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Ok - it's more like a documented "school of hard knocks" and we don't have a football team. In a sea of advertising agencies, we want to stand out by helping businesses effectively utilize their advertising budget through use of our knowledge and advertising specialties.  AVU has nuggets of knowledge that help explain the world of advertising and how to more effectively navigate it.  Click on the subject title links below:   

Advertising 101 

The Basics

1.   Just What Does It Mean to Advertise?
2.   And the Purpose of Advertising Is:
3.   Why Should You Care About Advertising?
4.   Advertising is Necessary (or Why You Shouldn't Hate Advertising)
5.   When Advertising Crosses the Line - An AdsValue Opinion
6.   PR, Advertising, Marketing & Sales Defined in One Place

The Opportunities

1.   Opportunities for Customer Communications / Advertising
2.   8 Reasons Why You Should Advertise
3.   Methods / Places to Advertise

Other Nuggets

1.   Communicate with Courtesy
2.   Taxes: The Difference between Amortization and Depreciation
3.   12 Proclamations of a Win Without Pitching Agency
4.   Glossary

Tools

Need Help?  Visit the Frequently Asked Questions









Just What Does it Mean to "Advertise"?

Webster's Dictionary says:  "to tell about or praise (a product, services, etc.) publicly, as through newspapers, handbills, radio, television, etc., so as to make people want to buy it".  Others have expressed it as:

"Advertising makes people discontented. It makes them want things they don't have. Without discontent, there is no progress, no achievement."   Morris Hite

and. . . .

"Advertising is the art of making whole lies out of half truths."   Edgar A. Shoaff

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And the Purpose of Advertising is:

- to reinforce consumer trends

- to move people toward goods

- to promote and sell a product.

- to persuade you to try something

- to tell you about something, educate

- to sell you something, generate sales

- to encourage you to try a new product

- to communicate to your target audience

- to tell the consumer "What's in it for me"

- to strike an emotional chord with the viewer

- to build product awareness, brand familiarity

- to convince you that you need to buy a new product.

- to entertain, to dazzle, to intrigue, to puzzle, to stimulate

- to persuade others to buy your product over your competitor's product

- to show off you wicked skills in helping to market an off beat product

- to strike an interest to encourage you to try the product and/or want more

- to satisfy curiosity, which gets satisfied when one knows something new, in a different manner

- to generate a measurable and favorable response toward a product or a concept that advances a sale

- to get the mind space of a potential customer so that at the time of purchase, their product gets priority

- to produce interest, leads, and customers who will spend significantly more money on the business' products or services than the business spent in time and on media space to acquire the customer

Whew - that's quite a list.  As you may see, there are other reasons to advertise than to just sell you something.

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Why Should You Care About Advertising?

To a large extent, some way or another, your job, your lifestyle, your car, your house, or that book or IPod in your hand is a result of advertising.  If companies didn't advertise, they wouldn't sell products, they wouldn't employ people (like you) and we wouldn't have all that we have today.  Not discounting the contributions of scientists, marketers, educators, bankers, miners and thousands of others that make it happen, however the apex of the consumption cycle is when someone buys something.  Advertising is the event that educates and encourages us to take money from our pocket and buy that something we need or want.

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Advertising is Necessary (or Why You Shouldn't Hate Advertising)

Advertising is growing and moving to the more effective mediums.  Advertising isn't going away.  Most people have a love / hate relationship with advertising and the internet has evolved in the past decade to be the advertiser's dream machine.  To our dismay, the legitimate ad industry also has received a black eye from abusers who bombard us with inappropriate and excessive ads.  We all like some form of advertising - we buy magazines and newspapers, watch the Super Bowl commercials, or use it for research for the products and services we buy.

So the next time you're watching the Victoria Secret model pose, or the Budweiser Clydesdale horses prance, please don't hate advertising (except the real junky stuff).  Embrace the marvel of the advertisement - we learn from it, it makes us laugh, makes us sick, makes us think, or just plain helps direct our thoughts towards meeting our needs and wants.  Remember - jobs depend on advertising - probably yours!  We need it, and we really can't live without it.

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When Advertising Crosses the Line - An AdsValue Opinion

As shown in other AdsValue University topics, we need and desire advertising. It makes us feel good when we wish to (or can) relate to the advertisement. We like how a photo of a steak looks surrounded by fresh vegetables, buttery garlic mashed potatoes, and a flaky dinner roll because it revives our memory of a past delicious, warm, juicy, tasty steak dinner you can't wait to experience again. We also enjoy the funny ads.  These types are the good ads.  But what happens when the ad man crosses the line by presenting ads that violate society's "rules" of evasiveness, deciency and "in good taste", or plain annoying just to sell more stuff? 

Here are the AdsValue "Gone Too Far" Nominees:

Out and About
   - Ads on the floor of a supermarket at the head of the aisle or in front of the product on the shelf
   - Supermarket displays that are so large they significantly impede the flow of shopping carts
   - Brand names in big letters on girls shorts across their butt
   - License plate frames and stickers on the back of your car . . . . like that dealer made that car?
   - Ads embedded into acrylic-topped restaurant dining tables
   - Ads affixed to airline tray tables

At Home
   - Automated phone dialers with automated messages that keep calling week after week after week

On the Internet
   - SPAM. . . . . . (and we're not talking canned meat here)
   - Pop-up ads that take you right off the page you're viewing to another full page ad
   - "Skip this Ad" control missing for first 5 seconds so you can't shut off the ad
   - Roll-over pop-up ads that block what you're reading and then ad isn't about the link word and just accidentally rolling over them activates the ad instead of having the option to click on the link.  Example - in a news article, rollover the linked name Kim-Jong-il and get an ad for LowPriceShopper.com
   - Videos with a commercial (sometimes over 60 seconds) preceding the video
   - Small 2-line pop-up 10-second ads on the bottom as you enter a video
   - Videos with the controls disabled so you can't shut off or bypass the ad

In the Mail
   - Large envelopes with only one sheet of paper - what a waste
   - Shipping envelope with a sheet of bubble wrap inside to make you think the envelope contains something
   - Adding a credit card-like access card to the letter.  It's plastic and with some whoopty-do access code on it to get alleged special treatment.  Do you think the recipient is going to carry it around for 10 years in their wallet?  All you do is piss off the person who now needs to waste time shredding it or cutting it up with scissors - not to mention the landfill waste generated.

On Television
   - Pop-in ads at the bottom of a show you're watching.  First they were small, static, and on the lower right corner which was tolerable.  Now some run the whole width of the screen and/or are much taller, most are animated, and last for many seconds.
   - Fast scene-changing ads so you never really catch what's happening so you watch intently but annoyed.
   - Loud-talking announcer automobile and product ads
   - The sound volume on the television noticeably increases during commercial time
   - 30 minute show stretched to 60 minutes because of SO MANY COMMERCIALS - up to 15 in a row!
   - "Wardrobe malfunctions" - not being prudish but I'd love to meet the person who came up with this phrase to describe it!
   - Using a charity organization format sell products.  Examples are cable programming services like "friends don't let friends watch cable TV" (DirecTV),  or rehabilitation for a debilitating condition caused by not subscribing to NFL Season Pass.

On the Radio
   - Commercials with ringing cell phones or sirens - annoying and unsafe when driving - "Was that a real siren?"

Never Advertise Here
   - In a hospital, especially in the Emergency waiting room
   - In a church services bulletin
   - On paper money - like www.wheresgeorge.com (not really advertising but have seen one other like this that was an ad)  

The ad industry needs to draw the line a little further back from where it has drifted to currently.  If you wish to suggest others, send your comments through our Contact Us page.  Thank you.

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PR, Advertising, Marketing, & Sales Defined in One Place

Public Relations: is a form of communication primarily directed toward gaining public understanding and acceptance. Public relations usually deals with issues rather than products or services, and is used to build goodwill with public or employees. Examples of public relations are employee training, support of charitable events, or a press release about some positive community participation.

Advertising:  a paid form of communicating a message by the use of various media. It is persuasive, informative, and designed to influence purchasing behavior or thought patterns.

Marketing:  a multi-faceted business and social processes by which a company determines what a potential customer needs and wants, planning of how they will attract and acquire new customers within their target markets, how they will support and manage the customer relationship once they acquire the customer, and how to protect their customer base from competition. The process and resulting marketing plan addresses Product, Price, Placement and Promotion and is the key element to a company's overall business plan. It typically is the result of countless hours of research, design, testing, analysis, strategizing, and planning. Profitability should always be considered when marketing.

Sales - is the process of meeting prospective clients (prospects) and providing them with product information and possibly a product sample, and the promise of providing them a product or service in return for required compensation. A salesperson may also provide the provide the product or services (such as in a retail environment), or may submit the sales order to their company and fulfillment by the Operations / Shipping department.  Despite belief to the contrary, sales / selling is not (supposed to be) persuading/convincing people to buy things they may or may not want or need.  Nor is it just about closing a deal. Selling is helping people. Selling is serving. Selling is a process of identifying and solving people's problems.  If what you have to offer does solve their problems, and you facilitate the conversation properly, people will sell themselves and will subsequently buy from you.

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Opportunities for Customer Communications / Advertising

Is your business taking advantage of every opportunity to contact or advertise to your customers?  Consider these events that may be appropriate

- brand awareness
- keeping your name out there
- new brands added
- new product introduction
- sale / coupons / exclusive offers
- business moved to new location
- business added a new location
- new key employee
- newsletters
- seminar notice
- contest
- referral program
- loyalty programs
- surveys - customer satisfaction, new product introductions, advertising review, etc.
- year-end holiday best wishes
- customer appreciation party
- gift certificate books
- annual events - account review, meeting notice
- improved capabilities
- purchase thank you

With more detailed demographic information on your customers, select businesses might consider these more personal communication trigger events:

- birthdays
- anniversary
- graduation
- promotion
- retirement
- specific holiday offers

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8 Reasons Why You Should Advertise

These reasons are in no particular order of importance. 

1. To Increase Foot Traffic in Your Store - more people in your store can mean more planned and unplanned sales
2. To Maintain a Image in the Community
3. To Reach Prospective Customers
4. To Stimulate Your Organization (Its Expected)
5. To Keep Up With the Jones (your Competition)
6. To Keep Your Customers and Stay in their Minds
7. To Get the Benefit of Your Efforts Over Time
8. To Increase Sales

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Methods to Advertise

There are many methods / places to advertise (and some think there are way too many).  Each has it's own strengths and weaknesses for a given advertising need.  See a Advertising Methods Comparision Table of some advertising methods.  Methods listed in a browish font are main AdsValue service offerings.  Others may be available on a case-by-case basis.

Print - Personal
- Postcard
- Card deck (multiple postcards in one pkg.)
- Letter
- Brochure
- Magazine - general, targeted
- Newspaper
Press release
- Sticky notes - in-store, direct mail, newspaper front page
- Flyer / Insert
- Phone book
- Register tape ads
- Static Cling Ads - stick to flat surfaces by static electricity
- Placemats
- Bags
- Wraps - newspaper, publications, products
- Surveys
- Coupon dispensers (supermarket), pads (in-store displays)

Print - Public
- Billboards - fixed, mobile
- Vehicle Signs - wraps, bus, taxi, magnetic, bumper sticker, license plate frame
- Spinning signs
- Job signs out front while working job
- Business signage
- Bus stops

Other - Public
- Flags
- Air filled balloons, air dancers
- Sign Spinners / Street Performers
- Skywriting
- Projection - large scale - on side of building
- Vinyl sidewalk graphics, supermarket floor ads
- Sidewalk Chauk-Talks
- Segway ads
- Shopping cart ads
- Bulletin board ad
- Ads on acrylic-topped tables
- Airline tray tables
- Movie theaters on-screen before movie

Co-Operative Ads
- Product insertion into movie script / scene
- Product Package / Invoice / Statement / Utility Bill insert
- Sponsor an event
- Multi-ad methods - card deck, direct mail piece, newspaper page, NASCAR, coupon booklets

Personal Contact
- Meeting / seminar / luncheon / webinar
- Phone call
- Referrals and Testimonials
- Expert Endorsements
- Telemarketing
- Convention participation
- Guest speaking

Internet / Computer / Mobile Devices
- Email - ads, newsletter, customer related
- Video
- PPC (Pay Per Click) / Contextual ads
- Web site - business (also improve SEO)
- Directories - free listings and paid position
- On-site ads - banner ads, pop-up, expand on rollover
- Web site on-hold video
- In-text ads in online articles
- Widget ad windows
- Links to / from other web sites
- Surveys
- Social media sites
- RSS feed
- Blogging
- E-book / Other information - sales and give-aways
- Digital Magazine - general, targeted
- DVD - informational
- Mobile phone / PDA specific ads

Public Airwaves
- Radio - commercial, public service spot, infomercial, guest spot, news
- Television - commercial, public service spot, infomercial, guest spot, news

Audio
- Phone message on hold
- Automated sales calling
- Pre-recorded music programs with ads

Products
- Promotional Items
- Product samples
- Edible ads (Cookie Ads)
- Custom candy wrappers and M&Ms 
- T-shirts
- Coffee mugs


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Communicate with Courtesy

The Problem
Communications courtesy is very poor in today’s information-overloaded world.  Unreturned phone calls, and unanswered emails and letters are discourteous, in the long run and are a waste for your (everyone’s) time.

The Causes
In business and personal communications, people wish their message to be acknowledged and replied to if requested.  We know you’re busy, but you’re not the only one – remember - everyone is busy.  Your business depends on sales and the process of selling costs money and takes valuable time.  Unanswered communications on both sides wastes time with 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th emails and voicemails and erodes the relationship.  Is this how you want your communications to be treated?  It gnaws away at your bottom line by wasted time, productivity, and frustration.  Here is the poor communications problem broken down:

Overworked – too much happening – can barely get the minimum done
No Extra Time – no time to deal with new items
Process – no good process to keep communications organized and flowing
Location – not at a place you can effectively respond to communications
Technology – malfunctioning, incompatibility, out of area, unavailable
Avoiding the Painful – don’t want to face tough decisions and conversations
Authority – you’re not the decision-maker – waiting for others to provide information
Information Bombardment – so much information and communications
It’s Just A Salesperson – trying to sell me something I don’t want / need

The Typical Responses
Think how you treat familiar and unfamiliar communications (email, voicemail, phone calls, or letters):
- immediately delete them because you don’t recognize the sender
- scan for anything interesting and delete
- scan for anything interesting and any requested response – maybe respond
- read / listen thoroughly and reply as requested

Each type of communication has a generally inferred courteous style of response:

No Specific Personal Response Expected
Form letter / general distribution email / SPAM / junk direct mail
Recorded message call

Specific Personal Response Requested / Expected
Personal call / email – unknown caller
Personal call / email – familiar caller – few past contacts
Personally-directed call / email – associate, friend, relative
RSVP requested

Invalid Exceptions (excuses most often not true)

Blaming Technology
- Email sent to Junk Mail folder – you need to fix your filtering to prevent legitimate emails from arriving

- “I never got your email - let me check my Junk Mail folder” (then they always seem to get your next email and that one never gets caught in their Junk Mail folder).  (Caught in a Lie: - some people, when they send an email, ask for a Delivery and/or Read receipts so they know an email has been delivered and/or read by the recipient.  Many a time someone has told me they didn’t get my email until I send them the receipts: “Oh – now I remember”)

- “I didn’t get your voicemail message.”

Blaming People
- “I must have accidentally deleted your email – I get so much email each day”

-  “I forgot I received your message”

- “My assistant has been out – I didn’t get the message”

Valid Exceptions
On vacation / day off
Out for sickness
Technical malfunction – legitimate phone, email problems

The Improvement Path
Don’t fake problems – people are perceptive enough to distinguish between stall / avoidance tactics and a real problem

Don’t let daily communications pile up (34 voicemails and emails to answer on Friday afternoon). Return phone calls / emails promptly – don’t avoid them for days.

- if not prepared with an answer – say so

- leave a message to acknowledge you received their message and you will provide a reply by tomorrow or in 2 days.

- if you’re reluctant to provide information they won’t want to hear – own up to your responsibility and just do it.

- If you’re out of the office, schedule time to answer emails daily when you return

- Make sure you acknowledge and address correspondence with deadlines

If you’re going to be out for several days:

- ask someone else to monitor and respond to your correspondence

- For voicemail - change your voicemail message to indicate you’re out, (you may reach me on my cell phone), when you’ll return, and who they may contact for further assistance.

- For email – set up you Auto Reply feature to automatically send an Out of Office message to indicate you’re out, when you’ll return, and who they may contact for further assistance.

Set a good example - practice and preach good communications courtesy – it’s contagious.

Courtesy is not free and it does take a little time, however in the long run, people will prefer to communicate and/or do business with you and your company over a slow responder or non-responder.  Your company’s bottom line should improve and the staff will be less frustrated and more productive.

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Taxes: The Difference between Amortization and Depreciation

Business assets are acquired and used in ways that (should) increase the value of your company.  Assets have a "life" when they are considered, for tax purposes, to be useful at creating that value.   If a machine has a useful life of 10 years, then the cost of that machine will generally be deducted over that 10 year life.

Amortization and depreciation are both processes of applying these deductions.  These can be cutely referred to as "write-offs", because you are "writing off" the cost of an asset against your business income - thus reducing your taxable income.  Uncle Sam has many rules and methods that permit a company to decide how much of the cost of an asset can be deducted from your business income as an expense in each month of the "life" of that asset.  Download IRS Publicaions 535 and 946 for more information and consider seeking professional tax assistance to navigate the myriad of IRS rules regarding this topic.

Depreciation typically is the process of deducting expenses of tangible assets such as manufacturing equipment, buildings, or furniture.  To make it more confusing, some intangible assets like patents, copyrights, and computer software can also be depreciated.  Land, for tax purposes, is never depreciated or amortized.  The depreciation amount per year will differ because items lose their value at different rates and the depreciation method your choose.   The depreciation methods are MACRS, ADS, and a favorite of many businesses is Section 179 deduction. 

TaxTip:  Consider a section 179 deduction for certain items (like computers, software, etc) so you can deduct the full cost of an item in the tax year it was acquired / put in service. (See IRS rules for details.)

Amortization typically is the process of deducting expenses of intangible assets such as a large developed customer base, goodwill, or starting a business.   An amortization deduction is typically calculated by taking the (asset cost) expense and dividing it by its "life" (as defined by the IRS) to arrive at a per-month deduction.  Multiply the per-month deduction times the number of months the asset was in service for the given tax year.  Do this each year until the deduction is depleted.   Generally, new business Start-up and Organizational costs are amortized. 

TaxTip:  As a help to a new business, you can consider deducting $5000 of your Start-up AND $5000 of your Organizational costs in the tax year you opened for business.

The choices made of how to and how much you amortize and depreciate will be reflected in your company's financial reports. The amounts of amortization and depreciation you choose will determine the numbers on your company's balance sheet, the "snapshot" of how business is performing.

Amortization and depreciation amounts have significant effects on your tax burden. The less you claim for expenses, the more profitable your company seems and therefore the more it will be taxed. Choosing higher depreciation amounts can provide short-term tax relief.  Bad amortization and depreciation choices can get you in trouble with the law.

Note:  AdsValue provides this information as a general help to businesses and is not liable for the accuracy, update, or use of this information.  Consult a tax professional.   

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12 Proclamations of a Win Without Pitching Agency

This segment was originally written reflective of the pressure for creative artists to give there work away for free to provide a means to prove their worthiness of an assignment.  We think it reflects equally on most any creative business, and many points are worthy of consideration for any (sales) organization.

Speculative creative - free pitching:  some firms have resisted the industry-wide pressure to tow the free-pitching line.  They have gone from order-takers to expert advisors and forged a more satisfying and lucrative way of acquiring and doing business.

Benefits of "not pitching" include a lower cost of sale, higher utilization, and fewer late nights just to name a few.  Review the 12 points and then consider if you think it might be possible to quit pitching and actually win more business, even while your competitors continue to free-pitch.

  1. We Will Specialize - be seen as more specialized, more creative.  Client sees our value and doesn't expect us to give away our expertise for free.

  2. Replace Presentations With Conversations - move away from doing the "Big Reveal" presentation and towards conversation and collaboration.

  3. Do With Words What We Used To Do With Paper - propose our solutions with words and minimize providing unpaid proposals until agreements are reached.

  4. Better Understand The Client - don't meet initially to pitch, impress or persuade.  Search for an understanding of the client and their needs and determine a fit between the two parties.

  5. Build Expertise Rapidly - become and be viewed as focused expert advisors and not order-takers.  As an expert, move ahead of the competition and earn the proper respect and renumeration. 

  6. Mandatory Continuous Improvement - all persons will endeavor to continually deepen their expertise, and support such efforts.  Understand that the market quickly evolves and we must evolve to serve our clients and our firm or fall behind.

  7. We Will Be Selective - instead of seeking many clients, seek client's that you can best help.  Say "No" early and often, weeding those out best served by others and those who can't afford us.  By using "no" will give more power and credibility to our "yes".

  8. Don't Solve Problems Until Financially Engaged - under no circumstances will we part with our thinking without appropriate compensation.  Thinking is our most valued product and if we don't value it, neither will our clients.  We save our best thinking for our paying clients.

  9. Address Issues Of Money Early - don't over-invest in a relationship before discovering a client-to-be cannot afford to pay us what we are worth.  Set a minimum level of engagement and if the client cannot afford us, allow both parties to walk away before wasting resources.  "Those who cannot talk money, do not make money"

  10. Refuse To Accept Work At A Loss - we will build this firm one profitable job at a time, excepting our pro bono work for our best clients.  Every project will generate a profit that recognizes our expertise and the value we bring to a client's business.

  11. We Will Charge More - as our expertise deepens and our impact on our client's businesses grows we will evolve our pricing to reflect that impact.  We'll recognize that to our clients the smallest invoices are most annoying.  Through charging more, we will create more time to think on behalf of our clients and eliminate the need to invoice for changes and other surprises.

  12. We Will Hold Our Heads High - we will see ourselves as professional practioners who were hired to bring real solutions to our client's business problems.  We seek respect above money, and with that respect as experts will we be paid the money we deserve. This money allows us to reinvest in ourselves and become better at what we do.

The 12 Proclamations have been summarized above.  To view the entire document, please visit   http://www.winwithoutpitching.com/manifesto

© Copyright Enmark Performance Development, 2007  www.winwithoutpitching.com

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Glossary

Advertising - A paid form of communicating a message by the use of various media. It is persuasive, informative, and designed to influence purchasing behavior or thought patterns.

Amortization - see article Taxes: The Difference between Amortization and Depreciation

B2B - Business-to-Business - the business relationship between businesses to other businesses

B2C - Business to Consumer - the business relationship between businesses to consumer

Bind-ins - typically a 3 x 5 card ad, or a full page ad of heavyweight paper that is bound into a (magazine) and can be torn out

Blow-ins - typically a 3 x 5 card ad made of heavyweight paper that is just placed loosely (blown in) in a magazine but it may fall out

Brand - is a set of emotional and functional attributes, typically communicated using a symbol or name, that influences a viewer's mind  and creates the perception of some value that the product or service will deliver.  An undisputable international brand is Harley Davidson.  This brand conjures up the perception that experiencing their product will create the feeling of freedom, strength, made in America, the open road, individualism, and so much more.  Few companies go to this extent to capture the essence of their brand as found on the Harley web site at http://www.harley-davidson.com/wcm/Content/Pages/Riders/Creed_Video.jsp?locale=en_US  

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) - (also see Sales Force Automation) a software system that allow companies to manage every aspect of their relationship with a customer.  The aim of this system is to assist in building lasting customer relationships - to turn customer satisfaction into customer loyalty. Customer information acquired from sales, marketing, customer service, and support is captured and stored in a centralised database.  It may also be integrated with other systems such as accounting and manufacturing for a truly enterprise-wide system with thousands of users.

Depreciation - see article Taxes: The Difference between Amortization and Depreciation

Double Opt-In - see opt in definition first. After a potential client opts in, you send an email to them confirming their choice to opt in. They reply confirming their permission to receive your emails, hence a double opt in. This is the preferred method so there is no doubt by anyone that they consented to receiving your emails. This is a major step in preventing SPAM.

Flyer - single or multi-page advertisement or other document that is direct mailed or inserted into a publication such as a newspaper (also see Insert)

Insert - single or multi-page advertisement or other document that is inserted into a publication such as a newspaper (also see Flyer)

KPI - Key Performance Indicators - these indicators are point-in-time measurements of critical functional elements of the general health of an organization or process.  They allow you to rapidly evaluate overall performance and identify the need for action, if any.  An example of corporate KPIs might be Cash on Hand, Headcount, and Accounts Receivable.   Examples of process-relalated KPIs might be Batch %Yield,  Defect Rate, and Machine Uptime.  Examples of advertising KPIs for your PPC campaign would be Impressions, CTR (Click Thru Rate), and Conversions.  When developing KPIs, you define the target performance levels and then how to represent the variance from those targets.   

Marketing - multi-faceted business and social processes by which a company determines what a potential customer needs and wants, planning of how they will attract and acquire new customers within their target markets, how they will support and manage the customer relationship once they acquire the customer, and how to protect their customer base from competition. The process and resulting marketing plan addresses Product, Price, Placement and Promotion and is the key element to a company's overall business plan. It typically is the result of countless hours of research, design, testing, analysis, strategizing, and planning. Profitability should always be considered when marketing.

Opt-In - (also optin) related to email marketing, this is when a potential client provide you permission to send emails to their email address from your company to them.

Opt-Out - (also optout) related to email marketing, this is when a client who had previously opted in (provided permission) to receiving emails from your company, chooses to no longer receive your email. They typically can opt out by clicking on an unsubscribe link contained in one of your emails. See also opt in.

Permission-based email marketing - see opt in, double opt-in, and opt out.

POP and POS - Point of Purchase and Point Of Sale advertising - POS can be anywhere in a store while POP is only near the register. The sale is made when the item goes in the shopper's cart and the purchase is made when they pay their money.

Public Relations - a form of communication primarily directed toward gaining public understanding and acceptance. Public relations usually deals with issues rather than products or services, and is used to build goodwill with public or employees. Examples of public relations are employee training, support of charitable events, or a press release about some positive community participation.

Sales - is the process of meeting prospective clients (prospects) and providing them with product information and possibly a product sample, and the promise of providing them a product or service in return for required compensation. A salesperson may also provide the products or services (such as in a retail environment), or may submit the sales order to their company and fulfillment by the Operations / Shipping department.  Despite belief to the contrary, sales / selling is not (supposed to be) persuading/convincing people to buy things they may or may not want or need.  Nor is it just about closing a deal. Selling is helping people. Selling is serving. Selling is a process of identifying and solving people's problems.  If what you have to offer does solve their problems, and you facilitate the conversation properly, people will sell themselves and will subsequently buy from you.

Sales Force Automation (SFA) - (also see Customer Relationship Management) a software system to support salespersons by provide database access to contacts, appointments, account details and email, and (typically) provides management with real-time visibility of the sales pipeline.  It is likely to be integrated with a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.  More recent systems are also accessible and editable on a salesperson's PDA / cell phone over the internet.

SEO - Search Engine Optimization is the process of writing and arranging a web site's content to obtain high rankings in organic, crawler-based listings of search engines. This includes tailoring on-page text (such as headlines and subtitles), choosing the proper keywords for a page's meta tags, page layout, and site submissions to search engines.

Spam - Spam refers to electronic junk mail (officially called unsolicited commercial email or UCE, or junk newsgroup postings. Some people define spam even more generally as any unsolicited e-mail. Spamming typically involves sending identical or nearly identical messages to thousands or millions of recipients. Addresses of recipients are often harvested from Usenet postings or web pages, obtained from databases, or simply guessed by using common names and domains. In addition to being a nuisance, spam also eats up a lot of network bandwidth. Because the Internet is a public network, little can be done to prevent spam, just as it is impossible to prevent junk mail. However, the use of software filters in e-mail programs can be used to remove most spam sent through e-mail.

UCE - unsolicited commercial email - see Spam

USP - Unique Selling Proposition or Unique Selling Position.  A concise and memorable statement which powerfully describes the unique value of the business and creates excitement in the prospect. The purpose of the USP is to answer the prospect's question "Why should I do business with your company and not some other company?"

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