31 Mar

Quoting The Bible To Boost Your Sales

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 31.03.10 by John Meloche

With many people celebrating important holidays this time of year including both Passover and Easter, we thought it would be wise to quote some advice from a very special book. That, of course, being the Small Business Bible. As SmallBusinessBible.org, there is a wealth of information about how small businesses can boost their sales and marketing productivity.

Clearly, there are numerous ways to do this but the best ways are those that are ?strong and innovative?. When unique marketing strategies are implemented correctly, says the bible, ?a small business can make more sales and run a better and stronger marketing campaign then a big budget business spending millions of dollars on promotions.?

These campaigns, insists the site, do not have to require a major financial investment. They simply insist on intellient planning. They begin with analyzing the target market of your company. This allows for your campaign to be uniquely focused by placing effort on targeting specific customers. When a company's target audience is analyzed, it greatly boosts its sales and marketing productivity as it gets to know how to suit the needs and wants of its customer base.

As we've mentioned a number of times before, making good use of modern technology is paramount in today's business world. Says the bible, ?Information technology is the fastest growing medium in the world today. If use properly then this medium can be utilized to boost sales and marketing productivity in much faster pace as compare to any landmark promotional campaign.?

The site points out that the internet is a medium now used by millions of people each and every day. A strong online campaign is one of the most important ways to connect with a larger customer base. A variety of online marketing methods including banner advertisements and the bartering of ad space on partner websites are excellent promotional tools.

As mentioned earlier, developing innovative marketing schemes is what helps for companies to grow their business' reach without having to spend a lot of money. According to SmallBusinessBible.org, ?The key to success in marketing in the present era is simplicity and originality. Those campaigns which have innovative concepts and the potential to capture the imagination of the customers help in boosting sales and marketing productivity.?

Many of these tips read as general, common sense pieces of advice. Nevertheless, many companies suffer at the hands of formulaic marketing strategies that often do not provide a significant return on the investment. Good promotional techniques are essential. Bad ones are a waste of money.

This is why Synergy Marketing Consultants obviously champions the concept of handing out promo items as an effective marketing strategy. An inexpensive and unique method of increasing a company's customer base, the providing of promo gifts falls directly in line with the teachings of the Small Business Bible.

Now go and enjoy your holiday. We know we will.

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30 Mar

New Blue Jays Sponsorship A Calculated Risk

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 30.03.10 by John Meloche

We're just one more day away from the beginning of April. For some sports fans, this time of year marks the official beginning of spring as it brings with it, the official start of the Major League Baseball season. Although known as ?The Boys of Summer?, baseball players taking the field to start off another yearly quest towards the World Series seem to go hand in hand with the the warmness added to the cool spring air.

In Toronto, of course, this time of year means yet another beginning of a likely-to-be-disappointing season for the beloved (or not) Toronto Blue Jays. Having not been a serious contender since their back-to-back World Series championships in 1992 and 1993, the team has truly left Toronto baseball fans agonizing for something worthwhile to cheer about for close to two decades.

With the loss of former ace pitcher Roy Halladay to the Philadelphia Phillies in the off-season, the 2010 campaign for the Toronto Blue Jays looks even bleaker than those in previous years when the team has continually underachieved. That being said, some interesting news broke today of the Jays receiving a new sponsor. While the information may prove promising for Blue Jays fans, it also proves valuable for business owners everywhere.

According to Shi Davidi of The Canadian Press, Honda Canada struck a three-year national partnership deal with the Toronto Blue Jays today. Firstly, let's touch on what this may insinuate for championship-hungry baseball fans in T.O. As Davidi writes, ?Every such agreement helps increase the spending power of general manager Alex Anthopoulos, and the fact that a company would want to buy in now suggests it feels better times – and therefore more exposure – is ahead.?

There is hope, obviously, that the team is headed in the direction towards becoming a stronger team. Especially when contending in what is considered MLB's toughest division ? The American League East shared with powerhouses like the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox ? the Jays need the type of lucrative sponsorship that can allow for management to spend on the rebuilding process.

As far as business owners are concerned, Honda's bold move today communicates a classic example of taking a calculated risk. The objective of the massive car manufacturer is to spend a little to get a lot. By investing in a struggling franchise with the hopes of moving up, Honda is planning on getting a lot of bang for their buck once the team begins to succeed again.

As Arch Wilcox, Honda Canada's vice-president of advertising explained: ?It made sense because we like the team, we much more like the management, and we like the direction the management is taking the team in…We didn't buy this at a World Series rate. We bought it based on what's happening today, what's their attendance today, what's their TV audience today, all those kinds of things. So what's that value worth? Let's buy that.?

Business owners looking to make the most of their investment dollars are smart to buy low and sell high. It's not always a move that will pan out, but if you believe in the product you are selling and in the method of advertising that will help your sales, you are more likely to be successful. Honda, of course, hopes that their bold move today will pay off for their company. And Toronto Blue Jays fans really hope it will take their team back to the top of the baseball world.

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30 Mar

Toronto Takes Worst Traffic Award

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 30.03.10 by John Meloche

We've talked a lot about the importance of keeping a happy staff on the Synergy Marketing Consultants Blog in the past. As a result, we do the best we can to keep things lively around the office to ensure that each member of the staff enjoys his or her day at work. Getting to and from work, on the other hand, is something we pretty much have no control over. And being that our headquarters is located in Toronto, Canada, it seems as if the commute to work is the worst in the world.

As business reporter for The Toronto Star, John Spears writes today, a study conducted for the Toronto Board of Trade discovered that it takes people in the Greater Toronto Area approximately 80 minutes to commute to and from work. This makes Toronto the worst city to commute in among 19 major cities including New York, Chicago, London and Berlin.

In fact, Toronto is even 24 minutes slower than gridlocked Los Angeles making its performance ?embarrassing?, according to the study. The times calculated for the commute, by the way, incorporates those taken by both drivers and public transit users. Evidently, Canada's largest city suffers from major traffic congestion.

The country's next largest city, Montreal didn't fare that much better. At an average of 76 minutes for its citizens to get to and from work, Montreal still made out worse than New York's average of 68 minutes roundtrip. Barcelona ended up being the first place city among those studied with an average of 48 minutes for workers to commute to and from their places of employment.

The results of this study come hot on the heels of the province's delaying of a $4 billion expansion project for the transit lines in Toronto and York Region. This deal, says Carol Wilding, chief executive of the Board of Trade, ?exists mostly on paper.?

Sais Wilding as she released the report which called itself a ?scorecard on prosperity?: ?It was 80 per cent unfunded, and now with Thursday?s provincial budget, it?s 90 per cent unfunded.? Nevertheless, the same report still heralds Toronto as ?an attractive place to live, and has succeeded in attracting residents.?

Spears writes that the city does, however, score poorly on ?attracting investment, leading to questions about how easy it will be to sustain the Toronto region economy. It found that as the recession took hold of the economy, the City of Toronto suffered less than its suburban neighbours, although all lost ground.?

Needless to day, it may be advisable to leave early for work tomorrow morning. And every morning after that. Toronto, a city known for its heavy traffic, is apparently the worst in the world.

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26 Mar

Celebrate Earth Hour This Weekend

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 26.03.10 by John Meloche

We?re so glad that you take the time out to read our blog. However, tomorrow at 8:30p.m. Eastern Time, we hope that you aren?t on your computer at all. In fact, we?re hoping you?ll join in with the rest of the world and not use anything that requires electricity at all. Turn off the lights, the television and yes, the computer as well.

Tomorrow evening, the fourth annual Earth Hour takes place. As EarthHour.org reports, ?Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million homes and businesses turned their lights off for one hour to make their stand against climate change. Only a year later and Earth Hour had become a global sustainability movement with more than 50 million people across 35 countries participating.?

Global landmarks across the world including Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia, The CN Tower in Toronto, The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and Rome?s Colosseum all have stood in complete darkness in honour of the event.

Last year, hundreds of millions of people participated in Earth Hour. As part of a pledge to supporting the planet and conserving energy, the world is once again conducting its largest global climate change initiative.

As the website explains, Earth Hour asks that ?every individual, every business and every community throughout the world. It is a call to stand up, to take responsibility, to get involved and lead the way towards a sustainable future. Iconic buildings and landmarks from Europe to Asia to the Americas will stand in darkness.?

Of course, everyone can participate. It?s as simple as turning out the lights for an hour. This simple task is recognized as a worldwide celebration of the Earth. This year, the fourth-ever Earth Hour is expected to be the biggest one yet. We hope you?ll join us in the celebration.

Earth Hour is organized by the World Wildlife Fund. There are over 5 millions supporters in over 100 countries who believe in preventing the degradation of the Earth?s environment.

Says EarthHour.org: ?Earth Hour has done a lot to raise awareness of climate change issues. But there?s more to it than switching off lights for one hour once a year. It?s all about giving people a voice on the future of our planet and working together to create a sustainable low carbon future for our planet.?

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26 Mar

Follow The Facebook Rules

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 26.03.10 by John Meloche

At the beginning of March, this blog visited the concept of promoting businesses online through a variety of social networking sites including Facebook and Twitter. We also discussed the many advantages of finding your company at the top of the list in Google searches. And while online promotion through these popular sites is virtually free of cost and widespread, it is important to stay clear of trouble.

And by trouble, we mean the breaching of policies posted by these respective social networking sites. Facebook is popular for cancelling accounts of users who violate their policies. As Chris Hopkins on EzineArticles.com reveals, it is important to know Facebook's policies or both your site and hard work to promote your company will disappear.

Hopkins notes that business owners who are Facebook users have made a lot of money promoting their brand to the 350 million active users of the site. However, it is through the utilization of a very effective method of doing so. That is mainly through fan pages, says Hopkins.

By creating a fan page for your business, it helps you to avoid the perception that you are only on Facebook to market and sell. As Hopkins elaborates: ?Remember Facebook is a social hub and both Facebook policy and site users frown upon marketers who invade the site with a sell, sell,sell mentality. Success on the social networks is about playing the game Harass people with product marketing and you will find it difficult to make meaningful relationships of trust with others.?

Hopkins offers up four simple steps for entrepreneurs to follow when they are on Facebook. The first is to join Facebook and invite all of your friends and associates to be your friend on the site. This helps for you to create a network that will be updated with information every time you post photos, videos or any pertinent information you wish to share.

The second step is to develop the aforementioned fan page. As Hopkins advises: ?This is of paramount importance if you wish to promote your business without risking getting shut down. The trick to success with Facebook is to promote your business opportunity through your fan page.? This page allows business owners to also post links to their websites that will help in the direct marketing of their companies, inevitably turning into an increase of sales.

The third step is to join Facebook Groups. When you subscribe to a group, it allows you to post on the group wall. Post your business information on both your fan page and the to your groups' pages with links to your fan page. Be careful not to ?over post? though.

Finally, set up your own group. Hopkins notes that doing so helps you to create a platform to market your brand. It allows for unlimited friends to promote to, in part by sending mass e-mails as often as you wish.

Use Facebook to promote your business. But do so wisely. You wouldn't wanted to get booted off of the site when it works so well in giving your business the widespread attention it needs to succeed.

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25 Mar

The Pen Is Mightier Than The Card

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 25.03.10 by John Meloche

Everyone uses pens, right? Regardless of how popular the internet has become…and the internet is very popular, people still use pens to write, believe it or not. Sure, you can set up a blog…just as we have…and type to your heart's content. But somehow, some way, that ever-required lightweight writing utensil will be required at some point for writing.

Of course, we advocate the use of so many of our nifty promo gifts. They have been helping business owners increase the success of their companies for many years. But the pen just so happens to be one of our most practical promotional items. Think about the impact it will have when each and every time someone you know goes to jot something down, they happen to reach for a pen with your company name and logo on it.

It can't be escaped. Pens are useful, light and easy to store. We write lists, memos, notes and letters on a regular basis even with the excessive use of computers in this day and age. Why not consider a pen as a start up promotional item for your business? They are relatively inexpensive and easy to carry around.

Often, our clients tell us that they go to trade shows with a box of several hundred pens. Fairly convenient to carry around, this box is empty within a short period of time. Why? When most business owners are handing out business cards, our clients' companies thrive on providing of something just a little bit different.

Cards get thrown into a pocket ? and sometimes get lost in the wash! Cards get chucked into a wallet ? only to get crushed and bent up with the rest of the items stuck in there. Cards get lost. Cards get misplaced. Cards get put into a pile of a bunch of other cards.

Pens get used. They are needed. They are often asked for. You know the old saying, ?you can never find a pen when you need one?? Well, put a stop to that notion and ensure that every single one of your employees and your customers owns a pen that you supplied.

Ensure that the pen has your company name, logo and contact information on it. Not only will your generosity not be forgotten, but your business will be remembered each and every time the recipient of your gift needs to write something down. It's truly not far-fetched to believe that something so simple can provide such a massive impact.

Don't be surprised if your phone starts ringing off the hook. Word will get around as long as your pens are circulating. Many of our clients have proven that the simple practice of handing out personalized pens can go a long way. Call us up and order your promo pens today.

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23 Mar

Canadian Paralympians Set Records Of Their Own

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 23.03.10 by John Meloche

This past Sunday evening, the incredible sporting event that was the Paralympic Winter Games drew to a close. And just as the more heralded Canadian athletes of the Winter Olympic Games did, our Canadian Paralympians set amazing records on home soil giving the nation a whole lot more to be proud of.

As Daniel Girard wrote in The Toronto Star, the first ever Paralympic Games to be held in Canada ended with the host country earning an awesome 19 medals. This is the most ever achieved by Canadian athletes at these Games. Providing a well-deserved spotlight for athletes with disabilities, this event showcased individuals who obliterate the entire concept of being disabled by achieving such wondrous results.

Of Canada?s 19 medals, ten were gold, setting yet another record. When it was all said and done, Canada finished third in the medal standings behind only Germany and Russia. In Turin, Italy four years ago, Canada placed sixth overall.

One of Canada?s heroes this time around was alpine skier Lauren Woolstencroft. The closing ceremony flag bearer for Canada, Woolstencroft was born missing both of her legs below the knee and her left arm below the elbow. A situation that would stop most people from achieving their dreams, the 28-year-old Vancouver native?s disability didn?t stop her from winning an astonishing five gold medals. Only the third Canadian Paralympian to ever do that, it is the most gold medals won of any woman in one Winter Paralympic Games.

Said Blair McIntosh, Canada's chef de mission of Woolstencroft: “The accomplishments of Lauren during these Paralympics will be relived by Canadians for many years to come. She has set a new standard for Winter Paralympic athletes and has joined an elite group of historic Canadians in sport.”

Paralympians are outstanding examples of how people can overcome personal hardships. Where most individuals would quit, these amazing athletes defeat the odds. The Paralympic Games, of course, feature the blind, amputees and paraplegics. It doesn?t matter to these athletes though. Each of them battling for medals, Paralympians show what it means to win.

As John Furlong, chief executive officer of VANOC, and organizer of both the Olympics and Paralympics describes it: “When you come to an event like this and you stand back for a moment and allow yourself to think about what you're looking at, if you're not inspired, it's not possible to inspire you.?

Cross-country skier Brian McKeever, was just one of the few Canadians who were truly inspiring these Games. Winning Canada?s first gold medal this year in the one-kilometre sprint, McKeever only has 10 per cent of his vision and all of it is peripheral. He ended up winning three medals at this year?s Paralympics.

Synergy Marketing Consultants would like to congratulate all Canadian Paralympians for doing the entire nation proud. Your achievements are truly inspiring.

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22 Mar

More Canadians Using Internet Over Television

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 22.03.10 by John Meloche

We have spent a lot of time on the Synergy Marketing Consultants Blog discussing the ever-growing importance of ensuring that internet presence is paramount in the minds of business owners everywhere. This very website is a shining example of how creating online traffic helps to bring about more business. Studies are showing that more and more people are spending more time online than ever before.

In fact, earlier today, 680News.com reported that ?Canadians are spending more time online than they are in front of their television sets.? Marking the first-time that internet usage has jumped ahead of TV watching, 680News describes the findings of a new survey by the Ipsos Reid polling firm.

People are still watching TV, says the report, but are doing so more often on their computers. If business owners are still not convinced that the internet is the place to be to promote their companies after hearing of this news, it is likely nothing will convince them!

Associate Vice President of Ipsos Reid, Mark Laver had this to say about the phenomenon: ?We're not necessarily watching less television. We're watching television in a different form in a different medium. Some of that increase in Internet usage is coming from people watching shows online.?

The survey revealed that on average, Canadians are spending over 18 hours a week online in comparison to 16.9 hours watching television. Internet usage has jumped up from last year's finding of Canadians spending 14.9 hours a week online. Meanwhile, usage of other media sources such as newspapers, radio and magazines have remained pretty much the same.

Industry watchers note that the cost of watching television is rising as a result of cable and satellite companies jacking up monthly service costs. As a result, more and more Canadians are going to the internet to locate free feeds of their favourite shows.

Said Laver: ?If you're not a big television watcher, can you justify paying $30 a month, $50 a month, $80 a month for television when you watch one show a night, one show a week? The reality is that show might be available online. There are people who are going to say, 'I don't need cable.'?

In addition, 680News notes that today's younger generation is growing to be more attached to their computers than their television sets. They easily spend more time online than those over 55 years of age. Nevertheless, the use of computers is becoming increasingly important for people of all ages. It is an easy go-to source for both information and entertainment.

As Laver points out about the internet, ?It's a lifeline, a tether for your life. You're using it a lot more frequently than a lot of other things right now.?

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20 Mar

Toronto Sets Record Temperatures

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 20.03.10 by John Meloche

It?s one thing for Toronto to experience a winter that allows for you to count on one hand the number of major snowfalls that took place. It?s another thing for Torontonians to be out and about in the city wearing shorts and t-shirts in the middle of March! Today, Toronto set unprecedented highs in temperature as the thermometer read levels as high as 19 degrees celcius in the afternoon.

For the first time in months, although much sooner than expected, members of the Synergy Marketing Consultants staff were taking their breaks and lunch times in the great outdoors. Employees all across the city were pretty much doing the exact same thing. And why not? How could not enjoy summer weather when the official start of spring hasn?t even come yet?

According to 680News.com, today?s temperatures ?smashed a 24-year-old? record. The 19 degrees recording today beat out a previous record of 14.2 degrees celcius back in 1986. Last year at this time, the high in Toronto was a measly four degrees.

The site reports that this coming weekend, the city should expect its temperatures to return to a more normal range in and around the nine degrees mark. Still, Torontonians are reveling in the fact that unlike most of the rest of Canada, the end of winter seems official.

For anyone who is not yet convinced, the high temperature recorded today is not the only record set by Toronto. As The Toronto Star reported on its website earlier today, ?today also marks the first time in recorded history that Toronto has gotten this far into the month of March without a trace of snowfall.?

As well, the previous three days just fell shy of beating previous records. The past twenty-one days have all recorded temperatures that are about 5 degrees warmer than the 6 degrees average that generally comes at this time of the year.

Senior climatologist at Environment Canada, Dave Philips regards this year?s winter as ?probably one of the shortest winters on record. It?s like nature said, ?I?m just going to nicely package winter into only three months, not six months?.?

Even though cooler temperatures are ahead, it is a sure bet that Toronto residents will be going all out to enjoy what is likely to be considered the first spring weekend of the year. And why not celebrate it? Who knows when the city?s winter will be this short again?

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18 Mar

Cross-Promotion Creates Prominence

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 18.03.10 by John Meloche

Most would-be business owners find it difficult to begin their businesses simply because they just don't have enough money to get them started. For some, even after their companies have been established, they notice that they have a tough timing keeping afloat as overhead costs, employee salaries and advertisements begin eating away at their cash flows.

Kay Marks of EzineArticles.com explains a simple enough suggestion that can help business owners with such a dilemma. ?Cross promotion,? writes Marks, ?is when two groups (usually businesses) advertise together. Each group pools their money together to slash advertising budgets or helps promote the other group…Both groups benefit and are possibly bolstered by their affiliation with each other.?

This is an advisable marketing strategy as it essentially costs nothing. Of course, one's good word and agreement to do for the other company what he or she expects to be done in return is all that is needed. Marks notes that the first step to ensuring proper cross-promotion tactics are put into place is to find an appropriate partner.

There are two options that Marks suggests that you use when approaching this task. The first is to do some research to find out what other businesses your customers may shop at. The second is to discover what businesses have products that may compliment yours. Once either of these paths are found, it is important to decide on what company is the best fit to work with your own.

?Think about what companies you would be proud to be associated with,? writes Marks, ?You also want to pick a partner whose resources and reputation are equal to yours.?

She also advises that you evaluate your shared customers: ?Determine what portion of your target market likes to shop at your partner's business and vice versa. These are the people you want to advertise the most.?

Consider factors such as what attributes your product and your partner's product are likeable and how they can be enhanced by being associated with each other. Also consider the demographics of your client base to make sure that you are reaching your target market.

Another important step is to ?decide on a test-run cross-promotion event or sale.? This will test the business relationship to ensure that it works. A good way to do this is to hold sales at the same time as your partner with each including incentives to shop at the other place.

Lastly, don't forget to evaluate the partnership by truly determining how things went. As Marks advises, ?If it didn't work, try to figure out why it didn't and if there's any way to correct the mistake next time.? And if it did work, congratulations! You are on you way to securing more business for your company at next to no cost.

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