Monday, October 14, 2019

Bald Eagles in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

The U.P. has bald Eagles that are as rugged as the lifestyle of the area. Vast miles of untouched forest, small towns, and clean air the Eagle finds its nesting places. The area offer an insight into what life was like for many early Americans who lived and breathed nature as though time never changed. The eagle is the master of the skies and there is no other that can touch it.

The Eagle was the first bird to screech for freedom and became our national emblem in 1782.

Before this The Native Americans honored the eagles through rewarding of feathers, protecting its meat, and honoring its meaning. As a medicinal animal it was a leader and a messenger from the heavens.

No doubt its a beautiful creature! Protecting our eagles helps each generation respect and recognize its historical significance as leader among the flocks and how that became part of our collective conscious. They have vision that is one of the most powerful in the world and is up to 8 X that of people.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Borrowing From Our Children to Pay for Today-Government Budgeting and Balance

Debt is a popular thing! Credit cards, mortgages, car payments and just about anything else our little paychecks can't cover! Governments are made of people and they also borrow money for projects and day-to-day functioning way beyond their needs. Sometimes the interest is so low that the money can be borrowed for free (or near free) while at other times, it may be a crisis that forces countries right into a default interest rates. One this is for sure...most countries are in debt and run dangerously close to insolvency and if they don't change course we may have more serious consequences.

Public Pressure to Borrow

Government is about helping one's fellow countrymen/women, at least in theory, and wherever resources are available there will be a lot of people interested in obtaining those resources. A lack of money doesn't stop people from wanting things :) Compounding our problems psychologically, lawmakers may not feel any real guilt over obsessive borrowing. It is removed from their daily lives. When faced with not pleasing their constituents and making tough calls; most will give in!

Do you want to be the person who says "No!"? Few elected officials would have even the slightest desire to run a foul of the pressure to keep the government faucet open. We may know we should close down some programs but getting people to agree on what no longer is needed can be a nearly impossible task that only the daring and foolhardy want to take on! Thus, balancing budgets isn't about restricting programs, it is about not forcing our needs today on people tomorrow.

I would like to provide some wisdom here if I may. The global financial markets are complex and move billions/trillions around the world everyday. One mouse click and entire markets can shift. Money is too often seen as a depersonalized abstract concept far removed from people's everyday lives. It no longer something we see dwindle out of our pocketbooks but is mixed with credit and savings in a way that is no longer "real" for people.

What is Money? A Unit of Measure

Money is a unit of work, time and effort at its essential root.  It isn't just a number but is based in its productive value on the market. We receive money based on our ability to produce things of value. If we produce a lot of value, we should receive a lot of money. Countries that have higher labor value typically earn more money then countries that have low labor value.

Prior to cash and electronic currency trade was the primary way of obtaining goods. A chicken for two loaves of bread was the nature of daily commerce. When the clock was invented, money became a little more like a unit of the value of time. The Industrial Age soon followed and time and wage connection spread throughout the globe. Alas we in our modern time money became a measure of creative capital.

Removed from the Consequences of Spending Money

Countries that borrow excessively are burning resources from the future. They don't have enough dollars in their pockets today to pay for all of their needs and therefore need to reach into the labor of future eras. Our children and our children's children are the recipients of our financial decisions now!

An ethical dilemma is created. As parents we may have a hard time taking our children's college money (i.e. wages, savings, etc...) to buy just one more car, toaster, or toy. In those terms our hearts would break. With national debt we do this collectively because the consequences are far removed and abstract for the average person who feels little obligation to that debt.

Politicians have a responsibility to be frugal with our nation's money. It isn't their money and spending "numbers on a piece of paper" is easy when the consequences don't come to rear their ugly heads until decades later. The old farmer mentality of NOT getting into debt are long gone. Electronic versions of money have warped our view of spending.

What Can We Do?

Let's get wise about money! Money is about capital and value on the market. We can't just borrow from our grandchildren without serious thought. Balancing the budget will take some time but if we continue to push our lawmakers to make better decisions in their budget expenditures we can start shaving off percentages of waste without necessarily impacting the total benefits.

We can also continue to innovate our services for greater market value. Once we start down the path of re-tooling our services, without a doubt, we discover avenues to betterment that can have a long-term influence on U.S. sustainability.  We need people like you to encourage your political representative to take a serious look at budgets to start reducing the debt burden on us all.

We can step back as Americans and wonder if we are truly being heard by the politicians who claim represent us. As they rise there are lots of promises but once they are in the mix all of those promises seem to be less important. Real action requires real people. The constant arguing an deadlock by bother parties seems to influence our future chances of success.

You can find your political representative here to encourage more thought before spending.....

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Cut River Upper Peninsula Michigan

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan hosts some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Protecting these rivers while allowing industry to continue growing is possible with improved environmental technology innovation. Whole new clean up and carbon reducing technology is possible with the right clusters development.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Noquemanon North Trails Trailhead-Protecting Nature for the Future!

Protecting nature is an important function of government. We know that the world is not getting larger and population sizes are rising. Land is a commodity that when it is gone, or our natural environment is damaged, we can't go back and make more. Our options are to clean, protect and expend our environment whenever we can.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

U.S. ISM Factory Index Falls to a 10-Year Low

Watching the market and how it changes can tell us what to expect. The problem is that few can see through the "crystal ball" to truly determine which way the freehand will sway. It can be hard to determine whether a slow down in one area will impact other areas. In this case, it appears the experts are saying this may be just a sign of a temporary slow down. Let us keep our fingers crossed! 😧😬😢

Friday, September 13, 2019

The World Economy in a Snap Shot

You may want to check out this snap shot of what the world economy looks like. It is important to remember that this map is based on one set of criteria and if you change how the world economy is measured you change the entire map.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

The Importance of Checking Stats for Marketing Strategy Performance

While we would all love to aim once and shoot to reach a goal often the fluid nature of the business environment does not afford such sureties. The market is always, evolving and changing by the minute. Therefore plans must change as well if they hope to be viable and successful a few years down the road. The problem is that some businesses might not know how to correct their strategies for market misalignment.

The primary way to determine if your strategies are working is through feedback. Feedback allows for decision makers to understand more about a situation through information about the performance of the product/service. Such knowledge is gained through market research, customer feedback, web page statistics, and even our competitors.

Metrics give us insight. Metric means that some type of measurement is being used in the feedback process. A metric might be how many apples your business sold or how many visitors walked through your door on any particular day. Metrics can be almost any type of measurement that is quantifiable.

When you collect multiple metrics you can use them for deeper understanding. You can also get very specific with your metrics and complete secondary analysis by taking two important metrics and determining new values. For example, store visitors and purchase volume tells you the percentage of people who frequent your store and then buy a product.

It is also possible to collect  information on how much money is spent at each purchase and the total amount of purchases a day. Knowing that allows you to determine if more customer engagement or better placement of products increased the total sale amount.

I think you might be seeing my point that depending on what type of data you have available can determine what type of analysis you can complete.

Thus, if you are starting a new marketing campaign you may want to determine in advance what type of metrics you will utilize. Sometimes software can do this for you  (i.e. Google Analytics) while at other times you need to calculate your own.

Use gained information to curb and adjust your strategic approaches. For example, if the metrics show that two months before Christmas your sales volume jumps 10X you may want to purchase more product in advance and hire more staff.

Here is an article by Forbes on 3 Common Metrics.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Determine the Value of Your Product Through Price and Feature Comparision

Product value is inherent in the cost, design and utility of an item. Value is somewhat subjective because it is influence by the fluctuations in market demand. If you are selling a product and desire to to figure out its $$$ market value then you will have to do some type of market comparison. Be advised that are lots of different ways to evaluate a product and you would do well to go exploring. A simple evaluation of how your product compares to other products on the market can tell you an awful lot about its opportunities for success.

The market and what customers are willing to purchase makes a key difference in the overall ability to sell the product for a reasonable value. As those who sell products on Amazon know, if your product isn't close to the lowest then you are not likely to make a lot of sales. The instant price comparison makes differentiation between locations difficult.

You Can Compete Beyond Low Price

Most consumer gravitate toward the lowest price and others toward convenience. People who have an interest in certain features are going to keep their eyes open for them on the market and are willing to pay a premium when they find them. Determine if you are going for low price or a more value oriented approach.

Let us say that you are selling a hammer handle and claim that it is the strongest handle on the market. That will have some value to people who use and buy hammers for industrial purposes. There will also be those willing to pay more for quality because they use these hammers a lot.

One of the ways to do this is to compare products that have similar advantages to see if they are selling higher than others. You will need to benchmark the average and then see the improved price differential when compared to other hammers. Perhaps this is $3 on the market. That will give you some indication that hammers that are strong sell at a higher price range.

How do you find this online?

You can conduct your own analysis by searching around stores, Amazon, Ebay, Alibaba and other sites to see the price. You may be able to then adjust the value from this benchmark based on how it compares. If your product offers improved quality then you may want to add to the price and highlight the value.

The same type of comparison can be conducted with specific features of products. It would require a lot more information and data to complete but is beneficial for putting dollar signs to specific features. Those features have value for consumers and the market will determine how much people are willing to pay.

Be Flexible with Your Price

While you may want to start high in price and claim your product is the best it isn't likely to go far unless you can vividly show its exclusivity. Otherwise, you may follow a market entry strategy where you lower the price of your product in order to speed up production and introduce the product to the market. When demand rises you can charge a higher price in the future.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Marketing Communication Strategies

Communication is one of our most fundamental roles in life. We communicate all the time without even knowing it. From subtle facial expressions to long-winded rhetorical prose we are expressing a need in the world. Marketing is about offering solutions to those needs. Reaching the audience that needs those solutions occurs through the marketing channel. Having an integrated marketing approach with a strong mix has the potential to improve sales multi-fold.

You have a great product, know your customer and know which channels to use. You know that your core customer base has a problem so you are designing an advertising campaign so that it highlights the problem solving features of your product.

To gain the most exposure you want to reach your target audience by using three different channels. Each channel will have its own advertisement. While you want each advertisement to be different they should highlight the same core features of the product.

A few considerations for you before you get started....

1. Multi-channel marketing works well when there are central brand features that apply across all of them.

2. Each advertisements should focus specifically on the audience it intends to reach. The greater alignment between the advertisement and message, the more likely sales will occur.

3. Keep your messages simple so consumers don't get confused across channels.

4. Be aware that each channel has a slightly different audience.

5. Subtle meanings and pictures can change the intended message.

6. The technology consumers use will change how the information is seen.