DD Motoring: Flying without wings – The new Mercedes-Benz E220 Diesel

first_imgI felt a bit like Louis Hamilton as the beautiful lady gave me a Mercedes baseball cap at the end of my drive! Was I at the F1 track at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain, or the Circuit de Monaco- Monte Carlo? No, I was at the Circuit of Collooney in Sligo this week as I visited one of the newest and most impressive Mercedes Benz car show rooms in Ireland, Connolly’s of Sligo. Advertisement Someone told me when we put this motoring column back on line last year, don’t be going away and writing about yoks we can’t afford! So why did I follow the three pointed star to Sligo this week?If I said you can own a new Mercedes from as little as €270 per month and with 10% off the price for a limited time, that saying “One time is now” must come in to play, this is a great time to buy a Merc.My MercFor me it doesn’t seem like ten years ago but that’s when I finally decided to buy my second hand Mercedes. It was a three year old E200 kompressor Avantgarde. I was always mad about cars and I dreamed of owning a Mercedes for years and after missing out on a few good Mercs, this car, an 05 E Class sitting on the forecourt at Tony Kelly Cars in Letterkenny whispered, “the time is now Sir.” Advertisement That Mercedes was everything I thought it would be and more. I made a lot of trips from Donegal to Dublin in this car as it just soaked up the miles in style.So on my journey to Sligo it was the E class that I was going to test drive again a decade on.Mercedes is the Spanish for a girl’s name Grace but it was Stacey who was chatting Mercedes to me at Connolly’s in Collooney. She was the sales executive. And she knew her stuff about Mercs.Sales Executive with Mercedes Benz in Sligo, Stacey who had a wealth of knowledge on the Mercedes range old and new, It great to see Connollys showrooms approach for customers looking at and considering buying a new MercedesThe E220 diesel was the car that I wanted to drive that day. My old Mercedes was a E class petrol , which I loved, automatic which is Mercedes at its best.It had 170 bhp back in the day which just made it a great combination for a car if that size. The diesel was easier on fuel but only had 150 BHP on tap back then.Stacey was saying that the New E Class is their biggest seller followed closely by its little sister the C class.I was treated with some fine coffee and individually wrapped biscuits as my sales executive went off to see if she could get an E Class we could test drive. De ja vuAs I was sitting enjoying the coffee, the view of all the fine Mercedes Benz in the showroom and the chapel spire of the nearby town of Collooney. My mind brought me back to a place I was before.Photo Brian McDaidWhen as a young fellow working for the late Andy Hegarty in the late 1970’s in his Ford Garage in Letterkenny, It was the Sligo Rally we headed off to watch one weekend.We also ended up in Collooney with a man named Noel Gordon ( I think ) where Andy looked at two cars he had for sale. One was a Rolls Royce or possibly a Bentley, which we went for a spin in through Collooney as you do.Great memories of Cooloney from years ago and running around the village is a big Rolls Royce of Bentley similar to this, Those were the days.When I think about that now the people of Collooney were probably well used with Noel Gordon in his Rolls in that town. But for me the through of it was class just gliding though the small town in the Silver classic. Back in the present Stacey has pulled up in beautiful Silver E class Mercedes 220 diesel to the front door and comes back into the showroom to give me a run down on features of this fabulous new car.As we head off out and into to the busy roundabout I asked if we could go up through the town of Collooney a spin. I know Stacey was looking at the open road of the dual carriage way as a great place to show off the elegance and the power of this 194 bhp diesel, but she said, “ah grand sure, we will head up through the town then.”The centre conceal of the Mercedes E220 which we drove this week, 195 bhp on tap just makes this car a joy to drive on the road. Photo Brian McDaidI was telling her that I was up here years ago at a garage that I thought was called Riverside Motors, I had no sooner said it when Stacy spotted it from the comfort of her passengers seat.It didn’t look anything like the way I remembered it but I was glad I had got the name correct at least. Much like the day I traveled in style in the back of a Rolls Royce the people of Collooney weren’t putting much pass on this class Silver Merc gliding through the town. I suppose they are well used to it by now, the site of this iconic brand from the nearby showrooms as the sales staff pop up to the Spar shop for a lotto or a paper.The Mercedes is just class to drive, if you could call it driving. No gear stick just the lever on the steering column to put the car into park drive or reverse, not unlike where the gear-lever was on that Automatic Rolls Royce all them years ago. The Avantgarde was the top of the range when I once owned a Merc, now its the entry model , then comes the “Executive” and then on to the AMG.Our car was the base model but what a impression the Avantgarde gave. The two old clocks in front of the driver gave a class retro feel to the Mercedes and where the gearstick once lived now had an F1 look to it.The old type Retro looks clocks on dash of the new Mercedes which we tested this week at Connolly’s of Sligo. Photo Brian McDaidAs we go through the lanes of Sligo we end up back onto the main Sligo to Galway road. Thinking about the many active settings that Merc offer in their cars now before I take off from the junction. I test Stacey on her knowledge of her product, and ask, “are we in sport mode? ”A flick of a switch on the centre console and Stacey replies, “we are now, captain”.On the led display on dash a image of the engine and drive train appear, what looks like the green economy mode turns to red.Suspensions are changed, steering settings change and just before we head off my seat belt just tightens on me ever so little which is part of the setting for sport mode as we let out some of the power of this classy quiet diesel on the open road.ClassAnyone will tell you who ever owned a Mercedes even if you have the option of a tip tronic which lets you change the gears yourself. The joy of driving a Mercedes is letting the car’s technology do the work and just sit in at the wheel and take all the credit for its seamless journey.All too soon we were back at the big three pointed star of Connolly’s showroom. Even if the test drive was over, Stacey wasn’t finished,“It can park its self, you know” she said, “yeh” I said, trying to sound as if I knew all about it. “We’ll try it over here!”, “We’ll try what” I said, “it will fit in there?”I am looking and thinking I wouldn’t get my Fiat Doblo van in there and I could drive it through the eye of a needle. “Just you drive as close as you can to them other parked cars to this car picks up her bearings”, she says.It was bumpers I thought I was more likely to pick up!“Go closer” she said. Think I could feel a domestic coming on here.This car is very well priced at €47,000 but here is me behind the wheel and my passenger Stacey has me worried, I am thinking please Mercedes do not pick up your bearings.Then Stacey says, “that’s it now Brian you can let go of the steering wheel and take your foot of the brake.”The car had picked out a parking space and as I pressed in the button to activate the parking action, and let go of the steering wheel and released that big strong brake paddle.The car starts to cut hard as it reverses into the spot it’s decided to park in. It’s trying to reverse in between a drop dead gorgeous white Mercedes jeep and a Mercedes Coupe both brand new. Both are shining, not a mark or scratch on either of them, yet.It doesn’t look to me that this car has a hope in hell of making it in there, and I tell Stacy that I am going to brake here, (or words of that effect).Stacey is watching the telly which has the reversing camera fitted, she confidently say don’t intervene Brian.The car stops and then heads out of the space. “Where are we going now?” I ask, it will take 9 attempts at it she says then it will give up.On reflection if I had listened to what I thought of the Mercedes ability to making driving the car so effortless, I should have known that this parking system was far more in control than I was ready to believe it was as the car parked itself perfectly.I was amazed, Stacey explained how Mercedes Sales Team all had extensive training on this parking system, which shows with her confidence in it.Professionalism I have to say from the moment I arrived in Connolly’s to I left it I found this approach to looking at and the selling of cars just amazing.Years ago I used to go up the north and had not a notion of buying a car and would land in to a showroom just loving the experience of seeing great cars for real. Maybe it was me but I always found an element of snobbery in them show rooms.I suggested this as a problem for top of the range brands to Stacey on my visit. If anything she said it is now the complete opposite. Buying cars has changed so much. So many different types of would-be car buyers have arrived at our showrooms in Sligo since it opened.PCP makes it possible for motorist to follow their dreams now. I was in Connolly’s Mercedes on Monday the 16th of January which is considered to be the bluest Monday of the year, the only thing blue about that Monday after this brilliant experience was the ever changing interior dash lighting in the classy interior of the E220 Mercedes.And finally…On the day so many years ago when I last visited Collooney looking at cars in a lockup near to the railway line, all them years along the Rolls Royce that we looked at and toured about the town in was one classic, we also looked at another car.Andy Hegarty at the time who changed from an Opel and Renault Dealer to a Ford agency. He was building the Ford brand with his customer base and looked at a rare vintage Ford Model T which he ended up buying that day.A memory to treasure in mooting for me, the day I went to Sligo with the Late Andy Hegarty to the village of Colloney where he bought a Old Rare Ford Model T similar to this. Great times.Later that week that collectors Ford arrived into to the Ford Showroom in Letterkenny which drew great attention all them years ago, I had completely forgotten about that day until I was sitting in the showroom in Sligo this week.What a privilege it seems now to think back of great great memories and to be present the day Andy bought one of the oldest cars built in Ireland, A iconic Ford Model T.Happy Motoring Folks.DD Motoring: Flying without wings – The new Mercedes-Benz E220 Diesel was last modified: January 26th, 2017 by Brian McDaidShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:collooneyconnollys of sligodd motoringMercedesmercedes-benz e220sligolast_img read more

Ohio Poultry Association banquet highlights

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest As always the Ohio Poultry Association Annual Celebration Banquet was an event not to be missed, this year featuring a “Peace, Love & Poultry” theme.The 32nd annual banquet featured great food and the chance to recognize award winners. Jim Cooper, of Cooper Farms was recognized with the Golden Egg Award. Others recognized at the event included the Stoller family from Van Wert County that received the Family Legacy Award, veterinarian Tim Barman, Ohio Representative Dave Hall and Ohio Representative Brian Hill.One of the key issues facing Ohio’s egg producers are the shifting whims of consumer demand. Many of the companies who buy Ohio eggs are planning to require cage-free production in the near future.“There is a lot of uncertainty, but the discussion continues on the announcements coming forward that a lot of the companies that we are supplying are going to transition to cage-free products somewhereJim Cooper, of Cooper Farms, was recognized with the Golden Egg Award.between 2018 and 2025,” said Lisa Timmerman, with Cooper Farms, who serves as president of the Ohio Poultry Association. “The industry is still looking forward to how we are going to get there, what systems we are using and how long it will take us to get there. As we look at the transition, we look at the systems out there. There are multiple types of systems for cage-free they are not all the same. There is a colony system where birds are on the floor or an aviary-type system where birds can move up and down vertically through the system. Those are some of the decisions companies have to make in terms of how far they want to go in this transition.”The poultry industry has a history of being responsive to consumer demands and Timmerman said that trend will continue moving forward.“As we talk with consumers, they do not necessarily have all of the information they need to know what cage-free is, but as poultry farmers, we are going to produce what the consumers want, whether it is cage-free, caged eggs, brown, white, vegetarian fed, or organic,” she said. “Our focus is on producing aDr. Tim Barman was presented his award by OPA president Lisa Timmerman.safe, affordable, wholesome food and meeting the needs of the consumer whatever they might be. If cage-free is what they are demanding, that is what we are going to move to produce.”A trip down the grocery store aisle quickly reinforces this point.“If you look in the supermarket you see a wide variety of products. We have a pretty open mind,” Timmerman said. “When we look at what the consumers are demanding, I think we are definitely open to their values and beliefs. We have core values and beliefs within our family farms and so do our customers. Whether it is cage-free or organic, whatever their values are, we don’t have a problem producing it.”Representative Dave Hall offered some comments after being recognized by the OPA.last_img read more

Deer hunting fills on-farm void left by lost tobacco production

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Matt ReeseIn 2005, Rick Crawford harvested the last tobacco crop from his family’s Adams County farm. His ancestors had grown tobacco on that land since at least the late 1800s. Tobacco was a part of Crawford Farms’ heritage, culture and, most importantly, its profitability.“Tobacco used to be the main cash crop on this farm for many years. There is not very much of this ground that is tillable. Tobacco is a tremendous amount of hand labor but we made it work. We needed about six people extra to get the tobacco in the barn in the fall and we had to hire nine to make sure we had six. It was always a challenge,” Crawford said. “With tobacco, if everything goes right, you can net $1,000 an acre but it takes a tremendous amount of labor and there are about four times a year where the weather can take everything. Tobacco is a risky crop.”The big change for tobacco production in Ohio happened in 2004 with the mandatory buyout ending the quota system that had been in place since the 1930s.“The quota program went out the window and there was a buyout. The companies were wanting bigger producers. We were growing 7 to 11 acres and that would produce 20,000 to 24,000 pounds of tobacco,” Crawford said. “I was wanting to downsize and they wanted me to raise more.”Crawford knew it was time to be done with tobacco production on the farm, but he did not know what to do to replace the valuable piece of his economic puzzle.“After we quit tobacco, I ran into a guy in town and he was leasing out rights for deer hunting,” Crawford said.Leasing hunting rights was a new concept for Crawford at the time, but he was well aware of the plentiful deer population on and around the farm. He’d been battling with them for years. Finding a way to benefit from the local deer population with a growing reputation for producing big trophy bucks seemed to make sense.“Big bucks like the habitat found in our area. It is not uncommon to observe and have a shot opportunity at 140+ class bucks on the farm. Much bigger bucks also make our farm part of their core area,” Crawford said on the farm’s website. “Because of the type of terrain and the amount of food and cover available, hunters need to bring their best hunting strategies. The trophy buck of a lifetime could step out at any minute.”Now the farm hosts six-day archery hunts on 1,000 acres to provide a stable source of income.“We sell six-day hunts and provide the lodging. This is a fair chase hunt using state rules. There are no high fences. That is what our guys want and we only do archery. The insurance is cheaper too,” Crawford said. “We are an LLC that leases property from me. They have to sign a waiver.”The peak rut season commands a $1,850 per hunter fee for the six-day hunt. The farm hosts hunters through most of the Ohio deer archery season from Sept. 29 to through early January. Outside of the hunting season, there is plenty to do to prepare during the rest of the year.This deer was harvested on the farm this year.“It is more than just cashing checks,” Crawford said. “We plant food plots all summer. The permanent plots are alfalfa or clover. We plant late plots too that include brassicas and forage oats that overwinter. That keeps food here clear through January in addition to the deer’s natural food. This year we put in a new camera system that transfers pictures from one place to another and they can be accessed by the hunters to help them decide where they want to hunt. In February and March we do maintenance on the tree stands we provide. We encourage guys to bring their own stands, too. Then in the spring we have maintenance of food plots with mowing.”The most popular hunting dates are typically in November, though there are strong hunting opportunities all season on the farm.“Even though the most requested hunt dates are in November, we have learned that our hunt property may actually provide better opportunities during the early and late hunts due to the amount and variety of feeding opportunities,” Crawford said. “There are many different types of terrain on the farm and therefore different types of hunting situations. Even though each hunter may find a ‘favorite’ spot on the farm, our past experiences have proven there is no ‘best’ place to hunt.”Unlike tobacco, Crawford gets half the money up front, with no risk from weather or a lack of results.“With the deer hunting we get half the money up front. We have no guarantees. They sign a contract that they realize they may not even see a deer. With the cameras we have set up, though, I can give them a pretty good idea,” he said. “We are open for archery season and we run up to 10 hunts a year. We schedule specific dates a year in advance.”The farm includes a processing facility complete with a walk-in cooler, freezer, electric hoist, and processing table for hunters to use. The farm also has a nice mobile home that will sleep six hunters. It has an enclosed outside porch area to store hunting clothing and equipment, satellite TV, a full kitchen, and two bathrooms. Optional food for the hunters can be provided. The farm also provides three utility vehicles for the hunters to use on the property.“We have a lot of return hunters. They are pretty much all from out of state,” Crawford said. “Approximately 70% of our clients in 2018 are returning for at least their third year, with some returning for their 13th season.”For more information, visit crawfordfarmshunting.com.last_img read more

Facebook Deals on Launch Day: Looks Strong, With Some Surprising Limitations

first_imgmarshall kirkpatrick The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Facebook Deals Could Still Be HugeAll of the above might change in time but even at launch this is a very, very strong product. That vendors will recieve demographic and taste data about the people who redeem deals sounds incredibly valuable. That Deals will be social and will spread through the newsfeed does too.Some people have laughed that Facebook Deals is likely to “flop” like Facebook Places, Questions and Groups. Have those really flopped like a Google social software launch, though? Facebook says 50 million Groups have been created and that the feature is among the fastest-growing on the site. (Could that really be true, compared to Photos, Videos, Events, etc.? Maybe those are core features and don’t count.)Facebook Questions does seem to be less than thrilling in its traction. That’s a real shame – it had huge, huge potential but seemed poorly built.Places? Facebook says it’s already much, much bigger than competitors Foursquare and Gowalla say they are and at least one reputable survey of local businesses says that merchants are far more engaged with Facebook Places than other services. The Places feature is much simpler than it could be but perhaps (someday) integration with Deals will help with that.Unlike questions asked by random people, empty Places pages or strategically ambiguous Groups – Deals offers very clear value, created by professional marketers and vetted in part by your friends’ Likes and redemptions.Lots and lots of potential. A very interesting platform. Big caveats. Now it’s time to see how well the company can execute and how long it keeps itself slowed down by the above restrictions present at launch. Related Posts A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Tags:#Analysis#Facebook#web center_img Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… It’s Not FreeLast night I reported that Facebook Deals could be free to merchants. It turns out that it’s only Facebook Check-in Deals that are free and those have been for a few months. Got that? Deals are not free, Check-in Deals are free. Deals other than Check-in Deals are not free. That would have been a very bold move on Facebook’s part and would have helped it undercut the whole market. The company could then have made initial profits from its cut of purchases made using Facebook Credits.But…Facebook Credits Will Not Be for Physical Goods at LaunchThe ability to make Deals purchases with the same Facebook Credits that users have paid to charge up to play games with seems like an incredible opportunity, though legally complicated. Perhaps that’s why Facebook PR wrote us back after the news of the feature launching leaked to clarify that Credits will not in fact be usable to purchase physical goods at launch. Rather, Credits can be used to purchase vouchers for things like events.It’s Not MobileThis part is a little amazing to me, but maybe the tangle of products and managers at Facebook warranted such a strategy: Facebook Deals will not be available through the mobile app at launch. That seems like a huge lost opportunity, but perhaps the Deals team didn’t want to step on the toes of the Check-in Deals team. Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification News of a new coupon service from Facebook, called Facebook Deals, emerged last night and was unveiled early this morning. We looked at all that Facebook had to offer and said it could blow Groupon and Living Social out of the water.Now that the product has been unveiled and Facebook PR has sent us multiple emails letting us know that things I presumed would be features of the service will not in fact be present at launch – that changes things just a little bit. I still think that the fundamental value proposition of Facebook is clearly the strongest in the field: structured and verified user data, the friend network and the newsfeed. But there are a few details to clear up about the product and it looks like it’s going to be less ambitious at launch than I suspected last night. It still looks awesome, though.last_img read more

On Cutting Too Deeply

first_img Get the Free eBook! Want to master cold calling? Download my free eBook! Many would have you believe that cold calling is dead, but the successful have no fear of the phone; they use it to outproduce their competitors. Download Now If you have a choice of adding value or cutting your price, find a way to add value. Adding value improves your performance and cutting your prices reduces the profit you have to create that value.If you have a choice of differentiating your offering or cutting your price, find a way to differentiate. Being different in a way that makes a difference for your clients makes you worth paying more, cutting your prices indicates that even you believe that you are a commodity.If you have a choice between delivering a better customer experience or matching the status quo, deliver a better customer experience. People talk about the experience you deliver, and that experience creates loyalty. The status quo is such a poor experience that when people speak of it, it isn’t positive—nor does it generate loyalty (mediocrity never does).Unless your company is spending money foolishly, if one of your three strategic initiatives is to find a way to squeeze more money out of the cost column, you are focusing on the wrong priorities. Cutting costs is easy.You can cut too deeply. You can also become addicted to searching for ways to cut costs even after you’ve cut all you reasonably can. You are better served by focusing on selling—and focusing on doing what makes it easier to sell, like creating more value, differentiating your offer from your competitors, and delivering a better customer experience.last_img read more

Website Analytics — Is Anyone Else Frustrated?

first_img Web Analytics Originally published Oct 6, 2006 3:25:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Too Many Tools To Get The Picture Below is a picture of the tabs of my browser session right now. As you can see, I have our SmallBusiness2.0 blog up; Technorati up to see who is linking to us and what our rank is; FeedBurner up to look at the number of people “subscribing” to the RSS feed; Google analytics to see how many visitors we are getting and from what geography; and Alexa up to see how we are doing relative to every other website/blog on the planet. I tend to go through the exercise of looking at all of these tools once a week prior to our weekly meeting to update the team on how the top of our funnel looks relative to previous weeks/months and I also tend look at this information during the day that I post a meaningful blog article that I think should get traction. I think all these tools are great if you are a professional blogger or are a dedicated full-time marketing analytics person, but it is pretty cumbersome to track all this stuff if it’s not a fulltime job. This is especially true for a small business where everyone in the company wears multiple hats. For those of you who have day jobs beyond report creation out there, do you feel like I do? Not Real-time Enough The other thing that frustrates me about all these tools is how they are not “real-time” enough for me. I wish Technorati updated the inbound links more often and had more real-time rankings. I wish FeedBurner showed you what was happening at the very moment versus just a daily snapshot and I also wish they updated their data at 12:01am for the previous day. I wish Google would stop the sandboxing process for new domains and I wish they would update their PageRank information (shown in the Google toolbar) more often. I wish Alexa would show better data on what is happening in the last week and rankings in real-time for smaller sites. For those of you who use these tools, do you have the same wish-list as I do? GoogleTrends for My Small Business I’m not sure if you have had a chance to check out Google Trends, but I think it is rather addictive. My only issue with it is it does not work at a company level (unless you are a massive company) and it does not allow you to put in custom events to show how your marketing activities correlate with traffic. For those of you addicted to GoogleTrends, do you agree? — Brian Halligan Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics:last_img read more

Publishing Is To 2007 As eCommerce Was to 1997

first_img   In the process of weathering the storm, these l Amazon certainly stands out, but relative to the amount of new company formation (and venture money spent on super bowl ads), there were very few large, sustainable, profitable corporations created by this industrial structure disruption. The industrial structure of the publishing industry is at an interesting historical point. dramatically impacted by the ecommerce disruption. The industry disruption is good news for the social bookmarking sites like Digg and YouTube; the (very) few top bloggers that can aggregate enough traffic to make the economics of advertising work; and the plumbing suppliers like Feedburner, Google, etc. were The reality is that the mom & pop retailers I suspect it will look similar to the way we look at retail in 1997 today. I think of it as Google is to Publishing is to 2007 This industry disruption is potentially bad news for established content producers, such as the The Boston Globe, The USA Today, and the LA Times. However, the major corporations (Target, Wal-Mart, Barnes & Noble, Gap) weathered the storm by Originally published Mar 9, 2007 1:01:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 figuring out how to leverage the technology and combining it with hard to acquire strengths in inventory management and logistics to fight off new entrants. Amazon is to eCommerce is to 1997. I suspect the smaller players at the margin with less editorial resources will have a hard time competing because they do not have hard-to-acquire resources (high barriers to entry) and will not be able to figure out the technology in time. This industrial structure in the publishing industry in 2007 is a lot like the industrial structure in the retail industry in 1997. eventually Most large newspapers and magazines will eventually weather the storm by figuring out how to leverage the technology and combine it with their hard to acquire editorial strengths. arge publications will face some layoffs (i.e. Boston Globe shuttering overseas bureaus), end up experimenting with interesting business models (i.e. USAToday releasing web2.0 features), and take medium-term market cap valuation haircuts. It is hard to say how we will look at the current publishing industry disruption from 2017, but The disruption lead to very few new eCommerce giants. I suspect that many of the independent bloggers selling ads on their sites will end up going away as the economics just won’t work and this will be our publishing equivalent to the sock puppets.  I suspect there will be a few new large media players created, other than Google. The internet, search, social bookmarking sites, blog software, Google Adsense, and RSS in combination are acting as a disruptive technology to the publishing industry by lowering the barrier-to-entry (no printing costs!) for new entrants and improving consumption patterns for consumers (more specialization). as Many predicted that the disruption would wipe out the brick & morter retailers (i.e. Barnes & Noble) who had much to lose and give rise to a slew of ecommerce giants and plumbing vendors who had much to gain. In 1997, ecommerce software and the internet were a disruptive technology to the “brick & morter” retail industry by lowering the barrier-to-entry (no stores!) for new entrants and improving consumption patterns for consumers (from home). Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Top 5 Inbound Marketing Articles to Start the Week: Make Love to Direct Traffic

first_img on The Marketing Spot Marketing Takeaway: business’ page on Google Places , by helping you lessen the occurrence of tactical arguments, improve your operations, and help your chief financial officer do his or her job. Avinash Kaushik Matt Ridings Use third party comments and social media marketing Take advantage of web analytics to reduce the crappiness of your funnel. Author: local search Web Analytics, The Wonder Cure for Funnel Crappiness Download the free video and why you should take advantage of the valuable opportunity it offers. Your About page should be personal and make it easy for site visitors to learn more about you. on Convince & Convert on Search Engine Land Marketing Takeaway: to establish credibility. Implement how web analytics can alleviate FC How to Maximize Your Google Places Page tools appropriately so you can correctly identify and give your direct traffic visitors the love they deserve. benefits, and tips for getting the most from your page through a five-minute video tutorial and three written tips: getting customer reviews, creating current content, and adding photos and videos. direct traffic doing. on Occam’s Razor Matt concludes his article by saying that you should measure the ROI of your social media programs as best as you can, but the inability to precisely measure ROI shouldn’t be an obstacle to social participation. Be human. Author: The article goes on to describe Certified Su 2. Is Our Addiction to ROI Killing Social Media? Don’t use meaningless jargon. Photo Credit: Make it easy to contact you. on Seth Godin’s Blog Measuring your marketing is important, but don’t obsess over ROI when it comes to He expresses the importance of maximizing your page, particularly for While we’re on the topic of web analytics, this Search Engine Land article cites a blog post by Seth Godin, which emphasizes the terrible, contagious disease that is Funnel Crappiness (FC). The solution? Web analytics, of course! Marketing Takeaway: Author: Marketing Takeaway: Jay Ehret Originally published Oct 4, 2010 8:00:00 AM, updated July 19 2013 1. Excellent Analytics Tip #18: Make Love to Your Direct Traffic web analytics Marketing Takeaway: measurements can be tied directly to financial transactions, but sometimes they can’t. Additionally, he recognizes the flaw in spending more time counting than actually Kaushik’s blog post focuses on the concept of article this week, isn’t kidding, and we agree. social media Inbound Marketing Topics: . In an industry where we’re obsessed with the ability to clearly demonstrate ROI, Matt dares to question whether measuring the ROI of social media campaigns is always necessary. His main point is that sometimes Direct traffic, in the words of Avinash, “contains all visits to your website wherein people arrived at your site directly (by typing the URL) or via a bookmark.” inbound marketing Rules for Your About Page Yup — you read the headline right. Avinash Kaushik, author of our top Author: Speaking of Seth Godin, we love the simple guidelines he offers in this article for an effective ‘About’ page. Because your About page is often the first page a person visits when accessing your website for the first time, he stresses the importance of making it humanized and welcoming. Godin’s five tips: Don’t use a stock photo of someone who isn’t you. Video: Marketing Analytics 101: How to Measure the Effectiveness of Your Website Seth Godin 4. Claim and optimize your Googl Evan LaPointe e Places page for local search benefits. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack testimonials ? Google Places, says Ehret, is a modern-day version of the Yellow Pages, and it comes with a free ad for every business in the form of pages. Learn how to Measure the Effectiveness of Your Website. Kaushik discusses the value of visitors who have reached your site via direct traffic, in that they are the visitors who have proactively sought you out, not those you’ve “begged” to show up. He writes about how companies generally don’t give them the love they deserve and analyzes the reasons why. to learn how to Measure the Effectiveness of Your Website. 5. Have you claimed your 3. Author:last_img read more

How to Enhance Your eCommerce Product Listings With Google

first_img Local SEO Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Nov 10, 2010 12:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Last week Google announced they will be including “rich snippets” to product related search results . What exactly does a “rich snippet” entail? Now product results will have detailed information including price, availability, reviews as well as any specific product offerings.  This recent enhancement comes at an opportune time for eCommerce companies who will be making a big holiday push, but need to act fast to take advantage of this opportunity and capture the attention of those already starting their shopping.Optimizing eCommerce Product ListingsSo, what does an eCommerce website need to do to get their products listed with this valuable information? They need to sign up for Google’s Merchant Center . Once they’ve become a merchant they’ll want to submit their products. Then in order for the rich snippet data to appear eCommerce sites need to follow instructions to marking up structured HTML data for Google to interpret and produce the appropriate snippet of information with the search listing. Ecommerce sites can test if Google is able to view and reproduce the information after they’ve marked up their HTML. Undoubtedly product results with information crucial to consumers purchasing decision will be considered over products with just a basic listing.  Consumers now have the ability to compare product offerings, reviews, and prices from different vendors directly from the search results page, making it even more critical to have information available and enticing enough to elicit a click-through to your website.Besides the recent enhancement to SERP’s eCommerce companies should register with the Google Merchant Center to take advantage of the Shopping search filter. Despite rich snippets appearing in main search results  listing your products with Google to appear in the Shopping search section puts you right infront of users who’ve decided they are searching to shop, and not just to find information which the basic web search filter primarily provides.Improving Your eCommerce Marketing StrategyEcommerce websites need to make sure their products are visible in multiple spaces and marketplaces, including search engines. Your eCommerce marketing strategy should be focused on driving traffic back to your website, but from different avenues including social media, shopping sites, and search engines. Google Merchant Center is just one of many avenues, but including your products and any other information they’ll present on the most widely used search engine is essential to competing on a level playing field.Photo credit: farnoosh last_img read more

4 Ways to Keep Facebook Fans From ‘Unliking’ Your Page

first_imgYour Facebook fan base is an incredibly powerful marketing asset. You should be aiming to grow the number of fans of your business page in order to continually expand your reach. At the very least, you should be looking to retain the fans you already have. But they already “Liked” your page, so you shouldn’t have to do much to keep them, right? Well, as it turns out, not only is this not true, but it’s actually a very dangerous assumption to make.Last fall, Facebook came out with the “Unlike” button, which allows fans to unsubscribe from business pages. According to a recent study by DDB and OpinionWay, this button could have serious implications for your Facebook page, considering the study found that 2 out of every 5 Facebook users “Unlike” business pages.A survey to find out why fans unsubscribe from brand pages revealed the following reasons:In another study conducted by ExactTarget and CoTweet earlier this year, research revealed that the top 4 reasons for fans hitting the “Unlike” button were companies posting too frequently (44%), fans’ desire to get rid of the clutter of marketing posts on their wall (43%), content becoming repetitive or boring over time (38%), and that fans only “Liked” the page to take advantage of a one-time offer (26%).With these daunting percentages, it may seem like the odds are stacked against you when it comes to retaining your Facebook fans. However, there are many things that you can do to avoid high “Unlike” rates.4 Ways to Keep Fans From “Unliking” Your Page1. Keep your posts interesting. The top two reasons fans unsubscribe from a page are because they’ve lost interest in the company or they’ve lost interest in the information the company is publishing. This means that your top strategy for retaining fans should be to publish interesting content. Don’t be repetitive or boring! No one likes to see the same messages in their news feeds over and over again. Facebook is social media, which means people are looking to have fun and read interesting things. Next time you write a status update or post a link to some content, ask yourself, “Does this sound exciting enough to make my fans want to read it?” If not, try to find a way to make it more interesting before you hit that “Post” button.2. Publish relevant, valuable content. Not only should the content you publish be interesting, it should also be relevant and valuable to your fans. Make your posts informative and helpful. Think education, not marketing pitch. The point of content marketing is to establish yourself as a thought leader and educate your reader base, thereby enticing them to want to learn more about your product and offers. So don’t use Facebook for direct sales. Use it for engagement that generates leads.3. Find a good balance for publishing frequency. Another top reason fans hit the “Unlike” button is because the company publishes too often, which gives fans of the page the feeling that they’re being flooded with updates. This can very easily become overwhelming and/or annoying, making it far more likely that fans will choose to unsubscribe from the page. On the other hand, though, 14% have “Unliked” a page because the company didn’t publish often enough. Publishing too infrequently leads the fans to either feel like there’s no point in remaining subscribed to the page, since they’re not getting any updates, or to lose interest in the company (and its page) and choose to unsubscribe. Find a posting frequency that maintains a good balance between these two extremes so you can keep your fans satisfied but still hungry for more. Which brings us to the final point…4. Keep them coming back for more. The ExactTarget and CoTweet study we mentioned earlier found that 26% of Facebook users only “Liked” a business page to take advantage of a one-time offer. Running a Facebook contest or promotional offer can be a great strategy for attracting more fans to your page, but don’t let it stop there. Once they have “Liked” your page, keep them engaged. Give them more reasons to be excited they are fans of your page, whether it’s new offers, unique content, exciting company and industry updates, or fun games, quizzes, and contests. In other words, make your fans glad they found your page through that one-time offer, not because of that one-time offer alone.There’s no shortage of ways to take advantage of a large fan base on Facebook to improve your marketing and extend your reach. So keep drawing in the fans, and once they’ve “Liked” you, use these tips to show them you’re too awesome to even consider “Unliking.”What do you do to keep your Facebook fans engaged? What makes you excited to join a fan page? Topics: Facebook Engagement Originally published Sep 21, 2011 5:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more