’s the reason I asked that. Obviously, it swelled your bank account, but I don’t get the sense-

Mark Manson: Sure.

John Jantsch: … that you’re a person that necessarily seeks fame and seek it or not, you’ve gotten it.

Mark Manson: Yes. Yeah. It’s funny. I don’t think it’s changed my life a whole lot. I tell people that I think being a famous author is the perfect mix because your work is widely known and appreciated, but people don’t really recognize you on the street or if you go into a restaurant or anything, so you don’t really get your privacy invaded a whole lot. I wish I could give you a really exciting answer, but I don’t think it’s affected that much.

John Jantsch: You mentioned the last couple of years seems like it’s been a rough patch. I think every generation probably thinks that theirs has been the worst time in history. Do you find that to be true? I mean you look at some of the divides going on, particularly in the United States right now, and I feel like they’re historically bad. I know you’re an avid researcher. Do you think that that’s the case?

Mark Manson: I do think you’re right. Every generation does because every generation, whatever problems face that generation, are completely new and unexplored. There’s a little bit of I think a sense of specialness that comes with each generation. What is interesting about today is that the level of pessimism or I guess just hysteria that’s going on is not relative to how well we’re doing economically. Our economies are booming; we’re safe; we’re not at war, we’re not being bombed by anybody. There’s not riots in the streets.

Mark Manson: Usually, the type of pessimism that we see right now is accompanied by some sort of massive, tumultuous thing that’s going on. For whatever reason, today it’s not. I just thought that was really peculiar, and that was one of the starting points of the new book is basically if everything’s awesome, why are we so upset all the time?

John Jantsch: How does admitting we’re all gonna die let us live a better life?

Mark Manson: I think facing one’s mortality is a big principle in my work, and it’s one thing I’m constantly trying to make the reader more aware of, I guess their own insignificance. I think while it’s a downer, I think it has a very liberating effect in that it’s only by thinking about one’s own death that we’re able to really get good perspective on what’s important in our life.

Mark Manson: If I start asking myself questions like, “Well, if this is the last year I’m alive, would I still be doing the same thing I’m doing?” that presents a lot of clarity for the decisions that I’m making and helps us avoid traps and falling into habits that we wouldn’t be happy we had in the long run.

John Jantsch: There’s some… Viktor Frankl, certainly… You have a story about Auschwitz in the book, and Viktor Frankl I think was in Auschwitz?

Mark Manson: Yes.

John Jantsch: Eli [Wiesel] was in Auschwitz, and I think… I can’t remember which one of these said this, but that the opposite of love is not hate. It’s indifference. Hope is in the title of the book, and you talk about the opposite of happiness is hopelessness. How do we wrestle with that?

Mark Manson: I wrote a book about hope because I think, again, coming back to this pessimism that’s pervading everything today, I wanted to investigate what it is about modern life that is making it so difficult to have a clear vision of where we want to go in the future. I think happiness gets discussed a lot, and we all want to feel good, and that’s great and everything, but really it’s at the end of the day, we need to have some sort of hope for something greater for that happiness to ever emerge.

Mark Manson: If we’re not able to construct that vision of something greater for ourselves, then we just end up in despair. If we’re angry or we’re sad or we’re anxious or upset or something, that at least implies that there’s hope of something greater. But if we just feel hopeless then that implies that there’s no vision for any sort of improvement.

John Jantsch: I believe at least that a lot of people have hope when they feel they’re in control of their situation. You basically tell us that self-control is an illusion, and that we all pretty much just have to accept our fate. Maybe I’m paraphrasing, but I read that.

Mark Manson: Well it’s not that we don’t have any control over ourselves. It’s that our… First of all, I agree with you that a lot of hope is rooted in a feeling that we have control over our fate. Chapter two is called self-control, is an illusion. The point of that chapter title is that we actually have far less control than we think we do, and we perceive ourselves to have total control over our lives.

Mark Manson: Anybody who’s tried to start using their gym membership or maybe cut something out of their diet quickly finds out that you have less control over your behavior than you typically would like to admit.

Mark Manson: The whole chapter simply discusses why don’t we do the things we know we should do? Why do we seem to have such a difficult time acting on all of the stuff that we want for our lives, that we know is good for our lives, but just for some reason, we can’t peel ourselves off the couch or whatever? It turns out our minds are kind of a messy place, and there’s a little bit of an art to getting ourselves to act the way that we would prefer ourselves to.

John Jantsch:You know, email is still a very important marketing channel, but it’s gotten harder to get in the inbox. Even if people that want your email. ZeroBounce is an email verification system that will validate your opt-ins. Check them out at zerobounce.net . They integrate with all of the major services that you might be using already, like Mailchimp or HubSpot. Check them out zerobounce.net .

John Jantsch: My favorite part of that chapter is that you told a little story about Tom Waits, one of my favorite singer-songwriters. Old 55 changed my life.

Mark Manson: I love Tom.

John Jantsch: One of the things that I see frequently, particularly, you get to a certain… You’re not living on the streets. You got a nice job. You’ve got a nice house. You’ve got a nice car. We go out of our way to make sure that we don’t do anything that’s uncomfortable. A lot of people anyway. You talk quite a bit about not necessarily the need to suffer, but the benefit of suffering. You want to unpack that a little?

Mark Manson: Yeah. I think in this discussion of why have we seemed to be so [inaudible] pessimistic today, I spent a couple chapters talking about comfort and talking about pleasure and avoiding pain. Essentially, the short version is that I come to the conclusion that the same way we need to… our muscles need to be stressed and strained a little bit on a regular basis to grow and improve and maintain health, I think our emotional and our psychological “muscles,” so to speak, need a certain regular amount of stress and strain to also remain healthy and robust.

Mark Manson: My fear is that so much of the 21st century world is built around convenience and immediacy and instant gratification that we’re not getting those reps, where part of our mental health is essentially just atrophying from a lack of regular exertion.

John Jantsch: Yeah, I read somewhere… I can’t remember actually who the author was, but, and there may be some physiological benefit to this, but you’ve talked about taking a cold shower in the morning, and the benefit of it was that you were going to suffer some right off, beginning of the day, and that was going to then set the benchmark for the whole day. Again, there may be some actual physiological benefits too, but he was talking more mental.

Mark Manson: Yeah. I think there’s a lot to be said. I think the same way 50 years ago we discovered… nutritional science started to figure out like, “Oh hey, you can’t eat cupcakes every day. That’s bad for you,” it’s, I think, we’re starting to discover just in the last few years that some habits that we have, whether it’s phone usage or social media or where we get our information, has the same effect on us mentally.

Mark Manson: I think there needs to be an informational diet in terms of making sure that we’re challenging ourselves, challenging ourselves intellectually, but also challenging our own beliefs, challenging a lot of our assumptions about our relationships in the world and things like that, and that we need that to a certain degree to maintain a healthy and balanced psychological worldview.

John Jantsch: I wonder to what degree we can blame mobile devices and social media for people being so freaked out lately?

Mark Manson: I think this is a hot, hot topic right now, and it’s funny cause there’s a lot of data that shows a lot of really scary stuff. Then there’s a lot of data that shows a bunch of nothing, and the jury’s out, but my sense is that social media is probably only really bad in very large doses or for very young people. That seems to be the most clear pattern amongst the data on social media.

Mark Manson: Interestingly, I think the smartphone thing might actually be a bigger culprit here. I think it’s the constant instant access to everything you want that actually creates more psychological issues and emotional issues than necessarily Facebook.

John Jantsch: I remember when I was growing up, like all kids, “Mom, I’m bored,” and she used to say, “Well, good. You should be. You need to be. It’s healthy.” Now, we we just can’t allow ourselves that moment of boredom, can we?

Mark Manson: Yeah and there seems to be with that unwillingness to be bored a little bit, there also comes this lack of attention, lack of focus, and also this… I think it causes us to be a little bit more emotionally volatile than we would be otherwise.

John Jantsch: I am a big fan of Thoreau’s writing, and I love this quote from… I’m not sure actually where it appeared, but we ignore the God inside us in an effort to venerate the God that would not exist without us.

Mark Manson: Hmm.

John Jantsch: You take on religion a little bit, or at least the organized fashion of religion as a little bit of a, I don’t know if you want to say enemy, but as something that also freaks people out.

Mark Manson: Yeah. It’s funny the… There’s a chapter on… You can’t really write a book about hope without writing about religion, and so I’ve avoided touching religion for pretty much my whole career, but I felt like this book was finally the place to do it. I have a couple of points about religion. One, first of all, I’m an atheist, but I’m not necessarily… I definitely am not super critical of traditional religions themselves.

Mark Manson: I think there’s a lot… I understand why people believe in them and a lot of the benefits and meaning that they get from them. For me, the points I wanted to make with that chapter is one, I don’t think there’s actually… It’s actually the opposite of atheism, which is that I don’t really think it’s possible for us to not behave religiously to some extent.

Mark Manson: You know, even if you don’t worship like a traditional God or go to church, you’re still buying into certain groups and belief systems largely on faith, that they are important, they matter, and that they’re going to make the future better. They provide hope for you. Anytime you buy into this set of belief systems or set of constructs on faith, you end up creating alliances with other people who share those values and then also defending those beliefs against other people. I cast a very wide net in terms of how I define religion.

Mark Manson: Something as simple like something… political parties, sports teams, even being a fan of a TV series, these can all be religious experiences in that there is a mythology that we are putting our hopes in, and then we are organizing ourselves around those hopes together and finding meaning in them. It’s a fundamental human behavior. We all do it, but as with every human behavior, it has a lot of benefits, but it also has a lot of costs.

Mark Manson: A lot of people just over the years and a lot of people… I’m always being emailed by [various] religious people, saying, “Well, X book that defines my whole religion said a bunch of this stuff before you did.” My approach has always been like, “Well, of course it does, because this is just how the human mind works.

Mark Manson: The reason these religions have been around so long is that they manage to help orient people very well towards the world. It’s a little bit of a trippy chapter, and I’ve definitely lost some readers over it, but I’ve been prepared to make that sacrifice.

John Jantsch: I thought we were just going to lose the Catholics, but now we’re going to lose Game of Thrones fans and The New England Patriots fans all in one shot, one chapter. Great.

Mark Manson: We’re probably better off without them.

John Jantsch: The political messages today seem to be everything is screwed up, and it’s not your fault. It’s them. I think that that mentality seems to be at the root in some ways of all this discontent.

Mark Manson: Yep, absolutely. One of my big goals with this book… Because one of the things that surprised me and made me very happy about the success of Subtle Art was that I had very, I have very large fan bases on both sides of the political spectrum and especially, in 2019, there are not many people who are able to speak to both sides without being skewered in some way.

Mark Manson: I very consciously wrote this book to speak up to both sides at once and say, “Hey, it’s not ‘them’ that are causing the problems. It’s us. We are the problem. There’s nothing special about that person you hate or that person you hate. It’s us. This is a cultural issue, and we have to come together to solve it.

John Jantsch: The final chapter, you talk about AI, and I think you even go as far as calling it “the final religion,” when I read that… I’m into technology. I like to know the new things going on, but the further I got into that chapter, I couldn’t decide if I was hopeful or if that actually caused despair, the idea of that.

Mark Manson: Yeah. It’s-

John Jantsch: I couldn’t tell really where you were coming down on that.

Mark Manson: I think I’m strangely… I’m in a very weird spot with AI. I think most people, there are people who are I guess terrified of AI, who think that AI is going to overthrow the world order and we not make it out alive. Then there are AI utopists who think that AI is going to… we’re going to merge with the AI, and everything’s going to be amazing, and we’re going to solve all of our problems.

Mark Manson: The reason I called it the final religion is because essentially, all of these other issues that we struggle with today on all these other places, all these other places that we try to find meaning, once once general intelligence surpasses human intelligence, it’s gonna render all of these other questions either obsolete or it will advance them so quickly that we’re not going to be able to keep up.

Mark Manson: I felt like it was a natural end point. As much as it’s blindsided a lot of readers, I felt like it was a very natural end point for the book, and I personally think AI’s probably going to render us obsolete, but I find that to be very hopeful because, for one, I believe morality is very much based in rationality. I think the best aspects of ourselves come when we are able to sit down and think and be compassionate.

Mark Manson: If the AI surpasses us in intelligence, then it’s probably going to surpass us in its understanding of morality as well. One of the points I make in the book is look, we’re the ones who commit genocide. We’re the ones who beat and abuse and enslave each other. We don’t really, in terms of an ethical argument about AI, we don’t really have a leg to stand on.

Mark Manson: If this greater force comes along that we’re no longer able to comprehend, and they start organizing a world in which a lot of these religious conflicts and us versus them dichotomies fall away, then I think that better for everybody, even if we’re not the ones in charge anymore. I’m like this misanthropic AI supporter.

John Jantsch: Then there are those that would argue that it could actually amplify those things that you talked about as opposed to making them go away. I guess that’s the challenge with any technology.

Mark Manson: It is; it is. It could amplify, and it could amplify up to a degree, and then I think once it surpasses us, maybe it comes back on the other side. The other thing I wanted to explore in that chapter that I haven’t really seen talked about anywhere is that traditional religion emerges from mystery. It’s when humans don’t understand something, we come up with a lot of, I guess, supernatural explanations.

Mark Manson: It’s like if you dance this way, then it’s going to rain next week. I really enjoyed exploring this idea of once AI takes over, we’re not going to have any idea what the hell is happening anymore. Cars are going to show up and drive us somewhere and drop us off at a building. There’s going to be people there, and we’re not going to know why any of this stuff is happening.

Mark Manson: In a weird irony, we might start returning to a lot of this religious behavior of cavemen and stuff. It’s like, “Oh, well if you wear this shirt, the AI gods will will put favor on you, and they’ll take care of your family. Be sure to say this when the car comes.” I don’t know. For some reason, I think it’s hilarious, but a lot of people have emailed me and been like, “Dude, that is dark.”

John Jantsch: Yeah I didn’t find it dark. I think the word you said, mysterious. It just really shows that it could be a different world, which maybe-

Mark Manson: I-

John Jantsch: … is unsettling to some.

Mark Manson: I think it will be. All of this joking and the religious talk aside, I think it really is going to be a different world, and I think it’s going to be different in such a way that we can’t really comprehend what the issues and divisions are going to be when it comes.

John Jantsch: Mark’s books can be found pretty much anywhere. In fact, I have a… This is a personal question. Many of my listeners may not care about this, but I noticed your recent book, Harper brought it back out in paperback and hardcover at the same time. Was there any thought in that?

Mark Manson: Well, they’re doing this thing. It drives me crazy, man. They do these things called Harper Luxe, and it’s basically large print editions. They’re paperback, but they’re large print editions, so it’s like 500 pages. The fonts are blown up really big for people with poor eyesight.

Mark Manson: Amazon keeps categorizing them as paperback even though they’re these special editions for people with bad eyesight, and so people keep buying them thinking that they’re the paperback. Then they show up, and they’re these big fat like 600-page books with giant text.

John Jantsch: I’ve got another funny story for you on my first book published 2007 by Thomas Nelson who is now owned by Harper or they’re all owned by each the same company probably, but my first book, they had very few edits, but one of them is they wanted me to take the word crap out of the texts, so I thought you would enjoy that.

Mark Manson: Wow. How far we have come.

John Jantsch: Mark, it was a pleasure meeting you in this format and learning your thoughts and deeper thoughts on your writing, and people check out Mark’s work. As I said, the books are sold pretty much anywhere you can buy a book, and you might want to follow markmanson.net . Any other places you want to invite people?

Mark Manson: No, that’s it.

John Jantsch: I did it all. All right. Awesome. Mark, thanks so much. Hopefully, we’ll run into you out there on the road sometime.

Mark Manson: All right. Thanks, John.

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Duct Tape Marketing

Internet Marketing

Why A Small Business Needs A Responsive Website

Why A Small Business Needs A Responsive Website written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Responsive websites are a necessity in today’s digital marketplace. That isn’t surprising when statistics state that 51% of time spent online in the United States took place from a mobile device, rather than a personal computer. Your website should be mobile-friendly and responsive any time a user visits. Otherwise, you’re turning business away at the first click.

What is Responsive Web Design?

Though it is a common business marketing term, many small business owners still wonder what a responsive website really entails.

A responsive website, aptly named, means that the site’s web design has been developed to adapt and respond to the different forms of technology that your audience uses to view your site.

If you’ve ever opened a website on your mobile phone that seems to have you scrolling horizontally more than vertically, leaving you piecing together cut-off sentences and large photos, you’ve viewed a website that is not responsive. On the other hand, a responsive web design ensures that your visitors have a seamless experience while on your small business’s website.

What Are the Benefits of a Responsive Website?

Strategic business marketing includes many tactics to help your small business reach your goals, both online and offline. Responsive web design is a key tool, offering many valuable benefits to your online marketing efforts.

Faster Web Pages

Countless statistics indicate that internet users’ attention spans are becoming increasingly short, with more distractions than ever pulling your audience away from your site. With responsive web design, your site will be optimized. Optimization and faster webpage loading times mean that your website users will be able to more easily navigate your site, rather than getting frustrated and clicking away.

Higher Conversion Rates

With easier navigation and shorter loading times, website visitors are more likely to stay on your website and find information easily. Once your visitors are able to find your services, they are much more likely to decide on contacting you. Furthermore, a responsive web design ensures that your website remains consistent and recognizable for return customers who are using different devices to find more information about your business.

SEO Ranking

Undoubtedly, you’ve heard the term SEO. Though the term can seem vague at times, the important aspect of SEO to remember in terms of your web design’s responsiveness is that Google prefers those who have a mobile-friendly and desktop-version of their site. Even better, if your site can configure to all the tablets, large phones, and everything in between, your website will be ranked even higher in search results. Better SEO means better traffic to your website!

Less Website Upkeep

Rather than choosing a responsive web design, many small business owners choose a website with a mobile version and a desktop version. A problem arises with that solution. With the changing sizes of mobile phones and tablets, only two versions of a website prove to be a challenge. With a responsive site, an optimal layout is available for any screen size, thanks to fluid grids . Less time spent updating the sizing and layouts to keep up with technology trends means more time on what you do best!

Determine Marketing ROI More Efficiently

A responsive website provides an additional benefit to your small business’s analytics and reporting. Rather than managing multiple versions of a website, a responsive site allows you to track your audience, conversions, and traffic sources much more simply. Similar to Google awarding you through better SEO ranking, Google Analytics now caters to the responsive web design model to deliver consolidated information that gives you the whole picture on your marketing results.

A Unified, Memorable Brand

One of the key benefits of a responsive website is the ability to design one site that is applicable to all internet users. As a result, a single design delivers your brand’s look, personality, and voice in a unified fashion. Though this may seem surface level, business marketing best practices indicate that a unified brand builds loyalty and recall , which then directly converts to repeat customers.

Effortless Business Marketing

At Outreach Local Marketing, we believe that with a responsive website, your small business will be a marketing machine! Our process for website development centers around Google best practices, taking keywords, SEO, social media, and content into consideration. In the end, our goal for your responsive web design project is to create a website that ensures your business is putting your best digital foot forward. Forty percent of internet users have stated that they exclusively search on their mobile phones, so don’t let your small business fall behind the times!

About the Author

David Gersh is the founder and president of Outreach Local Marketing , a digital marketing agency based in Westlake Village, CA. Through his agency, he helps local businesses build a marketing machine that attracts leads & customers by implementing a strategy first marketing approach.

 

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Duct Tape Marketing

Internet MarketingMaking Money Online

ClickBank Demystified: Listing Your First Product

As Paypal limits some online marketers’ accounts, there’s been a resurgence of interest in selling products via ClickBank.

ClickBank takes the payment for you, deals with taxes and basically acts as a middle man between your product and customers.

Perhaps best of all, ClickBank has 100,000 active affiliates, any number of which might promote your product.

In return, ClickBank charges 7.5% plus $1 of every sale. Of course, you could potentially recoup this money by charging a slightly higher price.

If you want to sell affiliate products that are listed on ClickBank, you simply sign up as an affiliate, choose a product and start promoting your affiliate link.

As an affiliate, be sure to stay within ClickBank’s promotional guidelines, found here:

support.clickbank.com/hc/en-us/articles/220376687-Promotional-Guidelines

But what if you want to sell a product on ClickBank? Then what do you do?

As with anything, the first time you list with ClickBank, the process might seem somewhat complicated and difficult. But from experience, once you’ve listed your third or fourth product, it becomes quite easy.

 

Here’s how to list a product with ClickBank:

1: Have your product ready.

ClickBank has a set of product guidelines to follow, which you can find here:

support.clickbank.com/hc/en-us/articles/220199588-Product-Guidelines

Open a ClickBank account if you don’t already have one.

2: Create a Sales Page

You must have your own website to sell a product through ClickBank, and that includes your own web hosting and registered domain name. You cannot use a free site to sell products through ClickBank, nor does ClickBank offer hosting for web pages or assistance in building pages.

ClickBank calls the sales page, “The Pitch Page.” This is where you describe your product and convince visitors to buy it. When customers click the payment link, they are taken to a ClickBank order form.

Your Pitch page must include all of the following:

  • A detailed description of the product.

  • The cost of the product.

  • For recurring billing products, be sure to clearly state all the details of the rebill schedule, including the number of times a customer is billed, and how frequently they will be billed. For example, you should say, “Your initial charge will be $19.95. You will then be charged $9.95 per month for the next 11 months.”

  • The file format of your product, as well as any particular software or operating system required to use it (e.g., Microsoft Word, Adobe Acrobat, etc.).

  • If your product is only useful to customers in a particular geographic region or country, be sure to say so.

  • How the product will be delivered (e.g., direct download, via email, etc.).

  • How long delivery will take (e.g., immediate, 5 minutes, etc.).

  • For recurring billing products, explain how the product will be delivered, and how often. For example, if you sold a monthly newsletter, you could say that it will be delivered by email on the 1st of each month.

  • To ensure your use of a ClickBank trademark does not mislead consumers as to any sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement by ClickBank of your company, products or services, you will need to add a disclaimer to your Pitch Page(s) and Thank You Page(s). Here is the necessary disclaimer:

ClickBank is the retailer of products on this site. CLICKBANK® is a registered trademark of Click Sales, Inc., a Delaware corporation located at 1444 S. Entertainment Ave., Suite 410 Boise, ID 83709, USA and used by permission. ClickBank’s role as retailer does not constitute an endorsement, approval or review of these products or any claim, statement or opinion used in promotion of these products.

You also need to add the ClickBank Trust Badge to your page, as explained here:

support.clickbank.com/hc/en-us/articles/220376827-ClickBank-Trust-Badge

Make sure you have a copy of your script if you are using a sales video, since ClickBank might request it if the video is shorter than 15 minutes, and will definitely request it if your video goes longer than that.

HOT TIP: You can submit your script to ClickBank prior to recording your video, by sending it to compliance@clickbank.com. This way ClickBank will inform you if you need to make changes prior to making the recording.

Also make sure your Pitch Page adheres to the guidelines found here: www.clickbank.com/important-guidelines-for-clickbank-vendors/

3: Add your ClickBank Payment Button

You need to generate and add your own payment button that will send customers from your Pitch Page to the ClickBank site to pay for the product.

This isn’t difficult – just customize a line of HTML and add it to your website in the appropriate place.

Here’s how to do it:

support.clickbank.com/hc/en-us/articles/220364087-Creating-a-Payment-Link

4: Test Your Payment Button

Before you submit your product for approval, you’ve got to place a test order as though you were a customer. This way you know that all of your links are working.

But to make the test purchase, you must use the test credit card details that ClickBank provides to you. You can no longer use a real credit card for this step.

To make a test purchase:

  1. Log in to your ClickBank account.

  2. Click the Vendor Settings tab.

  3. Click My Site.

  4. In the Testing Your Products box, click Generate New Card Number.
    This creates a credit card number, expiration date, and validation code you can use to place test orders. This card information will be valid for 24 hours, after which time it will expire and will no longer be usable for test orders.

  5. Take note of the credit card information.

  6. Go to the Pitch Page for the product you want to test, and click through the payment link, which should take you to the ClickBank order form.

  7. Enter information into each field of the order form. You can use any address information you want, but enter the test credit card details you created.

  8. Verify the information on the order confirmation page. Click through to download your product, which should take you to the correct Thank You Page URL for the product you are testing.

5: Create a Thank You Page

The Thank You Page appears only after a customer makes a purchase. In addition to thanking the customer, the thank you page must also include the following information:

  • Customers must be able to reach you if they have a question about your product need technical assistance after the purchase. Please include an email address, a link to your email address, or a contact us link on your Thank You Page.

  • A reminder to the customer that their credit card or bank statement will show a charge by ClickBank or CLKBANK*COM, rather than a reference to your specific product. This reminder should be prominent, as customers sometimes request refunds because they forget that ClickBank is handling the purchase.

  • Clear instructions on how to download or access the product, or information on how and when it will be delivered to them.

  • To ensure your use of a ClickBank trademark does not mislead consumers as to any sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement by ClickBank of your company, products or services, the following disclaimer needs to be at the bottom of any page with a ClickBank reference:

ClickBank is the retailer of products on this site. CLICKBANK® is a registered trademark of Click Sales, Inc., a Delaware corporation located at 1444 S. Entertainment Ave., Suite 410 Boise, ID 83709, USA and used by permission. ClickBank’s role as retailer does not constitute an endorsement, approval or review of these products or any claim, statement or opinion used in promotion of these products.

6: Designate a HopLink Target URL

If you want to take advantage of ClickBanks’ affiliate network, you’ll need to specify a URL where affiliates can send potential customers.

This URL is the “HopLink Target URL.”

Typically, the HopLink Target URL is the same URL as your Pitch Page, though not always.

To designate a HopLink Target URL, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your ClickBank account.

  2. Click the Vendor Settings tab.

  3. Click My Site.

  4. Click Edit to the right of the Marketplace Information section.

  5. Enter your HopLink Target URL in the top field.

  6. Enter Marketplace Information (see below).

7: Enter Your Marketplace Information

This is the information a potential affiliate will see when they are searching for new products to promote. An accurate and compelling Marketplace description will help affiliates find your product and convince them to promote it for you.

Here’s the information you’ll need to enter:

  • Marketplace Category and Subcategory – The category and subcategory in which to display your product. 

  • Marketplace Title – Your site or product’s title in the marketplace. This can be up to 70 characters long.

  • Marketplace Description – A description of your site or product. This can be up to 250 characters long.

  • Commission Rate – The base commission rate you will pay to affiliates if they successfully send a buying customer to your site.

  • Affiliate Tools URL – If you have created a page with tools for your affiliates, such as copy, graphics, or recommendations, enter the URL here.

  • Affiliate Support Email Address – If you have an email address through which affiliates can contact you with questions or concerns, enter it here.

  •  

8: Complete the “My Products Information” section

This is information about your product such as the location of your Thank You Page and your retail price.

  • Log into your ClickBank account.

  • Click the Vendor Settings tab.

  • Click My Products.

  • Click Add New Product.

  • In the Product Type field, select One-Time Digital Product.

  • Enter the Product Details:

    • Product Category – The category of the product.

    • Item Number – Each product in your account must have a unique item number. This value can include letters, numbers, and dashes.

    • Product Title – The product title that should be displayed on the ClickBank order form. This field is limited to 70 characters. This title does not appear in the ClickBank Marketplace.

    • Language – The language in which the product is offered.

    • Image (Optional) – The image displayed on the order form for the product. You can select any approved image that you have uploaded.

    • Pitch Page URL – The URL where you will offer the recurring billing product to your customers. This might be the same as the HopLink Target URL on the My Site page.

    • Mobile Pitch Page URL (Optional) – The URL where you will offer the product to customers on mobile devices.

    • Max Purchase Quantity – The maximum quantity available for a single purchase.

  • Enter the Product Pricing and Commission information: 

    • Product Currency – The currency with which customers can purchase the product.

    • Product Price – The price the customer pays for a one-time product. This price must be at least $3. If you are using a currency other than US Dollars, the price must be worth at least $3 according to the current exchange rate.

    • Commission – The commission percentage an affiliate receives for the sale of a one-time product.

  • Enter the Product Delivery Details. You must provide at least one delivery option:

    • Digital Product Upload – You can upload a single file here to have it delivered by ClickBank. If your product includes more than one file, you must deliver it through your Thank You page instead. See the Digital Product Upload article for more information about this option.

    • Thank You Page URL – The URL where the customer is taken after purchase, which provides instructions on how to retrieve the product.

    • Mobile Thank You Page URL – The URL where a customer using a mobile device is taken after purchase, which provides instructions on how to retrieve the product.

  • Click Save Product.

9: Request Product Approval

Before you can begin selling your product via ClickBank, it needs to be manually approved by ClickBank’s Business Services. Once you’ve completed the steps above, submit a product approval request by doing the following:

  1. Log in to your ClickBank account

  2. Click the Vendor Settings tab.

  3. Click My Products.

  4. Locate the product to be approved.

  5. Request product approval by clicking the Submit Product Approval Request icon in the Actions column of the product listing.

  6. Fill out the Request Product Approval form.
    The contents of this form vary based on the product type.

  7. Verify the information. If the information is accurate, check the checkbox indicating that the listed information is accurate.

  8. Click Submit Product Approval Request at the bottom of the form.
    The system will assign a status of Approval Requested.
    A member from ClickBank Business Services will review your site and product information to determine if it will be approved or disapproved.

    • If approved, the system will update the product status to Approved. You can then begin to sell the product to customers.

    • If disapproved, the system will update the product status to Disapproved. You can modify the product to resolve any issues and resubmit it.

You will typically receive the results of your request within three to five business days via email.

10: Pay the One-Time Activation Fee

Yes, there is an upfront free to selling on ClickBank. It’s $49.95 for your first product, and $29.95 for each product thereafter.

When your product is approved, you’ll receive instructions on how to pay this activation charge.

Note: To get the discounted rate on future products, you must include a note in the “Comments” section of the first product approval request you submit from the new account, stating that you would like the discounted activation fee for your new account and including the nickname of your first account or the receipt number of the initial activation charge payment.

11: Begin Selling Your Product

Yeah! You’ve finally made it to this step.

Again, it sounds like a lot of work to get a product on ClickBank. But some of this – making a sales page, making a thank you page, creating a payment button – are things you would have to do no matter how you make sales.

Here are a few more tips to make your ClickBank product a success:

Add a Product Image

Once you’ve completed your product listing, you can add a product image. When this image is approved, it will appear on the ClickBank order form for that product.

Remember, products with images – including virtual images – tend to convert better than products without them.

Attract Affiliates

Create an affiliates’ page that provides additional information, images and resources to potential affiliates.

These resources help you to control your branding, and also make it easier for affiliates to promote your products.

Provide Customer Service

Just as always, you’ll need to answer questions about your product and help customers as needed.

Encourage customers to come to you first, if they have any issues or problems, rather than going to ClickBank.

This is especially important for refunds, since ClickBank will refund, no questions asked.

It’s better if you can find out why they want a refund, and then perhaps offer them something else in exchange, rather than a refund, as discussed elsewhere in this issue.

And there you have it – listing a product on Clickbank is perhaps a little more work than listing it on your own.

Then again, they ClickBank system is nearly foolproof. Make it through all the steps and your sales funnel will work.

And you won’t have to deal with VAT taxes, state taxes or Paypal suddenly limiting your account.

And perhaps best of all, you do get potential access to 100,000 active affiliates.

If only a tiny handful of those active affiliates love your product and promote it hard, you can literally earn a six figure income from one product.

Mike Geary wrote the book, “The Truth About Abs” and sold it on ClickBank for $47, starting in 2005.

Between sales of the book, his related membership site and affiliate products he promoted to his list, he was clearing about a million dollars – per MONTH.

Who knows… maybe you’ll be the next 6 or 7 figure ClickBank product creator!

 

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