Decision Making – How to Develop a Strategic Outlook

Most businesses face challenges day to day that overwhelm them and can take their mind from thinking long term. Strategy decisions should be made with the future in mind but instead businesses solve immediate challenges quickly. Gut reactions are rarely the optimal solution to any problem and can affect the longevity of a business.

As detailed in a new book, “Smart Decisions” by Dr. Thomas N. Martin, decision makers need to develop strategic decision making early in their career to be successful today.

It is easy to overlook strategic decision making but here are a few ways that businesses can focus on long term strategy:

1) Brainstorm Alternatives

Brainstorming and writing down alternatives allows for more people to contribute to a problem. This will force you to step outside your comfort zone and come up with new ideas and solutions. It is often better to brainstorm alternatives in a group so that there are many different viewpoints considered. Instead of just reacting a business can choose a better alternative that may be more sustainable long term.

2) Evaluate alternatives.

After the brainstorming phase a business must consider each alternative’s immediate and future consequences. Decisions made for immediate relief often solve short term problems, but rarely add long term value. An organization must consider how each alternative will not only solve the problem at hand but also the benefit long term.

3) Learn from mistakes.

There is a famous saying that goes “fool me once shame on you, but fool me twice shame on me.” This statement outlines how in general you should learn from your past mistakes. Take calculated risks but learn from these experiences. Learning and experience is required to succeed in business.

4) Ensure the quality of available information.

Many businesses today use data in order to make operational decisions. It is important to make sure that this data is accurate and comes from a good source. Often data will not be complete and sets can be missing certain demographics or historical information. The best analysis done on bad data will still yield a bad decision. When looking forward you must consider the quality of the data used.

5) Identify your top priorities.

Sometimes when faced with a problem it is hard to determine what is the most important. Sometimes this can result in a decision not getting made or an opportunity being missed. Always identify your top objective for any specific decision, and use that to drive you in decision making. Always try to identify these as fast as possible to not waste time and don’t forget about forward thinking.

6) Factor in your personal values

Personal and organizational values are important when trying to make any decision. When trying to think strategically it is important not to lose sight of your core values. If the organization does not keep their values in mind it can face short and long term operational problems. The culture and identity of a business must be sustainable and therefore these things must be considered when making decisions.

7) Always have a backup.

Contingency plans are a great way to protect you from risk. Often it is hard to be certain that a decision will solve a problem so an organization must be ready for anything.  A proper analysis should be made but then the best options should be available as a backup to decision makers. Having a backup plan will ensure continued success long term.

8) Communicate and implement the solution.

It does not matter what alternative you choose if it is not implemented properly then the company could face future problems. The best businesses map out steps that the organization will take to solve the problem and ensure continued success. They will also monitor and manage the solution. Communication is very important during this time and it is important to keep open lines of communication throughout all business channels.

Business decision making has to consider both the present and the future. Dr. Martin outlines this and with these things in mind an organization can be more sustainable long term.  Strategic decision making is something that organizations can use to make sure they are profitable into the future.

In the end the long term stability of a business comes down to the decisions made and who makes them. Marketing is a very important part of the future growth of a business. At Mirza Int’l we are up to date on the best business practices today to ensure sustainability. Contact us to get a quote.

Facebook PPC

Facebook PPC: 2 “Traffic Boost” Case Studies

Facebook PPC (Pay-Per-Click) doesn’t have to be a headache, it can be both lucrative and fun. We’re used to paying fractions of pennies for results on engagement, which really means that you can get engagement for small online advertising costs. This can lead to targeted leads for little acquisition costs.

Facebook PPC Case Study #1: $0.001 Per Result.

 

Facebook PPC

Many times we’ll find ourselves paying fractions of pennies for results on engagement, which really means that you can get engagement for little Facebook PPC advertising costs. It’s just a matter of making the decision to do so.

 

Facebook PPC Case Study #2: Driving Killer Conversions.

 

Facebook PPC

Facebook PPC

We’re going to break down the 3 key metrics you need to watch when evaluating your results. Whenever you’re looking to drive a successful Facebook PPC campaign, there are 3 metrics to keep your eye on.

Cost Per Result
This is fairly obvious, yet overlooked. Driving this number down is the key to having a cost effective and efficient campaign. If you ignore this, you won’t like what you’ll see in your credit card statement. Another important aspect to this metric is that you can watch your campaign and anticipate costs as it’s running. If you know that a certain approach is expensive, you can bail early and try another approach. Savvy marketers use A/B testing to make this happen, which in the most simplest form is just comparing one strategic outcome to another.

Conversion
This is the most relevant (and most important) metric. It determines how your traffic responds to your marketing promotion. Conversions is your campaign objective. For some it will be impressions, but for others it could be the actual contact information of a web visitor. The latter requires tracking of some form so that you know when a person has successful went from facebook, and opted in. Therefore you should make sure you’ve added Facebook Pixel Tracking to the thank you page of your campaign(s).

Reach
This number is the third thing you should be looking at. It can be subjective, and you don’t really know what kind of reach you’re getting. What you do know about are the results acquired from it. How much traffic you’re grabbing from the reach is what’s most important. However without reach there is no campaign, so it is a “chicken or the egg” scenario.

Increase Twitter Followers

Increase Twitter Followers and Engagement [VIDEO]

To increase twitter followers you must have an understanding on how to automate certain aspects of the platform. We break it down for you in the video below. We use this process, and so do our clients. You’ll absolutely love it, and find it to be extremely valuable and a HUGE time saver.

So… how do you increase twitter followers?

 

What is very interesting about Twitter is that it is not like the other social media platforms – you have to play the game a little differently. You can spend all day making sure that you have tweets, but that is only where your focus is going. So you really have to figure out how to automate that process and how you can scale it out in such a way where you are getting a massive amount of value out to people who are interested in following you. What really needs to be understood is that the nature of the content that you are putting out is going to determine the nature of the followers that you are going to bring.

To really grow and increase twitter followers while you are doing this, you want to be able to pump out content on a regular basis – without putting much time and energy into it. You have to really automate this process. We use a tool called Sendible where we set up programs in place so that we can automate the process of pumping out content from the best sources – top bloggers or news outlets. Once you start doing this and you have these process in place, you can relax and wait for the respondents to come to you. Once that happens you can set process in place so that you can automatically reach out to the people that are following you right away. The automated message could say “hey, thanks for following me, I just want to know a little bit more about you – hows it going?”. When you start doing this, a percentage of people are going to respond back. These are the people that can be potential leads. Sendible through thick or thin can actually help you through this entire process – so you can nail it down, and increase twitter followers.

What’s great about this is that you don’t have to spend a crazy amount of time worrying about it, all you have to do is set the systems in place right at the start and then go ahead and activate the campaigns – and now you will see the results come in. I have seen my followers (and my clients’) grow from 100-150 per month who are all authentic and great people – my ideal prospects and people who I want following me. This process is really good and you should definitely implement it to improve your business practice.

How To Write The Perfect Tweet

Crafting the perfect tweet can be a bit of an obstacle course. Do you hashtag? Add visual elements? Or only talk about popular topics?

Using all of those elements will be beneficial, and will drive more interactions and engagement to your Twitter posts and content. But there are also a few more strategies that can be used to get more retweets, replies, and favourites. Check them out below!

It touches on current/relevant trends
Whether you are talking about the winners of the Power Ball lottery or the current episode of Making A Murderer, creating the perfect tweet always needs to include topics and trends that are happening currently. Check out the trending section of Twitter to see what everyone is talking about or check which hashtags are getting the most traffic currently. This way you will know someone will eventually stumble upon your tweets!

It is engaging
Twitter is a very accessible and open platform that allows anyone – even users who don’t follow you – access to stumble upon any of your posts. Thanks to Twitters openness, your tweets have the ability to be reached by millions of people in many different countries! In order to reach the masses, you have to come up with engaging content that can lure them in.

Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion – whether it be positive or negative. Many rememberable tweets have been the most controversial and opinionated. Sometimes sharing an unpopular opinion can spark conversation, which can draw attention to your post and your Twitter page.

It utilizes #Hashtags
Hashtags are a great way to connect and discuss events, or topics that may interest you and others on Twitter. Hashtags make it easier for people to find your posts and allows for more engagement and interaction to your page and content, through the use of retweeting or sharing.

Many studies have shown that tweets with one or two hashtags can double the changes of engagement. However, if you exceed two hashtags per tweet, the chances of engagement actually drops by a surprising 17% – which makes staying within the two hashtag limit crucial.

It uses some type of visual aspect
Whether it be in the form of a photo, a video or a info-graphic, people love visuals on Twitter. Studies have shown that tweets with a visual element attract the most engagement on Twitter out of all other types of tweeting.

Finding the perfect type of visual for your post is crucial for growing your interactions in the Twitter community. You will need to experiment a little bit to see what people will positively respond to – it will differ from person to person.

networking

Networking and Referrals: Best Strategy

Word of mouth is one of the most important types of marketing that a business owner or organization can focus on to help encourage current and future business. According to Nielson, 84% of consumers say they either completely or partially trust recommendations from family, colleagues, and friends about products. Networking is an underlying concept within any industry and it is important to understand how valuable your network actually is to your marketing strategy. When developing a network and looking to take advantage of referral business, there are a few things that are often overlooked or can be improved upon in your marketing plan.

Effective networking strategies are outlined below:

Build a highly credible and valuable network

Networks are great to have, but often these networks consist of people who do not necessarily add value. On the other hand, sometimes these networks are just not kept up-to-date and lack current credibility. Regardless, when you formulate your marketing strategy, it is important to build a list and network of valuable, credible and hopefully referable people. If the people do not add value in some way, then do not bother wasting your time trying to network or gain referrals from these individuals. Rather, focus on the strongest and most important connections that you have and you will waste less time with referrals that don’t turn into leads. Networks can be built and grown at any time using things like lists, email marketing campaigns and viral social media marketing campaigns.

Be referable

Sometimes as a business owner, you become so focused on leads that other aspects of your marketing strategy and business begin to suffer. The easiest way to be referable is to offer value to each and every customer by providing them with exceptional service through your firm. By delivering great service or products to current clients, you can expect that they will recommend you to others. Another way to be referable is to be relatable and likeable so that current customers enjoy working with you and will think of you first within your industry. If networking is done properly, both the referred and the referral should benefit from their new relationship and the person referring you will feel as if they are helping both people attain their goals.

Be aware of where your referrals come from

It is important to think about how you are obtaining referrals. Some companies offer an incentive or explicitly ask for a referral but this is not the best way. This will often make a customer less likely to refer you because they feel they are being “used” to create a prospecting list. The best kind of referral is one that you do not have to ask for and is given voluntarily by happy customers you have served well. A marketing plan that focuses on making current customers happy so they will spread positive Word of Mouth can save money and goodwill versus things like incentive programs.

As your business grows and develops, it is crucial to develop and keep your marketing strategy up-to-date to achieve success in 2016. If you practice these strategies and continue to work towards your goals, then there is no telling what you can accomplish.

We have the know-how when it comes to focusing on social media marketing and networking which can improve your business outlook and in turn make you more profitable. We can offer you marketing services that drive success and help convert data into a focused marketing strategy. We also provide access to world class training systems that can help you gain an edge over others in your field. The benefit to you being less wasted effort and a greater return – which will help your business grow and keep you happy! Click here to book your complimentary consultation.

 

Marketing Plan Done Right [Video]

Create a strategic marketing plan that helps you build outstanding campaigns.

Your Marketing Plan MUST produce returns…



 



Most people think that you should just shot-gun your message out there and see what sticks. That hopefully you might get someone to come at you and be your client. But it doesn’t work like that. What you should do is think about this strategically. You need to think 2-4 months ahead or semi-annually – as far as you can go in your marketing plan. The more you start to plan ahead, the more you start to anticipate what you are trying to do. When you start to anticipate, you can actually think about your content or your messaging and how you can approve it. So pre-scheduling your campaign in such a way that you can do that, will also attract the right people to work with as well. If you are attracting other people who are also thinking ahead, you are actually going to be proactive rather than reactive. When being proactive, that is when you are at your best and when you are moving forward.

Harry Rosen doesn’t just wake up one day and say to himself “I think I am going to sell socks tomorrow”. It doesn’t work like that. Harry Rosen is a retailer and as a retailer, he is going to have to think seasonally about his marketing plan when he is going to sell socks. He may know a quarter in advance or a year in advance. You have to think like a retailer in order to make your business work. This is a real business aspect of things, where you have to think like a business and how you can anticipate your next move. The anticipation is what is key. When people react that is when they fall, so if you don’t want to fall start anticipating and start thinking about how you can be more proactive in your business.

 

6 Things That Successful People Do

We all strive to be a successful person in either our career lives or our personal lives. Though what we define as “success” can range from person-to-person, there are common patterns that successful people do. Keep reading to find out what these six things are!

They never make excuses:
Making excuses takes up a lot of energy that successful people just don’t have time to waste. That is why regardless of the outcome of a situation, they will quit making excuses and move on, instead of fretting about something they cannot control.

They focus on their goals everyday:
When successful people know what they want, they wont stop striving for it until its theirs. They have the drive and focus to keep pushing every single day, no matter what gets in their way of achieving their goals.

They learn from their mistakes:
No one wants to fail, but there is always a lesson to be learned when something doesn’t go the way you want it to. Successful people know this is a fact, and always treat failing as something that they can learn from. Failing never gets them down, it just motivates them even more!

They surround themselves with people who inspire them:
Studies have found that the five people you spend the most amount of time with tend to have the most influence on the person you will eventually become. Successful people know this, which is why they surround themselves with individuals who motivate, and inspire them, as well as people they would like to emulate.

They work hard:
Successful people put in unbelievable amounts of hours into their careers, as well as their goals. They don’t just sit around waiting for everything to fall into place, instead they work hard and make their goals a reality with their own time and energy.

They take good care of themselves:
Successful people know that in order to work hard, they need to take good care of themselves. In order to get the energy that they need, successful people make sure that they are exercising, eating right, and getting enough rest every night – which helps them work hard, and play hard at the same time.

success

Success and what it takes to succeed in 2016

Successful people have been studied and researched for hundreds of years to determine what the average person can do in order to replicate their success. There are a few signs that indicate you are on the road to success for 2016.

How to ensure continued success throughout the year:

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes

This is one of the most common traits among entrepreneurs and successful people in the world today. They have all overcome failure, do not care what people think and embrace the idea of learning through experience. The great Thomas Edison is remembered saying that he did not fail at creating the light bulb 100 times but the opposite. He remarked “I have found 100 ways not to make a light bulb”. This drive to overcome and make mistakes to learn from can be seen within many successful people in the 21st century.

Have emotional stability

The idea of positive and negative feelings affecting how we work plays a huge role in our level of success. If you are always feeling negative instead of adopting an optimistic outlook, then there is no doubt you will not attain what you want in the New Year. Managing your emotions will help you think clearly and keep you focused on your goals. Emotional stability also portrays to people around you a certain sense of stability and security. This stability will help you achieve success throughout your career and life.

When you feel defeated fight harder

It is important not to give up even when it seems you have lost the battle. A common trait among successful people is that when they are down they will always continue to push through and overcome. There are only two options when things get hard – you can either quit or dig in and overcome. Successful people create a habit of fighting adversity rather than walking away.

Trust your instinct

Sometimes this can be mistaken for arrogance or impulsiveness, but the ability to pick what you think to be the best option in situations that are uncertain is very important. Successful people examine all alternatives and if there is no clear choice, then they trust their instincts. Many times people are faced with a decision they have to make that is spontaneous with little or no information. The most successful individuals are very good at this because they have good instincts and trust their feelings.

Sometimes you must do the things you don’t want to do

All the time successful people are faced with things that they do not want to do. As mentioned above, they overcome this because they know it will lead to their success. Sometimes this involves dealing with an angry client or firing someone but these decisions must be made to continue success. As you do these things they will become easier to manage and good habits will form.

Don’t be afraid to put in more than you get out

The concept of delayed gratification and patience is something that has helped successful people through some of their toughest times. There are many times when people feel as if they are putting in way too much effort for little return. This is okay and successful people know that this work will benefit them in the future.

As your business grows and develops, it is crucial to develop and keep your skills up to date to achieve success in the New Year. If you practice these success principles and continue to work towards your goals, then there is no telling what you can accomplish.

We have the know-how when it comes to focusing on success which can improve your business outlook and in turn make you more profitable. We can offer you marketing services that drive success and help convert data into a focused marketing strategy. We also provide access to world class training systems that can help you gain an edge over others in your field. The benefit to you being less wasted effort and a greater return – which will help your business grow and keep you happy! For a complimentary marketing consultation, book an appointment with one of our marketing consultants today.

Digital Marketing: Understanding The Varying Degrees

networking, growing networks, linkedin, prospecting

 

Over the years I have managed to build an extensive network that has brought incredible benefits. From going best seller to landing dream clients. Other than growth, if there was one concept I could really point to that helped me get to this point, it would be what I call “Degree Networking”. This concept was first brought to life by Stanley Milgram’s in the book Individual In A Social World written in 1967. Back then there wasn’t the technology and infrastructure to support the level of networking we conduct today.

Networking, Six Degrees of Separation, Stanley Milgram

In today’s world, Digital Marketing is making it possible to open up new connections and possibilities. This means that every mutual contact can direct you towards a desired opportunity. Whether that’s meeting people asking them for referrals, or connect with an influencer on LinkedIn and have access to his or her contacts.

To really understand the impact behind this methodology, you’ve got to understand who would be the direct connection, and who’s the end referral. Once you know the former two, you’ll be able to route a path towards your destination.

Referrals, Networking, Prospecting

Your destination is the referral you want, which is based on your needs. You have to know exactly what it is you’re looking for. Your inquiry will be sent to the mutual contact, it is up to that person to make the introduction. Whether he or she decides to make the introduction, it will depend on 3 key factors:

  • Trust between you and the mutual contact
  • Validity of your request
  • Strength of relationship between the mutual contact and referral

By strategically identifying your target prospect, and having a disciplined approach towards asking for referrals, you’ll be able to make full use of your extensive network. If you keep doing this, you’ll continue to grow your networks exponentially, have access to more valuable resources, become a more valuable resource to others, and build social proof.