What I’ve Learned MNGT138 Wk#10

colored-pencils-374771__480The Power of Newsletters

I had no idea how incorporating a newsletter for your business could be so beneficial. It makes sense that customers who show an interest want to stay in contact with a brand. By maintaining contact through e-mail newsletters it can help to develop and strengthen  brand  loyalty by staying in contact with past and future customers. The numbers prove that past customers have a higher chance of becoming repeat customers. In the future of my business I plan to incorporate newsletters to remind customers I am thinking of them. Newsletters are also a great way to share the latest deals, sales and just share any information.

Knowing Your Audience

Knowing the your target market may seem obvious to some extent. General descriptions such as male/female, age and yearly income can all be a good place to start. What I thought was really helpful in this process was to narrow your customer down to an actual person. By creating target market personas you can find creative ways to appeal to that person. What do they need? What do they like? How do they spend their time? This process is fun and can give you a greater perspective as to who and how to attract them. Identifying an actual person makes marketing to them feel personal. In my marketing efforts I think this is a great way to better connect with your audience.

Where Are They?

Now that we are able to know who our audience is….how do we find them? Where are they? This is where when creating a marketing plan it is important to reach people through multiple channels. Video and Potcasts are just another way to attract loyal customers and build relationships with those customers. It is more personal and by sharing with them information they find useful or sharing about yourself, people dig it. You become special in their eyes because chances are you share similar thoughts and ideas with your target audience. I’m shy. I am going to try to utilize this concept in the future because of the business relationship benefits. I plan to do videos or classes of some sort through YouTube.

Most important is taking all the information and creating a focused and cohesive way to market a brand that attracts like-minded individuals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shine Through Networking MNGT137#8

sparkler-677774_1280As important and valuable as I know networking is to be successful…I am the worst at it. Networking is valuable not for what someone can do for you, but possible what you can do for someone else. Its all about who ya know. I am going to be completely brutally honest as much as I need to put myself out there. I am scared to. I lack the self confidence to do so. All the lights go out and I feel as if I have nothing to offer. That may be why I am an artist…I like to be all alone in my little imaginative world, and try not to concern myself with very much outside of it.

But…in order to make a name for myself I need to put myself “out there.” On the other hand I do love to meet new people and hear their stories and experiences. (I just don’t enjoy telling mine) I know networking can be a great way to add value and depth and even creativity by learning and being inspired by others.

I am making a conscious goal right now to start putting myself out there. Confidence comes from practice and I need to start practicing! Im going to let my little light shine.

Creating Marketing Pieces MNGT138 Wk#9

Postcard/MailerdarkdolldelightsThis was so much fun! Creating an imaginary event, taking place three months from now. The photo above is a postcard that would potentially be a marketing piece that local businesses would pass out and be stuffed in bags. The information it contains is the name of the event, when and where it will be held and a little teaser of what the event  is about. And of course where to find more information about the event.

 NewsletterdarkolldelightsThe second piece (shown above) would serve as a e-mailed newsletter to current subscribers. The newsletter offers a bit more information than the postcard version. The newsletter serves as a personal invite from Elliot Orange to attend the event. It also gives information as to how bring 3 canned food items can save customers 10% off a purchase including the charity website, Elliot Orange website and the event website. It also includes a little note from Elliot Orange to come join in on the fun! It dawned on me later that this version does not state that it is free…Because the first one I created and finished, did say free and mysteriously disappeared when my computer decided to freeze. Even so, I love the ease of making these kinds of marketing pieces!

Lastly I created a short video ad to serve as a commercial and a teaser to grab attention and  gain interest in something a little different. All music and photos are copyright free and for use to anyone.

Bring Them Together 

By incorporating both physical and tangible postcard, sending out an e-mailed newsletter, and creating a commercial ad,I believe I will have a good chance of reaching a broad market. Creating a multitude of media marketing pieces you can spread information through more than just one specific channel.

 

Testing Usability-Its an Art MNGT136 Wk9

This last week we had the opportunity to facilitate our own usability tests with a peer.

art-747921__480After all that we have studied through the course work, it was time to apply it. For me, the experience was fun, and although I felt prepared and organized, I was also a  bit nervous. As a facilitator it is hard not to help and point the user in the right direction in order to complete tasks. In order to gain measurable results in a usability test there are many steps and preparedness that you must have prior to testing, its is art.

How to Test                                                                 I recently read an article featured on Nomat  that clearly identified the ways to facilitate and conduct a usability test. The introduction explains that although facilitating a usability test is not difficult there are differences between good and bad tests. These differences will have a direct affect on the validity and the effectiveness of your ending test results. Although not “difficult” the article encourages practice in testing and mastering the “art” may take years.

The ART                                                                                                                                                                                   The article lists and identifies very real circumstances in which you will run into while testing and explains how best to handle them.  Starting with a well written prepared script to explain the process to the test participants. By explaining what is expected and getting to know the tester it will build a mutual trust.Clearly state boundaries and expectations. Deflect questions, resist the urge to lead the participant in any direction. Become comfortable in silence, as it is necessary to avoid cross talk or encouragement in either direction. And lastly listen to what the test participant says, repeat what they have said to make sure you have understood what it is they are trying to say.

This was a really good article and it stream line the most important and valuable information concerning usability testing in a very straight forward and supportive way.

Reference:

Usability test facilitation: 6 key skills. (2014, October 08). Retrieved March 04, 2017, from http://www.nomat.com.au/usability-test-facilitation/

http://www.nomat.com.au/usability-test-facilitation/

 

 

Lighting the Path MNGT137#7

idea-1289876__480Having your own business. Being your own boss. This sounds like a dream to a lot of people. I am one of them. I want to thrive and profit both in life and business on my own ideas and dedication. It is hard work to stay motivated and dedicated to your ideas. It takes a lot of time and energy to make them a reality. A profitable reality…

Lightbulbs

One of the first assignments this quarter, left the strongest impression on me in more ways than one. Lightbulbs went off for me when I watched Cal Newton’s talk. He was explaining the importance of time management and things aren’t as simple as “doing what you love.” Using Steve Jobs as an example do what he did not what he said. Stating that Steve Jobs who is a successful icon learned to love what he did. He found passion in something that he may not have originally dreamt of doing. Meaning, make whatever you do great.

As I’ve studied the course material, everything has stacked on top of this idea. Everything that I have learned and studied has given me more tools to work with no matter what I do. I won’t be daydreaming in the dark.

Marketing with Reciprocity MNGT138 Wk8

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Reciprocity is a word I didn’t know I knew. The definition of reciprocity according to Google: is the practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit, especially privileges granted by one country or organization to another. So it seems to be a concept that we are all familiar with to some degree. I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine sort of outlook. Which interestingly enough is one of the basic social psychological laws. The reciprocity principle as stated in an article by Nielsen Norman Group “It says that in many social situations we pay back what we received from others.” 

Think of all the ways that this principle is used in marketing efforts. The first thing that comes to mind for me, is when companies hand out free samples or offer a membership for a trial period. The idea is that you can  enjoy something for nothing but you are more likely as a consumer, to remember that experience and that particular product and feel loyal or even obligated to purchase those products later. This is an effective way to gain new customers and maintain customer loyalty~Incentive.

Now What?

If you have an online business how could you apply the reciprocity principle to your business? Ask yourself what the customers want from you? What can you provide to them to guarantee they will be back? You would want to choose something that aligns with your business and brand. An example might be, if you sell food products, maybe post recipes and other food related information or kitchen tips. The goal is to offer something that is valuable to the customer in order for them to return to you, building trust and loyalty.

Whatcha Gonna Do Elliot Orange?

Elliot Orange specializes in Halloween and holiday inspired whimsical ornaments and home decor. Elliot Orange could post festive decorating ideas for upcoming holidays and events. She could host a free online class on glass cutting, or share her own favorite paper mache recipe for others to try.

 

 

Rabbit Out Of a Hat MNGT138 Wk7

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I can pull a rabbit out of a hat!

Actually, no. No, I really can’t. But….I can make something from nothing! No magic tricks here, no sleight of hand, instead a little secret. My secret to editing photos and making flyers, newsletters and postcards is free editing software.

There are dozens of free editing programs out there but, I always fall back on PicMonkey.           I find it really easy to use and it offers a lot of fun photo effects. And…did I mention that it’s free!? PicMonkey also offers a Royalty package that you can purchase which then unlocks additional features and editing options. Even this option is affordable.

I love creating something from nothing. I like the freedom of not being locked into software I have to pay a fortune to use and dedicate a ton of time to learning. For example Photoshop is amazing but, I don’t have the time or the money to invest in it right now. This is why PicMonkey is so convenient and user friendly. Across the site they offer templates, tutorials and suggestions to help in your editing process.

PicMonkey does a lot for nothing, and I have found that it has been perfectly acceptable for practically all of my editing needs. What’s better than that?

I don’t need magic to pull a rabbit out of hat but I do need a secret monkey!monkey-1177582__480