This and That

I try to blog every two weeks and some weeks a topic is in the front of my mind. Other times, I have to put a little more effort in discovering something worthwhile to blog about. Today is one of those days.

My mind is on the Supreme Court’s announcement regarding healthcare, and the turmoil their decision is going to cause within the business community. A large corporation has large resources and because of that, they likely have more options available to deal with healthcare costs. Whereas, a small business struggles to keep pace with the premium increases that seem to come every year.

I’m old enough to remember the “good ole days” when we were able to pay 100% of our employees’ healthcare premiums, but those days are long gone. Our employees now pay a significant portion of their insurance costs. When we have  premium increases, a portion of those increases are passed on to the employees. So, any change in healthcare, that increases costs, affects not only our small business, but each one of our employees.

I have no idea what all of the ramifications of this decision are going to be, as it’s too early to tell. But, I hear people say that the larger corporations may drop healthcare as an employee benefit, because the penalty for not providing healthcare insurance will be less than the premiums they currently pay.

As a small family-owned business, I think the penalty vs. the healthcare cost will be so close that the decision may be difficult for us. But, what is frightening to me, is that dropping private healthcare insurance and forcing employees onto a national healthcare plan is not good. Just ask some of the wealthy people who travel to the U.S. for medical care – just because they can afford to. If their country’s national healthcare is so good, why do they come to the U.S.? It’s a question worth asking.

Another random thought that just popped up is this – our country is so great and so wonderful that we have people violating the law just to live and work here. Our freedoms, that we so willingly allow our politicians to remove from us in return for being “taken care of”, are the same freedoms these “foreigners” are willing to do anything to experience. Why do we not value them just as much?

We have gotten lost. This isn’t about whether you are a Republican, a Democrat or a member of a third party. Our freedoms and liberties have been disappearing at a slow and steady rate for years. Those that speak out are called radical, discontents, prejudiced and many other unattractive terms. But, someone needs to speak up and kudos to those that have the courage to let their voices ring out!

At what point are we going to say STOP? At what point are we going to limit our politicians’ power over our personal lives? At what point did Americans begin to feel that it was better to be on the public dole than to be responsible for their own welfare? At what point did we feel it was better to be “taken care of” instead of “taking care of”?

The Constitution is worth fighting for – just ask all of the brave men and women who have placed their lives on the line to protect it – many have died to insure our freedoms. Why are we allowing our politicians to minimize their sacrifice? We do so every time we turn a blind eye and allow them to remove, or limit, any of our rights.

It’s time to take a stand and demand that the Constitution be honored. It’s time to take a stand and demand term limits for our politicians – serving our country was never meant to be a lifetime of being on the public’s payroll. It’s time to stop burying our heads in the sand and start to stand up and say “enough”. No matter your political persuasion, if you are an American, your freedoms are what you stand upon and should stand up for! Let your voice be heard!

Multi-Craft’s Deborah Simpson Chats on Women in Family Business

Top Cincinnati Family-Owned Business Women Share Advice

Cincinnati, OH –June 15, 2012– The Goering Center brought together five female Greater Cincinnati power players to discuss women in family business.  Deborah Simpson, President of local expert marketing support and commercial printer, Multi-Craft, was a panelist at the June 13th event held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Blue Ash.  Simpson’s family has owned and operated the Newport-based company since 1955 and she has held her position as company president since 1990.

 

“I was in great company on this panel.  The number of women leaders in family businesses is higher than ever.  Those rising to lead in their companies now, are doing so at a very challenging time in the business world.  It was very interesting to hear how each of us are managing those challenges from our unique perspective,” said Simpson.

 

Other panelists included Karen Maier of Frisch’s, Britney Ruby of Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment, and Jeanne Bruce of Hyperquake.  The discussion was facilitated by Amy Katz with Baker and Daboll. The women discussed the dynamic working family relationships, management differences in gender and how they attained their positions.

 

“Although I started out in family business in the 1960’s, there is always something more to learn, especially from other intelligent, strong women,” Simpson added.

 

Multi-Craft hosts a lunch and learn seminar of its own on the second Thursday of each month at which Simpson shares her expertise on marketing, print and fulfillment topics. The Ideas in Motion seminars are free of charge and are open to business professionals interested in staying up-to-date on the latest in marketing and print.

 

For more information regarding the July 12 Ideas in Motion seminar and all of Simpson’s speaking engagements, sign up for the company e-newsletter at www.Multi-Craft.com.

 

About Multi-Craft

 

 

 

Multi-Craft is a privately-held marketing services and support company founded in 1955, providing strategic marketing support, creative and print services, mailing, fulfillment and database management for businesses seeking opportunity and growth in their market. Its focus is to develop solutions with measurable results and ROI for a long-term business partnership. For more information visit: www.Multi-Craft.com.

 

eCampaigns

It was predicted that email would decline due to social media. That has not proven to be true, as there are currently 2.9 billion email accounts and it is predicted that by 2014 there will be 3.8 billion. Maybe, it is because many people wish to communicate in more than 140 characters.

MarketingSherpa reports that over 4 times as many survey respondents prefer to receive promotions via email rather than social media.  But, please don’t stop posting to your social media pages. Just realize that, like email, social media won’t be effective all by itself. An integrated approach to your marketing will yield far better results than any single channel approach.

Email is a fabulous tool for customer retention and permission-based lists get far more opens and better deliverability than purchased lists. So, realize that your customer email database is golden and the effort to keep it up-to-date will be worth the effort.

Some tips for more effective eCampaigns, include:

  • A transparent subject line. Give the recipient a good idea of what the email will be about.
  • Your subject line should be 40 characters at the most – short and sweet!
  • Never place your subject line in all capitals as it’s more likely to be tagged by spam filters.
  • A recognizable From label. Sometimes it may be best to use your company name, as it might be more recognizable to your target than your name.
  • Design for the preview pane as many people will decide from there whether to scroll, open, delete or blacklist. Place the most important information so it will appear in that preview pane.
  • Your file should be as small as possible for faster download.
  • Remember, that Outlook’s default is to automatically block images. So, be sure to have text that would entice the reader to take the time to right-click and download your image.
  • Consider using a video in your email.
  • Don’t forget that your email will likely be viewed on a mobile device. So large images and lots of text may be a deterrent to your target viewing your email.

There are many more tips for more effective eCampaigns, but I believe two that are the most important are:

  1. Relevancy – As someone wiser than I stated, “You’ll never sell meat offers to a vegetarian”, no matter how often you market to them. What do you know about your targets? Are you using that data to send relevant offers? There are many ways to gather data, so consider a program that will result in data that you can use to more relevantly target your clients.
  2. Topic – Educational emails are more effective than promotional emails. Give your target something of value – information. Set yourself up as a trusted resource to your clients so that when they have a question, it is you they will think of to provide guidance in your area of expertise. Consider a link to an informational article, or a white paper.

eCampaigns are just one of the many channels you can include in your marketing strategy. Like any of the other channels, it is more effective when integrated with others. Also, as technology continues to drive change, we will discover more ways in which to market our products and services. So, become a lifelong learner and take the time to research all of the tools available for you to use in selling more of your products and services.

If you are in the Greater Cincinnati Northern Kentucky area, we offer monthly seminars. These hour-long seminars are free, include lunch and provide information on many marketing topics. Our July seminar is on “Multi-Channel Campaigns”. We hope these seminars prompt our clients to look to us as a trusted marketing resource. In addition, our Resource Center is full of articles that are free for you to download. Let us help put your marketing ideas in motion! www.multi-craft.com