Tag Archives: BEB

Creating Your Marketing Strategy Plan

Map Out The Basics
Last week determined our goal. We wanted to increase online gift certificate sales by 5% compared to last 4th quarter. Now it’s time to map the strategy, meaning how are we going to do it?

We need to get the word out that we have gift certificates available, we need to ask ourselves; How?

  1. Set your timeframe: October 1 through December 31
  2. Add an image to the website home page carousel
  3. Set/up the ability to buy gift certificates online
  4. Create an incentive (get 5% off your next purchase when  you buy a $100 Gift Certificate)
  5. Create an event/sale to draw new customers into the store
  6. Get involved in a toy drive for a local charity
  7. Budget and create social media ads
  8. Budget and create a direct mail marketing campaign
  9. Create special Thank You messages
  10. Determine how to track our progress

Before you know it, you’ll have your 4th quarter marketing strategy completed and ready to implement!

Create Your Marketing Strategy in 4 Easy Steps

A strategy of any kind involves four things:

  1. Define Your Mission
  2. Create A Plan
  3. Create Steps To Implement The Plan
  4. Once Executed, Determine If It Worked

Many people get ‘stuck’ when creating a marketing strategy because they often confuse tactics with strategy. Unlike a strategy, a tactic is a step within a plan. A strategy, however, is the plan.

Define Your Mission-Establish Your Goals
Set specific, clearly defined goals.  Not, “I want to sell more merchandise this year”.  Making goals that are obscure or unrealistic is the equivalent to not making any goals at all, and will be impossible to track or to achieve.

Instead, set specific goals that are reasonable. A good example is I want to increase gift certificate sales by 5% over last fourth quarter. A specific goal like this allows you to track progress and determine what is working and what isn’t.

Join us next week for how to create “The Plan”.

 

Facebook Losing Teens

The social media landscape has shifted
The Pew Institute asked whether U.S. teens use 10 specific online platforms: YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, WhatsApp, Reddit and Tumblr.

YouTube stands out as the most common online platform teens use out of the platforms measured, with 95% saying they use the site/app. Majorities also say they use TikTok (67%), Instagram (62%) and Snapchat (59%). Instagram and Snapchat use has grown since asked about in 2014-15, when roughly half of teens said they used Instagram (52%) and about four-in-ten said they used Snapchat (41%).

Today, 32% of teens report using Facebook, down 39 points since 2014-15, when 71% said they used the platform. Although today’s teens do not use Facebook as extensively as teens in previous years, the platform still enjoys widespread usage among adults, as seen in other recent Center studies.

Other social media platforms have also seen decreases in usage among teens since 2014-15. Some 23% of teens now say they use Twitter, compared with 33% in 2014-15. Tumblr has seen a similar decline. While 14% of teens in 2014-15 reported using Tumblr, just 5% of teens today say they use this platform.

The online platforms teens flock to differ slightly based on gender. Teen girls are more likely than teen boys to say they ever use TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat, while boys are more likely to use Twitch and Reddit. Boys also report using YouTube at higher rates than girls, although the vast majority of teens use this platform regardless of gender.

New Postage Rates Effective July 9, 2022

The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) has approved the recent request for price changes to take effect on July 10, 2022.

Price increases on First-Class Mail range from 3.4% up to 9.7%.  Forever stamps go up to .60/ea, metered mail increased .04 to .57/ea , and postcards on average increased by 9.7%.

Nonprofit mailers were hit “hard” with increases averaging between 6.4% – 8.5% on letter sized mail, and up to 11.9% on flats. Marketing Mail will deal with increases between 6.6% and 8.8%.

Why is the USPS raising rates again? They say that the increase is generally based on the consumer price index and will help to maintain competitiveness in the market. As inflation and operating expenses continue to rise, the price adjustments will help with the implementation of “Delivering for America”, a plan that includes a $40 billion investment in their infrastructure over the next ten years.

It’s important to remember that direct mail is effective. The Data & Marketing Association reports that up to 90% of direct mail gets opened, compared to only 20-30% of emails. It’s a refreshing change from on-screen advertising, and has a lot less competition than digital. According to the United States Postal Service, the average American household receives only 454 marketing mail pieces per year compared to 3.6 million digital ads delivered (on average) per person, per year! Even more, reasons to use direct mail. Epsilon reported that 73% of U.S. consumers prefer direct mail because they can read it whenever they want. Direct mail delivers and offers powerful punch with amazing ROI.

Click here to download the new BEB Postal Rate Card taking effect July 9, 2022.

Spring Shopping

As winter turns into to spring, people start to pack away coats, return patio furniture to the backyard, and shake off their winter shut-in mentality. They also start to shop. A lot.

Of course, consumers stock up on essentials such as garden equipment, spring-cleaning supplies, and warm weather clothing. They also spend lots of money on items that may surprise you!

Bazaarvoice, a software tech company, conducted an analysis of shopper’s behaviors using data from their 5,700+ brand & retail clients and interesting statistics took shape. In 2021, people spent $5.4 billion on St Patrick’s day. That’s an average of $40.71 per consumer.

Website traffic for dresses rose 16% higher in spring over summer. Traffic increased even more in late April as high school students began to prep for graduation parties and proms.

Lawn and garden traffic grew by 61% during the week of spring break.

Christmas spending generates around $800 billion in sales, and $9 billion of it is from Black Friday. Spring holidays generate around $55 billion in sales:

$ 5.4 billion    St Patrick’s Day
$21.6 billion    Easter
$28.0 billion    Mother’s Day
$55.0 billion    Total

Let us not forget April 15th – Tax Day. The IRS issued 128 million refunds for the 2021 tax filing season (2020 tax year), which totaled $355 billion. What’s more, nearly 8 out of 10 people who receive a refund will spend it rather than put in into savings.

Reviews from your customers are essential. The Bazaarvoice analysis showed that 75% of online vacuum-cleaner shoppers read a review before making a purchase. Similar numbers were found in lawn care (69%), tools (61%), and dresses (60%) categories.

When outlining your spring retail strategy, be sure to plan for seasonal behavior surges. Plot the timing of when to offer the right products and services so you can be ahead of your competitors and create incentives for your satisfied customers to review your business.

A Letter from Ron Royall

Houston, TX— Happy New Year, from all of us at Business Extension Bureau! Like most of us, 2021 was fraught with challenges that we would not have thought possible a few years ago.

In the Houston area, a winter storm in February, brought the longest number of consecutive days with freezing temperatures since 1940. Over 4 million power outages were reported during the storm. The entire city shut down yet we managed to work through it and are grateful that none of our staff were too negatively impacted.

Then the pandemic slowed the global supply chain. Manufacturers suspended work as various safety precautions were enacted. By mid-2021, major American ports became inundated with historic amounts of inbound cargo. Terminal staff lacked the bandwidth to unload ships leading to extended wait times. Even rail and trucking services struggled under the increased load and nationwide labor shortages added fuel to the fire. As we prepared for the busy fall mailing season, we watched paper prices go up, availability go down, and wait times increase.  Inflation increased due to labor and material shortages and lavish government spending.

In August, we saw an unprecedented postal rate increase (the second within the same year). US Postmaster General Louis DeJoy continues to raise controversial and unnecessary headaches for mailers across the nation that include extended delivery times and a restructure of how rate increases are calculated and controlled. We expect the next market dominant postal rate increase to occur sometime in July 2022, and will keep you abreast of rates and regulation changes as they happen.

Of course, there were a few times over the past year that we endured outbreaks of COVID within our organization. We are happy to report that, so far, every employee has recovered and our business remained operational without delay or closures.

November brought our biggest challenge to date. In the early morning hours of November 11, (Veterans Day), our office building caught fire. Our business resides within three buildings:
1.  Operations
2. Conference/classroom/climate controlled storage
3. Offices
The office building was built in 1945 and was once affiliated with a theatre across the street. Our lobby was known for its red-flocked wallpaper, sweeping, red carpeted staircase, and rustic chandelier.

Thankfully, nobody was hurt. And thanks to a good Samaritan that quickly contacted 911, the fine professionals of the Houston Fire Department contained the blaze before it spread to our other buildings. Unfortunately, the offices sustained serious water damage.

It is important to share that once again, I am awestruck by the dedication and loyalty of our employees and partners. Operations ceased for one-day only, while we assessed the damage and started the process of rebuilding. My brother, Ro, reminds me that we submitted a mailing to the post office on the day of the fire, so actually, we didn’t miss a day.

We are very fortunate as BEB has very low turnover. We have several employees who have worked for us for over 25 years, and even have multiple generations of the same families working here.

We have officed in this location since 1965, and it was touching to see how the fire profoundly
affected our BEB family. My brothers and I grew up here. Ro and I worked in the warehouse during our high school and college years! For many of us, the aftermath of the fire evoked a sense of loss, as if we lost part of our past.

However, not even fire can break our spirit or erase our 73-year old history. Like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, we have embraced our rebuild with vigor and renewed life. The renovation is allowing us the opportunity to expand our operations space, upgrade equipment, and enhance the workflow of our manufacturing plant; while at the same time allowing us to preserve the heritage and history of our beloved family owned business, which we value beyond measure.

To our staff and partners, thank you for all of your contributions and caring assistance during this recent event.

To our amazing clients, a special thank you to you too. We consider it a privilege to partner with you, and are grateful for your business.

Sincerely, I hope you have a healthy and successful year and again, on behalf of all of us at BEB, Happy New Year.

Sincerely,
Ron Royall
President & CEO

Facebook, Snapchat & Instagram Users Visit Daily

Seven-in-ten Facebook users say they visit site daily. Despite the ever-changing relationship with its consumers, Facebook users remain loyal and active to the platform. 70% of Facebook users say they visit the site daily, including 49% who say they visit several times a day. (These figures are statistically unchanged from those reported in the Center’s 2019 survey about social media use.)

Smaller shares – though still a majority – of Snapchat or Instagram users report visiting these respective platforms daily (59% for both). And being active on these sites is especially common for younger users. For instance, 71% of Snapchat users ages 18 to 29 say they use the app daily, including six-in-ten who say they do this multiple times a day. The pattern is similar for Instagram: 73% of 18- to 29-year-old Instagram users say they visit the site every day, with roughly half (53%) reporting they do so several times per day.

YouTube is used daily by 54% if its users, with 36% saying they visit the site several times a day. By comparison, Twitter is used less frequently, with fewer than half of its users (46%) saying they visit the site daily.

Below is a chart showing income demographics by platform to help plan your 4th quarter marketing campagins.

Social Media Marketing – Don’t Leave Out 50+

In a pattern consistent with past studies on social media use, there are some stark age differences. Some 84% of adults ages 18 to 29 say they use social media sites, which is similar to the share of those ages 30 to 49 who say this (81%). By comparison, a somewhat smaller share of those ages 50 to 64 (73%) say they use social sites, while fewer than half of those 65 and older (45%) report doing this.

These age differences generally extend to use of specific platforms, with younger users being more likely than their older counterparts to use these sites – though the gaps between younger and older Americans vary across platforms.

Majorities of 18- to 29-year-olds say they use Instagram or Snapchat and about half say they use TikTok, with those on the younger end of this cohort – ages 18 to 24 – being especially likely to report using Instagram (76%), Snapchat (75%) or TikTok (55%). These shares stand in stark contrast to those in older age groups. For instance, while 65% of adults ages 18 to 29 say they use Snapchat, just 2% of those 65 and older report using the app – a difference of 63 percentage points.

Additionally, a vast majority of adults under the age of 65 say they use YouTube. Fully 95% of those 18 to 29 say they use the platform, along with 91% of those 30 to 49 and 83% of adults 50 to 64. However, this share drops substantially – to 49% – among those 65 and older.

By comparison, age gaps between the youngest and oldest Americans are narrower for Facebook. Fully 70% of those ages 18 to 29 say they use the platform, and those shares are statistically the same for those ages 30 to 49 (77%) or ages 50 to 64 (73%). Half of those 65 and older say they use the site – making Facebook and YouTube the two most used platforms among this older population.