Deborah Peters

Contemporary Artist | Sales Professional

Author: Richard Lewis

Strategic Marketing – Very Happy Customers

Strategic marketing creates a bond with your customers and manages their end-to-end experience. Increase small business profits through effective marketing.

A common reality is that very few small business owners are trained in marketing. But what is marketing exactly?Strategic Marketing Very Happy Customers

Strategic marketing creates a bond with your customer. It manages the end-to-end experience of your customer to prefer, use and recommend your product or service. To do this, the small business owner must answer the following questions as part of their strategic marketing effort:

  • Who is your customer?

Knowing your customer translates into sells. Who do you see using your product or service? Describe them; age, wages, lifestyle, shopping habits, schools, kids. Locate them through demographics,, and by visiting local chambers, for a start. Visit competitors websites and assess who they are targeting and who their marketing campaign addresses. Remember, the top 20% of your potential customers will produce up to 80% of your profits so spend time defining who the 20% are. The small business owner must stay focused on the right people to control costs and maximize profit.

  • What do you need them to believe?

Business is a competition between all the issues of the day taking the owners time; sales, marketing, money, pricing, products, services, and employees. But customers buy on perception, what they believe, whether the truth or not. Build a positive perception regardless of the competitions of the day going on behind the scene. People buy benefits that the small business owner offers that make them feel good and produce a result. Answer the question, what does your product offer that meets both the emotional and functional requirements. An example might be a restaurant which is the service. The emotional is the wonderful smells coming from the kitchen while the functional is the served meal. Build the perception to meet the emotional and functional needs of your customer. Why believe you? Collect references or endorsements, guarantee, build an experience, location, great staff, technical support are all examples of building the perception and supporting it with facts for continued customer loyalty.

Keeping Up with Digital Marketing Trends

Digital marketing is a marketing strategy that is constantly changing and evolving. What worked 2 years ago may not necessarily have the same results today. This is why staying up to date with the changes and the latest upgrades is a practice that should be embraced by every company.

Playing ignorant and disregarding these changes will cost your business and leave you frustrated. Your marketing campaigns will not yield great results like those who acknowledge and learn about the changes and implement them.

Tips on how to get the latest updates

  1. Google alerts

Latest digital trends should be at your handsGoogle alert allows you to keep tabs on the topics you are most interested in. All you have to do is type in the topic you want and set up email updates. It will bring up all the trends that are most relevant to you.

This gives you the opportunity to find out what is new and how you can implement it.

Make sure to always go through your notifications to ensure you don’t miss out.

  1. Publications

There are those publications that are niche specific and focus on a certain topic. Take time to seek them out and follow them. Search for publications in the marketing and business niche. This will always have information on any digital marketing practices.

Be sure to follow reputable publications like the e-consultancy and others. You will receive reliable information from important sources in the industry. This includes all the latest news and advice or tips that may improve your existing digital marketing strategy.

  1. Blogs

Make reading blog posts a habit. This is mainly because a lot of blog posts have very important messages to be conveyed.

When someone tries to implement a certain marketing strategy, they often write up a post about their experiences, what they did wrong and what they did right. This is a perfect opportunity to learn from others and take on the lessons.

There are also some industry leading blogs that provide information on any new trends. Research on the leading blogs in digital marketing and bookmark them to your browser. Check them out once in a while and get to know what topics they are discussing and what you can learn.

Learning is growing, don’t close yourself off to new strategies and opportunities. Take calculated risks and scale up your marketing game.

  1. Network

Start up conversations with your peers and get to find out what they are seeing in the digital marketing space. You may know more than the next person but there will always be something the other person knows that you have yet to find out. This is why it is very important to have these discussions and pay close attention to what is being said.

Take some time to research on tradeshows and exhibitions around you. Attending these kinds of events will facilitate your interaction with other digital marketers. Conversations held with these people will give you insight into what is upcoming and what they are doing for their respective businesses.

  1. Social Media

Social media is the best place to keep up with all that is happening around you. All you have to do is select who and what you want to follow and get updates on.

Using platforms such as twitter and facebook which are very user-friendly is a great start. Follow all the digital marketing gurus and hashtags related to it and you will always be in a position to learn something.

Each time there is an update it will appear on your feed and you can see what is new. This is also a great way to gather some of the thoughts of the industry leaders and get better at it.

Linkedin is also a platform that you can use to connect with professionals in digital marketing and see what they are sharing.

Linkedin pulse is also a great tool you can utilize to set up the topics, influencers, and publications you wish to follow up on.

This is a good way to learn more and get advice and recommendations from others.

  1. Consulting professionals

As a business/brand owner it gets very frustrating when you have to figure everything from your accounting to your marketing plan. This is why it is always a good idea to delegate the tasks that can best be served by someone else.

In this digital era, you definitely want your business to be seen by everyone using effective marketing strategies. However, outdated marketing strategies may not work which is why you have to stay up to date.

Consulting with digital marketing expertsConsulting professionals who specialize in digital marketing will give you access to accurate information and steadfast results. You can have them train your digital marketing team to ensure they get better at serving your brand.

Having professionals who specialize in digital marketing as a part of your business will give you a great return on investment. You’ll get to learn and gain more customers leading to even greater conversions for your business.

Read up on all the services and digital marketing strategies you need to Break The Web and get through to as many people as possible with your brand.

It is without a doubt that staying up to date with the industry’s news is very crucial. It is better to implement a strategy that is efficient and effective than sticking to the old strategies that may not yield great results.

Take your time and be willing to learn and grow. Accept the changes and implement them as they come along. Have the right mind to discern and see which strategy will work for your particular business.

However, always remember that you don’t have to do this by yourself. If marketing is not your strong suit then delegate. Give the work to a professional who will bring you great results. The end result will be worth the initial investment.

Also, remember that not every digital marketing trend should be implemented in your business. Stick to what works for you and what customers mainly respond to. Also, always remember to tailor your campaigns to serve the needs of your ideal client.

How to Fall Back in Love with Your Kitchen

Cooking is not something a lot of people enjoy, but they do love eating. This is why many people are forced to go to the kitchen and prepare a meal. Well, this can lead to a love-hate relationship with your kitchen. It may even get to the point where you don’t want to cook, so you end up eating out most of the time. This is despite the fact that it would be cheaper if you cooked your own food.

Well, here are a few things you can do to spice up your space and develop the passion for cooking.

Renovate your kitchen

Having your kitchen renovated would give it a whole new look and feel. Pick out a nice color of paint and have the walls repainted. Make sure to choose a bright, vibrant color that will bring life to the room. Repair anything that needs fixing and maybe paint the cabinets too.

Clean out your space

Take time to do some thorough cleaning to get all the gunk and dirt out of your kitchen. Come up with an organization system that works for you and makes your kitchen functional. Consider investing in some clear jars and canisters where you can store all your cereals and be sure to label them.

Keep all your food stored in the right places.

Go through your cutlery, cookware, and plates to see if you’ll need to replace some. Make sure your knives are sharp enough to make your life easier when you get to cooking.

Beautify your kitchen

After you have renovated and cleaned up everything, it is time to make the place more appealing. The first thing is to open the windows and let the fresh air just fill the room.

This will also allow some natural light in which will make the room look even better. Use storage containers that are of the same style to bring some kind of uniformity and present a clean, organized look.

Use some potted plants around your kitchen because they clean the air and that pop of color would be great. Better yet you could just have some herbs as your potted plants. Things that you will use while cooking. Consider getting some flowers once in a while too.

Stock up on everything

Go shop for everything you need in the kitchen. Get all your groceries, cereals, spices and everything else you would need. This would be a great way to ensure you stick to healthy eating habits. You should also get snacks and any drinks and carefully keep everything where it should be. Put the cereals in their respective containers and the groceries in the refrigerator. This will ensure everything remains tidy.

Invest in a dishwasher

Some kitchens don’t come with a dishwasher already available. That is why it is a good idea to get one to avoid doing the dishes each time. I know a lot of people hate doing dishes and would very much appreciate having an alternative. This is a good idea that would save you a lot of time and effort.

Meal plans can keep your nutrition on trackMeal plan

Having yourself ready for the week is a good idea to keep you motivated to do more and eat healthier. Prepare all your meals for the next 3-5 days and pack them in their rightful place. If you are not familiar with this, you could consider getting a customized meal plan by a chef. This will make your work easier. You will have access to all the ingredients you need and the instructions on what to do.

Experiment more

Don’t just cook that one meal for a whole week — that is too boring. Get out your recipes and whip up something you have never cooked before. Recipes are there to guide you step by step. There is absolutely no excuse for you not to cook something new.

Cooking something delicious for the first time will definitely keep you motivated to try more recipes. However, if by any chance it does not go as planned, always remember that when you fall you should stand up. Dust yourself off and try again and again until you get the desired result.

You should also strive to cook with different spices and get to learn how they taste and how to prepare them. This will be an opportunity for you to cook more and explore what life has to offer.


Once your food is ready to be served, you should give thought to its layout and appearance. Don’t just serve it all mixed up in one bowl, layer it side by side. You might use one bowl but let each meal have its part of the bowl. Serve potatoes on one side, rice on the other and meat on the remaining space. Garnish with some coriander and make it look really appealing. This will surely get you excited about cooking once again.

Invite your friends over for a home-cooked meal

This is the perfect opportunity for your food to be properly critiqued and any mistakes pointed out for you to improve. Do your best to present an amazing meal that has beautifully been served and presented to them. The joy on your friends’ faces would be enough motivation to get you to continuously nurture your cooking abilities.

Falling in and out of love with your kitchen and cooking is very possible. However, it can easily be restored by taking the first step and accepting to change your situation. Just try out the above ways, and you will be assured of an amazing time in the kitchen each time you are there.

Remember always to eat healthy because good food is what fuels our bodies. Eating unhealthy would mean welcoming different illnesses and lifestyle restraints. It is best to be safe and healthy at all times.

Life Beyond the “Squishy” Motivation Stories

Life beyond the “Squishy.” Life is always a turning tide over here. But, I like it on my terms. I work hard, believe in that ethic for education and reward. There are so many things to do and left to do and I haven’t even started a family yet. My children are a big Fuzz and two littler fuzzes; 1 large Bernard Pyrenees mix and two cats. I love to sleep, not a morning person, but a night owl.

Hercules knows because we usually don’t end up going out for the morning walk before 9:30 am, then workout and breakfast close to 11 am.

Deborah workoutWhich brings me to the workout pics here, going through Insanity, I’ve had it and done well with it in the past. But like so many of us, things got put before my health for a bit…so it was back to “squishy.” I hate it. I hate the way I feel and look in “squishy” mode. You know you’re better than that and sold yourself short – know what I mean? Here is the first week, with day 1 and day 6.

That’s been the thread that has carried me through everything in my career.

-Went to College for Computer Animation
Even after two film credits, it is an unsteady industry running after temporary contract work.

-Did the Corporate job thing; Advertising Director
After seven years, truly hated working for someone else.

-Went the Fine Art route, becoming an oil painter.
You know the “starving artist” gig – even with success of Juried shows and aspen galleries, the industry is feast or famine due to sporadic sales, and economy. Still here.

-Went the Licensing route in Art
More steady sales than Fine Art, but a long process to get rolling. The bigger the client (Target, Pier1, etc.) – the longer the wait. So, create for the sake of having fun with it – monetary reward comes late in the game. It also follows the Fine Art economy…when that world is suffering, this one is. Still here.

Consumers vs. Customers: Marketing Habits of Thought

Marketers should stop using the word “consumer” and train themselves to use “customer” instead. This goes double for digital marketers.

I issue this challenge to all brand marketing and advertising agency folks reading this post: get a jar, stick it on your desk, and put a dollar into it every time you use the word “consumer.” After a month, if you have more than the price of a latte, then that means you have work to do. If you have less than the price of a latte, I’ll buy it for you next time I see you.

So why should “consumer” be a four-letter word?

“Consumer” denotes a one-way relationship. Marketers produce products or messages about products; consumers then passively receive those messages, and then the consumers robotically buy the products because the message has triggered an unconscious behavioral subroutine. This is Skinner-box advertising, and it has never worked in quite so tidy a manner as traditional marketers would have us believe.

I have similar objections to the term “viral” when it comes to marketing. In medicine, a virus invades a victim’s body and does things to that body beyond the victim’s control, requiring medical intervention and lots of rest before the offending virus finally makes a clumsy exit. Viruses are nasty — nobody wants one — and can even kill you.

Negative reinforcement advertising may not work all the timeDo we want to associate marketing with something that makes people sick? More importantly, marketing simply does not work that way. Our customers are not our victims. See Henry Jenkins’ more accurate and useful notion of “spreadable” media as an excellent alternative to viral, and don’t miss Sean X Cummings diatribe against viral marketing programs.

Back to consumers versus customers, if you call somebody a consumer then on a basic level that means you aren’t prepared to listen to that person and in this age of blogs, online reviews and two-way, conversational marketing that’s a big mistake.

Customers are active agents who make all sorts of decisions: conscious, unconscious, habitual, out-of-left-field and more. If a brand is lucky, then somebody will make your brand their customary choice when buying a product, whether it’s milk, shoes, a car, the TV show you watch every week or anything else. It is my custom to drink Peets’ coffee rather than Starbucks, but I’m not addicted to Peets (really, I can stop any time) and nobody at that particular establishment has brainwashed me.

One of my favorite literary uses of the word “custom” comes from Chapter 22 of Huckleberry Finn, where Huck sneaks into a circus and watches a drunk insist on riding a bucking horse. The horse throws the man this way and that, after which the man suddenly stands up on the horse and takes off suit after suit until he is revealed as a talented trick rider. The crowd goes berserk with joy, and Huck says, “Anyways, it was plenty good enough for me; and whenever I run across it, it can have all of my customs every time.”

Brands have to earn custom through things like quality and service, not through military tactics where we have campaigns and targets.

The good folks at AA say that the first step in making a change is admitting that you have a problem: who among us is ready to admit that using the word “consumers” is a problem?

Alternatives to the Traditional Wedding Ring

Apart from the slightly expensive engagement ring (with some would-be brides pushing on a one-karat diamond ring at the very least), over-the-top proposal ideas, and the grand wedding set on a destination that more than half of your guests may hardly afford, another piece that couples should prepare for is their wedding rings.

Wedding with live band on the backdropWedding bands, as they are most popularly called, have now moved to include more bling. Innovations include diamond-encrusted bands, or bands with each couple’s birthstone on it. Also, intricate designs that appeal to artisan jewelers that of course, do not come cheap. Saving on these rings can even afford you to hire the top wedding band in New York City for live music at the reception. That’s the kind of “band” who’ll keep the guests on their feet.

With the rise of social media, new designs from all over the world are being broadcasted online, giving couples more ideas on how to design their wedding rings. What’s great with social media is it does not only market for upscale clients; but also, for those who would want to stray away from traditional rings that can be ill-fitting for couples on the budget.

You don’t have to be a hippie to want a wedding ring other than the traditional gold or silver band. In this day where it is harder for people with families to survive on a 9-to-5 job, there’s no surprise as to why couples opt to go for designs and materials that are unique, ethical, ecologically sound, and above all, practical.

What are alternatives to the traditional wedding ring that are getting raves online lately? Here are some that topped the list for 2017:

1. Wooden bands

Who says wedding rings must always be made with gold and silver?

The humble wood that has transformed houses into homes, built bridges to connect towns and cities. Wood has provided an abode for people, plants, and animals. It can also be used to make rings that can show a couple’s commitment to each other. Any wood can be used, from pine to teak, and can be engraved with the couple’s names and wedding date. Sizing is also easily customizable with the universal ring size chart that can be used when making the rings.

For sure, it’s more environmentally friendly to use wood for wedding rings. As long as the wood is sourced ethically or better yet, sourced from a naturally fallen tree. Some couples even make their rings on their own with lots of free tutorial videos available online.

2. Mixed material bands

Since pure gold and silver rings are costly, some couples opt to use mixed material bands made with a bit of gold, silver, zircon, titanium, and copper. With a mix of these elements, rings turn out cheaper because costly materials are put to a minimum. And these are combined with more inexpensive resources. Mixed material bands work well if you like a dual or tri-color look.

However, some couples still opt for the traditional look, so they go for lab-grown gold and silver rings. Honestly, there is no significant difference when looking at lab-grown rings from afar, but when you look closely, you will see that lab-grown rings do not have the same shine and semi-rough finish as real gold and silver.

Mixed material wedding rings can be elegantMixed material and lab-grown rings are less expensive. Compared to those made with pure gold and silver, and they can also last longer than wooden rings. It is no surprise, then, that these new materials are getting more popular among young couples.

Wooden, mixed material, and lab-grown wedding rings are gaining popularity among this generation who opt for practicality. When it comes to purchasing this important piece of jewelry marking a couple’s commitment to each other. In the midst of a recession that is still being felt worldwide, alternatives to the traditional gold and silver wedding bands are being given a second look not only by young couples but also by the older generation, as well. There is no reason to say “No” to alternatives to traditional wedding bands!

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