28 Feb

Google Working On Gmail Glitch

Posted in News on 28.02.11 by John Meloche

By any chance, did you attempt to log in to your Gmail account this morning only to find that you had no e-mails at all? Well, you wouldn’t be the only one. Today, Kenyon Wallace of The Toronto Star reports that a major glitch has affected some 150,000 users of Google Inc’s e-mail service.

Apparently all records of e-mails that have been either sent or received have been deleted. Undoubtedly, this has left many a user upset over the potential loss of a lot of information, be it private, personal or professional. As Wallace reports, Google has been investigating this problem since yesterday.

Many users have been complaining that all of their folders including contact lists that have taken years to build up have completely disappeared. It’s almost as if someone has gone and clicked a “reset” button and started the account over again from scratch. Some people have even reported getting a welcome message as if they had just opened up a new account.

As of this writing, it has not been determined when the problem will be resolved. Sadly, this will leave many users of Gmail without the ability to respond to any recent e-mails or contact anyone who they would usually be able to keep in touch with. In fact, some users who are affected by the issue may not even be able to log in to their accounts while the problem is being fixed.

Here is a message from Google: “Google Mail service has already been restored for some users, and we expect a resolution for all users in the near future. Please note this time frame is an estimate and may change. This issue affects less than 0.08% of the Google Mail userbase. Google engineers are working to restore full access. Affected users may be temporarily unable to sign in while we repair their accounts.”

Some members of Synergy Marketing Consultants logged into their Gmail accounts this morning without any problems, so clearly this is not a widespread issue. Wallace points out that Gmail has over 170 million users across the world. Seemingly, only a small percentage of those users have been affected by the glitch.

For the most part, many people find that Gmail is the most convenient of the free e-mail services out there. There are no limits to the number of e-mails you can receive, send and store. As well, having a Gmail account provides with a Google login that can be used for other services such as Blogger and YouTube.

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25 Feb

Hockey Is Big Business

Posted in News on 25.02.11 by John Meloche

Well, there is quite a buzz in the air around Synergy Marketing Consultants these days. Being headquartered in Toronto means that we have a staff comprised of many fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Yes…we know. Donning the blue and white jerseys to support a team who has not made it into the playoffs in the post-strike era of the NHL is not the easiest thing to do.

Members of the “Leafs Nation” nevertheless, fans of Toronto’s team are as die-hard as they come. That aforementioned buzz is based on the fact that, at present, the Leafs are just six points out of playoff contention. Trailing the eighth-seeded Carolina Hurricanes, the Leafs have won eight of the twelve games that they have played in February.

The Leafs go head to head with the Pittsburgh Penguins tomorrow night at the Air Canada Centre. With the Leafs on a “hot streak” of sorts, there is no doubt that the arena will be packed and the ravenous fans will be amped. You’ll have to forgive us Torontonians. We haven’t won a Stanley Cup championship since 1967.

And we’re just begging to make it into the playoffs! One thing is for sure though. No matter how the Leafs fair in the standings, the team will always be a money maker. Today, The Toronto Star’s Josh Rubin writes that professional sports teams in Canada make upwards of $1.5 billion a year!

A new report released by the Conference Board of Canada details just how big an industry sports is in this country. Perhaps not surprisingly, half of that $1.5 billion is generated by the six NHL teams that are based in Canada. And you guessed it, the Leafs have a lot to do with that.

Douglas Porter, the deputy chief economist at BMO, feels that the economic impact of sports in Canada isn’t all that significant. It’s a sizeable industry, he agrees, but not one that greatly affects the country’s economy overall. In fact, he believes that “in the grand scheme of things, it’s about one thousandth of the entire economy.”

He argues that team sports have more of an impact on the economy of the region the team plays for. However, “one-off events such as the Toronto Indy or the upcoming Ultimate Fighting Championship event at the Rogers Centre are more likely to generate new money because they attract tourists.”

One thing is for sure, though. If the Toronto Maple Leafs do make it into the playoffs, there will be a lot of Torontonians shelling out a lot of dollars to see the games, host parties and head out for food and drinks to celebrate. The economic impact is sure to be a great one in our city.

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24 Feb

Be A Top Promoter

Posted in Uncategorized on 24.02.11 by John Meloche

Promotion is the name of the game. If you don’t believe us, ask a local club promoter. Okay, well we don’t assume that you necessarily know any local club promoters, so allow us to explain what we mean. Have you ever been to a nightclub and thought, “this place looks fabulous”?

The next thing you know, it’s a month later, and you find out that the club has been shut down or put up for sale. You recall having a good time at the club. You were even planning to go back at some point. But, for some reason, the club just wasn’t a success. You think to yourself, “I haven’t heard anything about that club in a while, I wonder what happened”.

And then it hits you. That’s the whole point! You haven’t heard anything about the club in a while. Evidently, the club promoter had not been doing his job to inform the public that his club existed and that it should be considered the place of choice for a good party. It didn’t matter that you had a good experience there, no one else knew about it.

The bottom line is that you can have an excellent product for sale. You can provide a top-notch service. But if you haven’t found a way to tell the buying public that your business provides these great products and services, then how will you expect to draw any business?

Poor promotion, unfortunately, is the downfall of many a business owner. Not mastering the ways in which one can promote his or her company inevitably becomes a company killer. One of your top priorities as an entrepreneur should be to discover the ways that you can reach your target audience.

Of course, knowing who your target market is would be the first step. But once you’ve decided who you are going to market your products and services to, it is time to find an intriguing promotional strategy. Of chief importance is finding ways to promote your company without spending a lot of money in the process.

Naturally, Synergy Marketing Consultants champions the use of promotional items because of their long-lasting usefulness and relative inexpensiveness. Our clients can all vouch for the opportunities that their promo gifts have given them. They build rapport and help to encourage a loyal client base.

We hope that you will find ways to promote your business in a way that ensures that no one forgets about you! The last thing you want is for a customer to have enjoyed his or her experience with your company, only to have them come back and find that you are no longer there!

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23 Feb

Music To Your Ears

Posted in Uncategorized on 23.02.11 by John Meloche

As we have revealed in previous blogs, the Synergy Marketing Consultants office always maintains a lively atmosphere. It starts with our morning meetings which always include funny stories and motivational words of encouragement to get the day going. We often say that “if we are not interesting, our customers won’t be interested!”

So to pass along the excitement to our customers, we feel that it’s important for us to be excited as well. For many people, showing up to work everyday can be a tiring task. This is because finding fun at work is not easy for everyone. At Synergy, having fun at work is the name of the game.

We believe that a happy staff is a productive staff. One thing we do to keep the energy flowing throughout the office is to keep the radio on. Each day, we pump music throughout the office to make sure people are experiencing a certain type of energy in the air that they can translate to the conversations they have with their customers.

Playing music in an office is not uncommon. And depending on the kind of office you work in, some music may not be considered appropriate. A doctor’s office, for example, generally plays soft music at low volumes. Likely to keep the office’s patients relaxed and at ease while they wait for their appointments, this type of low level, easy going music makes sense.

In our office, however, we generally like up-tempo, high-energy music that keeps our team members pumped. Have you ever worked in an environment where no music was allowed to be played at all? What was the mood like in that office? Was it overwhelmingly quiet, and as a result, drab and boring?

Most likely, if you work in an office with no music…there is no energy either. Find the type of music that would best suit your office and think about pumping it up! Of course, different people have various tastes in music. You may want to switch up the station, the CD or the iPod to ensure that there is music that will hopefully suit everyone’s tastes.

Finding a radio station that plays a variety of tunes is your best bet. But keep in mind the energy of the music and what its purpose is. If you want to have an excited and motivated group of workers, there’s nothing wrong with creating the type of atmosphere that will keep them going all day long.

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22 Feb

Toronto Among Most Livable Cities

Posted in Uncategorized on 22.02.11 by John Meloche

Every so often, the Synergy Marketing Consultants Blog likes to brag a little bit about its hometown. With our company headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, it is not uncommon for us to mention that the largest city in Canada (fifth largest in North America, behind only Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and number one Mexico City) is a great place to live!

Today, The Toronto Star‘s Lesley Ciarula Taylor confirmed this belief by revealing that The Economist has ranked the city as the world’s fourth most livable city in the world. Hurting the city’s shot at the number one spot was its below 90 per cent ranking for its infrastructure such as roads, public transit, airports, housing, energy, water and telecommunications.

This new list, writes Taylor, is based on a study that reviewed 140 cities worldwide and critiqued them based on 30 different factors. Health care, culture, environment, education and personal safety were among the factors that helped determine the rankings for the world’s most livable cities.

Our friends in the west coast of Canada will insist they have a lot more to brag about as Vancouver, British Columbia was ranked the number one most livable city in the world. Melbourne, Australia and Vienna, Austria rounded out the top three. According to The Economist: “Cities that score best tend to be mid-sized cities in wealthier countries with a relatively low population density.”

Perhaps Vancouver and Toronto can share in the joy of knowing that Canadian cities faired relatively well throughout the list. In fact, seven of the top ten cities on the list are either Australian or Canadian. The United States, meanwhile, had its highest ranking city come in at number 29 – Pittsburgh.

Taylor adds that Vancouver was a near perfect city, with petty crime and lack of good quality housing being among the very few blemishes on the city’s reputation. Calgary, Alberta also faired well on The Economist‘s list tying Toronto with 100 perfect points in the “stability” column.

Meanwhile, both petty and violent crime hurt big cities like London and New York’s rankings as they ranked 53rd and 56th respectively. Among the bottom ranking cities were Dhaka, Bangladesh; Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; Lagos, Nigeria; Algiers, Algeria and Karachi, Pakistan.

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21 Feb

A Day To Show Gratitude

Posted in Uncategorized on 21.02.11 by John Meloche

Today is Family Day in Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan. But for the most part, many Canadians are still working today. And for business owners, the work never stops! Constantly thinking of ways to improve business and gain more customers, the mind of an entrepreneur rarely ever takes a vacation.

Choosing the right promotional item is one of the key ingredients to making your client base not only grow but remain loyal. There is a familial touch to the whole concept of promotional items. Giving them out to your best customers and closest colleagues continually conveys a feeling of appreciation and gratitude.

After all, it is important to always be grateful to the members of your business family. They are the ones who help to keep your business going. To grow your business, you need to have strong supporters. Rewarding them with a gift is the perfect way to say “thank you”. And, as always, providing reasons to have people recommend your business to their friends will only help for this family to grow.

So, with today being Family Day, we would like to offer our appreciation to our great clients who have helped to build Synergy Marketing Consultants to where it is today. Without the support of our customers, it would obviously be difficult to grow our own business. We’re just happy that we are helping their businesses to grow in the process.

Here are a few words from some members of our Synergy team: “Happy Family Day everybody! As we take the day to appreciate our loved ones at home, I’d just like to offer my sincere gratitude to those who have helped our business to develop into the best promotional gifts company around. You are part of our family too.”

“Thank you to all of our awesome clients. You have proven that giving out promo gifts is one of the cheapest, yet most effective ways to grow your business. The act of giving itself is one that shows great compassion. I wish you all the utmost success in promoting your businesses and growing your client bases.”

“All the best to my Synergy family. As much as I love my customers, I love my co-workers too. Without your support, helpful hands and warm wishes each and every day, it would be so much more difficult to do what we do. Communication is one of the biggest parts of our jobs. So allow me to communicate to my Synergy family that I wish you a fabulous Family Day!”

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18 Feb

Introducing Our 2011 Product Line

Posted in Promotional Products on 18.02.11 by John Meloche

Synergy Marketing Consultants is proud to announce its new 2011 line of products. On our home page, you will find our can’t-miss links to some of the most innovative and unique promotional gifts we have ever had the pleasure of offering your business. Placing your company’s name and logo on these babies is sure to impress your clients and customers all year long!

Our double-walled 15oz Multi Color Translucent Desk Mugs is one of the coolest mugs we’ve ever come across. Or would that be one of the ‘hottest’ mugs we’ve even come across? For those many people unable to go through a work day without their morning coffees, this mug is the ideal gift.

The stainless steel liners keep drinks warmer longer and the removable lids ensure that no messes are made during transit. Available in black, blue, red and green, these awesome drink holders are perfect for the home, the office or the car. Order your 15oz Multi Color Translucent Desk Mugs HERE.

We absolutely love the “Happy Camper”. Firstly, we have never offered an illuminator such as this one. Secondly, this awesome Hand-Crank/Solar LED Lantern is an easy-to-use, eco-friendly light that is ideal for any camping, hunting or fishing trip. Order your “Happy Camper” Hand-Crank/Solar LED Lanterns HERE.

Of course, conventional flashlights remain very popular promotional gifts. But then again, the Illuminator Tactical Gear 3 Watt Rechargeable Flashlight with Compass is not your everyday flashlight. This heavy duty beauty is the same type of light that is used by the police! It works on three settings: bright, super bright and flashing. Order them HERE.

Another go-to promotional gift that you can never go wrong with is the pen. And the Solid Bamboo Pen with Biodegradable Plastic Clip is a pen among pens! We’re very happy to include this writing device to our new 2011 product line as it is made up with an over 60% biodegradable cornstarch plastic clip and tip.

That means that they are as environmentally friendly as they are compact and useful. These natural bamboo pens are available in blue, black, red or green accents. Impress your clients and colleagues by giving them one of these great pens with your company name and contact information on them. Order your Solid Bamboo Pens HERE.

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17 Feb

Spend A Little Make A Lot

Posted in Uncategorized on 17.02.11 by John Meloche

Synergy Marketing Consultants has always been all about business promotion at low costs. Naturally, we are firm believers that giving your clients promotional gifts is one of the most cost effective ways to market your business. But, of course, promoting your business without spending a lot money can be done in numerous ways.

This is a topic that we have touched on many times in an effort to encourage business owners across Canada to work with a variety of promotional methods. It’s no different in the United Kingdom, according to BusinessHelper.co.uk. The site acknowledges that advertising your business can be done through many inexpensive methods.

One of the most popular pieces of advice that we keep coming across is also found on this British site. Writing a press release, they write, is a great way to generate free publicity. They suggest that you write an interesting story about your company versus simply trying to advertise a product.

This is one of the reasons that we do our best to maintain an entertaining and informative blog. Not every release needs to be a commercial. Update your contemporaries with useful news bits that are relevant to your target audience. Not surprisingly, BusinessHelper.co.uk recommends blogging to help generate more traffic to your website.

Create a profile on social networking sites such as Facebook, says the site. Now where have we heard this one before? It cannot be reiterated enough that social media sites are today’s most popular sources of online communication. At least that’s what hundreds of millions of online users think!

Speaking of using the web, it is advisable that you add comments at the bottom of web postings. Writes BusinessHelper.co.uk: “If you do a reasonable job of an answer then many sites will be quite happy to include a link back to your website.” The more often you can leave a link to your own website, the more opportunities you provide yourself to get more visitors.

Here’s an interesting one. “Make a poster and put it in the back window of your car,” says the site, “This could be just a simple web address for your business.” Simple and effective, this practice ensures that everywhere you go, your business is being advertised. Making sure potential customers have your website and phone number is the least you should be trying to accomplish when promoting your business.

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16 Feb

Creating Exceptional Customer Experiences

Posted in Uncategorized on 16.02.11 by John Meloche

What do you look for in the businesses that you frequent? As a business owner, it’s always important to consider the customer experience. Try to put yourselves into the shoes of the people you service and ask yourself “would I enjoy my experience here?” It’s one thing to like the product you buy, but it’s another thing to enjoy walking into a store for that product.

When you go shopping, what is it you look for in the place you decide to make your purchase from? We took to the Synergy Marketing Consultants sales team to ask for some of their opinions today. We hope that some of this advice will get you thinking a bit deeper about ways to improve the customer experience in your store.

“I love it when the customer service is great,” responded one of our team members, “I have literally walked out of stores because I didn’t feel they cared if I was in there or not. I feel like I should be considered a valuable customer even if I’m browsing. If you give me a good experience in your store, I’ll likely buy and come back to buy again.”

Quality of products is another point that was popular in our office. “You have got to offer good quality,” said another member of our staff. “This is why I’m so confident about the promo items we sell. I know they are top-of-the-line. When I go into a store, I want to know that what I’m paying for is worth the money.”

Price is another factor that matters to customers, according to our team. “People are always looking for a bargain,” said another rep, “Especially if your store sells products or provides services similar to other stores, you should make sure that your customers would rather come to you. Nine times out of ten, if you can beat the price of your competitors, you’ll get the sale.”

Dependability also came up in our discussion today. “I want to make sure that I can trust the company that I’m spending money on. If they lose my confidence even once, it’ll be hard to get me back into the store,” exclaimed another team member who recalled a time when she ordered an item from a store over the phone.

“When I showed up to the store, they told me that the item had been sold out. I explained that I had ordered the item and it was on hold for me and yet still nothing could be done about it. It was the last time I shopped there,” she explained. So, of course, make the customer experience in your store one that will keep your customers coming back. As always, we hope our suggestions will help!

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15 Feb

Warm Weather On The Way

Posted in News on 15.02.11 by John Meloche

Maybe there is something to that groundhog after all. Back on the February 2nd when Southern Ontario was becoming blanketed in snow thanks to the predicted “Snowmaggedon”, it was reported that the groundhog never saw its shadow. According to folklore, this would indicate a shortened winter and an earlier onset of spring.

And while the major snowstorm didn’t unleash the upwards of 30 centimetres of snow that was forecast, the City of Toronto and its surrounding areas were certainly subject to a winter wonderland. Today, however, it seems as if the groundhog’s premonition may be coming true.

The Toronto Star’s Gloria Er-Chua reports today that Toronto is set to break single-day temperature records this week. Thursday and Friday are poised to post highs of 9 and 12 degrees Celcius respectively. This forecast was provided by Environment Canada meteorologist Geoff Coulson.

Er-Chua notes that Toronto’s record of warmth on February 17th was set back in 1984 when the thermometer hit 7.4 C. The record for February 18th goes back to 1949 when the temperature climbed to 10.6 C. It appears as if it is time for enemies of winter (this blogger included) to rejoice!

2011 is set to claim both records this week, prompting many warm weather lovers to potentially plan some spring-like activities. Depending on how much snow is still around, it wouldn’t be surprising to see some extra cyclists, roller bladers and joggers on the streets and sidewalks this week.

Er-Chua writes that the warm weather will begin as early as tomorrow. With Southern Ontario experiencing temperatures well below freezing throughout February so far, this early spring weather will come as a welcome change. Wednesday’s temperature is expected to be as high as 6 C.

Dare we break out the spring jackets? Well, perhaps maybe not. Coulson reports that raincoats may be the more appropriate outerwear of choice on Thursday and Friday. With the warmer temperatures will come upwards of 10 to 12 millimetres of rainfall. The cold, however, is expected to return by the weekend.

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