Business isn’t just a VIRTUAL world
By Rhona Morris | 11 May, 2017
SEO. Backlinks. Facebook. Social Media. Hashtags. LinkedIn. Twitter. Google Ads. Online sales. EBAY. Amazon. The list goes on. If you are in business - this is what you see and hear every day, all day. You are being told that if you don’t do “this” and do it “well” then you are doomed. It’s a new way of doing things. It’s different. It’s the “New Economy”. And even if you are a “Small Business” you have to be in the game.
But this isn’t enough. This isn’t only what business is about. Business is about getting your repeat orders. Having an amazing SEO ranking on your website or having the correct “font” and look, or even the lowest prices shouldn’t be the sole focus.
At the end of the day your business is dealing with human beings who will look at aspects like customer service and general shopping ease within your “establishment”. It is convenience that is the “game changer”. This is what will encourage shoppers to make repeat visits to your business, time and time again. We at ActivePoint believe that “Branding” doesn’t just refer to the “Colors” and “Fonts” used in your logo. It is also about what people perceive from the brand when they look at it and when they think of you. The success or failure of your advertised brand name will be determined by the reputation it builds and this will not be solely based on the online advertising and the other media sources (newspapers, radio and TV, local advertising brochures and postings, etc.) that you use but ALSO by the level of service, quality of product and reliability that your business provides.
It is your job to recommend different products to all your customer segments. This shows that you “know” your customer. If someone comes into your store to buy cat food, then you certainly wouldn’t think about showing them the dog house that you have on sale. As a bird owner – show me what else I can buy to make my cockatiel happy. I don’t have the time to “shop around”. What you can do is, in my purchase, slip in a flyer that only contains products for birds (or cats or dogs). This is why ActivePoint developed D2D. To help businesses produce their own marketing material like flyers and catalogs "in house"- simply, very quickly, without the need for any technical software knowledge and without having to spend large sums of money on graphic designers or design tools. These D2D produced publications can be printed, viewed on laptops, tablet devices or hand held mobile devices. And remember, there is a great advantage to being customer orientated. You can be really responsive. You can add that flyer to the purchase and it is at that point – when the person opens their package that you get 100% of their attention. And the great thing is these publications can be changed as often as you want!
ActivePoint’s D2D turns boring price lists into colorful, attention getting sales tools
By Maurice Picow | 2 April, 2017
Do you own or manage a web store that frequently advertises overstocked or clearance items online? Do you also post price lists of these items on you website, or send them out to customers in the form of web circulars or mass mail advertising campaigns; only to get lukewarm response in the end? Maybe it’s not the sales prices offered, but how the items being advertised are presented to the prospective customer visiting the website. A simple price list without images and colorful templates just isn’t enough to convince a potential buyer to make a decision to purchase. This just doesn’t cut it in today’s highly competitive online market.
ActivePoint came up with its D2D marketing tool after it became apparent that businesses and companies advertising products on the internet were looking for a way to save on costs without compromising ad appearance and quality. The fact that virtually anyone with minimum computer software knowledge can create quality online advertising using D2D is making this handy web tool popular with a variety of product advertisers.
D2D offers a choice of several templates, each one with a different color and format. Photo images of offered products can be added, along with stored product data. Using these template choices, your business or company logo and provided images of items you wish to display, a professional quality advertisement can be produced in minutes from what was formerly a boring price list.
The creation possibilities are endless, using D2D. The ad, in easy to use PDF format, can be posted on a web store site for as long as it is needed. Prices can be updated on it periodically as well.
D2D is so easy to use. Just follow the simple step by step instructions we provide for downloading stored Excel file product information and supplied images. In minutes your formerly drab and boring price data list is ready to post as a PDF online. A 20 item D2D created flyer cost less money than an average business lunch. Try it today by visiting our website: www.activepoint.com.
How ActivePoint’s “self create” digital marketing can help grow your business
By Maurice Picow | 18 January , 2017
We live in a digital age, where more and more personal and business activities are dependent on using digital devices like personal computers and smart phones. Even personal computers like lap tops and “notebooks” are rapidly taking a back seat to hand held smart phones and similar devices incorporating social medias to attract consumer attention to purchase products and services.
The personal computer still has an important function, however, when it comes to actually ordering products online or booking airline flight tickets, hotels, tours or rental cars. The real challenge is how to make digital marketing more cost effective by lessening or even eliminating the need to hire expensive graphics designers and other professional advertising services. Advertising managers often dream about having a way to “self create” their own advertising by simply feeding ideas and data into a “creation machine” that then does the work automatically and then prints out finished material such as flyers, mass mailers; and even entire catalogs for instant use on online web store sites or social media sites like Face Book. In this way, ad creation personnel have more time to devote to the thinking or creative aspect of advertising designing.
This is where ActivePoint, a leader in the creation of digital catalogs and other advertising material, can assist marketing managers to self-create their own advertising material with the Data2Design or D2D web tool. D2D is the perfect solution for web marketing designers or managers who want an easy to use way to create their own web advertising quickly at a very reasonable cost. Since digital marketing is more cost effective than other forms of marketing, the ability to self-create low cost, professional quality advertising is one of the main reasons why D2D is gaining popularity. D2D saves the drudge work for web designers and gives them the time to do what they really love and are good at; i.e. the creative side of designing.
Making use of the modern internet user’s 5 second attention span
By Maurice Picow | 1 December, 2016
Here’s a good scenario for online marketing sites: You spend time creating what you consider to be great, consumer attracting web advertising for products featured on your web store site. Then, after posting the advertising on your home page, you sit back and wait for potential customers to click on your site as having seen the ad copy. Better still, you wait for the orders to come in to your site’s online shopping cart. Afterwards, you become disappointed when few people spend any time viewing your website, let alone ordering anything.
The reason for this is that in this modern internet based world we now live in, the average viewer spends no more than 5 seconds glancing at your web site. That’s an attention span of even less than a goldfish’s 8 second attention span!
Although it’s well known that positioning the ad on the home age is very important (usually in the upper left hand corner), other factors are important as well. The reason for such a short ad attention span is that viewers are exposed to anywhere from 4,000 to 10,000 messages a day; most of them geared to reaching their sub-conscious mind. With this in mind, the big challenge is finding ways to target your ad copies to get the desired results, taking into account such a short ad attention span.
For those companies or individuals providing advertising content services within the frame work of an SAAS mode (Software as a Service) it is most important to convert the viewer’s attention into a more productive user mode by employing as few distractions as possible. One thing is very clear; the easier it is for the viewer to find and access the ad, the more likely it will be to convert initial attention into a final decision making or buying mode.
In short, attention getting online marketing copy is like choosing ingredients for preparing a meal. You need the right combination of different ingredients, or key words and phrases, to make it “tasty” to the viewer; taking into account the short attention span given to it.
The importance of online attention getting Black Friday and Cyber Monday marketing
By Maurice Picow | 22 November, 2016
Two of retail marketing’s most important annual selling events are just days away. This post -Thanksgiving sales weekend, beginning with Black Friday and ending with Cyber Monday (for electronic and communication equipment) usher in the beginning of the annual holiday retail selling season. With more and more purchases being made online, web marketing sales sites like Amazon and EBay, as well as online sites of major retailers compete with each other to attract buyers to the almost infinite array of consumer goods available through the web.
The internet is fast replacing newspapers and other “hard copy” advertising as a way for not only attracting customers, but also as the vehicle for choosing products and making the final buying decision. This decision is usually accomplished by simply entering credit card information into an online shopping cart window, with the purchaser never having to leave their home or work premises.
For those not aware, the term Black Friday began on Thanksgiving, 1939. Due to the holiday falling on November 29 that year, large American retailers like Macys asked then president Franklin Roosevelt to help them come up with an idea to boost the upcoming holiday selling season, which that year was several days shorter than usual. The result was the name Black Friday, given to the day after Thanksgiving to hopefully provide a boost to retailers and provide an up-lift to the entire holiday selling season that culminated on Christmas Eve.
Nowadays, as more people prefer to avoid the frantic crowds in retail stores and shopping malls by purchasing online, even traditional retailers like Macys, Sears, Target, Gap, and a host of others have online sites offering special deals for this 4 day sales weekend. As more and more of the entire retail sales pie drifts toward internet sales sites, smaller web marketing establishments find themselves fighting to compete with larger sites like Amazon.
Posting attractive, attention getting web advertisements can be an expensive undertaking for small web marketers who have to hire expensive graphics designers to create the desired advertising for use on the web. The good news is that do-it-yourself software is now available that enables small to medium sized web stores to create their own advertising without jeopardizing their annual advertising budgets. One such software creation company, ActivePoint, offers an easy to use “web to print” creation tool, Data to Design (D2D), that enables the user to create brochures, flyers and even entire catalogs by simply downloading existing product information into their “creation machine” in a matter of minutes. Even users with only minimum computer knowledge can create attractive, professional looking marketing material for a fraction of the cost of employing expensive graphics designers.
The online web market for selling products is tough and getting tougher, Try D2D today and keep ahead of the online selling competition.
Be Smart When Advertising Online Travel Deals
By Maurice Picow | 17 November, 2016
The Internet has virtually taken over today’s travel market. Online airline ticket and travel package websites have now become the methode de choine for ordering flight tickets and booking travel packages, hotel accommodations, rental cars and other services. Persons needing such services often look at websites of several travel sites, in order to get the best travel deal their money can buy.
Not only can the prospective traveler find out about prices for desired travel destinations. They can also receive all kinds of information connected with the location they want to go to; including whether the hotel or resort allows pets or has suitable accommodations to satisfy families with small children. Virtual tours of accommodations and activities are also available to give the customer a better idea of what to expect when arriving.
Travel booking sites need to be able to avail themselves to web tools that enable them to make changes and updates quickly and at low costs. This is where web tools created at ActivePoint, especially our Data 2 Design (D2D) web tool can enable travel booking sites to create all kinds of web advertisements including flyers, circulars, price lists; and even entire catalogs in either PDF or HTML format. These marketing tools can often be created in a matter of minutes by simply downloading stored data, including photos into our mechanical “wizard”. Hypers for linking booking choices to a website shopping cart are included.
The result is professional quality advertising material that can also be converted into applications for use on personal smart phones.
How online Catalogs inspire your customers and engage them to buy
By Maurice Picow | 13 October, 2016
Based on article, Online Shoppable Catalogs, by Joost Buijis : http://bit.ly/2dFNYZZ
Are you planning to install an online catalog on your web store shopping site? This could be one of the smartest things you can do get customers and prospective customers not only interested in the products advertised in your web store, but help them remember your product branding when they reach the stage of actual purchasing.
According to a recent web marketing article, noted above, there are three main phases a purchaser goes through in reaching the final decision to buy something. These are: The Discovery Phase, in which the purchaser is looking for ideas and incentives for finding a certain product; the Evaluation Phase, where the purchaser gathers information, including making product brand comparisons; and finally, the Purchasing Phase. At this stage, being armed with enough information, and after making comparisons, the purchaser reaches the final decision to buy. The online catalog, especially one designed to adequately assist the customer in his search, helps purchasers find what they need by providing enough product information. Catalogs can also be “embedded” on social media sites like Facebook. Having a high enough SEO ranking makes a website easier to find on popular search engine sites like Google. Shopping studies show that around 81% of all sales are made by customers who conduct online product research prior to the actual purchase.
Assisting a purchaser to make a good evaluation of a product by providing high quality product photo images is very important during both the discovery and evaluation phases. This is due to the purchaser not being able to actually touch and feel the item like he could if purchasing in a walk in store. This can pertain to virtually any product; including clothing, electronic items, furniture, and what have you.
In the actual purchase phase, the online catalog comes into its own when products found there can be immediately linked to an online shopping cart, thereby enabling a customer to make an actual purchase. The “Add to Cart” feature makes ordering virtually painless, as it is then completed by the customer providing payment and shipping information. This feature also gives the seller the opportunity to make the customer aware of other online “deals” and promotions that the web store may be offering. This type of incentive marketing works good with websites selling vitamins and supplements, flowers and other gift site products; and many other types of goods. Creating customer loyalty, causing them to make repeat purchases from the web store site, is the hoped for result of previous purchase satisfaction.
ActivePoint has been in the business of producing easy to use online catalogs and other marketing material for more than 10 years. These include digital “flip page” catalogs with smart features like sophisticated product search and page magnification features, as well as print capability to enable the user to print out catalog sections into “hard copy” documents. Also available are “self create” tools, like the D2D web tool. D2D enables users to create their own web catalogs and other marketing material for very reasonable prices.
Find out more about these digital catalogs and web tools on the ActivePoint website.
Target your marketing to get desired sales results
By Maurice Picow | 28 September, 2016
Online web store managers trying to get more sales often complain that they don’t get enough visits or views of items displayed on their site. One issue very important to having increased site visitors, and hence more sales, deals with targeting their marketing campaigns to people who would most likely want to avail themselves to the products or services advertised on the web store site. A recent article dealing with the subject of market targeting appeared in the business and investment news site the balance.com. An article by Susan Ward, points out ways to make target marketing, i.e. “breaking a market into segments and then concentrating marketing efforts on one or a few key segments” more effective.
Some of these segments include: Geographic, demographic and psychographic population segments. In geographic market targeting, focusing on certain geographic locations: urban, suburban, rural, will help determine interest in the products or services being offered. For example, trying to offer outdoor leisure products to people living in crowded urban locations is not a good idea for increasing sales. In demographic population segments, age, gender, race, religion, and household income all play into product interest and ability to buy. This also hold true for psychographic population segments (socio –economic, education levels, life-style preferences, etc).
ActivePoint has been a leader in developing online marketing tools to help web store advertisers take advantage of market targeting by enabling them to easily post items that are more attractive to selective market segments; whether they be geographic, demographic, psychographic or a combination of all of these. For example, an online food products site specializing in organic foods and supplements can easily target demographic and psychographic customers by offering special product deals on weekend flyers and circulars created with our Data to Design (D2D) web tool. D2D can create quick, easy to post advertising in minutes by simply downloading items from stored Excel files. These items can be linked to a web store shopping basket or cart, making it easy for customers to order these products online or via an email order window.
Information about D2D can be found in our website.
Limited VS Unlimited choice in the marketplace
By Maurice Picow | 22 September, 2016
An October 2015 article in The Economist magazine , by Stuart Jefferies, give note to the idea that in today’s multi-media dominated society, people are more stressful in making various life decisions than their forefathers due to too much choice being available. This multi-choice lifestyle our modern society is experiencing, according the Jefferies, is making people feel more dissatisfied and stressed out by exposing them to too many decision options. Having too many choices, instead of a limited number (like in a monopolistic environment) is present in virtually all aspects of our lives; from consumerism to education and leisure time activities (inc. cable television and the Internet); and to even how people search for a casual or lifetime partner.
Jefferies ended his article by saying that people might be more content and even happier if their choices are more limited, thereby having to make less decisions. Bringing back state-run monopolies, for example, might even be a good thing, according to Jefferies. He also mentioned that some large retailers in the UK are offering fewer brand choices of many items in order to make the purchase decision easier; due to less brands being available.
Focusing on certain “choice items” by exposing these items to consumers in an easy to post and read format is one of the main reasons to use ActivePoint’s Digital to Display or D2D web tool. D2D makes it easy to promote a limited number of selected items by displaying them on a website flyer or circular, or sending them out directly to customers in the form of a mass mailer campaign. Instead of the customer being bombarded by a large number of item choices, a D2D created flyer containing a more limited number of items, may induce the viewer to make an easier purchaser decision.
This is just one of the advantages of using publications offering customers a more limited number of choices. Other advantages include ease in actual purchasing by linking products displayed to a web store shopping window or “cart”, or to an order window for making orders by email.
Creating a “tailor made” selection of promoted items, enables the seller to focus or “target” certain products that he wants his customers to be aware of and hopefully purchase. Not needing to have extensive software knowledge in various types of graphics software (Paintbrush, Powerpoint, etc) is another good reason to use the D2D tool.
Try ActivePoint’s D2D tool today and enable your customers to make their purchase decisions easier and less confusing.
The connection between the Cardo and Warren Buffet
By Rhona Morris | 13 July, 2016
What do Ancient Rome’s Cardo and Warren Buffet have in common?
We all know that Ancient Roman Cities were well planned. Each of these ancient cities had an avenue running through it called the cardo maximus which generally served as the primary road. The cardo, an important part of city planning at the time, was lined with shops and vendors, and served as a hub of economic life. It was a venue of sights, sounds and smells – a sensory experience for every individual, very similar to any outdoor market or shopping mall today filled with beautiful displays, sights and smells. The sole purpose of the shops was to attract customers in order to sell wares.
Fast forward to 2016. Speaking at the 20th Graduation of Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses at LaGuardia Community College, Warren Buffett told the graduates, that for a successful business, the most important thing is to ‘delight’ the customer not 'satisfy’ the customer. He went on to say that any business that has “delighted customers” will have a salesforce out there that doesn’t have to be paid and that is talking to people all the time.” Buffet continued to say that businesses that have delighted customers, have customers that come back to buy more.
What’s the connection? Evolution takes millions of years. We are in fact the same people that we were 2500 years ago. The only difference is the technology around us – today I drive my car versus sitting on my mule. Then, as now, we consumers still want our senses to be visually stimulated. We want to be delighted. It is also important for us to know that I can trust the vendor that I purchase my products from. I want to have hassle free returns and to know that there is someone that I can speak to if something isn’t right. We want to feel good with our purchase decision. Yes, price is an important factor, but there are other considerations as well.
Current statistics from Q1 2016 show that only 7.80% of US retail sales are from online transactions. Obviously an online presence is a must in today’s world, but we can’t forget that at the end of the day doing business for us is still about our relationship with our customers. Little things like sending emails on the Fourth of July, acknowledgement of birthdays and letting customers know when products of interest are in-store or on sale. There are many CRM systems that can help you categorize your customers and keep in touch with them. But there aren’t many tools out there that can help you easily and cost effectively create sales/marketing flyers and catalogs to send to them. That is why we developed our D2D web to print tool. You can now generate customized and targeted product publications that will provide you with one more tool with which to reach out to your customers and help you to keep on being in front of your customer. Let’s delight the customers. Let’s show them what we stock for them.
By Rhona Morris | 14 June, 2016
This past Wednesday, June 8th, the phone in the office rings. I answer and I hear someone introduce themselves as Sorin Vatavu from the Civilian Complaint Review Board in New York. He said that he was provided with a URL of ours that doesn't work. The first thought that came to mind was - oh no - we're in trouble now. After breathing deeply and continuing to talk to Sorin, I asked him to read out loud the URL that he was using. It was then that I realized that he was given a URL to a 2015 catalog and that it obviously didn’t work because it is now 2016. I told him to send me the URL that he had and I would track down the dealer in order to send him an updated URL, which was exactly what was done.
I am not writing this story in order to “toot ActivePoint’s horn” with regard to the level of service that we provide. Rather this is a wonderful example of how a digital catalog can be used. Sorin’s workplace is in the process of remodeling their offices and as such were given the URL to the digital office furniture catalog to look at by the remodeling contractor so that they could look for new office furniture. Note he wasn’t given a URL to the website. It was to the URL to the digital catalog.
What is also interesting is that the remodeling contractor was acting as an “external sales agent” for the dealer. He pointed Sorin and his colleagues to the specific dealer/reseller by providing him with a URL to the dealer’s digital catalog. The URLs can be stored on a tablet device, laptop, or even a smart phone for use away from the office. And as we have just seen, the URL can simply be given to potential customers. From this story it shows that it simply is good business sense to have digital catalogs of your available products. There really are so many different ways that digital catalogs can help you increase sales.
By Rhona Morris | 1 June, 2016
Generating revenues in today’s world is challenging. Customers stem from different generations, from baby boomers to millennials, and each generation has a different expectation of how products should be presented and how the purchasing process takes place. No one shoe fits all, and frankly with today’s web tools and developments, it doesn’t have to. ActivePoint believes that printed flyers and PDFs, including custom developed pieces, have an important role in the selling process in conjunction with all the newer methods such as social media.
Today there really is no reason why every customer cannot be provided with marketing and selling publications that will address their specific needs. And saying that you are a small business or company isn’t an excuse. Just as you don’t send the same email to everyone, similarly you shouldn’t be sending the same product brochure or catalog to your prospects, soft calls or customers.
ActivePoint recognized that this is a trending phenomenon. The marketing mix has to be tailor made for different customers, areas and countries. The need for the ability to produce timely targeted specific product pieces in a cost effective manner is a MUST in today’s world. These pieces can either be printed or looked at online as a PDF or as a digital publication.
ActivePoint’s D2D (Data to Display) custom PDF / web to print marketing system was developed to answer this need. It is revolutionary in that it bypasses the necessity to know how to use design software. Anyone with rudimentary knowledge of the workings of an excel, can produce a product publication. Your existing content is used. Front and back covers can be added along with company logos . D2D is a SAAS based system so there is nothing to install. And ActivePoint is always reachable in order to answer any questions you may have.
Even in today’s technologically advanced world, selling is still about “people”. Make sure that you are not seen as a commodity where the only differentiator between you and others is the price. Your added value is knowing who your customer is and what they require. So the next time you go to a customer leave them with a D2D produced flyer, brochure or catalog showing that you and your business are here to help them address their needs.
By Yossi Atad | 18 May, 2016
Our catalogs support SEO. SEO - Search Engine Optimization is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine's unpaid results — often referred to as "natural," "organic," or "earned" results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine's users, and these visitors can be converted into customers.
All major search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo have primary search results,where web pages and other content such as videos or local listings are shown and ranked based on what the search engine considers most relevant to users. Payment isn’t involved, as it is with paid search ads.