November 18, 2014
by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews
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NATE 4TH QUARTER SPECIAL
Up Your Trade Exchange -
Incorporate Barter Purchases This Holiday
It's time to
organize your barter-spending list! As this holiday season is expected
to be especially hectic, take action now to cement your barter
spending. The following suggestions are intended to help make your
holidays more enjoyable — and a little less stressful.
Check with your trade broker before you make a single cash purchase
this holiday season. Remember, inventories at your trade exchange are
continually changing and growing.
♦ Looking to put
together a company party this year? Call your trade exchange broker
♦ Your next call may be to one of the printers
within the exchange to get your holiday invitations printed.
Maybe you’ll want special banners for the office party.
Also ask about available entertainment — musicians or a disc
jockey make each event a little livelier and more fun.
Other considerations include catering needs, balloons, flowers, a
photographer, and a limo for invited VIPs.
looking to provide personal gifts, you'll want to ask about jewelry, a
weekend getaway, a bed & breakfast, or possibly a health club
♦ Don't forget gift certificates that cover
the gamut from restaurants and selected merchandise to special events.
♦ Make sure to visit the trade exchange's Holiday Faire or
Expo to view the wide variety of available merchandise.
Finally, consider your own special needs around this hectic time of
the year. Set some time aside to get a tan, or visit a beauty salon
for a hairstyle and manicure — yes, men too! And remember to enjoy
this festive time of the year.
BarterNews.com — World's Largest
Hundreds of valuable articles,
techniques, and strategies are found in the following various barter
Offset & Countertrade,
Restaurant & Entertainment
Categories are found on the horizontal bar at the top - 3rd
button from right.)
Money-Making Reports Available From BarterNews
Building Your Wealth Using Barter
While sad, but true, many people in the U.S. will earn over $1
million during their lifetime yet will have nothing to show for
their efforts at retirement. Obviously the time to plan for the
future is now, because no one wants to take a severe pay-cut when
One way to get an investment program going is
to add one more debt to your stack of bills each month. Begin by
writing a check to your savings account, or add a little money
regularly to a money market fund.
Another way is through
your trade exchange. As a trade exchange member, you can utilize the
many investor services (for personal and professional use) of the
accountants, attorneys, financial consultants, bookkeeping and tax
services, estate planners, real estate brokers and others whenever
you are building your wealth.
Then, by using your products
or services as a medium of exchange, begin acquiring some of the
investment opportunities available on barter — such as:
- Real estate
- "144" stock (explain this)
In order to make the most of your investment funds you will want
to be conservative in the choices you make, so that you have a solid
Is Your Trade Exchange Missing Out On
Valuable New Business?
your barter company's listing on BarterNews.com isn't current, you
are definitely missing out on new business. The web site
BarterNews.com receives heavy traffic — with over 150,000 page-views
every month. Entrepreneurs and corporate executives check the
thousands of articles, the weekly "Tuesday
Report," and the "Contacts
Section" of our site. They use the latter to find barter
companies with which to do business.
Is your barter company's listing up-to-date?
To keep your listing current is very easy. See the links below to (A)
update any changes to your company's listing, such as new location,
phone number, web site or other information, and (B) if your company
has not been listed.
Here's how to get on board:
make changes to your listing
How To Get More Sales In
Our street-smart restaurant
marketing report shows proven ways to rapidly boost your
restaurant's sales & profits.
Traditional Marketing Is On The Way
A number of signs point to an inconvenient truth for many
businesses — traditional marketing is on its way out. In place
of this broken model, America's most innovative companies are
implementing new, more authentic techniques based on peer influence
and community building. Bill Lee, the author of The Hidden Wealth of
Customers: Realizing the Untapped Value of Your Most Important
Asset, explains how you can join them.
Consider for a moment
the annoying, interruptive, often obnoxious nature of traditional
marketing. Dinnertime phone calls from strangers in noisy call
centers. Glossy pictures of the latest fashions worn by models that
barely look human. Crowded store shelves with head-spinning arrays
of options arranged in no discernable order (I just need some
toothpaste!). Company web sites that give us no clue what the
business actually does. Hype. Spin. Pushy salespeople.
hard to believe these are the methods and tools of a profession
designed to attract and persuade us to become customers, according
to Lee. Especially when "we the buyers" increasingly ignore them.
"A number of studies are showing that people no longer pay
much attention to traditional marketing, as they progress through
the buyer's decision journey," reports Lee. "Instead, buyers are
checking out product and service information in their own way, often
through the Internet, their social network, customer reviews or just
plain word-of-mouth. It seems clear that marketing, as we currently
practice the discipline, is on its way out."
of traditional marketing to engage buyers hasn't escaped the notice
of CEOs, the ones who approve company ad budgets. A pair of
wake-up-call studies, by the London-based Fournaise Marketing Group
in 2011 and 2012, found that more than 70% of CEOs believe their
chief marketing officers lack business credibility, lack the ability
to generate acceptable growth, and lack the ability to explain how
their programs will lead to increased business. Nearly four in five
CEOs complained that CMOs couldn't explain how brand equity can be
linked to recognized financial measures, such as firm equity.
A bitter pill for mainstream marketing executives, perhaps, but Lee
claims you can hardly blame the disgruntled CEOs when you consider
the logic behind traditional marketing in light of today's world.
Consider this: "Companies hire people who come
from outside the buyer’s world, and don't necessarily share the same
interests — employees, agencies, consultants, and the like,
expecting them to persuade buyers to hand over their money," Lee
confirms. "Yeah, right! There is no respected research on group
behavior suggesting that such an approach is conducive to
influencing people to either take action or to change."
course, not everyone in the marketing world clings to worn-out
methods. In fact, Lee works with a pioneering group of
forward-thinking marketing executives who are successfully replacing
this increasingly dated model with something that customers actually
welcome and respond to. For those who'd like to join them, Lee
offers the following advice:
1) Go retro.
Cultivate a local buying experience. It’s a myth that social
networks and their technologies are creating new approaches to
marketing. At their most effective, they’re doing the opposite —
allowing customers to re-create the experience of shopping and
buying in their local communities.
2) Think about it
this way. How do buyers prefer to purchase a lawnmower, a
haircut, a good dining experience, a movie, a car, the services of a
good assistant, or a good doctor? Do they pick up the phone and call
a salesperson or read through a bunch of business web sites? No,
they’re much more likely to talk to neighbors, friends, work
colleagues, and others in their peer networks and ask what they’ve
"Marc Benioff understood this when he was building
Salesforce.com to compete against much bigger, entrenched
competitors," says Lee. "He was building a better enterprise
software product, and to get the word out he organized City Tour
events and neighborhood street teams. The City Tour events would
bring his customers together with prospects and a few other
interesting people for presentations and group discussion.
"Benioff found that buyers were much less interested in hearing from
him than they were in talking to his customers — their peers,
other software programmers like themselves. When studing the
numbers, he found that 80% of the prospects who attended such events
wound up becoming customers themselves — in effect, an 80%
3) Cultivate customer sales and
marketing people. Business spends billions of dollars
training salespeople to build relationships with prospects and
customers. But no one has to spend a dime training a customer to
build a trusting relationship with your prospects. Since they’re
peers, they pretty much already have one.
on this aspect of human nature when it penetrates new markets,
usually in foreign countries where they don't speak the language or
understand the culture. In such cases, the firm will engage with
local software users — whom they call MVPs (most valuable
professionals) — many of which have built substantial
followings of their own through blogging and social networks.
"One is known as 'Mr. Excel' to his followers, and on some days his
web-site gets more visits than Microsoft's own Excel page on its
corporate web-site," Lee points out. "Many companies, when faced
with the same situation, threaten lawsuits. Microsoft embraced Mr.
Excel. In fact, they support his activities with 'insider knowledge'
and the opportunity to get a sneak preview and to test new releases.
In return, Mr. Excel, and thousands of other Microsoft MVPs, wind up
providing invaluable input as the firm develops new releases. They
also produce its most effective marketing communications, as buyers
realize that it comes from a peer they know and trust.
such ways, the MVPs are helping Microsoft penetrate and grow markets
more effectively and cost affordably than the corporation could do
using traditional marketing approaches staffed by hired outsiders,"
4) Build strong customer communities.
Consider Harley-Davidson's success in creating a sense of community
around its bikes. Three decades ago, the public associated Harleys
with gangs and outlaws, which turned off consumers. The company
worked hard to change its image … first by getting police
departments to start using their motorcycles, and then by working
assiduously to build a customer community of middle-class
(law-abiding) customers that morphed into today’s famous
million-person HOGs (Harley Owners Group). Today, Harley-Davidson
HOGs, far from being outlaws, position themselves as extended
family: the brothers (and now sisters) you never had.
not just sexy products like Harleys (and iPads) that can create
large communities of customers — which in turn attract large
numbers of buyers. One of the most successful customer communities
is Procter & Gamble's BeingGirl. Interestingly enough, it consists
of teenage girls and is formed around feminine care products.
"The key to forming customer communities is not to try to build them
around your brand — a common and obvious mistake marketing
departments make," affirms Lee. "Rather, ask what your product or
service means to the customers. Or, what could it mean. P&G realized
that its feminine care products could symbolize the difficult,
scary, exciting transition that teenagers are making into becoming
5) Get customers involved in the
solution. A few years ago when toy maker LEGO launched
Mindstorms, its robotics building-block kits, hackers almost
immediately started altering the code to allow the robots to do
more. In circumstances like this, most firms call their legal
departments and start issuing cease and desist demands. Indeed,
faced with a similar response when it issued a comparable line of
toys, Sony did just that. But according to Lee, LEGO took a smarter
"Basically, LEGO executives did the math. One
thousand or so hackers — or more to the point, enthused and
technically advanced customers — were coming up with robots
that could do amazing things, which the seven internal developers
had never thought of. One of the hacker-created robots could solve a
Rubik's cube. As the company (and their other customers) realized
the value the hackers were creating, LEGO further embraced them. Now
its customer community numbers in the tens-of-thousands, and
continues to develop amazing arrays of robotic toys. Ones that are
far beyond anything the company might have developed on its own."
Meanwhile, 3M and other companies are systematizing
customer-led innovation. Rather than wait passively for customers to
begin altering or hacking their products, they’ve learned how to
proactively pursue and find customers, or users, who would be most
likely to unearth breakthrough innovations. MIT professor Eric von
Hippel has coined the term "lead users" to describe them, and works
with 3M's healthcare business to develop a system for finding them.
The result was an eightfold improvement in revenues from innovations
developed with the help of such customers, versus innovations
developed by 3M's internally developed process.
this particularly significant, of course, is that 3M's product
developers are among the most innovative in the world," says Lee.
6) Help customers build social capital. Why do
customers engage so enthusiastically in helping companies develop,
market, and sell their products — in effect, growing their
businesses? While many pundits think you need an incredibly sexy
product, like anything developed by a once-in-a-century genius like
Steve Jobs, then you've missed the point. All it takes is a business
that changes customers' lives for the better, which is something far
more replicable, even if you're making feminine hygiene products.
What all these companies, and others featured in Lee's book, do
is facilitate the building of social capital by helping their
customers affiliate with their peers in customer communities. They
thus build their own status and reputation, and learn and grow in
the process. Often, they also include service to a larger purpose.
Enterprise software-maker SAS Canada, according to Lee,
addressed an unexpected decline in its customer retention rates by
engaging some of its leading customers, termed Customer Champions,
in an effort to retain customers and bring the defectors back. "The
Customer Champions organized live forums in more than 20 major
markets around the country, presented and brought in local speakers,
contributed to an e-newsletter that SAS started, and more. The
result was to completely restore the firm’s retention rates to its
previous high levels.
"Why," he queries, "did the Customer
Champions put forth such an effort? Because it gave them a chance to
affiliate more deeply with their peers — other software
managers and engineers — enabling them to play a leadership
role in their peer community. It gave them substantial status and
recognition, as well. Plus it increased their knowledge and
expertise by better understanding how to address the needs of other
If you think all of this sounds more appealing
than the old manipulate-them-into-buying techniques, according to
Lee, you're not alone. "When companies commit to depending on
authentic customer advocacy to grow their firms, it not only
improves their marketing results, it also improves their
organizations. That's because it's hard to mask substandard
performance, and customer discontent, with your products and
services if they're the ones you rely on to tell the world how great
The Growth and Use of Secondary
Capital (New Money) Creates Unprecedented Wealth In Today's New Age
There are many forms of secondary
capital — which can be defined as any financial instrument that
measures and communicates value in a common language. Would you like
to see and learn more about the many forms of secondary capital?
We have 70 free, informative and
inspiring, articles for you in our "Secondary Capital Section."
Check it out...
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