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Business Strategy

Formula for Success

Customer Service – Not Just a Department

59d6dfd7-9a6c-4af2-84a4-57e287e934ab-mediumEveryone in your company should be doing customer service, not just one department.

Gary V. on TV Ads VS Content Marketing – 60 Second Video Clip

Life Moves Fast. Too Fast Sometimes.

I was thinking a lot today about slowing down everything we do in our lives.  We live in such a fast paced environment which can lead to accidents, unfinished products, ideas that are not fully though out, etc.

Sometimes we move so fast because we need to. Other-times we do it because we think that’s what we’re supposed to do.

Here’s a few examples:

– I see car accidents in my neighborhood almost daily. One time a lady was actually run over and killed (true story). I think if people asked themselves “do I really need to drive this fast?” that many of these accidents could be prevented just by being more aware of others and slowing down.

– How many of you have had business ideas that you thought was a great idea? I do this all the time. I have a great idea, and then the next day I’ll be on to something else. I don’t give myself the time for my idea to marinade and following through on these ideas almost never happens. Since there is pressure to make money a lot of good ideas that would take time to develop go to waste since they are not immediate money makers (and who has the time not to make money?). I’ve never heard of an app that took 15 years or more to make but a 15 year old whiskey is better than a 5 year whiskey. Get my point?

–  During the school year I wake up at 6:30am 5 days a week after getting home from work at 12:30pm and I rush to drop off my kids at school and my wife at work. Then, in the afternoon at 12:45pm or 1:30pm (yes kids here have basically a half a day of school as the normal school day unless you pay more to keep your kid later which we do not) I rush to pick everyone up from school and work. Then I rush off to work. Then I rush home to try and fall asleep so I can wake up again the next day at 6:30am.

There has to be a better, less stressful, less rushed way to do this and get through the day with ones sanity and physical well-being intact.

My point is I think we’d all benefit a little bit, we’d be less stressed, we’d think a little clearer, we’d follow through on more ideas if we all just slowed down.

For the readers who keep Shabbat, I’m sure you’ll say “that’s what Shabbat is for.” But what about the rest of the week? Is it OK to run around like a chicken with it’s head cut off 6 days of the week? I’m not convinced.

There must be a better way.

Jewish Donor Blog’s Yoav Kaufman Interviews Vayner Media’s Gary Vaynerchuk

“Jewish Business Ethics: Proper Marketing and Selling”

Source: http://www.thejewishweek.com/

Author: Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

“There is a famous business concept called caveat emptor (buyer beware). In secular society, as long as a seller does not blatantly lie or actively conceal a defect, it is the full responsibility of the buyer to exercise due diligence and to inspect what is being purchased. Jewish law takes a totally different approach: It is presumed that no defects or problems exist in a product or property if they are not disclosed explicitly by the seller.”

Full article by clicking this link: http://www.thejewishweek.com/features/street-torah/jewish-business-ethics-proper-marketing-and-selling-0

Israel – Cleantech in the Making

Apple to Open R&D Center In Israel

More good news for Israel Hi-Tech as Apple Computers announces it will open up its first development center outside of its California headquarters.

Check out the full story in Globes.

David

Thank You

There are hundreds of thousands of blogs out there today, but you’ve taken the time to read this one – and for that I thank you!
I know a bunch of you just signed up for our free email subscription and I want to thank you personally for that too.
We started out 3 and a half years ago with no readers at all and no one really caring about who we were or what we had to say. Today we have had over 62,000 views and clicks to our blog and many, many loyal readers like you.
Without you, we wouldn’t be here.
Our readers inspire us, and hopefully we continue inspired you as well.
If there’s anything I can do for you, send me an email at yoav @ negevdirect.com or leave a comment in a post and I promise to get back to each and every reply.
Best and happy reading!
Yoav Kaufman

Helping AMIT Help Israel

This summer, Vivint, one of the largest home automation companies in North America, is giving away more than one million dollars to charities through its GiveBack Project.

We LOVE Vivint for it’s innovative approach to charitable giving.

We also LOVE AMIT. With 85 schools in 24 cities throughout Israel, AMIT sets the standard for quality education in Israel.

Now, you can help AMIT  receive a grant of up to $250,000 from Vivint. Here’s how:

Step 1: Like Vivint on Facebook
Step 2: Search for Amit
Step 3: Endorse Amit

You can start voting today and continue voting once a day until August 27th.

Vote for AMIT early and often.

David

Free List Industry White Paper

While mailing lists are the lifeblood of direct mail marketing campaigns, the data acquisition process is outmoded. 

NextMark, our favorite source for list information, commissioned research to better understand the core issues related to list acquisition and list fulfillment.

“The Evolution of List Fulfillment” is the first whitepaper of its kind, leveraging the combined experience of seasoned direct marketing professionals (list brokerage and management executives), with technological expertise (NextMark) and qualified third-party editorial (Ray Schultz).

Download your free copy (PDF format) now: The Evolution of List Fulfillment

David

Search updates on LinkedIn with the new Signal feature!

Signal is a powerfull new feature from LinkedIn that helps filter information in a number of ways.
1. You can manage viewing Twitter updates on LinkendIn that otherwise can be too much of an information overload once you are following a fair amount of people and their Tweets.
2. Signal is a fast and easy way to search your LinkedIn contacts for relevant information that you are looking for at any moment.  On the hunt for a certain type of job?  Now you can search your contacts and their contacts for relevant keywords in their LinkedIn status updates such as “Direct Mail Hiring”, etc.
3. Want to get an idea what your network is saying about a topic at any given moment?  Signal can help with that too. Just type in a keyword and choose the group of people you want to search in and off you go.
Give this quick demo video a watch and then try LinkedIn’s new Signal feature for yourself and let us know what you think!

Chris Paradysz – PM Digital – Top Entrepreneurs | Crain’s New York Business

Chris Paradysz – PM Digital – Top Entrepreneurs | Crain’s New York Business

Paradyz Matera makes Crain’s NY business.com top entrepreneur list of 2010.

PM is a company we are proud to have been working with for some time now and we wish Chris all the success that he deserves.ry

Direct mail is expected to grow 5.8% to 47.8 billion in 2011

Repost from the Nextmark.com blog.

Original blog post here by clicking here.

“As reported in DM News, Bruce Biegel of the Winterberry Group gave the Direct Marketing Club of New York a recap of 2010 and his forecast for 2011 for direct and digital advertising spending.”

“Some highlights from 2010”:

  • Direct / Digital ad spending was up 2.7% in 2010 vs. 2009 to $154.4 billion
  • Digital was $27.7 billion in 2010 comprising 18% of total
  • Online display spending grew 10.7% year over year
“Highlights looking forward to 2011”:
  • Direct / Digital ad spending predicted to be up 6.2% in 2011 vs. 2010 to $163.9 billion
  • Direct mail is expected to grow 5.8% to 47.8 billion – direct mail “still really works well for acquisition because it’s easier to target [than other channels].”
  • Digital as an acquisition tool is still finding its way

Stop the Press! Forward Names Surman Associate Publisher

The Forward, America’s most influential Jewish weekly newspaper and website, has appointed Barry S. Surman associate publisher.

In his position, Surman will be responsible for growing both the print and digital revenues of the Forward – including both English- and Yiddish-language newspapers and websites –  while managing and overseeing their business operations.  Prior to joining the Forward, Surman co-founded and led Eye Multimedia LLC, a multimedia startup, and also consulted for a variety of businesses and not-for-profit projects.

Before that, Surman was the vice president of new business and strategic development, and vice president for classified advertising, for the New York Daily News. In those positions he was responsible for strategic partnerships, investment and acquisition activities, as well as leading advertising and classified sales teams.  Surman also held a series of management roles at The New York Times  in sales and marketing, product development and management, and corporate strategy and acquisitions; he worked in – or closely with – business units in multiple media segments, including digital media, newspapers, magazines, radio, and television broadcasting and production.

Earlier in his career, Surman was a management consultant with McKinsey & Company and a professional journalist. His writing and photography have appeared in The New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, Congressional Quarterly, Technology Review and other outlets.

“Barry’s work in growing revenues and managing operations at major newspapers makes him a perfect fit for the associate publisher position,” said Samuel Norich, publisher of the Forward. “We are pleased to have his management, sales and operational experience, as the Forward continues to explore new business and editorial opportunities.”
Surman holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from Columbia Business School.   He serves on the alumni board of The Tech, MIT’s student newspaper, and the board of directors of the nonprofit organization Upwardly Global.

Rory Sutherland: “Sweat the small stuff”

Source: ted.com

“It may seem that big problems require big solutions, but ad man Rory Sutherland says many flashy, expensive fixes are just obscuring better, simpler answers. To illustrate, he uses behavioral economics and hilarious examples.”

Jason Fried, 37 Signals, Marketing by Sharing

“Jason Fried is the co-founder and President of 37signals, a privately-held Chicago-based company committed to building the best web-based tools possible with the least number of features necessary.”

Video Source: YouTube.com

Four Marketing Tips From the Experts or “Could You Market Chocolate Filled With Air?”

Inc.com recently published an article with some insightful and ready to use marketing tips by a few of today’s business leaders.
Paul Pruett saw a business opportunity when he returned from Europe and couldn’t find any of the air filled chocolate candy bars that he grew to love in his time abroad.
“Since launching in October, (Paul) Pruett has been able to get Bubble Chocolate onto the shelves of more than 1,000 retailers — mostly independent stores, but also a few large chains like Whole Foods. So far, he hasn’t done much marketing except for some in-store demonstrations. How can Pruett persuade Americans to pay a premium for chocolate pumped full of air? We asked four entrepreneurs to weigh in.”
 The four experts to opine about how they would go about marketing this unique chocolate treat were:
– Robert Ehrlich, CEO of Pirate Brands, the Sea Cliff, New York–based maker of Pirate’s Booty and other snacks
– Guy Barnett, founder of The Brooklyn Brothers, an advertising agency based in New York City
– John Scharffenberger, co-founder of Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker, a high-end chocolate company that was acquired by Hershey
The expert opinions vary on how to go about marketing the air filled chocolate and range from the more tame suggestion of “use social media” to the more extreme idea of “Buy some helium”.
The full article by Shivani Vora from Inc.com is worth a read and can be found in it’s entirety here.
My take: Try a variety of marketing methods and see what works best for your organization and company.  Don’t put all your eggs in one basket as there is rarely a “magic pill” to suit all of your marketing needs all in one place.
Social Media, Direct Mail, Telemarketing, Meeting the Press and Product Experience are all parts of the larger marketing picture and don’t just rely on one to get the job done.

Jethro Tull’s 8.9.10 Jerusalem Concert

Ian Anderson, founder of the famed Jethro Tull is one of the few musicians I know that has been actively touring the world for more than 40 years.

He’s just one of those guys that has found a style that worked and stuck with it.

I was fortunate enough to be able to go to the Jethro Tull concert last night in Jerusalem and was one of the lucky 400 or 500 people to enjoy a very nice mix of the old Tull and the new Tull.

“Locomotive Breath”, “Aqualung”,” Bourée” and “Nothing is Easy” were a few of the classics that the band performed.

Some new tunes were sprinkled in too such as “Hare in the Wine Cup” a tune about a rabbit that had taken up residence in Ian’s garden some time back.

Another new tune that the band played was written for Ian by Ravi Shankar’s daughter and featured the sitar.

This particular concert was also unique to me in that Ian had an accomplished local Israeli musician by the name of Shlomo Gronich play one song with the band (see the video clip in this post).  Sharing the spotlight with a popular local talent came across as a classy move and also an unselfish act as well.

Could there be any lessons to be learned from Jethro Tull for all of the Jewish non-profit and businesses out there?

I think that if  Ian Anderson’s career can teach us anything it would seem to be to this:

– Find a unique style or market and just tweak your message as necessary over the years.

– Don’t lose sight of  your larger mission and goals and change slowly to fit the new realities that every new year brings.

– If you’re an organisation that tackles worldwide issues, don’t forget to mix in a bit of local flavor as well that best suits each particular campaign you run.

BTW – Today is Ian Anderson’s 63rd birthday!

I hope you enjoy this video clip from last night’s show!

Yoav

The Number of Israeli Millionaires Increased by 43 Percent Last Year


“Israel is third in the world in relative growth rate after India, Hong Kong; Meryll Lynch defines millionaire as someone with at least $1 million liquid assets.”

Reports Haaretz.com
“While the global financial crisis led to a 17 percent rise in the number of millionaires in the world in 2009, the number of Israeli millionaires increased by a whopping 43 percent last year, business consultant firm Capgemini and Merrill Lynch financial management advisory firm announced Tuesday.”
“During 2009 there were over 10 million millionaires throughout the world, holding together assets worth over $39 billion, while in Israel there were 8,419 millionaires.”
Will this type of economic growth spur higher $’s per gift in the Israeli non-profit sector?  I sure hope so as another recent Ha’aretz study points out that “Israelis don’t donate” .I don’t happen to agree with the statement that Israeli’s don’t donate.  I know far too many generous Israeli’s who give consistently to make that deduction.

That Israeli’s don’t give as much as Americans is up for debate in my book and that’s why I say I’m really hoping that this newly created wealth will lead to higher donation levels to Israeli non-profits by Israelis.
It’d make everyone feel like a million bucks!

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