Tag Archives: market strategy

Veteran’s Day 2019

“Veterans know better than anyone else the price of freedom, for they’ve suffered the scars of war. We can offer them no better tribute than to protect what they have won for us.”

On November 5, 1983 Ronald Reagan made a poignant address to America’s Veterans via his weekly radio address.

My Fellow Americans:

Next Friday, November 11th, we’ll celebrate Veterans Day — the day America sets aside to honor millions of our finest heroes. They are the men and women who defend our country and preserve our peace and freedom. This Veterans Day offers more reason than ever to think about what these special people mean to America.

Our most recent heroes — those still serving and those who have just come back from Beirut and Grenada — carried on with the same dedication and valor as their colleagues before them. If we remember that their dedicated service is in defense of our freedom and if we understand that they put their lives on the line so we might enjoy justice and liberty, then their sacrifices will not be in vain. This is our obligation. And this has been the spirit of Veterans Day from the beginning.

Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day. It was first celebrated in 1919, the year we commemorated the armistice ending a war that was to have ended all wars. Two years later, a solemn ceremony was held in Chalons-sur-Marne, a town in northeastern France. The ceremony would have deep meaning for America. The remains of four unknown American soldiers had been brought to the town square from four American military cemeteries in France. An American sergeant, Edward F. Younger, placed a bouquet of white roses on one of the caskets. The American Unknown Soldier of World War I had been designated. After transport across the Atlantic aboard Admiral Dewey’s flagship, the cruiser Olympia, our nation laid this hero to rest in Arlington National Cemetery on Armistice Day, November 11, 1921.

Sixty-two years have now passed. Millions of people from every corner of the world have come to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to pay their respects to America’s fallen heroes. The First World War did not end all wars. The assault on freedom and human dignity did not end. Our nation had laid to rest too many other heroes. From Guadalcanal and Omaha Beach to Mig Alley and Pork Chop Hill, from Khe Sanh and the A Shau Valley to Beirut, America’s best continue to give of themselves for us and for freedom-loving people everywhere. Yes, veterans have given their best for all of us, and we must continue to do our best by them.

Today, I reaffirm my determination to obtain the fullest possible accounting for our Americans missing in Southeast Asia. The sacrifices they made and may still be making and the uncertainty their families still endure deeply trouble us all. We must not rest until we know their fate.

Our hearts turn also to our disabled veterans. Their sacrifices and hardship endure every day of the year. A compassionate government will show them that we do remember and honor them. We will meet their special needs. In particular, there is no substitute for caring, quality health care, and that care will be provided.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. I went there to pay tribute to the many who gave their last full measure of their devotion. They kept faith with us and, indeed, they were heroes. Where do we get such brave young Americans? And where do we get those that came to their aid — the marines in Beirut who witnessed an unspeakable tragedy and returned to their posts with the same dedication and even greater resolve; the air crews working around the clock; the Army doctors performing medical miracles; and the sailors helping in countless ways? Such men and women can only come from a nation that remains true to the ideals of our Founding Fathers.

I also met with families and friends of those who lost their lives. I share their sorrow, and they have my prayers, as I know they have yours. These brave men protected our heritage of liberty. We must carry on. I believe we can and will. The spirit and patriotism that made America great is alive and well.

There was a brief ceremony in a hospital ward of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, last week that showed what I’m talking about. News photographers were taking pictures of soldiers who had just been awarded Purple Hearts and other decorations for valor. One wounded soldier, Private First Class Timothy Romick of the First Battalion, 75th Rangers, wearing a Purple Heart and a Combat Infantry Badge on his pajamas, interrupted the photographers. He said, “Wait a minute.” And he pulled out a small American flag. This young Army ranger put the flag above his decorations. And then he said, “Okay. You can take your pictures now, because this is what I’m proudest of.”

Each time our nation has called upon our citizens to serve, the best have come forward. Words cannot express our gratitude and admiration. But we can and should take the opportunity on this Veterans Day to remember their gift to us. When you see one of our young men and women in uniform on the street or someplace, how about a smiling “hello” and, maybe, a “thank you.”

Veterans know better than anyone else the price of freedom, for they’ve suffered the scars of war. We can offer them no better tribute than to protect what they have won for us. That is our duty. They have never let America down. We will not let them down.

Until next week, thanks for listening, and God bless you.

Note: The President spoke at 12:06 p.m. from Camp David, Md.

Source: The Ronald Reagan Library

Impact of a Great Coach

“A good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life.”

-John Wooden, Former UCLA Basketball Coach

Many of the players Coach Richardson impacted were on hand to celebrate the naming of the Nolan Richardson Basketball Court at the University of Arkansas last weekend. Next Level Thinking’s Founder, Eric Poerschke, played under Richardson his junior and senior years at Arkansas.

Congratulations Coach Richardson!

Nolan Richardson Jr. (born December 27, 1941) is a former American basketball head coach best known for his tenure at the University of Arkansas, where he won the 1994 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament. Elected to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014,[7] Richardson coached teams to winning a Division I Basketball National Championship, an NIT championship, and a Junior College National Championship, making him the only coach to win all three championships. During his 22 seasons of coaching in NCAA Division I, Richardson made a post-season tournament appearance 20 times. Click here to read more about Coach Nolan Richardson, Junior.

Source: Wikipedia

5 Holiday Tips for Email Marketing

The holiday season is coming up on us fast. As an entrepreneur, this is an important opportunity to connect with your clients and customers. 

It’s time to start getting your holiday marketing plan in motion. The Next Level Team is here with 5 Holiday Tips to help ensure your email marketing is holiday ready:

  1. Know Your Holidays Every country’s got its major holidays, which often coincide with peak sales times. In the United States, the most important holiday season runs from early November to early January, a two-month promotional window that fuels profits for the whole year. Wherever you’re located, our first holiday email marketing tip is to integrate your list of key holidays into your email marketing calendar. Decide which holidays to include in your plan and execute throughout the year.
  2. Start Early!  We start developing holiday campaigns for the upcoming Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year holidays in September.  The earlier you start, the better you can articulate every word to get your point across.
  3. Create a Sense of Urgency If you want to get sales, you must create a sense of urgency — today! See how that works? You may not be selling a product, instead consider pressing your clients to schedule your service before calendars are full.
  4. Be Festive  The holidays are a great time to have a little fun. When you’re sending out your marketing emails, you should make sure that you’re expressing holiday cheer. You can do this with your email subject heading, body, and email template.  Don’t forget to include your branding.
  5. Be Gracious and Thankful While the holidays often coincide with peak sales season for retailers, don’t lose site of the holiday’s meaning. Take the opportunity to thank your customers and clients for their loyalty.

Let us know if you have additional Tips and Tricks for Holiday Campaigns or if you are in need of help developing and implementing an effective marketing strategy. We would love to hear from you!

Have a great Labor Day Weekend!

1. The idea first became public in 1882. In September 1882, the unions of New York City decided to have a parade to celebrate their members being in unions, and to show support for all unions. At least 20,000 people were there, and the workers had to give up a day’s pay to attend. There was also a lot of beer involved in the event.

2. The New York parade inspired other unions. Other regions started having parades, and by 1887, Oregon, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Colorado made Labor Day a state holiday.

3. How did the Haymarket Affair influence Labor Day? On May 4, 1886, a bomb exploded at a union rally in Chicago’s Haymarket Square, which led to violence that killed seven police officers and four others. The incident also led to May 1 being celebrated in most nations as Workers Day. The U.S. government chose Labor Day instead to avoid a celebration on May 1 and New York’s unions had already picked the first Monday in September for their holiday.

4. Two people with similar names are credited with that first New York City event. Matthew Maguire, a machinist, and Peter McGuire, a carpenter, have been linked to the 1882 parade. The men were from rival unions; in 2011, Linda Stinson, a former U.S. Department of Labor’s historian, said she didn’t know which man should be credited – partially because people over the years confused them because of their similar-sounding names.

5. Grover Cleveland helped make Labor Day a national holiday. After violence related to the Pullman railroad strike, President Cleveland and lawmakers in Washington wanted a federal holiday to celebrate labor – and not a holiday celebrated on May 1. Cleveland signed an act in 1894 establishing the federal holiday; most states had already passed laws establishing a Labor Day holiday by that point. Sen. James Henderson Kyle of South Dakota introduced S. 730 to make Labor Day a federal legal holiday on the first Monday of September. It was approved on June 28, 1894.

6. The holiday has evolved over the years. In the late 19th century, celebrations focused on parades in urban areas. Now the holiday is a celebration that honors organized labor with fewer parades, and more activities. It also marks the perceived end of the summer season.

7. Can you wear white after Labor Day? This old tradition goes back to the late Victorian era, where it was a fashion faux pas to wear any white clothing after the summer officially ended on Labor Day. The tradition isn’t really followed anymore. EmilyPost.com explains the logic behind the fashion trend – white indicated you were still in vacation mode at your summer cottage.

8. Labor Day is the unofficial end of Hot Dog season. The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council says that between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Americans will eat 7 billion hot dogs.

9. How many people are union members today? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 14.8 million union members in the workforce in 2017. There were 17.7 million in 1983.

10. What is the biggest union today? The National Education Association has about 3 million people who are members, including inactive and lifetime members.

Digital Advertising Spending

Digital Advertising should be a focus of every strategic marketing plan due to the unprecedented growth in the industry. “This year will mark a major milestone in the world of advertising. For the first time, digital ad spending in the US will exceed traditional ad spending, according to eMarketer’s latest forecast. By 2023, digital will surpass two-thirds of total media spending.”

Click here to read more on the subject via Emarketer.com and to find out who the surprising, “big winner” is in taking ad share from others in the US digital ad market.

 

Remain Calm!

“The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want now.”

— {Zig Ziglar, Salesman and Motivational Speaker}

Change

“How willing you are to make changes is directly dependent upon how motivated you are to get where you want to go.”

— {Crystal Paine, Motivational Author}

Crystal Paine, of moneysavingmom.com has published several books including: 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, the Choose Love JournalChoose Gratitude Journal, and Money-Making Mom.  While her target audience might be moms, her “change” quote can apply to each and every person who reads it.

Survey Says: The Top Survey Tools

Surveys are a popular tool in garnering feedback on your company,  products, services, and prices.  According to Explorance, there are six reasons to survey your clients:

1 Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty

2 Customer Engagement

3 Product and Service E

nhancements

4 Customer Data

5 Operational Efficiency

6 Bench-marking for Development

Each of the above purposes require extensive thought and creativity to develop effective questions. A quick Google search garners hundreds of survey examples, but each question should be evaluated for your company’s feedback needs.

Once you develop questions, you must choose an appropriate survey tool. At NextLevel Thinking we make use of several different survey tools on behalf of our clients. Survey Monkey is user-friendly and contains numerous templates that can be easily altered.  Survey Monkey is also an affordable option with accounts available at different levels depending on a company’s needs.

Google Forms is the most affordable option available- free with a Google account. Once the survey is completed, the data is analyzed in a spreadsheet. Definitely easy to use, but less robust than other options.

Qualtrics is the best in class, but most expensive option. While they do offer a free option, the robust analytics in the paid option set hem apart from the competition.

Interested in taking a deeper dive into survey tools?  Check out last week’s blog post from Robly where they reviewed their Top Ten Survey Tools.

Happy Memorial Day 2019

“Memorial Day isn’t just about honoring veterans, its honoring those who lost their lives. Veterans had the fortune of coming home. For us, that’s a reminder of when we come home we still have a responsibility to serve. It’s a continuation of service that honors our country and those who fell defending it.””Memorial Day isn’t just about honoring veterans, its honoring those who lost their lives. Veterans had the fortune of coming home. For us, that’s a reminder of when we come home we still have a responsibility to serve. It’s a continuation of service that honors our country and those who fell defending it.” –Pete Hegseth

Email Personalization

“Email personalization is a way to authentically connect with your subscribers by sending targeted and relevant content that matters most to them. If subscribers don’t feel like they matter to your brand, then most likely, your brand won’t matter to them.”

Take a look at the tactics shared by CampaignMonitor.com for ideas to better cater your emails to your customers or clients.

4 Ways to Achieve Balance in Email Marketing

Robly published a blog titled “4 Ways to Achieve Balance in Email Marketing.” Balance in email marketing is a topic that comes up with every client. Are we sending enough emails? Too many? Are they too short? Too long? What level of personalization is right? Robly does a nice job of presenting information in the following ideas:

  1. Be personal…but not too personal
  2. Step away from the hard sell
  3. Don’t stop at just one
  4. There is such a thing as too much

The team at NextLevel agrees with Robly’s conclusion:There isn’t one answer. What one email user finds informative, another may find aggressive. There is no one answer here, but testing is how you’ll land on one that works.” Metrics don’t lie. Pay attention to the metrics and you will know what is working.

Click here to read the full article.

Easter Thought 2019

Evan Esar (1899–1995) was an American humorist who wrote Esar’s Comic Dictionary in 1943, Humorous English in 1961, and 20,000 Quips and Quotes in 1968.

“Easter is the only time when it’s perfectly safe to put all your eggs in one basket.”

We hope you have a blessed Easter celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ with your loved ones.   While we love Esar’s quote and it brings a bit of humor, we would be remiss if we did not share the most famous quote of The Bible for the Gospel of John:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

– John 3:16

Luv for Herb Kelleher

Herb KelleherHerb Kelleher, Co-Founder of Southwest Airlines, passed away on January 3, 2019.  He was considered a pioneer in the aviation industry and one of the most transformative business leaders of all time.   The tributes have poured out from employees, friends and other business leaders over the past month.   The NextLevel Team “luvs” everything Kelleher stood for and is paying tribute to the great leader this month.

While there are several Herb Kelleher quotes that motivate and inspire us, we chose to feature the following as this month’s Thoughts the Count.

“It is my practice to try to understand how valuable something is by trying to imagine myself without it.” -Herb Kelleher

Forbes shared a list of “20 Reasons Why Herb Kelleher Was One Of The Most Beloved Leaders Of Our Time” last month and #13 touched on what Herb valued most as a business leader: his employees.

“Thousands of requests for speaking engagements, presidential commissions, legislative issues, and business meetings related to the airline industry all vied for Herb Kelleher’s time. But Herb’s priorities were always the people of Southwest Airlines. Ask Vickie Shuler, Herb’s executive assistant of 30 years, and she will tell you that Herb would not change his schedule if a business meeting came up that interfered with an employee event he promised to attend.”

“If you want to know what someone truly values watch the way they spend their money and their time. It’s easy for executives to say ‘people are our most important asset,’ but reallocating their time to support that statement is yet another story. During the filming of a customer service video, Tom Peters asked Herb what advice he would give other executives. Herb said, ‘Stop spending so much time with other CEOs, spend more time with your people.'”

This month we challenge you to consider where you place value and “luv” in your life. Consider both your personal and business relationships and take a moment to reflect on the legacy of Herb Kelleher.

2019 Super Bowl Round Up – The Hits and Misses

Last year we shared Ad Age’s top Super Bowl ads rated by effectiveness, entertainment and the overall combination. This year we’ve asked the NextLevel Account Mangers to weigh in.

Kristen Dyson

“My favorite was the Amazon clip featuring Harrison Ford. Mostly because I’m a huge Harrison Ford fan, but also because it was cute and a creative way to draw attention to Alexa and its capabilities.”

“I did not care for the TurboTax Live robo-child commercial, simply because it was creepy and weird and made me uncomfortable.”

Katie Buchanan

“This heartwarming commercial shows the power of Google Translate. They show clips of people from all over the world interacting with people from different backgrounds and cultures. Out of all the 100 Billion words translated per day, the most translated words in the world are ‘how are you?’, ‘Thank you’ and ‘I love you’. We love this commercial because it unites us as human beings! “

“Burger King’s Super Bowl commercial featuring Andy Warhol was very strange. The clip was taken from the 1982 film Scenes of America. The commercial ended with the hashtag #eatlikeandy. The commercial left us confused and not tempted to go to Burger King. “

Tara Lockhart

“Audi nailed it with their ad this year. As it opened, I thought of Field of Dreams and thought we were destined for another heartfelt message. Once the star of the commercial, the cashew, came into play, I died laughing. Audi kept us engaged and who wouldn’t want to drive an Audi e-tron?”

“Mint Mobile’s ‘Crunchy Milk’ commercial was the worst ad that aired. While the commercial was memorable, because it completely grossed us all out, we couldn’t remember what they were advertising. Keep in mind, they paid upwards of $5 million for 30 seconds of airtime. I’m sure they could have come up with a more effective ad spend.”

You might be asking yourself, “Where is Eric Poerschke’s pick?” It seems that at least one of us actually watched the Super Bowl for the football and used the commercial breaks to hit the buffet and bathroom.