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Июнь 2008

How to use digital signage to reach college students

How to Use Digital Signage to Reach College Students

College students represent a retail sector with enormous potential. Not only are they willing to try new products, but they control a significant amount of discretionary income (for products they want). The challenge is that these younger consumers are spending less time fixed to their televisions. They also spend less time reading newspapers. As a result, traditional advertising channels have become far less effective than they were twenty years ago.

Digital signage offers a dynamic way to reach these young adults. The key is to design a strategy through which you approach this unique consumer segment in a way that encourages them to take action. In this article, I’ll explain how to watch their behavioral patterns and fit your message into a contextual framework that triggers your desired response.

Observing Their Behavioral Patterns

College students typically spend their free time in a predictable set of environments. It’s part of their behavioral pattern. For example, you’ll find them in coffee shops and clothing stores. You’ll find them in bookstores, especially if those bookstores have cafes. This consumer group often spends an inordinate amount of time in malls. And when the weekends arrive, you’ll find them in movie theaters, bars, and restaurants.

To reach this retail segment, study their behavioral patterns and place your digital signage screens within venues they frequent. Not only will you gain broader exposure for your brand, but with the right creative, you can generate the impression of being «everywhere.»

Fitting Into The Framework

You should always match your message with the venue regardless of what demographic you’re targeting. For example, if your company sells investment products, placing your creative in shoe stores won’t generate a response. The message doesn’t match the venue.

The same rule is especially important with college students. As consumers, they represent a unique opportunity for advertisers because they tend to stay for long periods in the places they visit (coffee shops, sports bars, etc.). That means they have more time to digest your content and absorb your message. If you can fit your signage creative into a particular venue, you’ll have a better chance of influencing them. For example, if you’re selling diet supplements, your ad spot should be in gyms. If you’re selling shoes, your spot should be in clothing stores.

Entertainment, Information, And A Call To Action

In past articles, I’ve recommended keeping your creatives simple and clear. For most retail demographics, that approach is more effective than any other. However, reaching college students requires a modified approach.

Young adults are some of the most ravenous consumers of entertainment and information. But, they’re accustomed to receiving content that blends both elements in order to keep their attention. If you try to reach them with a simple five-panel, static-image creative with no sound, animation, or video, you’ll lose them. Your digital signage clips need to inform and entertain college students in order to prompt a response.

Having said that, you also need a clear call to action. This is true whether you’re reaching out to college students, business professionals, or senior citizens.

Be There… Always

Imagine the impact of placing your digital signage creatives into multiple contextually related venues that host college students. This creates the impression that your company and products are pervasive. You are everywhere. For example, when your audience visits the local coffee shop, they’ll see your clip. When they visit the gym, they’ll see the same clip. When they meet their friends at the sports bar, university recreation center, or movie theater, they’ll see your ad spot. This sense of your being everywhere has an enormous influence on their willingness to respond.

Motivating a response from college students requires an approach that is different than what is effective for most demographic groups. However, if you execute a well-crafted digital signage strategy, you may discover a rich fount of ongoing sales.

How much information to give-a-way in your information products

How Much Information to Give-a-way in your Information Products

I’m often asked how much info you should give away in a free Special Report and other information products. The fear is that if you give-a-way too much people won’t buy more from you. In this article, I give you a simple way that shows you exactly what to give-a-way and what to hold back on so you still give great value AND attract people to buy more from you…

In general, I believe you should give-a-way a lot…enough for your prospect to say, “My gosh! If the FREE information product is this good then the paid stuff must be amazing!” The issue isn’t how much info you give-a-way…your #1 goal is to be perceived as always providing over-the-top value. People want to buy from generous people…in fact they feel obliged to!

* The Law of Reciprocity *

This is one of the most powerful tools in persuasion. The Law of Reciprocity states: we should try to repay, in kind, what another person has provided us. If you get a birthday gift from someone we feel obliged to give them an even better gift on their birthday. If not…our fear is being seen as a moocher – a taker.

This isn’t a bad thing. In fact, renowned anthropologist, Richard Leakey says the essence of what makes us human is reciprocity: “We are human because our ancestors learned to share their food and their skills in an honored network of obligation.”

So when you give away a ton of great value in your information products you actually set in motion a subtle psychological reaction within your audience. Deep down, they will feel obliged to give back to you…i.e. buy your product or hire you.

* The Pyramid Analogy *

Here’s an easy way to think about how much info to give-a-way in your information products…

You know how a pyramid is very dense? It’s heavy! The volume of a pyramid is made with layer on top of layer of dense stones. Well imagine all the knowledge and experience in your head is like the volume of a pyramid. Pretend that 100% of the volume of the pyramid represents 100% of your knowledge and experience.

Now imagine a big, powerful saw blade cutting the very top of the pyramid. That topstone would be, say, 5% of the total volume of the pyramid. That uppermost stone rests on the entire pyramid below it…but it’s only a fraction to the total volume.

In the same way, your free give-a-way information products, like a Special Report, should only give away 5% of your total knowledge. You can give an overview of everything you know…but it’s general information.

To see a good example of this check out my Special Report “3 Secret Steps to Creating Information Products That Makes You Money.” (www.infoproductguy.com) I give away my WHOLE program…in general. I give away enough for you to get inspired…but I don’t get into the nitty-gritty details on how to create information products. For that you have to work one-on-one with me. But because I’m very open with my knowledge, people get to know, like and trust me. You can do the same.

Let’s keep going down the pyramid…

Imagine that huge saw blade took off the top few layers of the pyramid…say 50% of the total volume. This represents 50% of all the knowledge in your head. This could be your $200 — $500 signature information product: 5 CDs and a 200 page workbook. Here you not only tell people what to do…but how to do it. You give them your templates and exercises that you’ve developed over years of doing what you do so they don’t have to figure it all out themselves.

This level can also be your group coaching program. It’s a group so it’s cheaper…but it also means people don’t get as much one-on-one time with you.

Are you starting to see how this works?

The further you go down the pyramid, the more knowledge you give away and the higher the price point you charge.

The trick for your free and low priced information products is to tell the people WHAT to do…not HOW to do it. For them to learn how to solve their problems in more detail you have to share more specific information…you have to even roll up your sleeves and teach them the “How To” one-on-one. That requires more of your knowledge and time…so you charge more.

Bottom line…I encourage you to give more rather than less. People will forget the information…but they’ll remember that you are someone who gives great value. And THAT’S what makes you successful.

Investable surplus: dealing with the extra bucks

Investable Surplus: Dealing With the Extra Bucks

So you made some extra cash in your first business. Planning to blow it all? Not a bad idea, but you could do better things with the money. Investable surplus is what remains after all liabilities have been taken care of and therefore could be ploughed back into the business. Growth and business expansion is impossible without timely reinvestment and hence, any investable surplus should be dealt with appropriately.

Depending upon the nature of the surplus, recurring or one time, one could utilize it in different ways:

Business cycles: Economic forecast are more often than not exaggerated and very rarely do the predicted boom phases last for long. You may need to hire a professional to help you analyze the market conditions. Also check whether the surplus is something that you could expect periodically or if it is a one time gain. Knowing this will help you plan better.

Operating surplus: Every business should maintain operating surplus for at least three months. This will help you tide over the difficulties of a particularly bad season, or any other budget constraint. So, when you come across some investable surplus, ensure that you are building or maintaining your operating surplus.

Taking care of other liabilities: Once they pay off outstanding loans, small business owners can concentrate on their future plans much better. Financial planning can be streamlined once the business is rid of excessive debt.

Improvements at work: Technological developments move rapidly enough to reduce what is latest today to obsolete tomorrow; use the surplus to update outmoded technology or install a new appliance. A part of the surplus could be shared with employees in the form of a bonus payment. Throw a party for them if you like! Compensating employees thus helps them enjoy work better.

Investment outlets: Money markets offer a great variety of products. To make the most of all the opportunities out there, get in touch with an asset management firm or financial advisor. They could customize your portfolio to suit your needs. Read our article on Asset Management for more. “An Introduction to Financial Products and Markets” by Lindsay Fell,

Business expansion: Contemplate this if you have been in the business for some time. The surplus from the existing business should now be directed towards some serious expansion. Consider a new location, maybe a new venture altogether. If you aren’t ready for another business yet, consider helping out someone who is, by becoming an angel investor. That way you ensure your involvement in an upcoming business without half the trouble of starting up! Get hold of “Successful Expansion for Small Businesses” by Danny Moss and Laurence Clark

A business is not likely to generate huge investable surplus in the first few months of existence. Patience and prudence are of key importance. Tempting as it may seem to fritter it away, such surplus is best utilized when deployed back in the business. After all, there is nothing more gratifying than seeing your money grow, right?

How high is your business passion for success

How High is Your Business Passion for Success?

How awful you feel, after receiving the news that your job is on shaky ground, due to the slow economy, after 10 years. You decide right on the spot, to look for a business to own. Being the boss and making your own schedule has great appeal. You’re sick and tired of getting nowhere. It’s time that you do something about being on the unemployment line, while your boss takes a three week yearly vacation, with plenty of money in his pockets; yours remain empty. Although this job pays for most bills, not wanting to make any detrimental moves that would leave my dependable income, would not be a wise.

If you were to challenge your business passion today, you would see all the possible business areas to own, to improve your financial status to provide personal satisfaction. Even though your job is in jeopardy now, owning a business can be a frightening leap. The positive side, you are the boss, who calls the shots. On the adverse side,there is the possibility of failure. In fact, it’s already proven through analysis that what you want from your own business in personal terms is to become financially stable, first. How do you start?

When you are in the driver’s seat, you first want to start with a passion for your business, which brings you pleasure. Enjoying what you do, will greatly increase your success, better than in a field that is lukewarm by choice. Just think. How would you feel when your job closed its doors? Could it have been attached to a yawning line of work? You don’t want to leap before counting the cost, for any new business adventure.

Suppose you’ve a passion for cycling, what’s preventing you from opening and promoting a cycle shop? Chances are you would probably do very well online. Try it.

Your goal objective, for financial success is in the front seat, but it must be balanced with interest. Before making any decisions or plans, choose activities and subjects that fire your passion in business, to satisfy your heart and meet your financial goals. It matters very little, who or waht your interest be, with so many businesses out there,to select from that are profitable. Look out for success, when you have love for your business and compassion for sales marketing, at your heels.