Project management staff can be encountered throughout large corporations in almost every department. Operations managers may sometimes perceive project management as less important than regular business operations. Managers are the individuals that take notes, write reports, prepare presentations and keep projects running smoothly. They often perform these duties but project managers’ overall responsibilities are much more important, requiring sophisticated preparation, and all management staff may benefit from a course or two in project management training.Basic training will help management understand the complexities of managing major undertakings, even if they do not opt for full project manager certification. The models that govern special ventures provide tools such as time management, problem solving, people management, flow-charting and many other skills that are beneficial to all managers in an organization. Specialized software can help provide solutions to typical management problems.Operations leaders may fail to appreciate the importance of skills for managing projects correctly. They feel that the effort is a duplication of work already performed by others. The truth, however, is that these managers are appointed to head specific temporary projects that have been identified as vital to corporate health by senior management officials. At every level, managers need the training to perform their duties in order that the undertakings they supervise will achieve their goals.Training in managing projects is generally quite comprehensive and will enable managers to solve problems and allocate resources and personnel effectively to achieve budgetary goals or improve a company’s return on its investments. Business models will provide tools that help managers solve problems that develop in any business undertaking and keep progress on track. They will be able to implement changes that steer things more closely to the desired outcome.Many regular company managers feel they know how to solve these kinds of problems based on their experience and knowledge of the company and its clients. Even the best managers can draw erroneous conclusions when they attempt to solve problems outside of a structured methodology that considers all the consequences of one action on other areas impacting business ventures. Sometimes the moist experienced managers are most susceptible to this erroneous kind of thinking. Their experience and knowledge in one area blinds them to repercussions an action may have somewhere else. Snap decisions can be costly mistakes when all parameters are not considered.Project management training provides a structured way of considering problems and seeking solutions that advance the ultimate outcomes that are desired. The analysis may seem tedious, but careful consideration can pinpoint the best solution before unnecessary expenses are incurred and valuable time wasted. Operations managers may not need all the steps and tools formal training provides, but can benefit from increased organization. They will be better able to achieve their own objectives or exceed goals.
The Great Debate: Digital Marketing vs The Letter Box DropI attended a Sydney Marketing function in June this year held by the popular Real Estate platform, RateMyAgent, and led by CEO, Mark Armstrong. His presentation was aimed at addressing the evolution of communication with an audience based on how quickly the commercial environment is changing today. This is both a relevant and tough debate, indeed!While this event was Real Estate specific, it is a topical discussion being held across every industry and every market around the world in all boardrooms and strategy meetings: digital vs traditional marketing.Where do we spend our precious budget to get the most cut through to engage our audiences and achieve our organisational goals?So, it’s finally time to analyse both sides and get to the bottom of this debate.Where Are Our Customers?Effective Marketing is all about your audience. This is never up for dispute as we all know it to be true. Knowing that, it may be time to take a step back and consider that age old question: have we thought about our customer?Recent research shows that 87% of consumers now search online for reviews to determine the quality of a local business, and I’m sure that statistic is pretty similar for how people are researching product information too. This is a big shift in behaviour from only a couple of years ago. Organisations didn’t start this- consumers did. We did. We, as people, changed the game, and organisations today are hugely naïve if they don’t think people are already doing most of their research before even contacting your business.As An ExampleMark Armstrong said his son needed an internet router for his house the other day, and at first, he had no clue what a router even was. In about ten minutes online, he become a pro with all of the brands, prices and specifications, then went straight into a local store, went to the shelf and purchased it without speaking to anyone in store.This is very indicative of the modern customer.The Digital InterviewToday, it’s all about ‘the digital interview’- in other words, searching online to find more information about a person or business without actually contacting them. Online dating, LinkedIn, Facebook, websites- it’s all about research before meeting in person. Around 70% of customers make up their mind before that stage, which is something businesses need to accept and adapt to.While statistics are always fickle, all you need to do is think about your own customer’s behaviour, and you instantly know this to be true. Hardly ever does a customer go in unprepared or uninformed.They’re All OnlineHow often do we go to a bar or a restaurant, and find everyone looking at a screen? It’s a sad reality, but a reality none the less. That is where your customer is! On their digital device.People aren’t looking for reviews and information in your physical office or in your marketing collateral – they are looking online. So, being there for your audience is absolutely crucial for your business success.
It’s all about your audience, after all.The Three Arguments: Digital vs Traditional MarketingThere are the three main considerations when deciding the pros and cons of new digital marketing versus more traditional methods, like the letter box drop or print.(1) Cost
(3) AccountabilityCOSTAs a general rule, more traditional methods tend to be far more costly in so many ways. It’s expensive to design, print and physically deliver materials like these. Now look at digital methods: it’s almost instant, requires little design due to templates, and the reach is not physically limited, meaning you can get ten times the exposure for around one-tenth of the cost.They seem to be light years apart on the cost front.For example, a client came to me recently and told me that the only advertising he was doing was on the back of local shopper dockets, which wasn’t giving him any tangible results, but was still costing him a few hundred dollars a month. For a fraction of this cost, I put his adverts onto Facebook and Google, and he immediately noticed the difference in leads generated!EFFECTIVENESSHow long do letterbox drops, print media and even mainstream advertising last?
Think about a letterbox specifically. The printed material sits in an office, then in a mail box all day. Then, when your audience gets home, are they truly engaged when they check their letterbox, stumbling in from work? They are coming home with the shopping, or wrangling the kids. This material has literally one second to capture them in amongst the rest of the clutter, and is so easy to ignore. That’s not to say it doesn’t occasionally work, but the chance of engagement is very low.Now, consider digital ads. It stays online for a much longer time, and due to the customisable nature of online targeting, it can pop up when the customer is more engaged and in the right headspace. It meets them on their terms, like when they are on their phone killing time, or browsing on a website, and so on. They can also interact with it by clicking on it, watching it, zooming in on it, saving it and much more.In comparison, think about when you hear a radio ad or see a TV ad: you have to remember and recall the advert at a later time for it to have any impact. This means your audience has to spend the effort to remember to act on it at a later time when it’s more relevant, such as when they get out of the car. Making this worse today is that we are constantly bombarded by ads and messages, which means that it’s very hard to keep one specific advert in your mind. You can’t rely on your customer recalling the message – you need to make it easy and at their fingertips.Digitally, your customer can fully interact at the very point they experience the piece of content, meaning engagement is far greater.ACCOUNTABILITYWhich technique truly works? What really has cut through and metrics to measure it? If you ask most organisations who spend budget yearly on letterbox drops, for example, they will say things like “$50,000 a year”, and then if you ask them “does this work?”, all they do is shrug their shoulders.The problem is, some businesses get into a rut of “it’s how we’ve always done it.” This represents a concerning shortfall in our perspective and our priorities. Our industries are too tough and our competitors too smart for us to be thinking this way anymore.On the digital marketing side, with retarget marketing and tracking cookies, online communication and adverts are able to serve up your communication to more defined and far better aligned demographics. Your adverts are more intelligent because they learn about the behaviour of your audience and adapt to how they consume content, then works out where and when to best display your marketing.The Three Battlegrounds of MarketingFrom the 1960ies, there has been an evolution of Marketing and communication battlegrounds based on how we built our customer database.(1) The Physical AddressOrganisations clambered to obtain the physical addresses of customers to communicate with them physically, either with a sales person, door knocking or letter box communications.(2) The Email AddressNext, emails went through an effective stage and businesses rushed to fill their databases with everyone’s @.com address. However today, we have found this to be far less effective do the quantity of spam everyone receives daily.(3) The Computer AddressPeople live on their mobiles and tablets now- this is where they are today. The battlefield has become exposure based on IP address online. Building a database of tracking cookies has become the Marketing battleground of today.While these IP addresses are kept private due to Privacy Laws and you never get the actual details, it doesn’t matter as you can rest assured that this technology is getting your message in front of the right people. Then tracking success comes from the metrics and analytics behind these interactions.
The core essence of Marketing hasn’t changed across any of the above battlegrounds: it’s always been about reaching your audience. The only thing that has changes is how- and this is a direct result from how the marketplace and consumer behaviour is evolving.What is it about Digital Marketing then?Digital Marketing is effective because it is customisable. It can target specific demographics to ensure that the best audience is getting your adverts and content at the right times.The following are three combined ways of how digital marketing finds your audience.(1) LocationGoogle tags computers with a geographical location. While letterbox drops can do the same, location is where the comparison ends. Digital is able to combine location with the following two qualifiers to ensure that your message is tailored, rather than mass distributed to just anyone.For example, in the Real Estate industry, around 70% of residences are investor controlled, which means letterbox drops are ineffective because the people receiving the materials are not the decision makers and therefore not finding themselves in the hands of the right people. Digital equivalents would use location and the following two to ensure it is being fed to the right customers.(2) Browsing HistoryIt is the fact above that allows digital marketing to take it one step further. The history of your browser paints a picture of the type of person your customer is and their interests, which means that adverts can be served up to match this. It’s not a perfectly accurate science, however due to the cost effectiveness of digital marketing, it has a far better cut through and success rate.(3) Remarketing and Tracking CookiesAs you move from website to website, tracking cookies embed themselves into your web browser to allow the content be catered specifically to you, so you are not receiving irrelevant messages. This allows advertising content to be shown to a relevant audience rather than just anyone.Where is Marketing Heading Next?Given that digital marketing is following around your ideal customer and delivering them relevant content, it seems to be working effectively at the moment. However, if I know Marketing the way I think I do, the next stage will be empathetic retarget marketing, which means showing the advert not just anywhere on any website, but when the person is browsing material that is contextually relevant.For example, when your customer, who has already been identified as interested in Real Estate, reaches a Real Estate or property website, the ad will be displayed, as opposed to how it is now, where it comes up on any website they may be looking at.It’s all about being in front of the right customer when they are in the right frame of mind.
There is a saying in the Home Based Business world (or at least a saying among my Home Based Business friends), and that is, “The great thing about the Home Based Business Industry is that anyone can do it. The worst thing about the Home Based Business Industry…….. is that anyone can do it.For the most part, starting a Home Based Business is fairly simple. Find a sponsor, sign up, and you are pretty much off and running. But the thing that most people don’t consider is what they shouldn’t be doing in regards to prospecting, training, and running your business in general.Don’t feel like you have to talk to everyone you come in contact with and try to sell your opportunity.Once people start a Home Based Business, they are incorrectly trained to go out, make a list of friends and family and call them constantly about joining the business. They are also taught to always be looking for an opportunity to bring up the business opportunity in conversations. Even if they are standing in line at the grocery store, find a way to start talking to the person behind you and look for a way to bring up the business. This outdated method is still taught today, and you will see tons of information telling you it’s an outdated method, but no one really explains why. Well don’t fret, I’m here to explain why.The reason it doesn’t work is because people are so inundated with advertising and sales pitches today, that we shut people or advertisements down in the blink of an eye these days. It’s almost like it’s human instinct now. I mean think about it for a second. How often do you fast forward through commercials on TV now that we have the ability to do so? How fast did you sign up for the do-not-call list as soon as it came out? We as a society hate being sold to. Even if it is something we might need, the minute someone tries to “sell” us something we most likely shut down and block them out. When you drive do you even notice the billboards anymore, or are they just a part of the landscape that doesn’t even enter your mind?So if it doesn’t work why are you taught this way? Well, it’s a really simple answer. Because it’s the easiest thing to teach and it’s easy to teach it to others. Home Based Businesses leaders teach this to their marketers because, quite frankly, they don’t know how to teach any other way. They give you a script, tell you to make a list of people you know, and give you a shot in the arm with an enthusiastic “Go get’em partner!”, and they hope that the numbers will work in your favor (here is a little secret, that rarely turns out well for the new marketer). And, when they are not getting any results, they tell the new marketer to try harder. Yeah, that’s helpful, try harder, keep calling the people that won’t even pick up the phone anymore when they see your number on caller ID, there is a good plan.They think it’s to difficult to teach new people a different way, a better way of marketing their opportunity. So they give you some watered down, out of date system that will leave you frustrated and broke. Well there is a better way, there is a more effective way, and I will talk more about that in the next section.Do not sponsor everyone that wants to get involved!!!Huh???Yeah, you read that right. I mean you could sponsor everyone that wants to start a business. In fact if you love to be annoyed, bothered 24/7, frustrated, defeated and depressed, by all means have at it. Remember this line from earlier?”The great thing about the Home Based Business Industry is that anyone can do it. The worst thing about the Home Based Business Industry…….. is that anyone can do it.Let’s get down to brass tacks. Not everyone is meant to start, own and run a business. Plain and simple. Might not be a nice thing to say, but it is a true thing to say. A Home Based Business owner, or any business owner for that matter has to have a certain type of desire and mindset. Now I’m not saying they have to be smarter than the average bear, not the case at all, but they do have to have a specific mindset. They have to understand that there is work involved, and that growing a business takes time and energy, and it takes dedication. You can’t just expect to succeed by taking the easy route.That being said, you as a Team Leader have the responsibility, I will even say an obligation, to yourself and to the person / people you sponsor, to make sure that they “get it”, and understand what it takes to become successful in this competitive industry. You have to make sure that they understand that, even though you are there to always help them and work as a team, that they will eventually have to work independently after they are trained. Now I’m not saying train them for 5 hours and send them out on their own, no no no, that is what the old school teachers do. I’m saying that you work together as a team, get the person trained, help them until they are comfortable, but this has to happen within reason. It shouldn’t take 5 years. I would say it should only take a month or two of regular training and close teamwork. Let me tell you something. There is nothing worse than a person that calls you 24 times a day with dumb questions, complaints, and whines constantly. This will drain you emotionally, physically and just destroy your morale. You will be miserable and in turn the person you sponsored will be miserable and broke too. Believe me, I went through it, and I promised myself that I would never go through that again. I would rather have three reps. on my team, that get the business model, have the attitude to succeed, and can work as a team as well as independently, and not be constantly dependent and need to have their hand held every step of the way, than to have 100 people that are just gonna drain me emotionally. IT”S JUST NOT WORTH IT!So when talking to others and they show interest in becoming a business partner of yours, make sure they have the qualities it takes to run, own and grow a business. It’s not hard to figure out if they “get it” or not. Most people can figure out if a person has “it” or not. And if they don’t have the qualities, then just politely tell them that this might not be the best option for them and move on. It amazes me how many Home Based Business owners are so afraid to say no to people. If you are so worried about sponsoring people that you will sponsor a person who will make you miserable, I might suggest that you look into another type of work, because you will have a long painful road ahead of you.Do not educate yourself constantly.So we have discussed how many companies train you the easy, watered down, ineffective way. They teach a system that is easily duplicatable to everyone, but is hardly effective for anyone. Now, it’s not the companies fault mind you, they have to find the easiest way to get people started, but again for the person that “gets it” this will not be enough, because, well, you want to succeed, and the people that don’t “get it” won’t go past the basic training the company provides, and they will fail and quit because they won’t understand what we are about to discuss. But again, you won’t have to worry about people on your team quitting because, as we figured out earlier, you only sponsor people with the right qualifications, RIGHT?:)You need to constantly add tools to your business tool box. There are some great programs out there to help you take you business to another level. It amazes me how new Home Based Business owners will invest in starting a new business and then not invest in their business education. Does a doctor graduate medical school and never educates themselves any further? Does a real estate agent consistently study the real estate market and it’s trends? Well the Home Based Business owner has to do the same thing. They need to plug in and study what the leaders of the industry are doing. They need to keep up on the trends and they need to invest in their education. I personally require my new business partners to purchase some of my favorite educational tools because I know it will help them in the long run, and if they don’t, they will not become a part of my team. I mean if you are not willing to invest in your education and training, how much success do you think you will have? Not much.Be impatient.Rome wasn’t built in a day and your Home Based Business won’t be either. It is not a “get rich overnight” thing, nothing is. People that tell you that are lying to you, plain and simple, and they do not have your best interest in mind. It takes time to build and grow a business, and you need to be ready to put the work in. How long does it take? Well there are so many factors it varies person to person, but on average I will say 1-2 years to really start making a substantial income. Is that to long for you? Well then you are not made for this business. Any professional knows that this is the general rule of thumb for any business in any industry. If you don’t have the patience to wait that long, you might want to just work for someone and and not start your own business. You also need to sustain yourself while you are building. As i mentioned earlier, if you are going to invest into starting a business you need to also invest in your education. Now I’m not talking about thousands of dollars in educational tools and trainings but there does have to be some money invested nonetheless, but the money that is invested into your education will pay you back 100 times the cost in the long run. You also need working capital for advertising, marketing and the general running of your business, again, no different that any other type of business, but remember these costs are significantly lower that most types of business, but they are things you need to be aware of if you want to own a successful Home Based Business.By recognizing these things and and not falling into the traps that a majority of Home Based Business owners fall into, you will be setting the foundation for a successful, fun, and profitable business.