Defining Local Search Marketing

The tides for 2010′s internet marketing has changed and the trend continued to advance progressively and aggressively. While many small to large businesses are still struggling to understand the in and outs of social media marketing, recruiting the right person for it and digging deep into the subject; a new hybrid of internet marketing called local search marketing are quickly making waves in the cyberspace.Though the term local search marketing is not as established as search engine marketing and social media marketing, many marketers start to realize its importance and the relative impact that it can do to small businesses in the geo positioning and social media aspect. Trust the trend, local search marketing is going to be big in 2011 onwards. It was said that the emergence of local search marketing will be the complete demise of the Yellowpages.So what is local search marketing? Local search marketing is a hybrid that consists of elements from search engine marketing, particularly in terms of improved search rankings, sprinkled with a little bit of geographical mapping placements with a zest of social media, along with pay per click (PPC) advertising, depending on the marketer’s advertising needs.Sounds interesting right? But here’s more.Local search marketing is very business oriented in contrary to social media which is viral-content oriented and search engine marketing which is web optimization oriented. Though it does work for non-business oriented stuff, local search marketing complements ideally with brick and mortar business or anything with a physical address. This is because local search marketing is all about fine tuning your business information to serve users online to find you better geographically via maps and directory listings.Local search marketing must be fine tuned to blend into your business as a small business survivability online depends on it. As a business entity, what drives sales is traffic and your visibility online. The more visible you are is the more exposed you become. That is why Google has taken much of the role of Yellowpages in the past year to cater the traditional side of the offline marketing aspects that Yellowpages used to offer.While Yellowpages offers myriads of contact list with addresses categorized in their niche industry, local search marketing is all about turning the search engine as a marketing platform into a playground of lists equipped with sleek mapping utility where your location can be pinpointed almost instantaneously as you make searches.To ensure accuracy, this is where search engine optimization is put into play. With proper understanding of meta taggings and key phrasing on your website, your business website will be able to appear in search queries in the most precise manner whenever a user make searches on it.On the social media aspect, the working search engine marketing side of the listings coupled with the geo (mapping) marketing side of it can be bundled along and fed to social media networks for it to go viral. Social media can also be socially generated such as customer reviews which can be useful to give your establishment a boost. If you are doing a good job, you could be getting a decent five-star review, something that is credible in today’s marketing mix. Not to mention those SEO benefit you will be getting once the reviews were indexed in the search engines. That is why social media plays a very crucial part as one of the element that pushes a local search campaign’s effectiveness further.Many assume that the proper social media tool that came into play in local search are mainly of the typical application like we all know such as Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare. While, we may not dismiss the importance of these mainstream social media tools, local search still evolves around in a much more traditional side, just like its Yellowpage cousins where businesses are listed as directories or classifieds. We don’t deny while the effectiveness of Yellowpages is slowly declining, the form of it has undergone a minor superficial change in the form of search engine oriented directory which is fed as food to search engine indexing.One cool aspect about local search marketing as proven by Jack Mize is a business is not required to have a website. All they need is an account with Google for them to activate Google Places and freely ‘squatting’ at free pages sites such as Blogspot, Hubspot and Squidoo along with a tactical use of business directories. Some creative marketers only utilize good business and classifieds directories to launch their local search campaigns. Powered with few articles, press releases and viral video, they can make them skyrocket provided that the implemented tactic is executed properly.Local search marketing in 2011 is almost synonymous with the prominence of Google Places. Google Places is a salvation for marketers that offers free listing in which you can put up vital business details such as your business name, location, product/service offerings, opening hours, products, phone number, email address, and web URL. The best part is Google Map comes along with every entry making it very versatile and powerful.This marketing tactic comes with almost entirely zero cost to run. The only money involved is splurging for some directory listing fees normally for enhanced listings, and of course PPC fees. Social media is almost 100% free except some social bookmarking service that requires you to pay a small sum of fees. If you are resourceful enough, most social bookmarking networks, directories and classifieds with decent pageranks and reputation are mostly free.This technique, just like any other conventional marketing tactics need commitment as it can become a long-term investment in your online marketing campaign. Though it may not be an instant fix that will unleash instant cash flow but local businesses who invest in local search marketing will have the upperhand of being positioned handsomely to dominate their competition.They way that most marketing experts sees it, local search marketing is fast becoming one of the most powerful marketing subsets online which will be soon adopted as a de fecto method of choice for small and mid-sized businesses. This should not be overlooked when you begin allocating your marketing budget at the beginning of each fiscal year.To find out more how you can target your market based on specific demographics, head to Fortelytics, an internet marketing firm specializing in SEO, social media, and local search marketing.

Financial Planning – A Road Map to a Secure Financial Future

Would you leave on a trip to a new destination without a map? What if your destination is a successful financial future? Without a map, would you know how to get there?Financial planning provides a road map for your financial life. It can make the journey less stressful, more fun, and more successful. And, you can start right now – even if only a few steps at a time.In today’s uncertain economy, financial planning has become increasingly important. With an overwhelming number of options for saving and investing, managing your finances can be difficult. Creating a financial plan helps you see the big picture and set long and short-term life goals, a crucial step in mapping out your financial future. When you have a strategy and a financial plan, it’s easier to make financial decisions and stay on track to meet your goals. Working with a CFP CM professional can secure your financial wellbeing and give you peace of mind and help you reach financial planning success.Some people decide to do their own financial planning, but you may want to seek help from a Certified Financial Planner CM professional if you:Want to better manage your finances, but aren’t sure where to start.
Don’t have time to do your own financial planning.
Want a professional opinion about the plan you’ve developed.
Don’t have sufficient expertise in certain areas such as investments, insurance, taxes or retirement planning.
Have an immediate need or unexpected life event.


Destination: Setting Goals
Financial planning starts with setting goals. After all, you need to know where you want to go before you can decide how to get there. Your goals can be short-term – for example, paying a credit card debt in six months; medium-term – such as saving for a down payment on a house in two years; or long-term – such as sending your kids to college in 15 years or your retirement. Write your goals on paper, including rupee terms and dates. Keep the list in sight so you can refer to it for motivation as you keep working toward your goals.Starting Point: Where Are You Now?
Next, get a realistic picture of where you are financially. List everything you owe (liabilities) and the value of everything you own (assets). Also, track your monthly income and expenses in a notebook or on a budget form. Even if it’s not a pretty picture now, that’s OK. You’ve faced your financial situation, and financial planning will help you improve the picture.Avoiding Potholes: Insurance, Debt, Job Loss, Taxes and Estate Planning
Financial potholes will inevitably come your way – stock market downturns, recessions, losing a job, wrecking the car, paying for an illness. You may not be able to avoid these potholes, but you can minimize their financial impact. Here are a few suggestions:• Have adequate insurance. Insurance prevents financial catastrophes, so don’t put off getting it. Insure what you cannot comfortably afford to replace. For most people, that means having the following insurance: auto, renters or homeowners, liability, health, disability and life insurance (if someone depends on you financially). Take advantage of insurance offered to you at your job and supplements it with insurance you buy on your own. Shop for the best price, but make sure you buy from a reputable, financially sound insurance company.• Control debt. Having a lot of debt puts you at financial risk. If you’re spending more than you earn, start using a budget to plug spending leaks, and make paying off your credit cards a top priority.


• Job loss. You can’t control the economy or a company layoff, but you can control how much time you invest in keeping your skills sharp and in meeting people who may help you find a job in the future.• Taxes. Computer software can help you find deductions on your tax return. However, if your financial situation is complex, you may benefit from working with a tax or financial professional who can suggest tax strategies and make sure you are getting all of the credits and deductions due to you.• Estate planning. Every adult should have these four basic documents: will, general durable power of attorney, medical power of attorney and a living will (also called a medical directive). A financial planner can guide you and refer you to an estate planning attorney to draft these documents.There are many benefits of financial planning. If any of the above questions apply to you, it may be time to call a Certified Financial Planner CM professional to help you reach your financial goals and achieve financial success.

Should You Employ In House Telemarketers or Use an Outbound Telemarketing Agency?

Even for larger companies with dedicated sales teams this is a valid question: should you use your own telemarketers or turn to a specialist outbound telemarketing agency?For many companies, there are three compelling reasons to outsource your telemarketing:1) Focus2) Capabilities3) CostThis article examines these three reasons and suggests why, in many cases, it makes more sense to use the services of an external telemarketing agency for business-to-business telemarketing campaigns.1) FocusFirstly, a strong reason for using an external telemarketing company is that they will focus on the task of generating leads for your business. Many companies, when using an internal resource, will hand this over to either an admin person or expect telemarketing to be done as an extension of their role.But, let’s be honest about what really happens in most businesses: they find something else to do.Unlike an external company, which employs people to make outbound telemarketing calls day-in, day-out, your employees have other duties to perform. And, believe me, they will find anything else to do rather than telemarketing. The same goes for if you choose to hire your own people “just to cold call”. After a few months, I guarantee, they will be doing something (anything) else rather than telemarketing.


Using a telemarketing agency means that you have a resource focused on telemarketing for your business and you ensure a continual effort to generate leads, not the reluctant, ad-hoc approach you will get form your own people.2) CapabilitiesHand-in-hand with the issue of focus is that of capabilities. By outsourcing telemarketing you will access people who are far better at telemarketing that your own people. Even if you have dedicated sales people they often won’t match a seasoned telemarketer when it comes to making outbound calls.External telemarketing agencies also bring capabilities around data acquisition, segmentation, key message and “pitch” development which your own people will lack.Think about it; a good telemarketer will pitch around 100 prospects in a week. Given that the best telemarketers have been in the game for at least 10 years, that’s over 50,000 pitches. That’s a level of telemarketing experience you will never get it from an in-house employee.3) CostFinally, another reason for many companies to consider using a telemarketing agency is cost.When comparing using your people, or even yourself as the owner of a small business, against the cost of a telemarketing company, the costs are pretty compelling.Telemarketing agencies charge, on average around £250 per day for a telemarketer. That’s attractive even when you compare it against the cost of your sales people. But when you consider the cost of them not being in front of prospects and actually closing, the cost justification stacks up in favour of outsourcing.


When comparing an external telemarketing company against an admin person making “a few cold calls” the costs need a little more study but they still make sense. Usually, the best approach is to consider two factors: a) the cost per lead and b) the opportunity cost.When looking at the former, external telemarketing agencies, which are always more efficient, typically wins. In addition, when you think about the opportunity cost of not getting new leads into your pipeline and the resulting lost new business growth, it’s usually obvious that using a telemarketing company is the best investment.So, in summary, when thinking about whether to use your own people or external telemarketers, consider the total picture of how much focused your own people will be, how good they will be, and what is the real return on their costs.We believe that, taking all these elements into account, an outbound telemarketing agency is the most attractive route for many businesses.

Teaching About the Election to Elementary Students Using Literature and Technology

Teaching about the election can be an interesting process. Of course the best way is to hold a mock election, or even better, a school election with children running for various offices. As with all curricular areas, experiencing the learning by participation cements the concepts.Other ideas for teaching about the election include:For Kindergarten and Grade 1Read a book about an election and discuss the elements of election. Books I choose to use are “Duck for President” by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin (2004) and “My Teacher for President” by Kay Winters and Denise Brunkus (2008.)After discussing the election process we make campaign posters. Students use a drawing program on the computer (I use KidPix) and type “Vote for ______” in huge letters. They add decorations to complete the poster. We print in color and staple to construction paper. Hanging this campaign poster on their bedroom doors will remind them of what they learned about the election.


For Grades 2 and 3I read an election book such as “Pete for President” by Daisy Alberto (2004). We discuss election procedures but also emphasize telling the truth during the election process. During the story there is a page where there is a debate. I stop the story, have two kids join me up front, and simulate a debate. Sometimes I even tell one of the students to make outlandish claims about what he or she would do if they were to win. We finish reading the book and then discuss ways that students can improve the school.The second graders make campaign posters just like the younger students but they add four ways they can make the school/world a better place. Examples might be: Eliminate bullies from the playground, Pick up Litter on the Playground, Be Nice to All People, Help Raise Money for New Library Books, etc.In Grades 3 through 5As the children get older I begin to teach about the electoral college. The best book I’ve found for this is “Grace for President” by Kelly Dipucchio and Leuyen Pham (2008.) After reading this story I send the students to explore an online simulation game at the Scholastic News website.


Grade 6: By the time students are in grade 6 they are ready to explore the issues of the candidates. To do this I ask the students to choose six issues to research on the websites of the candidates. The information that they gather can be presented in any manner; for instance, a 2-column display comparing the issues or using an organizing software such as Inspiration to create a web of information.Overall, the more concrete examples you can give to students about the election will assist them in learning about the process that we embrace within our country.