Sunday, January 31, 2010

MBA Program

Two years ago I decided to pursue an MBA from Ohio Dominican University. During my time at ODU I have finished ten courses that include topics like Marketing, Accounting, Finance, Economics and other business related courses. When I started the program my goal was to finish and learn more about business in a formal setting. The last twenty years of my work life have been incredibly educational but not in a formal way.

My current course is Strategy which has been a challenge from a course load perspective. In a week and a half our class has been assigned to write six papers on six different topics. These papers are only two to three pages with four references each but it is still quite a bit of work.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Continuing Education

Living in today's world where the pace of change seems to be increasing every month there are times I feel behind the curve and unable to catch up. This is more true in the world of digital communication and education because I know there is so much to learn. Recently I came across a website that has lectures from Stanford. These lectures are in their business program and are given by many of the leading business people in the digital world.

There is a lecture by Larry Paige, one of the founders of Google, on Science as Inspiration. There is a lecture by Carly Fiorina on the Difference Between Management and Leadership. Carly was the former CEO of HP. Steve Ballmer from Microsoft has a lecture on the future of Microsoft and the future of technology. There are also speakers like Guy Kawasaki who has spoken on multiple topics.

The amazing thing is that all of these lectures are free. Stanford isn't the only major university doing this. There is the opportunity to learn from many of the leading business people, thinkers and educators from around the world - all for free and all online. What a great time to live in when we can learn for free, from our home at any time.

Friday, January 22, 2010

WSJ Says Direct Mail Not Gone

WSJ logoIn a recent article, the Wall Street Journal covered the movement many companies have made to online advertising from print advertising. This has been a trend in recent years to reduce the overall cost of marketing. Even though this has saved some money, it has also cost some returns on investment to drop.

One company saw a 25% drop in orders when they moved from traditional direct mail to online advertising. The annual marketing budget was reduced but the overall cost to the company was greater due to the loss in gross sales and bottom line profits.

The article goes on to say that targeted direct mail seems to offer the best return. Our firm is able to help with this approach by doing versioned mailings, 1to1 marketing and pURL pieces.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hello 2010 - Goodbye 2009

It is with great joy that I welcome 2010 and it is with great joy that 2009 is behind us. Not that I had anything against the year - it is just good to see it come to an end. 2009 was a year that from a business perspective was a disappointing twelve months. Sales suffered, customers went through rough times and our people had many challenges. The good news is that even with all that was bad, we were able to add some great equipment ( and improve some processes which will make a considerable difference this year.

Our sales projections for 2010, which were done with a conservative mindset, are 14% above 2009. Unfortunately 2009 was a down year so part of the growth is just getting back what we lost. Even with that being the case, there are good things happening already. Just this week we have had two customers commit to either more large opportunities or better yet, increased business. It just feels good to be getting feedback that is improving.

Now is the time to sit back, count your blessings and work towards a great New Year.