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Setting Marketing Goals and Objectives

I’ve seen it in large companies, and I’ve seen it in one-person operations: A marketing plan with no clear direction affects all levels of business in many different industries. There are few things in this world that can be accomplished successfully without planning. Falling in love and chasing your dreams would be a couple that fall into that category. For most other things, though, having goals and objectives laid out beforehand will save you a lot of wasted time and money. The following suggestions may help you get your personal or organizational marketing goals and objectives in line.

Be Specific in Setting your Marketing Goals

There are two negative consequences of not setting specific objectives when it comes to marketing. The first is that when things get confusing, hard or just tiring, it’s easier to quit because there was no clear goal in the first place. The second is that if you don’t know where you are going, you’ll probably end up someplace else. That second negative consequence may not turn out negatively, but when you are spending your company’s money on marketing plans that don’t pan out, management tends to get pretty upset when they learn there was no real objective in the first place, or any plan to recoup an investment. So, when you set your goals, make sure you are as specific as possible. Here are a few tips:

  • Use hard data whenever you can:  This could be from your website, from market research, from information in company databases or whatever. Set your goals based on hard numbers wherever possible, and not on gut feelings (although there is something to be said for intuition in some cases).
  • Write down your objectives:  When you do this, it forces you to be specific. It’s much easier to think in your head, “Ahhh, I want to create awareness of our brand,” but when you write it down you start thinking, “Well, if I’m gonna check that off, I need it to be more specific.” You could go one step further by getting input for your objectives, typing them up and posting them where you and your team can see them all the time.
  • Utilize S.M.A.R.T. goals:  this is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-driven and Time-bound. Ideally, all your goals should be modeled in this way, but that isn’t always possible. For instance, you may really have a broad goal to build awareness of your brand; however, that isn’t always completely measurable. At any rate, you should strive to meet these criteria in all of your objectives for your marketing plans.

Get Organized with Project Management

One of the largest enemies to success is a lack of organization for broad goals and large tasks. If you have any experience working in a large organization, maybe you have been in a meeting where there are a lot of high-minded ideas. Perhaps even in the weeks after the meeting, some things get done, but eventually sight of overall goals gets lost. A clear strategy for managing a project not only moves an overall task along, but it holds members of the project accountable for their individual responsibilities. Here are some basic themes that you can follow:

  • Identify your broad marketing goals:  Examples might be launching a campaign, determining ROI, defining a value proposition or all of these things combined. What are the large tasks that you want to accomplish?
  • Break large tasks up into smaller, manageable tasks:  If someone told you to build a house in a day, you probably wouldn’t even try. You might feel the same way about some of the goals you thought about above. It’s ok — it’s natural to feel that way. When broken up into many small tasks, however, building a house can be completed rather quickly over a span of time. Approach your broad goals in the same way. Break up large tasks into small tasks and identify which ones you should be working on first based on importance or another task’s dependence on their completion.
  • Assign tasks to people:  Undoubtedly, you have at least one or two or maybe more people working in your marketing department. Assign tasks to them based on the skills they have and those required of the tasks. Have team members and project managers estimate how much time each task might take, and assign enough tasks to an individual or group to fill a work week or period of time during the week they will have available to work on tasks.
  • Get visual:  Create a visual representation of all the things outlined above. Write down tasks on note cards and create a calendar with all team members’ allotted work week time on it. Place the notecards on specific days when they are estimated to be finished. This way, everyone can see what everyone else is working on, and it also gives people a sense of their progress and what they have to do.
  • Meet regularly:  Another obstacle in the way of completing broader goals is lack of feedback and support. Team leaders and managers cannot give adequate support if they don’t know what is going on, and not all employees feel comfortable tracking down superiors when they are needed for whatever reason. Have weekly or bi monthly meetings to allow everyone to show what they have been working on in the previous time period. This gives people a chance to speak about any road blocks they have encountered, and it allows project managers to broadcast overall progress of broader goals. Another function of regular meetings is that problems can be brought to light in a timely manner instead of when it is inconvenient.

In case you haven’t noticed, these are all themes related to agile project management. There are tons of literature on the topic, and I have seen it work wonders for businesses tackling large projects or trying to implement broad goals with long timelines. If you are interested in more information on management practices like these, this page has tons of great resources on it.

How do you go about setting and meeting marketing goals and objectives in your organization? Do you have any additional tips that others might find helpful? Let us know what you think by sending us a message or commenting below.

Free Education

Free Education Pros and Cons

A Cost vs. Credibility Analysis

Although unrecognized by most, free education is regularly dispensed in copious amounts on a daily basis. Learning is a lifelong process. It does not stop with the beginning of Commencement exercises. Neither is it confined to conventional classrooms.

Many Forms and Faces of Factual Conveyance

In contemporary American society, “education” equates to the “systematic, structured interchange of information and ideas. “ This lexis connation invariably invokes imagery of formal institutional settings.

In fact, the correct conceptualization of “education” must encompass any experience or interaction designed to formulate or change physical, intellectual, or emotional capacity(ies).

In many academic arenas, “free education” denotes publicly-funded compulsory learning programs like the primary or secondary schooling required by most American state laws. Throughout this Article, the term indicates self-help instruction with no immediate or direct economic cost to pupils or the public.

Advantages of free education

A common myth holds that informal learning is inferior to formal education. In reality, however, low-cost and no-cost learning often holds out much more hope and greater pecuniary promise than other options.

Factors That Favor of Free Education

Let’s face it: The World of Work and Academia are very different. In the former, money and clients dictate decisions and mandate strategies. Within the latter realm, research and scholarly theory carry the day.

Thus, a main advantage of self-education may be reduced to one word: reality. Realism forms the font from which all other advantages flow.

1. Doing a job vs. holding a title

Self-taught self starters enjoy have a huge head start. A bold jump into the Pool of Pecuniary Opportunity definitely beats sitting by the wayside while formulating theories about the best diving technique!

2. Better concentration

Self-education allows you to fully focus on specific subject matter and most relevant skills.

3. More practical skills application

Lofty theories taught by haughty intellectuals on high horses within Ivy Towers are okay. Experience is a much better teacher, however.

4. Earning while learning

Why pay for invaluable insights when others will gladly fund your business education by hiring you to help them solve pressing problems?

Arguments against Free Education

Self-taught learning has some limitations. Bankers want to see income documentation before approving loan applications. Likewise, prospective clients and employers demand paper diplomas as proof of competence. This widespread perception of credibility creates some major pitfalls for would-be applicants and practitioners:

1. Non-negotiable for many positions

Most administrative and managerial, as well as all academic positions require formal academic credentials of applicants.

2. Book sense begets common “cents”

Practical skills must be properly balanced with theoretical thinking proficiency. What good is knowledge of the best marketing strategies borne of long experience if you cannot calculate per-ad cost?

4. Lower income

Numbers never lie. Since time immemorial, Father Time has told consistently told the same tale: Formal education level and earnings potential have a direct correlation and inexorable association.

Obtaining free education online

Technological advancements have greatly facilitated access to free education. Thanks to Cyberspace, lengthy commutes and relocations are no long required prerequisites for educational enhancement or academic advancement.

Nonetheless, virtual delivery of free education requires vast resources. Numerous open community projects have evolved in an effort to meet the growing void of high-quality, organized free education online. Notable examples include Wikiversity and topic-specific sites like MyMCAT.com. The latter online platform offers free preparation for the Medical College Admissions Test.

“There is no Santa Claus”

The current posture of free education clearly illustrates the timeless truth of the above truism. Knowledge always extracts a price. Fortunately, learning lets you choose your method of payment.

Different Ships, Same Port

Many opt for the more scenic, leisurely free education route to learning. The road is somewhat circuitous and the trip can be quite lengthy. The ticket to ride only costs a little time and determination, however. Others opt for the formal classroom “shortcut” and its associated tolls of cold, hard, tuition dollars.

No matter how you ultimately arrive, never forget that the first and foremost task is to board the best vessel for you and stay aboard until your reach the final destination. Begin your journey to success today. Bon voyage!

Online Education

Practical Online Education Offers…

 

Enhanced Business Productivity and Prolific Profitability

The advantages of online education are well known. No matter what the setting, learning never goes out of style. Nonetheless, virtual education offer many benefits that are simply unattainable otherwise. Flexibility and cost-efficiency top the list of the enormous benefits boasted by e-learning.

Myth vs. reality

Two common misperceptions about online education are instructional interiority and doubtful utility. Neither resembles the truth even remotely, however.

Most internet-based business owners have vast knowledge of their specific product or service. Unfortunately, most are also ignorant of the most effective marketing and managerial strategies so indispensable to commercial success.

If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.

Any competent plan of attack to today’s competitive e-commerce markets requires a beginning reference point and realistic overall business strategy. Any other approach virtually assures failure in the realm of virtual business.

A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.

This venerable adage is very apt. Half measures avail nothing. Substandard instruction is worse than abject ignorance. Many major mistakes result from misleading, incomplete, or inaccurate information.

Consider the Source

When evaluating informational credibility, always consider its source. Seek instruction only from those within the upper echelons of education. After all, what good is being lead by the “business blind” for achieving business success?

Thegreatcourses.com features high-quality business education content that provides an ideal balance between theory and practical expertise. This dynamic duo of data helps boost the bottom line of your online business into the outer orbits of success.

Competent Leadership Crucial for Commercial Concerns

Regardless of organizational size or structure, effective leadership is essential to long-term business success. In fact, geographical dispersion of personnel and communications limited to the written word make good managerial skill more mandatory for internet-based businesses.

Transformational Leadership and effective Conflict Management is the twin towers upon which all true business success resides. The first part of the series, “Transformational Leadership: How Leaders Change Teams, Companies, and Organizations” is a must-take for any serious e-merchant.

Taught by former Harvard business professor Dr. Michael A. Roberto, course content is presented via a 24-module virtual format. In addition to purely academic theory, Dr. Robert adds a dimension of realism to the instruction. His years of devising leadership training programs and consultation to conglomerates like Apple, Coca-Cola, and Federal Express make him most qualified for this function.

Conflict Avoidance

Contrary to popular belief, business need not always be zero-sum. By teaching win-win techniques, this course keeps operations upbeat and profitable with happy repeat customers.

In the second sequel entitled “Art of Conflict Management: Achieving Solutions for Life, Work, and Beyond“, you receive an additional two dozen lectures. Delivered by University of Arizona Senior Communications Lecturer Prof. Michael Dues, this invaluable practical instruction reveals how you can affect positive end results in every business transaction. that affect bottom lines is the focus of this course.

critical decision making

The Art of Critical Decision Making

It All Adds Up To a Better Bottom Line

Factual case studies fill the fundamental instruction in these insightful business courses. Multiple modules include lessons from the best political and business leaders in the world. Availing yourself of this vast store of expertise and experience enables you to avoid the snares and snafus that serve to stifle business success. Why not learn from those who have already been where you have yet to venture?

In Summary

Thegreatcourses.com provides valuable, practical education about all aspects of long-term business success. Its comprehensive courses accomplish this in a most engaging, inspirational manner. Of date, price discounts of up to 70 percent are available for all course materials. You may choose to download content in a video or audio format, or receive instruction via CD or DVD media.

As with physical structures, a solid business foundation is crucial for successful e-commerce enterprises. Begin solidifying a strong business strategy and proper plan of attack today. Take advantage of all The Great Courses available for a mere pittance. The miniscule investment is well worthwhile.

Read Write Think

Educated Society

One of the building blocks of a vibrant strong society is well educated citizens. It is this concept that is the underpinning of the Read, Write, and Think style of education. By encouraging students of all ages to explore all sorts of reading material it not only helps to fuel their imaginations but the written word can also inspire them to think.

Whether a child is a native English speaker or is the new to the country and has to develop English as a second language skills they can do so by immersing themselves in reading material that sparks their thought processes. The more that they read the more fueled their mind becomes. When they then take the knowledge that they have gained through their reading and start to write about it they begin to build their language skills by having to find the appropriate words to express their thoughts. It is through this process that their thinking begins to transform as they see the evidence of their reading coming out in their writing as well as into their thought processes.

Without even knowing it, many adults are living examples of this literacy philosophy. Whether you earn your living with the written word or you simply have to share your knowledge through presentations to others, at the very core of the knowledge you have accumulated over a lifetime is often the tiny kernel of knowledge that came from reading. As a full time writer I know from personal experience that it was a love of reading that led me to explore a career as a writer. Whether I am writing articles for clients through The Content Authority’s Publisher/Writer system or I am writing for my own websites, it is the deeply entrenched love of words that guides my writing. Without having been exposed at an early age to the magical worlds that books presented I highly doubt that I would have gone on to live the life of my dreams as a writer. I know for a fact that it is a love of reading that has sculpted my imagination over the years and that same love of reading that has motivated me to continue to dream.

Read Write Think Applications

Not everyone dreams of becoming a writer but it is through the use of words that businesses continue to flourish. Whether you are an internet marketer that wants to introduce their products to the world or you have an idea for a great novel and want a wordsmith to form that idea into an ebook, without the written word none of those things are possible. Each piece of the Read, Write, and Think philosophy is a building block for the other. It is only through the ability to read that the ability to write is born which leads to the ability to think. Each piece goes hand in hand with the other. The final piece of the philosophy is that all of those abilities eventually lead to the ability to dream.

Whether your motivations are to improve your English skills or to reach an audience with information about your latest product, none of those dreams are possible without a clear understanding of the language. The best way to explore all the possibilities that knowledge can bring you is by reading as much as you can lay your eyes on. The more you immerse yourself in reading the fuller your world becomes. As you fill your mind with knowledge make the effort to write about whatever interests you. The more you write the more you will likely be inspired to read. With more reading comes more imagination, and an inspired imagination cannot help but to think creatively. The wonderful world of words truly is an inspirational world to be a part of.

Distance Learning

Learning from Home Benefits

If you are looking for a way to better your current career path then distance learning might be an opportunity to investigate. Rather than focusing on a brick and mortar educational institute as your only alternative to bettering your education, choosing to pursue a diploma or certificate through a distance learning program allows you to continue to work while studying towards a brighter future for yourself.

Distance learning offers many benefits over traditional educational alternatives. With many distance learning programs you can set your own schedule. You can study bright and early in the morning prior to heading off to work. You can read and study in the evenings after you have finished working. Having the freedom to set your own schedule means that you can study on the weekends if you choose, or even take the odd day off if that suits your schedule. This freedom is a key reason that so many people opt for distance learning over brick and mortar institutions.

Another plus that distance learning provides is access to programs that may not be available within your local area. Just because a particular program is not offered in your own area does not mean that you have to give up on that career path. Thanks to the availability of distance learning you can now take courses across the country or across the world. One factor to bear in mind though is whether degrees and diplomas granted by distance learning institutes are recognized in your own area. This is crucial information to obtain prior to beginning any distance learning courses. You do not want to invest months or years in a program only to later discover that local authorities or companies in your area do not recognize the qualifications granted to you by such an organization. You are much better off doing a little investigative work prior to starting your studies than to wait till you have finished your courses and discover that further training is still required.

Learning from Home Difficulties

With all the benefits that distance learning offers there can be inherent pitfalls too. Prior to beginning a study program it is best to honestly analyze your commitment level and study habits. Learning long distance requires incredibly strong will power and perseverance. When friends want to go out for the evening to a local restaurant or bar you have to be committed enough to your educational goals to pass up the opportunity to party to focus on your studies instead. You have to know yourself well enough to be able to just whether you are strong enough to stick with your studies even when the going gets tough. If you are the type of person to walk away at the first sign of trouble or the first difficult task, then distance learning just might not be for you. It takes a strong personality with a resolve to see a task through in order for distance learning to be a viable option. Without that strength of character and determination, this might not be the best option to consider.

Some distance learning institutes also allow you the option to start and stop your education at will. If you are engaged in a four year program you may even be able to complete the first two years and then take a semester or a year off. Not all institutes offer this option but for those that do, it can be incredibly beneficial to those students with other life commitments to consider. By taking a clear look at all of the potential benefits and then weighing them against your current life situation, the option of distance learning just might be the opportunity you need to jump start you down your dream career path.

Web Video Uncovered

Web Video Offers New Variations On Old Themes

Web video is the latest innovation in man’s long-standing quest for effective message conveyance. Since time immemorial, people have had the legitimate need and fervent desire to share all manner of inspirations, ideas, and concepts. The quest for the most perfect medium by which to accomplish this has been ongoing for millennia from generation to generation.

The eternal search for effective means of conveying even the simplest ideas is aptly recorded in historical annals. Its evidence is etched upon ancient stone walls in hieroglyphics, sacred papyrus scrolls publicly-read by clergy on Sabbath days, and in the shouts of medieval town criers.

Even in the entertainment realm, open-air and amphitheater live performances have left their historical marks. Political opponents once conducted public debates upon makeshift wooden platforms in attempts to win votes.

Likewise, entire social revolutions were once started by eloquent public oratories in town squares. The saga continued into more modern times with radio and mass-produced written publications such as newspapers and magazines.

In today’s Information Age, vast quantities of data are literally at our fingertips. This phenomenon has spawned a collective craving for increasing amounts of high-quality data delivered faster than ever before. Web video and education was devised in response to this demand and a widespread recognition that the impact of any message is no better than the quality of its conveyance media.

What is Web Video?

Just a few years ago, web video was very costly, high-risk, and time-consuming. Ph.D. level expertise was mandatory to deliver messages via websites. Exorbitant bandwidth internet fees for simultaneous viewing by 50 people were par for the course.

By contrast, contemporary web video enables over 100 million video views and over 65,000 new video uploads each day. Anyone with high-speed internet access can easily view hours of live entertainment or other streaming video content in real-time. A simple search engine query of a few keywords is all that is required to locate video presentations on any subject matter desired.

Indeed, web video is rapidly replacing conventional media such as broadcast television, DVDs, and theater movies. The inexpensive easy access of today’s online video allows individuals, groups, and companies to convey pertinent ideas and concepts more effectively than ever. Today’s technological advancements allow this to be done instantaneously by merely clicking a single button.

Advertisement is a major use for web video. It is much more efficient and cost-effective than DVDs or CD-ROMs that take days to reach business prospects. Moreover, web video has transformed consumers’ role from passive to active with interactive platforms that permit valuable viewer input.

A popular truism posits that,”A picture is worth a thousand words.” For marketers, moving pictures are worth millions of words and dollars. Consumer interest can be quickly stimulated by graphic demonstrations of a product’s ease of use.

This author had a recent first-hand experience with the extreme effectiveness of web video. I was hopelessly stymied after struggling over written instructions contained in a printer ink cartridge refill kit for nearly two hours. It was my very first attempt at self-refill.

After locating an online video featured by a major “how-to” website, I accomplished the task in short order. Apparently, the manufacturer’s written instructions were purposely general and vague to accommodate a large number of applicable printer models. The web video I found featured the entire refill of a cartridge for my exact printer model.

Thus, the mystery was solved with my comprehension of the core concepts imparted in the instructional video. Shortly after, I refilled my mother and several friends’ ink cartridges with similar kits from several different manufacturers. I was able to do this competently and very rapidly without any further reference to written instructions whatsoever, all thanks to web video!




Web Video and Education

Web Video Education Valuable for Filling Instructional Voids

Web video education is the latest addition to Academia’s ever-evolving array of instructional ammunition. Its instant data delivery and impressive graphics capabilities have irrevocably altered the learning landscape. Given today’s general high-tech ambience, this comes as no surprise.

According to a major 2010 consumer survey, 178 million American internet users had viewed at least one web video during the prior month. This colossal sum constituted a whopping 83.5 percent of all US web surfers. The average video length of 4.4 minutes was relatively short. It was, however, double that of previous years.
The current high-tech educational craze began a decade ago. In April 2001, then-president of prestigious Massachusetts Institute for Technology Charles M. Vest announced the free availability of his institution’s course materials online.

Five years later, UC-Berkeley unveiled plans to install entire academic courses on iTunesU. That online educational platform has since evolved into one of the world’s largest prerecorded classroom lecture repositories. The following year, UC-Berkley on YouTube was launched. Since its inception, more than 120 million video downloads have been conducted via the site’s video-sharing component.

Soon after, both Stanford and Yale Universities followed suit. Three years ago, Harvard also hopped aboard the web video education bandwagon.

Web video education allows one to learn foreign languages or receive in-depth metaphysical instruction with a single keystroke at any desired time or location. Likewise, instructors may deliver lectures without lengthy physical travel.

Web video education has greatly leveled the instructional playing field for would-be students worldwide. Viewers may replay confusing course content, skip to specific lecture spots, and pause or analyze any vague areas at their leisure. Following are a few common applications for web video education:

Video Content Companion

Interactive web video is valuable for presenting interrelated educational content or re-presenting the same content in ways that are impossible via linear programs. An example would be a poetic license website.

Virtual Classes, Tutorials, Workshops, or Lessons

These interactive web video platforms are designed for formal educational delivery commonly featured in professional development seminars and conventional classrooms.

Digital library

Digital libraries are digital media databases wherein pupils may easily locate specific subject matter via topic and subtopic menus or keyword searches.

Animated Narratives

These graphical formats convey information in progressive or user-defined individualized tracks. This highly adaptable web video education format may be employed for telling stories or detailed visual explanations of various phenomena.

E-Colleges

Almost any degree or program available at traditional schools may now be earned entirely online. Web video education has enabled the administration of exams and delivery of videotaped lectures entirely online.

E-books

Lengthy academic research projects and full-length novels or nonfiction material are all available via online digital storage media. Periodic updates, additions, and changes to substantive content are accomplished much more easily and quickly than with traditional paper-paged tomes.

Interactive training manuals and tutorials

Government organizations and large corporations use web video education for personnel training and skills assessment. Self-paced study and individualized reviews can now be conducted with unparalleled efficiency. Knowledge retention is much more efficient via virtual video instruction.

Games

Web video education formats like typing tutors and grammar or arithmetic-based gaming themes make grasping fundamentals much more fun.

Technology’s cutting edge is a double-edged blade

Many have posed the question of whether new educational technologies are really disguised learning detractors. Are we overdoing the blinking lights in lieu of books and basic instruction? How can we utilize high-tech learning innovation without falling into pitfalls, yet still reap maximum rewards?

Teachers must become ever smarter and stronger to utilize web video education and similar cutting edge technology without tripping on the sharp ends. Educators cannot afford to become stranded on today’s Information Superhighway. Nonetheless, education’s long-held noble ideals and high purposes must always remain the primary focus and top priority for all its practitioners.



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