Staying Focused on Your Goals

People are overwhelmed by the volume of messages they receive – texts, phone calls, emails and even old-fashioned letters. According to Forbes, on average, office workers receive 200 emails alone every day and spend up to 2 ½ hours writing and responding to emails daily.

Some of these messages are just noise. They demand an immediate response, but they don’t advance our business and they distract us from focusing on our goals.

Runaway Projects

These disruptions threaten to become “runaway projects” when you need to pull in additional individuals to help you resolve them. A data request, for example, might lead you to emailing someone in sales for information, which might lead to emailing someone else in operations for more information, which might lead to emailing an administrative assistant for support in putting together a report. Suddenly, the task is a team effort. Individuals are working outside their lanes and putting time into an unplanned project with no end in sight and no clear benefits to your business.

Managing Time Efficiently

While some of the channels of communication we use are relatively new, the challenge of managing distractions has been around for a long time. As far back as the 1950s, the famous Eisenhower quadrant, also known as the urgent-important quadrant, became popular as a business productivity tool to guide decision making about task management.

Prioritize to Maintain Your Focus

So, how can you stay focused on your goals in the face of so many “need it now” messages?

Over the years, various approaches to time management have emerged to help people be more productive. What these systems all have in common is a daily practice of identifying goals, listing and prioritizing the corresponding tasks and tracking progress.

The number of incoming messages you receive won’t decrease anytime soon, but with discipline and determination you can stay focused on what really matters and avoid getting sidetracked.

~ Dan Glass

Thoughtful Video Assets Boost Online Sales

How much does video influence end users’ online purchasing decisions? These statistics published in a Forbes blogpost by Matt Bowman speak to the power of video to persuade viewers to buy:

  • 90% of viewers say watching a video helps them make their buying decisions
  • Videos increase viewers understanding of a product or services by 74%
  • Viewers are 64% more likely to buy after watching a product video
  • Adding a video to marketing emails can boost click-through rates by 200-300%

Inform the end user

Videos deliver a 24/7 online sales pitch on resellers’ websites. A quality video tells the product story, informs viewers about features and benefits, describes the product’s unique value proposition and demonstrates how the product is used or works.

The more targeted a video is, the more effective it serves as an online sales pitch. Each SKU offers something special and different. When videos communicate these nuances, they provide meaningful details that engage viewers’ attention. Viewers become convinced that they’ve found the product they’re looking for.

Engage with meaningful video assets

If you’re using one overarching video for a series of products, you may be losing out on the opportunity to make the sale. The more product-specific video assets you provide to your reseller, the more optimized their website is to sell.

Of course, not every single SKU requires a distinct video. If an item comes in various sizes, for example, one video may be adequate. On the other hand, color differences could be highly relevant to end users. For the product presentation to resonate with them, they need to experience the item in the color option that appeals to them.

~ Dan Glass

The Value of Repositioning Your Product for Multiple Uses

In the days when desktop computers were first introduced into the workplace, use of typewriters began to decline. A manufacturer of mobile typewriter stands saw the writing on the wall: demand for their product would drop significantly as new “workstations” were being designed to accommodate computer usage.

Responding to Change

Around the same time, fax machines were also becoming standard office equipment. One day, a sales representative for the typewriter stand company had a breakthrough idea: why don’t we sell typewriter stands as fax machine stands?

The manufacturer changed almost everything. New name. New description. New label and packaging. New promotional materials. But one thing they didn’t change was the product itself. They successfully sold it as a fax stand for many years.

Multiple Categories Reach Multiple Markets

Repositioning a product worked back then and it works today. In fact, our capabilities for positioning products for multiple uses across multiple channels is greater today than ever before.

Take a utility table designed for an industrial setting. We might develop a strategy that repositions it for use in a high school STEM classroom.  That same approach can work with a broad range of products from office supplies to furniture to technology aids.

When repositioning, it’s important to work closely with resellers’ organizations to identify appropriate product categories. Sometimes it’s a matter of rewriting product descriptions to emphasize different details or putting a different prop in the product photo. It may even be necessary to change the product title.


If you’d like to explore the possibilities of repositioning your product for multiple uses, contact Stuart Glass (stuartglass@midwestrg.com) of Midwest Resource Group.

Persuasive Product-Centric Marketing Drives Optimization

Traditionally, marketing has focused on the power of brand messaging to establish value, influence consumers and drive sales. But, today a whole new avenue has been made available and digital marketing practices are able to add value by focusing on the individual product level.

Technology Changes Everything

Tactics we now take for granted didn’t exist 20 years ago. Email, in the form of AOL, Prodigy and CompuServe launched in 1998. Google was founded the same year. Facebook started rolling out to the general public around 2006. And, most of us began using smartphones well into the first decade of the 21st century.

As a result of these extraordinary changes, in addition to what most people learned about marketing in college, we need to adjust our thinking about influencing buying habits to match the reality of how people shop today.

Consumers Using Search to Shop

The transition from traditional retail to online shopping is well documented. But it’s important to understand how people shop online.

Often, shoppers are using search in platforms such as Google, Amazon, and others. Search results lead them directly to the product page for the item they want to buy. Shoppers are experiencing brand messages at the product page level, sometimes missing key components to the value proposition.

What does this change in buying habits mean for businesses from a marketing perspective?

It means we need to get really granular. We need to employ a product-centric approach to present a specific feature-benefit solution and unique value proposition right where end users make buying decisions. We need to deliver engaging, rich digital content at the item level to drive conversion to basket.

Create a comprehensive online sales experience

To determine whether you’re optimizing your online marketing efforts, take a critical look at your digital presentation at the item level. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you have a comprehensive sales presentation on each and every product page?
  • Is your page content item-specific?
  • How is your product described? What is related in your copy descriptions and bullets, etc.?
  • Does each product page include an image set and video(s)? Are image and video assets customized to the specific item on the page?
  • Have you included all the structured and non-structured elements on the product page for resellers?
  • Are additional elements available that can enhance the end user experience?

With a persuasive product-centric approach, your online sales presentation becomes more effective on each and every product, resulting in more informed shoppers and increased sales.


Midwest Resource Group can work with you to effectively organize and deliver an optimized content presentation right where customers make their buying decisions in today’s digital marketplace—at the product page. For more information, contact Dan Glass at danglass@midwestrg.com.

Adjustable Height Lab Tables

 

Under the Microscope

Diversified Woodcrafts Featured Product of the Month

 

 

Adjustable Height Lab Tables

 

  • Adjustable Height Tables can adjust in 2 cm increments from 27-3/4″H to 39″
  • They can be adjusted for use as an incline surface for physics
  • The wood is finished with a chemical resistant, earth-friendly UV finish.
  • Weight capacity of 500 lbs

 

Features of these Tables

  • Available in three top options, Plastic Laminate, Phenolic, or Chemguard
  • Optional casters sold separately
  • Made from solid Oak