Sunday, February 15, 2009

Blisstory Journal Question - Page 20

Thirty some years ago (I choke at that thought) I played my first home video game. We didn’t have one in our house. With six kids, the last thing my parents would spend their dollars on would be a video game. My friend had one though. (He had everything!) We spent hours at his house playing “PONG”.

For those of you that don’t remember, “PONG” is one of the first home video arcade games, in black and white no less, two dimensional and is a video version of Ping Pong, created by Atari. Check out the picture of the original box. No interaction, simply pushing the buttons or turning the knobs to block the “ball” or bounce it back to your opponent.

Fast forward to 2009. Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. My husband bought the family (himself, mainly) the Wii. WOW!!!!! WII is Nintendo’s three dimensional home video game system that detects movement with wireless, handheld controllers. Talk about an advancement. The box, compared to the Atari Pong, is so small I didn’t even see it next to our TV.

Everything is so realistic. I woke up this morning sore in places I haven’t felt in years. We spent the day bowling, golfing, and playing baseball. The best part was, the whole family played; so did our guests. Everyone that came in got to create their own character, a Mii, and start playing. My niece, at 25, was so excited with the bowling. Her comment was, “I suck at real bowling! This is a great tool for building one’s self esteem.” She had the highest bowling score she’s ever had. (Maybe self esteem building should be Nintendo’s new sales pitch.)

A cool feature that I love is the way Nintendo created the team players and the crowds. Bowling is created in the likeness of a real bowling alley. There are bowlers on either side and the crowd sits behind you and cheers or boos, with comments like, “Good spare” and “Turkey” when you throw three strikes in a row. Baseball includes the characters you’ve created on your own system and apparently the crowd does the wave. What I love about the golf game is that it highlights the wind speed and you can adjust your stance accordingly. I bet Tiger Woods could certainly improve his game (if that’s even possible).

There are way too many features to get into in this blog. It’s amazing how advanced the games have become. Close your eyes and imagine where they will be in another 30+ years! Whew!!!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Your Business On-Line: What's on your Website?

by Shanna K Moore on January 26, 2009 at 3:31am in Tech Talk for Websites & Bloggers, Marketing On-Line at the Mommy Millionaire Community

It does not take a technical genius to figure out the basics of a website. When you hit the home page of most sites, you will find a common structure of pages/buttonology, a few content pages which depend on what type of business/site you have, a contact page, links, blog, about us, etc..

No matter what your site consists of, the key is to allow visitors to become comfortable with who “you” are (you being the business). There are still a number of customers out there who need convincing that their on-line purchase is legitimate and that you are not going to sell their private information to the highest bidder. That among other reasons, such as the growing number of on-line competitors, I can safely tell you that the more your viewers get to know you, the more likely they are to make a purchase.

Just about everyone can afford to add one page to your website that gives your viewers something new to learn and see! I continually speak of newsletters, newsletters are an effective means of communicating with your target audience and most recently I wrote a piece on the importance of e-mail (see the latest mm magazine edition coming soon). Your website is one great opportunity for marketing, and a great place for “Newsletters”. It should be added as a regular feature from your home page. Make sure that the content on this page is 75% helpful information and 25% sales pitch. Content should be kept relative to your product or service. For instance, if you are selling lipstick, you don’t want to tell your customers how to type a thesis, or how bored you were at Aunt Mae’s last night. You should be talking about beauty tips, offering helpful information about how to relax and de-stress.

Why not offer an inspirational quote or a helpful tip? Make sure it’s a useful AND interesting tip, women who wear bright red lipstick will not be interested in your words of wisdom if you are posting “diapers are useful for small children under age 2”. Women who wear red lipstick want to read “Your lips will look 3 times their normal size if you mix cinnamon and lip balm and apply minutes before you put on a layer of luscious red lipstick”. With information like that, they will be sure to return for more!

Feature a helpful links (be sure to “swap” links with the sites you are listing—great marketing opportunity), these links should be helpful to your target audience and relative your business, WITHOUT being too competitive. If I were selling lipstick, I might add links to, Lancome, Tiffany’s, Lexus and ask them to return the favor (hey, anything is possible).

Give-Aways: Items should be relative to your product or service. I swear to you, that I was on line with a great site a few months ago. I loved this site, told my friends about it, told people I saw in the line at the grocery store. One day I entered a contest, and won! I honestly expected a free bath set or a yoga mat, as the nature of the site was relaxation, etc.. Imagine my surprise, when in the mail, I received a key chain flashlight. Talk about a let down. If I have a store selling lipstick, then I am going to give away a free makeup mirror, or a great makeup bag. These are things that cry for a red tube of lipstick to accompany it (this smacks of marketing effort, right?)

Another great opportunity is special offers. Victoria Secret has one special offer I never pass up, and that is the annual sale on their bras! Wouldn’t it be a famously fun idea to have a one day a year sale on the most fabulous red lipstick known to womankind? I would hold the sale the day before Valentines. During that sale, I would offer vouchers on my website, offering 5 tubes for $40! Right below the coupon announcement, I would feature some great items to accompany these tubes, such as hard to resist evening bags, lovely lighted mirrors, an amazing fragrance.

If you have gone to a site repeatedly, regardless of how appealing the site looks, if the site is never updated with new information, what are the chances that you will keep returning? Finding the time to update a site can be a challenge. I am guilty of this and most recently I have added updates to my calendar, scheduling routine updates is as important as any other appointment I have.

If you are a product oriented business, then featuring a new product on a regular basis is important. The home page of your site is a great place for a feature product, or on your “What’s New” page. You might consider posting a creative photo in a frame that draws attention. Add a descriptive paragraph.

So, as I continue growing my lipstick business, I realize the importance of creating opportunities to market my product on line, not only by way of links from other sites, or blogs, but by cross-selling opportunity, maintaining site traffic, and generating interest in my product, simply by fostering a relationship with my customer.

These are simple common practices, you most likely already knew about, but I felt compelled to highlight points maybe you have forgotten about, or hadn’t recently considered. I hope you have been inspired'